How To Build Muscle On A Vegan Diet Fast!

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It.”

Peter Ducker

We’ve all seen it. The stereotypical scrawny vegan that certainly may be healthy, but is far from inspiring at a glance. Let’s face it. Humans are visual beings. Appearance is important to us, though many of us haven’t made peace with that fact. With that being said, building muscle isn’t merely a vain pursuit, it benefits one’s health in a myriad of ways. Namely, anti-aging. Resistance(weight) training is probably the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. While building muscle can certainly be challenging, it absolutely does not have to be complicated. The differences between building muscle for someone on a more typical diet and someone on a vegan diet aren’t drastic, but they do exist. In this article, I’ll show you how to build muscle on a vegan diet in as simple a manner as possible.

I remember when I first went vegan 5 years ago. Within a year I went from this:

To this:

I didn’t want to have to show you that, but it’s for your own good. Just kidding. Seriously though, keep in mind that I’ve been working out for 19 years and that didn’t change between the two photos. In all fairness, some people would say that I look great in both pictures, and they’re certainly entitled to their opinions. However, for me, I was light years away from the standards that I have held myself to for over a decade. The only thing that changed was my diet. I had no idea what I was doing. I was bloated, holding more body fat than I wanted to, and my performance was suffering massively. I’ve seen this happen to far too many people. They go vegan and become bloated, or lose muscle. Don’t get me wrong, I love being vegan and I think everyone should at least give it an honest try, but when you go vegan, there is a learning curve. Whereas before you may not have put much thought into what you were eating, now you’ll have to make a some effort. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but you do need to have a basic idea of how to structure a well balanced diet. Honestly, this doesn’t only apply to vegans, but anyone desiring a better physique.

So, after months of slowly losing muscle and feeling bloated, I finally started to piece things together. It took some time, but eventually I got rid of the bloating, leaned out, and began to feel great, even better before. Can you guess what happened next? That’s right, I started looking better and better. Within 6 months or so, I was as ripped and strong as ever, as you can see here:

How’d I do it? I implemented a few key principles that honestly changed my life. I now feel better than I ever have in my 30s. I’m lean, strong, flexible, and have more energy than a teen on prom night. Okay, maybe not quite that much energy, but I feel amazing. I haven’t been ill in almost 4 years, not even a cold. Now, I’m going to give you all the tools I used to create this transformation so you can do the same. If you’re not currently in the shape you’d love to be in, or you’re just a go getter looking to take your health and fitness to the next level, you’ll definitely want to read on.

I used this success to create some basic rules for being in great shape as a vegan. They’re simple, and can be applied by anyone intelligent enough to read this article. They are as follows:

  1. Stop eating processed vegan meats. Sure, they’re high in protein, but they’re also usually high in sodium and often contain oils that are high in Omega 6 fatty acids. Consuming too many Omega 6 fatty acids causes inflammation in the body, which over time can lead to a whole host of illnesses. Omega 3 fatty acids on the other hand reduce inflammation and are healthy for the brain and heart.
  2. Don’t eat too much salt. I can’t stress this enough. Most people eat far beyond the recommended daily allowance for sodium. This can lead to bloating, which makes you look and feel like crap. It’s also not healthy in the long run, and while I’m not suggesting that anyone tally up their salt intake, doing a little due diligence to check labels can go a long way. Also, Try eating 1 or 2 meals a day with little to no salt. Something I do is eat Japanese sweet potatoes covered in cinnamon, lentils, and sweet peas all mixed together. It tastes great even without salt because of the Japanese sweet potatoes.
  3. Limit your fat intake. Vegans tend to eat nuts, seeds, and avocados more than the average person. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking to be lean, use moderation.
  4. Take fermented protein powders. Seriously, your digestion will thank you for this one. Protein powder certainly isn’t essential, but when you’re trying to consume enough protein to build muscle, it’s very convenient.
  5. Train with maximum intensity. This one applies to anyone, but this wouldn’t be complete without it. I recommend that anyone looking to build muscle naturally train with the highest possible intensity, but very briefly. This means weight training for no more than 30-45 minutes at a time, but making it so challenging that it seems like hours. Apply yourself, focus, and give it your all. Then leave the gym, rest, and recover. Always train safely and with proper form. This will keep you injury free, and therefore making progress.

That’s all there is to it guys and girls. If you are new to weight training and have no idea how to create a routine, you can check out my article on a practical way to begin weight training. It contains a basic workout routine that you can use for 3 to 6 months, and then perhaps create your own routine from there. So, as you can see, it’s fairly simple to build muscle on a vegan diet, but it’s not always easy. Now let’s get out there and represent health and conscious eating in the right way.

Adonis

How To Lose Weight On A Vegan Diet Fast!

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

The Marines

Some people seem to think that because something is plant based that automatically makes it healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some people also seem to think that it’s easier to get lean on a vegan diet than others. While this does have some merit, ultimately, it’s not the whole truth. Getting lean, or ripped on a vegan diet can absolutely be done, but it requires one to have and apply some basic understanding.

Firstly, let me just say getting ripped is never easy unless you’re naturally very lean. Secondly, it’s not necessarily harder on a plant based diet, but there’s less good information available. At least, for the time being. The problem is that there are so many conflicting sources of information. For example, people saying carb up, the vegan keto people (Don’t get me started with those.), etc. Let me clarify something. I don’t condone extreme diets in any shape or fashion.

That includes any form of starvation, or any other form of eating that drastically restricts one from eating a wide variety of foods. The key word here is foods, because alot of what is being sold as food is anything but food. I’m not saying we should eliminate processed foods from our diets entirely, but they should be looked at as treats, and therefore eaten in moderation.

The vast majority of what we eat should be whole foods if we sincerely desire to get ripped, or simply look and feel our best. However, although it does promote great health and overall well being, eating mostly whole plant based foods isn’t enough to ensure that we’ll be bringing sexy back when we hit the pool in our swimsuits. There are a few more key things to understand. Without further ado, here are the keys to getting shredded on a vegan diet.

Keys To Getting Shredded On A Plant Based Diet

  1. Avoid sugar unless it’s post workout. This is a tough one for most people, but it’s crucial. All sugary foods must be avoided, including junk foods, desserts, and sugary fruits such as dates, bananas, and mangoes. I know you didn’t wanna hear that, but it’s true. Remember though, you can have them post workout. When I say post workout, I mean after lifting weights, not cardio. If you eat sugar after hitting the weights hard, it’ll replenish your glycogen(energy) stores and jump start the recovery process. If you have it after cardio, you’ll just defeat the purpose of the cardio, which is to get leaner. Also, watch what you drink, there are many drinks out there marketed as healthy that are loaded with more sugar than ice cream!
  2. Fat is fat! Regardless of if it comes from junk food or healthy food, there are 9 calories in every gram of fat, while there are only 4 calories in each gram of protein or carbohydrates. This trips so many people up because they forget that regardless of if the fat they are eating comes from a healthy or unhealthy source, the calories still add up quickly! Sure, avocados, nuts, and seeds are healthy for you, but if you want to be lean, you must consume them in moderation. For those that want to be ripped, I recommend that no more than 10 percent of your daily calories come from fat. there is of course, some flexibility here. If you prefer higher fat, just reduce your carbs. remember though, the more fat you consume, the less food you can eat overall.
  3. Water is your best friend. Drink lots and lots of it. Besides being crucial for the survival of every cell in your body, water helps keep us feeling full. The more water you drink during the day, the less hungry you’ll feel. In fact, sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Most people are in a constant state of mild dehydration all day long. So drink up my friend.
  4. Lift weights! This is like the ultimate cheat code for getting ripped. Why? I’m glad you asked. The more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate becomes. Meaning the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn sitting, standing, or doing anything else for that matter. It becomes easier and easier to lose body fat.
  5. Find a form of cardiovascular exercise you love, and do it at least every other day. This can be anything that raises your heart rate, and keeps it up. It can be intense cardio done briefly, such as high intensity interval training performed for 15 minutes, or it can be a form of steady state cardio, done for 45 minutes to an hour. Whatever you prefer and can stick with is ideal. I encourage you to get creative here. If you don’t like running then don’t run. Maybe you prefer dancing, or swimming, or kickboxing. Whatever your cup of tea is, go for it. The most important thing is that you stick with it.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to it folks. A few simple lifestyle changes implemented over the next several months could lead to you being in the best shape of your life. Whatever you do though, take things one step at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. The most important part of making any change is, and always will be consistency.

ADONIS

How Often Should You Work A Muscle?

“The worst thing I could be is the same as everyone else. I’d hate that.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Is There A Magic Pill?

Nowadays, we don’t have to dig very hard to find information. A simple Google search can tell us everything we want to know about a subject. At first glance, that sounds great, and it is, but there are definitely some cons that we often overlook.

We say this in the health and fitness community all the time these days. Some kid who’s been in the gym 6 months will tell a veteran who’s achieved tremendous physical development that he’s doing this or that wrong. Or that he’s over training, etc. Let’s put this into perspective for a second.

Typically, when you start something new, you ask questions. You learn from people with experience who have a tried and true resume, and you apply what you’ve learned. You don’t start working at the hospital fresh out of medical school and tell the doctors how to perform surgery. They know how already!

You learn from the experts, and allow their wisdom to shorten your path to success. These days however, people seem to read arbitrary information, and then spit it out as fact. None of this arbitrary information published by scientists is anecdotal, and no the test subjects in the study don’t count.

Why? It’s simple. They aren’t a 30 year old natural bodybuilding champion that’s been working out for 15 years. They have never reached the kind of physical development where people start to question if it’s even possible naturally.

It’s like this. You can read every book in the world on training, but until you get in the gym and start logging hours of hands on experience, learning what works for you and what doesn’t through trial and error, you have no idea about how to create a great physique.

You have to put some skin in the game! That brings me to the purpose of this article. How often should you train a muscle? There are many answers to this question, so I’ll provide some context, and allow you to make your own informed decision.

So What Should You Do?

The recommended training modality for natural lifters these days is to hit a given muscle group every 24 to 72 hours. This is because after training, muscle protein synthesis is elevated for 72 hours max. Elevated protein synthesis means more muscle mass.

So, is this true? Well let’s take a look at my physique and compare. Here is my physique at 235 lbs training each muscle once every six days. My split at the time looked like this.

Day 1: Chest and triceps

Day 2:Back and biceps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Legs

Day 5: Shoulders

Day 6: Rest. Then repeat that cycle. Oh, and yes this physique is 100% au natural.

Now, here is my physique training at about 225 lbs working each muscle once every 3 days. My split looked like this.

Day 1: Quads and chest

Day 2: Back and Hamstrings

Day 3: Shoulders and arms. Here is what my physique looked like on that program.

Finally, here is what my physique looked like at 240 lbs hitting each muscle every other day. My split at the time was full body every other day. Simple as that.

My diet in each was always similar, although in the last picture, I was definitely not as lean. However, my basic diet has always consisted of two protein shakes and four meals a day. So, as you can see, all of these splits worked to build muscle.

I was able to increase my strength and muscle size on all of these programs. I definitely have my favorite, but my point is that there is no optimal training frequency. You just have to adjust your training volume to whatever your split is.

I will say that high volume has always worked best for me and everyone I know. I did try lower volume routines, even high intensity training, but I found that I was smaller and weaker than when I did high volume. Also, there is a certain quality that the muscles get from high volume training that you won’t get from any other style of training.

In Conclusion:

All training splits can be effective. Ultimately, you have to figure out what works for you. There is no magic pill, there’s only willing yourself to improve, workout after workout. Week after week, and year after year. So, stop looking for a magic pill, put your head down and work. Eventually, when you look up, you’ll realize how far you’ve come, and that’s what makes this bodybuilding and fitness journey so worth it. Until next time, train hard! I’m out.

Plant Based Amino Acids: A Vegan Bodybuilders Best Friend

There are NO secrets when it comes to building muscle, and all shortcuts certainly come with undesirable consequences. However, if there was one secret, it would certainly be amino acids.

Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. Most people who want to build muscle know that you have to get sufficient protein to do so, but they don’t necessarily know why. When we consume protein, our bodies break it down into amino acids. These amino acids are utilized for many things, not the least of which is repairing and building muscle tissue.

If we don’t consume sufficient protein each day, our bodies could have less than what they need to build our bodies back bigger and stronger. In such case, all our hard work would be in vain. We definitely don’t want that! However, as a vegan we have to be conscious of a few things.

Most of our protein sources have less amino acids than animal based protein sources. Leucine in particular, is lower in most vegan sources of protein in comparison. This can present a problem, as leucine is the primary amino acid responsible for elevating protein synthesis. In other words, more leucine= more muscle.

Okay, so why not just buy some leucine you say? Well, it’s not that simple. Leucine, when taken alone, will cause an imbalance in the amino acids valine and isoleucine. Together, leucine, isoleucine, and valine are called branched chain amino acids, and they must be consumed together.

So, now the question is, how much do I take, and how often do I take it? That is a great question and I won’t keep you in suspense. You want to take 2 to 4 grams of leucine in 2 to 3 times daily, preferably once during or after your workout, with the other servings being spread out throughout the day.

Another good time to take your aminos is upon waking, and before bed is great as well. Remember though, that you can’t just take leucine, so you will want to get some good vegan branched chain amino acids, or vegan sourced essential amino acids.

If you go for essential amino acids though, just make sure they have the branched chain amino acids in them as well. If not, simply get some branched chain aminos to go along with them.

So, what kind of results can you expect from taking your aminos daily? Higher energy levels, improved stamina in the gym, faster recovery, less soreness, increased muscle mass, and more strength are things that you should be noticing within 6 to 8 weeks if not less.

Lastly, another added benefit is that when supplementing with amino acids, you can consume significantly less protein and still build muscle. Let’s say you want to have a dessert for lunch today (which I wouldn’t recommend doing too often, but sometimes you gotta live a little right?) but you’re worried because the dessert only has 5 grams of protein.

You need not worry, your amino acid supplement will come to the rescue. Just take it before or after your meal and presto! You have the equivalent of a high protein meal! Just don’t use this as an excuse to eat junk all the time or you certainly won’t look or feel your best. Everything in moderation as they say.

There you have it guys, everything you need to know about amino acids in a nutshell. I hope you guys will benefit as much as I have from this knowledge. If you do decide to supplement with aminos I would recommend making sure they’re vegan, and also finding a company that charges reasonable prices.

Kaged Muscle Branched Chain Amino Acids is a great brand price and quality wise. True nutrition also has a great essential amino acid supplement. Again, I have no affiliation, but those are two of my favorite brands! Until next time, stay strong!

ADONIS

The Simple Keys To Building Muscle On A Vegan Diet

“There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.” -Charles Darwin

Of all the stigmas surrounding veganism, one of the most popular beliefs is that you can’t build muscle on a vegan diet. Sure, the film “Game Changers” did a great job dispelling that myth, but when you really get down to it, the questions the average gym rat wants to know the answer to is, Can I build just as much muscle on a plant based diet as a typical bodybuilding diet?

Is it more complicated? Is it gross? Etc. These kinds of questions clearly illuminate the fact that even a basic level of understanding about the vegan diet among the average person is just not where it could be.

That’s why I’ve decided to write this article, to simplify the basic changes you’d have to make when switching over to a plant based diet as an athlete, particularly an athlete concerned with building as much muscle as possible.

However, even if you’re not an athlete, you may still find this article enlightening and perhaps it can help someone you know. With that being said, let’s dive right into it.

Keep Things Simple

Simplicity is genius. The more complicated you make a thing, the harder it is to grasp, and to keep it up becomes nearly impossible. I believe in keeping everything as simple as possible. If it is simple, you can grasp it quickly and keep it up with minimal effort. That is the key to sustainability.

A Few Small Changes And You’ve Got It!

Essentially, the only changes you need to make are your protein sources. Instead of whey protein powder, get a vegan protein powder. Some are higher in salt, so be sure to opt for a low or no sodium option unless you want to risk bloating like a balloon.

Some other good vegan options high in protein are legumes of all kinds, peas, tofu, tempeh, seitan, lean vegan meats, and soy milk. Some vegans will tell you nuts and seeds are a great option, and that’s true, when you’re not looking to be lean and muscular.

Nuts and seeds are very high in fat, and should be consumed in moderation, or you may end up kissing your six pack goodbye! Since many carbohydrate and good fat sources are plant based by default, you typically won’t have to change many of those.

This Tip Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

Get the majority of your protein from a good protein powder! If you get 75% of your daily protein from a plant based powder, you won’t have to stress about your solid meals being super high protein. Just be sure not to overeat, and make adjustments as needed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, it’s really not hard to build muscle as a vegan, it can be as simple or complicated as you make it. So, don’t believe the hype. Give it a try for yourself and you’ll see just how simple it can be.

Eventually, as more and more of us become shining examples, this will become common knowledge. Who knows? It may happen sooner than we think. I love you guys,

ADONIS