Facebook Link Instagram Link Youtube Link TikTok Link

k1 speed logo k1 speed logo

The K1 Speed Diet: Losing Weight by Go-Karting

k1 speed diet logo

**K1 Speed Diet done entirely for experimental purposes. Individual results may vary. Consult your physician before starting any new physical activity or exercise program.**


What’s Going on Here?!


So, here’s the deal: I’m getting married in less than 10 months and I’ve got some weight to lose. Despite there being a gym at my apartment complex, steps from my apartment, I haven’t set foot inside. I keep thinking I’m going to get fitted for the proper running shoe and start running, but after a couple of years of thinking that, I’m beginning to lose hope there too. I needed to find a workout that’s fun, makes me WANT to workout, and pushes me to my limits. Then the idea occurred to me.


I work up an immense sweat every time I step into our go-karts. I’m always a bit out of breath, red-faced, and exhausted – just like I went for a run. What if I could actually burn some calories and lose some weight by go-karting?

The Science


With my curiosity piqued, I went on Google to see if there was any science out there to back up my plan. Among the results, I found the karting magazine “VROOM”, did a study last year where they hooked up indoor kart racers in England to heart rate monitoring systems, and determined you burn 358 calories every half hour of karting – that’s 40% more than jogging! Armed with this information, I knew what I had to do next: go on a K1 Speed Diet!


The Plan of Attack: Weeks 1 and 2


Prior to starting, I weighed myself to see what I’m trying to knock down. The scale was cruel – I’m currently carrying around 230lbs, a full 40 pounds heavier than I’d like to be. I don’t expect to lose anywhere close to 40 pounds this month, but if I can lose 5lbs, I’ll be pretty happy as I’ll be on track to lose what I need to by the time I assume the groom position.


Since I’m karting on Irvine’s Track 2 before we open for business, our live scoring system will not be on. Therefore, I’m going out in 10-minute sessions timed by the cheap watch I picked up on Amazon  (the average time it takes to complete a race) – three sessions to be exact, in order to complete a perfect half hour session.  I’m only doing this for three days the first week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), then four times (Mon-Thurs) the next three weeks.


I’m going to weigh myself every Friday and see what progress has been made. For the first two weeks, I’m going to eat like I usually do – a mismatched balance of slightly-healthy items and heart-attacks on a plate. During the week, I typically eat a greek yogurt for breakfast, a turkey sandwich I made at home for lunch with a bag of chips, and anything from burgers and pizza to salmon or some kind of rice bowl for dinner. And then there’s usually something small for dessert – this week it’s been a chocolate babka I’ve been chiseling away at.


How It’s Going So Far:


I’m done with the first week and I’m going through what anyone goes through when become active again after a lapse – a lot of muscle fatigue and soreness. I’ve completed a full hour and a half of karting in three days, so feel like that’s understandable.


The fatigue doesn’t really hit you until you’ve stopped racing for a moment and you’re just sitting in the kart. Then you slowly start feeling the aches and you can feel the blood pumping through your head in surges. My hands and elbows are where I was feeling the sorest.


After doing an hour worth of karting two days in a row, I began to experience some wear on my hands – little blister here, little tenderness there – so I  looked into some K1 RaceGear karting gloves before my third day.   I ended up getting a pair of K1 RaceGear RS1 Kart Racing Gloves , which can be purchased online at K1RaceGear.com or at your local K1 Speed center. I was surprised at how much difference just a glove can make while racing our karts. The gloves provided plenty of comfort, so I no longer was distracted by any pain in my hands while marathoning these races, and instead could focus on hitting my apexes and carrying more speed into the corners. The gloves may not be necessary if you do a race or two here and there, but if you’re an avid kart racer and you haven’t picked up a set of karting gloves, I highly recommend taking a gander at K1 RaceGear’s selection.


I do feel like I’ve got a bit more energy already, and I get that “runner’s high” rush of serotonin that makes you feel like a million bucks after exercising.   At the end of the week, it looks like I may have dropped a half a pound off my weight – not tremendous, but then again my food diet has remained a mix of healthy/no comment and it tends to take some time for my body to realize I’m working out and has permission to go with the pound-shedding. So I’m remaining fairly positive.


What’s Next?


I think we’ll see more progress during Week 2, and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted about my progress at the end of next week, so stay glued to this blog!


Want to offer advice or encouragement? I’d love to hear it! Leave me a comment below, and I’ll respond!   Until then, why don’t you give it a shot yourself?


Week Two Update


Alternating Tracks


I could definitely notice the difference this week. Track 2’s session on Monday almost went too easy, and I feared that I was developing a little muscle memory from running the same course every day. Since there’s two tracks in Irvine, I decided to change things up a little and race on Track 1 on alternate days.


“But my K1 Speed only has one track!” I know that’s probably the thought most of you have, but then again, I’m not expecting everyone to do as much karting as I have. I’m thinking if any of you do decide to try this on your own, you’ll incorporate a half hour every week or every other week to add something extra to your typical workout routine.


If you happen to live in areas where there’s several K1 Speed centers in the region, like California, you could always change things up by visiting our different locations for a unique challenge.


How’d the Second Week Go?


I felt so much stronger overall during the second week than the week before. My breathing became a lot more controlled, I was able to loosen my grip on the steering wheel and focus more on how smooth my driving was, and overall get into a rhythm and pace that put me in that glorious zone, where you just look at the apex for the following corner and let the body and mind subconsciously do the rest. And of course, those K1 RaceGear RS1 Kart Gloves have been a huge luxury for my hands! To get a pair for yourself, stop by your local K1 Speed center or purchase online.

I already feel so much better after each 30-minute session than I used to after only one! My forearms and biceps are getting a little bit beefier too.


My food intake has remained the same – some burgers, pizza, and other unhealthy items, paired with turkey sandwiches, Greek yogurt, and other “healthier” items.


Weight Check at the Halfway Mark


So, two weeks down and six half-hour sessions later, I stepped on the scale and grimaced, hoping for the best but readying myself for the worst. And here’s what the scale read:

K1 Speed Diet Week 2 Scale

That’s right! 226.6 – nearly 5 pounds!! I assume my body must’ve realized that it wasn’t a fluke, I really am working out for a change, and my body began releasing the weight! Or perhaps my metabolism has finally kicked in as well, and I’m burning calories faster than I think.


Next week I’ll be a little more conscious with my eating to see if I can boost the weight loss even more, and we’ll see how I’m looking as I approach the final straight – week four.


How many pounds do you think I’ll lose by the end of it all? Surprised at the weight loss? Let us know below in the comments section!



Charging Full-Steam into the Second Half


With two weeks down, two to go, I was pumped for the progress I was hoping to make this week. Physically, I’ve been feeling fantastic. My forearms are definitely getting some more muscle definition, my biceps feel a bit stronger, and I overall feel like a have a ton more energy than before. Plus, my jeans are now starting to get a little loose, so I may need to start shopping for a smaller belt.

RS1 Kart Racing Glove

My RS1 Karting Gloves by K1 RaceGear are really holding up well. Aside from some sweat stains inside, all of its seams show no signs of fraying, and thanks to the overall black color, they look like they just came out of the packaging – despite having raced nearly five hours in them.


My runs this week were all on Track 1 in Irvine, rather than Track 2. The reason being that I feel it’s more representative of the tracks that are at other locations, in terms of length and style of corners, so I’ll have a similar experience to someone like you.


Food-wise, I haven’t been as conscious as I had planned to be. Maybe I double-think the occasional unhealthy snack or second helpings, but I’m still more or less eating the same, seeing that I’ve been able to achieve some great results so far without changing a thing.


What’s the Scale Reading Now?


Time to weigh in! Let’s check and see what the scale tells us:

k1 speed diet scale image 224.6

224.6! That means so far, I’ve lost nearly SEVEN POUNDS after nine days (4.5 hours) of go-karting! I’m averaging a weight loss that’s a little better than two pounds a week now. I would’ve been thrilled if I had lost 5 pounds by the end of the month, so this has gone so much better than expected.


This Has Been A Lot of Karting – Isn’t That Expensive?


Now I know many of you must be thinking, “For the money that’d cost, I’d hope he’s losing weight!” But remember, I’m doing these runs Monday through Thursday, when you can purchase three races (the equivalence of what I’m doing each day) for just $42. I’m certainly not expecting you all to do this every day, Monday through Thursday, but if you were to incorporate this once a week instead of that boutique spin or rowing class (that are so prevalent in Southern CA) , you’ll get a workout that’s even more stimulating, increases your concentration levels and reaction times, and gives your body something radically different for an extra challenge. When friends ask what you’ve been doing, they’re going to be a lot more envious of your answer than “I’m pedaling and not going anywhere!”.



This week I finally put in four days’ worth of karting – the first week of its kind, and that’s partly because I know I’m already going to miss doing this routinely every week. But, like you, I will be trying to do 30 minutes once a week after my work shift to keep up the conditioning and training, both physically and mentally.


Many of the same benefits from the last two weeks continued on during this final week: my driving improved, my concentration was incredible, I had very little soreness after each day, and I overall felt so much more energetic and happier.




Watch the video below for my final scale weight at the end of the experiment!

My clothes are certainly a bit looser and baggier on me these days, but let’s not kid ourselves. I’m still 220+ and have plenty of work left before I get down to around 190, which is my goal for the wedding in March. But if I continued doing this for another three or four months, I don’t doubt I’d be there. In the meantime, I’ll have to resort to running or something, but karting will always find a place in my workout – you just can’t beat its benefits.


I know one thing, I’m not going to race longer sessions again without the R1S Karting Gloves from K1 RaceGear I’ve been using. After hours of karting, my hands would’ve probably been a bit worn from hustling these karts around, but they’re not! I didn’t have to worry if my hand was glancing the seam of my jeans, or if a blister was forming, I could focus on the driving. And, as an added bonus, I have to admit that when you’re racing with these on, and you take a moment to glance down at the wheel – it looks pretty darn cool seeing a pair of racing gloves gripping the wheel – it’s one more element of immersion to make you feel like you’re a real racing driver. So, treat yourself to a pair next time you visit – we should have them stocked at our pro shop on-site, or you can buy them from your couch by clicking the button below.




You have to push yourself. Next time you’re feeling tired after one or two races, push yourself a little and try to do one more run. The best part is that speed doesn’t make a big difference with your workout. In fact, I’ve been doing this on an empty track where speed has been great, but I think had I been doing this with other cars on the track, it would’ve given me an even greater workout.


First, I’d be timed so I’d have that extra incentive to try to push for that fast lap and beat any other racers that are out there with me. Then there’s the on-track action – setting up your passes, reacting to other drivers, etc. – that’ll only sharpen your mental focus, increase the mental workout, and you’ll probably be fighting the wheel a little more to in the process, so you’ll be moving around a bit more and burning more energy.




I’d like to find ways I can get more physically fit off the track, but with a motorsport focus. Think less weight loss (though that will certainly come), and more pursuing the pro racing driver physique. This opens the door to a couple of opportunities I can try to pursue, so keep checking here on the blog for my next challenge and video series.




Now, I’m not expecting you to go out and do three races, three days a week like I just did. We’re not kidding you – that wouldn’t be cheap. However, what is affordable, is incorporating the three-race workout one day every week or every other week as part of your regular fitness routine. By incorporating three races one day per week, you’re going to be working out some muscles (I’ve felt it in my shoulders, biceps, forearms, chest, and legs), increasing your stamina (I’m hardly out of breath these days), and there’s a good chance you’ll lose some weight like I did.


If you’re a car or racing fan, it gets even better: you’re going to get some great seat time in. You’ll learn to become so much smoother behind the wheel, and you’re going to start nailing all the apexes of your local track. Plus, you can try out some other techniques you may have read about, such as trail braking.


If I can get this saggy bag of bones and flesh back in shape, I know you can too. So, incorporate a bit of the “K1 Speed Diet” into your workout routine. Pay us a visit today and race away those pounds, build some muscle, increase your concentration and stamina, and become a better driver. You can do it!




Have you started incorporating K1 Speed into your workout or perhaps you have some questions for Ryan? Let us know in the comments section below!

  • Cairidh

    Well done on your weight loss. What speed were you going? You seemed to have burnt an impossible amount of calories per hr. A lb of fat is 3500 calories….so you were burning 7000 in 1.5hr??

    • Ryan

      Thank you, Cairdh! I was going Speed 4 on the karts (the “fast” mode at K1 Speed that we give racers once we see they’re following rules, not crashing, know racing lines, etc). Yeah, definitely a surprising amount of weight loss – I suspect I may have lost a bit of water weight to help inflate that number, but a half-hour each day of somewhat high-intensity cardio gives you a great workout!

Post A Comment