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The Secret to Building Healthy Muscle begins with a P

Meet the lean, green machines who are living proof that PLANTS hold the key to pure power.

It’s comes as no surprise that that vegan women currently outnumber men 2:1. Based on conversations I’ve had with male friends and acquaintances, many seem concerned that they may be perceived as less ‘manly’ compared with their meat-eating peers or that they’ll lose muscle and become protein-deficient weaklings – so I wanted to set the record straight.

So many vegan athletes and sportsmen have spoken out about the positive impact that a plant-based diet has had on their health, well-being and performance – and the scientific evidence supports this.

There are some absolutely incredible examples of male bodybuilders and athletes (like Boxing World Champion, David Haye; Mr Universe 2014, Barny du Plessis and Germany’s Strongest Man 2011 / World Record Holder, Patrick Baboumian), but just how did these guys do it? If you’re into bodybuilding or want to start,  I’ve chosen 12 of the top vegan bodybuilders / athletes from around the world who love to share information on health and nutrition, and who can provide support to help anyone make those VEGAINS!

And if you’re not a bodybuilder or gym bunny then be rest assured, if top endurance athletes and professional bodybuilders can live a healthy, happy and high-achieving plant-based / vegan lifestyle, then there really is no excuse for the rest of us…

Want to find out more about an athlete? Simply click on the hyperlinks in the text to jump straight to their social media page(s) or website. I’ve also included some of my favourite videos which reveal some of the personal stories and journeys behind these amazing vegan ambassadors.

1. Ferdinand Beck (Vegains), Germany

Ferdinand Beck, based in Berlin, Germany, became vegan in 2014 at the age of 21. He started bodybuilding around the same time and has since gained over 20kg of muscle on a plant-based diet. He attributes his good health to plant-based nutrition and says that it helped get rid of his acne.

Ferdinand shares free information on health and nutrition through his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel. His website vegains.org provides links to all of these great resources.

For those interested in building muscle, Ferdinand has also created a 60 page training guide which can be purchased as an ebook from his website. He has also produced a 122 page nutrition ebook which includes 25 vegan recipes, as well an app with over 300 vegan recipes which can be downloaded from the app store.

Check out his video, below, which charts his physical transformation after becoming vegan.

2. Jordan David (Conscious Muscle), USA

Jordan David, based in Florida, USA, has been plant-based since 2014 and now works as a vegan fitness and nutrition coach. He is passionate about animal rights and has built his own animal sanctuary, which he is currently looking to expand.

Jordan spreads the vegan message through his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel and provides online coaching, work out and menu guides via his website ConsciousMuscle.net. He also has a clothing and BCAA supplement range, of which 10% of the proceeds are donated to animal sanctuaries / rescues. For anyone interested in supporting his sanctuary, you can become a patron or donate via his website.

Take a look at Jordan’s debut YouTube video below, where he talks about what inspired him to become vegan.

3. Derek Simnett (Simnett Nutrition), Canada


Derek Simnett, based in British Columbia, Canada, has been following a whole food, plant-based diet since 2011 – in fact he transformed his physique from runner to bodybuilder whilst vegan.

A Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Derek shares free information on health, nutrition and bodybuilding through his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel.

For those interested in building muscle, Derek has produced a recipe eBook called Easy Vegan Muscle Meals which can be downloaded from his website SimnettNutrition.com. Anyone who purchases the eBook will also receive free daily support from Derek via his private Facebook group.

Check out one of his videos, below, where he talks about some of the questions he’s received about performance enhancing drugs and how he builds muscle naturally:

4. Torre Washington (The Vegan Dread), USA


Pro bodybuilder Torre Washington became vegan in 1998. He started competing as a professional bodybuilder in 2009, achieving first place in his second competition – much to the surprise of all of his meat-eating peers.

Torre shares information on his vegan lifestyle via his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel and has produced nutrition and bodybuilding ebooks which are available to buy from his website TorreWashington.com – where you can also download his free ‘Vitality’ guide.

Torre is also an advocate for animal rights and donates some of the proceeds from his clothing range to farm animal sanctuaries.

Check out his interview below, where he speaks to Bite Size Vegan, about why he went vegan and how he started competing professionally:

5. Simon Hill (Plant Proof), Australia

Millionaire entrepreneur Simon Hill transitioned to a plant-based diet in 2016 after extensively researching the health benefits. A trained physiotherapist, Simon is currently completing a Masters degree in Nutrition.

Simon launched his website PlantProof.com earlier this year which features free recipes, reviews, podcasts and tips for living a vegan lifestyle. He is also currently producing a series of free eating plans which you can sign up to receive via the website. Keep up to date with Simon’s work via his Instagram and Facebook Page.

You can read about why Simon became plant based and the health benefits he has noticed here, or click on the photo link below to hear why he started Plant Proof:

6. John Lewis (Bad Ass Vegan), USA

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Based in Florida, John is a vegan athlete, entrepreneur and National Fitness Consultant. He switched to a plant-based diet in 2008 after his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and he discovered the links between animal proteins and certain types of cancer.

John is the founder of Bad Ass Vegan, a health and nutrition company that ‘strives to educate individuals on plant-based nutrition’. He also has a blog on his website BadAssVegan.com where he interviews inspiring vegans from all around the US and beyond. You can find out more about John’s lifestyle via his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel.

John is currently working with one of the directors and producers of “Cowspiracy” and “What the Health,” to co-direct and co-produce the upcoming documentary ‘Hungry for Justice’, a film which explores the interconnections between food injustice, hip-hop culture, and veganism.

John is a truly engaging and inspiring speaker and I really enjoyed listening to his talk and Q&A entitled ‘Vegans Aren’t Filling The Hospitals’, which you can view below:

7. Paul Kerton (Hench Herbivore), UK

Paul Kerton, aka Hench Herbivore, has been eating a plant based diet since 2012. Based in Norwich, England, Paul works as a vegan personal trainer and nutritional advisor.

Paul openly admits that initially he was resistant to veganism “believing the lies we are fed… that meat is essential for muscle growth or if we don’t have dairy our bones will somehow disintegrate.” But after his wife became vegan and all but cured a condition that she had been suffering for years, he decided to investigate further. Within six months of eating a whole food, plant-based diet, Paul said he was the strongest he’d ever been.

After becoming aware of the cruelty and exploitation within the animal agricultural industries, Paul became passionate about the rights of all animals. He produces some really creative video critiques looking at the misconceptions of veganism propagated in the media, and also shares tips and information on nutrition and fitness via his Instagram,  Facebook and YouTube channel. You can also find out more about Paul on his website henchherbivore.com

8. Fraser Bayley (Evolving Alpha), USA

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Former butcher, now vegan advocate, Fraser Bayley switched to a plant-based diet in 2014. Originally from New Zealand but now based in the US, Fraser and his wife Lauren run a company called Evolving Alpha which supports people who want to burn fat and build muscle on a plant-based diet.

Fraser and Lauren share tips and information on health and fitness via Facebook, Instagram and their YouTube channel. They also blog on their website EvolvingAlpha.com and provide a range of online packages for those who want to build muscle or get in shape.

Fraser wrote about his journey to veganism through a series of four blog posts, which are a really interesting read. In these he talks about his life as butcher, the things he witnessed and took part in, and his fears of becoming vegan: that he might lose the physique he had built up, and how he would continue to make a living as a bodybuilder and fitness and nutrition coach.

Watch Fraser as he talks about his life as a butcher and his transition to veganism.

9. Korin Sutton (Vegan Live Fit), USA

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Korin Sutton, based in Florida, USA, became vegan in 2012 after watching an inspiring speech by Gary Yourofsky. Korin served in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy Reserves, before becoming a ‘Master Fitness Trainer, Health Coach, Online Coach and Pro Bodybuilder’.

An ambassador for animal equality, Korin shares information on vegan nutrition, lifestyle and exercise via his YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram. He also runs a 12 week online transformation programme via his website VeganLiveFitCoach.com.

You can read my interview with Korin here or watch his video below, where he speaks about why he became vegan.

10. Jon Venus, Spain

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Half Norwegian, half Brazilian bodybuilder Jon Venus became vegan in 2015 after watching the documentary Earthlings. After switching from his meat heavy diet to a plant based lifestyle, Jon has gained 10kg of natural muscle. He has also noticed significant health benefits including better digestion, a stronger immune system and clearer skin.

Now based in Spain, Jon and his wife, Katherine Moen, offer custom plant-based menu and workout plans via their website JonVenus.com. Jon also regularly shares free information on diet and fitness via his YouTube channel – and you can keep up to date with his lifestyle via his Instagram and Facebook page.

Watch Jon as he speaks about why he became vegan and how each of us can contribute towards creating a better world for all (warning: this video contains some graphic scenes from the film Earthlings):

11. Nimai Delgado, USA


Raised vegetarian since birth by his Hindu parents, Nimai became vegan in 2015 and aspires to compete at the international bodybuilding competition Mr Olympia so that he can help change some of the misconceptions about vegan bodybuilding.

A professional bodybuilder and health coach, Nimai shares information about his vegan lifestyle via his YouTube channel and Instagram page, and also produces podcasts featuring interviews with inspiring young vegans. Together with his partner, Bianca Taylor, he is currently running an online True Strength 8 Week Challenge to support people who want to transform their health naturally.

Watch Nimai as he speaks about his body transformation with fellow vegan bodybuilder Jon Venus:

12. Mike Case (Vegainz Coach), Australia

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Originally from England but now based in Melbourne, Australia, Mike Case started eating a plant-based diet in 2012. He now works as a personal trainer, providing his clients with customised vegan nutrition and strength training programmes.

Like several of the other bodybuilding athletes in this blog post, Mike initially became plant based for health reasons, before embracing the ethical side of veganism. He shares inspirational photos and videos via his Instagram and Facebook page and runs a series of 12 week vegan nutrition and strength training programs via his website VegainzCoach.com.au

Check out one of his Instagram videos, below, where he talks about how veganism has improved his recovery time following training sessions:

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Want to find out more?

If this article has whet your appetite to find out more, keep your eyes peeled for the new documentary called ‘The Game Changers‘ which is due to be released later this year (2018). Featuring plant-based elite athletes, special ops soldiers, visionary scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes, the film seeks to expose the truth behind the ‘world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein, strength and optimal health’.

And if you want to look into some of the scientific research supporting plant-based nutrition, why not take a look at the website NutritionFacts.org which provides bite-sized videos on virtually every aspect of health and diet.

Inspired to try more vegan meals or take a vegan challenge? Take a look at my blog article ‘But I Could Never Go Vegan‘ which provides a whole host of online resources to inspire and support anyone who wishes to adopt a plant-based diet.

Be Plant Strong.

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