Black Belt Nutrition
Black Belt Nutrition was founded by Patrik Dahlin, a biochemist who is also a coach for the Swedish FILA National Grappling Team. I chose to review this program because I am a huge fan of martial arts, and I would like to start competing again.
At the start, I contacted Patrik, and he assessed my current state of health, fitness, and which supplements and medications I was taking. I had the option to dig as deep into the data as I wanted to (body fat measurements and blood work,) but for the sake of this article (and lack of supplies,) I decided just to do a height and weight analysis.
Patrik sent me the diet and exercise guide from Black Belt Nutrition, and I started on January 1st. He recommends a paleo-typical diet, but not for the sake of anthropology. His book (or more accurately set of PDFs and video series) shows a detailed analysis of statistical information from peer-reviewed sources using expensive computer software that leads him to his nutrition recommendations. The resulting diet strongly resembles Paleo. It is moderate to low carbohydrate with varying fat and protein macronutrients that accommodate the performance of the individual. There is also the option of 1 – 2 “carb days” per week.
The exercise plan looks easy enough, on paper, but it is quite challenging. Everything is done with just body weight, so you do not need a gym membership to get in shape. The exercises include pushups, pull-ups, core, neck, squats, and more. Again, it looks easy, but the exercises are progressive. For example, the “white belt” version of the exercise is a standard push-up. The “black belt” version, however, is a one-armed pushup with your feet together. I did not make it to the black belt range by the end of the month on every exercise, but I did my best and saw positive results because of it.
The exercise program also includes training for your favorite sport. I like how it accommodates the individual here. If you like martial arts, you can train boxing. If you like basketball, play basketball a few times a week. You get to pick, and because of this, I suspect that the exercise plan has a high retention rate (it was fun for me.)
The Black Belt Nutrition supplement program is pretty minimal. You do not have to invest in hundreds of dollars worth of supplements every month to make real progress with this plan. My total supplement cost was under $50 USD per month, and that included whey protein. Black Belt Nutrition does not sell any supplements of their own, but Patrik has a lot of experience in the supplement industry, so he is well equipped to find great sources of quality supplements to help improve your health.
At the end of the month, I made quite a bit of progress. Even though I was not training with any weights, my strength increased!
Squat: +10 lbs
Bench: +15 lbs
Overhead Press: +5 lbs
Deadlift: +25 lbs
Barbell Row: +10 lbs
I lost a few pounds; my body composition has improved, and my abdominal muscles are more defined. My cardio has improved tremendously, and I have more energy throughout the day.
My experience with Black Belt Nutrition was very positive, and I can quickly put it on the “recommended” list for Fix Your Gut. If it looks appealing to you, give it a shot!
For more information about Black Belt Nutrition, please visit blackbeltnutrition.org.
Want more information on diet and exercise? Join a discussion on the Fix Your Gut forums.