I’ve had a chance to look over Renegade Strong, the latest program from Jason Ferruggia. This six-week program is designed to help you get “big, strong, and jacked.” I’ll tell you a little more about the program design.
Renegade Strength Program Setup
This book begins with Ferruggia explaining the overall training philosophy. He proceeds to a warm-up program you can use to get loosened up before each workout.
The main program is a four-day split, meaning it is designed for those who want to train 4 days a week. You alternate between upper body and lower body days, but variation has been built into the weekly routine. Some workouts emphasize heavier weights and lower reps, while others are designed to do use less weight and go with more volume/repetition.
As mentioned, this is a six-week program. The exercises don’t require any special equipment and I think you could do Renegade Strong at just about any commercial gym. Another nice feature is a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section where he answers common questions a trainee may have about the program (alternate exercises, etc.).
Jason Ferruggia has developed a well-deserved reputation for putting together great workout programs. Renegade Strong is no exception. Let me share a few ideas on who I think this program would be well suited for:
*Intermediate or advanced trainees who want to ad some variety to their workouts.
*Guys who want to ad some conditioning elements to their routines (this program features some strongman type training that would suit this purpose).
*Older trainees (over 35) or who want physically demanding workout that are designed with long-term joint health in mind.
*Guys who are a little beat up and want to train around mild injuries (in other words, guys that are healthy enough to train but maybe have some achy joints, etc).
*Guys who are bored with training only the “big 3” (squat, deadlift, and bench press) and want to mix things up a bit.
I’ve been looking forward to the release of Bikini Body Workoutsfor quite a while. I’ve been a big fan of Jason Ferruggia’s workout and diet plans for years so I was glad to see his wife create a product specifically for women. Let me start the review by explaining what you get when you order this program:
Bikini Body Workouts Guide: This document explains how you can safely and effectively build a strong, feminine physique through resistance training. The workouts utilize non-competing, antagonistic, alternating supersets. This means you’ll do a exercise, rest for about sixty seconds, then exercise a different muscle group. This type of training is ideal for burning fat and is a great strategy for female trainees. These intense workouts should give you good results.
This manual also explains how to incorporate cardiovascular training (both high and low intensity) into your schedule. Women sometimes put too much emphasis on cardiovascular training, but this plan shows you how to have a more balanced approach.
Another feature I should note is the video library. Users can access video demonstrations of all the exercises. The video library is also an easy reference point to see what you’ll be doing on a given workout–the videos are grouped together by training day. I think you’ll find that there’s something motivational about being able to watch the workouts instead of just seeing the written description of the exercises.
Bikini Body Nutrition Guide:As I’ve said many times, no fat loss or muscle building program is complete unless you are eating properly. This guide explains how to set up a nutrition plan from scratch: what type of foods to eat, what to avoid, the best way to time your meals, etc. I think this would be especially helpful for a beginner who needs to know the basics of fat loss.
Note: Specific brands of supplements are recommended in this manual. I’m sure the brands they recommend are fine, but I would advise you to shop around and see if their are more cost-effective alternatives (I’ve always been a minimalist when it comes to supplements).
21-Day Booty Blast Manual: This is a specialization program for women who want to focus on training their glutes. The exercises are designed to be done 10 minutes a day, every day, for twenty one days. You could, of course, do the program longer if you have not yet achieved the desired result. Needless to say, most women are interested in building a firm, round backside. This extra training guide will be very helpful for that goal.
This program is what I’ve come to expect from Ferruggia–simple, straightforward, and effective. I like the way they have set up weight training, cardiovascular training, and nutrition so women will be able to completely transform their bodies. Let me tell you who I think this program is best suited for:
*Women who are interested in losing fat. This is the primary goal most female trainees have in mind when they start dieting or going to the gym. Jen Ferrugia’s workout plan can definitely help you with this.
*Women with access to basic gym equipment (fancy equipment is not required, but a gym membership would be ideal). Remember that resistance training is a key component of this bikini body workout plan.
*Women who are willing to make lifestyle changes (diet, etc.) in order to transform their bodies.
If this describes you then I think Bikini Body Workouts would be a worthwhile investment–you get a lot of quality training/nutrition information at a very reasonable cost (it costs less, for example, than Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide). Just keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a “shortcut” or “magic bullet when it comes to true body transformation. This is a great program, but you’ll have to apply yourself and put in both the work and planning for it to work for you. Just CLICK HERE to get this program for only $29.99.
Every once in a while I feel the need to write a “back to the basics” kind of article–something that will help beginner trainees who may happen to visit this blog for the first time. Let’s talk about the best way to build muscle. Here are some basic tips that you’ll see repeated time and again by coaches and trainers who know their stuff:
*Learn to deadlift. This is probably the all-around best mass building exercise there is. Lifting something off the floor trains muscles literally from the feet all the way up to the neck: calves, thighs, back, etc.
*Build your routine around basic, compound lifts: deadlift, squat, front squat, bench press, military press, dips, etc. The most important key to building muscle is getting stronger in these exercises. Isolation exercises like curls are OK, but your foundation of size and strength will be built upon the basic lifts I’ve mentioned. You’ll find that most bodybuilders (especially the old-school guys) were incredibly strong.
*Stick with the 5-8 rep range. You can experiment with higher reps once you have a little more training experience and learn the proper form. But I believe beginners will do better starting off with only 5-8 reps per set. You’ll still be learning proper form if you are new to training and you are more likely to get injured if you try to go with higher reps.
*Eat a nutrient dense diet with adequate calories. You hear people talking about “eat big to get big.” But going overboard on calories is a good way to get fat. Just shoot for a slight calorie deficit (something over 15 calories per lb. of body weight per day).
There is an exception to this rule: if you are really skinny and/or young (a teenager) you may have to go really high on calories. Some teenagers have really fast metabolisms and may have to eat a lot more in order to gain muscle. Just keep in mind you probably won’t be able to eat this way the rest of your life.
Around .75 to 1 gram of protein per lb. of body weight will be enough to gain muscle (some will claim you need a lot more, but the evidence just isn’t there). Go with quality protein sources like eggs, milk, chicken, fish, etc.
I’ll mention something else here. I’m a big believer in intermittent fasting for losing fat and staying lean. But I would not advise it for those trying to put on their first 15-20 lb of muscle. It makes a lot more sense to eat at least 3-4 meals a day if you are really going to focus on gaining weight.
*Go minimalist with your supplements. Creatine monohydrate, protein powder, a multivitamin, and fish oil–that’s it (I’ve explained this in Supplements That Work–check out the link on the top of this for more info). Don’t waste time and money trying to find the latest “breakthrough” supplement–that’s a good way to go broke with no muscle to show for it. Focus instead on your training and nutrition.
*Train 3-4 times a week. A new trainee should do fine with three to four sessions of about 45 minutes to one hour a week. That’s enough time to do a simple routine with two or three of these before-mentioned basic exercises. You can experiment with longer, higher volume training sessions once you become a more advanced lifter. But beginners should keep things simple and short.
I’d highly recommend a high quality program like Vince Delmonte’s No Nonsense Muscle Building 2.0 if you are a beginner who wants to learn the best way to build muscle. This program will take you through the first few months and teach you the right way to safely and naturally gain mass and get stronger. This is the program I usually recommend to friends and those who contact me from this blog.