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Free sample content from my new book, Shred It!


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Hi everyone,


Here's some sample content from my new book, Shred It!. The book was released on November 4, 2014 and we're already into our 3rd printing after touring in Australia, Canada, and around the USA. Thank you all so much for your support!


For those who haven't read the book, you can find it on http://www.veganbodybuilding.com.


Here's some sample material:


Table of contents




1. Getting Started – Are You Ready to Get Shredded?

2. Setting Achievable Goals

3. Nutrition Basics – An Introduction to Plant-Based Nutrition

4. Burning Fat Efficiently

5. Building Muscle with Plants

6. Case Studies

7. Transformation Stories

8. Whole-Food Meal Plans to Get Shredded

9. Exercises to get Big and Ripped

10. Recipes by Plant-Based Athletes and Chefs

11. Shredded Plant-Based Athletes

12. Epic Plant-Based Athlete Photo Collage

13. Resources

14. Bonus Reading





“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”


― Jim Ryun


When I was a young boy, while my mother shopped at the local Safeway grocery store, I would pass the time hanging out in the magazine section. As I took a break from looking at baseball card and video game magazines, I looked at the covers of muscle magazines that adorned the shelves and wondered, How do they do it?


Two decades later I would walk into grocery stores and see myself on the covers of muscle magazines and realize that I had sufficiently satisfied my childhood inquisitive mind. I had answered my own questions through a combination of setting clear goals, working harder than most are willing to work, and from being consistent, accountable, and transparent about who and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I decided not to let perceived limitations keep me from achieving what I wanted to accomplish. It didn’t matter that I did not have ideal genetics, or a lot of money, or famous friends. I knew where I was headed and I propelled myself there via the most overused cliché I can think of right now, through blood, sweat, and tears (though not necessarily in that order). I’d say more sweat than anything, and quite a few tears, especially on leg training day or during moments when I realized childhood dreams coming true.


Over the past two decades that I have been a plant-based athlete I have fielded countless questions about two common themes in health and fitness. Aside from questions regarding where I find adequate amounts of the seemingly elusive nutrient—protein—the most common questions asked are how to effectively burn fat and build muscle. If you think about it, most of us desire at least one of these objectives. Essentially everyone has some sort of health or fitness goal. We all want to lose weight, reduce body fat, build muscle, have more energy, or some other desired result we claim to care about, because we believe it will enhance our life.


Burning fat is a common objective shared by the majority of the population, but amazingly, most people don’t have a clue how to properly achieve fat loss. Likewise, there are plenty of skinny people wanting to get bigger and stronger but feel that it is not in the cards for them, that they don’t have the right genetics, and assume it just isn’t meant to be. That perspective often results from not having learned how to properly achieve their goals, and from giving up far too early in their pursuit. These common misunderstandings about health and fitness, related to one’s ability to achieve goals, compelled me to write this book. I have been down these roads many times and my experiences will help you avoid pitfalls, will give you the motivation you need to achieve your fitness goals, and perhaps will help land you on the cover of an idealistic news media publication someday.


Everybody claims to have goals, yet statistically, very few people achieve them on a regular basis. Whether it is shredding up or bulking up, we all have a desire to change. The principles I will share with you can be life changing and give you the fundamental tools to take action and make your health and fitness dreams happen. Not only will I show you how to burn fat and build muscle effectively in ways that will work for you, I will teach you how to set goals, create action plans, and achieve desired results that will benefit you beyond the weight room and sports field.


As a skinny 120-pound teenager who adopted a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle in the mid-1990s and went on to be a two-time champion bodybuilder, weighing nearly 200 pounds, I have first-hand experience in building my body and then shredding it down to get ripped for the bodybuilding stage. Today, I am at a point where I understand the science and the process of changing my physique so well, I can literally sculpt my body into any shape I want. I know the formulas from years of trial and error, and successes and failures. Though it is true that each of our bodies are slightly different in how they process nutrients and metabolize fats, and we all have different genetics and caloric intake needs based on numerous factors, there are general, but also specific, approaches that work for most of us. In this book I am going to show you precisely how to effectively shred fat and bulk up with quality muscle, all on a whole food, plant-based diet, and vegan lifestyle.


You will learn the following important steps toward achieving your health and fitness goals:

• How to properly set achievable goals

• How to create a consistent action plan

• Recognizing the #1 mistake people make when trying to lose weight

• Understanding what could be holding you back

• How to overcome obstacles and setbacks and maintain a positive outlook

• How to succeed in the fat loss and muscle building pursuit once and for all


You will learn the three most effective methods of burning fat, and a tried and true formula for building muscle. You will read inspiring case studies, transformation stories, and see real results from those who have dramatically changed their physiques (and their lives) in the ways that you are striving to achieve as well.


A plant-based diet happens to be an incredibly healthy and efficient way to eat to fuel the health and fitness goals many of us share. A compassionate vegan lifestyle (abstaining from the consumption or use of animal products in food and clothing, while avoiding products tested on animals and rejecting entities that confine and harm animals) is perfectly aligned with eating plant-based whole foods and living a healthy life. There are many compelling reasons to follow a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle. Here are ten:


1. Best diet to prevent and even reverse disease

2. Diet and lifestyle that yields the most energy

3. Best diet to aid in recovery after exercise

4. Fiber is only found in plants and is of paramount health importance

5. Cholesterol is only found in animal products and should be avoided

6. Plants provide the optimal sources of nutrition in their original form

7. Most environmentally-friendly diet

8. Nobody has to be raised on a factory farm and slaughtered for you to eat

9. Least amount of resources used to produce food to feed the masses

10. The most compassionate diet and lifestyle one can follow


After reading this book, you will know how to sculpt your body into nearly any shape you want, will have a better understanding of the relationship between goal setting and attainment, and you will be equipped with the formulas and tools to build your own desired physique. I am confident this book will change the way you look at health, fitness, food, and setting goals, and will inspire you to set your sights high for a bright future ahead. When you discover the inherent value and merit in making health and fitness a true priority, and grant it credence, as a consistent truth revealed through your actions, you will no doubt become a role model to many and could quite possibly discover your happiest self.


Are you ready to get shredded? There is no better time than right now to pursue meaningful and worthwhile goals. Follow your passion and make it happen!



Chapter 1 – Getting Started – Are You Ready to Get Shredded?


“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”


— Ernest Hemingway


Would having a better understanding of how your body burns fat and builds muscle help you in your health and athletic pursuits? Sure it would. It helps millions of athletes every day. Why not you? Knowledge of how your body works is a key to enhancing athletic performance. As athletes, this is what we seek. What works for athletes, works for the rest of us too, even if we don’t consider ourselves to be particularly physically fit. That is the beauty of proven health and fitness principles, they work rather effectively when we follow the rules closely with consistency and accountability. Let’s learn how to most efficiently get from point A to point E in pursuit of our goals, in order to have a clearer vision of how to attain them. Understanding the roles that points B, C, and D play in reaching our goals can be the difference between success and failure. These are the points that will reveal our strengths and weaknesses by showing us precisely where we took the right, or wrong turns. Mistakes are important teaching tools if we remain open to learning from them. Success and failure in athletics teach valuable lessons that can carry over to other areas of life too.


When I give lectures throughout North America, I often ask audiences if they have ever wanted to lose five or ten pounds or reduce body fat. Almost everyone raises their hand. My follow-up question asks the audience if they know how to get into an effective fat-burning zone to actually burn fat and lose weight. There are very few hands raised at this point, if any at all. If we claim to want to be able to burn fat, yet we do not know how to do it, how can we really expect to achieve it? It is no wonder, millions of people are confused, discouraged, frustrated, and often give up on their fitness goals, because they simply do not see results. And who can blame them? It takes a strong-willed person to keep going when results are not coming in. When the desire to change is there but the outcome does not reflect the effort, there is some other issue at play; namely, a misunderstanding of how the process works. Trying to burn fat or build muscle without knowing how the processes work is like trying to prepare a meal without knowing the ingredients to the recipe. It is not going to turn out the way it looks in the book, or taste like the properly made end result. Exercise results count on systematic actions that lead to desired outcomes, just as learning how to speak a new language or learning any new skill requires a specific and proper approach. If you do not study attentively and consistently and practice regularly, you will not learn a new language, just as you will not burn fat or build muscle effectively unless you know how those processes work and apply appropriate action.


If you are tired of hitting roadblocks, are losing patience with plateaus, and want to make some real progress, you should take the time to understand how your body produces energy, burns fuel, and repairs muscle tissue. From what fuel to consume, to how to get into that elusive fat-burning zone, to which approaches will truly build muscle, gain strength, or improve endurance, knowing is certainly half the battle. If knowing is half the battle, doing is the other half. What you do with the information you learn is up to you. What actions can you take to improve upon today to be better tomorrow?


Answer the following questions as honestly as you can. Why is your health and fitness important to you? Who cares about health anyway? Who cares about fitness? In fact, who cares about the animals and the environment? If you do, state your case. If you can’t find meaning in health and fitness and find value in its pursuit, you won’t achieve your goals. The reason you won’t succeed if you don’t care about your health and fitness is because it is really hard to be disciplined, dedicated, and committed to health and fitness when you’d rather being doing something else. The easiest thing in the world is to give up, and far too many people do it far too often in too many areas of life, including fitness. Did you know that the most common day people give up on New Year’s Resolutions is January 17? Most of us set seemingly meaningful goals and after two and a half weeks determine the effort was just too much and postpone any future endeavors in health and fitness for another year. This is a cycle that many people will go through their entire lives, never reaching their destination. It doesn’t have to be this way, and I have some solutions to help make January 17, just another day on the calendar in which you actively pursue your goals………….




Chapter 2 – Setting Achievable Goals


“While intent is the seed of manifestation, action is the water that nourishes the seed. Your actions must reflect your goals in order to achieve true success.”


― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


From my observations, perhaps the number one reason why people do not achieve their goals is because they did not set goals that were attainable. Their goals were too far out of reach, took too much work (at least more effort than they were willing to give), and became so daunting that the easiest thing was to just give up. Listen, I’m as much of a go-getter as it gets, and it pained me to write that opening sentence of this chapter. I wish that statement wasn’t an assessment of my first-hand observations, and I wish that reality and outcome weren’t the case. It saddens me to write about people setting lofty goals and not achieving them, but that’s how it is. Somewhere along the way we got lost in a fantasy world of instant gratification and forgot about all the little steps along the way that lead to desired outcomes. We’ve lost patience in a fast-paced world and we’re trying to go from point A to point E by cleverly bypassing points B, C, and D, without having to put in the hard work, but it doesn’t always work that way.


When we disrespect the formulas, systems, and action steps on the road to achievement, we disrespect ourselves by not giving ourselves a real chance at success. We also disrespect others who follow the natural rules of nature, who have succeeded the old fashioned way by putting in the time, doing what it takes to elicit change and create results. I want people to aim high and go for it all, but it has to be within a certain context, given the prerequisite conditions to actually achieve lofty goals. Not everyone is an overachiever, a go-getter, or is one who inherently has what it takes to reach the highest levels of success. Some people have it, whatever it is, and you can sense this when you come across them. They shine and exude confidence and success in everything they do. Even if you don’t think you have much of it, you can still succeed and achieve. Passion and hard work make up for a lack of talent, and skill can be learned over time. We have seen this play out in the lives of millions of people, who on the surface looked like they were plagued because of their body type, education, or poverty, but who rose above that because of their determination or charisma. I am a sincere fan of focusing on strengths and being the best we can, rather than focusing on bringing up weak areas to be more balanced, but I am also a fan of following your passion. If your passion and your strengths don’t support one another, you can take either road: following your passion or your strength and in due time, you may find that they eventually meet up. This has been true for me in athletics and academics and other areas of life. Follow either your strengths or passions, and you will likely succeed because your strengths could become your passions and your passions pursued could become your strengths. If I had to choose one over the other, I would say follow your passions for personal fulfillment and follow your strengths for professional fulfillment, and whichever means the most is up to you………..



Chapter 4 – Burning Fat Efficiently


“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”


— Fred Devito, yoga instructor


As I stated earlier, most people really do want to lose fat, they just don’t know how to effectively do it. In this chapter I will break down precisely how you can alter your training and nutrition programs in ways that will effectively burn fat so you can achieve your weight-loss and fat-loss goals. There are three distinct fat-loss topics I will write about including:


1. Exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to get into an optimal fat-burning zone. Multiple other training methods from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and aerobic exercise following weight training are additional quality methods to achieve fat-loss.


2. Why what we eat before, during, and after exercise could be one of the most telling factors as to whether or not we will be able to burn fat. The role of nutrition timing is an essential part of a fat-loss program because it can have a direct correlation to progression or regression in relation to goals.


3. Why understanding the Harris-Benedict equation might be one of the greatest oversights by those who are trying to burn fat but are hitting plateaus. Identifying your own Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) by using a Harris-Benedict calculator could quite literally make the difference between success and failure in fat-loss and will open your eyes to solutions for problems you have run into in the past.


Fat-burning Training


You have seen people at the gym running on the treadmill for twenty or thirty minutes, riding a bike for half an hour, or simply going for a forty-five minute walk, all in the name of burning fat and losing weight. These individuals are hard to miss. They are often watching television, talking with a friend while they train, or perhaps even having a cell phone conversation while trying not to fall off the treadmill. Equipped with a neon-colored sports drink in hand, they are on a mission to burn fat to finally achieve their New Year’s Resolutions and lose weight. Do you notice any problems with this picture? These individuals could very well be committed, performing these exercises five days per week and still not see fat-loss results. How can this be? With a consistent program performing aerobic exercise, it should be an ideal environment for fat-burning. The problem with this approach is that most people have it all wrong when it comes to understanding how the body burns fat. While all of those approaches could lead to fat burning under the right circumstances, they are rarely effective. The problem lies in a few key areas that make a big difference……...


You can order your copy of Shred It! here: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=shredit



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Here are some endorsements for Shred It!:


"Robert shares his experiences and tips on how a plant-based lifestyle, when properly understood and applied, is the best way to fuel strength, endurance, and overall health."

− Brian Wendel, Creator and Executive Producer of Forks Over Knives



"The strongest creatures on earth are plant-based — the elephant, the gorilla, the rhino and the Robert Cheeke. Powerful and to the point, Shred It! once and for all dispels every myth that optimum fitness requires the consumption of animal products.”

— Rich Roll, plant-based ultra-endurance athlete and bestselling author of Finding Ultra



“Robert Cheeke proves you can eat vegan AND have a ripped, muscular body. Thank you, Robert, for showing us how to achieve it!”

− Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of The Lean, Veganist, and Quantum Wellness



“Those six-pack abs start in the kitchen with plant-strong foods...get shredded with Shred It!”

- Rip Esselstyn, bestselling author of The Engine 2 Diet



"Robert Cheeke writes a very important book on a little known message. He shows how a relatively low protein, plant-based diet actually creates superior physical fitness. This is a new standard and I recommend you to give it a try."

- Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., bestselling author of The China Study



“Robert Cheeke is one of the most influential vegan athletes of all time. He is the most recognizable vegan bodybuilder in the world and has also made a name for himself as an inspirational speaker and fitness motivator. As the first to publish a book on vegan bodybuilding and create an extremely popular website on the same topic, Robert pioneered a movement. Now, he takes it to the next level (I would expect nothing less from him) with this new book that speaks to everyone, at every level of fitness and health and gives the reader the tools to improve their life in many important ways. This is a MUST READ for anyone who wants to be fit, strong, and healthy.”

— Brenda Carey, Editor in Chief/Founder, Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine



“Robert Cheeke is living proof that you can get ripped while fueling yourself with delicious plant-based foods. So many athletes are now tapping into the power of leaving animals off their plates, and Robert was a pioneer in this field. Whether you want to be an elite athlete or just want to shed some fat, get Shred It! to learn how to achieve your goals, and thrive while doing it.”

– Paul Shapiro, The Humane Society of the United States



“I can personally say that through all of my vigorous training and competing over the years, plant-based meals have left me feeling the best on a daily basis. I feel as if I perform at a much higher level, more consistently, and I just simply feel better. Though I am not 100 percent vegan, I believe this book has beneficial information that anyone and everyone can use. Robert does a phenomenal job providing facts and information along with encouraging and motivating messages about nutrition and fitness. Anyone, from a professional athlete to someone simply seeking a healthier lifestyle, can take something away from this that will positively affect their life and bring them closer to achieving their goals.”

— Dan Molls, NFL Linebacker



“Since 2009, I endorsed and adopted Robert Cheeke’s plant-based diet. Now I practice and share his vegan lifestyle dietary suggestions and I’ve never felt better. Shred It! is the bible for the perfect healthy vegan lifestyle that will answer all your questions along the way and help you achieve your goals!”

— Georges Laraque, former 13 year National Hockey League (NHL) veteran



“Robert Cheeke does it again. Yet another great, easy-to-read reference full of useful information that anyone from plant-based veterans, to those who are simply veg-curious can happily sink their teeth into. A definite future-classic in the Vegan library.”

— Mac Danzig, Ultimate Fighting Champion



“This is great and it’s about time someone has produced an insightful, detailed book that relates to true health and fitness and how to fuel that process. Robert Cheeke has written that book and I feel safe and secure sending all of the people that always ask me questions such as, ‘Where do you get your protein?’ and ‘Will I wither away?’ directly to Shred It!. Thanks, Robert.”

— Phil Collen, co-lead guitarist of Def Leppard



“Who says you can't be strong, buff, and healthy on a plant-based diet? Robert Cheeke shows you exactly how to do just that in this helpful book. He has years of experience and knows what he is talking about. So pick up this book and listen!”

— Emily Deschanel, actress, star of the hit TV show, Bones



“Robert Cheeke is a champion bodybuilder who has excelled. In Shred It!, he explains how to burn fat and build muscle following a delicious, healthy plant-based diet. Whether you are looking to tone up or bulk up, this book will help you get shredded!”

— Gene Baur, President of Farm Sanctuary



“Robert Cheeke illuminates the athletic world with a huge reality check in Shred It!, making it impossible not to be infused with inspiration. Combining effective tips, tools, and advice founded in research and experience along with encouragement to tap into your true motivation and goals, Cheeke debunks the pervasive nutrition myths and empowers you on your road to optimal fitness. Shred It! puts to rest the argument that plants can't power ultimate athletic achievement.”

— Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, The Vegiterranean Diet, and host of What Would Julieanna Do?



“Robert Cheeke knows how to sculpt a body and in Shred It!, he shares this knowledge with the rest of us—not just aspiring bodybuilders, but regular folks who want to look terrific, feel good about themselves, and get genuinely healthy in the bargain. And he's written this book like a supportive friend or dedicated coach—a really great guy to have in your corner.”

— Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan



“Robert breaks it all down for us in easy to digest pieces of information and inspiration to help us build the bodies we desire fueled on plant-based nutrition! Robert is one competitive bodybuilder who I trust for fat loss and muscle mass building protocol. Let's Shred It!”

— Ani Phyo, wellness expert and best-selling author, http://www.AniPhyo.com



“Shred It! by Robert Cheeke is a must read for anybody who wants to learn the truth behind the foods we eat and their relationship to a healthy and fit body, mind, and soul. Nothing is as powerful as understanding how our body works and knowing the what, when, why, and how behind feeding our body to get the results we desire. Robert has spent decades experimenting and learning these keys and has kindly passed that journey’s knowledge onto us. In a world where meat, eggs, and dairy are perceived as king; at a time when the health and fitness industry is full of propaganda, misinformation, and outright lies, Robert sheds a bright light on how anybody can ‘Shred It’ with a smart whole-food, plant-based diet. Whether omnivore or herbivore, novice or professional athlete like myself, everybody can gain great new insight from Robert Cheeke's Shred It!.”

— Austin Aries, plant-based, multi-time World Champion Professional Wrestler



“Whether you're looking to build muscle or just trying to eat better, Robert Cheeke has you covered with Shred It! In the gym, he shows how to set realistic and achievable goals, while offering encouragement that will help avoid setbacks and common mistakes. Then he maps out a workout plan to help you build muscle and strengthen our core.


At the table, he shreds misperceptions about plant-based nutrition, showing how to maximize carbohydrates and protein for optimal energy and strength, and offers easy-to-follow meal plans that won't bore your palate.


Finally, Robert takes you to the kitchen with a fun collection of 50 soups, salads, and hearty dishes made out of whole foods—no phony-baloney faux meats here! Best of all, these healthy recipes are fun to make and designed to help you reach your fitness goals. Who would have guessed that getting shredded would taste this good?”

— Grant Butler, Food Writer, The Oregonian



“Robert Cheeke exemplifies how eating a plant-based diet, having a compassion-filled outlook, and leading a motion-filled lifestyle contributes to amazing health results. His eagerly awaited book Shred It! shares important information, practical tips, and incredible inspiration that’s sure to motivate and delight readers and fans.”

— John Pierre, author of The Pillars of Health, http://www.johnpierre.com



“Plant-based eating is on the cutting edge, with more athletes discovering it every day. Now, Robert Cheeke has created the perfect introduction for reaching one’s athletic potential on a plant-based diet. This book is what many of us have been waiting for, and what anyone who cares about their health and fitness cannot afford to miss.”

— Mark Devries, Director and Producer of Speciesism: The Movie



“A must-read for any health-conscious person. Robert Cheeke has done his homework so you can get educated as well as motivated by his wise and inspiring messages.”

— George Eisman, MA, MS, RD (Registered Dietitian)

Nutrition Director, Coalition for Cancer Prevention, Watkins Glen, NY



“Shred It! has everything you need to know to lose weight now! With Robert's simple plan you can burn that extra fat and gain muscle all while eating Robert's whole-foods recipes that are easy to prepare and taste incredible. Say good-bye to hunger and say hello to a new lean, toned, and energized YOU!”

— Chloe Coscarelli, cookbook author



“As soon as you become vegan, your friends, relatives, and peers force you to become something of a nutrition expert. But you can go your whole life not knowing the best way to exercise to get ripped. Robert breaks it down here in such an easy, accessible way. With sample workouts and menu plans, he takes the guesswork out of achieving the healthy body you want. The athletes whose stories he tells and whose jaw-dropping physical transformations he features will inspire you to get off your tush and shred it—for your health, for animals, and for the planet.”

— Marisa Miller Wolfson, Creator and Executive Producer of the award-winning film, Vegucated



“Robert Cheeke clearly knows his stuff when it comes to whole-food, plant-based nutrition, and understands exactly what it takes to add muscle and burn fat. But in Shred It!, he goes beyond the physical, challenging us to take our mental games to the next level -- by setting goals, making real commitments, creating accountability, walking the walk to embody the qualities we value.”

— Matt Frazier, vegan ultramarathoner, author of No Meat Athlete, and founder of nomeatathlete.com



This is an image from the day the books arrived.



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