When Flex Magazine did a March 2016 feature article Meatless Meat-Heads, they were talking about guys like twenty-nine-year-old Kendrick Farris, an Olympic weightlifter, coach and Olympian who went vegan in late 2014. He broke the American lifting record for clean-and-jerk with three lifts totaling 377 kg (743 lbs) in May of 2016.
Farris announced his having gone vegan on Facebook:
You can watch Farris' record-breaking lift (209 kg / 461 lbs), which is also his all-time personal best, here:
Farris is not the only vegan Olympian in the news lately. Heavyweight boxer Cam F. Awesome, an outspoken vegan, will be returning to the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro. He's also a stand-up comic. How's that for a 1-2 punch to moronic stereotypes that vegans are strong or funny?
It seems like attitudes about plant-powered athletes are finally changing in the mainstream. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, might think twice before telling Mr. Awesome he hits like a vegetarian, and in fact, Arnold recently told the world to eat less meat. Arnold's call for less meat was part of the environmental summit COP21, where he was quoted responding to some angry meat-pious true-believers with, "luckily we know that you can get your protein source from many different ways, you can get it through vegetables if you are a vegetarian...I have seen many body builders that are vegetarian and they get strong and healthy."
Many people might not know that ten-time gold-medalist and legendary track star Carl Lewis credits his successes to a plant-based diet. And he's not the only legendary athlete who has advocated the performance maximizing benefits of plant-fuel.
Despite the growing proof that one can thrive as a plant-powered strength athlete (let's not forget the world-record holding strongman, Patrik Baboumian or the entire Plantbuilt team) there are those who still cling to the mythology that we must eat muscle to become muscle - at least in the long term.
Ed Baur, owner of NewEthic Strength & Conditioning, has been a strict vegan for over 20 years. He's a Crossfit and powerlifting coach, and he recently got two personal records, one for front squat and another for deadlift. This goes to show that even after 20 years of veganism, competitive athletes can still build strength and make gains. When he posted the image below on his Instagram feed he said, "I will get ...bigger and better than before and I am going to take a lot of you with me."
Shop the Brave GentleMan vegan Crossfit grip: