Name: Sally Andersen
Division: Powerlifting, Raw, 148 lbs
City: Philadelphia, PA
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Current Max Lifts: Bench 175/Squat 245/Deadlift 315
Competition history: Last year I competed as figure bodybuilder with PlantBuilt but since then tried my first powerlifting meet and fell in love! Post collegiate, I have also been competitive in road running, track and field, cycling and adventure/mud racing.
Years as a vegan and why I became vegan: At least 7 years. I’m not 100% sure when I switched. One day I just looked at my diet and realized, “Oh hey, I’m vegan!” I started cutting things out of my diet that I felt were holding me back from being as healthy as possible such as red meat, cheese, etc. Once I realized I was vegan, I started researching it and learning about the animal rights aspect made it stick as a lifestyle not just a diet.
What drives you to compete?: I was born competitive! I love challenging myself and seeing how far I can physically and mentally push myself. A competition is a way for me to prove how hard I have worked and gives me a sense of thrilling validation.
What do you see as the biggest advantage of being a vegan athlete?:As a vegan, I have so much energy! Being vegan for so many years has also strengthened my self motivation to stay dedicated to a goal — a strength that is invaluable to a bodybuilder and not something you can create in the gym. It’s something you either have or don’t.
What types of supplements do you use?: I use protein powders, multi vitamins, creatine, beta alanine, and BCAAs.
How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition?: I still eat like a bodybuilder: 6 clean, vegan meals per day with calculated and timed macros. I stick to homemade seitan, tofu, hemp, Beyond Meat, protein powder, veggies, bananas, oats, sweet potatoes for my main staples.
Favorite food in your prep diet: protein pudding for dessert and an oatmeal hemp bake for breakfast!
How would you describe your training for competition: I do a 6-day strength split. For cardio, I do a lot of high intensity intervals, teach spin and cardio kickboxing, and run and bike outside when it’s nice. I’m a recovering cardio addict!
Favorite exercises: anything with heavy weight: lat pulldown, squats, deadlifts, leg presses, bench press, etc. I also love yoga, CF, kettlebells, the Precor cardio machine, cable flys, TRX … I think I just like working out a lot as a whole!
How many hours a week do you spend training?: Too many to count. I have a tendency to over train and have to keep myself in check to prevent injury.
Today I am most proud of: Being selected for Team PlantBuilt 2014, obviously! Also, I have overcome a lot and I am proud of how far I’ve come and how successful I have been — how many people can say they placed first in a mud run with a backpack full of bricks after having been run over by a car twice!