Good morning! Sorry in advance if this is too lengthy, but I just want to be sure you all know where I'm coming from.
My name's Marty. My wife and I have been vegan for a couple months now. I've always been a consistent meat eater - mostly chicken and fish - but red meat know and then; growing up on a farm kind of reinforced my diet. My wife on the other hand was vegetarian for several years while she was in middle/high school, but regressed in her twenties. We've been eating less and less meat recently, but after reading some books and watching a few documentaries explaining the benefits of a meatless/dairyless diet (veganism) and also showing what the meat industry does to get meat to the grocery stores (horrible!), we decided to go ahead and stop eating meat all together. And honestly, I surprisingly don't miss it all that much. I do miss fish though.
On the fitness side of things, I've been active-ish all my life. I was in karate as a kid for a couple years, played football and basketball with my friends, and played soccer in high school for a couple years. I had a makeshift gym at my house during late middle school and high school, but it never really amounted to much. While playing soccer, I did work out at the school gym for awhile. This was the first time I really worked out consistently, mostly with my legs. I was in the military from 18 to 26, so I did have to maintain a certain level of fitness at that time. I was over seas for a few months during my early military career, and worked out pretty consistently, not only because it was damn hot and there wasn't much else to do, but also because the guys around me all worked out, so I did too. That was the time of my life I was physically the strongest I've ever been. Just for perspective, I'm 6'0" and have fluctuated between 175 and 195 lbs. my whole life. I've only been able to bench a few pounds more than my body weight and that was during that military stint over seas (I was really proud of that by the way
) Through my twenties, I was a bit of a runner and even ran a few 10k races, so I have a history of cardio. I wouldn't say I'm a strong looking guy, but I am lean and have been able to drop weight fairly easily (to my wife's frustration). My current weight is sitting at 178 lbs. and my body fat percentage is in a healthy enough range (15-16%). Now on to my goals...
My goals, while embracing my new vegan lifestyle, are that I want to get myself to about 190 lbs and 10% body fat. I'm a novice, so I'm not sure if this is realistic or even is what I should be aiming for. I've always wanted to be more muscular, but one physical trait that is discouraging is that my shoulders are kind of slight for my size. I'd like to broaden my shoulder if possible, or at least give the illusion of broader shoulders, and just work on my upper body a lot more in general. If anyone has any suggestions on vegan food items that will help with reaching my goals or workout tips to start me off I would be grateful. I'm looking into getting a bench and weight set for the house; would you recommend this or would a gym membership be more productive? Any advice for a newbie would be helpful. Thanks in advance and I'm glad to be part of this community!