Name: Arvid Beck
Year of Birth: 1982
Birthplace: Duesseldorf, Germany
Current Residence: Duesseldorf, Germany
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
I was born in Duesseldorf, Germany and spent my whole life here so far. I'm a certified specialist for protection and security and work for a big security company, but i'm currently doing a distance study as a nutrionist.
Bodybuilding is my great passion, but besides that I also love music and movies a lot. Music is an important thing in my life, and I couldn't live without it.
Why did you become vegan?
Although I think a vegan nutrition plan is much healthier than the average diet that contains of a lot of animal products, my motivation to become vegan is purely based on moral and ethical reasons. I love animals, I'm very compassionate, and I'm of the opinion that no human being is more important or worthy than any other living creature on this planet. Every living being has a soul, is beautiful in its own unique way, and has the right to live in freedom... without being abused, tortured, enslaved or killed.
I couldn't live any longer with the thought that another living being has to give its life, just to offer me some nutrients that I could also get from a plant source, without hurting anyone. Pictures and films like Earthlings made me more and more sick. That was the point where I couldn't live on as a normal omnivore. I didn't even want to consume any milk or dairy products any longer, knowing how those poor animals are held. So I decided that I simply HAD TO become a vegan, no matter what it would take or mean for my sport — which was actually the only reason why I was still consuming animal products at all.
I had already tried a few times to eat vegan, but because of the usual fears bodybuilders have concerning a vegan nutrition, I always came back to the standard diet. Well, this time I made a final decision, to become and stay vegan forever. That was at the beginning of 2011, and since then I stayed on may vegan way. I don't regret it! I'm really happy that I chose to live a vegan lifestyle! It's the best thing someone can do. For his own health, as well as for the sake of the animals and our whole planet. GO VEGAN!
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
As a teenager I practiced Ninjutsu for about two years. To get stronger and more muscular I started to do some exercise at home, and bought a little book by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was very impressed by the photographs of him and I guess it stayed in my mind and already influenced me somehow... that was the beginning of everything.
In the year 2000 I had to do a placement for school, which I did in a gym. During this time I had the possibility to train in the gym, and could use all the barbells, dumbbells and machines. It was so much fun for me that I realized immediately: Bodybuilding is MY sport... I just couldn't get enough of the training and worked out for hours and hours everyday, without having any knowledge about training and nutrition. But I was young and had the right genetics, so I built up muscle quite quickly. Over the time I read more and more books and magazines to learn more about the scientific background and to improve my results. My journey into the world of bodybuilding and fitness had started...
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I eat some raw foods, but I also cook a lot. My most used veggies are carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and spinach (which I love to put into my smoothies).
My favourite protein sources are all kinds of legumes and nuts. I also like using (soy) protein shakes, since they're delicious, practical, and offer a high percentage of protein.
Favourite carb sources are legumes (again), rice, rice cakes, potatoes, bread, bananas...
To get high quality essential fatty acids, I consume lots of various nuts and linseed oil.
In general I love eating high carb, but if I want to lose fat, I'll reduce them or do some kind of carb cycling, adjusted to my training schedule.
At the moment my goal is to keep a good shape year round, so I'll also keep up a clean diet most of the time and watch my calorie intake.
How would you describe your training program?
For many many years now I do full body workouts, 3 times a week or every second day. My training consists mainly of basic compound exercises. I always try to keep the volume low, concentrating on each set and performing it in a proper form. So in comparison to the training programmes most athletes use, my workouts are very “oldschool”.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
That all vegans are skinny, weak and pale freaks or hippies, who feel superior and want to convert everyone to veganism... I'm not skinny and weak, and I don't think I'm better than anyone or anything.
I just go through the world with open eyes, and everything I see tells me: WE HAVE TO CHANGE! We have to change the way we live, and we have to change the way we think... for the sake of this planet.
I know that most people prefer to close their eyes, to ignore the things they see, or to find some excuses... so they can go on to live and consume the way they always did. But this will lead to a catastrophe. And that's why I decided to change something in my life. I don't expect anyone else to live the way I do, and i'll never try to force people to do so, but I'm gonna go my way, hoping people will follow me... realizing that you can live a good, healthy and fit lifestyle as a vegan, while doing something positive for animals and the whole planet. And all that without a loss of quality of life!
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
Don't believe in all those lies about veganism out there... you can and you will build up muscle and strength on a vegan diet! And don't read too many muscle magazines, a lot of the content is just crap. It's designed to make you believe that you can become the next Mr. Olympia by doing some crazy volume workouts, created for chemical enhanced mutants, and by buying stuff that costs a lot of money and won't give you any effect most of the time. Fitness is an industry...and industry is about money. Need I say more???
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
Please go vegan! At least give it a try... it's worth it.