A Vegan Bodybuilding Diet = Massive Plant Fueled Muscles.
There’s a new trend shattering everything we thought we knew about protein and building shapely muscle…A vegan bodybuilding diet. Is it REALLY possible to get swollen off beans, rice and veggies? I think these vegan bodybuilders bodies speak for themselves!
To many this might seem unbelievable, but I’m here to tell ya that times have changed for the bodybuilding world and our skewed perspective on animal protein! You can read more about why plant based/vegan protein is the best thing that happened to your body here.
I had the awesome opportunity to chat with most of these pro’s and learn a few of their secrets to massive plant based muscle! You might be surprised to find what some of them had to say about how many calories they eat per day, and how often they hit the gym to gain those godly muscles. Here are their incredible stories…
1. Richard Campbell
Richard Campbell is a certified Personal Training Specialist, muscle/fitness model, and Child and Youth Counselor for high school and elementary students. He’s also one shredded vegan!
I had to wonder what it takes to fuel the body of this vegan machine. Here’s what Richard had to share about his caloric intake and gym routine while on a vegan bodybuilding diet:
“I don’t really count my calories/micros that often. I would estimate 3000 calories when off season they go up and when hitting the stage it will varies depending on what point of prep I am at.
A normal workout week consists of 4-6 days per week depending on my goals. During prep 2 a days are typical when it comes down to cardio and getting the fat melted so you can look shredded as possible. I always train for results no maintenance at this point.”
From the limited opportunities I had to speak with Richard, I have to say that he’s totally a awesome guy!
If you want to be personally trained by Richard you can find his website:
2. Torre Washington
Vegan since 1998, Torre Washington is another epic example of a successful vegan bodybuilding diet.
A serious legend in the vegan bodybuilding world as well as the traditional one. He got his Pro card on only his second bodybuilding competition!
He’s been shattering the non-vegan competitions presumptions about plant based protein ever since. Go Torre!
3. Christian Garcia
Christian Garcia is a lightweight competitive vegan bodybuilder and currently competes on the Plant Built bodybuilding team. He was first motivated to go vegan for health reasons, but that soon changed into a heartfelt compassion for animals.
He now credits his love for animals as his drive to compete in order to prove that you don’t have to eat animal products to gain a ripped physique! Couldn’t agree more Christian! He had the following response to my questions about his routine:
“At the moment, I am eating around 2,500 calories per day, but that all varies from week to week. Each week my caloric intake and macros change depending on my progress. Typically, it increases during my off-season and slowly drops during my on-season.
I work out five days per week (Monday through Friday) and take the weekends off. Each day is a different workout: upper body, lower body, chest/delts/back, legs, and delts/shoulders.
I do ab workouts sporadically throughout the week. As for cardio, the deeper I get in my off-season, the less cardio I do. Again, workouts change depending on my progress, specifically, cardio. I do HIIT workouts (incline treadmill sprints) twice per week, usually after my leg workouts.”
4. Vanessa Espinoza
3x Colorado Golden Glove State Champion boxer with a 6-0 record, Vanessa Espinoza is one lean plant powered machine! She loves to lift and prove that you can get swollen without harming animals for food! Her vegan bodybuilding diet is loaded with nutritious and wholesome plant based foods.
Hands down Vanessa is the most massive natural female vegan bodybuilder I’ve seen! Way to go Vanessa!
Here’s what she had to say about calories and her workout routine:
“I don’t count calories. There is no need to count calories because I always eat “real food”. My food is my fuel. Simple and clean.
I lift everyday, I won’t take a day off until I need it. Sometimes that means training 10 plus days in a row. I listen to my body, if I need a day off or two I’ll take it.”
P.S. Her fave protein powder is Powerootz. ;]
Great advice from a pro and I couldn’t agree more! Contact Vanessa for personal training at:
5. Giacomo Marchese
Vegan since 2004, Giacomo has been tearing up the gym as a hard core vegan bodybuilder ever since! And man does he have a lot to show for it! How did he get all that shapely muscle? Here’s few facts he had to say about his routine:
“My calories range between 2000 – 4000, depending on whether I am building, or in competition season and maintaining a stage ready physique.
Either way, getting in nutrient dense, calorically dense, and protein rich meals has never been a problem on a plant based diet. I am thankful that I can fuel myself compassionately and do this to be the best representative I can be for the animals.
I train 5 days a week, 90 minutes a day and largely focus on the 3 main compound barbell movements: Squats, Bench Press, and Deadlifts. I do some HIIT cardio 25% of the year to dial in conditioning but for the most part, my physique is built in the kitchen.”
Love that last part! You can follow Giacomo on Facebook
6. Robbie Hazeley
At 60 years old, Robbie is still keeping up the fight to stay fit! He has been bodybuilding since the 70’s and has placed 10th for Mr. Universe as well as 1st for Mr. UK (over 50’s class)! Vegan since 1989, Robbie had this to say for why he chose the vegan lifestyle:
“I went vegan in 1989 and that was on health grounds. I started bodybuilding back in 1971 and was experiencing a number of health problems, especially with my knees.
Going vegan made a lot of sense on paper and in practice was instrumental in improving my all round health, stamina, freedom from injuries and ability to train more intensely. It was the turning point for me in so many ways.”
One of the most inspiring things I learned about Robbie was his dedication to bodybuilding and the vegan lifestyle in the midst of battling cancer and chemotherapy. He still pushes his hardest to do what he can to stay fit.
He had the following response to my question about his routine:
“Going to chemotherapy every 2 weeks so need to keep strong, so hitting around 4,000 calories a day
I go to my home gym 10 days in a row hitting a different body part each time as it takes only 4 to 5 mins a workout.
After 10 days, on to another 10 days finding I can do this ok. As fatigue is a big side affect with chemo, the only cardio I do is walking to the store[s] for maybe 20 mins a day. I try and do this every day.”
7. Max Seabrook
Max Seabrook is yet another vegan with some serious muscles. If you’ve ever thought “I’m to busy to get fit,” think again! Max is currently attending medical school while also maintaining that godly physique! Here’s what he had to say about his routine:
“The calories I consume really depend on what my current physique goals are. I average maybe around 3000 calories but it has gone down to around 2000 at the end stages of getting lean and as high as 4000 when growing! But it is all relative to someone’s metabolic requirement at any one time and their goal.
Like most people, I lead a busy life with not a lot of time for working out! So my favourite workouts are total-body sessions that I do 3x a week for 1 hour each.
On top of that I do around 20-30 minute sprint work 3x a week on non-lifting days. So in total 4.5hours a week for all of my training. Shorter and intense sessions are more time-efficient so I can spend more of my time with family, clients or with my medical studies!”
You can follow Max on Instagram:
8. Joe Coleman
The first word that popped into my head when I saw Joe was “TANK.” This guy is a seriously massive vegan! If this isn’t proof that you don’t need meat to build muscle I don’t know what is! Here is what Joe had to say about his caloric intake and gym routine:
“My calorie intake is pretty average.. maybe about 3000 per day.. A little less during cutting phase.
My workouts are 5 day split.. Ex. Monday -chest Tuesday -tries Wednesday -legs Thursday- shoulders Friday -back….Abs every other or every 3rd day… Cardio 2 Or 3 times a wk… Hiit or/and stairs.”
You can check out Joe’s website:
9. Samantha Shorkey
Samantha happens to be the first-ever vegan WNBF bikini pro. She is also a self proclaimed “vegan fitness freak who’s passionate about promoting a plant-based diet to the masses.” Maybe I should be that passionate if it means I can look like that (Instantly feeling motivated to get shredded)!
Once again, a plant powered athlete that redefines the meaning of protein and bodybuilding is here to tell ya you don’t need meat to get fit and sexy! Here’s the split on her calories and routine:
“It really depends on my goals at the time and even more importantly, my activity level. I tend to be a little all over the place when it comes to my caloric intake, mostly because I like to try different methods all the time.
At present, I’m in my off-season with no plans to do a fitness competition any time soon. So my calories are somewhere between 1,600 and 2K per day. If I’m taking a day off from the gym, I’ll aim for the lower number on that spectrum and if it’s an intense leg day full of heavy squats and deadlifts,
I’ll easily chow down 2K calories. When I’m cutting fat and trying to lean down for a competition, I’ll eat as little as 1,200 calories per day. But I’m not a happy camper.
How many days a week do you train at the gym. (you can add your workout routine if you want as well). Well I’m an admitted meathead (meatless meathead of course.) And honestly, whether I’m training to compete or not, I’m still in the gym a good five or six days per week.
The only thing that ever really changes is my cardio. When I’m leaning down for a fitness competition, I’ll usually do two workouts per day: cardio in the morning and weights in the evening. And in the off-season, I’ll do cardio after weights in the same session.”
Want to be personally trained by Samantha? You can check out Samantha’s website for coaching and other workout advice!
10. Jillian Salomone
Vegan since 2013, Jillian decided to embrace this lifestyle “To better my health, save the animals and raise awareness.” She is also a kickboxing instructor (watch out!) and finds that a vegan bodybuilding diet aids in a quick recovery and consistent energy. Here’s her spill on her calories and her workout routine:
“It honestly all depends on my competitions and where I am at in my season. When I am in my “off season” I eat around 1800-1900 calories. That starts to decrease when I’m getting closer to whichever show I am prepping for. It can get as low as about 1200 calories. Right now, I am consuming about 1500-1600 calories to just maintain the body that I currently have.
I weight lift & do cardio 5 times a week (1x a day). I train first thing in the morning to start my day off. Right now I hit back/shoulders one day, chest/arms another day. I do lower body twice a week and then I have an Upper body max day.”
You can follow Jillian on Instagram:
11. Ashlee Harrison
Ashlee Harrison has been a clean-eatin’ vegan machine since 2013. Since she’s embraced a vegan bodybuilding diet she enjoys “more energy, stamina, and can recover faster.”
Some of her favorite exercises include “reserve hack squat, one arm dumbbell row, sumo squats, and rear delt face pulls.” She claims to just be a “regular girl” and adds hope to the idea that anyone can embrace the vegan lifestyle and find success and RESULTS.
Ashlee had this to say about her food intake and workout routine:
“Currently I am around 1800 calories, give or take. I try to focus more on my macros than calories, which can differ depending on how companies report their calorie content.
I don’t quite understand how that works, I just know that macros are more important for me to track than strictly calories.
I try to hit 236 g carbs, 50 g fat, and 130 g protein each day. This is carefully monitored and calculated for me by my coach, Dani Taylor.
I currently train weights five days per week, and cardio four days (2 true HIIT days for 20 minutes, and 2 moderate HIIT days for 20 minutes). 2 of my weight days are focused on legs, the others are upper body.”
Follow Ashlee on Instagram:
12. Derek Tresize
Like a scene out of Hercules, Derek seems to embody the term Greek God. This guy has some surrrious plant powered muscles! Along with a passion for fitness, Derek also believes in a whole food plant based vegan bodybuilding diet. Here’s his spill on energy consumption and his workout routine:
“My daily caloric intake varies depending on if I’m trying to maintain/gain weight or preparing for a contest, but my typical day falls around 4000 calories which is made up mostly by beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
I generally train 5 days per week with resistance and 1-2 days per week with cardio. I change my weight lifting split regularly, but I most often follow a three day rotation of Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, and Legs. Cardio is usually either running sprints or swimming laps.”
You can check out Derek’s website
13. Erin Fergus
Motivated by animal and environmental welfare, Erin has become a new standard in vegan bodybuilding. She considers herself as a walking billboard for the plant fueled lifestyle and vegan bodybuilding diet and looks to positively influence others to embrace it by her example.
She def has hit the mark with that rockin’ plant powered bod! Not to toot the horn too much, but once again it’s visually obvious that you don’t need meat to thrive and build shapely muscle! Erin’s caloric intake and plant powered workout routine:
“I don’t presently track my nutrition when I’m not in competition prep, but I’d say I easily eat around 2,500 calories a day. When I am in contest prep I start at about that level and then slowly taper down.
The lowest I have ever been is about 1675 and that is only for a week or two at a time. I love cooking and baking and training hard far too much to restrict myself when it comes to food.
I have also noticed that not tracking my eating when I’m not in contest prep makes it much easier to follow a meal plan when I need to.
I usually train six to seven days a week. I don’t do much cardio now that I’m in the offseason, maybe 15 minutes here and there on the elliptical but spend lots of time walking my two dogs and dogs at the animal shelter.
My resistance training is a mix of powerlifting and bodybuilding styles because I have physique goals but also want to increase my one-rep maxes for bench press, squat and sumo deadlift. I usually follow this split:
Monday – high volume lower body day, including squats, walking lunges, plie squats, Romanian deadlifts, leg press and/or leg extension and leg curl, core work focusing on ab wheel and leg raises.
Tuesday – back and bis, including pull up variations and rowing, and a combination of biceps work with elbows in front and behind the body.
Wednesday – chest, tris, shoulders, with a focus on dumbbell work.
Thursday – alternating each week between heavy and speed work of squats, sumo deadlifts, lower back work, ab work in the form of “hollow outs”.
Friday – lats and bis, light cardio by walking dogs at the animal shelter for a couple hours Saturday – core work using BOSU ball, possible easy cardio Sunday – bench press, tris and shoulders accessory work.”
Follow Erin on Instagram:
14. Ian Michael Myers
Ian is a 35 year old Holistic Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Entreprenuer, Speaker, RAW Plant Based Bodybuilder. After being diagnosed with a laundry list of Health Challenges 5 years ago ranging from High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Sugar Metabolism issues, Chronic Digestive Problems, and Mal-absorption issues, he decided it was time to explore a new path.
Up until 5 years ago, Ian did not eat ANY vegetables, because he didn’t like the taste and texture. I’de say that’s about as far from a vegan bodybuilding diet as you can get!
As many do, he ate the standard american diet with a heavy emphasis on Animal Proteins and Starches, junk food, and he used copious amounts of Whey Proteins and Supplements.
After searching for answers on how to heal your body naturally, he learned about the power of juicing your vegetables, and that you could make vegetable juices taste sweet and delicious by simply adding apples and lemons to cut down on the acidity.
After learning about this, he was immediately moved and inspired and began adding in green juice recipes on a daily basis. As he embarked on his new Health Journey, Ian was able to transition from eating the Standard American Diet to embracing eating a fully RAW Plant Based Living Food Lifestyle.
He lost a total of 75 lbs. and was able to restore his body back to perfect health by changing the way that he ate.
“This is an excellent question and one that I get often. I’ve been eating RAW now for almost 6 years, so i’ve been able to develope a system and learn how my body operates and exactly what it needs to be able to build muscle and keep down the body fat. I don’t count calories.
Instead, I choose to be mindful about what I am eating to ensure that I give my body enough fuel to get me through the day and any activities I may participate in.
The bulk of my calories come from fruits like bananas, dates, figs, mangos. So for example, I generally eat anywhere from 12 to 30 bananas per day depending on how much I have going on and if I plan to do a lot of strength training, then I’ll aim to eat upwards of 20-30 bananas.
I listen to my body and pay attention to how I am feeling to determine my workout schedule. If I am feeling tired and sluggish, or just not 100%, then I will not go to the gym. I might go for a bike ride or a hike in nature instead of forcing my body to do something that its not feeling like doing. This takes patience and time to develope, but totally worth the effort.
We get so much more out of exercise and workouts when we honor our body and what its trying to communicate to us. When I am feeling strong and have the energy, I will generally workout 3-4 days per week with weights and 2 days with something fun outdoors that allows me to play like a kid would.
For example, I like to put together full body workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s and sometimes I’ll add in a Saturday if I’m feeling good.”
You can follow Ian on Facebook