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robert

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Posts posted by robert

  1. Thanks, man!

     

    Yeah, some hard flexes, good lighting, and decent pumps help with some of my Instagram and Facebook photo updates.

     

    I'm still over 200 pounds, weighing in at 204 (with clothes on) yesterday, so I'm sitting at right about 200-202 most days.

     

    Things have been going fairly well, but like you, I have nagging issues like my lower back that still gives me trouble.

     

    I'll get some workouts posted here soon.

     

    Have a great one!

  2. Sorry about the injuries and setbacks. I know how that goes.

     

    In fact, I think most lifters who have been at it for decades kinda know how that goes. It tends to kind of go hand in hand with the sport of pressing, pulling, lifting, carrying, or moving as much weight as possible with full effort. Things are bound to happen every now and then, and muscles get pulled, strained, tweaked, or full-on injured.

     

    How's the gym doing?

     

    Sure seems like quite a while since I have been back out there! I used to tour the east coast a lot, but really haven't been there much in years, aside from Florida, and sometimes New England.

     

    Hope to catch up in person again soon!

     

    Keep after it!

     

    And say hi to your family for me!

  3. Welcome back!

     

    You were one of the first to reach out when the forum was down for more than a year.

     

    I think I'm going to try to "email all users" to let people know that we're back online once I ensure we fixed everything, and hopefully we can get some traffic here again.

     

    Great to hear from you.

  4. Hi, everyone!

     

    Since the forum was down for a while, here's my reintroduction and bio.

     

    I'm Robert Cheeke. I founded Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness in 2002, and launched www.veganbodybuilding.com in 2003. This forum came along in 2005. I'm happy to have you as part of our community!

     

    My general bio:

     

    Robert grew up on a farm in Corvallis, OR where he adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1995 at age 15. Today he is the bestselling author of the books, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, Shred It!, and Plant-Based Muscle.

     

    As a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, Robert is considered one of VegNews magazine's Most Influential Vegan Athletes. He tours around the world sharing his story of transformation from a skinny farm kid to champion vegan bodybuilder. Robert is the founder and president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. He writes books, gives lectures, and maintains the popular website, VeganBodybuilding.com.

     

    Robert is a 4-time magazine cover model and has appeared in more than 40 magazines including FLEX, Ironman, Natural Bodybuilding, Health Science, VegNews, Vegan Health & Fitness, Naked Food, and numerous international publications. He is considered to be the “Godfather of Vegan Bodybuilding,” building the industry from infancy in 2002, to where it is today with half a million online followers of his own brand, a fully funded national tour, and a network comprised of celebrities and influencers.

     

    He is a regular contributor to No Meat Athlete, Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine, Naked Food Magazine, and Forks Over Knives, is a multi-sport athlete, entrepreneur, and has followed a plant-based diet for more than 23 years.

     

    Robert lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and two rescued chihuahuas. He can often be found hiking among the cactus and wild horses in the Tonto National Forest when he’s not on his Vegan Strong national tour or in front of his laptop writing books.

  5. I'm back!

     

    We switched servers for the past 15 months, and the forum disappeared. I thought it was gone forever, but we had it restored and it appears to be back in action.

     

    I've trained 8 of the past 10 days, and I figure I can start to log my workouts here like I did in the old days.

     

    Our first forum was created in 2003, and this version of the forum came along in 2005, nearly 15 years ago! Wow! Time sure flies.

     

    It's good to be back.

     

    I'll update this soon.......

  6. You know what, I think this is the first time I've spoken to you in all the years I've used the forum aha, so just a quick thanks for all you do, I don't think I would have bothered to lift weights in the first place if it wasn't for your book and this site for inspiration.

     

    I would definitely recommend you keep the forum going, a lot of vegans and veggies prefer a more private environment to talk about training and diet and this is a great place for them to do that, I for one have had bad experiences on bodybuilding.com and seen a lot of debate (often angry) on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and a lot of us have enough of that at the gym, school and work

    Big respect bud, know how busy you are!

     

    Thanks for the feedback! I've seen you around the forum a lot over the years. You've got 1,500+ posts too, so it looks like you're quite active. I really appreciate that.

     

    This forum was crazy-busy back in 2006-2009, especially 2007-2008. Some posts had 1,000+ views in half a day and it was an awesome, active place. I don't know that we can ever get it back to an active community with all the other social media platforms, but it nice to know that people still use this space and still enjoy the community.

     

    I know I mostly use the forum as a place to host text and images for a contest or announcement or something like that. I'm active on a bunch of Facebook pages and groups with probably 100k posts, on Bodybuilding.com 3k posts, and Twitter at more than 60k posts between my various accounts, and I don't get over here very often. I'll try to drop in a bit more.

     

    I hear you on the negative stuff on FB, Twitter, and especially YouTube. I have always stayed away from it, remaining positive all the time. Maybe this could be a good sanctuary away from that negative world.

     

    Thank you for your kind words too. I appreciate it.

     

    Have a great one! I have a cross-country flight tomorrow to head to DC to attend the National Animal Rights Conference. All the best!

  7. Its coming back guys!! Let's not let it die completely, me and mike are back to chat, gonna convince a couple of friends to keep a journal here and be part of the discussions.

    I do really miss it a few years back when it was a hive of activity

     

    Thanks man. It's an uphill struggle for sure. I even wondered if we should keep the forum and thought of closing it down a while back.

     

    It doesn't take too much work to maintain, though I do get a fair amount of emails from people with login issues, and such.

     

    We'll probably keep it going, as-is. Most people have ventured over to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social communities, even for the forum experience, like we have in our Facebook groups that are still super active. I haven't spent much time here over the past 3 years, but I'll browse around to see what's new.

     

    Thanks to all of you who are still part of the community! Sorry I haven't been around much. I run about 6 Facebook pages, 3 Twitter accounts, and have been writing books and touring.

  8. Is this U.S only dude?

     

    Open to people in the USA and Canada (excluding Quebec). I forgot to mention that, but it says it on the link under the official rules.

     

    I host a bunch of my own contests open to worldwide audiences on Facebook. If you look up Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness on Facebook, you'll likely find us there.

     

    Thanks!

  9. Has anyone else noticed this? when i was active here about 2 years ago, the forums had alot more people actively posting, now it seems like someone will just post an update in a log every few days, what's up with that?

     

    Yeah, I know. This place was a mad house back in 2007. This forum was really quite busy from 2005-2009, and then it slowly died down and Facebook took over as the place to go.

     

    It was fairly active again in 2011 or so when I ran the New Year New You program, but it has been fairly quiet ever since.

     

    Most people moved over to here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeganBodybuildingAndFitness/

     

    We're about 20,000-strong there.

     

    I created a new community here:

     

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/615575988564537/

     

    This one has about 6,000 members and is quite active as well.

     

    Forums like this were really popular around 2003-2009 and then other platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) really took off. Now Instagram and many others are some of the most visited places.

     

    I always appreciate the people I've met through this community. Thanks for being here!

  10. Wow, some really helpful stuff in there thanks Robert!

    I'm now inspired & heading off to the gym!

     

    Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it.

     

    Hope you had an awesome workout!

     

    I have other threads in this section of the forum that contain samples from at least 4 different chapters from Shred It!.

     

    Enjoy reading.

     

    The Table of Contents and general information about the book is listed here: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=shredit

  11. Hi everyone,

     

    Here is an entire chapter from Shred It!, minus photos:

     

    Chapter 9 – Exercises to get Big and Ripped

     

    “I've never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is (through) ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guy's sleeping, I'm working. While the other guy's eating, I'm working.”

     

    — Will Smith

     

    A lot of people do the same exercises over and over with the same weight and number of repetitions and expect a different result. Eight-time Mr. Olympia Champion, Ronnie Coleman, has a wake-up call for you. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you always got.” He probably wasn’t the first to say that, but he was the first I heard say that, and like many things Ronnie says, it stuck with me. Though consistency can lead to adaptation and improvement, there are usually components such as a change in intensity, change in exercises, repetition range, and other factors that influence the end result. It is a good idea to do the same exercises for a few weeks to track progression to see if you’re getting stronger in the same exercises performed weeks prior, but after four weeks or so of doing the same routine, it is wise to change it up. Simply going to the gym and riding the bike at the same resistance level for the same duration day after day won’t do much except make you adapt to that very resistance level and duration to make it become a little bit easier over time. To really improve is to change things up in a more dramatic way. You could pedal faster, pedal harder, change the duration, change the style using circuits, incorporate other exercises into your morning stationary bike commute, and a whole host of other actions to change the way your body will adapt to the added stress.

     

    The primary alterations you will want to make when adjusting your workout routine are:

     

    1. Change the type of exercise

    2. Change the level of intensity

    3. Change the duration

     

    These three simple factors can be combined in a number of ways. For example, if you go for a three-mile run every morning, and are not seeing the improved speed or endurance results you’re looking for, here are some ways you can adjust your approach:

     

    1. Combine running with rowing, cycling, swimming, box jumps, sprints, or some other type of exercise that will train your muscles and your heart and lungs differently.

     

    2. Incorporate sprints into your workout. Run for a mile, sprint for a 100 meters, and repeat. Or run three miles, followed by five to ten 100-meter sprints after your primary workout.

     

    3. Run four miles, and build up to five miles, six, and beyond.

     

    Additionally, you can alter the number of workouts per week, change your training style, including minor changes such as new shoes in the example above, and new gloves, wider grips, drop sets, super sets, rest pauses, and other alterations, when referring to weight training. You can change the time of day for which you exercise, alter the foods you eat pre- and post-workout, train with a partner, group or team, rather than on your own, or vice versa, and many more variations what will all have some sort of impact on your end result.

     

    Rather than sticking with the same old routine that has left you where you are now, I suggest you mix it up by turning things up a notch to get where you want to be. The following are some examples for you to examine and incorporate into your own exercise routine, if they are of interest to you. Remember, if it isn’t fun, you probably won’t do it, so pick the exercises that seem most enjoyable and perform them with enthusiasm and effort with a specific end result in mind.

     

    Fat-burning cardiovascular exercises

     

    These exercises should be performed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to get shredded.

     

    • Walking

    • Jogging

    • Running

    • Sprinting

    • Hiking

    • Swimming

    • Cycling

    • Rowing

    • Stair climbing

    • Jumping

    • Total body exercises (like Burpees)

    • CrossFit

    • High Intensity Interval Training

    • Circuit training

    • Handball or racquet sports

    • Any team or individual sport involving running, rowing, swimming or cycling

     

    Strength-building exercises to put on muscle

     

    • Squats

    • Deadlifts

    • Bench Press

    • Overhead Press

    • Lunges

    • Pull-ups

    • Dips

    • Shrugs

    • Rack pulls

    • Push-ups

    • T-bar rows

    • Bicep curls

    • Skull crushers

    • Olympic lifts

    • Other free weight, compound exercises

     

    Alterations to the standard lifts

     

    Combined with the exercises listed above, you can incorporate the following:

     

    • Low reps

    • High reps

    • Slow reps

    • Partial reps

    • Assisted reps

    • 1-rep max

    • Super sets

    • Drop sets

    • Negatives (eccentric contractions)

    • Narrow grip

    • Wide grip

    • Neutral grip

    • Reverse grip

    • Rest pause

    • Twenty-ones

    • Pyramids

     

    By changing the style that you perform these exercises, you change the impact it has on your body, and you can break through from your regular routine to advance with new gains. When you do this over time, you are bound to see results.

     

    Additionally, you can change the level of intensity performed in each exercise, from fasted cardiovascular training first thing in the morning, to explosive compound, free-weight exercises. Some of those changes might look like this:

     

    • High Intensity Training (HIT)

    • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

    • 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off

    • Increasing level of intensity in a pyramid, working your way up and back down, cycling your level of energy expenditure, changing by the minute

     

    The following is a week’s worth of sample exercises, followed by numerous options for additional workouts for set muscle groups. The exercises listed below emphasize training one or two muscle groups per day, in a muscle-building routine designed to exhaust specific muscle groups and allow them long rest periods to recover and grow. You can do total body workouts all you want, and some of those programs will be listed in this chapter as well, and your body may respond well to them. I like total body workouts, but my bodybuilding experience tells me that the following approach of targeting specific muscle groups for an entire workout is an effective one for building quality muscle. I like P90X and CrossFit as much as the next person, and my experience with those genres of training, tells me that they will surely make you very fit. To really build significant muscle and strength though, a more targeted and deliberate approach to training for muscle size is usually required. Not that total body training such as the programs mentioned above won’t build muscle, I just don’t believe they are as effective as focusing on one or two muscle groups a day using the best compound, free-weight exercises to elicit the greatest return on investment. Total body exercises are excellent for burning fat, getting toned, building up endurance and core strength and getting ripped. I just don’t believe that helps you build as much muscle as a tailor-made approach to building muscle such as the ones I will outline in the workouts below.

     

    When we take the time to dedicate an entire workout to training one or two muscle groups, we exercise those muscles much more thoroughly and completely than we would in a more casual total body workout. Follow the guidelines listed below to put on some serious muscle. If you stick with a specific routine for four weeks, you should see results in strength and muscle gains in week four compared to week one. Then you can mix up your routine for another four weeks, and so on every three to six weeks, or whatever schedule is comfortable for you based on your own progression. Once you have experienced this type of muscle building training, by all means, try total body workouts for weeks at a time and see how they compare to specific muscle-building training. Each of us responds differently to different workloads and stresses on the body, so always feel free to experiment with a variety of programs and follow the ones that resonate the most with you. Let’s get shredded!

    Sample Muscle-Building Workout Routines

     

    An effective muscle-building schedule:

     

    Week 1

     

    • Monday = Chest/Shoulders

    • Tuesday = Back

    • Wednesday = Legs

    • Thursday = Rest

    • Friday = Arms

    • Saturday = Abs

    • Sunday = Rest

     

    Week 2

     

    • Monday = Chest

    • Tuesday = Back/Shoulders

    • Wednesday = Legs

    • Thursday = Rest

    • Friday = Arms

    • Saturday = Abs, forearms, calves

    • Sunday = Rest

     

    Week 3

     

    • Monday = Chest

    • Tuesday = Back

    • Wednesday = Legs

    • Thursday = Rest

    • Friday = Arms/Shoulders

    • Saturday = Abs

    • Sunday = Rest

     

    Week 4

     

    • Monday = Chest

    • Tuesday = Back

    • Wednesday = Legs

    • Thursday = Rest

    • Friday = Arms, forearms, calves

    • Saturday = Abs/Shoulders

    • Sunday = Rest

     

    Primary multi-joint, compound, free weight and bodyweight muscle building exercises to choose from include:

    Chest

     

    • Flat bench press

    • Incline bench press

    • Decline bench press

    • Flat dumbbell press

    • Incline dumbbell press

    • Decline dumbbell press

    • Flat dumbbell flys

    • Incline dumbbell flys

    • Decline dumbbell flys

    • Dips

    • Push-ups

    • Decline push-ups

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    Shoulders

     

    • Barbell overhead press

    • Dumbbell overhead press

    • Dumbbell lateral raises

    • Dumbbell front raises

    • Dumbbell rear deltoid raises

    • Upright rows

    • Barbell shrugs

    • Dumbbell shrugs

    • One-arm dumbbell overhead raises

    • Military press

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    Back

     

    • Deadlifts

    • Wide grip pull-ups

    • Narrow grip pull-ups

    • Neutral grip pull-ups

    • T-Bar rows

    • Bent-over rows

    • One-arm dumbbell rows

    • Rack pulls

    • Lat pull-downs

    • High rows

    • Mid rows

    • Low rows

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    Legs

     

    • Squats

    • One-legged squats

    • Jump squats

    • Lunges

    • Jump lunges

    • Leg press

    • Hack squats

    • Deadlifts

    • Calf raises

    • Box jumps

    • Wall-sits

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    Arms

     

    Biceps

     

    • Alternating bicep curls

    • Hammer curls

    • Concentration curls

    • Preacher curls

    • Negatives (eccentric contractions)

    • Reverse grip pull-ups

    • Reverse grip lat pull-downs

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    Triceps

     

    • Skull crushers

    • Narrow grip bench press

    • Overhead extensions

    • One-arm overhead extensions

    • Dumbbell kickbacks

    • Negatives (eccentric contractions)

    • Dips

    • Push-ups

    • Decline push-ups

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    Abs

     

    • Hanging leg raises

    • Hanging knee raises

    • Windshield wipers

    • Plank

    • Weighted plank

    • Lying leg raises

    • Bicycle crunches

    • Crunches

    • Side crunches

    • Weighted crunches

    • Ab wheel roll-outs

    • Sit ups

    • Various cables and machines as desired

     

    The Workouts

     

    In the sample workouts listed below, I included a morning fasted cardio session in addition to a weight training session for the same day. The fasted cardio first thing in the morning is intended to help you efficiently burn fat, supporting your overall fitness goals. The weight training workouts are to help you build muscle, supporting your other fitness goals. If bulking up is your primary objective, you may consider omitting the morning cardio, or limiting it to once or twice a week, to avoid burning too many calories and getting too lean. The examples are exactly that, just samples and loose guidelines. You can follow them exactly and you’ll get really fit and really strong, but you can also alter them based on your own interests, the equipment you have access to, and based on your own work ethic, desires, and objectives. You will notice that I prefer the 8-12 repetition range for most exercises, but that I also incorporate a good balance of high reps (around 20 or so) and low reps (6 or so) in most of the workouts. This is to train muscle fibers differently, and to engage in different lengths of time for individual sets. The varying repetitions may also bring about strength gains and produce muscle tone in ways that benefit your physique and your interests. Some people may respond better to high repetitions such as 25-50 reps per set, and some may respond better to really heavy weights with lower reps such as 3-5 reps per set. I try to incorporate a pretty good balance in the workouts provided.

     

    In general, I like to warm up with 20-30 reps, and perform the 8-12 repetition range for my working sets. With my favorite exercises I like to lift especially heavy and just complete a few reps with as heavy weight as I can. Sometimes I like the burning sensation that comes from high repetition training for specific muscles such as biceps, triceps, quads, and calves. Yet other times I prefer to focus exclusively on Olympic lifts completing just 5-10 reps per set to thoroughly thrash my body. At the end of the day, I respect the diversity and benefits of high and low repetition training and incorporate both into my regular training routine. You can too, and take notice of how your body responds to varying stress levels through changes in repetition ranges. Experiment with high, mid, and low rep ranges for a few weeks and notice if one particular approach yields the best results or is the most fun. If it fits your interests, you can incorporate all three repetition ranges in a given workout and determine your own preferred range for your primary working sets.

     

    Above all else, train intelligently with purpose and passion with specific goals in mind. Make it fun, keep it safe, and be open to learning, unafraid of asking questions from those who have been there, done that. Use your resources from local trainers to online discussion groups, to popular websites and books to help you construct the physique and health outcome you desire.

    Sample Workout #1 – Chest and Shoulders

     

    A sample workout for someone who wants to get big and ripped might look like this:

     

    Morning

     

    Workout on an empty stomach (fasted cardio)

    15-minute jog at a low level of intensity

    15-minute cycle, varying levels of intensity to increase heart rate

    15-minute row, rowing hard and fast every fifth minute for one minute

     

    Afternoon/early evening

     

    Weight-training workout (chest and shoulders)

     

    10 minutes of cardiovascular training to warm-up, such as using the stair stepper

     

    Chest

     

    • Push-ups x 3 sets of 20 (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Incline bench press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dumbbell flys x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dips or weighted dips x 3 sets of 6-8 reps with decline push-ups as super sets doing as many reps as possible for each set

     

    Shoulders

     

    • Lateral raises x 3 sets of 8-12 reps with super sets of front raises x 8-12 reps

    • Overhead shoulder press x 3 sets of 8-10 reps

    • Dumbbell shrugs x 6 (total) sets of 8-20 reps with a drop set after each initial set

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    This sample workout for chest and shoulders covers 30 total sets, which is pretty high volume, but remember that three sets are for warm-ups and nine sets are either drop sets or super sets, which don’t take up very much time. This entire workout can still be completed in an hour and is designed to use exclusively free weights and bodyweight exercises aiming for an approximate 8-12 rep range as an average for the entire workout (drop sets and super sets could be very low reps as the body is fatigued and is pushing hard immediately after completing the initial set).

     

    Sample Workout #2 - Back

     

    Morning

     

    Workout on an empty stomach (fasted cardio)

     

    30-minute swim (or alternative preferred cardiovascular exercise for half an hour)

    Afternoon/early evening

     

    10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to warm-up, such as using the stair-stepper

     

    Weight-training workout (Back)

     

    • Lat pull-downs x 3 sets of 15-20 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Cable rows x 3 sets of 12-15 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Deadlifts x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • T-Bar rows x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Pull-ups x 3 sets of 8-12 reps or to failure

    • Bent-over rows x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Our backs are quite vulnerable and susceptible to injury so I choose to include a couple of warm-up sets with high repetitions before I go into a heavy lift such as deadlifts, T-bar rows, bent-over rows, or some other intense exercise. I highly suggest a significant warm-up plus stretching before engaging in deadlifts.

     

    Sample Workout #3 - Legs

     

    Morning

     

    Workout on an empty stomach (fasted cardio)

    30-minute Hike

    Circuit including 15 box jumps, 40 crunches, 30-second wall-sit – Repeat three times

     

    Afternoon/early evening

     

    10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to warm-up, such as using the stair stepper

     

    Weight training workout (Legs)

     

    • Bodyweight squats x 3 sets of 30 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Barbell Squats x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Lunges carrying dumbbells x 8-12 reps, incorporating drop sets after each set, lowering the weight until using no weight at all

    • Leg Press x 3 sets of 6-10 reps, super setting with jump lunges

    • Calf raises x 3 sets of as many reps as possible until the burning sensation overcomes you (anyone who trains calves regularly knows this feeling very well)

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    In this sample workout, we elected to focus on legs for the entire training session. There are plenty of training styles, including focusing on total body, upper lower body, core, or one or two muscle groups per workout. Since a real tough leg workout is one of the most challenging ways to train, and one of the most effective at building muscle and strength, I chose to isolate the legs for this workout.

     

    We managed a nice hike in the morning to burn fat by exercising on an empty stomach, and also incorporated some box jumps, wall sits, and core work, knowing we would be calling upon leg and core strength for the weight training workout in the late afternoon. During the actual leg training workout to build muscle, we busted out approximately 21 sets (the number varies based on the actual number of drop sets completed), which included three initial sets of bodyweight squats to get the lower body warmed up and prepared to squat. The volume was a bit lower here and could easily be altered by adding another exercise such as leg extensions or by changing the three sets per exercise to four sets for some of them. I prefer four sets for most exercises and even five or more sets for certain exercises such as leg press. Using a three-set example allows for more different types of exercises to fit into the workout for this specific illustration. In my personal training, I might complete just three exercises total during a given workout, such as squats, leg presses, and lunges. I often like to pick the exercises that will give me the greatest return on investment and focus more time on those (such as squats) versus an isolated movement like machine hamstring curls. Clearly the compound, multi-joint, free-weight squats will help build more muscle than using a curl machine.

     

    Sample Workout #4 - Arms

     

    Morning

    Workout on an empty stomach (fasted cardio)

    30-minute jog

     

    Afternoon/early evening

     

    10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to warm-up, such as using the stair stepper

     

    Weight Training Workout (Arms)

     

    Push-ups x 3 sets of 15-25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    Cable curls x 3 sets of 15-20 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

     

    Biceps

     

    • Alternating dumbbell bicep curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dumbbell hammer curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • EZ curl narrow-grip bicep curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps + negatives if desired

     

    Triceps

     

    • Skull crushers x 3 sets of 8-12 reps, superset with narrow-grip bench press

    • Overhead extensions x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dips x 3 sets of 8-12 reps, superset with decline push-ups if desired

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Training arms is a great way to get in and get out of the gym quickly, if time is something you are concerned with. Biceps and triceps are relatively small muscles; therefore, they recover quickly between sets. When training back or chest you may need to rest a couple of minutes between sets, but with your arms, you’ll find sufficient recovery after just about a minute of rest, ready to go again for the next set. You can base this on actual time, using a clock or stopwatch, or determine this based on feel. I prefer the latter. I stretch or massage my arms between sets, or simply get a drink of water, record my set in my training journal, do arm circles, or even sit on a bench for a moment before going back to hammer out another set.

     

    You might discover that training arms will require less overall time. You may spend up to 90 minutes training legs, due to long recovery periods for large muscle groups and the sheer number of reps and sets you may need to perform to include quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves in one workout. A chest/shoulders or back workout might take 60-75 minutes to perform, whereas an arm workout could easily be completed in less than an hour. You’ll still get a sufficient pump, breakdown lots of muscle tissue, and feel content with a hardcore lifting session that was only 48 minutes long. No shame in that. Carry on, my friend.

     

    Sample Workout #5 - Abs

     

    Morning

    Workout on an empty stomach (fasted cardio)

    30 minutes on the spin bike

     

    Afternoon/early evening

     

    10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to warm-up, such as using the stair stepper

     

    Weight Training Workout (Abs)

     

    • Front crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Left side crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Right side crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Hanging leg raises x 3 sets of as many reps as possible – Superset with hanging knee raises until failure

    • Plank x 3 sets for 90 seconds or until failure

    • Lying leg raises x 3 sets of 20 reps

    • Bicycle crunches x 3 sets of 100 reps (50 each side)

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    If you train your abdominals appropriately, you will feel a similar level of exhaustion you will experience during or immediately following a back or chest workout. I bet you haven’t experienced that sensation training abs all that often. A lot of us tend to focus on a few sets of sit-ups or crunches, a plank or two, and call it good. Abdominal training is often tacked on to the end of some other workout. For some of the same reasons we often avoid doing lunges, we avoid doing extensive abdominal training—it hurts and it isn’t always loads of fun.

     

    When was the last time you truly looked forward to doing 3-5 sets of planks for as long as possible until falling face-first on the ground, or doing hanging leg raises until your forearms, not your abs, told you it was time to call it a day? My guess is never. Rarely do we get super pumped about exercises that lead to a strong burning sensation that challenges us mentally, physically, and aerobically. Rather than just tacking abdominal training on to the end of your workout, give abdominals their own workout, or split the time evenly with some other muscle group, like you do with chest and shoulders, biceps and triceps, and quads and hamstrings.

     

    Summary

     

    The workouts listed above will carve out a lean and strong physique for you if you follow the routine for four to six weeks. After that length of time performing the same exercises week after week, adapting and getting stronger, it would be a good idea to change it up, incorporating new exercises, adjusting the repetition range, and forcing your body to adapt to new stresses placed up on it. As you get more comfortable with all of these free weight exercises, you might want to change up a routine every three or four weeks, allowing just enough time to achieve noticeable strength gains in the same exercises week after week before creating a new baseline with different exercises. If you maintain the same exact routine for too long, say a couple of months with no change, you will likely hit a few plateaus, lose interest, notice longer periods between measurable improvements, and it will likely compel you to seek out a new approach. Likewise, if you’re really adventurous you could change your workout routine every week, or even every day. Do what works for you, do what you enjoy, and work hard to reach your goals.

     

    Review the lists of exercises, training styles, and workout routines listed above, and evaluate the approaches to fat-loss and muscle building (from the previous chapters) and determine what best fits into your schedule, based on your specific goals.

     

    Consider the following additional samples for ways you can alter your weight training workouts, using a combination of free weights, machines, and cables to achieve the gains you are looking to experience. I selected the repetition range of 8-12 because it is the most commonly performed by weight lifters. It doesn’t mean you need to stick within this range. There are various benefits from training with lower repetitions (some train with a 1-rep max approach for strength), as well as training with higher repetitions. As mentioned earlier, my exercise sets routinely range between three and thirty repetitions, sometimes during the same workout. Some exercises are such powerful movements I naturally want to do a lower amount of reps with heavy weights. Exercises such as T-bar rows, bench press, leg press, and power cleans come to mind. Squats and deadlifts might fit into this category for many as well. Other exercises, I naturally want to do a lot of reps for, including calf raises, biceps and triceps exercises, leg extensions, and most abdominal movements. Your personal rep range many vary based on your goals, your preferences, the equipment you have available, and numerous other factors from your range of motion/flexibility to nagging injuries or other limitations, to your level of aerobic conditioning.

     

    Determine your own personal desired repetition range and incorporate many of the following exercises into your routine. I list the 15-20 repetition range for most warm-up exercises and the 8-12 repetition range for most working sets in the examples below because that is what I follow, and it is a common approach among many lifters. If you are a beginner or do not have a specific range you work within, 8-12 repetitions is a standard range that most people would benefit from. These daily workouts are just samples. You can follow them directly or incorporate whichever aspects you like from each one into your current training program. As usual, if you have your own personal trainer, lifting coach, or other fitness instructor, consult with them and see how these programs fit in with their objectives for you, based on your specific fitness goals. Train hard, use good form, be safe, and have fun!

     

    Additional Sample Muscle-Building Workouts

     

    Sample Chest Workout #1

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging, or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Push-ups x 3 sets of 20 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Incline barbell bench press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Flat dumbbell press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Decline barbell bench press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dumbbell flys x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dips x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 18 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Chest Workout #2

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging, or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Push-ups x 3 sets of 20 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Incline dumbbell press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Flat dumbbell press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Decline barbell bench press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Incline dumbbell flys x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • High pulley cable cross-overs x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Low pulley cable cross-overs x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 21 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Shoulder Workout #1

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Push-ups x 3 sets of 20 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Lateral dumbbell raises x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Front dumbbell raises x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Upright rows x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Overhead barbell press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Behind the back barbell shrugs x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 18 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Shoulder Workout #2

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Push-ups x 3 sets of 20 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Low pulley cable cross-over lateral/rear deltoid raises x 3 sets of 8-12 sets

    • Overhead dumbbell press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • One-arm dumbbell presses from floor x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dumbbell shrugs x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Angled incline seated shoulder front deltoid raises x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 18 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Back Workout #1

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging, or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Lat pull-downs x 3 sets of 15-20 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Machine rows x 3 sets of 12-15 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Pull-ups x 3 sets of 8-12 reps or to failure

    • Rack pulls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • T-bar rows x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • One-arm dumbbell rows x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 18 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Back Workout #2

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging, or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Cable rows x 3 sets of 15-20 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Cable pull-downs x 3 sets of 12-15 reps (used as an additional warm-up before free weights)

    • Rack pulls x 4 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Deadlifts x 4 sets of 8-12 reps

    • T-bar rows x 4 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Pull-ups x 4 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 22 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Leg Workout #1

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging, or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Bodyweight squats x 3 sets of 30 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Front squats x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Hack squats x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Leg press x 3 sets of 6-10 reps, super setting with jump lunges

    • Toe presses on leg press machine x 3 sets of as many reps as possible until the burning sensation overcomes you (anyone who trains calves regularly knows this feeling very well).

     

    Total = 18 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Leg Workout #2

     

    Warm-up (10 minutes)

     

    Stair stepper, stationary bike, treadmill, jogging, or some other type of cardiovascular exercise to get blood flowing and joints and muscles warmed up.

     

    • Bodyweight squats x 3 sets of 30 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Barbell squats x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Leg extensions x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Lying hamstring curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Deadlifts x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Standing calf raises x 3 sets of as many reps as possible until the burning sensation overcomes you (anyone who trains calves regularly knows this feeling very well).

    • Seated toe presses x 3 sets of as many reps as possible until the burning sensation overcomes you (anyone who trains calves regularly knows this feeling very well).

     

    Total = 21 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Arm Workout #1

     

    Push-ups x 3 sets of 15-25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    Cable curls x 3 sets of 15-20 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

     

    Biceps

     

    • Alternating dumbbell bicep curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dumbbell hammer curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • EZ curl narrow-grip bicep curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Triceps

     

    • Skull crushers x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Overhead extensions x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dips x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 24 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Arm Workout #2

     

    Push-ups x 3 sets of 15-25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    Machine curls x 3 sets of 15-20 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

     

    Biceps

    • One arm dumbbell concentration curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • EZ curl preacher curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Two arm straight bar bicep curls x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Triceps

     

    • Narrow-grip bench press x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Decline push-ups with neutral grip x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Dumbbell kickbacks x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

     

    Total = 24 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Abdominal Workout #1

     

    • Front crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Left side crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Right side crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Cable crunches x 3 sets of 15-20 reps

    • Weighted decline sit-ups x 3 sets of 8-12 reps

    • Hanging knee raises to the front, left and right sides, x 3 sets of 10-15 reps

    • Lying leg raises x 3 sets of 15-20 reps

     

    Total = 21 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Sample Abdominal Workout #2

     

    • Front crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Left side crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Right side crunches x 3 sets of 25 reps (used as a warm-up for muscles used in workout)

    • Hanging leg raises x 3 sets of as many reps as possible

    • Weighted abdominal crunch machine x 3 sets of 15-20 reps

    • Medicine ball partner sit-ups x 3 sets x as many reps as possible

    • Cable sledge hammer/axe swings x 3 sets of 15-20 reps per side

    • Plank x 3 sets until failure

     

    Total = 24 sets

     

    Finish with 15 minutes on the stair stepper, stationary bike, or if the weather is pleasant, a nice jog out in the sun.

     

    Follow workout with an emphasis on recovery foods, high in quality muscle-building nutrition, such as fruits, starches, greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

     

    Summary

     

    If you have questions about how to complete any of the exercises listed, please use the wonderful resources found on the Internet to search for photos, videos, descriptions, and demonstrations. I’m not going to leave you hanging, on your own to seek this information out. I have recruited my favorite vegan fitness model, Mindy Collette, to join me in demonstrating some key exercises that make up the core of the various exercise programs outlined in this chapter. I hope these photo demonstrations help you perform the exercises with a greater level of confidence and understanding.

     

    We opted to demonstrate the exercises that are perhaps the least common of the exercises listed, making the assumption that many of you are familiar with the basics such as a standard bench press, push-up, and squat. Though many are familiar with a standard push-up, an exercise like a skull crusher or T-bar row may be more foreign.

     

    These photos are listed roughly in the order of how they are listed in this chapter: *Photos removed. It would be too time-consuming to incorporate dozens of photos into this forum post/free sample chapter, but many book photos have been shared online in the past.*

     

    Total Body Workouts

     

    Not everyone has access to a gym to use the types of equipment that is outlined above, or have that kind of equipment at home. If you do not have access to a gym, or you prefer not to go to one, and don’t have weight training equipment at home, bodyweight exercises and total body workouts just might be your best approach.

     

    If you don’t have access to the equipment to do the exercises that Mindy and I demonstrate in the photos above, you can get a tremendous workout by using just your body, to do common exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, jumps, sprints, and so many more. You can pick any one of those exercises and train to exhaustion in a pretty short amount of time, mere seconds or minutes, depending on the exercise. You can alter your pace, depth, repetition range, and level of intensity to change the dynamic and impact of each exercise. I lead group fitness classes at various health conferences without any equipment at all, just using our own bodies, and nearly everyone, regardless of their level of fitness, is exhausted by the end. That is because no matter what the exercise is, you can always perform repetitions to failure and you can use drop sets and super sets to lead to exhaustion with movements as simple as bodyweight push-ups, squats, lunges, static holds, and jumps.

     

    If total body exercises are more in line with your interest, consider some of the following total body workouts to incorporate into your exercise schedule.

     

    Total Body Workout Sample #1 – Upper Body Exercises

     

    Warm-up (10-15 minutes)

     

    Perform the following in a continuous motion for at least 10 minutes with 30 second intervals performing each exercise, followed by 30 seconds of jogging in place between each exercise:

     

    • Arm circles for 1 minute forward and 1 minute backward

    • Jog in place for 1 minute and swing your arms in and out and side to side to loosen up

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • High knees for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Heels to glutes for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Jumping Jacks/Jills for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • High skips for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Squats for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Push-ups for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Invisible jump rope for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Star jumps for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 1 minute and swing your arms in and out and side to side

     

    Stretching (5-10 minutes)

     

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, arms, chest, shoulders, and back through a variety of basic stretches to loosen up after the warm-up. Stretching is not to be overlooked and should be performed once some form of preliminary exercise has been completed to increase circulation, improve flexibility, and warm-up joints and muscles that will be used in the forthcoming exercises.

     

    Upper body exercises (20-30 minutes or as long as you want)

     

    Push-ups x as many reps as you can for 3-5 sets

    Plank x as long as you can hold it for 3-5 sets

    Push-up jacks x as many as you can for 3-5 sets

    Slow moving Spiderman push-ups x as many as you can do for 3-5 sets

     

    Cool Down/Stretching (5-10 minutes)

     

    Arm circles for 1 minute forward and 1 minute backward

    Jog in place for 2 minutes

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, arms, chest, shoulders, and back through a variety of basic stretches to stretch muscles out after the workout.

     

    Total Body Workout Sample #2 – Lower Body Exercises

     

    Warm-up (10-15 minutes)

     

    Perform the following in a continuous motion for at least 10 minutes with 30 second intervals performing each exercise, followed by 30 seconds of jogging in place between each exercise:

     

    • Ankle circles for 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backward with each foot

    • Arm circles for 1 minute forward and 1 minute backward

    • Jog in place for 1 minute and swing your arms in and out and side to side to loosen up

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • High knees for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Heels to glutes for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Jumping Jacks/Jills for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • High skips for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Squats for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Lunges for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Invisible jump rope for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Star jumps for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Speed skaters for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 1 minute and swing your arms in and out and side to side

     

    Stretching (5-10 minutes)

     

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, arms, chest, shoulders, and back through a variety of basic stretches to loosen up after the warm-up. Stretching is not to be overlooked and should be performed once some form of preliminary exercise has been performed to increase circulation, improve flexibility and warm-up joints and muscles that will be used in the forthcoming exercises.

     

    Lower body exercises (20-30 minutes or as long as you want)

     

    Squats x as many reps as you can for 3-5 sets

    Lunges x as many reps as you can for 3-5 sets

    Star jumps x as many reps as you can for 3-5 sets

    Wall sits for as long as you can x 3-5 sets

     

    Cool Down/Stretching (5-10 minutes)

     

    Ankle circles for 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backward with each foot

    Arm circles for 1 minute forward and 1 minute backward

    Jog in place for 2 minutes

     

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, arms, chest, shoulders, and back through a variety of basic stretches to stretch muscles out after the workout.

     

    Total Body Workout Sample #3 – Total Body Exercises

     

    Warm-up (10-15 minutes)

     

    Perform the following in a continuous motion for at least 10 minutes with 30 second intervals performing each exercise, followed by 30 seconds of jogging in place between each exercise:

     

    • Ankle circles for 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backward with each foot

    • Arm circles for 1 minute forward and 1 minute backward

    • Jog in place for 1 minute and swing your arms in and out and side to side to loosen up

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • High knees for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Heels to glutes for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Jumping Jacks/Jills for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • High skips for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Squats for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Lunges for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Invisible jump rope for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Star jumps for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 30 seconds

    • Speed skaters for 30 seconds

    • Jog in place for 1 minute and swing your arms in and out and side to side

     

    Stretching (5-10 minutes)

     

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, arms, chest, shoulders, and back through a variety of basic stretches to loosen up after the warm-up. Stretching is not to be overlooked and should be performed once some form of preliminary exercise has been performed to increase circulation, improve flexibility and warm-up joints and muscles that will be used in the forthcoming exercises.

     

    Total Body Exercises (20-30 minutes or as long as you want)

     

    Mountain climbers x as many as possible for 3-5 sets

    Burpees x as many as possible for 3-5 sets

    Star jumps x as many as possible for 3-5 sets

    Jump squat + push-up combo x as many as possible x 3-5 sets

     

    Cool Down/Stretching (5-10 minutes)

     

    Ankle circles for 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds backward with each foot

    Arm circles for 1 minute forward and 1 minute backward

    Jog in place for 2 minutes

     

    Stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, arms, chest, shoulders, and back through a variety of basic stretches to stretch muscles out after the workout.

     

    Recap

     

    You all have your own unique goals to change your current level of health and fitness into something that you desire and strive for. Some of you will build muscle and others will get more shredded than you’ve ever been by leaning out as a result of your tailor-made approach to burning fat. Whatever you aim to accomplish, I am confident the exercise programs listed above will help you get there. Regardless of the style of training you decide to pursue, make an effort to document it in a training journal, whether a physical one as mentioned previously, or online. I have training and nutrition journals available on my website, www.veganbodybuilding.com, to help you stay consistent and accountable to follow through with your goals. They are designed to keep you motivated and inspired with their unique approach including images, tips, quotes, and featured athletes, among the actual journal pages to record your workouts and meals.

     

    Feel free to join our online plant-based athlete communities as well. We have numerous resources for you to record your training and nutrition journals online where you can get feedback and input from others, and it is a prime environment for transparency to keep you moving forward. Links to all of our online forums are on www.veganbodybuilding.com.

     

    Now that you are equipped with a plethora of helpful exercises, including demonstrations of many, it’s time to fuel your body and replenish, repair and rebuild through sound nutrition. The following recipes from numerous cookbook authors, chefs and athletes will provide you with the other part of the equation. Exercise is only half the battle, what you decide to eat will determine your overall health outcome. Wishing you all the best. Enjoy everything the plant-based kitchen has to offer.

     

    *Hope you enjoyed this free chapter! Feel free to order Shred It! here: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=shredit*

     

     

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    www.veganbodybuilding.com

  12. How To Create Your Own Plant-Based Athlete Meal Plans

     

    11390020_10155585505760447_4208443819586591525_n.jpg?oh=6437983e8052f017349b06f7e9912fc4&oe=55ED8142

     

    Over the twenty years that I have been a plant-based (vegan) athlete, I’ve realized that many people know what foods they want to avoid when they decide to become vegan, but they’re often unsure about the foods to eat to thrive as a plant-based athlete.

     

    An obvious first step is to avoid eating animal products, but what to replace them with becomes the mission to conquer. Many animal products are 1500-3000 calories per pound, whereas most plant foods are 200-500 calories per pound. Naturally, there will be questions about what to eat to replace animal foods in order to maintain your current weight, build muscle, and burn fat on a whole-food, plant-based diet. In my latest book, Shred It! (Gaven Press, November, 2014), I provide many answers, listing specific types of foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, while also sharing what a typical day of plant-based eating looks like for me.

     

    Furthermore, I explain why animal-based foods are not the best sources of protein, calcium, and essential fats, and reveal why they are not really even very good sources of nutrition. For example, plant foods contain 64 times more antioxidants than animal-based foods, fiber is only found in plants, cholesterol is only found in animal products, and leafy green vegetables are pound-for-pound the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat. Plant foods are vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant-rich, as well as hydrating and mostly alkaline-forming. Animal foods tend to have a lot of baggage besides all the environmental destruction, pain, suffering, and slaughter that come along with them, such as cholesterol, often saturated fat, acid-forming protein, and the ability to damage our artery walls and create plaque build-up inside our blood vessels.

     

    As you’re creating a nutrition program based on your individual health and fitness goals, you will be happy to learn that plant foods contain the best sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, and hydration, coming from fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes. This reality puts you in a position to be successful, now you just need to know how to put the meal plans together.

     

    The following is an excerpt from Shred It!, which will provide some helpful direction as you solve the puzzle of what to eat, in what quantities, and when to eat it:

     

    The General Rules to Follow

    A general rule to follow is to consume six meals a day, eating every three hours or so. This will keep your body constantly nourished and will help you avoid under eating, overeating, and help you maintain a productive metabolism. It will also ensure you are fueled to workout essentially anytime. Plan this into your meal preparations so you have meals prepared in advance and have access to high levels of nutrition any time of day, regardless of where you are. Keeping whole fruits and vegetables and nut and seed bars with you is an effective way to have healthy fast food while living a busy life on the go. I rarely go anywhere without packing snacks to take with me, consisting of bananas, apples, oranges, berries and other whole foods.

    If you consume adequate caloric quantities based on your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), you should be able to put on mass, increase muscle, and build strength. You can also get shredded by knowing the proper nutrition approaches to follow, and by implementing them. A low fat nutrition program will likely keep your body fat low. A high-energy nutrition program will keep your energy high. A diverse and calorically sufficient nutrition program will help you recover from exercise efficiently and build muscle. It really can be that easy.

     

    First you’ll need to establish how many calories you are burning per day by using a Harris-Benedict calculator, as discussed in Chapter Five. Based on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level you will find out how many calories you’ll need to consume to maintain weight. Given this data you can figure out how many calories you’ll need to consume to lose weight, gain muscle, or stay the same. By doing so, you can construct your meal plans according to your goals, based on real, tangible data designed to support your endeavors in a measurable way.

     

    Some categories of foods to consume based on their nutritional impact include:

     

    Fruits – Great for snacks and pre-workout fuel and for energy in general

    Starches (Vegetables, Grains, Legumes) – Great as main courses

    Greens – Great for overall nutrition

    Vegetables – Great for snacks, for main courses, for overall nutrition and variety

    Legumes – Great heavy base for filling meals

    Nuts/Seeds – Great source of calories and essential fats, quick easy snack

     

    A helpful tip is to prepare large quantities of specific staple foods to last for multiple days. This will save you time and money in the long run and allow more time for exercising, stretching, working, spending time with family, or whatever activities you prioritize. Some of those foods include:

     

    Brown rice

    Quinoa

    Barley

    Beans

    Lentils

    Potatoes

    Yams

    Soup

    Chili

    Salad

    Nut and seed trail mix

    Granola

     

    Having some of these prepared staples, plus lots of fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, makes it easy to prepare filling meals any time.

    Additionally, having accessory foods such as avocado, hummus, olives, mushrooms, spreads, dips, and other foods that often get included into snacks or main courses will help enhance the variety and flavor of meals you prepare. You’ll want these items to be oil-free since oil is pure fat at 4,000 calories per pound!

     

    Good Breakfast Options

    Fruit

    Oats

    Grits

    Green smoothie

    Fruit smoothie

    Potatoes/yams

    Miso soup with greens

    Steamed greens

    Brown rice

    Breakfast burrito

    Breakfast wrap

    Yerba mate

     

    Good Snack Options

    Fruit

    Vegetables

    Nuts/seeds

    Hummus

    Smoothie

    Flax crackers

    Dried fruit

    Prepared food leftovers

    Avocado rolls

    Fresh vegetable wraps/soft spring rolls

    Edamame

    Almond butter or other nut butters

    Fruit, nut and seed trail mix

    Homemade whole-food bars

    Green salad

    Fruit salad

     

    Good Lunch Options

    Starches (beans, lentils, brown rice, potatoes)

    Quinoa

    Vegetables

    Green salad

    Fruits

    Soup

    Fresh salad rolls

    Avocado rolls/plant-based sushi

    Hummus wrap

    Burrito bowl

    International foods including plant-based friendly options from Indian, Thai, Ethiopian, Mexican, Japanese, North African, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisine

     

    Good Dinner Options

    Starches (beans, lentils, brown rice, potatoes)

    Quinoa

    Vegetables

    Green salad

    Fruits

    Soup

    Chili

    Stuffed bell peppers

    Portobello mushrooms

    Plant-based burgers, wraps, burritos, or other whole foods

    All-you-can-eat plant-based buffets (Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese)

    International foods including plant-based friendly options from Indian, Thai, Ethiopian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Japanese, North African, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine

     

    Sample Meal Plans

     

    The following are sample meal plans from my personal experiences and from the experiences of numerous colleagues who have contributed meal plans to this chapter. All of the meal plans are made up exclusively from whole plant foods and are primarily common allergen-free as well. They are nutrient-dense focused on high net gain nutrition, not total calories at all costs, like many athletes are used to consuming.

     

    These meal plans are designed to be guidelines and examples. Chances are good that these meal plans will yield more nutrition than you are currently consuming because they don’t have refined or processed foods, fillers, or empty calories and are very nutrient-dense. You can follow them exactly, or you can alter them based on your own food preferences, the foods you have access to, based on your own unique health and fitness goals. You may require more or fewer calories based on your BMR, and ultimately based on your very specific goals, which you have established back when you read Chapter Two. You are also advised to consult your own nutritionist, physician, or health expert before starting a new nutrition program inspired by the suggestions in this chapter.

     

    There will be numerous samples containing a variety of foods from international entrees to exotic fruits, to very common foods you’ll find in essentially any major metropolitan grocery store worldwide. I hope you find some meal plans that resonate with you, and that provide a baseline from which to work as you formulate your nutritional approach to achieve your goals. Be forewarned that some meal plans are deceptively simple. That is by design. Good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. It can still be exotic, full of flavor and incredibly satisfying, but it can also be amazingly practical, simple, and effective. I tend to focus on the latter. I am not a chef, I am not a foodie, and I am not a culinary expert, but I do know how to fuel my body to achieve the results I am looking for, be it fat-loss, muscle gain, or something else like strength gain, or incredible endurance. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate tantalizing plant-based culinary delights, and I do indulge in exotic entrees at high-end plant-based restaurants in San Francisco, Vancouver, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Asheville, Portland, and other plant-based cuisine hot spots, but that is not the foundation for which my nutritional desires are based, and I am going out on a limb to assume it’s not for most of you either. Whatever your nutritional desires, I hope you find some of the following sample meal plans to be helpful, even if they are deceptively simple.

     

    This is what a typical day looks like for me:

     

    Breakfast

    • Water

    • A few pieces of whole fruit

    • A bowl of oats with berries or other fruit

    • A green smoothie made from green leafy vegetables, water, and fruit

    Snack

    • A few pieces of whole fruit

    • Vegetables and hummus

    • Yerba Mate drink

    Lunch

    • International cuisine such as Thai, Indian, or Mexican

    • Small green salad

    • Water

    Snack

    • A few pieces of whole fruit

    • A fruit, nut and seed bar

    • Water

    Dinner

    • Potatoes, lentils, beans, brown rice, quinoa or other starchy complex carbohydrate food

    • Green salad

    • International cuisine

    • Water

    Snack

    • A few pieces of whole fruit

    • A fruit, nut and seed bar

    • Occasionally something heavy such as potatoes, beans, lentils

     

    The usual variations include more salad greens as snacks, foods such as plant-based sushi (avocado and vegetable rolls) as snacks or primary meals, occasionally nuts and seeds, and other types of international foods. I traditionally keep potatoes, yams, beans, lentils, brown rice, and quinoa as my foundational staples and include salad greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and complimentary foods that add flavor, texture, variety and nutrition to the main courses of my meals. Most of my snacks are fruit-based, comprised of the following: Bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, melons, tangerines, pears, mangos, and whatever is in season at the time. Cherries are an all-time favorite fruit of mine, with lychee, mango, watermelon, and persimmons all making my list of preferred fruits when in season. For convenience sake, I often snack on fruit, nut and seed bars for quick dense calories before, during or after workouts, and when traveling.

     

    Ultimately, I want to eat nutrient-dense foods as often as possible, therefore salad greens are added to most of my main courses and fruits are consumed throughout the day, including pre, post, and often during muscle-building workouts. Starchy complex carbohydrates always provide me with the most fuel. Those are the true staples of my diet, with fruit and yams and potatoes being favorite foods, and Thai, Indian, and Mexican being my absolute preferred foods based on diversity of nutrition, overall taste, flavor, enjoyment, and the satiation that comes from these amazing meals.

     

    I hope this example from Shred It! gives you some helpful tips to create your own plant-based athlete meal plans. For additional meal plans, dozens of recipes, and detailed chapters on precisely how to build muscle and burn fat on a whole-food, plant-based diet, please refer to Shred It!, available on www.veganbodybuilding.com.

     

    As always, train hard, eat well, smile often, and pursue your goals with passion, consistency, accountability, and transparency. I wish you all the very best in health and fitness. Let’s get shredded!

     

    - Robert Cheeke, best-selling author of Shred It! and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, 2-time champion bodybuilder, and founder/president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness – www.veganbodybuilding.com.

     

    11406528_10153359048267905_7857741836552746553_n.jpg?oh=3e7ed3a7e7157fd063d4e78dfc153a6b&oe=560A2093

     

    Order your copy of Shred It! here -------> www.veganbodybuilding.com/shredit

  13. Hi everyone,

     

    Happy Earth Day!

     

    I have some awesome Earth Day Special Offers from VB&F:

     

    Earth Day Special Offer #1 - Valid for customers worldwide

     

    Hi everyone, I'm bringing the awesome offers for Earth Day and we're starting a day early! Here's the info for Earth Day Offer #1:

    For every Shred It! book you order, you get $20 worth of Vega products. Order 1 book, get $20 in Vega. Order 3 books, get $60 in Vega. Order 5 books get $100 in Vega. And on down the line. Already have Shred It!? This is the perfect time to order a copy for a friend, or a bunch of copies for your office or for your team, or order 20 or 50 copies for your business.

     

    Valid for printed copies only, not eBooks. (We will have a special eBook offer as well).

     

    No special code needed. Just order printed copies of Shred It! on April 21st or April 22nd (Earth Day) and based on the number of copies ordered, you will receive your Vega rewards accordingly.

     

    I will buy these Vega products for you myself. Why would I spend all that money on Vega? 1. I want to sell a lot of books to make this book a bestseller, and incentives work well. 2. Vega has supported me for the past 10 years, both financially and with opportunities, so it is my pleasure to invest back into the company that has always had my back. 3. It is my desire to hook you up with tons of extras for supporting my efforts as a writer and as a contractor for Vega.

     

    Thank you so much for your support!

     

    Time to hook YOU up!

     

    Order here: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=shredit

     

     

     

    Earth Day Special Offer #2 - Open to USA and Canada customers only

     

    Buy Vega from any store on April 21st or April 22nd (Earth Day), email me your receipt, and receive bonus Vega as rewards.

     

    Spend more than $50 on Vega, receive $30 in bonus Vega products.

     

    Spend more than $100 on Vega, receive $75 in bonus Vega products

     

    Spend more than $150 on Vega, receive $100 in bonus Vega products

     

    Spend more than $250+ on Vega, receive $150 in bonus Vega products

     

    Order from a physical store like Whole Foods Market, Costco, or your local retailer, or order online, and email a copy of your receipt to [email protected]. The receipt must be dated April 21 or April 22, 2015.

     

    ***If you order from Vegan Proteins: Online Vegan Supplement Shop or Vegan Essentials you will receive Extra Bonus Items.***

     

    Happy Shopping! It is my pleasure to invest back into the company that has supported me for more than a decade. I will buy these bonus Vega items myself. As long as my book, Shred It!, continues to do well, I can continue to give back to Vega and invest into this community.

     

    Thank you for supporting Vega. I look forward to hooking YOU up!

     

    Happy Earth Day!

     

    -Robert

     

     

    All details on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/615575988564537/

  14. 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.

     

    10703734_10204362257790666_3827540374083087907_n.jpg?oh=bd420d6c68b1f70f92be33d978e38d47&oe=559437E7&__gda__=1430897905_3b8df7570d026d116648b306aa8585a8

  15. 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

     

    Introduction

     

    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

     

     

    Introduction

     

    “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

     

    10624588_10204538665760755_7399939287356630717_n.jpg?oh=4641bd0f085a7b9316ac9519b10d899b&oe=5585CE4D

  16. Hi everyone,

     

    I just sent a newsletter out, but I'm not sure if everyone received it. Here is my new book announcement:

     

    Hi everyone,

     

    Thank you for being a member of our Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness forum. I know some of you have been members for ten years.

     

    I have a big announcement to make, and you're the first to read it. After years in the making, I am pleased to announce that my new book, Shred It!: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Burning Fat and Building Muscle on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, is now available to order.

     

    To learn more about Shred It! and to order your copy, visit:http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=shredit

     

    Here's some info about it:

     

    Robert Cheeke’s newest book, Shred It! (Gaven Press, 2014), is a comprehensive guide to setting achievable goals, burning fat, and building muscle on a whole-food, plant-based diet.

     

    As one of only a few books to combine a completely whole-food, plant-based menu with detailed training programs, Shred It! has been endorsed by 28 of the biggest names in the health and fitness industry, including Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., Kathy Freston, Rich Roll, Julieanna Hever, and Rip Esselstyn.

     

    Shred It! will teach you the most important steps to take to achieve your health and fitness goals. By reading this book, you will once and for all truly understand how to:

     

    • Set achievable goals that lead to real results

    • Discover the most effective ways to burn fat

    • Build muscle efficiently on a whole-food, plant-based diet

    • Identify what could be holding you back from reaching your fitness potential

    • Exercise nearly anywhere, anytime, managing time effectively

     

    You will also:

     

    • Learn from dozens of experts and fitness professionals

    • Read awe-inspiring fitness and health transformations

    • Discover 75 delicious plant-based athlete recipes and meal plans

    • Master dozens of workouts with step-by-step instructions and photos

    • Find an exercise and nutrition plan that will really work for you

     

    Following Robert’s bestselling book, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness (Book Publishing Company, 2010), his new book takes a fresh and modern approach to health and fitness by incorporating the disease-fighting, athletic performance-enhancing, and popular WFPB (whole-food, plant-based) diet to achieve desired results.

     

    A perfect book for those embarking on health and fitness-related New Year’s Resolutions, this 344-page guide highlights more than 35 successful plant-based athletes, contains hundreds of photos, including dozens of images of recipes and exercises, and is a powerfully motivating compilation of the most helpful and useful guidelines to follow to achieve your personal goals.

     

    What experts are saying:

     

    “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

     

    “The 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 illuminates the athletic world with a huge reality check in Shred It!, making it impossible not to be infused with inspiration.”

     

    - 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?

     

    “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

     

    “Robert lays the foundation of health and fitness with a clear and effective method to achieve popular fitness goals, burn fat, and build muscle ... the healthy way.”

     

    − Elizabeth Kucinich, Policy Director, Center for Food Safety

     

    "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, so pick up this book and listen!"

     

    - Emily Deschanel, Actress, Star of the hit TV Show, Bones

     

    “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.”

     

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

     

    “Robert Cheeke is the frontiersman of plant-based bodybuilding, convincingly demonstrating you can be the best you can be, eating plants and training with skillfully applied resistance.”

     

    — Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

     

    Thank you for your interest in Shred It!

     

    Visit http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=shredit to place your order.

     

    Thank you so much for your support! I sincerely appreciate it!

     

    -Robert

    @RobertCheeke on Twitter

     

    Full Press Release and images to share are located here: https://www.facebook.com/VeganBodybuildingAndFitness

  17. Man, that is sad to hear.

     

    I was talking with my buddy Derek Tresize about some favorite bodybuilders, and I mentioned Nasser El Sonbaty. He told me Nasser had died. I had no idea. And then Derek told me another big name bodybuilder from the 90's had recently died. I guessed Mike Matarazzo because I know he had some heart issues, but then Derek and I watched the Olympia and I forgot to look it up.

     

    I always liked Mike. I even have a photo of me and him in my book. He was outspoken against vegetarianism, saying vegetarians were weak with thinning hair and things like that. Sorry to hear about this loss.

     

    Mainstream bodybuilding sure is rough on the body.

  18. Feel free to post your:

     

    Facebook page

     

    Twitter page

     

    Instagram page

     

    YouTube Channel

     

    In this thread to connect with others.

     

    Do you follow us online?

     

    Here are some official VB&F pages:

     

    Facebook Page = https://www.facebook.com/VeganBodybuildingAndFitness

     

    Facebook Group = https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeganBodybuildingAndFitness/

     

    Instagram = http://instagram.com/veganbodybuildingandfitness

     

    Twitter = @vbbook

     

    Share yours too.

     

    All the best!

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