I’m always looking for inspiration to keep me going on my quest to build more muscle, be stronger and more athletic–because, let’s face it, it’s not easy!  So, I wanted to share with you all a link to a PETA ad campaign with several famous athletes: http://www.peta.org/features/15-athletes-for-animals.aspx

This was the only one that proudly displayed the word “vegan” although a couple have “vegetarian”.  Not the best collection of athletes to promote veganism (there are many, many great vegan athletes and they only used this one triathlete).  Nonetheless, it’s nice to see so many famous athletes doing something to help animals in some aspect, and for the 3 that are labeled vegan or vegetarian—they are very inspirational to our cause as vegan body builders—seriously, I mean look at this guy’s calves!  That’s the power of spinach!

Speaking of veggie power, I went to the gym late last night and hit a few of my most needy body parts, including my glutes and abs, which I cannot work during my period without getting cramps (so I don’t).  That’s why I’m calling this a PMS workout.  But I also trained some body parts that I haven’t been able to hit very well with my home work outs.  That includes my shoulders.  I mentioned in a previous post or two that I seem to have injured a tendon on my right elbow and it has made it painful (in a bad way) to use dumbells.  So, I used some machines and had no problem working my shoulders.  This is a good example of why using machines instead of free weights can be both bad and good.  We always hear from serious body builders that “free weights are the best” and “machines are not working the entire muscle group”.  That is true and can lead to problems if you only use machines and then you try to lift something heavy (whether it be a dumbell or a heavy box or a toddler) and you find that some little muscle you didn’t even know that you had wasn’t able to handle stabilizing your frame as you lifted and you end up with an injury. Or, you find that you just can’t lift things in real life that are as heavy (or lighter) than the amount of weight that you regularly lift on a machine at the gym.  That’s because you need those little stabilizer muscles in real life lifting (of boxes and toddlers) and they aren’t getting worked by the machines.  This is the con of using machines.  The pro is that if you already have an injury, you may be able to keep training other muscles while you allow the injured ones to heal by substituting certain machines for your usual free weight moves. This is what I did last night and it worked very well.  Also, I used a very light weight (5 lbs) for some twisting moves (for my core) and alternated arm movements (and wrist movements) throughout and worked my forearms a little.  This helped my injury a lot. I find that using a really light weight and lots of reps from different angles does help bring blood to a muscle and gently strengthen it.  I wouldn’t recommend this if the injury is fresh or if it hurts to do this, but if it’s a nagging little pain that has been around for a while and needs a little push to recover, you might want to try this (again, be gentle with yourself—don’t push it if it hurts, only do what doesn’t hurt in that area).

Here’s my workout:

  • Lateral raise machine: 8 reps/65 lbs, 2 reps/80 lbs (drop set to) 6 reps/65 lbs, 5 reps/65 lbs (drop set to) 5 reps/ 50 lbs
  • Incline press machine: 8 reps/50 lbs X 3
  • Freemotion calf press machine: 10 reps/300 lbs (toes Straight, pointed out and in) X 3
  • Glute machine: 10 reps/150 lbs X 3
  • Prone hamstring curls: 15 reps/50 lbs, 12 reps/60 lbs X 2
  • Outer thigh machine: 12 reps/90 lbs X 3
  • Inner thigh machine: 15 reps/100 lbs X 3
  • Ab rocker: 50 reps X 4
  • Standing ab twist with variety of arm moves (punches, curls, lateral raises, wrist flexes) 5 lbs/5 minutes
  • Cardio on elliptical machine: ramp 16/level 10/11 minutes/100 calories (I would have done more cardio, but it was 12:30 am and I needed to get home–this happens sometimes, I’ll try to do more tonight)

And here’s what I ate yesterday:

  • Breakfast (40 g protein): smoothie with bananas, frozen peaches, blueberries, strawberries 2+ oz wheat grass (3 g protein), 1 packet frozen acai with added protein (7 g protein), 1.5 cups soy milk (10 g protein), 1 scoop Berry Flavor Vega Sport Performance Protein (20 g protein).
  • Snack: Cliff Bar, apricot flavor (11 g protein)
  • Lunch (30 g protein): at Veggie Grill: Chop Chop Salad
  • Dinner (44 g protein): 1 cup Pinto beans (14 g protein), 2 cup corn (10 g protein), 1 cup cooked spinach (5 g protein) with tomatoes, mexican seasoning, and a light sprinkling of Daiya cheddar cheese (1 g protein). With a glass of soy milk (2 cups=14 g protein)
  • Before/During Workout: 1 liter water (no supplements added)
  • After Workout (13 g protein): 3/4 cup Optimum blueberry cinnamon cereal (10 g protein) with 1/2 cup soy milk (3 g protein)
  • Before Bed: 1 large mug of chamomile and lavender tea with 1/2 cup soy milk (4 g protein)
  • Total:131 grams of protein for the day (I have been cutting calories by reducing portion sizes and snacks, so the protein is lower than usual, but still over a gram per pound of my body weight, so I’m OK. I could have increased the protein a lot by opting for a Vega smoothie instead of cereal after my workout.  I will do that tonight.  Live and learn!)

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