Hey guys, I posted an intro over at VeganFitness.net a few weeks ago so I hope you don't mind me copy/pasting the same thing over here for my intro:
My name is Chris and I've been vegan since March 2013. Before that, I was vegetarian since sometime in 2012 (don't remember exactly). I wish I had made the switch sooner. I put it off because I felt like I was going to lose a bunch of strength and size by taking animal products out, and I realize now how wrong that perception was. I did end up losing size and strength, but that was from pushing too hard and injuring myself rather than having anything to do with my diet.
I've been lifting weights for almost 11 years, with the past 5-6 years focused mainly on strength training and powerlifting. I kick myself when I think about how much stronger I could be if I had been consistent that whole time, but there were periods in that timeframe (about a year and a half in total) where I was barely lifting, if at all. World of Warcraft was more important to me at that time
My best lifts in a powerlifting competition are: 501 squat (no wraps)/512 squat (wraps), 303 bench and 551 deadlift. The 512 squat was at 165lbs, everything else at 173lbs.
My best lifts ever (in and out of competition): 525 squat (no wraps)/555 squat (wraps), 325 bench and 551 deadlift. The 525 squat was done at 165lbs, everything else around 170-175.
My current lifts (pretty weak as I'm still clawing my way back up after hurting my back and shoulder): ~440 squat, 285 bench and 445 deadlift at 160lbs. These are all estimates based on what I feel like I could hit based on what I've done for reps. I don't plan on testing my 1rms for a few more months, but I know I'll surpass my best lifts. I've also stopped using a belt. Even though I bought it long before I went vegan, it doesn't feel right to be wearing a belt made from leather. Plus, I want to lift totally raw. Wearing a belt has added up to 50lbs on my lifts in the past and I want to only rely on myself.
Right now my focus is on promoting veganism and showing others that it's 100% possible for vegans to be big and strong and that there's nothing to be afraid of when making the change to vegan. I apologize for the shameless plug and I promise this isn't the sole reason I'm posting here, but: I have a blog at theveganstrengthproject.com and a youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG0EzUGGMVOlqggZ4D413NQ
where I talk about strength training from a vegan perspective. So if it's something that interests you, feel free to check it out and share with people who might find it useful. If not, that's cool too. My hope for all of this is to help vegans who are strength training as well as show would-be vegans that their performance will only increase by going vegan--assuming they do it right. I know that CAFOs are some of the worst things we've ever devised and executed as a species, and this is me playing a part in helping to end it once and for all.
For anyone interested, here are some of my lifting videos showing the lifts mentioned above:
501 unwrapped squathttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNbNUAFR
555 wrapped squat (vid says @183 but I was closer to 170)http://youtu.be/39lYl2esuBk
515 pause squat the week before I did 525 and hurt my backhttp://youtu.be/RYpSuIpkSNo
The last meet I did http://youtu.be/Yto33n_qtec?t=6m36s
551 deadlift (with a bonus pass out)http://youtu.be/2YaeHuQRujs
And here's the first meet I ever did:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFZGLg6GPLE
Thanks for reading!