On Sunday the 9th of February I attended the first Mike Dolce “Dolce Diet Seminar” at Westminster University. Mike Dolce’s name is ubiquitous with weight cutting and the ‘Dolce Diet’ which he has created and proliferated throughout the MMA universe. He boasts a dizzying collection of the worlds best fighters, Chael Sonnen, Daniel Cormier, Vitor Belfort, Rhonda Rousey, Michael Bisping and one of the athletes I work with Luke Barnatt.
After being introduced by Luke the man himself discussed his beginnings and his switch from a job from which he could see himself being miserable in the long term, risking everything to work a stint at team quest pulling odd jobs such as cleaning the gym in addition to organising their S&C and nutrition. This was back in the days when even top MMA talent struggled for money let alone their coaching staff. His point was if you want anything, you must work for it and its this work ethic and accountability that underpins the Dolce Diet and his approach.
Dolce went over the key points of his diet in his seminar.
1. Water Intake is crucial. 1 Gallon a day at least for us UK folk that’s roughly 4.5 litres.
2. Consume earth grown nutritients. This includes plenty of carbs also, he was disparaging of the ‘Paleo Diet’ claiming that it was not “sustainable” in the long term. A key idea that permeates the diet.
3. Eat every 2-4 hours with fluctuations in calorific needs.
4. Eat until Satisfied not until full
5. Accountability and Personal responsibility are crucial, be honest with yourself, you know when you are messing up!
6. Sleep at least 6-9 hours, this has some individual variance find what works for you.
7.Stress Management is crucial, take time to yourself, learn to breathe effectively. This ties into the holistic of idea of organising yourself to keep stressors minimised.
He then went on to discuss goal setting. You must learn to overcome short termism set yourself specific goals and apply what Dolce calls action steps. How, When and What. How will you achieve it, when will you achieve, what are you going to do to get there. Dolce suggested setting goals every morning and acting on them rapidly. He described that achieving goals is like climbing rungs on a ladder, once you get to the top, look towards climbing your next figurative ladder.
There was a Q&A at the end that covered some interesting points.
Calorie counting is out, on the Dolce Diet alot of emphasis is placed on apperance (if that’s what matters) and how the diet makes you feel. He argues that calorific expenditure varies from day to day so establishing what you need should be a more holistic process rather than playing a numbers game.
Dolce Suggests to make the most of carbohydrates in the morning and post workout.
Dolce was fairly disparaging of Paleo and Crossfit, claiming that they are not sustainable long term training or dietary methods.
Supplements should be just that, when everything else is dialled in then consider supplementation do not supplement poor dietary habits.
Supplement companies are inherently after money rather than having your well being at heart.
Dolce Suggests using 3 weeks as a marker for success in training, as a means to change stimulus and a means to measure if what you doing is working or not.
Mike Dolce is a really engaging speaker with plenty of insight into MMA at the highest level, his story about sitting in the bathroom while Vitor Belfort was baptised in the bath tub and his sudden awareness of going from where he was to where his now was touching. Mike’s approach is one of common sense and self awareness. Too many people push through their personal and dietary habits on auto pilot. Mikes passion for trying to snap people out their apathy and poor self efficacy is evident. The crucial point being he is in the business of helping people do better. I found my self nodding in agreement.
That is not to say we agree on everything, Mike isn’t fond of squatting for fighters where as I am, arguing that its rough on shoulder girdle and prefers bodyweight and dumbbell based squatting. He prefers deadlifts as a main movement where as I don’t for advanced athletes. But thats part of being an expert, we cannot always agree on everything.
Mike was in the UK to launch UFCfit, so this seminar was largely an opportunistic one being in the right place at the right time, he does plan to do more in the future in the UK so I would suggest keeping your attention to https://twitter.com/TheDolceDiet and https://twitter.com/LukeBarnatt for future information.
This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who offers online training planning for tournament peaking for MMA, Nogi and BJJ