Getting Ripped at 48

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Training

Ralph DeVito is the definition of dedication. The picture above was taken when Ralph started with us earlier this year. He was 47 years old and decided it was time to get in great shape. He had trained before in the past but this time was different.

Like my friend, Mark Crook, who I’ve written about in the past, he became obsessed this time around.

He wanted to do everything in his power to achieve his goals as fast as possible. He did everything I told him and asked all the right questions.

He ordered every supplement I recommended, got foam rollers, lacrosse balls, switched to only organic, grass fed meat and local farmers market produce, was the first person at the gym every day, studied technique of the more advanced lifters and mastered his form on every exercise, did his fasted morning cardio every day he was supposed to, ran hill sprints… whatever it took.

In less than a year he has surpassed a great number of people who were light years ahead of him in the gym when he started simply because they didn’t posses a tenth of the dedication and discipline that Ralph has.

I’ve always said that the results you get from training are directly related to your IQ. Unless, of course you are a genetic freak.

Ralph is the owner of a very successful company, so needless to say he’s a pretty smart dude. Without fail, the smartest guys I’ve trained since 1994 have always gotten the best results. Because they “get it.”

When you’ve worked with someone for over a year and they describe their breakfast to you like this you know they’re a lost cause:

“I ate really good yesterday. First, I had two egg whites and a packet of apple cinnamon oatmeal…”

“Two egg whites?! I told you to eat forty grams of protein and you ate six?!?”

“Oh, I thought I was being good. I shouldn’t be eating the yolks, right?”

“You shouldn’t be eating the yolks!? When have you ever heard me… Actually, just kidding… you’re right. Perfect meal. Have a good one, buddy.”

There simply isn’t enough time in the day to explain things for the 469th straight time to people.

You either get it or you don’t.

The Details

Ralph- “After” at 48 Years Ol

The first thing we did was cut all carbs out of Ralph’s diet except for fruit and vegetables and a sweet potato or rice for dinner each night. Normally this would be hard to do cold turkey but Ralph had his mind set on what he wanted and did it overnight.

He also cut out dairy and all other inflammatory foods. Within two weeks of doing this he told me that some aches and pains he had for years were completely gone!

He followed The Renegade Diet which meant he ate light during the day and had a big dinner each  night.

On training days he would have a serving of fruit and 10 grams of BCAA 15-30 minutes before training. When he was done he’d have Biotrust Low Carb Protein and two jars of sweet potato baby food.

At dinner he would again have fish, chicken or lean, grass fed beef with a salad and vegetables and potatoes or rice and sometimes a healthy dessert.

Every day he drinks a gallon of water and supplements with:
•  Athletic Greens
•  Omega 3’s
•  Digestive enzymes
•  Vitamin D
•  Protein powder
•  Probiotics

For the first 12 weeks he had a refeed (carb) day once a week. Now we have him doing a once every five day refeed where he loads up on red potatoes and is free to have a little dessert, pizza, pasta or whatever else he wants. But at this point he doesn’t really miss those foods anymore so he keeps the carb up pretty clean.

He trains four days per week, with workouts I post in Renegade Inner Circle, focusing on:

  • Big compound movements
  • A lot of bodyweight exercises
  • And some finishers like the prowler

One thing that Ralph understands better than a lot of people is the importance of not training to failure or grinding reps and always making slow, steady, consistent progress. He’s never come close to missing a rep yet.

Instead of trying to jump up 25 pounds per week he is always happy with small gains on a regular basis. By not being overzealous he has slowly surpassed a lot of guys in the gym who were stronger than him because they burn themselves out and push it too hard, too often.

Three or four mornings per week I have Ralph doing 30 minutes of fasted cardio at 70% of max heart rate. Some people will claim this is outdated and doesn’t work. I don’t care.

On one other day he runs hill sprints.

That’s about the nuts and bolts of it.

Hard work and dedication. That’s what it takes.

If Ralph can do it at 48 years old, as the head of a major company, with three kids and wife, there’s no reason you can’t.

Make no excuses and start kicking ass.

Got any questions or comments for me or Ralph? Post them below.


Leave a Reply

62 Responses to Getting Ripped at 48

  1. Andy Campbell October 2, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    Having watched Ralph first hand at Renegade I can say this is no bullshit. He is dedicated and has kicked ass the last few months. The photos speak for themselves.

  2. Bill Davis October 2, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Very impressive transformation there. Just goes to show that anything is possible and we have nearly unlimited potential — with the right attitude! Awesome post!

  3. manu October 2, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Awesome inspiring fabolous

  4. Joey G October 2, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    Ralph, congrats awesome achievements you deserve it. Jay you’ve done it again man. Ralph’s a poster boy for the gym

  5. Raymond - ZenMyFitness October 2, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    Very true I’m 47 and have never been fitter. Some friends joke I’m more like a machine I train 7 days a week, lift heavy, enter running events and mini triathlons all because I want to.
    But I do understand the 20s mentality , at that age I couldn’t carless either, as you say having too much fun to worry about training. I guess one of the things it comes down to is maturity.
    The only thing I do differently is avoid supplements, whatever I need I get from my nutrition.
    Anyhow well done Ralph not bad! from one old fella to another.

  6. Chase Karnes October 2, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Great job, Ralph! Solid progress. And good work, Jason. Great coaching.

  7. Jeff October 2, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    AWesome article. Being 39 and 7 months removed from shoulder surgery, this was very inspiring. Would you say that Ralph has been using something more like MGS, or Triple threat?

  8. Lachlan October 2, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Great article amazing what people can achieve when they set their mind to it.
    I had a question you talked about inflammatory things like diary and others where can I find more info on this cause I have never heard this before and that interests me,
    cheers lachlan

  9. Albert October 2, 2010 at 6:56 am #

    Hi Jason,
    Very good timing, I just turn 49 and work as a PT. I know this can be done but haven’t done it myself. I’m to skinny rigth now and want to pack as much mass as I can so this is a great inspiration for me. I hope one day I can get to your box and train with you guys.

  10. Mark Crook October 2, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Well deserved recognition for a great guy. There is no one more dedicated and focused in every training aspect than Ralph. Inspiring man and a great training partner. His “after” pic confirms I have some work to do.

  11. Steve Hutson October 2, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Well Done Ralph you have inspired me,Great coaching jason and mentoring

  12. Travis October 2, 2010 at 7:39 am #


    Kickass bro!

    This goes to show that there is NO age limit.

    Too many guys out there over 40 use the “old age” excuse!

    Shoot, some guys use it when they pass 30!

    The bottom line is, get focused, set some goals, and work your ass off!

    Enough said!

    Good work Jason!

  13. Josh Grant October 2, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    This is awesome. I especially like where you said that the results you get from training are directly related to your IQ. I couldn’t agree more. People always want to argue with me when I tell them that your stuff is the best out there. I just tell them to look at the results. Great post.

  14. Hussman October 2, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Best post you could have made on a Saturday morning. At 42, I know where Ralph is coming from. Kick those young guys’ ass Ralph! Show them What. The. Fcuk. Is. Up!!!!!

  15. Mike October 2, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Way to go Ralph!
    I’m 43, and gettin there too.. Well done brotha! Stand proud!!

  16. Gary October 2, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    Absolutely superb. Im 43 and keep falling into the “all or nothing” trap. (if i cant do it all, i do nothing) This is the kinda kick in the ass i need, so inspiring guys!

  17. Rick October 2, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Very inspiring for me, I’ll be 54 next week. I have been working out for almost 3 years with a lot of improvement. This article gave me the needed boot in the butt to go for it allm or nothing!

  18. Rick October 2, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    all, not allm…LOL

  19. Sha Ali October 2, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    I’m approaching the same age group and want to get by BF% under 15%. I’m I blowing it with my breakfast ? At 6’0″ 275 Current BF% 28%

    2-cups cooked steal cut oatmeal w/raisins or cranberries, organic honey and raw butter or coconut oil.
    10oz Almond Milk/Coconut Milk w/ON Plat Hydro Whey & 3-4 frozen fruit.

  20. Aaron October 2, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Ralph, you look awesome man. I wish I could train at Jay’s gym like you do. My big box gym sucks as far as atmosphere goes. Jay, that was an informative article. Cheers.

  21. Mahad October 2, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    hey jase and all otherz, m 16 an its truly great to c a guy of 48 n this shape….
    Nice work Ralph AND Jase

  22. Mahad October 2, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    hey jase and all otherz, m 16 an its truly great to c a guy of 48 n this shape….
    Nice work Ralph AND Jase;D

  23. Chris DeVito October 2, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Way to go Dad!

  24. Bill October 2, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    As you get older you have a greater sense of urgency to everything. When your twenty you have all the time in the world to get stuff done but when you get older it changes. It becomes a very limited amount of time to get it done and i reckon this is what gives greater dedication. That sense of urgency to do it.

  25. Bob October 2, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    very good and impressive. Now lets see what Ralph looks like when he gets my age 71 soon to be 72 and I have used both programs of Jasons and have had great results just finished one and now going back to the first. It is all about consistency. You have to get in there and push no matter what your age —oh yeah and it is all about diet. Thanks for the great programs Jason Bob

    ref=”#comment-5502″>Jason Ferruggia:

  26. gareth October 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Damn good post. I’m 42 & beginning to notice middle age.

    I wanna get ripped now.

  27. Josh Hewett October 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Wow, hella impressive… great work!

  28. Dave October 2, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Ralph has worked miracles. I am 61 and have been working out for 5 years since retiring. At 56, I was overweight at 85kg and unfit, with a body fat % of around 30 to 35 I guess. I really wasted the first 3 years of training by reading the bodybuilding magazines, but when my progress ground to a halt, I started doing some serious research. That’s when I came across Jason. I was always a skinny kid and therefore realized that I was probably a hard gainer, so I adopted Jason’s training protocols along with carefully worked out, portion controlled, daily nutrition plans. I am very pleased now, because in the last 2 years I have re composed myself to 12% fat with a body weight of 80 kg.
    Jason Ferruggia knows what he is talking about!!!

  29. J October 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Great motivation. I should print this and show all my co-workers. They think I’m from another planet b/c I don’t eat cake at the office b-day parties. It’s al about the diet, and training of course, but the diet is where it’s at

  30. joe October 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    im 18 and he’s leaner than me!!

  31. Steve MacCormack October 3, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Nice Job Ralph!!1 seroiusly, I’m 47 years old and been training for years but just had a baby and shelved everything….including my workouts….I went from 11% bodyfat(my best ever was 7%) to about 17% today!!! unacceptable on any level!! your story has inspired me to get off my ass!!! from one guy who “gets it” to another….Thank you for your inspiration bro!! and thanks to JF for posting another great story…..

  32. Ray October 3, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Very inspiring. Great job, Ralph

  33. John Cintron October 3, 2010 at 8:42 am #


    This is such a good post I am just turned 41. I have worked out most of my life. I even competed in 1988 Natural MR. New York to bad I think I was the only Natural one in my division. I am still not as ripped as I want to be but this is so insprational. Maybe you can do a new program called get diesal at 40 years and older. Great results from Ralph. Its good to know that I am not the only 40 plus still kicking ass because every whereI go it’s like I am the oddball because I still don’t eat shit and I still have muscles with no gut and others have no muscle or are overweight.


  34. Kei October 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Wow, this is so motivational and inspirational. Maybe we can see highlights on some women also (if you work with women)! Excellent work Ralph and Jason!

  35. Kei October 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Why coconut and pumpkin seed oil instead of flax and fish oil?

  36. J Harmony October 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    Not to take anything from Ralph, but at 48 is he on hormone therapy?

  37. Josh Denny October 4, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    Awesome job! And you don’t just look great for 48, you look great! Congrats on the success.

    Quick question Jason, when you recommend cutting out dairy I see Ralph was still using a Whey protein supplement, do you feel whey is ok as far as dairy goes? Or do you find it is okay since it is a supplemental form and the “bad” stuff in dairy is filtered out when making the whey protein? I know a lot of trainers recommend at least cycling your protein supplements to prevent developing allergies.

    Mostly what I’m getting at is that I have a fair amount of whey and/or casein containing supplements and want to use them up since I already own them and I am wondering how they fit into the “cutting out dairy” idea. Also, for salads, is a little bit of a flavorful cheese like gorgonzola an issue in regards to dairy?



  38. Ralph October 4, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Want to thank everyone for their kind words. Most of all I want to thank Jason for guiding me through this process. He is truly a master of his trade. Bigger, Stronger, Faster guaranteed is more than just a slogan for his shirts. Those of us who are fortunate enough to train at his gym see firsthand the results his training and nutrition program produce. If you are not lucky enough to live within driving distant of his training facility I suggest buying one of his books, you will see results guaranteed.

    I also want to thank everyone at the gym for being so supportive and encouraging. Walking into Renegade for the first time last December was a bit intimidating. The encouragement and support you gave me got me through many rough days. I could not have done it without you.

  39. Mati October 4, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Huge respect man! I gotta show this article (at least photos) to my father. Hope u’ll inspire him. Currently he thinks that being over 40 and exercising is only for “the chosen ones” (I showed him Jackie Chan – about 70 yrs old and still kicking ass!). Now you proved that “average Joe” can do it too. Thanks!

  40. Matt October 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Wow! Ralph looks great! Motivation! Thanks for posting this article.

  41. Adam October 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Hey Raplh, fantastic work man!!! Big respect. This article rings so true, you either get it or you don’t. I see it in the gym all the time (especially with young guys but even older ones) and at 23 i guess im just on to it enough to realise that you only get where you want through sheer grit, determination, hard work and actually understanding the concept of eating right 95% of the time. Your an inspiration man!! Hope im still going this hard at your age. Cheers.

    Wellington, New Zealand

  42. Robert October 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm #


  43. Jason Ferruggia October 5, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Thanks again for all the comments. Glad we were able to inspire and motivate you guys.

    Sha- Ditch the carbs.

    Bill- Great insight.

    Bob- Awesome to hear you’re still kicking ass at 72.

    Dave- Great progress.

    Steve- You’re welcome. Glad you liked it.

    Keri- Those are great too. You just can’t put fish oil in a shake.

    J Harmony- To be honest, I have no problem with those over 40-45 considering that option. We haven’t gone that route and I respect everyone’s right to make their own decision.

    Josh- I hate all dairy, unless you can get it raw, in small amounts. For the most part we use mostly Sun Warrior.

    Ralph- It’s been a pleasure.

  44. wrestler strength October 6, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    This was an awesome and super motivating post to read. Jason you’re right on at the end when you said- “Hard work and dedication. That’s what it takes.” Obviously having great direction and programs from a guy like you factors in, but without the hard work and dedication the results wouldn’t be the same!

  45. Jeremy October 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    Great post. Just wondering about calories in the program. Is calories a major focus or is it the nutrition rules you outlined. In other words, did you prescribe a set caloric amount for Ralph?

  46. Jason Ferruggia November 22, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    Jeremy- I give him a range and he’s pretty good about staying right where he needs to be.

  47. Roy November 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    I’ve stayed consistent in lifting for almost 25 years now and at 47 I can attest that one does not need hormone replacement if you keep your diet relatively clean and lift heavy on squats or deads a few times a month.

  48. Jennifer November 25, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Ralph is my cousin and is the best man i know. I saw him on our family pre Thanksgiving dinner and was amazed at how great he looks. He is definitely an inspiration to me and I hope that some of his dedication and hard work can rub off on me!!!

  49. Jason Ferruggia December 2, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    Jennifer- Thanks for posting. Ralph certainly is one of the coolest guys around and a damn hard worker.

  50. Luke H January 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Great article and I have to agree with the training mentality of some people in the gym. They do they same reptitive exercises and their bodyshape stays the same year in, year out – no matter the advice given. Ralph is a real inspiration – not only that he achieved his goal, but he had the smarts to ask a professional on what to do to get in good shape. He didn’t let past misconceptions cloud his judgement he only focused on what he needed to do and did it. I am 28 and when I think I’m too tired for a workout I will thinking about Ralph!

  51. Niel Rishoi June 7, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    This just proves the old adage, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Older men have the ability to focus and implement. They’re more likely not to shrug things off.

  52. Troy October 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Ralph – YES! What an awesome story!

    Jason, I’m too often surrounded by my peers who “can’t”, or “won’t”. I’m the one enjoying life on the slopes with my college-age kids – shreddin’ the gnar. Or whatever else comes our way. Stories like Ralph’s – help fuel the dedication to keep going and try to inspire others along the way.

  53. Mike July 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Probably some soft of cardio that increases the heart rate to 60-70% max.

    Really, does it matter exactly what kind? It seems to be steady state, so just do something that gets you to that heart range. =)

  54. Dirk November 7, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Impressive and somehow inspiring, great story.

    I would like to learn a bit more about Ralph’s daily schedule. For me with full time job, and also three children it seems hard to keep a frequent workout schedule. Even if I only try to do something every other day I often have conflicts with work and family life. Without cutting on sleep, preparation of meals and family life I hardly can imagine to have even two training sessions most of the days.

  55. Mark November 9, 2012 at 7:20 am #


    I’m one of those older ripped guys at 52 years old. Living the training lifestyle for many years (over 30) works!!!

    If you want, I’ll send you a very recent picture. I don’t just talk the talk.

    I stick to the basics, and still try to get stronger in basic lifts: squats, deadlifts, incline, db rows, military press. It’s no mystery: intense, intelligent training combined with figuring out what diet works for your body creates results.

    All the best,


  56. anthony chappell March 4, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Well done Ralph!!!and bravo to you Jason.yet again your common sense approach wins the day.

  57. Danny June 5, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Jason, how does one go the way of Ralph from afar? I live and work in Africa, try to as healthy as possible (despite working at a school). I try to follow the Convict Conditioning routine due to astronomical gym fees in Rwanda ($50/per person a month is the cheapest), but am really aiming to get to that next level. I’m very cognizant of form over weight, hence the use of Convict Conditioning but am interested in getting to another level with my fitness and physique. What’s good? What is the Inner Circle and the Renegade Diet. As well, what are alternatives to dairy, etc etc etc.


  58. Colin June 17, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Thank you for the posting,most inspiring i must say.One question,i work graveyard for a security co,walk all night on duty,any suggestions for a workout at a gym?,please let me know,thank you very much,Colin

  59. Daniel James June 20, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    Some people will claim this is outdated and doesn’t work. I don’t care.

    Love that and love the story!

  60. Joe June 20, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    great article and motivating as well.

    Curious…what correlation is there between high IQ and fitness results?


  61. Brad June 20, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    This is my philosophy. It works. (Still love my dairy.) I’m 45 and you’d think I’m 29 and I out-dead and out-squat 90% of the kids in the gym half my age and I ain’t fat. It’s not genetics, it’s going day in and day out. Jason knows his stuff.

  62. Dinesh October 8, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Dear friend. I’m 45 and want to build muscles and transform my body. What is the best workout.?