I have been vegan for over twenty years now, and vegetarian my entire life before that. I first got into strength training when a bodybuilder I met was mocking vegans saying you couldn’t be strong without eating meat. This bodybuilder was on a high protein ‘caveman’ diet and on the juice as well, he was built like a dumptruck and had arms the size of tree trunks. I had to stand up for vegans so I challenged him to an arm wrestle to prove him wrong, with the provision that I get three months to train.
I set about a training routine which consisted solely of bicep curls, working up to 5×5 with 27.5kg dumbells (explosive lift, super slow let down). On the day of the arm wrestle it was dubbed the "gorilla versus the caveman". Everyone laughed and said I had no hope in hell and my enemies showed up to see me humiliated. To the surprise of everyone, myself included, i slammed his hand to the table and he had to eat his words that vegans can’t be strong.
Since then I have trained sporadically, but gradually become more and more serious. After initially focusing on mostly bodyweight exercises I turned more and more towards powerlifting, largely inspired by other powerlifters on the veganfitness forums.
My current lifts are squat 215kg, bench 192.5kg (equipped) and deadlift 245kg. Over the next few years I am aiming to get massively stronger, bringing my total to at least 700kg (1,540lbs). In the process I hope to help smash the incorrect negative beliefs about veganism which many people still hold today.
Training log: Shut up and Bench!
160kg bench press