Holly Noll

HollyNollName: Holly Noll

Division you will compete in: Powerlifting

Age: 28

Height: 5’4’’

Weight/Competition Weight: I’ll be competing at 132 lbs.

Current max lifts Bench/Squat/Deadlift: B-135 Sq-250 DL-245 (As of Oct 2014)

City: Oakland, CA

Years as a vegan: 8

Why you became a Vegan: While waiting for a ride and aimlessly flipping through a rack of various types of reading in a co cop in San Francisco, I found a “zine” with a short article on the connection between the dairy industry and it’s oppression of female reproductive and sexual freedom. This made the hypocrisy of the feminist vegetarian lifestyle I was currently living immediately apparent. I went vegan that day.

History Competing: In powerlifting, none. I’ve always been better at food than sports but after finding weight training I fell in love. I guess you’d say that we’re getting serious.

What drives you to compete: I want to come up with a better response than “to prove them all wrong” but, it is a large part of why I do this. I want to prove that you can be strong, and still vegan, that you can be strong, and still feminine, that you can be whatever you want without compromising what your ethics. I also just truly love training, getting stronger and lifting heavy, as well as being a part of a community that values and celebrates that.

What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete: Recovery and drive. I recover faster than my non vegan workout partners at the same workouts, though it also helps that I don’t drink or smoke. I’m driven because I have more to fight for than just myself.

What types of supplements if any do you use?: I use various types of protein powders, in addition to BCAA’s, glutamine, and sleeping supplements to help with anxiety.

How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition: My diet will evolve through my prep. Currently I’m higher on calories, carb cycling, and eating with a lot of flexibility, enjoying the freedom and trying to make all the gains. I plan on doing a long, easy, cut for a few months at the beginning of 2015 to get my weight down and then going back up in calories to a super clean maintenance diet in the lead up months before the competition so I come in light and strong.

Favorite food in your prep diet: Protein waffles! They’re are a big staple for me because they’re so versatile, quick, easy, and they give me the macros I want. (Shameless plug for FitQuick Performance Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix).

How would you describe your training for a competition: Lifting heavy, resting strong, eating well and trusting the program.

Favorite exercises: My favorite lift is the deadlift, hands down. There is just something so satisfying about just picking it up and locking it out. Also, it was the hardest lift for me, and I plateaued for a very long time so now that I’ve got my numbers growing steadily it feels even more exciting. As for non powerlifting exercises, I love hiking hills with my partner and dog as well as the occasional CF workout.

How many hours a week do you spend training?: Currently I’ve organized my program to take three to four hours a week, other strength training work takes up another three or four depending on the week and morning cardio takes another five. So, altogether, ten to thirteen hours a week are spent in the gym. That might change a bit as we open our gym in January 2015 and as the competition draws closer.

Today I am most proud of: My strength to persevere, to stay true to what I believe and never let this world crush my drive.

Personal website or blog: I’m easy to follow because I keep everything updated to my instagram but I would also love for you to check out Definition for Ladies, an online magazine I’m a part of for plant based ladies who strength train. I’m also part of a lifestyle and cooking show called Vegan Shortcake and, of course, FitQuick which is my protein waffle business.