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Vegan calisthenics is a bodyweight workout made famous by Frank Medrano.
Basically, it involves performing calisthenics training while undertaking a plant-based diet. So no meat or animal-based foods is be allowed.
One issue with vegan diets is a lack of calories, which may result in muscle loss if you are performing the intense bodyweight exercises required.
The following article will look at what you should be eating, to ensure you are getting enough calories, and enough of the nutrients required to actively build muscle too.
This may be redundant for many of you reading this but it is worth stating, as a vegan you are not allowed to eat any animal, or any animal-related product. All other foods will be fine.
That means no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, or seafood can be consumed. This is the basic premise of vegan calisthenics.
As you are considering calisthenics, you will need to think about what kinds of foods you should eat to give you the strength and energy to perform these bodyweight exercises.
The 4 main components you need to look at when looking at your vegan diet are:
Protein is incredibly important when attempting to build muscle whether you are on a vegan diet or not.
This is why out of the three main macronutrients, you should consume more protein than carbohydrates and fat.
Your diet should consist of 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fats.
Protein is made up of amino acids that help to repair and rebuild the micro-tears in your muscle fiber that is torn when you perform resistance training.
You can get your protein from the following foods:
I would make sure to get the bulk of your protein for your vegan calisthenics from grains and nuts. Beans and legumes are a good source of protein, but I would not rely on them too much as they can sometimes cause gas and intestinal discomfort.
You may even want to try one of the various vegan protein bars on the market.
Carbohydrates are also important as once consumed they are converted into glycogen, which can be used as fuel when you work out.
If you do not consume enough carbs, then your body will instead turn towards your muscle mass for energy, which will result in you losing that hard-earned muscle mass through catabolysis.
Lack of carbs in your diet can also cause other issues. This is because carbohydrates can increase the risk of low T3 syndrome, which occurs when the thyroid hormone T3 is not produced.
The problem with this is that this hormone controls your metabolism, energy, and weight control.
If you are not producing T3 then you are at risk of weight gain and chronic fatigue .
Luckily if you are consuming grains already as suggested then you will already be consuming a good amount of carbs too. You should also consider adding other fruits and vegetables too.
When undertaking a vegan diet you will also need to keep track of your overall calorie intake.
First, you will need to think about what you are trying to achieve:
Once you have decided what your goal is, you will need to work out how many calories you need to consume daily to maintain your current weight.
There are calculators online that can help you to work this out.
By keeping a food diary and writing down everything you eat and the number of calories they contain, you will be able to maintain your current weight.
To build mass, you should try and add 10-15% onto your daily calorie intake. This is to create what is known as a calorie surplus.
If you wish to burn fat then you should try and reduce your daily calorie intake by 10-15%, creating a calorie deficit.
Here are some more tips to ensure you have the strength to perform your best while training:
Medrano is not the only vegan athlete that has seen success with a calisthenics diet, there are many more. But this Frank Medrano diet hopefully gave you an idea on how to build make the most out of your calisthenics workout and training.
If you follow our tips above, making sure you are getting all of the essential nutrients from your food and working hard, then there is no reason why you cannot see an incredible change to your physique.
It just needs you to take action, to make a plan, and to stick to it. Good luck!