Darin Bergen

Darin Cleaning from blocksDivision you will compete in: Olympic Weightlifting, Masters 105kg+ (aka super-heavyweight old man)

Age: 36

Height: 6’2”

Weight/Competition Weight: 115kg

Snatch PR: 71kg

Clean & Jerk PR: 90kg

Back Squat PR: 145kg

Front Squat PR: 115kg

City: Portland, OR

Years as a vegan: 6

Why you became a Vegan: Originally to become healthier, but soon after I refocused on reducing the suffering of all creatures

History Competing: First competition in 9/2016 – 71kg snatch and 84kg clean and jerk

What drives you to compete: As part of PlantBuilt – to show the world you can be strong without harming animals; Selfishly – competing in my sport drives my training, setting a goal to accomplish or surpass gives me a focal point to put in the time and focus

What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete: Doing as little harm to animals and this planet as possible, while still pursuing athletic endeavors

What types of supplements if any do you use?: B12, creatine, protein powder

How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition: Same as always – I generally use a “flexible dieting” approach with plenty of protein and whole foods. As a super heavyweight lifter I don’t have to cut for competition.

Favorite food in your prep diet: Chocolate chip cookie dough protein overnight oats from the Running On Real Food blog

How would you describe your training for a competition: I do whatever my coach programs – farther from competition we focus more on building strength with higher volume and then as competition approaches we focus more on intensity to peak for a meet. Obviously as an Olympic weightlifter I spend most of my time snatching, cleaning, jerking and squatting with some accessories. I train with a team which is crucial for me to push myself and continuously refine my technique.

Favorite exercises: The snatch. I’m not particularly strong, and this lift relies much more on technique than raw strength so it’s right up my alley. When you hit it just right and catch the bar solidly overhead, it feels incredible.

How many hours a week do you spend training?: 8-12

Today I am most proud of: Being willing to re-evaluate my life and make drastic changes when the comfortable life isn’t fulfilling, and then the strength to work through the hard part of change (as Brene Brown calls it, the “messy middle”) to see the eventual benefits of those changes.

Personal website or blog:
http://instagram.com/darinbergen (training and food)
http://drdarinbergen.com (my private practice in Portland, OR)