Gaining Muscle for Vegetarians?

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    Nov 23, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    So basically I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience building muscle mass without eating meat? I'm 6'1, 145 lb. and I'm looking to gain about 20 pounds. I actually have like 0% body fat and right now I'm just like...skinny-muscular? It seems like I've hit a wall, and am not really getting much bigger, just harder.

    What I'd like to do is make my weight a bit more proportional to my height, by building bigger muscles but also by adding a little bit of fat as well because I don't want to look too ripped and hard-bodied, just built. But it's difficult being so tall and ESPECIALLY when you're vegetarian. So does anybody have any experience with gaining muscle mass while on a vegetarian diet? If so, how'd you make it work?
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:07 AM GMT
    Well good luck...you're never going to get very big being a vegetarian. I have seen dozens of people try it and I have seen no one get there. The only guy I knew that was reasonably built and also vegetarian did it by eating a deathly amount of cheese. No really...an unhealthy amount of cheese. Similarly, most of your other vegetarian options for dense protein will be found in things like nuts and dairy, and instead of getting protein from lean meat, these sources will probably start giving you too much fat and cholesterol. Hopefully you're not vegan...

    Otherwise I suggest lots of beans with rice (very good for muscle mass, esp because beans include lots of protein, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.) Eat eggs, but be careful because too many eggs give some people cholesterol problems. Cashews are very good too (protein and magnesium,) but again, very fatty. You can also boost your protein with whey shakes...um... you should probably also be eating a regular dose of spinach to keep the iron in your diet. However males *should not* take iron supplements as it is very easy for us to reach toxic levels with iron.

    I'm on the "avoid soy" camp. It's a great source of protein, but I think it does mess with male body chemistry. I used to do lots of soy protein, soy milk, and I love tofu. But one year I cut most of that out of my diet, and I noticed immediate (and good) changes in my physique, strength (and even some extra b.o., lol.)

    I used to be semi-vegetarian (I know some of you don't like that term) but I used to only eat meat for special occasions or after days where I had lifted extra hard. I have a hard enough time as it is gaining weight. I gave that up and started putting some (even if just a little) meat in my diet every day, and that has vastly improved my recovery and gains after the gym.
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:19 AM GMT
    If you aren't vegan you should be fine.
    The obvious answers are that you have bad genetics for adding muscle or even just mass, your workout program is terrible, and/or you food intake is low.

    9/10 There is something sabotaging the workout.
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:23 AM GMT
    Effen has some good advice. You also just have to EAT. Some guys just don't have big appetites, and as strange as it sounds, you may simply need to boost your caloric intake. Also, it is very important to make sure you eat something relatively heavy with protein within the first 30 minutes after your workout. You've just shocked your muscles and they need immediate nutrition!
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:26 AM GMT
    Use Vega products, they are all certified vegan. You have access to protein powder, protein bars, pre workout supplements, I even think they have a bcaa and it's all vegan. The taste factor is not always there but from what my vegan friends say who use it, you get used to it. They are able to maintain a good amount of mass using them.

    http://myvega.com/
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    axbuddy saidUse Vega products, they are all certified vegan. You have access to protein powder, protein bars, pre workout supplements, I even think they have a bcaa and it's all vegan. The taste factor is not always there but from what my vegan friends say who use it, you get used to it. They are able to maintain a good amount of mass using them.

    http://myvega.com/


    A good alternative if your main focus is to remain vegetarian.

    I have a slightly different health goal: I'm strength training with no supplements, and basing as much as I can on simple, whole food and balanced nutrition. I like to think about what is happening inside my body in the long-run, what my wholistic nutrition goals are, and how my body is able to process nutrition. Just to be a devil's advocate:

    How are supplements NOT a type of heavily processed food?

    Just my perspective...I avoid supplements other than the occasional mineral vitamin icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 23, 2011 2:53 AM GMT
    My advice was to the creator of this thread (TellMeWhereYouWannaGo) Not you westanimas, I didn't even read what you had been writing
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    Nov 23, 2011 3:04 AM GMT
    westanimas said
    axbuddy saidUse Vega products, they are all certified vegan. You have access to protein powder, protein bars, pre workout supplements, I even think they have a bcaa and it's all vegan. The taste factor is not always there but from what my vegan friends say who use it, you get used to it. They are able to maintain a good amount of mass using them.

    http://myvega.com/


    A good alternative if your main focus is to remain vegetarian.

    I have a slightly different health goal: I'm strength training with no supplements, and basing as much as I can on simple, whole food and balanced nutrition. I like to think about what is happening inside my body in the long-run, what my wholistic nutrition goals are, and how my body is able to process nutrition. Just to be a devil's advocate:

    How are supplements NOT a type of heavily processed food?

    Just my perspective...I avoid supplements other than the occasional mineral vitamin icon_smile.gif


    Vega products are whole food, plant based. I don't consider the supplements, as they are made from real whole food. If you read the ingredients list, you can pronounce and know everything in it. It doesn't sounds like it was made in a lab.
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    Nov 23, 2011 3:08 AM GMT
    And you can build muscle on a vegan/vegetarian diet. Mac Danzig is a vegan UFC fighter, Robert Cheeke is a vegan body builder. There is, unfortunately, a lot of misinformation people have about it.
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    Nov 23, 2011 3:55 AM GMT
    westanimas saidWell good luck...you're never going to get very big being a vegetarian. I have seen dozens of people try it and I have seen no one get there.

    I don't agree with that. There are plenty of vegetarian athletes and bodybuilders who proved that wrong. If you said vegan I might agree, but I'm a vegetarian and I'm definitely getting enough protein in my diet. I will say that getting cut as a vegetarian might be difficult because of the amount of carbs most vegetarians eat, but bulking up shouldn't be a problem.
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    Nov 23, 2011 4:01 AM GMT
    TellMeWhereYouWannaGo saidSo basically I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience building muscle mass without eating meat? I'm 6'1, 145 lb. and I'm looking to gain about 20 pounds. I actually have like 0% body fat and right now I'm just like...skinny-muscular? It seems like I've hit a wall, and am not really getting much bigger, just harder.

    What I'd like to do is make my weight a bit more proportional to my height, by building bigger muscles but also by adding a little bit of fat as well because I don't want to look too ripped and hard-bodied, just built. But it's difficult being so tall and ESPECIALLY when you're vegetarian. So does anybody have any experience with gaining muscle mass while on a vegetarian diet? If so, how'd you make it work?


    If you eat dairy, cottage cheese (Breakstone's just came out with some with reduced salt that is still quite edible) and greek yoghurt are your friends, Icelandic skyr if you can find it, all high in protein. IDK if you eat eggs or not, to me that is not really vegetarian as I understand it but I know some do.

    I like JayRobb's protein products because there is nothing artificial in them and they use stevia, a natural plant-based sugar with a lower glycemic index than sugar.
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    Nov 23, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    TellMeWhereYouWannaGo saidSo basically I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience building muscle mass without eating meat? I'm 6'1, 145 lb. and I'm looking to gain about 20 pounds. I actually have like 0% body fat and right now I'm just like...skinny-muscular? It seems like I've hit a wall, and am not really getting much bigger, just harder.

    What I'd like to do is make my weight a bit more proportional to my height, by building bigger muscles but also by adding a little bit of fat as well because I don't want to look too ripped and hard-bodied, just built. But it's difficult being so tall and ESPECIALLY when you're vegetarian. So does anybody have any experience with gaining muscle mass while on a vegetarian diet? If so, how'd you make it work?

    Try a mass gainer like carbo gain and combine it with your protein. I also add olive oil to my protein shake because I need some good fats in my diet. Just keep a log of how many calories you're eating. You're burning calories by going to the gym and you probably have a fast metabolism to begin with so you're definitely going to need excess calories. My post-workout shake has about 700 calories so you might have to add things like that in your diet to gain weight.
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    Nov 23, 2011 6:16 AM GMT
    westanimas saidWell good luck...you're never going to get very big being a vegetarian. I have seen dozens of people try it and I have seen no one get there. The only guy I knew that was reasonably built and also vegetarian did it by eating a deathly amount of cheese. No really...an unhealthy amount of cheese. Similarly, most of your other vegetarian options for dense protein will be found in things like nuts and dairy, and instead of getting protein from lean meat, these sources will probably start giving you too much fat and cholesterol. Hopefully you're not vegan...

    Otherwise I suggest lots of beans with rice (very good for muscle mass, esp because beans include lots of protein, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.) Eat eggs, but be careful because too many eggs give some people cholesterol problems. Cashews are very good too (protein and magnesium,) but again, very fatty. You can also boost your protein with whey shakes...um... you should probably also be eating a regular dose of spinach to keep the iron in your diet. However males *should not* take iron supplements as it is very easy for us to reach toxic levels with iron.

    I'm on the "avoid soy" camp. It's a great source of protein, but I think it does mess with male body chemistry. I used to do lots of soy protein, soy milk, and I love tofu. But one year I cut most of that out of my diet, and I noticed immediate (and good) changes in my physique, strength (and even some extra b.o., lol.)

    I used to be semi-vegetarian (I know some of you don't like that term) but I used to only eat meat for special occasions or after days where I had lifted extra hard. I have a hard enough time as it is gaining weight. I gave that up and started putting some (even if just a little) meat in my diet every day, and that has vastly improved my recovery and gains after the gym.


    No I'm not vegan, lol. But I'm not really trying to get "big" per se, I'm just trying to get a bit "bigger". Even once I reach my goal I'm still going to be a slim person. And the thing about fats wouldn't really be an issue because I want a little bit of fat, I don't want to look to hard. And the fat in nuts (but not eggs) are healthy fats, right? So that wouldn't be a big problem.

    I eat a LOT of nuts (lulz) and seeds. I eat almonds and walnuts primarily, I think I recall reading that almonds have the highest protein content of any nut. I eat spinach daily as well. I don't eat soy either, it kinda scares me.

    But no, I'm really only veg right now because I'm living in Asia and I eat all organic, and the organic meat here is absolutely ridiculous. $50 for 3 chicken breasts. And I don't like the idea of conventional meat, so if push comes to shove and I can't get bigger while I'm here I'll just wait until I get back to the states to gain my 20 pounds. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 23, 2011 6:17 AM GMT
    effen saidIf you aren't vegan you should be fine.
    The obvious answers are that you have bad genetics for adding muscle or even just mass, your workout program is terrible, and/or you food intake is low.

    9/10 There is something sabotaging the workout.


    It's my genetics. I'm a "hardgainer" and have worked "hard" to "gain" what I do have.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Nov 23, 2011 6:46 AM GMT
    westanimas saidWell good luck...you're never going to get very big being a vegetarian.


    BS. I personally know one buff vegan and know of a number of vegitarian natural bodybuilders.
    In fact, vegetarian is ridiculously simple (vegan is tough). Just use whey and casein proteins and egg and dairy products. (There are many more in depth answers, but I'll leave that to the vegetarian bodybuilders out there [go to bodybuilding.com or the like]).

    Also, count calories. It's not hard to take in a lot of calories as a vegetarian, but requires a bit more planning as a lot of vegetarian options are filling relative to calorie content, which inclines you to eat less.
  • neosyllogy

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    Nov 23, 2011 6:48 AM GMT
    TellMeWhereYouWannaGo said
    effen saidIf you aren't vegan you should be fine.
    The obvious answers are that you have bad genetics for adding muscle or even just mass, your workout program is terrible, and/or you food intake is low.

    9/10 There is something sabotaging the workout.


    It's my genetics. I'm a "hardgainer" and have worked "hard" to "gain" what I do have.


    "hardgainer" is also BS.
    98% chance you're just not eating enough.
    Calculate and count your calories. (If you're using a resting metabolism algorithm to get basic idea of calories you need make sure it takes into account your body fat %, most algorithms don't, and as such don't work for lean people)
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    Nov 23, 2011 12:37 PM GMT
    Muscle is meat; so to build more muscle you must eat more meat.
    After all, plants are living creatures, too.
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    Nov 23, 2011 12:52 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    westanimas saidWell good luck...you're never going to get very big being a vegetarian.


    BS. I know personally of one buff vegan and know of a number of vegitarian natural bodybuilders.
    In fact, vegetarian is ridiculously simple (vegan is tough). Just use whey and casein proteins and egg and dairy products. (There are many more in depth answers, but I'll leave that to the vegetarian bodybuilders out there [go to bodybuilding.com or the like]).

    Also, count calories. It's not hard to take in a lot of calories as a vegetarian, but requires a bit more planning as a lot of vegetarian options are filling relative to calorie content, which inclines you to eat less.


    Exactly!! Total Bullshit.
    I love that the biggest critics about Vegetarian bodybuilding are non bodybuilders.
    Seeing a Vegetarian bber currently. 5'7" 198 Imagine that. icon_eek.gif

    Here's a list of some Vegetarian/Vegan Bodybuilders past and present:

    Albert Beckles - Bodybuilder
    Alexander Dargatz - Bodybuilder, German athlete, 2005 Body-Building World Champion, and physician
    Andreas Cahling - Swedish Bodybuilder
    Bill Pear - Bodybuilder
    Ed Bauer - Bodybuilder
    Giacomo Marchese - Bodybuilder
    Joel Kirkilis - Bodybuilder and Lifter, Victoria (Aus) Bodybuilding champion, 2009
    Kenneth G. Williams - Professional Vegan Bodybuilder
    Luiz Freitas - Bodybuilder
    Patrick Reiners - Bodybuilder
    Robbie Hazeley - Vegan Bodybuilder
    Robert Cheeke - Vegan Bodybuilder, President of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - VeganBodybuilding.com
    Roy Hilligenn - Bodybuilder, Mr. America 1951
    Ryan Wilson - Bodybuilder, Strength Athlete, Strongman competition
    Torre Washington - Bodybuilder

    OP - instead of wasting your time with asking and receiving answers from the tools on this site. Research it yourself. There are plenty of Vegetarian bodybuilders and sites on the net.
    Good luck

    Tristan
  • xebec75

    Posts: 243

    Nov 23, 2011 2:15 PM GMT
    Just curious...I wonder if the veg body builders made their gains before or after going veg...it might be easy to maintain vs. build as a veg....
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Nov 23, 2011 2:19 PM GMT
    this is actually more of a genetics thing it sounds like. even as a vegetarian, i hover around 170 pounds without trying and can easily hit 180 or 190 (not in a good way). my body stores carbs like no one's business. so if you're tall and skinny with low body fat, that sounds like how you are normally.
  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Nov 23, 2011 2:24 PM GMT
    Supplement with supplements. If you want to bulk on a meat free diet, you can get the amino acids you need without killing anything.
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    Nov 23, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    musclefetish1 said
    neosyllogy said
    westanimas saidWell good luck...you're never going to get very big being a vegetarian.


    BS. I know personally of one buff vegan and know of a number of vegitarian natural bodybuilders.
    In fact, vegetarian is ridiculously simple (vegan is tough). Just use whey and casein proteins and egg and dairy products. (There are many more in depth answers, but I'll leave that to the vegetarian bodybuilders out there [go to bodybuilding.com or the like]).

    Also, count calories. It's not hard to take in a lot of calories as a vegetarian, but requires a bit more planning as a lot of vegetarian options are filling relative to calorie content, which inclines you to eat less.


    Exactly!! Total Bullshit.
    I love that the biggest critics about Vegetarian bodybuilding are non bodybuilders.
    Seeing a Vegetarian bber currently. 5'7" 198 Imagine that. icon_eek.gif

    Here's a list of some Vegetarian/Vegan Bodybuilders past and present:

    Albert Beckles - Bodybuilder
    Alexander Dargatz - Bodybuilder, German athlete, 2005 Body-Building World Champion, and physician
    Andreas Cahling - Swedish Bodybuilder
    Bill Pear - Bodybuilder
    Ed Bauer - Bodybuilder
    Giacomo Marchese - Bodybuilder
    Joel Kirkilis - Bodybuilder and Lifter, Victoria (Aus) Bodybuilding champion, 2009
    Kenneth G. Williams - Professional Vegan Bodybuilder
    Luiz Freitas - Bodybuilder
    Patrick Reiners - Bodybuilder
    Robbie Hazeley - Vegan Bodybuilder
    Robert Cheeke - Vegan Bodybuilder, President of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness - VeganBodybuilding.com
    Roy Hilligenn - Bodybuilder, Mr. America 1951
    Ryan Wilson - Bodybuilder, Strength Athlete, Strongman competition
    Torre Washington - Bodybuilder

    OP - instead of wasting your time with asking and receiving answers from the tools on this site. Research it yourself. There are plenty of Vegetarian bodybuilders and sites on the net.
    Good luck

    Tristan

    And the strongest of the apes (gorillas) are pretty much vegan. I know they have different genetics than humans, but it's still pretty amazing that they could get that big and strong without eating meat.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Nov 23, 2011 9:00 PM GMT
    joe122 saidAnd the strongest of the apes (gorillas) are pretty much vegan. I know they have different genetics than humans, but it's still pretty amazing that they could get that big and strong without eating meat.


    That's actually completely irrelevant. Sorry. Humans can't get muscular on a gorilla diet. The biology is very different. (To reiterate they can get muscular on a vegitarian or even vegan diet, just not on a gorilla diet. ;)
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    Nov 23, 2011 9:14 PM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    joe122 saidAnd the strongest of the apes (gorillas) are pretty much vegan. I know they have different genetics than humans, but it's still pretty amazing that they could get that big and strong without eating meat.


    That's actually completely irrelevant. Sorry. Humans can't get muscular on a gorilla diet. The biology is very different. (To reiterate they can get muscular on a vegitarian or even vegan diet, just not on a gorilla diet. ;)

    +1
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    Nov 26, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    axbuddy saidUse Vega products, they are all certified vegan. You have access to protein powder, protein bars, pre workout supplements, I even think they have a bcaa and it's all vegan. The taste factor is not always there but from what my vegan friends say who use it, you get used to it. They are able to maintain a good amount of mass using them.

    http://myvega.com/


    fucking sexiest vegetarian ive ever seen <3