Back in the early 2000’s when it came to the topic of gaining muscle mass, the most common refrain among bodybuilding forum participants and article writers was “just fuckin’ eat!!” While there’s some merit to maintaining a caloric surplus for a short period of time, eating for the simple sake of filling your pie-hole without the helpful partitioning effects of drugs will by and large turn you into a fat-fuck.
While admittedly not land-whale obese, it’s not like I’d place myself at the aesthetically pleasing end of the spectrum either. Around the time of this period of bodily self-loathing, T-Nation released a dieting approach borrowed from the earlier experiments of Bruce Kneller, one time assistant to the iconoclastic dieting and drug guru Dan Duchaine. Kneller, who had a client that needed to urgently lose weight for an operation, put her on a Protein Sparing Modified Fast which was a low caloric liquid diet of all protein shakes in order to shed fat as fast as possible. These kinds of diet are nothing new and have been used for the above purposes for years. It seems Kneller’s original article has since been removed from the site and supplanted with the Biotest supplement heavy Velocity Diet which I used and will be reviewing here.
What Is The Velocity Diet?
The Velocity diet is also a Protein Sparing Modified Fast applied over a 28 day period. It’s goals are to minimise and preserve muscle mass through the maintenance of high protein levels while using full body weight training sessions with minimal cardio. The dieter instead takes a daily walk to up their levels of daily activity without resorting to muscle wasting cardio.
The diet basically entails drinking Five casein protein shakes a day with the last shake containing a tablespoon of peanut butter. Flax seeds and fish oil supplementation add levels of healthy fats; a fat burner and Superfood supplement is also used daily to maintain nutrient levels. Once a week you eat a Healthy Solid Meal (HSM) of protein, carbs and veges to replace one of the shakes along with any sanity you’re practically guaranteed to lose along the way. The full details and instructions of the diet can be found here.
As I mentioned, the authors of this diet stipulate that only use of the Biotest range will maximise the chances of success on this diet and allow for no substitutions. I’ll say straight up that this statement is absolute bullshit and is meant to prey on the gullibility and insecurity of newbies. While it’s probably easier to stick to the Biotest range in terms of their quality, anyone with experience in reading a nutrition label could easily swap out the brand with comparably cheaper brands and still get the same results.
Who Is The Velocity Diet For
I think the V-Diet is best used by someone who wants to shed fat in the shortest possible time. I don’t think it’s optimal nor even recommended for the bodybuilder wanting to compete. Someone wanting to get ready specifically for a special event such as a wedding might be better served with a diet of this nature PROVIDED they don’t mind a bit (a lot?) of a weight gain rebound once they stop. The diet might also help someone who has the discipline and the commitment to want to turn their life and fitness around by very quickly jump starting their fat loss results in an accelerated manner. This person would also need to have the knowledge and commitment once the 28 days are over, to switch over to a more maintainable and lifestyle-appropriate diet strategy. The Velocity Diet is a short term remedy to fat loss and is not sustainable for the long term.
My Velocity Diet Experience
I gave the diet a trial in 2009 weighing in at 180lbs. I thought I would run the first 14 days (half the diet) using the Biotest recommended products and if I ran out after that, then I would find suitable substitutes.
I lost 5kg (11lbs) in the first week but felt pretty flat and depleted. After the first couple of days the hunger started to really kick in as my body realised that it was no longer receiving it’s regular 3 hourly feedings of solid food. I was incredibly tough to get through the full body workouts and their short rest periods. The once weekly V-Burn challege workout had me on the floor throwing in the towel after 4 circuits. I was also finding it very hard to get a pump due to the greatly reduced levels of carbs no longer being ingested.
Halfway through week two I started to notice a pronounced shift in my moods and my emotions started heading south in a big way. Workouts that once normally produced an endorphin “high” started turning me into Weepy-Smurf, and I wrote in my journal at the time, “re-racked the squat because I nearly burst into tears halfway through the set – why the fuck am I doing this??” The weekly HSM always seemed to turn things around mood-wise if I included some feel good, serotonin inducing carbs like bananas and rice.I lost another 2kg (4.4lbs) this week and I noticed that my upper abs were sharpening up a bit more.
Some journal notes I made at this time:
Things I have noticed since being on this diet;
1) My sense of smell has become very acute. I never noticed the fragrance of food so much as I have since I started. I can smell each individual student’s lunch when we’re eating.
2) Sucking the sweet, sweet nectar from the Flameout fish capsules has become a highlight of my day.
3) Gas and bloating is waaaayy down while on this diet. Whereas before I would always begin the day with literally, a 20 second-long fart, I don’t have that pleasure anymore. (which is probably just as well with my recently developed olfactory capability)
I also felt that my body started to adapt more to the diet and training this week and the workouts weren’t feeling as hard as they were in week two.
Progress seemed to stall at this point and I found I wasn’t shifting any more weight.
“I’m not really cutting up as much as I thought I would have. My lower abdominal fat has been quite resistant, and some of my dress pants from last summer are still tight around the waist. I thought I would be packing a full set of abs and veins by now. Not really sure what else I can do…I suppose it’s only been just over three weeks so I will keep on persevering.”
Week 4 – Day 28
From my journal:
“Well I’ve made it to the end, almost. I’m transitioning off now and have never felt happier to be completing this program. Four weeks has never moved more slowly for me in my life. Before going into this I thought it would be a cakewalk, but it was mentally and physically very tough, despite having dieted before for long periods of time.”
The thing I found most difficult was the constant hunger pangs throughout the diet. Dropping from a daily intake of 4000 calories to 1485 definitely took its toll. I also found that I was very tired and moody a lot of the time and had a few bouts with the blues which is unusual for me. Earlier on in the week I woke up one morning to find my pillow drenched in blood and it took a while to staunch the persistent flow coming from my mouth/gums. I’d never experienced this before so I called the medical hotline and told them how I was doing a liquid fast over the past 3 and a half weeks. They said that because I hadn’t been eating/chewing for so long, it was probably causing some gum problems and that I should abandon the diet. As with all medical advice, when a physique goal is in sight of being reached, I ignored it and soldiered on.
Physique wise, week four was when the fat really started coming off around my midsection. Pants that didn’t fit me for a long time were now fitting effortlessly, and I was soon swimming in my clothes and jeans. None of my belts fit anymore.
“I still have a layer of flab (loose skin) around my lower waist that is hanging on like a bitch, and my abs don’t have that full separation yet. I’m still yet to achieve that coveted vascularity that accompanies low body fat levels.”
“Overall, I think I might have lost some muscle, but it’s too early to be 100% sure. I feel a bit flat and depleted, but I’m going to go into the transition keeping things strict for two more weeks and then do the Six Days to Shredded program from this site and get some more pics.”
From there out I did the two weeks of maintenance and the Six Weeks to Shredded Program (I really DON’T recommend that program to peak btw) in order to get ready for some “after” pics.
My Velocity Diet Results
As you can see there were some noticeable changes over the 6 weeks. A lot of flab was lost, but I also feel that quite a bit of muscle went with it. I hear that the diet has since been updated and is in its 3rd incarnation, so maybe some modifications have been made for the better. I don’t think I’d run that kind of diet again though. Interestingly, looking back on it now it almost seems a precursor to the Intermittent Fasting diet I use now, albeit a more sane, healthy and blood-free approach.