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Name: William Birchall
Year of Birth: 1996
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 70kg
Birthplace: QLD, Australia
Current Residence: NSW, Australia
Sports: Weight-lifting, gymnastics, school-based sporting games.

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.

For starters, I am a sixteen year old student living in Australia, I have been vegan for close on two years now, and never have I felt any better in life. I am a part time personal trainer and gymnastics instructor and throughout the majority of my life, anything physical has been both a priority and a passion. I wish for nothing more in life than to be able to help people, and hopefully through this, may be able to motivate young vegans (like myself) be able to accomplish amazing tasks in their journey. In my belief, everything we do in life is a choice, a choice to do right, or the choice to do wrong. A choice to change lives; for better, or for worse.. The choice is yours.

Why did you become vegan?
Initially it was due to illness that I became vegan, but as I looked into it more and more, it began to grow on me, and as I learnt more, I knew that it was the lifestyle for me. The idea of such a simple concept that can better ones health whilst bringing no detriment to others or animals of any kind, sounded like an impossible miracle to me! So it was through this thinking, and personally witnessing the positive effects in which it had on my life and body, that made the change permanent.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
For as long as I can remember I have been involved of sports of some description, and it is through this that it naturally became a way of life for me. At some of the hardest parts of my life, if nothing else at all, I always knew that the gymnasium was there by my side, and would always be there through my highs and lows. The more I leant about different types of fitness regimes and exercising schedules and ideas, the more I was intrigued. The ultimate connect to fitness and health was when I started gymnastics around the age of twelve.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
I like to keep my eating constant, but with some variations to keep it interesting. Throughout the day before going to the gym in the afternoon (generally) I load up on complex carbohydrates and really dig into foods like; bananas, raisins, pastas, rice, lentils, oats, potatoes etc. I find this gives me great energy throughout the day. Straight after a gym, or the evening/ night following, I divulge in foods high in amino acids and protein, such as; stir-fries, Indian dishes, Chinese dishes, lentils, variety of fruits and nuts etc. I do however believe that one must gorge from time to time on something they do truly love! (For me, nothing is more satisfying than a square of frozen cacao fudge!- vegan of course).

How would you describe your training program?
I do like to mix up my training, but I generally don’t conform to the usual training regimes of ‘cutting’, ‘bulking’ or ‘strength’-cycles, personally, I just prefer to set myself a new goal every couple of weeks-months, I find this keeps me a lot more happy and content to sticking with an exercise programme. I will always try to incorporate compound exercises into my workouts, every week. I also have a week spot for plyometric training, can’t get enough of it! Concentrating on specific muscle groups is always good, but I try and alter its positioning a lot in my work out, along with my cardio and aerobic/ swimming.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
Speaking mainly from the point of view of people my age (the younger generation), it is often believed that veganism leads to malnourishment, disease, and sickness- a lowered level of health and happiness. When really, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE! Never in my life have I felt more at home and happy in my life, not to even mention how much healthier and confident I feel within myself since living the vegan lifestyle. The thought of veganism only belonging to ‘shy and skinny environmentalist hippies’ can now be forgotten. The facts and evidence to prove that vegans live a more constructive and healthier life is incontrovertible. Face the facts.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
Always keep with it, even when the going gets tough. It’s like anything else in life, if things do begin to get hard, or scary, persistence and strength in what you believe conquers. Don’t be led by social standards and what people want you to believe. Go out and live your own life, be the person you want to be, and make the changes you want to see. Seek what is true.

Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
As previously mentioned, any issues or questions on anything listed, I would be more than happy to provide my advice and support for anyone who is undertaking a new step in their training, or in following the vegan lifestyle. You can email me at “ wil-yum@hotmail.com

I wish you all the best in your training, vegan lifestyle, and life endeavours.