Thursday, February 9, 2012

Interview with vegan body builder Derek Tresize

So I am a little behind with this one... I would like to introduce you to Derek Tresize, vegan body builder and soon to be daddy from Richmond, Virginia. I met Derek this summer when he was competing in the Washington State Natural Bodybuilding Championship, where he took 3rd in his class. As a young competitor he already has a huge amount of mass and looks to only be getting bigger, Derek is one to watch in the future, and a great example of strong vegan athlete! Derek is about one week out from competing in the OCB Body Sculpt Open, so now is a great time to pop over to his blog and wish him good luck!

How many times have you competed as a body builder and are there any notable placements I should mention?

I've competed twice, once in the NPA Championships in Richmond VA and once in the NANBF Championships in Seattle WA. In Seattle I placed in the top 3 of my class!

What class do you normally compete in? Or plan to compete in?

I have competed in middleweight and middleheight, depending on the class criteria. I hope to gain enough muscle to move to the lightheavyweight class.

How long have you been lifting weights and how much of that time was with the intention of competing?

I have been lifting weights seriously for about 10 ears, but I have only focused on bodybuilding for the last two years.

Please explain your basic dietary philosophy, for building mass and maintaining a low-moderate percentage of body fat... So normal, non-competition prep, diet.

Both Marcella's and my dietary philosophy revolve around whole food plant based nutrition. We are always learning and modifying specifics, but we try to consume as much unprocessed plant food as possible to maximize our health and our physiques. For building mass I focus on two things; increasing calories and getting plenty of protein. I don't worry about fat as much, but I always stay away from junk food. I incorporate things like sprouted grain bread, peanut butter, and lots and lots of beans to take my calories as high as 6k. I supplement with protein after workouts and sometimes before bed, but primarily I take in lots of whole foods.

What does your normal daily fat/carb/protein ratio look like and can you give an example of an average days food intake? Do you follow a fixed rule regarding protein intake vs. body weight?

Daily macros are around 20% fat 20% protein and 60% carbs, and each will vary by 5% in either direction. I get the bulk of my calories from fruit, veggies, oatmeal, brown rice, beans & tofu, nuts and seeds, soymilk, sprouted grain bread, and I supplement with protein post-workout. I try to get above 1.5g protein per lb bodyweight, but I don't stress as long as I'm getting a calorie surplus.

Can you briefly describe your weekly workout schedule?

My schedule varies a lot because I change my routine every few weeks. I typically train 5 days per week, hitting every muscle group once, except for arms which i train twice. An example would be:
Mon:Shoulders, Tues: Legs&Arms, Wed:Chest, Thurs: Back, Fri:Arms

Where do you hold your non-comp body fat percentage at and how low do you have to go for competition?

I generally stay around 8% in the offseason. When i became vegan my boyfat dropped to 7-8% and it pretty much stays there year round since i never eat terribly for extended periods of time. For competition I shoot for getting to 5% or below.

How long do you allow to drop to that level and how does your diet and exercise routine change to help you reach your goal?

I give myself 8-10 weeks to drop down to that level. I can do it quickly because I don't have too far to go, but I like to have a wider margin. To get in condition I drop my calories to around 4k/day (maintenance for me) and add 20-30min of cardio once or twice a day, before breakfast and/or dinner.

What inspired you to start lifting?

Arnold! Hah, all my action heroes were buff and strong, so i wanted to be too!

Do you get strange reactions from other body builders when they find out you eat a vegan diet?

Absolutely! Most can't believe it and give me mad props for what I've accomplished. I tell them it's not that different and a lot healthier in the long run.

Is there anything you wish you had known starting out or any advice you would give to help someone who is interested in competitive body building?

Yes. Consistency. Nothing will beat working hard and eating well day in and day out. A lot of people want instant results or second guess every step they make (I know I do) but when it comes down to it any training program will be effective if you work as hard as you can consistently and eat a healthy diet.

Do you have a recommendation for a pre or post workout drink or meal?

My favorite pre workout drink ever was Superpump 250, but it has been discontinued. Another good one along those lines is NOxplode 2.0, and an excellent all-natural pre workout is Vega Sport. For Post workout protein my favorite is Sunwarrior with soymilk and a ton of fruit - tastes great and really helps me recover!

BIG thanks to Derek Tresize for taking part in my Vegan Body Builder Interview series. You can out more about Derek and Marcella by checking out their blog Vegan Muscle and Fitness.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I have been having a really hard time staying motivated to work out this month. I will be doing fine for a little while and diligently working out daily, but then something will come up that throws me off and it will take days to get back on track...
Here are a few tricks I have employed to try to get myself to work out...
- bribery -
If you do x, then you get to do y
- guilt -
I can't believe you are trying to not work out today! What have you done? Layed on the couch and read? Reeeeaal healthy lazy bones...
- fear -
You are getting totally out of shape and squishy! How much harder is it to bounce back when you get waaaay out of shape. Better get back on top of it now!
- kindness -
You feel so much better emotionally and physically when you work out regularly, so you should definitely get on that... First thing tomorrow!
- competitive spirit -
So and so looks awesome and is super strong, do you want to be left in the dust?!
- embarrassment -
You have to wear a bathing suit in a month... 'nuff said.

That last one seems to be the only one capable of working. So good thing my BFF Stacey is having her birthday party at a waterpark next month. I have 5 weeks to loose like 5% body fat... Probably not realistic but at least I have a goal.
Plus thanks to the glorious weather I may be able to get a few bonus workouts in with an early skateboarding season! Yay!
I am also gonna turn some focus onto my diet by recording all the food I eat this week and at the end of the week add things up and see what I need more or less of. Just having to acknowledge what goes in to your body tends to make one a little more pious in regards to nutrition.
Last thing... I am considering that what I really might need is to join some kind of structured/scheduled group or class so I have someone else to be accountable to. I am also really poor though so paying a monthly membership might be tough. Anyone have any ideas or recommendations for a good local crossfit or similar gym?