Anastasia Zinchenko

Anastasia Zinchenko PLANTBUILT.COM

Division you will compete in: powerlifting

Age: 30

Height: 5’6

Weight/Competition Weight: 145-154 lb (66-70 kg)/ weight class dependant 138 lb (63 kg) or more if I compete in 158 lb (72 kg) class

Current max lifts Bench/Squat/Deadlift: 170.5 lb (77.5 kg) / 264 lb (120 kg) / 313.5 lb (142.5 kg)

City: Cambridge, UK

Years as a vegan: 3.5

Why you became a Vegan: Initially, my interest in veganism was coming from the health perspective. I was curious of how I would feel eliminating all animal products (I was vegetarian at that time). However, the more information I gained about the negative impact of factory farming, the more my decision of living a vegan lifestyle became motivated by morality. I don’t want to support something and contribute to something I consider as being wrong or unnecessary. For me, veganism is about doing the least harm possible, to respect all living beings, the environment and ourselves.

History Competing:

1st Place 2014 BDFPA All Midlands Championships 72 kg weight class

2nd Place 2014 British Universities Powerlifting Championship 63 kg weight class

1st Place 2015 Anglian Open Powerlifting Championship 72 kg weight class

6th Place 2015 GBPF British Classic Powerlifting Championships 63 kg weight class

2nd Place 2015 GBPF East Midlands Senior Powerlifting Championship 72 kg weight class

2nd Place 2016 GBPF British Classic Bench Press Championships 72 kg weight class

What drives you to compete: First of all, it’s lots of fun. Competitions help one staying on track by setting a specific deadline for the individual goals. Also, it’s a great way to track progress. My aim is getting better (no matter if lifted weight, Wilks score or technique) each time I compete. I compete against my former self and don’t against others. Also, competitions help me spotting my weaknesses. Competition lifts pass by so quickly, so that everything has to work automatically, without thinking too much about the technique. After each competition I am motivated to get back to the gym, drop the weight on the bar and to train until I my lifts look and feel better.   

What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete: Having fewer temptations eating junk food, as vegan junk food options are limited…hahaha… besides that, I like breaking stereotypes and demonstrating people that both, a good athletic performance and strenght, is a matter of a well-planned diet and not animal product consumption.  

What types of supplements if any do you use?: Protein powders (mostly rice and pea protein. I use white hemp protein for baking, as it gives a nice texture. I don’t use soy protein, as I love eating soy products and try to keep balance between my food sources.), creatine, HMB, multivitamin, DHA/EPA, and curcumin extract during intense training phases.

How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition: It depends on if I have to make weight (if so, how much do I need to lose) or not. If I don’t need to cut weight, my diet stays the same as in off-season. If I need to lose weight (fat and not just water weight), I decrease my caloric intake (never going below my BMR not to lose strength). The calories I cut out come mostly from carbs, as I feel really well eating a lower carb diet (actually, my off-season diet is pretty low on carbs as well < 200 g/d). Other than that I don’t change too much. I eat larger meals with 30-40 g protein every 4-5 hours and get some smaller snack between my meals.    

Favorite food in your prep diet: Protein doughnuts, protein pancakes, post-workout chocolate desserts, tofu sandwiches, lots of leafy greens, blueberries and chickpeas 🙂

How would you describe your training for a competition: Increasing weight and decreasing volume the closer I get to the competition. Taking it easy one week before the competition to reduce the risk of injury.

Favorite exercises: Bench, bench, bench………. squat, deadlift, and most other compound exercises

How many hours a week do you spend training?: 6-9

Today I am most proud of: My growing mental and physical strength

Personal website or blog:

Facebook: ‪

IG: @anastasia_vegan_warrior

Science-based nutrition and training blog: ‪

Food blog: ‪

YouTube channel: ‪