Training on Keto & Getting Your Family Off Carbs (junk) w/ Danny Vega

by Mike Mutzel




About Danny Vega

Danny Vega is a 220-pound raw powerlifter with meet bests of 640 squat in wraps (610 raw), 400 bench, and 700 deadlift.

A native of Miami, Florida, Danny received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University in 2004, where he was a member of the football team and a three-time Dean’s List recipient. Danny earned his Master’s of Science in Human Performance from the University of Florida, where he worked with the national championship men’s basketball team along with women’s basketball, tennis, and golf programs.

He then went on to become the Strength & Conditioning coordinator for VCU basketball, helping the Rams to the 2007 conference champions and making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.


Key Time Stamps from Danny Vega

04:33 Keto is about living your best life and being the best version of yourself. Eating proper food and living in a clean environment enables you to make even more good lifestyle decisions.

06:04 Danny had great fitness and strength building mentoring as a child and young adult. It drew him to get his master’s degree and become a strength coach.

07:37 Nutrition plays a huge part in performance and feeling good.

10:37 Danny has recently taken up hunting and plans to have his children take gun safety classes.

10:55 Everything about hunting was like a meditation: walking, hiking, shooting, quiet and minimizing the suffering of the animal. Danny processed the animal he killed to connect with his food. Hunters are the biggest conservationists.

13:59 Now Danny thinks of meat differently now that he hunts.

15:08 We need to eat the whole animal. Danny makes burgers from ground heart/liver with bacon and beef to appeal to his kids.

18:53 Pre-slaughter/life stress of animals affects us when we eat the meat. Source your meat from a local farm and ask what the slaughter process is.

22:42 In 2016 Danny decided to get healthy and do body building, but went low fat/high carb, progressing to low fat/low carb. He leaned out, but felt terrible. He tried Keto and 2 days into it he felt much better and had lots of energy. It improved his quality of life.

25:47 Going Keto was life changing. Danny attributes his increased productivity and winning his first President’s Club Award to keto.

26:34 Danny wanted to learn more about keto applications for athletes and ended up cohosting a podcast.

27:16 There is no noticeable difference for people who train from 50 to 80% of VO2 max using carbs or fat for fuel once you are fat adapted.

27:55 Professional athletes find that performance is enhanced, not hindered by being fat adapted, except body fat reduces.

30:30 Technology is causing kids to not have real relationships. We have unique problems in modern times. Things are too easy and too convenient for kids.

34:27 Deadlift was Danny’s best lift. He hit 700 in competition at 220. His squat was 640. His bench was 400. You may win a trophy, but getting to that level is hard on your body, your family and your life.

35:43 Lifting heavy is important for hormones, bone strength and connective tissue.

36:30 The keto lifestyle is a person to person grassroots movement.

41:30 Danny daily incorporates injury prevention protocols/exercises. He habitually moves like an athlete at all times.

42:53 It makes sense to bring in carbs on competition day. If you are fat adapted, the carbs become a PED.

45:33 Carbs are used after workouts, on the occasions where Danny uses carbs. Carbs help with recovery.

51:32 Danny only sets macros with his clients if there is a specific goal. He observes and may make adjustments.

52:15 The most important macro to track is protein.

52:25 If you are sedentary, eating a high fat version of the keto diet and your cells are replete with fat, you may develop insulin resistance. Cycling fat intake may help.

53:26 Fasting glucose rose when Danny increased his protein intake. There is a glycogen dump.

55:05 Wait until your blood sugar is regulated before increasing with protein levels.

57:10 Satiety is complicated. Signals could include the stretch of the stomach, nutrient sensing, and hunger hormones. A version of keto that addresses this for you is the one that will work.

58:37 Danny’s wife feels that best she has ever felt with a high meat diet with carbs cycled in around ovulation and menstruation.

01:02:36 Your strategies to maintain optimal fitness and health shift as you age and as you learn. Keep an open mind. Listen to the other side of things.

01:05:30 “Doctrine creates disconnect.” Principles are different.

01:06:04 Danny’s lifetime exercise is the deadlift because you don’t need a spot. It provides a testosterone release and works much of your body, including grip strength.

01:06:59 Overhead press movement and the ability to pull yourself up is important due to our kyphotic lifestyles.

01:08:49 If you can do perfect squats and perfect pushups, you can load yourself.

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