Name: James Hatchel
Year of Birth: 1984
Birthplace: South Carolina
Current Residence: Atlanta
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I am a personal trainer and a full time student. I use an explosive training philosophy to jar my clients out of their fitness plateaus and accelerate there fitness progress. I have recently taken my conceptual and experiential knowledge to the World Wide Web and started a web based personal training company that will allow me to help clients all over the world. The ability to facilitate someone realizing a goal as preeminent as fitness is amazing to me. Body image controls the way we walk, dress, and acting in social environments. Being trainer allows me to show a client exactly what they need to do in order to feel great all the time. As a student I am taking the prerequisites to go to Physician Assistant School. My favorite thing to do when I’m not training or studying would be to go to the movies.
Why did you become vegan?
It’s funny since I was about twenty two I would say that once I reached about fifty I would give up meat. I had a sense that with all the health conditions that arise after fifty, not eating meat would probably help increase my longevity. As a competitive bodybuilder during 2012 I ate massive amounts of meat daily. At my peak I was consuming at least one pound of beef, one pound of tilapia, and one pound of chicken every day. As the year came to an end and I decided to focus on my career I wanted to become more of a well-rounded fitness professional but that would be hard at the two hundred and sixty five pound massive man that I had developed into. So January 2013 I was in the gym lifting weights and I ran into friend that I knew from a gym I worked at back in 2010. As we were talking he was telling me about his son playing football at University of Georgia and he had become a VEGAN. My first question was did he lose any strength or muscle mass. His reply was no. Two weeks later I was vegan. I went raw for the month of February and have been a vegan ever since.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
Fitness has been a key element of my life since I was a child. Being a military brat my father groomed me to appreciate the aspect of being fit at least doing pushups and sit ups daily. Once I went to high school and enrolled in weight lifting class a freshman I was hooked. I read flex magazines daily.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
My nutrition plan is different to say the least. My breakfast consists of sun warrior protein powder and psyhillium husk. I snack on cereal all day while I am on the go. It is usually fiber one or special K. My lunch and dinner are about the same. I have two cup of beans, three cups of kale or spinach and a sweet potato. I utilize almost every bean variety known to man. My favorite is pinto beans. My last meal to help sustain my mass is a hearty peanut butter sandwich made with Ezekiel bread. The main thing I try to avoid is the silent dairy in foods especially when you eat out.
How would you describe your training program?
As an extremely busy person I have reduced my workout time down to thirty minutes four times a week. Basically what I do is a 10 min run to warm up then do interval training with free weights for twenty minutes for time. For instance on a biceps and triceps day I will do barbell curls for a min then rest thirty second then do diamond pushups for a min then rest for thirty seconds and I will do this until I have done ten exercises. With this training regimen I have reduced my body fat and increased my arm size by a half an inch. The one thing that I don’t do that almost anyone in a gym is doing at all times is I don’t count my reps. I work until the work is done.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
To make sure my muscle function is optimal I supplement with Sun warrior protein. I also take B-12 to for energy on long days.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Most people say,”but you eat fish right” to which I say if it ever mooed, fly, walked, or swam me don’t eat it. Then the question about protein consumption and necessity arise. The next comment almost always happens, “well there’s no way I could do that”. Then I say, “When you are ready, you will be surprised at what you are capable of”.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The biggest misconception that I see is that being a vegan means that you will be skinny. Your body will respond to the number of calories and type of activity accordingly.
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I have had success with people that were ready for change. A couple of my clients on line and in person have made the switch as well as some of my class mates. Most of the converting just happened because they wanted to know how I exercise two hours a week and am continually improving the aesthetic appeal of my muscles.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
The most important aspect of training is consistency. Without consistency the best exercise prescription in the world will not help.
What do you like best about being vegan?
The best thing about being a vegan is that I feel healthier than ever. The food is filling without being calorically dense is also a nice plus.
What do you like best about being fit?
The best thing about being fit is being an example to others as a living testimony that it is possible to be fit and not live in the gym or eat disgusting food.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
The best advice in the world is to start slow and progress daily. Too often enthusiasm meets extreme soreness and soreness wins because the person has not been active long enough for it to be a habit. By starting slow the pain of progress will match your experience level so your growth won’t be stifled.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
The only advice is why not try it. If you don’t like it there is no contract. You won’t be banned from the meat section of the store. A couple days will tell if the lifestyle change is for you.
What motivates you in life?
My biggest motivation in life is to help improve as many lives as possible through health, knowledge, and fitness. While pursuing this passion I have the opportunity to learn in order to teach. The acquisition of knowledge also drives me. This knowledge is not for me, it is for the people that I have the great pleasure of reaching every day.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
Veganbodybuilding.com is awesome. It has great products for active vegans all in one place. Secondly gives faces to these products by allowing people like me to share their story.
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Live everyday as if it is your last and you will never wake up with regrets.