3 Tips for Starting Your Vegan Fitness Journey
2020 is finally here, and it’s time to take all of those goals and plans that you’ve worked so hard on and actually put them into practice. After all, it’s a new year and a new decade - the perfect time for smashing goals and building a better you.
If you’re not sure how to get started though, that’s okay! We’ve created a special step-by-step guide just for you on how to get started on your vegan fitness journey. And, it’s so easy that you can take steps toward your achievements starting today! Here are 3 easy tips for getting started.
1. Set Realistic Goals
First things first, dramatic change doesn’t happen overnight. Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, something in between, or something completely different, you’re not going to see drastic results immediately.
This can be a bit disappointing and can ultimately lead to failure in reaching that ultimate goal. Blaine and Landers from the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that setting multiple goals of varying length and intensity showed was the best way to map out a successful strategy to your end goal. And, keeping regular tabs on the progress being made actually led to better performance in athletes!
Dawson and Brawley from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology took it a step further, showing that setting smaller goals along the way and holding yourself responsible for your own success or failure kept new athletes from losing their motivation before reaching their bigger goals.
This is really important for those who are just starting out on their vegan fitness journey. You can do it, and the key is to set little milestones - realistic goals that you can hit along the way.
One great way to do this is to set yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Start with the goals that are furthest out, then work your way down so that you know what you need to do each day from now till your finish line, so you’ll get exactly where you want to be.
If your goals are weight or muscle-based, weigh-in and measure yourself each week to watch your steady progress and identify any problems early. One benefit of doing this is that you’ll see whether your action steps are helping you reach your goal. You’ll know whether your diet or your workout needs to be readjusted each week or month.
2. Rest Up
As humans, we can’t simply push through forever. We’re built to do amazing things, but not without needing rest and recovery in between. You may think that in order to reach your goals the quickest, you need to be in the gym for multiple hours a day, 7 days a week. But the truth is, going hard for so long without a break can actually be really damaging to your body.
This is especially true if you’re just starting out. If you haven’t been to the gym in a long time, you may want to start out by just going a few times a week. Plus, if you’re new to the vegan diet, you may find that your body simply needs time to adjust, and that’s completely normal for any changes that the body undergoes. Do what you’re capable of doing. Push yourself to the limit, but don’t go overboard. And afterward, rest.
Overtraining Syndrome is a real thing. It happens when you train too much without giving your body time to recover from the physical strain. The good thing though is that Overtraining Syndrome can be avoided completely, and your body will begin letting you know there’s a problem long before you get to that point.
In the article, “Overtraining Syndrome in the Athlete” in Current Sports Medicine Reports, they go over three stages of exercise that happens before Overtraining Syndrome kicks in.
The first stage is actually not exercising enough. This is when someone exercises but does not push themselves enough to start seeing improvements. The next stage is where the athlete pushing past their limits only slightly, which allows them to start seeing improvements but also needing a little rest time in between workouts.
After that comes the stage right before overtraining, and that is what is called overreaching. Overreaching is pushing yourself as much as you can and seeing how far you can go, but at this stage, you’ll need a number of days, and possibly even weeks of recovery time in order to bounce back completely.
Once you hit overtraining, your performance actually begins to go down, and it could take months to fully recover. That’s why making sure you have recovery days away from the gym is so important.
Lastly, it’s important to refuel after a hard workout. It’s been well-known for a long time that taking protein right after a workout has some pretty amazing benefits. Forget just feeling better all around - taking protein helps your muscles build themselves bigger and stronger.
In fact, in a study done by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, pea protein supplementation showed an over 20% increase in muscle mass in athletes versus only about 8% increased muscle mass in those who didn’t take protein at all. That’s more than double the improvement with pea protein than without!
Many who are new to the vegan athletic lifestyle fear they won’t be getting enough protein, but with Premium Plant-Based Mass Gainer VEGANMASS™, you get everything you need for your post-workout recovery - all in one drink.
VEGANMASS™ is packed full of all the essential nutrients that you need to feel good after a workout. We’ve specially blended healthy pea protein with Sacha Inchi and Quinoa protein for the perfect combination of complete amino acids and carbs. This blend also includes many vital nutrients, including Omega-3, which is highly recommended by Current Sports Medicine Reports in the article, “Fueling the Vegetarian (Vegan) Athlete” as a supplement for those who follow a vegan diet.
If you’re ready to start your vegan fitness journey, there’s no better way than to treat yourself to our Premium Plant-Based Mass Gainer VEGANMASS™ after a hard workout.
Babault, Nicolas, et al. “Pea Proteins Oral Supplementation Promotes Muscle Thickness Gains
during Resistance Training: a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial vs. Whey Protein.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 12, no. 1, 2015, p. 3., doi:10.1186/s12970-014-0064-5.
Carfagno, David G., and Joshua C. Hendrix. “Overtraining Syndrome in the Athlete.” Current
Sports Medicine Reports, vol. 13, no. 1, 2014, pp. 45–51., doi:10.1249/jsr.0000000000000027.
Dawson, Kimberley A., and Lawrence R. Brawley. “Examining the Relationship Between
Exercise Goals, Self-Efficacy, and Overt Behavior With Beginning Exercisers.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 30, no. 2, 2000, pp. 315–329., doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02318.x.
Fuhrman, Joel, and Deana M. Ferreri. “Fueling the Vegetarian (Vegan) Athlete.” Current Sports
Medicine Reports, vol. 9, no. 4, 2010, pp. 233–241., doi:10.1249/jsr.0b013e3181e93a6f.
Kyllo, L. Blaine, and Daniel M. Landers. “Goal Setting in Sport and Exercise: A Research
Synthesis to Resolve the Controversy.” Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, vol. 17, no. 2, 1995, pp. 117–137., doi:10.1123/jsep.17.2.117.