Bodybuilding means changing your body in the way you want, gaining strength, gaining self-confidence, being rewarded for all of the hard work, and feeling wonderful about it. However, bodybuilding also requires discipline. Discipline to stay on track, to go to the gym even if I am tired or don’t feel like it, and to eat healthy.
by Anastastia Zinchenko
Even if food is vegan, it doesn’t mean that I can always eat it. It is the right combination of nutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – that helps me to create the body I want. Luckily, I’ve found ways to make the typically boring bodybuilder diet enjoyable! I started developing my own recipes and creating healthy, low calorie, high protein versions of foods that I love. And so, I can eat pancakes several times a day while still gaining muscle and losing fat when I prepare for a competition.
I eat four meals per day. Each of my meals contains at least 30 g protein, as this is the required amount for optimal muscle gain.
Here is an example of what I eat in a day:
- Breakfast: Protein pancakes with berries, one cup of tea and coffee with unsweetened almond milk.
- Lunch: A big serving of veggies, mostly stir-fried zucchini and mushroom with herbs and spices, protein bread and coconut oil.
(I use coconut oil as a saturated fatty acid source. Although, saturated fatty acids have a bad reputation, a moderate amount is needed in a healthy, balanced diet. My protein bread contains chia seeds, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for health and muscle growth. My major omega-3 fatty acid sources are chia seeds, flax meal, and hemp oil.)
- Dinner: A gigantic salad with chickpeas and fat sources like olives or avocado. Afterwards, I have protein pancakes.
(Dinner is my largest meal, because I have it straight after my workout.)
- Pre-Bed Snack: Protein dessert with chia seeds. My favourite protein powder (taste-wise) is white hemp protein powder.
I often use protein powder for cooking to increase the protein content of my meals and because I don’t like drinking protein shakes. I prefer eating food to drinking it. If you are curious how I use protein powder for cooking, I tell you all of my secrets in this video.
My training program:
I do a whole-body workout every day. There is evidence that training each muscle group every day is more beneficial for intermediate and advanced lifters than doing only a few long training sessions per week.
I change my training program depending on my current goals. However, to give you an idea of my training, here is an example of the general program I follow:
- Day 1
- Front squats – 4 sets of 10 or back squats – 5 sets of 6
- Dumbbell bench press or decline bench press – 4 sets of 8
- Pull ups – 5 sets of 5
- Lateral raises – 3 sets of 12
- Triceps overhead extensions – 3 sets of 12
- Hyperextensions – 3 sets of 10
- Day 2
- Deadlift – 5 sets of 6
- Dumbbell shoulder press – 4 sets of 10
- Dumbbell row – 4 sets of 12
- Butterfly – 4 sets of 8
- Bulgarian split squat – 4 sets of 8
- Biceps curls – 3 sets of 12
- Day 3
- Good morning – 4 sets of 8
- Barbell bench press – 5 sets of 6
- Pull ups – 5 sets of 5 or wide-grip lat pulldown 4 sets of 12
- Leg extensions – 3 sets of 10
- Lateral raises or front raises – 3 sets of 8
- Face pull – 3 sets of 12 or triceps overhead extensions – 3 sets of 10
Before each exercise, I do one or a few warm up sets with a lighter weight. When I finish ‘Day 3’ of my program, I start again with ‘Day 1’ and take a rest when necessary.
If you have any questions on how to become lean and strong on a vegan diet, feel free to contact me on social media. I am always happy to help!
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