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Can you be vegan and a professional bodybuilder? Of course, you can. But for some people, vegan bodybuilding still seems like rocket science.
Two of the most puzzling questions are: what does the vegan bodybuilder eat, and what does his workout routine look like? Maybe Jon Venus knows the answer better than we do.
In fact, we’re sure of it.
Jon Venus is an online vlogger, trainer, and vegan bodybuilder who has gotten impressively swole without relying on meat.
His Youtube channel has over 350,000 subscribers. In it, you’ll find documents of his ongoing journey and a fair share of sage advice about meal plans and workout routines.
Essentially, our man here is a great example of what a plant-based diet can achieve. He has the physique of a chiseled Greek god, and his gains go to show that it isn’t just spinach that gives you that Popeye power bulge.
Don’t get it wrong, he is well aware he is not perfect and is very open about his evolving views and diet practices.
He may have made slip-ups that would anger the militant vegan (nothing new here), but his honesty and openness have endeared him to many. Most importantly, I think it helps to progress the conversation about diet even further.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Jon Venus is no stranger to supplementation. He is an ambassador for Vivo Life Protein - understandably, his staple choice of plant based protein.
But besides supplementing with plant-based protein powder, he stays away from processed foods and eats raw as much as possible. To paint a better picture, let’s take a look at a typical day. What specific meals and macros make up the bulk of his bulking diet?
Venus usually saves his breakfast for after his morning workout, and it usually constitutes a recovery smoothie or smoothie bowl packed with all the nutrients his body needs.
His morning smoothie is filled with bananas, berries, hemp seeds, kale, spinach, pineapple, almond milk, and a hearty scoop of Vivo Life Perform Protein Powder.
What Venus eats for lunch could never be considered light. He goes big, and his midday meal includes carbs, fats, and plant protein.
One of his favorites is a burrito bowl, which constitutes pinto beans, tofu, roasted sweet potato, and leafy greens, all tastily tossed in taco spices and served over brown rice. He’ll top this with homemade guacamole and salsa for a lunch that nourishes the tongue as well as the body.
Venus eats three square meals a day, and dinner is an excellent chance to top up on his veggie intake without sacrificing important nutrients like fiber and protein.
Dinner on his vegan diet will usually be based around hearty and healthy pulses like lentils spiced generously for flavor. He combines this with nutrient-dense vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and asparagus. For protein, he eats smoked tempeh or tofu and accompanies this with even more vegetables in the form of a salad with delicious homemade dressings.
It’s important to snack if you feel hungry, you shouldn’t deprive yourself, and you don’t have to be on a healthy plant-based diet either. The vegan diet plan involves making sure that the snacks you reach for are the right ones, though.
Whenever you feel peckish, Venus recommends reaching for fruits. He’s a big fan of peaches, watermelon, mango, and berries. However, if you’re after that crunchy texture, I would recommend nuts. Only remember to be aware of the fat content, especially if you’re looking to cut.
Everyone has different fitness levels and a different focus when it comes to muscle building and health. Building a routine is the most important thing you can do, and so you should start with sets of reps in your ability.
In an interview, the plant based bodybuilder recommended that a great start would be sets of 12 repeated 3 times in rotation, focusing on the chest, shoulder, and triceps.
When it starts to feel really hard, that’s when you should really try and add three or four more reps on – that’s what makes the difference.
If you are looking to improve your mobility and build muscle mass, the key is to push yourself further. It doesn’t matter if you follow a carnivore or a plant-based diet, the result will be pretty much the same. The only difference you might experience is the delay in recovery time and energy dips associated with overeating meat.
No, he has not. Being half-Brazilian, meat was a big part of his upbringing. But as an adult, he slowly but surely gravitated towards the vegan diet. Put another way: his impressive physique is a house that’s built on plants. He is committed to the diet now and doesn’t look back.
Check out this recent video where he shared his thoughts on why he changed his mind about vegan diet, why he changed his mind and what he learned along the way:
He attributes the switch largely to the documentary Earthlings, which opened his eyes to the compassionate side of veganism. Since then, through his research and commitment, he has seen the amazing benefits the diet provides to heart and health.
Let’s be honest, there is no such thing as the perfect vegan. We all make mistakes. Not only that, it can be a scary prospect to go against the mainstream and tread new territory, especially when it comes to health and fitness.
He has built an incredible following due to his honesty and enthusiasm, and his journey is an inspiring one. I highly recommend his Instagram and YouTube accounts. Great workout tips, even greater food advice.