2ND TIME WINNER OF CLIENT OF THE MONTH.
Imogen has added an incredible 9kgs of lean tissue in 30 months. Her body fat has remained constant around 20-23% and weight has increased from 49kgs to 58kgs since 2017.
In addition to this gain in extra lean muscle, there has been an increase in the deadlift from 40kgs to 75kgs (4×8 reps) plus squats, bench press, bench pulls and push press have all improved . Further increases are expected. The increased muscle mass has reflected the increase in strength.
As a vegan, it is extremely tricky to ensure Imogen manages the macronutrients that are supplying the body a the micronutrients needed to continue the gains. Through eating a varied organic healthy diet and supplementing the food with amino acids, minerals and vitamins, a balance is being achieved.
SUPPLEMENTATION FOR VEGANS TO CONSIDER
Supplementation of Vitamin B12 found in meat, dairy products, fish and eggs is obviously off the menu. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and essential for developing red blood cells and maintaining nerves and normal brain function.
Carnosine is a powerful anti-oxidant found in the brain and the muscles. Carnosine is only found in meat products such as beef, pork, fish and to a lesser degree, poultry. It has been linked to improved athletic performance and reduced muscle fatigue.
In addition, there is evidence to suggest that carnosine repairs the telomeres of DNA and is linked to fighting age-related diseases. It is a dipeptide molecule made up of beta-alanine and histidine amino-acids.
Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to an increase in osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, impaired brain function and reduced strength caused by muscle wasting. There are two types of Vitamin D. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) found in plants and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) found in animal-based foods.
So for vegans, supplementation of D3 is vital for good-health. Imogen also ensures that she is out and about in the sunshine (mainly hiking) to ensure she can absorbed as much as possible from the sun.
Docosahexaenoic (DHA) is an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Required for good mental health and brain function. It is mainly found in fatty fish and certain types of micro algae. Therefore, vegans are at risk of deficiency.
DHA can be made from alpha-linolenic (ALA) which is found in flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts but conversion is inefficient.
Heme Iron is a type of iron only found in meat, especially red meat. It is much better absorbed than non heme iron found in plants. For this reason, many vegans are anaemic unless they supplement their diet.
Taurine is a sulphur compound found mainly in brain, heart and kidneys and other bodily tissues. It appears to play a part in muscle function, bile salt formation and the body’s anti-oxidant defences. Found in fish, meat, dairy, poultry and dairy products, synthetic supplementation of Taurine is essential to a vegan even though the body does make it in small amounts.
Creatine supplementation is something we will be looking in the near future as the molecule is only found in meat products.
Imogen is currently lifting twice a week and training 4 days of cardio, mixing up the intensities. After the Alaska trip which Imogen is currently enjoying, the programme will change to accommodate another lifting session at the expense of a cardio workout to maximise potential.
Watch this space as Imogen continues to improve.