Reaching Goals as a Vegan Athlete

by Ed Bauer

Many people have a hard time getting stronger, leaner, more muscular, or in better shape, etc. If you want to improve your fitness in some manner, you must first determine what your specific goals are. Now there are two different types of goals, outcome goals and behavior goals. An example of an outcome goal is “I want to back squat 405 pounds.” An example of a behavior goal is “I will progressively increase my weights and reps from week to week and month to month.” So in essence, the behavior goal is an example of something that needs to take place, in order for the outcome goal to even be a possibility. Most likely, many other behavior goals need to be successfully accomplished in order for anyone to meet a specific goal.

For all of us on the PlantBuilt team, we all have specific outcome goals. These are to dominate our respective competitive class come July 2014 in Austin, Texas! We have individuals competing in Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini, Powerlifting, Transformation, Physique, and CF. Regardless of our specific competition, we all have outcome goals. How well we place is to a large degree out of our control. Who knows if something doesn’t allow us to compete on that particular day, what life stressors we will be dealing with, who else shows up, etc. What we can control however is our behavior goals. You can bet that all of us on the team are constantly focusing on behavior goals, even potentially obsessing about them. You see the better we are at setting and following realistic behavior goals, the better we can do come competition day.

For me, I am competing in CF this year. So besides the goal of winning the whole thing in July, one of my outcome goals is to get stronger, i.e. deadlift 455, bench 315, front squat 315, back squat 405, clean & jerk 275, and snatch 225. One of my other outcome goals is to improve my conditioning, i.e. get more work done across broad time and modal domains.

Here is a list of some of my current behavior goals:

-Proper rest and recovery

-Working out 5-6 days a week

-Eating balanced meals with protein, carbs, and fats

-Planning ahead and keeping my house stocked with vegan essentials like lentils, chickpeas, tempeh, tofu, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, peanut butter, Vega and PlantFusion protein powder, lots of fresh and frozen fruit, broccoli, kale, spinach, green beans, sweet potatoes, rice, corn tortillas, quinoa, and of course dark chocolate

-Lifting more weights by following Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program

-Improving my metabolic conditioning by performing more work in less time than last week

-Remembering that consistent small incremental improvements lead to big gains


For you and any specific goals you set for yourself, you have to establish behavior goals that can lead you to your outcome goal. If you want to lose 50 pounds, incorporate more plant-based whole foods into your diet, get a six pack, deadlift twice your bodyweight, or make it on the 2015 PlantBuilt Team, you better focus on behavior goals today, to make outcome goals a possibility tomorrow.

Ed Bauer, 200lb Snatch

Ed Bauer, 200lb Snatch

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