Name: Luke Tan
Division you will compete in: Bodybuilding or Fitness Model
Weight/Competition Weight: 83kg
City: Currently Melbourne, Australia. Moving to Singapore end 2014
Years as a vegan: Almost 3 years
Why you became a Vegan: My wife (Emilie) was first a vegan and she introduced me to the book ‘The Food Revolution’ by John Robbins. The book was filled with facts and offered a brilliant insight into the ‘politics’ of food consumption, production. It covered aspects such as GMO foods, the effects & dangers of the factory farming system and how a plant-based diet is better for the environment. Shortly after, I was introduced to ‘Earthlings’. The film exposed me to the atrocities of animal exploitation. These practices continue to exist to feed the ever-growing demand of meat and their by-products. It was an instantaneous decision for me to make the switch.
I read the book written by Robert Cheeke ‘Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness ‘ and realised that it was actually possible to be a vegan and build muscle. There were many athletes all across the globe thriving on a vegan diet. Through the book the message was clear. The best way to increase awareness is to spread a positive message and lead by example.
I further researched the works of doctors, Dean Ornish, Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn, Colin Campbell & John McDougall and found that a plant based diet has also been proven to halt/ reverse chronic degenerative diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease). To me the choice was clear.
Competed at the 2010 INBA (International Natural Bodybuilding Association) Victorian State Championships – 3rd place for my division (Novice Bodybuilding) and won ‘Best routine’
Competed at the 2013 – 2nd place (Fitness Model – Over 30s)
Competed at the 2013 IFBB Victorian state championships – Physique class
What drives you to compete: In 2010, I decided to compete as a personal challenge. That period was a transitional phase of my life and I wanted to something to work towards.
After turning vegan, I vowed to step on stage again as one and I did. Once again, it was a personal challenge but this time it was not just about me. I was committed to showing the world that if you want something bad enough, you WILL make it possible.
What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete:
Optimal recovery, performance across all energy systems (ATP/ Anaerobic/ Aerobic), leanness, spirituality and purpose.
How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition: Caloric restriction while hitting my macronutrient goals. Calorie/ Macronutrient allocations are calculated against my daily needs (to facilitate fatloss and muscle maintenance). Pre comp diet is about 70-80% raw.
Favorite food in your prep diet: Protein shake and berries. When you are prepping, you look forward to the simplest things!
How would you describe your training for a competition: About 4 months out, my program will be periodised (programs change every 2 weeks, modulating rep ranges/exercises/tempo etc.) working on the areas that I lack.
Closer to comp, I will ‘play it by ear’ and see which body part is lagging and consistently work on it to achieve as much symmetry as possible. About a month out, I increase cardio frequency and incorporate circuit style workouts (involving mainly compound exercises/ strongman training) to increase fatloss.
Favorite exercises: Deadlifts, Dips and the Prowler (love/hate relationship)
How many hours a week do you spend training? 6-7 hours
Today I am most proud of: Giving my personal best in all that I can do.
Personal website or blog:
Instagram: @luketevolvedstrength, @evolvedgeneration