If you’re goal is to gain as much strength as possible on a vegan diet, you’ve found the right place.
Unlike most stereotypes and myths which say it’s impossible, you can (and will) build tremendous strength and muscle mass on a plant-based diet.
Just take a look at strongman Patrik Baboumian. At his peak, Patrik was the strongest man in Germany, and one of the strongest men in the entire world!
And he did this all from eating plants.
A typical strongman diet consists of pounds of meat, eggs, and dairy.
Meanwhile, Patrik was over hear eating legumes, dark leafy greens, tofu, fruit, falafel, and potatoes.
Even though he was plant-based for quite some time, Patrik had no issues competing and gaining tremendous strength with his diet.
The same goes for you!
Here’s how you can incorporate a plant-based diet in your strength training to get some serious gains!
Don’t Overdo Protein
I don’t get it? Protein is everything!
If you want to gain strength and/or muscle mass, you have to consume heaps and mounds of protein, as much as possible, right? Especially vegans, who are deficient on protein!
Don’t get me wrong, if your goal is to build strength, you’re going to need more protein than the average American who doesn’t exercise or lift.
Protein and amino acids (which makes up protein) are the building blocks of muscle.
But how much protein do you actually need?
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you need about 1.2-1.6g of protein per kg of bodyweight.
That translates to roughly 0.5-0.75g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
So if you weigh 200 pounds, that means eating around 100-150g of protein a day!
That’s a lot less than what most fitness sites are telling you. I’ve seen some sites stating you need around 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight!
Turns out that’s way too much.
The upper threshold of where muscle protein synthesis (building muscle) peaks is around .75g per pound. Anything more is just not necessary.
So consume protein, but don’t overdo it. You’ll just be wasting time, money, and effort.
Eat Organic Whole Foods – Avoid The Fake
If you really want to get big and strong on plants, eat the real whole foods.
Don’t get too caught up in all the new imitation/substitute meat trend hitting super markets across the country.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating an Impossible Burger or some vegan chick’n from time to time, but it’s not all that healthy.
It’s also very tempting when you’re shopping in the frozen section and see all these delicious looking vegan burgers, pizzas, cheese, and ice cream.
Unfortunately, a lot of these imitations products are filled with salt, sugar, oil, and weird named ingredients. Once in a while is okay, but don’t be consuming them every day.
The proper way to consume a plant-based diet is by stick to REAL foods that are grown straight from the earth:
- Fruits and Berries
- Nuts and Seeds
These are foods that will actually provide you with a ton of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
And don’t worry, you can still acquire all the essential macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats through these food sources.
If you’re looking for protein, stick to tofu, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds.
If you need carbs, look for fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains.
For healthy fats, try avocados, nuts, dark chocolate, and oils.
Eat Recovery Foods – Superfoods
Strength gains are only achieved with the proper recovery. Taking a day off and resting is very important, but there are things you can do to accelerate your body’s healing.
One of those ways is by eating superfoods!
A superfood is defined as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”
Here’s a list of superfoods you need to be eating in order to help accelerate your body’s ability to recover and increase strength gains.
Blueberries are super high in antioxidants and have been known to prevent and fight off many types of cancer. I personally think they’re the healthiest food you can eat. They help lower your risk of heart disease and blood related issues. Even better is they lower inflammation and speed up muscle recovery. A definite must add to your post-workout shake.
If it worked for Popeye, it will most certainly work for you. Spinach is a dark leafy green that’s super high in magnesium, potassium, and folate. Spinach helps strengthen your bones and joints which can help prevent weight-lifting related injuries. Spinach also helps increase the speed of the body’s conversion of protein into muscle mass.
Kale is another dark leafy green that’s similar to spinach. One of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, kale is rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and promote recovery. Make sure to eat it raw for the most nutritional benefit.
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that contain all the essential amino acids, making it a perfect meal to help a depleted body recover. One cup of cooked Quinoa has about 8g of protein and around 250 calories. Not only is easy to make and tasty, but it’s fantastic at building muscle.
Oats are the perfect superfood that can be consumed at any time of day. Breakfast, pre-workout, post-workout, it doesn’t matter. When looking for oats, don’t purchase the large brand of highly processed and sugary crap. Go to somewhere like Trader Joe’s and get “quick cook steel cut oats.” ½ cup has 10 grams of protein and 300 calories!
You probably don’t Goji Berries very often, but you should highly consider changing that. Not only do goji berries contain all the amino acids needed, but they also help boost testosterone, you know… that hormone that’s responsible for muscle growth?
Bananas are super high in potassium which helps replenish and reduce all the stress in your muscles you compiled during your workout. They are the ultimate post-workout snack. Not only that, “the sugars from bananas break down into glycogen which fuels your muscles and boosts your energy levels.”
There’s a lot more on this list. These superfoods are only the tip of the iceburg. Luckily, you can get the full list by checking out this article – plant-based superfoods.
Continue To Lift Heavy
No matter how good your diet is, it won’t do anything unless you put some serious effort and work in the gym.
Want to get bigger and stronger?
Focus on the compound lifts.
- Military Press
- Pull Us
Use your phone or a journal to record the amount of reps and weight you do with each exercise.
Try to increase these numbers every week.
If you can increase your bench by just 5 pounds or 1 rep every time you bench, you’ll be able to throw up a lot on the bench in just 8 months.
It’s no secret that getting stronger means lifting more weight, so just focus on getting those small incremental jumps on each lift.
Now I’m not saying to avoid isolation exercises or completely eliminate them, but the bulk of your workout should be comprised of deadlifting, squats, bench, and some form of row. Then at the end of your workout you can begin to do some isolation exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc.