The Twins have compared various fitness and training methods to highlight any differences in performance and to seek scientific insight. These comparisons have been published across the world in multiple languages and have varied from comparing high fat to high carbohydrate diet, vegan vs meat diet, and weighted vs bodyweight gym programs. Throughout these experiments, they have worked with a number of scientific institutions to help monitor their bodies.

Vegan Vs Meat

One Twin Went Vegan. The Other Didn’t. Here’s What Happened Next.

The Twins embarked on a trial of a vegan diet versus a typical omnivorous one, with their body composition monitored by Virgin Active and their biomarkers tested by King’s College London’s Department of Twin Research. We caught up with them two months in to see what they’d learnt.

Disease protection

Gut bacteria are involved in the body’s metabolic and inflammatory processes. So far, research has identified microbiome traits and characteristics associated with various diseases. If your microbiome doesn’t have these traits, it means your level of protection is high and vice versa. This is evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10. This table shows the change in bacteria from a vegan diet over three months.

Impact of a vegan diet on gut health – Hugo’s results

How does a vegan diet affect weight?

The graph shows the change in body weight between Hugo and Ross throughout the fitness program. Hugo’s starting weight started just over 84 kgs and dropped to below 83 kgs while eating a vegan-based diet, while Ross increased weight from 85.5 kgs to nearly 87kgs eating a regular diet.

Hugo’s body fat percentage reduced from 13% down to below 11% with a consistent downward trend. Ross on the other hand had an upward trend in body fat, starting around 11% and increasing to 13.5% (accounting for the last data anomaly)

Hugo and Ross have generally high cholesterol levels, which makes for the drop in Hugo’s level even more surprising, given the short time frame in which cholesterol was monitored.

Weighted Vs Bodyweight

What’s more effective for all-round fitness: bodyweight, or weighted training?

With the last year’s lockdown-enforced gym closures, the question has become much more than a hypothetical. Those who train have been forced to ask not just whether weight training can trump the bodyweight equivalent, but whether the latter can ever replace the former without all your well-gotten muscle gains turning to dust.

Comparing the two fitness programs – weighted vs bodyweight, Ross’s body weight increased steadily from just under 85kgs to just under 87kgs (bodyweight training).

The blue line (Hugo) had a greater increase in weight – as expected while using weights in the gym (Virgin Active to be precise), starting below Ross’s body weight at circa 83.5kgs, raising to just over 87kgs, above Ross’s final weight.

Both Hugo and Ross’s fat percentage follows a similar trend, increasing dramatically in the first few weeks, which then steadily falls, which then both increase towards the latter few weeks of the fitness program. Throughout the program, Ross’s body fat percentage rarely goes above Hugo’s.