Advertising

10 Steps to Becoming a Vegan Athlete

Advertising
10 Steps to Becoming a Vegan Athlete

1. Find your passion

We evolve all the time and so do our passions. Transitioning from dance to bodybuilding may sound strange but both use the same drive and physical stamina. Golfer? Your ability to fine-tune the smallest curve of the wrist translates into being able to make a muscle-mind connection like nobodies business. Gamer? Operating in an ever-changing reality where adaption and recovery is king is a core function of athleticism. If you want it you can build it. Try a quick online quiz like “Olympisize Me” for fun to see what sport your personality suits.

2. Gear

You’re going to need some sturdy and breathable track shoes that absorb shock and are perfectly fit for Vegans at Brooks.com or the Vegan section of Planetshoes.com. Keeping comfortable in sweat-wicking tops and bottoms is essential because cotton kills. Try Veganathleticapparel.com for cycling gear or Veganscene.com for amazing activewear. Try before you buy with rentals. Once you’ve hit some of your benchmarks, reward yourself with the latest weight belt or sweet stack of carabiners.

Advertising

3. Make an investment

Athletes spend a considerable amount on nutrition as opposed to beer and ice cream. To start off on the right track, add BCAA’s to fuel muscles on a cellular level; Glutamine, for recovery; key vitamins like B12, Iron and a Multi to your daily ritual. Don’t forget your probiotics and digestive enzymes to keep your system regular. Vitasave.com has a laundry list of veg-friendly supplements that won’t break the bank. The cherry on top of all of this will be your motivational tunes. Subscribe to Spotify.com for access to more music than you can handle.

4. Stay natural with whole food supplements

Fuel and refuel with healthy options to improve your performance and gains. When whole foods aren’t enough, look to supplements. Not all products are created equal, vegan or not. Good for you protein powders only such as Iron Vegan, Aloha, and Kaizen brands. Avoid 500 calorie sugar-laden bars you find on the shelves. Those are training no-no’s unless you’re a long distance runner or Tour de France cyclist.

Advertising

5. Fuel up your F1 machine

Athletes are fuelling Ferraris not Pintos and premium fuel is the rule. Deciding which body type you have (Mesomorph/Ectomorph/Endomorph or hybrid) is a great place to start building your nutrition plan from. Fats, proteins, and carbs need to be tailored to your body and timed well for maximum results. Carbs pre and post workout and fats that help you burn fat. You’ll find the best nutrition in the form of coconut oil, tempeh or tofu, rice, quinoa and heaps of veggies. Minimum water requirements to keep a consistent flush should be 4 liters or 1 gallon per day.

    Homemade whole foods for the win!

    6. Pick an idol

    Vegan athletes Dave Zabriskie, Steph Davis are accomplished and humble. When you’re choosing a sport, check out its grandaddy and learn their stories. The ability to overcome adversity hasn’t changed in millennia. How did they achieve greatness? Follow in their footsteps and avoid their missteps. Visit Greatveganathletes.com to see a listing of inspirational warriors.

    Advertising

    7. Find a coach or mentor

    You need constant check-ins, pats on the back and constructive criticism to grow as an athlete and so enlist someone who has been in your shoes. For vegans, that means finding value for your dollar with a plant-powered coach. If you’re well versed in the gym you should be able to find a great coach online that will supply you with a meal plan and training program for around $150-250 per month. In person, look to spend no more than $80 per hour with a trainer for building your skills.

    8. Support

    Training alone isn’t easy, especially if you’ve chosen a sport that makes you a one man army. Be sure to find a training facility that’s simple to get to (no excuses please). Try out the app MyFitnessPal.com where you can find others like you on a fitness journey. Facebook also has groups for everything from Vegan Bodybuilding to Vegan Square Dancing enthusiasts.

    Advertising

    9. Celebrate your wins

    Feeling like you’re falling flat can lead up to 70% of would-be athletes to drop off of the bandwagon. Measure small successes or enter a contest. Celebrate new PR’s (personal records) regularly. Added 5 lbs to your deadlift? Win. Sign up for a boxing match or bodybuilding competition. Long range goals with the possibility of failure or embarrassment fuels athlete brains to go hard and win. Use the JEFIT app in the iTunes store to track your workout progress.

    10. Educate yourself

    Never take anyone’s word for it. If it feels bad, research and adapt. An athlete is in a constant state of discovery of their sport and their place in it. You become a greater athlete, a better mentor, and a wise old teacher by forging your own path during your journey. Never stop learning.

    Advertising

    More by this author

    Sasha Williams

    Plant Powered Lifestyle Designer

    5 Ways to Stay in Love with your Partner 10 Steps to Erasing a Tarnished Reputation Why Vegan America kicks Vegan Canada’s Ass 10 Steps to Becoming a Vegan Athlete

    Trending in Exercise

    1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 3 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 4 How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month 5 How To Be Happy: 12 Things You Should Do Today

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 8, 2021

    10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

    Advertising
    10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

    “You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

    Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

    Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

    And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

    Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

    In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

    Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

    Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

    1. I don’t have enough time.

    This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

    First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

    Advertising

    Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

    A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

    Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

    2. I’m way too tired to workout.

    Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

    If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

    You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

    If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

    3. But exercise is so boring!

    You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

    So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

    The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

    Advertising

    If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

    4. I have no motivation to workout.

    If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

    What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

    That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

    The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

    Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

    5. I have kids to look after.

    One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

    Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

    If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

    You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

    Advertising

    6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

    What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

    Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

    By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

    7. I don’t feel very well.

    After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

    At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

    If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

    8. The gym is too expensive or far.

    If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

    The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

    There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

    If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

    Advertising

    9. I don’t know how to train properly.

    If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

    However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

    People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

    10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

    This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

    The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

    Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

    Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

    Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

    Read Next