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Vegan since 2005, Powerlifter since 2015

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Strength to Help Animals

The sport of powerlifting is comprised of three lifts–the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Powerlifting has nothing to do with how you look (it's not bodybuilding), and everything to do with how much you can lift (relative to your bodyweight).


At a sanctioned powerlifting meet, you get three separate attempts at each lift, and the goal is to lift as much weight as possible for one rep. It sounds simple enough, but to facilitate efficiency of muscular recruitment and neural adaptation to handle maximum weight, you must engage in months upon months of movement-specific exercise that gradually acclimate to higher intensities of weight, all for what amounts to less than nine minutes on the platform.


It becomes an obsession, especially if you aim to be even halfway decent at it, and even more so if you aim to deliver big numbers on command in front of judges and an audience. As more people become obsessed with testing their max strength, the sport of powerlifting continues to grow worldwide. 

I went vegan in 2005, at the age of 23. I didn't start regularly lifting weights until late 2010, while touring as a full-time animal rights activist, but I hadn't quite landed on a specific style of training, or a specific sport interest. I simply wanted to be fit, so I did a lot of cardio (bikes and running) as well as some basic bodybuilding lifting templates. I did feel better and look more fit, even if only slightly, but once I tried my first powerlifting program in mid-2011 (a "Madcow 5x5" template a friend emailed me), my outlook on fitness changed for the better. I became obsessed with chasing max strength via the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Strangely, I found that training for max strength did more for my aesthetic transformation and size than the isolation movements of a bodybuilding regimen ever did.

Granted, I didn't begin competing in powerlifting until mid-2015, at the age of 32. Most people would assume I'd be at a disadvantage in strength sports for starting so late, and for being vegan, but fortunately I've done well enough to win some meets, place in the top three at many, and even qualify for national championships (for record-keeping sake, I have posted my competition results below). Along the way, I have aimed to do a decent job of representing Vegan Power for the cause of Animal Liberation. I have competed in both major American powerlifting organizations, the USPA, and the USAPL, and I have qualified for national championships in both. 

My goal as a vegan in strength sports has always been to demonstrate that veganism is no limitation to gaining max strength, and I am proud to be part of a growing movement of athletes utilizing sport as a form of activism for animals. The world needs to see that vegans are gainers and winners.

In 2016, I was formally invited to become a member of PlantBuilt, the world's largest international all-vegan athletic team–as a member of their powerlifting subteam. In 2017, we crushed weight at the Naturally Fit Games in Austin, TX. All eight PlantBuilt powerlifters placed in the top three of our respective weightclasses, and we took home a total of thirteen medals (mind you, there were eight of us vegans competing alongside roughly ninety other non-vegans that day). It was one of my proudest moments as a vegan athlete so far.

In 2018, I was the only male vegan who competed in the USAPL Raw Nationals in Spokane, Washington. In 2019, I was one of two vegan men who competed in the IPL Drug-Tested World Powerlifting Championships in Ireland, and there I placed second in my my weight class. 

Then in 2020, I won a gold medal in the Submaster division (age 35-39) at the USPA Drug Tested National Championship which was held in Columbus, Ohio. I returned compete in the 2021 USPA Drug Tested National Championship, this time in Palm Springs, California, and I left with another gold medal in the 75 kg Submaster division again. 

Once again in 2022, for a third consecutive year, I competed at USPA Drug Tested National Championships (in Atlanta, GA), and for the third consecutive year I won first place in the 75 kg Submaster division. THREE-PEAT!

I was elated that my team, PlantBuilt, reunited after a 5-year hiatus in New Jersey at the historic Mr. America sports festival, so the team and I showed up to represent for the animals in the Mr. America Powerlifting Championship hosted by USAPL. Since USAPL only allows 2-hour weigh-ins, I gained some weight to compete in the 181 lb. division. I weighed in at 175, put up my all-time best total of 1302 pounds, and at 39 years old, I took 3rd place in the most competitive category of the event. Everyone on the PlantBuilt powerlifting team placed in the top 3 of their categories as well.

Then, at the end of 2022 I turned 40 years old, which means I am now of "Masters" age in the world of powerlifting. In July 2023, I competed in my first national championship (USPA Drug Tested National Championships) as a Masters category lifter. I won 2nd place in the 75kg Masters 1 (40-44) division, and I also set 4 state records for my homestate of Texas (Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, and Full Power/Total Score). As of April 2024, I have now improved my Texas squat record, with all my previous records still standing. 

I plan to keep lifting into old age, as it brings me mental and physical health, strength, discipline, purpose, and I believe it has made me a better advocate for animals as well. I hope to see other vegans join the movement via athletics, especially in strength sports (where vegans are sorely under-represented). 

My book, The Way of The Vegan Meathead: Eating for Strength, documents my tips on how I eat to train as a vegan powerlifter in great detail. If strength training as a vegan is an interest of yours, I believe my book can be a valuable resource to help you on your path.

I also have a summary of a former training regimen on


NEXT MEET: June 25, 2024 – USPA Drug Tested National Championships in Las Vegas, NV


Here are the results from my competition history so far:

April 6, 2024

IPL Masters Cup (Belton, TX) 

Bodyweight: 164.0 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 457 (TX record, Masters) / Bench: 292  / Deadlift: 501
Total: 1250 

1st place 165 lb. Raw

October 7, 2023
NPL Drug Tested Mr. America Powerlifting Contest
(Atlantic City, NJ)

Bodyweight: 164.5 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 435 (NPL Masters record) / Bench: 298 (NPL Masters record) / Deadlift: 496 (NPL Masters record)
Total: 1229
1st place 165 lb. Open and Masters

July 11, 2023
USPA Drug Tested National Championships
(Las Vegas, NV)

Bodyweight: 163.8 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 452 (TX record, Masters) /  Bench: 298 (TX record, Masters) / Deadlift: 513 (TX record, Masters)

Total: 1263
2nd Place 165 lb. Masters

October 9, 2022

USAPL Mr. America New Jersey Championships

(Atlantic City, NJ)

Bodyweight: 175 (2-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 469 / Bench: 315 / Deadlift: 518
Total: 1302

3rd Place 181 lb. Open Raw


May 28, 2022

USPA Drug Tested National Championships

(Atlanta, GA)

Bodyweight: 165 (24-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 452 / Bench: 303 / Deadlift: 507

Total: 1262

1st Place 165 lb. Submaster

July 15, 2021
USPA Drug Tested National Championships
(Palm Springs, CA)

Bodyweight: 165 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 435 / Bench: 292 / Deadlift: 502
Total: 1229
1st Place
165 lb. Submaster

February 13, 2021
USPA Drug Tested Lone Star Open (San Antonio, TX)

Bodyweight: 175 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 441 / Bench: 314 / Deadlift: 529
Total: 1284
1st Place
181 lb. Open Raw
1st Place 181 lb. Submaster

September 5, 2020
USPA Drug Tested National Championships (Columbus, OH)

Bodyweight: 165 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 435 / Bench: 303 / Deadlift: 518
Total: 1256
1st Place
165 lb. Submaster

February 8, 2020
Drug Tested Arkansas State Powerlifting Championship (Springdale, AR)

Bodyweight: 165 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 408 / Bench: 188 / Deadlift: 496 
*I competed in this meet with a broken hand (hence the laughable bench–the injury affected all of my lifts, but I simply needed this meet to qualify for Nationals)
Total: 1092
1st Place 
165 lb. Open Raw
1st Place 165 lb. Submaster Raw

October 26, 2019

IPL World Powerlifting Championship, Drug Tested (Limerick, Ireland)
Bodyweight: 166.7 (24-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 419 / Bench: 292 / Deadlift: 507 (Total: 1218)
2nd Place 181 lb. Open Raw

April 20, 2019
USPA Arkansas Powerlifting Championship (Cabot, AR)

Bodyweight: 163.5 (24-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 419 / Bench: 292 / Deadlift: 491 (Total: 1202)
1st Place 165 lb. Open Raw
1st Place 165 lb. Submaster Raw

October 11, 2018
USAPL Raw Nationals (Spokane, WA)

Bodyweight: 162.8 (2-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 413 / Bench: 275 / Deadlift: 462 (Total: 1150)

May 26, 2018
USAPL Central Texas Classic (Leander, TX)

Bodyweight: 162.6 (2-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 430 / Bench: 281 / Deadlift: 480 (Total: 1191)
3rd Place 163 lb. Open Raw

November 18, 2017
USAPL Longhorn Open (University of Texas, Austin, TX)

Bodyweight: 162.7 (2-hour weigh-in)
Squat: 419 / Bench: 281 / Deadlift: 457 (Total: 1157)
2nd Place
163 lb. Open Raw

June 3, 2017
USPA Naturally Fit Games Austin Open (Austin, TX)

Bodyweight: 163.5 (24-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 419 / Bench: 292 / Deadlift: 485 (Total: 1196)
3rd Place
165 lb. Open Raw


October 15, 2016
USPA Houston Fall Classic (Spring, TX)

Bodyweight: 165 (2-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 408 / Bench: 270 / Deadlift: 452 (Total: 1130)
1st Place
165 lb. Open Raw

June 25, 2016
USPA Naturally Fit Games Austin Open (Austin, TX)

Bodyweight: 165 (2-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 413 / Bench: 276 / Deadlift: 457 (Total: 1146)

March 5, 2016
USPA Mainland Mayhem (Texas City, TX)

Bodyweight: 164.1 (2-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 408 / Bench: 259 / Deadlift: 452 (Total: 1119)
2nd Place
165 lb. Open Raw

October 3, 2015
USPA Houston Fall Classic (Spring, TX)

Bodyweight: 159.3 (2-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 369 / Bench: 265 / Deadlift: 446 (Total: 1080)

June 6, 2015
USPA Simply Fit Open (Naturally Fit Games, Austin TX)

Bodyweight: 161.7 (2-hour weigh-in)

Squat: 353 / Bench: 253 / Deadlift: 441 (Total: 1047)

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