My adventure in vegan bodybuilding outlined in this blog from several years ago was definitely a learning experience. These days I am more into triathlon training, but muscle building is a part of every athletic endeavor and so I am grateful for my experiences with this blog that set me on the path to so many blessings.  However, I want to acknowledge that some of the things I learned at the end of this blog (which spanned one year of my life) included some hard truths.  One, when you begin a bodybuilding program at age 40, as opposed to age 20, you will not have as much growth hormone surging in your body–  and if you have no prior muscle tone (because maybe you starved yourself when you were a young model and that wasted a lot of muscle), you have a long, hard road ahead to build sizable muscle that shows up when you are not flexing.  Two, when you are tall and genetically long and lean, you have a much harder time putting on muscle than if you were shorter and/or had a rounder genetic look to your muscles.  Three, when you are a woman you obviously have much less testosterone than a man, so building muscle is more of a challenge for us than it is for men.  This last one is a big one and is why I always laugh when skinny women point at images of muscular women and say, “I don’t want to look like that; I just want to get toned.”  I always assure them that very few women, unless they are those extremely rare (lucky) women who are genetically gifted, can accidentally get big muscles.  If you are so gifted, you really owe it to the world to be a professional athlete, LOL.  The point is that it takes an enormous amount of work and consistent dedication to build muscles on a female body, and most women who work out hard on a consistent basis will end up looking more like me than Jehina Malik pictured above (she’s the first vegan female IFBB pro, by the way, and deserves big kudos for that amazing accomplishment).  Having said all of this, I want to make sure to give praise to all the strong vegan women who are excelling in the field of bodybuilding, whether it be in the bikini, figure, or bodybuilding divisions– through years and years (usually a decade or more) of daily time-consuming workouts.  They have put up with feeling sore, day after day.  They have put forth the effort to educate themselves on nutrition and follow through with loads of will power in many awkward situations.  These women are truly accomplished and I want to salute them.  Enjoy these photos as your inspiration to be the best YOU that you can be, following in their footsteps! (Pictured are: Jehina Malik, Mindy Collette, Yolanda Presswood and Samantha Shorkey– four amazing women who have been featured in the pages of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine for their winning so many bodybuilding competitions).


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