In June 2017, I was sitting at home on my laptop when I came across a documentary on YouTube
called Earthlings. I wasn’t sure what it was about but I watched it anyway…

DATE OF
BIRTH

12 February  1980

YOUR
HEIGHT

5FT11

WEIGHT
BEFORE

75Kg

CURRENT
WEIGHT

78Kg

BECAME
PLANT-BASED

2017

DATE OF
BIRTH

12 February  1980

YOUR
HEIGHT

5FT11

WEIGHT
BEFORE

75Kg

CURRENT
WEIGHT

78Kg

BECAME
PLANT-BASED

2017

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO PLANT-BASED?

In June 2017, I was sitting at home on my laptop when I came across a documentary on YouTube called Earthlings. I wasn’t sure what it was about but I watched it anyway.  About 30 minutes in, I was exposed to the suffering and slaughter of animals in factory farms. I asked myself whether this was how most animals are treated in factory farms around the world, or if this was just a compilation of isolated, worst case scenarios.  After more research, I found hundreds more videos showing footage of animals being kicked around and horribly abused by farmers and factory workers alike.

I watched a few more documentaries on animal cruelty and human health, and the ones that convinced me of the truth were What the Health and Cowspiracy. Both these films are very well-researched and definitely shocked me into thinking twice about ever placing a slice of bacon, or glass of milk near my mouth again.

In June 2017, I made a commitment to do a 30-day challenge where I wouldn’t eat any animal products. After all the research I gathered, and the amazing stories I’d heard of those on a vegan diet, I decided I’d give it a try. I remember imagining I’d have to eat like a rabbit, and in the process, I’d lose all my muscle mass and much of my strength.

I’ll admit, the first 2 months of eating a plant-based diet felt like hell for me, but I soon discovered that there were tons of delicious, vegan options available in most grocery stores to help satisfy my cravings and ease the transition. Eventually though, I learnt to prepare, and really enjoy my own vegan meals at home which soon took preference.

WHAT HEALTH BENEFITS HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SINCE GOING PLANT-BASED?

After 30 days of eating this way, I felt better than I’d ever felt, so I decided to keep it up for another 30 days. Fast forward 14 months later, and I’m still on a plant-based diet. I have very few sick days, have more energy, sleep better, feel healthier and best of all, I recover faster after gym workouts.

DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR APPROACH TO PLANT-BASED EATING, I.E. LOW-FAT, HIGH-CARB, KETO, ETC.?

Everybody has a choice to eat whatever they want. I have friends who eat meat in front of me and I have no problem with that, I don’t go around judging meat eaters like some vegans do. It’s their life. But hopefully, I’d like to inspire as many people as possible to try a plant-based vegan diet for at least 30 days. Try it and see how you feel. after a month. Don’t worry, if you eat enough of the right plant-based foods daily, you won’t be protein deficient.

Where do you get
your protein?

DO YOU COUNT CALORIES, AND IF SO, HOW MANY DO YOU CONSUME ON A DAILY BASIS?

I never count calories, not even when I competed in bodybuilding shows during my meat eating days.

Do you adhere to a particular macro nutrient split?

I try to keep it close to the following:

Protein: 30%
Carbs: 50%
Fats: 20%

Give an example of a typical day’s eating?

Breakfast– Pea Protein Chocolate Shake (Bulk Powders) / Oats – W/ banana slices, blueberries, syrup.
Lunch– Veggie & Bean Burrito / Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie
Dinner– Tofu, Spinach, Beans & Pasta (Whole grain)

What supplements do you use?

Bulk Powders (vegan)

In your opinion, what are the key differences between achieving one’s ideal physique with plant-based eating comparative to an omnivorous diet?

I don’t think there is a key difference. You can build a great physique on an omnivorous diet, or a plant based diet – I’ve done both! I can say however, that since going vegan, I definitely have a lot more energy, and recover so much faster after all my workouts, which allows me to put 100% effort into every gym session without feeling fatigued. As long as you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs from a plant-based diet, you can’t go wrong!

What are your favourite beverages?

I love my coffee (morning, noon and night :))

Track your way to
Success

How would you recommend someone considering a plant-based diet starts out?

Try it for 28 days and then decide if you’d like to continue with it.

It takes 28 days to form a new habit 🙂

What exercise or sporting activities do you engage in?

I rarely do cardio but I do enjoy going for long walks in my spare time.

Do you follow a particular body part training split in the gym or at home?

Yes, I mainly follow a 4 day split routine.

It looks something like this:

Monday: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Thursday: Legs & Abs
Friday: Chest (I try to train chest at least twice a week).

What does a typical workout comprise of?

My Chest Workout Looks Something like this:
Flat Bench Press: 4 x 12 reps
Include Barbell Press: 3 x 12 reps
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes: 3 X 16 reps
Weighted Pushups with 45lb/20kg plate on my back: 3 X 8-10 reps

Back Workout Looks Something like this:
Deadlifts: 4 x 12 reps
Barbell Rows: 3 x 12 reps
Lat Pulldown or Single Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3 x 16-20 reps
Seated Cable Rows: 3 x 20 reps
Hyperextensions (Back Extensions): 3 x 8-10 reps

What’s your favourite post-workout meal?

Black Bean Buddha Bowl with Avocado Pesto

No Gym,
No Problem!

What’s your advice to someone leading a sedentary lifestyle who wants to get fit and what motivational tools do you rely on to remain dedicated to exercising?

I think it comes down to how much you really want to feel fit and healthy. A lot of people struggle with this. They want to lose weight, build muscle, and feel great, but aren’t willing to put in the work it requires to achieve their ideal body. My advice to a sedentary person starting out, is to take small steps. Go to the gym and spend between 30-40 minutes performing light weight lifting exercises 2-3 times a week. A great workout routine that a lot of men benefit from would be a 3-4 day workout split.

Here’s an example of a 3 day split

Day 1 – Chest & Back

Day 2 – Legs & Abs

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Shoulders & Arms

Day 5 – Off

Day 6 – Off

Day 7 – Off

Here’s an example of a 4 day split I recommend for newbies

Day 1 – Chest & Triceps 

Day 2 – Back & Biceps  

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Quads, Hamstrings, Calves & Abs

Day 5 – Shoulders, Traps and Forearms.

Day 6 – Off

Day 7 – Off

I also recommend the 5X5 for those who want to build strength

Here’s an example:

1. Bench Press: 5 sets, 5 reps

2. Barbell Squat: 5 sets, 5 reps.

3. Standing Military Press: 5 sets, 5 reps.

4. Barbell Deadlift: 5 sets, 5 reps

5. Barbell Rows: 5 sets, 5 reps

There are a lot of great workout programs to follow at home or at the gym. Your body will adapt and progress in sync with your training intensity and volume. Keep pushing yourself, the reward is worth it!

Have you used a personal trainer, coach or dietician that you would recommend to others?

I’ve been weight training since 2004, and was lucky to have a friend who happened to be in great shape from years of gym training to assist me. Other than that, I’ve never needed a personal trainer to help me reach my goals. If you don’t have a knowledgable friend to guide you, then by all means, find an experienced personal trainer who has industry knowledge, self motivation, and most importantly, leads by example!

How has your plant-based lifestyle influenced others?

Well, I get a lot of questions coming in through my blog and social media from people asking me what vegan food and workout routines I recommend.