The Vertical Diet Review

November 29, 2021 0 Comments

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In a previous post I wrote a bodybuilding nutrition guide where I gave an example of a good bodybuilding diet. In this post I am doing the vertical diet review. The vertical diet is a diet for peak performance that was founded by Stan Efferding. Stan is a very well known bodybuilder and has also held a world record in powerlifting. He has manipulated his bodyweight over the years using this vertical diet and achieved great success in both bodybuilding and powerlifting. He even holds the title of “World’s Strongest Professional Bodybuilder” and is the only man to ever total over 2300lbs raw at over 40 years of age in a powerlifting competition. There is a great deal that all bodybuilders can learn from Stan’s approach and I have implemented various elements of the vertical diet into my own nutrition plan. I will outline this during my review. Pictured below is an image of Stan at the age of 54!


stan efferding

Red Meat And White Rice

A central theme in the vertical diet is red meat and white rice. Red meat is loaded with zinc, heme-iron, B vitamins, selenium, creatine and healthy fats. White rice is one of the best carb sources as it is easy to digest and produces limited gas build up in the body. Good red meat sources include bison, new york strip, top sirloin, lean ground beef amongst others. There are a lot of myths surrounding red meat consumption and how it is bad for your health. Stan debunks this myth in The Vertical Diet book. Lean red meat is one of the most nutrient dense sources of protein that anyone can consume. Since adding more red meat and rice into my diet I have experienced better results in my training and energy, as well as the way my body looks. It is true that red meat is more expensive than white meat but you get what you pay for. 

red meat

Other Main Pillars Of The Diet

Other key pillars to the vertical diet that I will touch on are fatty fish, raw carrots, fruit, chicken stock, sodium, iodized salt, potassium, whole eggs, vitamin D3 and Magnesium. The book goes into detail on each of these areas and the best choices that you can make for your diet. It also gives solid reasons behind these choices. Stan believes in foods that don’t cause significant gas or bloating and don’t contribute to digestive disorders like IBS or GERD.

Since adding in the recommended choices to my diet I have seen a big improvement in my overall energy levels as well as body composition. Adding in iodized salt has been an eye opener as well for me, iodine is key for optimising the thyroid, metabolism, immune system and digestion.


Lowering Blood Pressure

Not only does The Vertical Diet book go into detail on a great diet for bodybuilders and the general population at large for improving their health and maximising performance; it also gives ways to lower your blood pressure. These methods have been shown to work for many people and Stan has used them himself to great success. In my case, my blood pressure was higher than average and I followed some of the methods in the book to lower it. The result was achieving a lower blood pressure reading over the course of three or four months! It definitely works, some of the recommendations given in the book include going for a ten minute walk after every meal, getting in an appropriate amount of iodine, two cups of fruit daily, 400mg a day magnesium, whole fat greek yoghurt daily, etc. 

blood pressure

Proponents Of The Vertical Diet

Very well known athletes and people in the strength and fitness industry that promote the vertical diet include:

  • Hafthor Bjornsson – 2018 World Strongest Man
  • Camille Leblanc-Bazinet – Crossfit National Champion
  • Stephanie Sanzo – Fitness Influencer
  • Ben Smith – Crossfit National Champion
  • Regina Dupont – Professional Ballet Dancer
  • Tyler Beede – Major League Baseball Pitcher
  • Larry Wheels – Powerlifter, Strongman, Bodybuilder, Arm Wrestler

These are just to name a few of the people that swear by the vertical diet. I also incorporate the main vertical diet structure into my own nutrition plan and it has helped me no end in improving my performance in the gym, body composition as well as overall energy and mood.



In this post I have detailed more information about the vertical diet and done a review of it. Having bought the book and followed the guidelines I would definitely recommend this diet if you want to improve your performance in the gym, look and feel better and also be in better overall health. One of the things I really like about this book is that it doesn’t just go into detail on the diet but it also provides reasons for why you should be eating those foods. You can see the logic behind all the food choices and it is presented in a manner that is clear and concise. 

Sample diets are provided for different goals from weight loss, lean gains and mass gains. I really liked this as it allows the reader to see the differences in the diets for each goal as well as tailor their food choices to their individual goals. The book also goes into detail regarding digestion and the best food choices for not causing significant gas or bloating. It talks about the grass fed vs grain fed debate regarding meat and it also explains the reasons why chicken stock or bone broth should be added in to your diet. I also loved the fact that delicious recipes are included in the book- good examples are the monster mash, buttery salmon mash and the perfect steak. 

In short I thoroughly enjoyed The Vertical Diet book and I would recommend it to anyone. If you have any questions about the book please leave them in the comments. I would love to help you out! As always, all the best and enjoy your training. 




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