Name: Ed Bauer
Birthplace: Albany, New York
Current Residence: San Francisco, CA
Why did you become vegan?
I was originally inspired to become vegan because at that time in my life, I was ready to start being honest with myself. I knew where meat and dairy came from, but I didn't know from what method or if the reason was justified. Plus, I always knew that it was not right to kill. Up until that time, I did a pretty good job convincing myself that my hands were clean. With the help of some friends and music from hardcore bands like Earth Crisis, I reconsidered my dietary and lifestyle choices. Then, I read Diet for a New America by John Robbins. After reading it, I could no longer justify any other choice except veganism. The inhumane conditions that animals are kept in, the treatment of animals as if they were machines, the hormones and antibiotics that they are force fed, the vicious and brutal murder of these sentient creatures, all of this was just too much. I cannot truly be a person who believes in peace, health and happiness and support such a barbaric ritual that tortures, enslaves and murders innocent creatures. To truly have peace in your life, the answer is veganism. There simply is no other way.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I was always active as a child. From an early age, I noticed that when I was more active I had more energy. Unsurprisingly, when I was less active I seemed to have less energy. This fact was always present in the back of my mind. At the age of 12, my father introduced me to weight lifting. I learned a few exercises, but I was more interested in my other activity at the time, which was skateboarding. Around the summer of my 15th birthday, while still an active skateboarder, I voiced some more interest in weight training. I always admired big muscular builds like those of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, and I wanted to have more muscle. My father put me on a solid 4 day a week weight lifting routine. I became vegetarian the same year and then vegan by age 16. When I made the switch to veganism, it made me think more about my body and what I put into it. With this new understanding of nutrition, paired with weight training for more muscle, my interest in fitness has never stopped. Veganism and fitness have developed into the most important elements of my life. Since then, I have pretty much forgotten about skateboarding. I can still do double kick flips though.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
The nutrition program naturally changes based on the fitness goal. Right now, I am beginning a bulking phase. Therefore, I pay close attention to how much I burn daily for calories and maintain a healthy number above that. I also ensure that my protein, carb, and total calorie goals are met for building mass. A typical daily meal plan may look like this:
- Smoothie with orange juice, a banana, frozen strawberries, kale, flax oil, 1 scoop of Vega, and 1 scoop of rice and pea protein
- 2 Slices Ezekiel bread with peanut butter and soymilk
- Vegan chicken strips in barbeque sauce, sweet potatoes, and broccoli
- Shake with hemp milk, a banana, rice and pea protein, and 1/4 cup of ground pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Tofurky sandwich on Ezekiel bread with a pear or apple and one cup of green peas or two cups of broccoli
- Post workout shake with 2 servings of rice and pea protein, a banana, 30 grams of dextrose/maltodextrin, 5 grams of glutamine, 5 grams of creatine and digestive enzymes
- Tofu stir fry with vegetables and quinoa
- Pre sleep shake with rice and pea protein, 5 grams of glutamine, and 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds
How would you describe your training program?
Training phases should only last for four to six weeks before being altered in some way. After that length of time, your body has adapted to that specific stress stimulus (exercise) and will plateau. This will bring your goal to a screeching halt, regardless of whether your goal is fat loss, strength increase, or muscle mass increase. Providing a modification to your workout gives your body a new stimulus to adapt to, ensuring more lean body mass, improved performance, and less body fat. Some of the variables that can be altered are: exercise selection, rep range, number of sets, rest in between sets, exercise order, range of motion, isometric contractions, tempo, etc. With that in mind, my current training program for strength is:
5 sets of 5-8 reps with 2-3 minutes between sets
- Monday - Barbell Clean and Press — Barbell Curls — Weighted Dips
- Tuesday - Rest
- Wednesday - Dead Lifts - Pull Ups - Barbell Rows
- Thursday - Incline Bench Press — Flat Dumbbell Press — Decline Bench Press
- Friday - Squats - Leg Press - Romanian Dead Lift - Lying Leg Curls
- Saturday - Rest
- Sunday — Smith Overhead Press — Barbell Upright Rows — Front Dumbbell Raises
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I consume a good amount of protein powders from brown rice, pea, soy, and hemp, simply to increase my protein throughout the day. I always take a multi-vitamin daily. I take the amino acid glutamine during heavy training cycles to assist in faster recovery. I also rotate creatine and tribulus in monthly cycles to assist in strength gains.
What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?
I think the most important aspect of fitness is health. With health as the primary focus of fitness, one will establish better energy, increased blood flow, improved mental clarity, increased oxygen uptake, a longer life expectancy, more lean body mass, and less body fat. This naturally means a sexy, younger looking body.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I like knowing that I do not contribute to any innocent animal's suffering. I like knowing that I am making an impact on this world by thinking more compassionately, acting more responsibly, and living more humanely.
What do you like best about being fit?
What I enjoy best about being fit is the inspiration that I can provide to others. I like to see the spark in a person's eye when they realize the change that they can achieve. I like to be the bridge for people who know where they want to be but don't know how to get there. I also enjoy knowing that I am promoting veganism in a positive light through my fitness level.
What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?
There is now a wealth of information out there, thanks to resources like this website, and there are no limitations. Most people in the fitness industry and athletic programs will tell you that you need animal protein to grow. They are simply repeating what those before them have told them. What research have they done? What research have they done that wasn't sponsored by the meat and dairy industry? And besides, if veganism is a limitation, I gladly accept that challenge, because living a life standing up for what I believe in and inspiring others to do the same is way more important than following the pack who consume without questioning.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Veganism is the best choice I have ever made. I feel great! I am living my life with honesty and compassion for all living creatures and the positive change of veganism seems to promote more positive change in other aspects of my life and those lives around me.
How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?
This website has truly been an inspiration. Knowing that there are so many people out there pursuing their fitness goals while living a vegan lifestyle is amazing! It is a great resource and the community it is building just keeps on growing. Thank you to all of you who are showing what can be done in the face of adversity, and thank you Robert for being such a tireless promoter of veganism and great friend!