Name: Alex Cuevas
Year of Birth: 1976
Birthplace: San Jose, CA
Current Residence: Miami, FL
Sports: BJJ, JUDO, TKD
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
Today I am running a vegan restaurant in Miami called “Choices Café”. I am very passionate of the vegan lifestyle & I love to promote it in a loving way to our guests who walk in the doors of our space.
Why did you become vegan?
I became vegan when I was just starting college, over 15 years ago when I learned about how animals are mistreated to produce dairy & egg products.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
Like many young boys, I was passionate about the martial arts, for sake of the beauty and grace of the movements, along with the self-defense aspects. This fueled my interests in the arts and also then, necessarily, in being fit.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I am presently using an intermittent fasting program; incorporating green juices, BCAAs, SunWarrior Protein, and wholesome vegan meals during my eating window
How would you describe your training program?
I don't have a lot of time, so I focus on quality lifting in as short of a time as possible. I tend to lift heavier weights for ~20 reps each to ensure that I have “mastered” a weight and get a great ROM with the exercise. I do not rest much, so I would say it is similar to a HIIT program using heavier weights and major muscle groups, but using the standard exercises like curls, dumbbell benching, pull ups, etc. So one round for me might be: Chest Press, Pullups, Curls, Shurgs, Shoulder Press, Squats, Side Bends, Leg Lifts = all 20 reps, each almost the death of me, and only about ten seconds rest between... repeat the circuit two more times.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
Presently, I am using BCAAs to prevent my muscles from going into a cannibalizing state during a fasting state & Sunwarrior Raw protein to rebuild myself when needed (when I feel very sore).
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Today I walk around proudly as a vegan — I'm not adversarial, so it is easier to have conversations with people about it. I don't preach. I just explain what I do, and why I do it — when people ask. As this movement has begun to increase in popularity, it is also much simpler to converse with people who are curious or have thought about the lifestyle.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
That you are going to be an unhealthy, stick figure, tree hugger... or a giant fat carb eater.
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
Yes. Most recently — I have opened a vegan restaurant in Miami — Choices Cafe
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Consistency & Intensity - I think it is easy to be fit these days — it is just a matter of staying disciplined with the food intake, the workout routines and working hard when the opportunity to train presents itself. Looking back to my early 20's I recall a lot of jabber time whilst at the gym — today, I hardly even notice who is in the gym as I am razor focused to complete my sets and bounce.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I like the fact that I am causing less harm to the earth and I am not contributing to the suffering of factory farm animals (or “free range” animals for that matter).
What do you like best about being fit?
Sex. Let's face it... when you are Mr. “chunks” it is harder to enjoy sex — from a stamina & self image perspective. Also even more important — energy — too much crappy food makes you tired and turns you into a couch potato drained of energy, working on digestion of garbage ingested... hard to work hard at earning some coin if you are tired as all hell , or need constant coffee to keep you going.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
If you don't have a plan, then you are planning to fail — some cliché like that no? I have a workout regime that tells me EXACTLY what I am going to do on my training day.. there is not a second wondering which machine is next, or dabbling around wasting time cruising around the gym. Its all about RAZOR focus SON! Only then can progress be measured by comparing what was done on week one vs week four. This keeps you motivated. Also, if you don't manage your food intake, might as well not even bother working out — if the idea is to look fit, you MUST watch what you eat — keep refined foods low or eliminated — keep greens high and plenty.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
My advice is to have them think why they AREN'T vegan — focus on a solution to that obstacle, b/c no matter what mental BS barrier it is, it can be overcome — I am a 26+ year vegetarian, and a15+ year vegan. I am I am thriving- and I am not the only one.
What motivates you in life?
Love. I would like to help reduce suffering on this planet & promote Love.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
Yes. It is a great site!
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
Nothing is more attractive than beautifully fit people who are compassionate and care about the plight of others, including animals, based on the compassionate purchasing decisions that they make with respect to food, clothing and everything else. This thoughtfulness is a great platform / foundation for starting a relationship of mutual respect between two lovers— if a lover is selfless enough to care that much about the impact a buying decision has to some unknown animal, they will certainly care & respect for the person they are in a relationship with. Cheers to all the beautiful vegan people out there who are spreading love throughout the world — they are a testament to God's existence: Love.