This week’s #Throwback Tuesday is the diet and conditioning coach, and former MMA fighter, Mike Dolce.
If you listen to Mike Dolce’s own podcast, you’ll hear a happy-go-lucky family man, even a little goofy.
Get him on one on one though, and he’s every bit the warrior and former MMA fighter.
Mike Dolce has built an incredible brand, the Dolce Diet, which brings together his knowledge as a former fighter, a trainer and a fitness coach.
A working class kid from New Jersey, he’s now a leading name in the culture that is the UFC in America, and has a huge online following for his Dolce Diet YouTube channel and podcasts.
Mike’s super-speciality is helping fighters cut weight, and he’s done it for champions such as Johnny Hendricks, Thiago Alves and most recently the phenomenon that is Ronda Rousey.
This episode was basically an opportunity for me to geek out!
You guys know how much I love the UFC so having one of the true legends of the MMA sport, a man who has pretty much been there since the beginning, was AMAZING.
And like I said, don’t be fooled by Mike’s breezy broadcast persona — he lives and breathes his work, he’s passionate, and above all this man is SERIOUS about what he does.
I think one of the things that makes him so serious is the fact he’s been there.
He’s been a fighter, and like he says in the show, he’s made all the mistakes it’s possible to make in cutting weight and preparing for a fight.
Now, Mike’s training techniques and nutrition plans have earned accolades from outside as well as inside the UFC and MMA community.
So what’s this guy’s secret? Well, Mike is all about NATURAL nutrition — all the way.
Like he says in this interview, natural foods are what have given humanity it’s edge in evolution and survival, so why mess with that?
That basic concept is behind so much of the work that Mike Dolce does, and even though it’s simple, it kind of makes him a revolutionary sports coach.
He puts the health of his athletes before selling products or supplements.
He has thousands of recipes for natural smoothies and juices, and has lots of mini-hacks on how to eat great tasting treats without being sucked into junk food and processed meals.
As Mike says, if you can’t pronounce the name of an ingredient in the food, don’t eat it.
Eat Like A Fighter
If a FOUR year-old can’t pronounce the name of it, get it out your diet.
There are no excuses for not eating good, natural foods from the earth, according to Mike.
And I have to say, once you start listening to Mike’s podcasts and videos, there are even less excuses.
It’s not just a dogma, Mike is an expert at optimising the human body.
That’s what he does, and his record as a fighter and a trainer speaks for itself.
Junk foods and processed chemicals are not what the body evolved to digest, and putting this stuff into our bodies, even so-called healthy supplements, is causing damage to our bodies.
Mike even believes it is going to damage us at the genetic level, create problems for our children and future generations.
To give an example of just how effective Mike’s nutrition philosophy is, watch out for the story of how he came to work with Ronda Rousey.
Ronda was already a big name, and a brilliant fighter, but she was suffering from the wear and tear of relentless training.
When Ronda came to Mike, that started to change, and she found that her immune system became rock solid.
This is what Mike is talking about. Winning fights is not just about tricking your body into losing weight and getting through a bout.
Mike’s idea of being fighting fit is a sustainable one, it’s about creating a lifestyle around your fighting career.
Mike is a hard task master, but what he says is ultimately common sense.
Good dieting is more about eliminating negatives from your food intake, than it is about working out the maths of proteins versus carbs etc..
If only we all had Mike Dolce in our corner giving us a smack around the chops when we start making excuses or we fall off our health plans!
Sacrifice and Reward
Towards the end of the show, Mike gets vulnerable.
He says it’s not about being perfect, but he reveals his own success secrets, his own mental shifts that allow him to get through the tough times.
We’ re all human, and we all have highs and lows, but the most important thing is to keep moving forward, and keep evolving and getting better.
Mike is big on commitment, and he’s super protective of his brand, and cautious about who he works with.
When he works with a fighter, or he teaches fitness, he demands proof that the other person is in it for that long haul.
Because if there’s one thing you can say about Mike, he does everything with absolute commitment.
He’s all in, and he will see it through to the end.
It’s this that marks him out as unique. The idea of a work-life balance is kind of silly to Mike.
We talked a lot about how he trains his fighters, the role he plays. The truth is he becomes more than a coach.
He trains with them, suffers with them, cooks for them, travels with them and even cuts weight with them!
He invests in the people he works for, and gets down in the dirt with them.
For Mike, doing anything half-assed in life is wasting time.
Like he tells me, ‘you might as well go sit on your couch and wait to die’!
Mike Dolce is a guy full of integrity love for what he does.
I think what drives him is this knowledge of what really makes the human body such an ingenious machine, and only a fighter can have that kind of passion.
What I love about Mike is his simplicity. Ultimately, his philosophy comes down to what he calls ‘chopping wood.’
In order to be successful, you have to make sacrifices.
You have to put the work in and it’s not going to be glory all the way.
And as Mike says, the champions are the ones that accept this, and keep moving.
Losers are the ones who ‘bitch and moan.’
Imagine if you were to apply the Dolce philosophy to your own area of work, to your own dreams.
I think this is the biggest thing Mike has to teach the world through his nutrition programme.
He’s teaching the integrity and commitment of a fighter to us all, and we can learn a lot about success in general from the simplicity and effectiveness of Mike’s fitness work.
This episode is a real favourite of mine, so strap in and prepare yourself for an education with a master of the success mentality.