To take it back over a month ago, I started this diet because I had shot up to 194 pounds. I had been stronger than I have ever been, but also had a few extra pounds that I could afford to lose. Here is the deal, I knew I HAD to lose the weight. Period. There were no other options. I have spent much of my adult life around 180-185. I have at times gone up to over 200, and a couple of times while really focusing on vanity I got down to 168lbs (weak as hell though) . My weight that I feel the best and strongest is the 178 to 185 range. I am also preparing for RKC Level 2, and the single arm strict above head press requirement for a 185lb man is the 40kg Kettlebell. If I show up heavier than 185lbs, I have to single arm press the 44kg bell. If you don’t know kilograms that is a big difference, and if you don’t know the difference between a kettlebell and dumbbell it is a huge difference as well. I know guys that can rep out a 100lb dumbbell that struggle the with the 88lb kettlebell for one rep. The Certification cost plus flight, hotel, food, and paying my staff to train my clients is close to $4000. So it is crucial that I make sure my weight is optimal. Now I am not losing this weight to make it easier, but I just know where my optimal weight is and I need to show up optimal. The RKC is the school of strength and not the school of being a sissy, but I don’t need to try and make it harder than it is either. So now you know that I have a lot invested in losing the weight.
So why the Velocity Diet?
I have had numerous questions as to why I needed a diet? Why not just eat healthy? Well I do eat healthy, I just sometimes eat too much healthy stuff. Not to make excuses but I will anyway, the last 16 months has been big! I mean big. We had our first child, I quit an unhealthy job with a family to support, herniated a disc in my neck and was injured for 4 months, I started a business, and now have a business that has a staff and is growing at an amazing rate. Stress(even good stress) can do lots of things, and in my case a bit of weight was the product. I am surprised I got as strong as I did. My workouts were strong and consistent, but the scale moved up anyway. So yes, my degree is in Nutrition, and yes I could have cooked on Sunday night for the week like I have in the past, measured out my meals for the week and brought them with me to work. Honestly, I didn’t want to do it. Wasn’t interested for a second to do it. Don’t know why, but I was aggrevated just thinking about doing it. I knew it would work. Eating small meals throughout the day in measured doses has been getting bodybuilders ripped for year and I know it works. The Velocity diet was different and it was a different type of challenge. And if you have followed this blog, you know I get in to it, if it is challenging. So, I am a fan of Strength Coach Dan John, and he did it with good results, so I said why the hell not. It is idiot proof , provides results, and would be doable for me during my busy days at the gym. I didn’t think I would be as hungry as I was, but I survived.
Wanting to Quit
There were numerous times during this diet I wanted to throw in the towel because I was hungry. A phone call from Dan John a week into had me more committed than ever. It was either finish or post on my blog that I am the world’s biggest P*&$y and wear a shirt that says, I am Dan John’s B*$CH. I knew there was no turning back at this point. Honestly this blog also helped keep me going. I had so many people emailing me and telling me they were reading daily that I knew that me throwing in the towel would have been really embarrassing.
Day 1: 194 pounds, 36″ waist(pant size 34), as per Caliper Measurment 15.6% body fat, 16.5″ arm flexed. 430 lb deadlift, 4 pullups with 16kg kettlebell on foot.
Day 28: 181.5 pounds, 33.5″ waist(pants much looser), Caliper measurement 15.6%body fat(yes you read it right), 435lb deadlift, and 6 pullups with 16kg Kettlebell on foot.
I still have no clue what the hell is going on with the body fat % and Calipers. Honestly it makes no sense to me. I know caliper testing is not the most accurate, but I had skilled individuals pinch me and there was no change. And honestly just feeling the pinches I felt no change either. The initial logic would be to say that I lost muscle, but with the gains in strength that I achieved I highly doubt I lost 10 pounds of muscle. There is no way I would have been able to lift the weight I have with 10 pounds less muscle. I am still intrigued though. As I start to ramp up my food again it will be interesting to see what happens. If I start eating carbs again and I gain the weight it would be safe to say much of the weight loss could have been water weight but I am still not sure. The facts are I did drop the weight, and stayed strong and I can’t argue with that.
My Biggest Complaints with the Velocity Diet
1. I was hungry all the time. Seriously I hear people say how full they were from the shakes as the biggest complaint and honestly I don’t care if they are bigger than me, they seriously bust be on the road to manorexia then. Usually within an hour of eating a shake I wanted more. Again not everyone complains about this but there are a good few that do. The forums on t-nation have lots of resources and forums that have others on the diet so I could see what others were experiencing as well. Honestly I am pretty sure the artificial sweeteners had a bit to do with this. The sweet with no calories definitely creates a nasty cycle of hunger and craving food.
2. Splendafied!! Seriously I never want to see splenda again. I had given up splenda/sucralose and all artificial sweeteners including stevia for about 6 months prior to the V-Diet. There are numerous camps that claim it is safe and others that say it is Satan. Honestly I don’t know which is right. I do know that artificial sweeteners are “artificial” and not something I want to make a staple in my diet. Being dosed with splenda for 5 meals a day seems a bit ridiculous to me. I know they need to make it tasty to keep you eating it but it really loses the appeal of being healthy to me. Chris Shugart the author of the Velocity Diet addresses this with a quick “splenda is perfectly safe” comment, but does he really know? I don’t think anyone does and I think it is a bit irresponsible to just mass dose it. Also, my taste buds got jacked up on this diet. It started with the shakes being really sweet the first week or so, to me then feeling the need to want my shakes to be sweeter. So off to the store I went to grab a huge bag of calorie free love. Again, not a great quality of this diet. On a side note I don’t do stevia either. I am not sold on it either. Also, if it is sweet providing no calories then it is no better in my opinion.
3. Thermogenics and Energy Drinks
I haven’t taken thermogenics in years for a couple reasons. First, they make me crash. Second, they are full of chemicals I have never heard of. three they usually always mess with your adrenals. I first started this journey without the thermogens but decided after the first week to put them in. They recommend HOTROX by Biotest. Well, the cool thing was the Hot ROX actually were pretty good with the no crashing thing. I was really impressed. I didn’t get all jittery and wired. I could feel a mild boost but nothing out of control. Usually the higher an energy supplement takes you, the harder you crash. I decided to stop taking the pills during my first week of the transition. I think the first couple days were a bit strange, but no lasting effects of being off them. In general I don’t think thermogens are a great idea, but they may assist in some weight loss if eating and exercise are put together appropriately. Honestly, I don’t believe they are necessary. I also want to note that if you are susceptible to anxiety I would strongly recommend never doing them. The scary thing about thermogenics is that if you have an underlying health issue that you don’t know about they can mess with you. If you have any concern about a heart condition or if it runs in your family I wouldn’t even bother messing with them.
Another thing I realized about this diet is that I craved sugar free energy drinks again. I had quit taking sugar free energy drinks completely for over 6 months prior to starting the Velocity Diet. About 2 weeks into the diet I started buying them again. I think it was more of a mental thing. I am used to eating non-processed foods etc… and after realizing I was living off processed and artificial everything I figured what the hell.
Ok maybe I am just looking for things to be picky about but really this kind of pissed me off. I am really glad they include fish oil supplementation as a part of this diet. The Omega-3 Fats are just crucial for health and the functioning of the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 fats are crucial. I was really excited to see the quantity of Omega-3 fats in the Flameout pills by BioTest as well. It is hard to find fish oil capsules that have the quantity that these do. Then they had to throw in a preservative Polysorbate 80. Polysorbate 80 is found in cosmetics, bath oils, and preservative in many foods. Now this is common place in foods we know, but does it really need to be in the health foods I choose and supplements. There are side effects associated with polysorbate 80 and there are also numerous other fish oils on the market that don’t have it and I will be choosing those in the future.
The Benefits of the Velocity Diet
- I lost over 12 pounds in a month only working out 4 x week and not doing any elliptical machines or cardio which was nice.
- My after pictures are better than the before pictures.
- I set a new Personal Record on the dead lift and weighted pull up which is huge for me. This proved that I wasn’t on a starvation diet.
- Taking walks on my off days had numerous benefits beyond staying active and moving. If you followed the blog you know what I mean.
- Blogging every day was an absolute blast!
- I was committed and into it! It is nice getting sucked in.
- It was brainless and fit my schedule. I am booked sometimes 10+ hours a day of training. Mixing a shake between clients is easy and idiot proof.
You may be wondering why I am not talking up the benefits more and I just had 3 pages of complaints. Well the results are the results.
Would I recommend the Velocity Diet?
Here is where it gets complicated. If you have read everything I have written and want to try it, and if you are an adult do whatever you want to do, but here are some things to consider. Nutrition in general should come from food. Unprocessed whole foods in my professional opinion.
If you fit into the following categories I would NOT try the diet.
- If you have been wanting to lose weight and have never really cleaned up your diet eating whole and unprocessed foods consistently for 6 months.
- If you are on the Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, HCG Diet,Atkins, revolving tour bus, this diet may not be for you. Not to be harsh but if you can’t stick to these diets this won’t be any different because it can be really intense at times. All of the methods I just listed as well as others can work and if you aren’t sticking to the plan with them, you won’t stick with this.
- If you haven’t kept a consistent diet journal for a month and met with a nutrition professional to review your food consumption then I would recommend doing so before attempting the Velocity Diet. Make sure you have really done all the right things first. If you are still eating horribly, and can’t seem to get your act together for an extended period of time then this won’t be any different.
- If you don’t want to exercise and follow the Velocity workout routine or a workout routine professionally designed for you then this diet won’t give you the results promised either. Just doing Zumba classes or jogging and spinning on this diet won’t be a good idea unless you want to be skinny fat.
- Trying it in a modified version. If you want to do the Velocity Diet, then do the Velocity Diet. Don’t try and mix and match it. If it says One meal per week, it doesn’t mean 1 meal a week and the occasional Snack or its ok to have 2 or 3 meals this week. Follow the entire diet if you are going to commit to it. I had a client tell me that the pretty much do Paleo except they eat low carb tortillas and organic corn chips with lunch. Well that isn’t Paleo, they are doing their version of it.
- If you know you have family coming in from out of town or you are going out of town etc…. in the middle of the diet then your chances of completing are low.
- If you have any health or medical condition.
- If you are an endurance athlete or involved in high intensity athletics definitely stay clear. Even the authors of the diet will tell you that too much vigorous activity and this diet would not be a good thing. You will lose muscle and strength
So Who Do I Recommend the Velocity Diet to?
I think most people in the general population fall into one of the above categories. This really will only make sense for the workout population and those that have been in the game for awhile.
- If you have already cleaned your diet up consistently and really want a new challenge to take off the last few pounds this may be something to look into.
- If you know you have stuck to things in the past consistently then you may have some success with this. Be honest with yourself about this.
- You have been strength training for at least a year and have developed a level of muscle mass and a level of consistency with your training.
- You have an end date for your goal and have a lot on the line. (Fitting into wedding dress, High School Reunion, competition of some sort, a cruise/vacation, seeing an ex) you get the point. Just wanting to look good nekkid in the mirror by yourself will wear off at about day 3.
Here is my recommendation. Set a goal of where you want to be. For one month prior to attempting the diet keep a diet journal everyday and make sure you cut out all processed crap from your diet. Don’t miss writing down one meal. Be consistent with the writing and eating healthy. If at the end of you month you have been consistent and not at your goal then order the Velocity Diet.
If You Choose to do the Diet
- Be strong, and keep the goal the goal. You have to want it!!
- Blog and find others to hold yourself accountable( the Blog saved my butt)
- Order lots of different flavors. I personally wouldn’t have ordered as much strawberry and would have tried some banana cream. I ordered only vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. I really didn’t care for strawberry personally.
- Cheating: Don’t Cheat, Do it right. I have to say, I did get really hungry at times and I did eat some celery and cucumbers a few times but the caloric content is very low. Don’t cave in and start eating a meal.
- Follow the workout plan prescribed, or if you have access to a professional trainer follow a specific workout plan. Also, if you are in to crossfit, or lots of endurance work such as long distance cycling or running numerous times per week you may not want to try this diet, or you may have to get on the forums to see what others have done. Too much intensity and lower calories is recipe for a disaster.
- Don’t forget the fiber. Take my word for it, you can get away with it for a few days then it catches up to you.
ON to the Next Challenge
I have a little less than a month to RKC 2. My goal right now is to stay strong, lean, and loose. When I return from the certification I will be taking on another challenge. I may try the Mass Made Simple Program. But I still haven’t decided. I enjoyed being a human guinea pig and will do my best to make a habit out of it! If you have any ideas let me know.
Thanks to all of you for following this blog and being a part of it. I will continue to post over the next month on some other topics and subjects. If you have any questions you would like me to blog on feel free to email me or contact me at Evolution Fitness.
All of our intro kettlebell classes are filled for the next month but we do have some in depth workshops for trainers and fitness professionals coming up. Visit our workshop page for more info. Many of our workshops are worth continuing education units for fitness professionals. Fell free to call us at Evolution Fitness. Upcoming Events include Kettlebells, kettlebells and TRX with TRX Master Trainer Brandon Wagner, and Adrenal Fatigue: How to Recognize and Address it in your Clients: with Dr. Garrett Smith.