When it comes to vegan athletes, up until now, the spotlight has primarily been on endurance athletes like Rich Roll and Brendan Brazier. But now there is a quickly growing community of people getting into vegan bodybuilding, and more and more resources are popping up to help those who want to give it a try.
Let me start with a little story… As you may or may not know, I was named Trainer of the Month in November 2013 on the world’s most popular bodybuilding and fitness website BodyBuilding.com. Over a year went by and I realized I had not taken advantage of that opportunity to connect with readers through the comments on the post or on the forum. So I hopped on the forum, introduced myself, and basically said I’d love to connect with anyone interested in eating more plants and would be happy to answer any questions. The response was overwhelming, but unfortunately not in a positive way. I discovered people have a much easier time bashing me from the other side of a computer screen than in person! There were few people who commented who had any interest in learning more about plant-based eating. It takes a level of open-mindedness for there to be a chance of change, so I decided my energy would be better spent elsewhere.
That’s when I started checking out other websites and forums that were specifically for people interested in moving toward a vegan diet plan or wanted to take their vegan diet and performance to the next level. It was exciting to see that there were some awesome sites to explore.
One site I want to tell you about is VegetarianBodybuilding.com. This one is particularly special to me because the creator, Chris Willitts, contacted me not long ago to ask if I’d be interested in participating in his interview series. I took a look and saw the quality and depth of the interviews he had done with inspiring people. Robert Cheeke, founder of VeganBodyBuilding.com was a recent interviewee for example. I was honored to be included and agree to the interview. It was a written interview, so I wrote my answers to Chris’s questions and sent them back to him. His reply was brilliant,
“Although this is well written, sometimes this feels surface deep and “safe” – it has been my experience that when we get vulnerable, specific about personal details, and cite emotions is when we have the best opportunity to pull people in to our story and engage them. This is especially important for us because we want to connect with our tribe and all of the would-be plant-based warriors.”
I took his constructive criticism and ran with it. I re-wrote my answers without holding back. I was thrilled with Chris’s response.
“This is one hell of an interview and you should be proud, way better! This feels real, and I personally connected much better – I have, we
all have, a part of our lives that is sensitive/dark, etc., and it’s always refreshing to see and hear people share their journey of
You can check out the interview HERE. While you’re on the site check out the rest of what Chris is doing to bring vegan bodybuilding and fitness into the mainstream. All very cool! His blog is also fantastic. He has thoughtful, useful, well-written posts, with info that can benefit everyone.
I asked Chris to tell us his story and what his work is all about in a nutshell and here’s what he said,
“I’m passionate about reshaping bodybuilding into a healthier lifestyle. My name is Chris Willitts, and I’m the founder and owner of VegetarianBodybuilding.com. A few months after our launch back in 2013, I realized that there was a great need for a vegetarian bodybuilding system that made plant-based nutrition easy. This was the premise for creating the V3 Bodybuilding System. VegetarianBodybuilding.com also discusses “non-bodybuilding” methodologies that focus more on strength, flexibility, functionality, and mind-body fitness.
This site is for anyone (not just vegetarians) who has the desire to eat more plants and less meat. Bodybuilding has been passion of mine for over 20 years. Although, I’ve never had a desire to be a professional bodybuilder, I’ve always wanted to be as strong as hell, and I have a deep respect for the discipline. Also, my commitment to fitness played a huge role in my recovery from a debilitating drinking problem years ago. Meditation has been a passion of mine for almost 10 years. Seven years ago, I founded Mindful Muscle, a website that advocates meditation and mindful living, fragranced with the scientific method (Eckhart Tolle meets Sam Harris meets William Tiller).”
I want to thank Chris for the opportunity to not just do an interview, but also for challenging me to push past my comfort zone. I will never go back to “safe mode” again… I’m excited to share my life on a much deeper level with the world. This goes to show what kind of person Chris is and validates his ability to encourage others to overcome challenges and take their lives to the next level. Keep it up Chris!