Name: Samantha Shorkey
Division competing in: Bikini
Weight/Competition Weight: 140 lbs. off season / 125 – 130 stage weight
City: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Years as a vegan: 4 years
Why you became a Vegan? Well I grew up in a small village (yes, VILLAGE) outside of Ottawa, Ontario in a log house in the middle of the forest. We didn’t have cable TV, we had nature. My mom was my biggest hero, always feeding the birds, raccoons & deer, taking in stray cats and even raising orphaned baby squirrels. Sometimes we would have 30 deer behind our house and it would literally break our hearts to see them disappear every fall when hunting season was on. I just couldn’t understand how people could hunt and kill such beautiful, sweet creatures. My older sister made the decision to stop eating meat when she was 14 and since I copied everything she did, I became one too—at the tender age of eight! I went vegan in 2011 when I learned more about the dairy industry and realized that animals were still dying because of my milk and egg consumption. Watching “Earthlings” also affected my views completely. Man, I wish they would enforce the viewing of that in every high school. It is BEYOND horrifying.
History Competing: In my first ever competition, I somehow managed to win FIRST PLACE! That was in June 2013 against all meat eaters in an untested show! How awesome is that?! Since then, I’ve done three shows in 2014 which resulted in a third place trophy and most recently, a WNBF Bikini Pro card from the Naturally Fit Super Show in Texas with Team Plantbuilt.
What drives you to compete? Breaking stereotypes of course! I LOVE seeing the shock and surprise on peoples’ faces when they find out I’m vegan. I hope my perfectly-sculpted ass cheeks and compassionate nature will always inspire others to eliminate meat and dairy from their diets. I also love having a goal and going after it. And I’m not gonna lie—I revel in the thought of being judged and scrutinized on the most shallow, esthetic level possible.
What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete? Well aside from the fact that no animals were harmed in the creation of our ripped physiques, I think it also gives us that much more credibility. The bodybuilding world is famous for high-protein, testosterone-fueled, meaty diets and substance abuse. I think being a vegan athlete gains us that much more respect in the industry. And not only that, but we’re raking in the trophies too—the “natural” way!
What types of supplements if any do you use? I am a big fan of protein powder. My favourites are Vega Sport and North Coast Naturals. I also take a multivitamin every day, B vitamins & Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs.)
How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition? I get most of my protein from tempeh, tofu, beans and high quality, plant-based protein powder. I also pay very close attention to macronutrients. I try to get 50% of my daily calories from carbs, 30% from protein and 20% from fats. My go-to starchy complex carb sources are yams, squash, quinoa and oatmeal. For fats, I love almond butter, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and flax seed oil.
Like most competitors, to get really cut right before competition, I eat asparagus constantly (a natural diuretic) and consume dandelion root (another natural diuretic.) Diuretics help to flush out the sodium & excess fluids in between skin and muscle. Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which not only helps to flush out the fluids but it helps rid the body of excess salts too. And salt (sodium) equals bloating—something you definitely don’t want on stage.
Favorite food in your prep diet? “Favourite?!?!?!” I don’t know if I’d classify anything on a prep diet as good enough to be “favourite” but if I had to choose, I’d say protein powder. I have a HUGE sweet tooth so my daily protein pudding definitely helps to satisfy those brutal sugar cravings. I also love yams with coconut oil and cinnamon.
How would you describe your training for a competition? Pre-competition training means I’m doing cardio five or six days per week and weights four or five times per week. I do anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of cardio; a lot of high intensity interval training (HIIT style) like running and walking lunges on the treadmill, the Stairmaster or Stepper Machine.
My current weights program is an upper/lower body split. So I’ll do upper body one day then lower body the next but I switch my program every six weeks or so.
Favorite exercises? Hmmm well they’re definitely not anything lower-body related! I LOATHE squats and lunges! Upper body workouts, however, I adore! I quite enjoy wide and/or close grip pull-downs, chest flyes, bicep curls & tricep rope pull-downs.
How many hours a week do you spend training? Far, far too many… I am a total gym rat. I don’t actually want to think about how many hours of my life I’ve spent in the gym… Probably 10 – 15 hours per week on average and 20+ during prep.
Today I am most proud of: My first place win in my first-ever fitness competition on a completely natural, strict vegan diet. And winning my pro card of course. Vegans are all scrawny and unhealthy WHAT?!