T Nation

New Warrior Diet Thread


I couldn't see any recent threads regarding the Warrior Diet (WD) so have started another, unless anyone can point one out?

Been doing it for a month now, following some experimentation with pulse fasting, etc. Waterbury posted a decent article on his site recently about his 'conversion' to the WD and it was really after reading this that I decided to give it a trial.


I have to say I've been hugely impressed with the results so far, and believe I am close to the best shape of my life at the moment. This is despite a chronic back problem curtailing heavy leg work.

Wondered if anyone who has/is doing the WD has any feeback regarding using it for gaining mass?

My strength has increased since commencing the WD (although I was getting back into training after a lay-off due to the back problem so assume I would have made gains anyway).

My main observations on the WD are:

Hunger (or lack of) - like the pulse fast, hunger is relatively never an issue

Energy - apparent increase in energy and mental focus (see below)

Working on Empty - the ultimate apostacy - doing a workout on an empty stomach! No issues again or deterioration in performance. Of course, a good peri-workout drink (carb-free) is allowed. For me this is a Pepto Pro mix or BCAAs

No Carb/Calorie Confusion - evening meals can be high in carbs and fat and it doesn't appear to interfere with body comp goals. WD author Ori Hofmekler recommends just about anything as long as it is natural.

Any feedback from WD users appreciated.


jamesbrawn, assuming you are using the WD for fat loss, im just woindering if you've ever calculated roughly how much under maintenance you end up eating when eating freely on the WD?
am i right in thinking that one naturally eats under maintenance when they structure their feeding like this..


I think it tends to happen when you eat this style, as I try my best to keep it there. I have done some calorie monitoring on it and still lost some fat while eating around maintenance.

Wesley Silveria constantly monitored calories while on it though and he used it for mass gain.


I experimented with various forms of intermittent fasting throughout the years and gave the WD a run for a while. You do tend to eat under maintenance calories, but what I've learned is that your body becomes much more efficient at nutrient utilization and pretty much uses everything you give it in the best way possible. I realized that the calories in/calories out thing was BS after i played with fasting. I was able to maintain my body weight while dropping bodyfat rapidly. After a while I did the calculations and found that I was only taking in about 90 grams of protein a day at 175 lbs and roughly around 1400-1600 calories and was NOT losing muscle mass ( bodyweight stayed constant/bodyfat decreased). I'm no scientist, but I think that the changes that take place hormonally through a fast and also an increase in fats have much more to do with the changes rather than simple calorie restriction. KInd of like on the AD when you overload with fat and protein and drop all carbs AND up your calories above maintenance you still drop body fat. Theres a lot more at work here than just low calories. There's a cleansing/detox effect and also the hormonal effects. I love fasting, but I also love to eat. So I usually work in 1-2 fasts a week to gain some of the benefit. Usually on a rest day I'll just drink BCAA's throughout the day.


I should add though that I was using the fasting for fatloss and not mass gain. It just worked out that fat was luckily the ONLY thing I lost. If you could force enough food in during the feeding window I think it would be a good mass building/bulking experiment. I would think you really wouldn't need to up the calories that much just maybe change up nutrient ratios. I tended to go very high on the fat for the majority of my cals. I'm sure adjusting the caloric swing to more protein would probably yield more gain in LBM. Would be interesting to see what happens.


Anyone else find it funny or notice how leangains is pretty much identical to the WD?


No, could you point it out?


NOt sure if you're serious, but anyway, fasting during the day, then eating at night. Ori wrote about it in alot more depth way before leangains guy. I'm surprised no one noticed this before.


im pretty sure people did notice this.. and there are countless more IF type diets.
but the approach for leangains is a bit different - shorter fasting period and, i think, less concern about food "quality", more on calorie amounts.


I think you also have a pre workout meal with leangains.


Warrior diet typically has an underfeeding phase with small meals not pure fasting and his template is 20 underfeed, 4 feed. Leans gains is An 18/6 pure fast. IMO you can get away with poor food choices on lean gains bit I did best on WD


...It's STILL calories in vs calories out. I get what you're trying to say, but either you are not understanding it entirely or you are mis-wording things. You said yourself that your body becomes much more efficient at partitioning and utilizing nutrients due to hormonal changes or w.e. the explanation is. The point is..this is still calories in vs calories, your body just has become much more efficient and can operate at a LOWER level of caloric intake/macronutrient intake. Again..this is still calories in vs calories out. Thermodynamics doesn't change just because your hormonal profile does..


Believe Volek has studies of ppl losing fat while eating above maintainence.


Maybe you misunderstood me. When your hormones are effected as, we all know, the body utilizes nutrients differently and reacts differently to what it is given. Insulin and leptin being perfect examples, which are two hormones that are greatly effected through IF. Gaining muscle and losing fat IS NOT just calories in calories out. The simplest argument that I've ever heard to prove this is to go eat 3000 calories a day of carbs or go eat 3000 calories a day of protein and see how your body looks in a few weeks. It is possible for one to gain muscle while eating under maintenance calories and it is also possible for one to lose fat while eating above, so how does that happen if it's as simple as calories in/calories out. There is something else at work here. How can I take someone and replace all the grains in their diet with healthy fats while keeping their caloric intake exactly the same and they finally begin to lose body fat? Even things like gluten allergies keep people from losing BF, regardless of their calories. If it was just calories in/calories out then why when someone is dieting and they keep dropping their calories further does their weight loss eventually come to a stop. If it was calories in/calories out then weight loss should continue , right?? Doing intermittent fasting really opened my eyes to how wrong I was for so many years thinking that I had to have so many calories to gain, or so many calories to lose or, the worst of all, having to eat every 3 hours or my metabolism would slow and my body would eat itself without ever giving though to how my body was using what I was giving it and the effects the nutrients were having. Think about this, if you take two people and give them the same exact meal containing the same exact amount of calories and nutrient ratios, the only difference is that one person is completely insulin resistant and the other has fantastic insulin sensitivity. Are these calories going to be used the same way in these two people's body?? No , not at all. So here we have the same amount of calories and nutrients but the only difference is hormonal.


I agree with much of what you're saying. Problems only arise when someone chooses to STRICTLY say calories in vs calories out is EVERYTHING or..that calories in vs calories out means nothing in the presence of manipulated hormones. Hormones undoubtedly play a role in how nutrients are used/stored. Again.. hormones are important. I think these concepts are much more clearly examined in the case of legitimate caloric defecit. Here's what I mean:

If I am in legitimate caloric deficit on a daily basis, I will lose body weight. This could be fat, muscle, water ..combination etc..but I will lose bodyweight. Now..the key here is, if I make sure my protein req is in place FIRST..then I adjust my energy macros around this set in stone protein req...as long as I stay in deficit, in the long run it will NOT matter. In other words.. As long as I make sure that my protein intake is first spot on..I could eat all fats for the remainder of my caloric intake (while staying in the deficit range) or all carbs or both..it would not mean shit in the long run. The only time it WILL mean something to restrict carbs when ALREADY in deficit is to manipulate water levels, or to reach levels of bodyfat % that a pro would reach on stage. Now..if you ONLY ate fats..or ONLY ate carbs as opposed to ONLY eating protein..well the same logic adds up..when the protein req are not accounted for properly..then things appear to happen much differently. Btw, if all those instances are in deficit, bodyweight will be lost over time..but they will probably look, feel and have health like shit.

In the case of surplus..macronutrients, IMO become much more important. Now that you are in surplus, your body is going to want to store nutrients...in this case hormone manipulation is more of an issue because weight is going to be put on..it's best to utilize your hormones in order to put quality weight on as opposed to just bodyfat. I have personally noticed little to no difference in regards to deficit and energy macros. As long as my caloric deficit is achieved and my protein requirements are accounted for..I have not noticed any difference in fatloss whether I ate the remainder as carbs, or as fats, or as both. In a surplus..I'm sure that if I ate all my energy macros (after protein is accounted for) by way of carbs all the time..things would be different because insulin will be ALLOWED to work its storage magic due to the surplus.


I understand where you are coming from and I also agree with much of what you are saying. I do disagree about restricting carb intake in a deficit simply to effect water levels. Yes it will help you drop water but that is just one factor. Deficit or not, manipulating carb intake and timing will effect insulin, leptin, serotonin and growth hormone secretion which all play a role in muscle building and fat loss. However I still feel that surplus or deficit does not account for as much of a change in body composition as much as nutrient utilization and hormonal effects mainly when we are talking about fasting. I personally have seen changes in my own physique and in people that I have worked with where muscle mass was gained and fat was lost in a caloric deficit along with lowered protein intakes.

As I stated earlier I maintained a body weight of 175lbs while dropping several percentages in body fat while eating well under maintenance calories and only about 90 grams of protein a day. I DO agree that in order to add or lose substantial amounts of body weight that caloric intake does become a factor. But to simply manipulate body composition I believe that nutrient timing and type plays a much bigger role. When I played with IF I was taking in very low calories and protein and still maintained my body weight but saw a dramatic shift in BF and lean mass. When I gave the AD a run I was eating WELL above maintenance calories and high protein and of course gained body weight but still saw a decrease in BF. I think that calories in /calories out becomes more of a factor when trying to make large gains or losses, when simply trying to recomp or drop some BF for someone that is already training correctly and eating well for the most part I believe that nutrient timing , type and the hormonal impact of these two factors together play a bigger role.

I'm pretty sure we agree on most of these issues, however we may be thinking in different terms. I recently made a change in my nutrition by moving all of my carb intake to pre and post workout. My calories or food choices did not change at all yet in a month of doing this I have put on weight and leaned out more. Same calories, same foods, just different timing and it has made a big difference. Could it be simply that I know what works for my body and I've found that magic mix? Maybe. I've been at this for almost 20 years now. I've tried just about every nutrition strategy I could think of from High carb/low fat to high fat/low carb, to Body Opus, Anabolic Burst Cycle, AD, IF, Warrior Diet, Protein only, BCAA fasts, Velocity Diet, The Zone.......I could go on and on. The most I ever learned about nutrition was doing things like IF and seeing that the calorie counting and the eating every 3 hours thing and the 1gm of protein per lb of body weight were not the holy grail of muscle gain and fat loss. It wasn't until I learned about the almost "drug like " effect that foods can have on the body that things really started coming together for me and I have been able to get results with others as well. I'm not going to dismiss the importance of caloric intake by any means for certain goals. But I also cannot deny that you can give or take all the calories in the world to someone and it won't make a bit of difference if that person cannot take advantage of the effects of the nutrients given to it. Thats where our hormones come in.

Let's just agree that intelligent caloric intake combined with proper nutrient choices, utilization and timing to efficiently take advantage of hormonal responses equals success. I think we both can live with that.


Short answer: No mate.

I did want to lose a few lbs around the mid-section (who doesn't) but also wanted to add as much to the upper body as possible.
I didn't want to focus on calorie consumption, as Ori recommends. Sure sometimes I'm certain I am eating below maintenance, but I have also put away 1000kcals worth of nuts shortly after my main dinner so reckon I could be above the level on such occasions.

I also wanted to focus less on nutrient partitioning, although Ori does recommend P+F dominant meals for fat loss. Personally I love boiled rice, and Chinese food in general, so I feel it allows me to eat these while still achieving good body comp.
As other posters have noted, hormone manipulation largely determine progress on the WD.


Hey JB, sorry we kinda hijacked there and got off into another discussion. But anyways check out theiflife.com/
It's Mike O'Donnel's blog on IF and while the WD is a more laid out program I really learned a lot through correspondence with Mike about Intermittent fasting.


wait, so are you saying calories in vs calories out?


Great! Now I'm fuckin confused again!