November 9, 2013 posted by

Be A Vegan Champion

Be A Vegan Champion

Going meatless for athletics no longer has the stigma it once did. It’s still far from the limelight, however, and I still get mail from people asking me if it’s possible or challenging my assertion that it is. I summarize my own feelings at the end of the post, but let’s begin with the vegan poster boy, undefeated boxing champion Timothy Bradley (on left).

“Dude, I swear it’s the most unbelievable feeling ever,” says Bradley, praising the diet he believes would give him a definite advantage in the ring.

“The reason I love it so much is I feel connected to the world. My thoughts are clearer, crisp. I am sharp. Everything is working perfectly. I feel clean. It’s a weird feeling, man, it’s just a weird feeling.”

I wrote about Bradley back when he beat Manny Pacquiao a few years back. At the time Pacquiao was considered one of the greatest pound for pound fighters in history. The decision was controversial, and many expected Bradley to quickly fall off the radar. Instead, he’s gone out and beaten two more iconic fighters, championing vegan eating the entire way.

As I stated i the earlier article, Bradley is important because he’s a power athlete. Many endurance athletes go meatless, but power requires a different set of physical parameters, one often cited as the weak point to meat advocates. While he’s kind of the point man for this lifestyle, he’s not alone. Not even close. Vegan bodybuilding has become very popular. While not as physically demanding as a pure power sport, nothing bucks the notion that “you can’t build muscle without meat” like a vegan bodybuilder. This NY Times article discusses this rising trend. And on Bodybuilding.com you’ll find a ton of info, including this piece with 20 tips for becoming a vegetarian bodybuilder.

Bradley became a one man test group when he ate meat to make weight in his first title defense. He won the fight, barely, but his performance suffered.

“So I paid for it. I paid for it in the fight. I couldn’t take a hard shot to a head like I normally do. I said never again will this happen,” he says in this Desert Sun article (his home town paper) that features some good video clips, including his chef doing some vegan prep. 

There is plenty of info out there showing how going meatless can benefit your life, especially when it comes to avoiding obesity, heart disease, and living longer. The main knock on it has always been athleticism. Power sports and bodybuilding, the realm of the “beefcake” physique, have tended to highlight the charms of massive quantities of protein. As the layers are being peeled off of this onion-like charade, we’re seeing that’s it more likely been anabolic steroids, and not steak, that built these bodies. On a level playing field, meat simply isn’t necessary for human performance.

As for me, I don’t eat much meat in general so the meatless aspect of my challenge has been fairly easy, performance-wise. I did crave meat a few times, especially when I was broken down, but that’s a common body signal when you’re deficient in nutrients. I grew up a meat eater, and still eat some meat (I feel supporting ethical meat companies is vital for them to stay competitive, which ironically is one of the best ways to compete against animal cruelty), so it was just my signal that I had a lot of tissue breakdown and needed more protein. A serving of vegan Shakeology before bed was enough to flip that switch to off.

Now the numbers.

Steve’ 53rd Birthday Challenge

Join the Challenge and win stuff!

Beachbody Workout of the Day

10 Minute Trainer Total Body – Though this can be hard, I used it like an active recovery workout.

Synopsis – Got to go climbing, for fun. It was just for a couple of hours but it felt nice not to be pushing/rushing to tick things. That said, it ticked some things.

 Reading & questions answered: /2809 (53/day) –   14 & 44 (373 questions and 2,160 pages) The Charlie Francis Training System. ACSM periodical, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Servings of Shakeology: /53 – 1(40) – w/ water 
Days of Ultimate Reset: /5.3 0(0)
Days taking supplements: /53 – 1(39)
Days of no alcohol: /53 – 0(35)****
Days of no meat: /53 – 1(39)
Coffee Cycles (more on this later): /5.3 – round 5
King Pin fritters: /5 0(0)

Beachbody workouts: /53 –1(39)
Push-ups: /5300 – 100(3,920)
Jumping jacks: /5300 – 00(3,800)
Leg lifts: /5300 – 0(35200)
Crunches: /5300 – 0(3590)
Ab Ripper X Moves: /5300 – 100(3500)
Beast back day: /53,000 lbs. 0(54,000) 
Beast chest day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000)
Beast shoulder day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000)
Beast leg day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast arm day: /53,000 lbs. 0(53,000) 
P90X2 functional warm-up: /53 – 1(38)
Running drills: /53 – 1(37)

Neuro-integrating stretching: /53 – 1(37)
Iron Mind gripper and extensor band reps: /10600 400(7400)
Breath hold sessions: /53 – 1(40)
Stabilizer sessions: /53 – 0(44) 
Internal Organ Training: /53 –  1(39)

5.11 Climbs: /5 2(6) [5]
5.12 Climbs: /3 1(2) [1]
5.11 Boulder transverses: /5 – 0(5)
5.12 Boulder transverses: /3 – 0(2)
Campus board movements: /530 – 00(471)
Climb-specific pull-ups: /530 – 05(280)
Cycling on road bike: /53 miles 30(30) [74]
Cycling on mountain bike: /53 miles 0(38) [205]
Cycling on cyclocross bike: /53 miles 0(46)
Cycling on time trial bike: /53 miles 0(20)
Cycling on fixed gear bike: /53 miles 0(0)
Cycling on single speed bike: /53 miles 0 (51) [30]
Cycling on tandem bike: /53 miles 0(0)
Hiking: /53 miles –2(54) [10]
Running: /53 miles 0(40)
30 minutes of rowing: /5 times 0(5)
30 minutes of elliptical: /5 times 0(5)
30 minutes of swimming: /5 times 0(0)
Hours of travel 0(47)

Tasks for his wife: /53 – 3(38)
Chores around the house: /53 – 2(38)
Tasks for his dogs: /53 – dogs are basically sidekicks so this one’s a freebie

Blog posts: /53 – 1 (40)
Team Beachbody Instructional Videos: /5 7(7)
Team Beachbody Video Chat /5 1(6)
Days keeping these stats: /53 – 1(39)

A Few Challenges of Yore

2000 – 40 Days of Hell
2003 – Get Back To Reality
2006 – This is Gonna Hurt
2007 – My Blood Must Be Fully Replaced Each Year
2010 – Birthday Tribute from 67 friends
2012 – Making Lemonade

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