Name: Torre Washington
Height: 5' 7”
Home Base: Miami, Florida
Sports: Pro Body Building, Track and Field
Why did you become vegan?
I became “vegan” because I didn't want to be a hypocrite. We moved to Jamaica where I was initially introduced to the “rasta” way of life. After returning to the US and many self-discovery experiences, I came into the Rastafarian lifestyle for myself. However, most Rastas that I knew were not vegan or “ital” (natural). This was not in line with my convictions, so I decided to remove any form of animal products from my diet one pivotal day in 1998. It wasn't until many years later and after a lot of years of trial and error that I learned there was a name for this lifestyle and conviction. I have been happily sprinting along the vegan path ever since, meeting a lot of amazing and inspirational vegans along the way.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
Comic book characters like Wolverine and Superman had amazing physiques! It never crossed my mind that someone drew them with great symmetry, and shredded...everything. So from a ripe age of 10 I started envisioning myself with a sculpted body. By 15, Arnold Schwarzenegger was on heavy rotation in many places-on screens and in the magazines- which only increased my desire to emulate that look. From cartoon to real life I knew it was a matter of time. I thought I was a trainer in high school-- I even trained some friends! Once I started, it became part of my routine-like eating and sleeping. It wasn't until 2008 when I saw an old friend compete and win that I knew my time had come. I started competing the following year. Now I look back at old pictures of myself before my first show and just laugh.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
My nutritional program is wake up-eat, work out-eat, come home-eat, train-eat, shower-eat. I honestly just eat. I enjoy “junk” food but rarely crave it. I don't count anything really-more like “guestimate”. This is not the recommended way for everyone but I feel it works for me.
How would you describe your training program?
I have an adaptive style of training where I incorporate many styles/exercises into a training session that stimulate growth and build muscle. I train heavy, moderate, high volume, low volume; it all depends upon how I am feeling or what muscles I perceive as needing extra attention. So when it comes to my own personal workouts, there is no set way.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I don't take any supplements
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Most people react in disbelief and claim that I am taking enhancements to get my physique. Some of my friends and supporters get upset and offended but I see it as a compliment. If I had ever used, my body would look totally different, so I must be doing something right.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
What do you like best about being vegan?
What I like best about being vegan is knowing that I am doing my part to save lives and help sustain mother earth all while raising consciousness (and eyebrows) while on stage with the best of them.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Get your form right while starting with the basics: squats, bench press, deadlifts, and pull ups to build a solid foundation.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
I often hear people suggest others to “do your research” which is great, but sometimes people get stuck or overwhelmed with the research alone. I say just start somewhere and figure it out as you grow. Push comes to shove take it one recipe at a time or do almond milk or a dessert even. Google and Pintrest as well as several vegan bloggers and sites all have so many delicious “newby” meals out there; you are bound to find what works for you. Even a few meatless meals per week are better than none.