A couple months ago I published a blog post about bulking on a vegan diet. (You can check out that post Here). I set out to use my boyfriend to prove that you can get big on a plant-based diet. So we got him on a solid lifting and nutrition program in hopes to do so. Here’s how it’s gone so far:
Today marks 7 weeks since I started the LOTV Program. Over the last 7 weeks I followed the 6 week hypertrophy block as well as the programmed De-Load week. I had fairly good adherence to the program with the occasional shortened workout due to time constraints. Throughout the 7 weeks I also dialed in my nutrition and made sure to maintain a caloric surplus from plant based foods in order to make the most out of the hypertrophy block. My macro breakdown was roughly 20% Protein, 65% Carbs, and 15% Fats throughout the first 6 weeks and then I shifted to a few less carbs on my de-load week in order to adjust for the lower intensity. In practice that consisted of 5-6 meals a day plus one post workout shake which were all plant based sources.
To say that I was able to put on some mass while using a plant-based diet would be an understatement. My original goal was to go from 180lbs @9% Body Fat to 186 at 11%BF over the course of 15 weeks. However, in just half that time I went from 180lbs. at 9% Body Fat to 191lbs. at 12% Body Fat. Although my Body Fat percentage is a little higher than my original goal I’m not worried about it because I have still put on about 4lbs worth of lean mass. That is a HUGE amount of muscle gain within a few weeks for someone that has been training as long as myself (about 10 years of weight training). With all that weight gain has also come a huge increase in my working load. I have regained a lot of the strength that I talked about losing in my first post, and I think that I will be approaching my strongest yet, but I will not know until I decide to max again.
That said, I have decided to stay on the gain train! Instead of taking the next 6 weeks to do a strength block I will do another 6 weeks of hypertrophy. Over that time I plan on getting close to 200lbs, and although I will continue to put on body fat I should be able to keep it down to around 15%. After that I plan to take off all of the excess body fat with a mini-cut and continue into a strength cycle to progress the rest of my training year. I plan on continuing to post my progress every few weeks or as I approach landmarks within my training. Stay tuned and let’s see just how far a plant based athlete can go!
In 7 weeks of a plant-based bulking diet and solid training he’s been able to gain 11 pounds! His diet was mostly clean, with a few cheats here and there. This shows that gaining muscle does not require meat! It really just takes a solid caloric surplus with plenty of healthy carbohydrates, and hard training of course.
It has been shown time and again that you can get great gains with an omnivorous diet. That is common knowledge, and something I am not looking to disprove. What I want people to realize, though, is that that is just one option, and not mandatory if you want to see progress in the gym. You can choose a plant-based lifestyle for the sake of your health, the animals, and the planet, without sacrificing your fitness goals in the process!
If you need help on your plant-based fitness journey check out our programs Here.