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Joel's training journal

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Started back on the 5/3/1 program today, bench press day. May have to postpone it again though as my back has flared up again - it's very frustrating.


Bench press - 40kg x 10

60kg x 5

95kg x 5

100kg x 5

107.5kg x 5

Incline dumbell press - 45kg x 5 x 3 sets

Snatch grip upright rows - 60kg x 5 x 3 sets - was like a high pull but I couldn't lift much as 60kg was more than enough to deadlift off the floor today.

Close grip floor press - 70kg x 6 x 4 sets

Jacknives - 12 x 3 sets


So far today I've eaten the following -

Bowl of raw dark choc, goji berries and raw almonds - portions of each were pretty small

Amino acid/Vega sport mix during training

Lentil burger with green beans, kale, cherry tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts.

I've got another meal of the lentil burger and veggies and then will have a sunwarrior shake later on and also some more of the chocolate, almond and goji mix.

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Damn dude... your legs are so thick and massively huge that when you stand straight up it makes it look like you dont even have knees. It goes Quads then Calves...


Can I be like you when I grow up?


Haha!! Thanks mate!

I still get marked down for being too bottom heavy, my symmetry gets thrown off a bit because my legs are too big. I barely do anything for legs compared to what I used to do, it's all genetics really.


photos r very impressive!


Thank you MaryStella!




I love seeing your pics and your success!


Great stuff man!


Thank you Robert!



Still not training properly yet. I've been going to the gym but really have just been mucking around with the weights and haven't been following a structured program. No leg or back training, apart from pullups. I've been cycling a lot so my conditioning is still good.

The back pain is easing off slowly, I'm just getting impatient to start training properly again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm finally back to some sort of structured training, I've just been mucking around with the weights for the last couple of weeks. My back is feeling ok, still not doing heavy back squats or deadlifts and might leave them out for a little while still.

I've been practicing the olympic lifts and doing some kettlebell stuff, things that won't aggravate my back too much.

I'm going to start my 5/3/1 program again but relegate back squats and deadlifts to assistance exercises and focus more on power cleans, push presses and snatches as my main exercises. As strange as it may sound, they don't give me any discomfort in my back, unlike heavy deadlifting at the moment.

Today was just a bit of everything again but at least I managed to journal it, so it's a start.


Overhead squats (full snatch on first rep) - bar x 5 x 2 sets

30kg x 3

45kg x 3

60kg x 3 x 3 sets - Not a very heavy weight but I'm still a weightlifting novice so snatching 60kg is very hard. Should be good for building up my upper back.

Incline press - 70kg x 6 x 2 sets - 2 second pause on each rep

Romanian deadlifts - 70kg x 6 x 2 sets

Dips - 25kg x 8 x 2 sets

Close grip chins - 10kg x 8 x 2 sets

Swiss ball crunches - 10kg x 12 x 2 sets


Diet - I've been pretty strict with my diet, I'm 3kg above my contest weight so look pretty lean but feel stronger now because I'm eating a bit healthier.

Yesterday -

Meal 1 - Dark chocolate (cocoa butter, raw cocoa powder, Maca powder, agave nectar, raw almonds, raw pepitas, Sunwarrior protein powder) with handful dried cranberries.

Meal 2 - Vege burger (vegan burger mix and added broccoli, chia seeds and red onion) with spinach, tomato, avocado and lentil sprouts.

Meal 3 - Sesame seed bar (just black sesame seeds rice syrup - going to start making my own soon) and Sunwarrior shake.

Meal 4 - Aminos, Vega sport, apple, creatine and phytoplankton smoothy. Had it in freezer for a few hours so turned out like a slurpy. Tastes pretty good when training in 30 degree temperatures.

Meal 5 - Tofu (marinated tofu cubes) with broccoli and raw beetroot and avocado.

Meal 6 - Same as meal 1 but also had dried blueberries too.


I can pretty much use this diet for cutting before my comp, the calories aren't too high even with the chocolate and sugars are pretty low.

I'm having one refeed day a week where I drop my fats and increase my carbohydrates, it seems to be helping to keep me lean.

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yeah o-lifts! nice! I think they will work out great for you. Just watch your back on those romanian deadlifts!


Yeah I figured I would give them more of a go, I can't really do too much powerlifting stuff at the moment (don't know if I really want to really focus on it too much anyway) and weightlifting will have plenty of carryover into all the cycling I do and also strengthen some of my weakpoints in my bodybuilding, like upper back thickness which I lack.

I don't really go very heavy on the Romanian deadlifts so my back feels ok doing them, unlike regular deadlifts.


Had a session last night, bit of everything again - I haven't made up a program yet.

Kettlebell swings - 20kg x 10 x 3 sets

Squat cleans - Bar x 3

40kg x 3

80kg x 1 x 3 sets

Push press - 40kg x 3

70kg x 3 x 3 sets

Front squats - 90kg x 3

120kg x 1 x 3 sets - felt heavy so just did singles. It's the heaviest I've lifted since I got back into training.

Paused bench press - 60kg x 3

90kg x 3 x 3 sets

Rope climbs - x 2, don't know how high the climb is but ceiling is pretty high I guess

Trunk twists - 10 x 3 sets


Diet was pretty much the same the whole week. Today will be my "refeed" day so might have some lentil or vege burger wraps or something. Haven't really had the desire to carb up, been feeling pretty strong and energetic on my usual daily diet but I'll probably enjoy it eating once I start

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just stopping by to say hi....haven't been online much lately but been talking about you when talking to others about big vegan dudes! Thanks for representing so well


Thank you Robert!


Kind of random, but I had a dream that you came to my school to do a presentation on bodybuilding/strength training. My teacher had no idea you were a vegan, and was shocked to find out you were.


Haha!! Yeah, it's nice to prove people wrong like that



I've been training pretty hard recently, haven't had access to the internet much so haven't been keeping track of my workouts like I should.

My back has healed up ok, just not keen to push myself on heavy deadlifts yet.

Still messing around with random training sessions, haven't come up with a program I'm happy with yet.

Here is my training session from yesterday.

Cleans - Bar x 5

40kg x 3

60kg x 3

80kg x 3 x 3 sets

Overhead squats - 40kg x 3

60kg x 3 x 3 sets

Snatch grip deadlifts - 60kg x 3

100kg x 3 x 3 sets

Bench press - 60kg x 5

110kg x 3 x 3 sets

Close grip chins - 8 x 5 sets


Diet is still much the same, had a higher carb day on the weekend, ate some rice and vegetable, vegan curry pie and some pumpkin pie thing (just pumpkin and some other vegetables fried in olive oil). I've been staying around 3-4kg above my contest weight and have been feeling pretty strong eating the way I have for the last couple of months now. I'll keep my off seasons like this from now on.

Yesterday's meals were -

Meal 1 - Protein custard (for want of a better word) - Sunwarrior powder, agave nectar, raw almonds and cashews, cocoa powder, maca powder, coconut butter, flax seeds and spirulina (only a teaspoon). I blend it up and keep in fridge overnight, tastes really nice.

Meal 2 - Lentil burger (made my own with the vegan burger mix and just soaked and cooked some lentils to add to it, cooked on grill so I didn't need any oil). Ate it with some beetroot and kale and avocado.

Meal 3 - Seaweed salad and tofu

Meal 4 - Amino acid drink during training. Aminos, creatine, Vega sport, half a lemon and half a lime.

Meal 5 - Protein drink. Sunwarrior, blueberries, strawberries, creatine, maca powder, chia seeds.

Meal 6 - Same as meal 2, no avocado though as I had piece of my dark chocolate which has enough fats in it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I always get excited to see what your up to when you post. I am glad to hear the back is on the mend.


Thank you MaryStella, I intend to post more when I have more frequent access to the net


I've been training consistently all through the holiday season, I'm considering competing in the early year bodybuilding shows so have been keeping in pretty good shape.


Morning session today -

Snatch grip deadlifts - 60kg x 8

80kg x 5

100kg x 3 x 2 sets

130kg x 2 x 2 sets

Overhead squats - Bar x 5

40kg x 3

60kg x 3 x 3 sets

Incline bench press - 60kg x 5

90kg x 5 x 3 sets

Dumbell skullcrushers - 22.5kg x 8 x 3 sets

Barbell calf raises - 60kg x 12 x 3 sets


Yesterdays meal -

Meal 1 - Tofu, mixed greens, olives

Meal 2 - Protein drink, made into custard consistency (Sunwarrior, coconut water, Flax seeds, Coconut butter, Cocoa powder, Maca powder, agave syrup, cashews)

Meal 3 - Lentil burger, broccoli, olives

Meal 4 - Amino acids, creatine, coconut water, spirulina, Vega sport and one apple blended in

Meal 5 - Same as meal 1

Meal 6 - Protein chocolate, blueberries, cashews, almonds

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  • 4 weeks later...
Joel- your meals dont look very big... are you eating large or smaller portions?


My meals are not all that big, I eat about 150-175g serves of tofu/tempeh or whatever. Fats make up a lot of my calories. I'm really not all that active to justify eating too much more protein though. It all seems to work for me.


snatch grip deads! I find those so much tougher. what do you think about them?

snatch grip deads! I find those so much tougher. what do you think about them?


I like doing them as much, if not more so than regular deadlifts.



Finally back online, haven't really had much internet connection recently plus had another injury - this time my trap, which I hurt somehow reverse cleaning the barbell because I can't really drop the weights where I train.

Had a light session this morning, still practicing the olympic lifts which I'm finding really helps with cycling and my bodybuilding training.

Just did snatches and a few other light exercises.

Snatches - Bar x 5 x 2 sets

30kg x 3

40kg x 3

50kg x 3

60kg x 2 x 6 sets

Squats - 100kg x 5 x 3 sets

Pullups - 6 x 3 sets

Band pushups - 6 x 3 sets

Dumbell curls/ Overhead tricep extensions - 15kg x 6 x 3 sets

Leg raises - 10 x 3 sets


My diet has been clean, I'm dieting for a couple of shows in the next couple of months, which I'm still undecided on but am going through the dieting either way.

Yesterday's meals were -

Meal 1 - Protein custard/shake - Sunwarrior, cocoa powder, maca powder, cashews, coconut oil and agave syrup. Ate it like custard.

Meal 2 - Lentil burger - Lentils, wild rice, nutritional yeast, chia seeds. Ate it with half an avocado, spinach and tomato

Meal 3 - Tempeh, broccoli, olive oil

Meal 4 - Protein shake - Sunwarrior, BCAA's, apple, spirulina, creatine and beta alanine powder

Meal 5 - Dark chocolate and cashews

Meal 6 - Tempeh, spinach, olive oil


I've pretty much been eating similar meals for a while now, kind of dieting without really putting too much thought into it. As progress slows down I'll look at reducing calories here and there but I'm still losing weight at the moment, down to 80-81kg in the morning, easily on track to get below 80kg in the next couple of months. I'm hoping to keep as much strength as possible dieting like I am.

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sorry to hear about the injury! great to have you back!


Thank you MaryStella!


Glad to see you posting!


Yeah, I'll try to be more consistent, it's good to be back around here


Trained well yesterday, injuries are healing up. Have started to do a lot more stretching and warm ups, I figure my lack performing basic stuff like that is the reason I keep getting injured.

Yesterday's workout -

Jerks - Bar x 5

30kg x 5

50kg x 3

70kg x 3

80kg x 3 x 3 sets

Squat cleans - Bar x 5

40kg x 3

60kg x 3

70kg x 3 x 6 sets

Floor press/bentover row superset - 60kg x 5

90kg x 5 x 3 sets

Ez bar curl/skullcrusher superset - 50kg x 8 x 3 sets

Hanging leg raises - 10 x 3 sets


Had a higher calorie day on Saturday, just a bowl of pasta with olive oil and parmazano vegan cheese, some veggie chips and a vegan sausage roll.

Yesterday was my regular diet.

Meal 1 - Vegan burger (soy and wheat protein based), seaweed salad, avocado and some grass ( I think it's what it's called, in Greek it just translates into grass - which is basically what it is)

Meal 2 - Small piece of dark chocolate, pecans and goji berries

Meal 3 - Tempeh, olive oil, greens (broccoli, spinach and more grass)

Meal 4 - Amino acids, coconut water, Vega sport, Beta alanine powder, creatine and an espresso

Meal 5 - Sunwarrior, apple, cocoa powder, coconut water, maca powder, creatine

Meal 6 - Dark chocolate, cashews and goji berries

Meal 7 - Same as meal 1

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I agree the warming up and the stretching helps it is just hard to make yourself do it consistently.


Agreed. I think it is paying off now, I'm getting less sore and feeling pretty good.


Trained this morning, the weekend was a bit hectic with family stuff so didn't get to fit in all my training.

Had a good workout today though, still feeling very strong even though I've lost a lot of weight from dieting. I'm sitting just under 80kg now, which is the lightest I've been in a long time but also probably the leanest I've been too, including my comps. Guess I need to diet for longer from now on for the bodybuilding shows, as this is proving.


Workout was -

Cleans - Bar x 6 x 2 sets

40kg x 3

60kg x 3

80kg x 3

90kg x 2

100kg x 1 x 2 sets - equal pb but first time I've gone that heavy catching in full squat.

70kg x 3 x 3 sets

Jerks - Bar x 5

40kg x 3

60kg x 3

80kg x 2

100kg x 1 x 2 sets

60kg x 3 x 3 sets

Dumbell bench press/row superset - 35kg x 6 x 3 sets

Hanging leg raises - 10 x 3 sets


My diet from yesterday, similar as usual

Meal 1 - Handful of cashews, small piece of dark chocolate (my high protein choc)

Meal 2 - Nutmeat, lentils, tofu, spinach leaves, cucumber and olive oil

Meal 3 - Protein shake - Sunwarrior, coconut water, maca powder, cocoa powder, chia seeds and an apple

Meal 4 - Tempeh, broccoli and avocado

Meal 5 - Same as meal 1 but less cashews and had some goji berries

Meal 6 - Same as meal 2. Didn't really have much time to cook, so just used canned organic lentils and nutmeat. I try not to eat too much nutmeat, as much as I like it, I'm not a huge fan of eating a lot of gluten.

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Trained this morning, have been feeling pretty strong considering I'm dieting and losing weight. Have decided I will compete in the bodybuilding shows in April and May. Weighed in at 79kg this morning, lightest I have been in a long time.


Workout this morning -

Light squats, deadlifts and high pulls to warm up

Cleans - 40kg x 5

60kg x 4

70kg x 3

80kg x 2

90kg x 1

95kg x 1 x 2 sets

Jerks - 40kg x 3

60kg x 3

70kg x 2

80kg x 2

90kg x 1

95kg x 1 - Heaviest I have done but was a bit of a press out so wouldn't count strictly.

Dips/pullups - 6 x 4 sets - superset the two

Hanging leg raises - 10 x 2 sets


Diet -


Meal 1 - Small piece of dark chocolate and handful of cashews

Meal 2 - Protein shake. Sunwarrior, activated barley, spirulina, maca powder

Meal 3 - Lentil burger, broccoli, avocado

Meal 4 - Sunwarrior shake, small piece of dark chocolate - a lot of my calories are coming from the cocoa and coconut oil in the chocolate I make, so my overall calories are reasonably high, even though my meal portions are not huge.

Meal 5 - Tempeh, silverbeet, broccoli and small bowl of cashews and almonds

Meal 6 - Marinated tofu, broccoli, avocado

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