Mike Dolce and one of his pro-fighter clients.
On this week's "Jobs That Don't Suck" episode, host Andrew Schulz introduced us to professions that bring out the alpha male in any man, and among the "bro-fessionals" featured was UFC weight-cutting expert, Mike Dolce. It goes without saying that Mixed Martial Arts is one of the most intense careers out there -- both physically and mentally -- and we wanted to learn more about how Dolce made a successful living in the industry.
During a follow-up interview with Dolce, we found out that he took a risk long before he ever stepped near a ring, bravely leaving his 9-5 gig as a tax inspector 10 years ago in order to train world-class athletes. "I wanted to do something I was passionate about, something fun," he told us. The chance he took paid off in spades, as today the health guru works with a variety of champs like Ronda Rousey, whom he helped lose about 20 lbs in a single week! Have we got your attention now?
If you strive for a career in fitness (or simply want the details of Dolce's diet because summer is right around the corner), check out our full chat with him.
How did you come up with the "Dolce Diet"?
My program is based on a lifetime of work. What I do today is a result of each day before. The principles have been refined and tested in world-class athletic competitions and on literally millions of people around the world.
Where can people learn how to follow it?
The UFC FIT program has a detailed list of the nutritional principles, as well as a 12-week exercise program to support your lifestyle change. Through "The Dolce Diet" book series, we offer over 200 recipes and additional exercise and motivational tips to keep your progress going.
Does the diet work on all body types?
Yes! The Dolce Diet and UFC FIT principles are a longevity-based approach to immediate health and fitness. They work on all body types, all ages, all fitness levels – I’ve had 100,000 results around the world. Everyone can make improvements, and everyone can do a little better, whether you are a UFC fighter like Chael Sonnen asking me to get him down to 185lbs for a title shot, or someone asking me to help her have more energy to play with her kids on the weekend.
What is your physical education background? Did you ever go to school for nutrition?
I have held multiple certifications and continually seek education. Most recently I was voted the worldwide “Trainer of the Year” at the World MMA Awards in Las Vegas, and there’s no certificate hanging on any wall that compares with the stamp of approval from your peers like that.
Do you advise those seeking a fitness career to go to college for it, or is it better to learn on the job?
Education is certainly necessary, and college is always a worthwhile experience if you can take it, but the traditional college model may not suit everyone. The most important aspect of this job is to have real-world experience, and by that I mean you need to have been there, seen it, done it and lived it yourself.
I’ve lost over 100lbs and know what it is like to build my fitness levels almost from scratch. I know that sometimes you may just have to have a piece of chocolate, and I know what people are going through. I know the emotional side to this process. I’ve been there, too.
So, how can someone get to do what you do?
The most important criteria to become a respected trainer is to live the life you are teaching to others. To be the example of what you want them to become.
Also, what I always tell people who ask me how to break into the business, especially younger people, is to take a chance on life. Take a chance -- don’t just accept you will have to do a job you hate for your entire life. I took a chance to do something I loved, something that would reward me and make me happy, and the hard work paid off.
Photo: Courtesy of Mike Dolce