With all the hype and confusion in the fitness industry, Richard of Vegan Gains focuses on whole foods nutrition and simple workouts of compound lifts and cardio. Here he shares what he eats in a day and what his training regiment looks like.
You may love him, you may hate him, and if you’re at this very moment furiously composing a comment containing the word “bacon,” you’re most likely of the latter camp, but chances are you know of him. Vegan Gains, run by Richard, is one of the fastest-growing and most polarizing vegan channels on YouTube.
While his characters are larger than life [be sure to watch the video for some of my own] and, for many viewers, the line between his fantasy and reality is sometimes difficult to distinguish, Richard’s core fitness and nutrition advice is rather grounded and, surprisingly, well…unremarkable, which seems to be his point after all. That is, cutting through all the distractions and products to the basics of health. [tweet this]
While his delivery purposefully matches the sensationalism, gimmicks, and insanity, within the fitness industry, his actual practice and recommendations are strangely sane, which creates a fascinating dichotomy whereby one can be simultaneously offended and educated, left with a feeling of aural and ocular violation with a lingering hint of personal enrichment.
So when I had the chance to speak with Richard back in June, I asked him to share his own personal approach to diet and exercise. [tweet this] If you missed my first interview with him, wherein we discussed his viral hit series “The Worst of the Fitness Industry”. I hope you enjoy hearing more from Richard. For his full responses, be sure to watch the video, but here are a few choice nuggets:
On what he eats in a day
“It’s pretty mixed between fruits and starches so I don’t have like a super, super heavy fruit diets, not a super starchy diet, you know, like starch solution,” he said.
His typical diet includes:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal or toast.
- Snacks: Richard says he likes to eat bananas, blueberries, cherries and apples throughout the day. Sometimes his snacks include sweet potatoes as well, especially if they are Jamaican sweet potatoes.
- Pre- and post workout snacks: Green smoothies with tons of greens.
- Dinner: beans and a soup with sweet potatoes.
On his nutrition philosophy
“I don’t track macros super tightly like I don’t track macros at all really like if you ask me how many grams of carbs or protein I eat per day I really have no idea. What I really do focus on is calories. Calories are the most important thing and you can see guys like Robert Oberst who are strong men who eat meat–the reason they eat tons of meat is because it’s just so calorie-dense and it’s easy to get in the calories when you eat candy or meat and that’s why these people are eating these food so that’s why I eat a lot of starches it’s just easier to get calories in.”
On his exercise routine
Richard’s workout consists of 3 days of full-body weight training a week and cardio every other day. His workouts consist of:
- Compound lifts (squats, hack presses, deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, and rows).
- Accessory movements (biceps and triceps workouts)
- Cardio workouts: 70-80 kilometers (43 miles-50 miles) per workout.
On varying his workouts
Richard says he changes his routine every so often, but he feels that variety in workouts isn’t necessarily going to get better results. He continues:
“[G]enerally if you’re making progress, what’s the problem? Why would you have to really switch up your routine? It’s better to just keep things consistent and if you see any holes in your training or, you know, if you’re not really liking some main lifts then that’s a good idea to change, but otherwise there’s really no need to do those kind of things.”
I hope you enjoyed hearing Richard’s personal approach to his health and fitness, and that you’re not disappointed at the lack of supplements and exercise DVDs to buy. I’d love to hear your thoughts about what he shared or your own approach to diet and exercise in the comment below! And, this being a video featuring Vegan Gains, I’m sure I’ll hear other things as well.
If you haven’t already, be sure to head over and subscribe to Richard’s channel for fitness industry exposes, more nutrition and fitness advice, and some serious dedication to ongoing character arcs. Please be aware that his channel does involve ample uncensored language and potentially disturbing subject matter. You have been warned.
— Emily Moran Barwick
sally anne hubbard says
Richard is wonderful.
He educates the people that think you need meat to be strong or an athlete.
Ron Humphries says
Emily, Thanks for all your good work. I have been pretty much vegan since 1990. I wish there had been more people like you way back in that day. So few were informed it was a tough row to hoe.
VG is a you tube vegan equilivent of Howard Stern, A radio ” shock jock” using the platform to outrage and inform, and thus inciting viewership. A warrior type he is, and a good one to have on your side. Though I do not agree at times with his approach I can see its need. In the warrior culture of the US he fits, though he is canadian. He has defended you on at least one hit piece authored by someone to your detriment. He is good people who defends friends.
How about a bit on a low rent way of least harm clothing and shoes? I shop Wal Mart and such places due to cost and can’t afford 200 dollar certified “vegan” hiking boots at REI. Not second hand low rent but still low rent am I. I only take guesses on most of my purchases of that kind. Maybe you have one but I didn’t notice it. Food I can figure out. It’s easy to be cheap and vegan with food.
Emily Moran Barwick says
Ron, Thank you so much for your kind words. I will put this on my list! I can’t say when I’d be able to get to it—I really wish I could clone myself :P There are SO many topics to address!! I’ll do my best. Much love and many thanks.
50 miles per workout?! wtf no wonder he is so small