It’s been a crazy season! Not only have we had our busiest travel season to date, I’ve also competed in 3 bodybuilding contests between June and September this year (more than I ever have in the past), which also means I’ve been dieting for 6 months! (insert crying emoji here)…. So, you can see why I’ve been terrible about posting updates hopefully.
I hadn’t planned on such an exhausting competition schedule, but I effectively trained around my (eternally ongoing) injuries enough to get into some of my best stage condition to date, and I’ve rediscovered how motivating it is to compete alongside other vegans to raise awareness and give/receive moral support – it makes a huge difference! That’s a major reason why I decided to join Team Clean Machine this year in addition to believing in the company – the moral support and incentive to compete really motivates me!
My first contest this year was with Team Plantbuilt at the Naturally Fit Games in Austin TX, where I placed 2nd in an extremely competitive Pro Men’s Physique class out of 9 athletes. I was lucky to have one of our trainers Forest Crosbie as a training partner leading up to the show, and I got one of my best stage photos to date (see below) to show for it! It’s always an honor to compete alongside such an awesome group of vegan athletes, and this year was especially epic because with only 39 out of over 1000 total competitors we took home 32 medals, 22 of which were 1st place! Still think it’s a disadvantage being vegan?!
I was so fired up after Austin I decided to do two more shows, the next of which was the Jay Cutler Classic VA here in our hometown Richmond Virginia. this was my first National Physique Committee (NPC) show, which was intimidating because the NPC is the amateur league for the IFBB (the big leagues), and they do not drug test so you never know what you’ll be up against. I also decided to compete in both Men’s Physique and the new division Classic Physique, which really appeals to me – and I’m very glad I did!
I invited fellow vegan bodybuilder Edward Goins to compete too and we got in some great workouts and had a blast hanging out backstage – we even got to meet 4-Time Mr Olympia Jay Cutler!
Here’s my Classic Physique posing routine – I’m not happy with my conditioning here, but otherwise I had a blast and definitely want to compete in this class again!
And in spite of my concern, you can see that both Edward and myself managed to prove that natural vegan athletes can hold their own at NPC shows!
I took home three trophies – 1st in Novice Classic Physique, 2nd in Open Classic Physique, and 5th in Men’s Physique, so you can see why I’m glad I tried Classic! Edward did even better with two 1sts and 2nds in his classes!
And since the trophies were daggers (awesome!) we of course had to have a knife fight afterwards…
This past weekend I competed in my final competition of the year, the WNBF Pro Universe in New York. I placed 2nd in this show two years ago and came in hoping for my first pro win. I was shocked to see the level of improvement the competition had seen in such a short span of time, and I unfortunately placed 5th out of 12 competitors – which is a good showing, but a lot lower than I’d hoped for.
I was not looking forward to competing without a vegan crew to back me up, but I was very pleasantly surprised to meet not one but two other vegan athletes competing there – and none of us knew each other beforehand! Oliver Hubbard was a fellow WNBF Men’s Physique Pro, and Christian Force was an INBF Men’s Physique Competitor after his pro card. We ended up having a great time talking about veganism with the other competitors, and although placings weren’t as high as we’d like we made an awesome representation of vegan muscle!
I’m now very excitedly going into my off season and increasing my food intake (yay!), and I plan on bringing a much better package to stage for next year’s season – hopefully my best ever. I saw some excellent progress this year in spite of dealing with a couple chronic injuries and getting a couple new ones. I attribute my success in large part to surrounding myself with like-minded people, training smarter instead of harder, incorporating some new nutrition knowledge from the epic book How Not To Die (a must-read!), and adding Clean Machine products to my regimen. For that last, I always emphasize you should maximize your whole food intake and minimize everything else for the best possible results, but supplements can give you a little additional edge if everything else is already dialed in and there’s no doubt in my mind that they helped. If you’d like to try them for yourself you can use my athlete code DTTCM to get 25
% off whenever you order at cleanmachineonline.com . Just please make sure your diet is already 80-90% whole plant foods first. #BeansAndGreens 😉
The judges have told me I need to work on my V-Taper and come in even leaner, so it’s time to hit the ground running and get to work! We’ll keep you posted!