Name: Crystal Hammer
Division you will compete in: Womens Open Powerlifting
Weight/Competition Weight: 140lb
Current max lifts Bench/Squat/Deadlift:
Bench: 145 lbs
Squat: 240 lbs
DL: 275 lbs
City: Salt Lake City
Years as a vegan: 18
Why you became a Vegan: Because its not right to eat anyone would run, fly, or swim away if they could.
History Competing: Started in 2003 for a few years competing in Utah and then in and around Connecticut in 2005. Took a break after that and started rock climbing primarily. I am getting back into it this last year along with Strongman.
What drives you to compete: Two things really, I’ve always loved living an active lifestyle and competition gives me a goal or focal point to train for. Secondly, I have an auto-immune disease and I cannot train everyday. So on good days even if I’m tired or have other things going on I still find time to workout because tomorrow I may not be able to.
What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete: The athletic community, especially in strength sports, can really push someone toward performance enhancing drugs and/or supplements. Its easy to avoid that when I already live a natural vegan lifestyle. It is also amazing to show the world that both women and vegans are not just a bunch of weak pansies.
What types of supplements if any do you use?: Multivitamins and calcium are the only supplements I use, but that is not sport related, I would take those anyway.
How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition: Competition diet for me is to eat, eat, and eat! High calorie diets leading up to a competition help in strength gains. If I am not at competition weight and am only a handful of pounds over, I will cut out a lot of carbs and salt for a few days prior. If I am WAY over, then I’ll just move up a weight class!
Favorite food in your prep diet: Burritos, Veggie Burgers, Vegan Ice Cream, Smoothies, Pad Thai, Coffee, so much more.
How would you describe your training for a competition: Training goes in three rounds and works toward a max out the day of the competition. First round is 4-6 weeks of high-rep (10-15) and lower weights after a bit of a break (up to a month). Next is 4-6 weeks of 8-10 reps of progressively increasing weights. After this I end with 4 weeks of low reps (1-5) and high weight that end with the competition, with about 5 days of active rest beforehand. The last two rounds also include bench pressing twice a week instead of just once from the first round. Deadlifting I do every-other week the whole time and Squat once a week. Other than the big three lifts I do a lot of associated lifts in the first round, some in the second, and very few in the third. I find about 4 weeks with each round is plenty for me, but I’ve noticed others do well with 6-8 weeks. If I go that long, I start to loose my gains.
Favorite exercises: squat, also the one I hate the most. Its a love/hate sort of thing.
How many hours a week do you spend training?: Gym time is probably around 7 hours, strongman is a few hours. Other activities are hard to pin down but should count somewhere.
Today I am most proud of: living a cruelty free life
Personal website or blog: www.facebook.com/VeganFarmGirl