Episode #90

Derrick Johnson is the founder and president of the Kings of Weightlifting, a free after-school Olympic weightlifting program in South Central Los Angeles for underprivileged youth.  The program provides a safe place for kids to go to learn valuable lessons about life, fitness, nutrition and of course, weightlifting. Derrick’s passion for weightlifting started at a young age when he was just 12 years old.  He is the youngest international coach in the history of USA Weightlifting. Along with being a Team USA team member and USA Weightlifting’s Developmental Coach of the Year, Derrick is the only coach in the world to have 3 Sr. World team members from 3 different countries (Brazil, Canada, and the US).  Derrick also became the first African American to be named head coach of an international team for USA Weightlifting. In this episode, we chat about his weightlifting career, inspiration behind the Kings of Weightlifting program, and his experience utilizing the ketogenic diet as an athlete.

Enjoy the show!


Derrick Johnson, the youngest international coach in the history of USA Weightlifting, believes that performance is dependent on the fuel we put inside our body: don’t blame genetics, blame nutrition.  In this episode he debunks the myth that high performance athletes need carbs to perform well. After discovering the ketogenic diet in 2013, he has seen tremendous results. Hear what Derrick attributes his success to, his thoughts on the Ketogenic diet, and his goals for the future with the Kings of Weightlifting program.

Links and resources:

Derrick’s Instagram

Derrick’s Facebook

Derrick’s Twitter

The Kings of Weightlifting Instagram

The Kings of Weightlifting Facebook

The Kings of Weightlifting Website

Show Notes:

1:28 How Derrick Johnson got involved in competitive weightlifting

6:24 Derrick’s best lift that has been preformed by less than 10 men in the United States

10:39 What inspired Derrick to start the Kings of Weightlifting and goals for the program

15:24 Why Derrick Johnson believes a Ketogenic diet is the best way to fuel your body

21:43 Keto isn’t a new way of eating

23:17 How Derrick responds to “Don’t you need carbs as an athlete?”

26:30 Derrick’s view on targeted carb consumption before training

27:25 What Derrick eats in a typical day

31:23 Derrick’s workout routine

34:47 What’s in store for the future


“Every single disease is related to inflammation.”

“I want to heal the body through food”

“Look at the back of an item… the chemicals the processed stuff, the genetically modified stuff, it can’t be in there.”

“Sugar is not electrolytes”

“We need the propaganda to stay out of the way”

“If I reduce the amount of inflammation around my joints I reduce the chances of injury”

“When people say they don’t have enough energy they’re not getting enough fat to fuel them”

“Life is all about networking and building those connections”

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Check out this episode!

Check out this episode!

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