Happy Herbivore Blog

July 30, 2013

Herbie Fitness (Part 2): Flex Your Plant-Proud Muscles! Inspiration from Body-Builders and Athletes

This week, we are focusing on Herbie athletes — everyone from weekend warriors to the pros. In Part 1, we discussed nutrition, weight loss, and race preparation. Today, be inspired by plant-proud (vegan) super athletes and get some tips from a vegan model and fitness star.


I am never sore after a workout — no matter how hard. One of my closest friends is a trainer, and he is constantly testing me. He'll work me out insisting I'll be sore the next day and I'm not. Then he'll try something harder. And harder. And harder. Still I recover perfectly. It's the power of my diet. I ran a marathon 10 months after changing my diet — when I was too out of shape to walk a 5K the year before.

Another friend of mine is a body builder — but like me, he is plant-based, and he says the same. He recovers faster and never has soreness. If he does, it's because he didn't eat right. The amazing power of plants!

When discussing plant-based fitness, questions about building muscle inevitably come up... is it possible without supplements or a special diet? (Hint: yes, of course!) We interviewed Noel, an amazing vegan model and fitness star, on the GMP blog to find out more!


GMP: For a vegan hoping to bulk up or improve their muscular performance and physique, what advice do you have?

If you want to bulk up, it's simple — just increase your calories.

GMP: So you don't take any special supplements like protein powder?

I don't take any post-workout shakes or pre-workout shakes or any kind of protein powders. I just eat healthy plant-based food.

GMP: Any other advice for someone looking to get more fit on a vegan diet?

My advice for anyone looking to get more fit is to watch less t.v. And throw away all the fitness magazines. Don't buy them anymore. If you really want to get in shape, take actions. Talk less and do more. If you go to a gym do the basic exercises: bench press, military press, squats. If you are like me and prefer using mainly your body weight, do pull ups, chin ups, push ups, knee raises, lunges, push ups. For cardio, running up a hill or walking in nature every day. Also climbing up and down the stairs.

To read the rest of Noel's pro advice, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the full interview.

Even skeptics like Joshua Knox come around to the idea that plant-based fitness is not only possible, but better, when they see and feel the results first-hand. In the video below, Joshua, a Google employee, talks about the conversation that inspired him to go plant-based for a week. One week turned into a 1.5 year lifestyle experiment with bodybuilding and diet.


Here are some more inspiring examples of super athletes who are plant-proud:

Ruth Heidrich (who in 1982 was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and cured herself by eating a low-fat, plant-based diet). Ruth has since won more than 1,000 triathlons.

Salim Stoudamire, the plant-eating point guard for the NBA Atlanta Hawks, says that by the fourth quarter, when most players are starting to fade, he’s picking it up a notch.

Martina Navratilova, the world’s winningest tennis player, who serves up plant-based foods exclusively.

Dave Scott, six-time winner of the famed Hawaii Ironman triathlon and plant eater!

Rich, author of "Finding Ultra" is quite the inspiration! See his CNN article, Rich Roll: From Fat Dad to Ultra-Fit Father.

And past Herbie of the Week boxer Cam F. Awesome just won his 5th Gold. He's now 19-0 and a 10-time national champion boxer following a whole foods plant-proud plan!

For more information, check out Can I be a competitive athlete on a plant-based diet? and What about pro-level athletes? (both articles written by a plant-strong former professional triathlete, Rip Esselstyn!)


Be inspired! Herbie Fitness Week isn't over, so stay tuned for Part 3, and kick your workouts up a notch this week. Plant-proud athletes unite!

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