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…
12 February 1980
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.
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.
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.
I never count calories, not even when I competed in bodybuilding shows during my meat eating days.
I try to keep it close to the following:
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)
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!
I love my coffee (morning, noon and night :))
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 🙂
I rarely do cardio but I do enjoy going for long walks in my spare time.
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).
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
Black Bean Buddha Bowl with Avocado Pesto
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!
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!
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.