Plant Based Muscle
By: Dave Swartz
Living in a town that is one of the endurance sports meccas of the country, one tends to see many fit people on a daily basis. I participate in many of these sporting activities including cross country skiing, trail running, mountain biking and road biking. Since Park City is in the mountains and these are human powered activities, going uphill is required. Due to that fact, I have always kept my weight down all year round as it tends to be easier to go uphill when you have less weight to carry. However, this fall/winter I wanted to try something different, weight lifting to gain weight. The idea was to gain 10 to 12 lbs of weight/muscle which is a lot of muscle when you only weigh 155 pounds. Since becoming vegetarian/vegan almost 18 years ago I have always stayed around the same weight, never fluctuating more than 5 pounds or so, however, within 6 weeks I had gained 10 lbs and noticed large gains in strength and muscle. All I was doing to achieve this was eating more plant based foods and weightlifting 1 hour per week. I always knew that one could gain weight/muscle on a vegan diet but never really tried it until now. I just couldn’t believe how quickly the results came. I have since leveled off my weight/ muscle gain as I still want be competitive in the endurance sports and didn’t think more weight would be beneficial. Don’t believe me? Here are some strength athletes that took it a bit further.