77 Year Old Vegan Bodybuilder Jim Morris

A World Gym ad which ran in 1990 in all the major bodybuilding magazines. From left to right, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Eddie Giulliani, Joe Gold, Bob Paris, Danny Padilla, and Jim Morris.

Jim Morris, the age-defying 77-year old bodybuilder who is still ripped was featured today on the Huffington Post. Morris’ own website says “I decided to become a vegetarian in 1985 at age 50. In 2000 at age 65 I became a vegan.”

According to HuffPo, “Morris ended his 19-year retirement from bodybuilding to compete for the Mr. Olympia title; he won in the over-60 division. Morris now lives in Venice Beach, California and works as a trainer.”

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Jim Morris on left circa 1979 & right circa circa 1950’s, The Lon Collection, bottom, circa 2012

Four Steps To Pummel Your Workout Plateau

We are pumped to introduce The Discerning Brute’s incredibly diesel and knowledgeable fitness and Crossfit pro contributor, Ed Bauer, owner of PlantFit Studio in PDX. Ed will be offering his expertise in personal training to anyone looking to get buff, stay active, and feel amazing.
Got fitness questions? Email EdBauer@TheDiscerningBrute.com.
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Tell me if this sounds like anyone you know…

You join the gym with hopes of cutting 5, 10, 20, maybe even 30 pounds. It seems easy enough; eat less and move more. Get a good calorie-burning workout and eat less calories by cutting back on fat or having better portion-control. You go four days a week; 45 minutes on the elliptical machine, some light stretching, and smaller portions at meal time. You lose a good 5 to 10 pounds in the first month! You feel great! But then what happens? You keep doing the same routine and your weight-loss comes to a screeching halt! What gives?

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Despite losing weight, you likely didn’t differentiate between muscle weight and fat weight and there’s a good chance that you were losing a significant portion of lean muscle mass. Loss of lean muscle mass results in less calorie burning, exactly the opposite of what you set out to do.

Exercise is physical stress. Too long of a bout of exercise results in an increase in cortisol in your blood, which results in a drop in natural testosterone (both men and women benefit from increased testosterone) and your muscles are then devoured as fuel instead of that fat you’d prefer to be burning. Also, cardiovascular exercise does not place any stimulus on fast-twitch muscle fibers (these are the ones that affect an increase in lean muscle the most).

Let’s be honest, the goal most people in the gym have is to look fit and healthy while naked. To do that, focus on gaining lean body mass, organize your eating habits to feed muscles and starve fat, and burn those extra calories (excess body fat) with precision.

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Now that you’ve hit your plateau, it’s time to revamp your program.

Step 1 – Eat breakfast!
Make sure to include a quality protein with breakfast, such as tofu, seitan, tempeh, almond butter, sprouted bread, or a protein powder like rice or pea . Aim for getting a minimum of 15-20 grams of protein with this first meal, as protein with breakfast has been shown to feed hungry muscles from the night’s fast, strengthen the immune system and stabilize blood sugar for steady energy to start the day.

Step 2 – When you go to the gym, USE WEIGHTS!
Focus on free weight compound movements which work more muscle in less time. No, this doesn’t mean the array of complex machines that fill most of the gym floor. Learn to use barbells, dumbbells, and body weight. An amazing amount of muscle can be gained with proper body weight exercise.
An example of an effective workout for muscle building is below. This circuit can be done in less than 20 minutes. This will stimulate testosterone production and lean muscle increase.
  • • 10 reps of each movement for 3 rounds in a circuit fashion of the following:
    • • Overhead barbell push press
    • • Assisted pull-up (body weight when you get there)
    • • Barbell dead lift
    • • Weighted walking lunges
Be sure to follow up strength-training with a protein shake consisting of another 20-30 grams of protein with 30-40 grams of carbohydrates from fruit sources. This protein goes to repairing muscle tissue, and the carbs go towards replenishing muscle glycogen. This post workout shake blunts an increase in cortisol production, which leads to fat being used as fuel.
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Step 3 – Increase overall daily activity. Take the stairs, park further away from the front door, or better yet, ride your bike. It doesn’t matter, just focus on maintaining an active lifestyle. Just as a “diet” stops working when you stop doing the diet, the focus here is healthy long term results that last.

Step 4 – Be sure to spread protein evenly throughout the day to ensure your muscles have all the necessary amino acids. This assists the body’s ability to use fat as energy, and not valuable muscle tissue. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. “Studies have estimated that for each pound of muscle that you add to your body, you burn an additional 35 to 50 calories per day. So, an extra 10 pounds of muscle will burn approximately 350 to 500 calories a day, or an extra pound of fat every 7 to 10 days, without making any other changes”

When you focus on maintaining muscle, it makes it significantly easier to continue dropping unwanted body fat. Be sure to change up your routines as much as possible. I typically change my routine almost daily. It’s helpful to repeat a workout every few weeks to see a measurable change, but beyond that, continue to expose your body to new training stimulus. As long as proper technique is used, always focus an increasing intensity, as this is the number-one indicator of seeing results.

With over 5 years of personal training experience, Ed Bauer is a Fitness Nutrition Coach, and owner of PlantFit Training Studio, located in Portland, Oregon. He offers counseling on how to lose fat, gain muscle, and obtain optimal health on a plant-based diet.  Bauer began his journey into fitness in 1995, with encouragement from his competitive power lifter father. He became vegan one year later after learning about the inhumane practices that are involved in raising animals for food. Combining these two interests led to an understanding of plant based foods and sports performance. 

Michael Paul Crockett: Not TOFU-k With

Heavy-metal-headbanging, hard-hitting, hillbilly-pro-wrestling Mountain Mike Paul Crockett is not your typical vegan. In fact, along with ex-cattle rancher and “Mad Cowboy”, Howard Lyman, he’s one of the few people I’ve come across who’s been able to do such a drastic lifestyle 180º – defying all odds, and in the process, saving his life (along with many animals). The fairy tale that “quality” protein only comes from eating muscle still persists in machismo culture, yet time and time again, people like Mike prove that the idea that eating muscle makes you muscular is as silly as eating a feather to fly.

I had some time to chat with Mike recently, and here’s our interview:

DB: You have such an unlikely and amazing story – how and when did you become a vegan?
MPC: Thank you. I have only been a vegan for a few months…..but I have been a vegetarian since March 31, 2009. I made the decision to become a vegetarian after meeting my girlfriend, who has been veg for 15+ years. She made a suggestion that I cut back on meat, because she was worried about my gargantuan consumptions of animal flesh: 3-5 lbs a day! I had considered becoming vegetarian several times in my life prior to meeting her, but never went through with it because of the whole “animal protein = strength” bullshit that is fed down society”s throat, but once she showed me some slaughterhouse videos, that was THE END of my meat consumption! A few months ago, I decided that I cannot support ANY kind of animal cruelty, so I gave up eggs and dairy, and now as a vegan, I am looking into changing out the leather seats in my truck, getting rid of my leather wallet, boots, jacket, etc!  In my 31 years on this planet I have selfishly taken so much from animals that had no choice in their death, and dammit, I will spend the rest of my life making it right to the animals that I would have taken from had I not become a vegan….

DB: As a self-declared “hillbilly” and country boy, how is your new lifestyle perceived by your friends and family?
MPC: My family don’t really understand my passion, since I used to be the one in the family to BBQ and cook the steaks to perfection, but they know when my mind is made up about something there ain’t no changing my mind about things – honestly it hardly ever gets talked about, I have a wonderful family, my friends are also understanding, and a lot of them always ask me what I eat so they can keep those groceries on hand in case I drop by. But where I come from in East Texas, most people think something is wrong with you if you don’t wake up and shove fried chicken and beef brisket down yer throat – but I can kick their asses, so whats the problem? That’s right, there ain’t one. Lol…..

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DB: Who is Mountain Mike, and how did you create this persona?
MPC: When I became a professional wrestler in Jan 2009, I created the character known as Mountain Mike because I was weighing over 500 pounds, and always wore overalls……it really made the crowd pop, I came out there in the ring looking like a big ol’ mountain man, and everyone loved it, especially the kids!!

DB: Only because I know you must love answering this question a thousand times a day, where do you get your protein?
MPC: I get plenty of plant protein from a wide variety of sources: black beans (which are an absolute staple of my diet), peanut butter, hummus, whole grains (brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa), soymilk and Ezekiel cereal. I definitely got to be a morbidly obese 535 pounds by consuming huge amounts of animal protein and FAT! Now that all of my protein is plant based, I am much leaner (425 lbs), stronger, and more agile than I was when I was eating animals, and I am continuing to drop that nasty fat that I accumulated while eating unhealthy animal protein.

DB: Do you like to cook? What is your favorite dish, and what is your specialty?
MPC: As long as I can make it quick, I like to cook! And favorite dish? BLACK BEANS AND BROWN RICE! My specialty is a healthy vegetable stir-fry with peanuts and brown rice: quick, easy, and too spicy for most human beings. Haha!


DB: What do you wan to say to men who think that caring about health, animals, or eating tofu is for sissies?
MPC: Get destroyed by me or Rob Bigwood on the armwrestling table and then tell us we are sissies…or come watch me do 700 pound shrugs in the gym for reps – the real “sissies” are the ones who shoot animals for sport, recreation, or whatever the fuck their coward excuse is. That’s right, I am calling out HUNTERS and calling them the real “sissies” of our world. Anyone else throwing around that word is just misinformed about our passions. Sorry about the rant, I have no tolerance for cruelty.

DB: Now that you have changed your lifestyle, have you influenced anyone around you to do the same?
MPC: I have made my family and friends look at what they are eating in a different way, and I encourage them to follow their heart and do what is right for our animals, environment, and humanity in general. I hope in time, they will feel the same compassion as I do.

DB: What is next in your career? I saw the trailer for “Wrestling Demons”, how is that going?
MPC: I am working on becoming a motivational speaker. After all of the changes that I have been through over the last two years, I really want to help other people who might be struggling with depression, addiction, or believing in themselves. “Wrestling Demons” is currently under network consideration, and I believe that it is going to happen. I promise to help educate the public about veganism, and all the important issues that we consider to be our credo if it gets picked up by a network.

DB: What s the best thing about becoming a vegan? The worst?
MPC: Well as you can see, I am very passionate about animals  – the greatest thing about being a vegan is knowing that EVERY bite of food I put in my mouth has no suffering behind it, nothing sucks about being a vegan, we rule!!

DB: Where can we see you arm wrestle, wrestle, or play in your band?
MPC: Currently my band is on hiatus, but I am working on a New Age record that I hope to release next year. I am taking a break from professional wrestling due to a neck injury, so all my passion and heart is into armwrestling right now, and I am competing again in August at the Europa Supershow in Dallas, TX.
DB: If any of our readers are near Dallas next week, hopefully they’ll come by and cheer you on!

ULTIMATE Father’s Day Guide for the Ethically Handsome Dad

Every Father’s Day, we get dear-old-dad the same old stuff, but being a dad is cooler and braver than ever! Most fathers want what’s best for the family- and now he can also help protect animals and the planet too. The best part is, when getting these ethically handsome gifts for pop, you don’t have to sacrifice style, taste, or pleasure. Nor do you have to compromise on what dad likes! These cool gifts are a spin on traditional Father’s Day presents, from geeked-out gadgets and tools to socks and ties to sports gear and suits. I’ve even got recommendations for dads who have it all, from electric sports cars and motorcycles to Armani Bamboo Sports coats! Your father will be proud to be a personal hero to you and a superhero to the planet. Let’s not underestimate what it means to be protector this Father’s Day!

GIFTS:

• No one in the office will know! Organic Cotton Dress Shirts from Culturata, Velour, and Nordstrom. Organic cotton blows conventional cotton out of the water – growing conventional cotton requires the use of enormous amounts of pesticides, which has a huge environmental impact and presents health risks for those working around it. 25% of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide goes to cotton crops. In 2003, that amounted to about 55 million pounds of pesticides being sprayed on 12.8 million acres of cotton, according to the Organic Trade Association.

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https://i0.wp.com/www.aussiebum.com/content/items/1265_banana_brief_brf_white/ZM_banana_brf_white.jpg?resize=211%2C116• Organic cotton, bamboo, and banana fiber underwear & socks from Aussiebum & Nordstrom. Supporting sustainable and ethical fashion is more than just an outer layer. Keeping pesticides away from sensitive areas is something any man will get behind.

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Nordstrom Bamboo Blend Socks (3-Pack) Nordstrom Organic Cotton Boxer  Shorts

• Sports gear: Carpenter Trade, professional baseball glove  $280 In addition to superior performance, most people don’t realize that the #1 cause of greenhouse gas emissions is from raising livestock for food and leather. Avoiding leather is one of the most powerful things to do for the environment. So have a custom made, professional-grade glove made with your dad’s name on it.

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• Mens organic, cruelty-free grooming products and scents. The last thing you should give pop is a guilty conscience with products that have been tested on animals. Most razors and many mainstream grooming products are still tested on animals and are not made from recycled plastics, but these items are totally cruelty-free and sustainable. (Preserve, Jack Black, Herban Cowboy, the Body Shop)

Triple Razor Replacement Blades

White Musk® for Men Eau de Toilette Organic Grooming by Herban Cowboy Cologne Dusk 1.7 oz

• Get your dad back into health with cookbooks, health guides, and diet books for dudes! The fireman’s Engine 2 Diet, the Triathlete’s THRIVE book series, Skinny Bastard, Meat is for Pussies, Vegan Bodybuilding and Tal Ronnen’s amazing cookbook, the Conscious Chef.

Buy The Engine 2 Diet book todayBook Cover Meat Is For Pussies book image

Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness By Robert Cheeke THRIVE FITNESS

• Stock the Pantry with delicious, gourmet food! Who says eating healthy means eating sprouts? What dad doesn’t love dark chocolate, smores, gourmet sausage, jerky, dips, and healthy, meaty meal-starters?

Vegan Double Chocolate Twinkies Twin Pack By Dulce Vegan Organic European-Style Chocolate Assortment By Sjaak's Smore Pies by Sweet & Sara

Vegan Grain Meat Sausages By Field Roast

Homestyle Beefless Tips By GardeinVegan Ground Beef By Match

Primal Strips Meatless JerkyVega Sport Performance Protein Tub

• Cruelty-free Accessories from NOHARM, Novacas, Bourgeois Boheme, Matt & Nat, Truth, and The Vegan Collection. Also check out the solar-charged briefcase from Voltaic, or a recycled canvas and vegetable-based faux-leather handbag. All sustainably leather-free.

NOHARM Black Slip-on Vegan Ankle BootsBoBo Vida Black

Voigt Pebble Laptop Carrier BlackFaithless - Pebble Handbag BlackTellier - Snake Wallet Navy

BELT BELT

Solar Laptop Charger

• Buy your dad a gift or experience on Charity Buzz and support your favorite charities. Hang with celebs, get backstage, go on trips, amazing experiences, sports tickets, memorabilia, delicious meals, and more!

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• Satin Ties & Ties diverted from Landfills. With Jaanj’s high-end, luxury, non-silk ties, you’ll never miss the worms that get boiled alive. For cotton ties, the Hill-Side makes ties and pocket-squares from selvedge fabrics, diverting them from landfills and making really cool, classic square-end ties, pocket squares, and handkerchiefs.

• For the Handy-Dad: Gadgets and tools or a Gift Certificate to GREEN DEPOT, an environmental living & building store. From recycled cotton insulation and a home composter to soy based paints and finishes, any dad into home improvement will love these gifts.

• Lawn Order with Greenworks tools. From mowers, blowers, and log-splitters, to hedge-trimmers and cultivators, these greener lawn tools don’t use fossil fuels and make self-sufficiency easy and green!

18in : 5-blades : Reel Mower7 Amp : 160mph : Blower10in : 20V : Li-ION Chain Saw5 Ton 15A Log Splitter

• Vintage Sunglasses / Frames. The greenest gifts of all require no new resource extraction or manufacturing. Vintage is always an amazing option. Classic sunglasses are big right now, from aviators, wayfarers, and John-Lennon frames to the 50’s Halo frames.

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• Enthralling DVDs of Oscar winner’s and award nominees “The Cove”, “Food Inc”, and “End of the Line”.

The CoveFood, Inc. https://i1.wp.com/www.docurama.com/wp-content/uploads/art-downloads/NNVG169491-05.jpg?resize=140%2C177

For the Dad with it All:

Tesla Electric Sportscar. 0-60 in 3.9 secs, 288 hp, 236 miles per charge. Starts at $101,500

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• Electric Motorcycle from Zero $9,995, or Brammo at $7,995
Zero S Electric Motorcycle - Click Image to Closehttps://i2.wp.com/www.electricbikee.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/right_side_700px.jpg?resize=540%2C366

Men Like Sports II

After I posted the previous entry, I got so many letters asking about vegetarian and vegan men in sports. Do they exist? Are they strong? Can they build muscles? These aren’t silly questions. We live in a meat obsessed culture with it’s masculinity largely defined by meat-eating. It’s no surprise that we’ve been taught to believe we need animal products to be healthy. However, we can be healhty and strong on a plant-based diet as well. For example, Vegan Bodybuilder Alexander Dargatz is featured on veganbodybuilding.com.

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You can get beefy without eating beefy. I’ve been vegan for over a decade and I am able to build muscle, too. There are also scores of veg ladies who are packing heat – like Six-time Ironwoman Ruth Heidrich, Tennis champ Martina Navratilova, and bodybuilder Kailla Edger.

This week ESPN asks Who says you have to eat meat to be a successful athlete?” Profiling Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder, Kansas City Chiefs star Tony Gonzalez, UFC Fighter Mac Danzig, Minnesota Twins Baseballer Pat Neshek, and ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, this article shows men in some of the most physically demanding sports who are shattering the illusion that you have to eat milk and meat to be strong (thanks to Karen of Dawnwatch).

Also this week, Mens’ Fittness Magazine chose the vegan, mixed martial arts, UFC champion Mac Danzig for their cover story entitled “Fittest Guys in America”. His interview starts right off about his veganism. read the full interview here. To learn more about Mac, read my original article about him here.

For other resources on being veg in sports, check these links:

Vegan Bodybuilding

Vegan/Vegetarian Athlete Articles & Links:

Seattle PI on Scott Jurek: Seattle man amazes everyone in 135-mile marathon–including himself

Vegetarian Sports Nutrition (summary at right)

Vegetarian Diet for Exercise and Athletic Training and Performing – Andrews University Nutrition Department

Vegan Cycling

Vegan Adventure.com

Carl Lewis on Being Vegan

Vegan Triathlete – no age barrier

Veg Athlete a discussion forum at VegSource.com

Vegetarian Action

Vegan MD.com by Dr. Michael Greger

Information on Vegan Diet by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

Vegetarian Nutrition Articles by Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)

Vegan Society.com

Partial list of vegan/vegetarian athletes