One year of vegan fitness

The first Athlegan post was published at the end of last year and this year it's really taken off and grown beyond what I'd hoped for.

Athlegan's mission is to help vegans become athletes and athletes to become vegans, so we can show just how powerful compassion can be. The ultimate goal is to have more vegans and less suffering.

From my correspondence with readers this year I've got to say it's been a thundering success!

I want to thank everyone who has helped Athlegan get to where it is today:

  • Web wizard Peter Kirwan of Great Vegan Athletes for never ending insights.

  • My amazing wife for all her support and help editing (every single article).

  • Niklas Laninge of DailyBitsOf for pushing me to and helping me teach people online.

  • Alexandra, Mikael, Peter, Olivia, and Albin for helping me improve my online coaching.

  • Simon Aldous and Bulk Powders for helping me reach new readers and hone my writing skill.

  • All the fantastic people who have emailed me or let me know over Facebook or Twitter how Athlegan has helped them. That makes all the difference!

A year of vegan fitness

Articles in 2016

This year a total of 27 articles were published on Athlegan.com.

Most popular

These were the most popular articles:

My favorites

These were my personal favorites:

  • The ultimate guide to Starting Strength – Starting Strength is one of, if not the most popular strength training programs out there. If you want to grow strong, stop looking for a better program – there isn't one. Here's how to use it.

  • Healthy vegan breakfast recipes for athletes – Becoming vegan and committing to eating healthier to support your growing strength and fitness can both be tricky changes. When combined, perhaps even more so.

  • Easy vegan dinner recipes – After a hard day at work and having lifted heavy stuff, the last thing I want to do is to stand in the kitchen for hours at end. But I also want yummy food to support the gainz, so here's what I do.

  • Dead easy vegan lunch ideas – One of the questions I've been asked the most since starting Athlegan is what vegan athletes should eat. Now the time's come to share a few of my favorite ideas for lunch recipes. Healthy lunches for all the athlegans out there.

  • What vegan protein powder is the best? – I started Athlegan by writing about vegan protein and how it's no problem getting sufficient amounts. But we're athletes and we want optimal amounts! Protein powder is one easy way of getting that.

Vegan athletes

Big shoutout also to the vegan athletes who told us of their training and diet:

  • Jack Morrow – One seriously strong powerlifter gone physique competitor.

  • Simone Collins – A CrossFitter, figure competitor, obstacle racer, and budding Strongwoman.

  • Claire "Fury" Foreman – A fearsome Muay Thai fighter from Australia.

A course

One of the first and most popular articles – The 8 worst beginner mistakes (and how to fix them) – also turned into a course, to help new athletes avoid mistakes I've already made myself.

It's 100% free! Sign up below if you haven't taken it yet.

Goals for 2016

Last year before New Years Eve I wrote an article on my personal goals for the coming year.

Now's the reckoning. :)

#1 – Hit a 450 kg total in bench, squat and deadlift (powerlifting)

I started the year with a 351 kg total and by following the Starting Strength program I managed to add 63 kg to this for a 414 kg total. Not too shabby for three months of work!

I didn't reach the goal in the end though, so that's a fail.

Long story short, I did what I've always done and kept switching between focusing on strength, conditioning, skills (brazilian jiu-jitsu), etc. Jack of all trades, master of none…

Lesson: I easily get restless, so I shouldn't commit to doing only one thing 100% for a full year, if I can still progress while doing a variety of activities.

#2 – Hit a 180 kg total in snatch and clean & jerk (weightlifting)

I didn't do any weightlifting this year. My plan was to do half a year of powerlifting and then switch to weightlifting but this changed midway through.

Lesson: Roll with the punches. Planning is vital but the plan isn't holy.

#3 – Handstand walk ten meters

I managed to increase this to ~5 meters before losing motivation.

A recurring theme, it seems.

As I wasn't doing any CrossFit last year I never had any external motivation (completing a WOD with handstand walking) and apparently I had little internal motivation.

Lesson: I shouldn't commit to doing something I don't actually care a whole lot about.

#4 – Read ten vegan fitness books

For 2016 I took on a challenge on Goodreads to read a total of 52 books. It looks like I'll end up having read 42 books before the year is up.

Only four of those were in the category of vegan fitness books:

Starting Strength 5/3/1 Kettlebell - Simple & Sinister How Not to Die

Lesson: If I want to read I have to make time for it. It won't just happen by itself.

#5 – Participate in at least one BJJ or submission wrestling competition

I participated in two tournaments, fought six people in total, won a gold and a bronze medal. Plus a silver in the absolute category. Goooal!

Lesson: If you want to do something, commit to it early and leave no room to back out of it.

Goals for 2017

Looking forward, this is what I aim to achieve next year:

  • Compete at least twice. Probably in brazilian jiu-jitsu or grappling but any sport will count.

  • Read five books related to vegan fitness. Half the amount I planned for this year but one more than I actually read.

  • Drop to a single digit body fat percentage. This will help me compete in a lower weight category but it's also something I just want to check off from my bucket list.

  • Hit a 425 kg total in bench, squat and deadlift. A bit less than last year but considering I also want to get to and stay on a lower body fat percentage, it's going to take a bit longer.

  • Continue training BJJ at least twice per week on average, including holidays, injuries, etc.

  • Train something at least once per week. I'm becoming a father in February (!) and I want to continue growing and staying health, so I can set a good example for my son.

  • Cook one new dish once per month, to learn more recipes and spice things up a bit.

  • Grow the Athlegan family! I want twice the amount of daily visitors, and subscribers by the end of next year.

Happy new year!

I have a lot of good stuff planned for Athlegan next year and I'm psyched to help even more people become strong and powerful vegans.

If you don't want to miss anything, subscribe below (100% free).

2017 will be an awesome year for vegan athletes!