Quotes from the Book

“Potential counts for a lot; but heart, desire, and will can take a dream from potential to possible.” – Robert Cheeke
“Beginning Bodybuilding should be approached like beginning anything you want to be successful in. It starts with having a reason or meaning behind it, creating a detailed vision of what you want to achieve, and constructing and implementing a consistent program to ensure that you adapt, improve, and succeed. You also have to have a passion for it. If you don't have a desire that burns inside of you and inspires you completely, you won't be as motivated to do what you have to do day in and day out to achieve. “ - Robert Cheeke
“Once you’ve established why you want to be involved in bodybuilding in the first place, you’ll have a much clearer vision of your upcoming success and everything that it will entail to get there. When you’re aware of your desires as a bodybuilder, make a commitment to the lifestyle. Make it one of consistency and accountability; keep yourself honest every step of the way. If you tell people you train five days a week, make sure you actually train five days a week. If you tell yourself you eat every two or three hours, be sure that you really do eat every two or three hours. Make a commitment and follow through. One of the primary principles that separates successful bodybuilders from unsuccessful bodybuilders is the ability to follow through. Make it happen.” – Robert Cheeke
“When intention is supported by effort, success follows.” – Robert Cheeke
“There is always someone out there working harder than you, and you may be standing next to him or her in your next competition.” – Robert Cheeke
“Seeing your future here, in the now, will help keep you working hard day in and day out knowing what successful life lies ahead. “ -Robert Cheeke
“Knowing what you want your future physique and future career to look like and following through every day to make it a reality is the most empowering action a person can take. As bodybuilders, we get to watch this unfold before our eyes as we transform our bodies to become who we dreamt about.” –Robert Cheeke
“Mapping out your own future in the form of images, phrases, and inspirational words that you are able to see every day will help reinforce your desires to attain what you set out to achieve.” – Robert Cheeke
“As you begin your bodybuilding program always remember what inspired you to become a bodybuilder in the first place, and always remember what bodybuilding means to you. It will help keep your drive alive and your enthusiasm high even when times get tough. When at the end of the day you ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” find a way, every time, to say, “Yes!” If you are able to honestly say that your investment in the bodybuilding lifestyle is worth it because of the fulfillment and reward you get from it, then you are doing better than most people when it comes to contentment in life.” –Robert Cheeke
“Bodybuilding can be a wonderful part of your life, but it can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. Be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. It is not all photo shoots, magazine spreads, and attention from peers and trophies. It is a lot of hard work, sometimes injuries and setbacks, and it puts stress on relationships. Bodybuilding by nature is a form of stress on the body and the mind. How you bounce back from those obstacles helps define character and can make you a stronger person at the end of the day—and I’m not just referring to how much weight you can lift. Bodybuilding can easily bring out the best in you and can bring out the worst in you. It all depends on how you handle adversity, stress, and the inherent challenges as well as how you handle the success. “ –Robert Cheeke
“Bodybuilding has a unique way of keeping people on track because as soon as you stop training, the results start to go away. That is reason enough to keep on going and to keep improving.” –Robert Cheeke
“Let the gym be a sanctuary for you to be at peace. Let it calm you and ground you and allow you to appreciate everything around you. Let it also be a place for you to unload and explode with intensity through your training.” –Robert Cheeke
“Begin your bodybuilding lifestyle with an open mind, an open heart, a lot of patience and understanding. With the right discipline and right approach, it could be the sport that teaches you the most about yourself. It’s not a team sport. There is nobody else to count on, and you rely heavily on your own will and your ability to gather up the courage to take it on and excel. It’s up to you. Is it in you?” –Robert Cheeke
“When you start anything new for the fist time, always know why you’re doing it and what you hope to accomplish as a result. Weigh out the pros and cons and check in with your heart to see if it is something worth pursuing. Life is extremely short, and you should be doing the things that give you the most fulfillment.” –Robert Cheeke
“The greatest ways I’m able to contribute are directly related to my outreach as a public figure and vegan bodybuilder, and that means the world to me. “ –Robert Cheeke
“Like any other competitive sport or lifestyle, bodybuilding demands commitment and consistency in practice for improvement. Most who aspire to be bodybuilders never make it to the bodybuilding stage because of the challenges that lie ahead and the sheer workload and dedication that it takes. One doesn’t have to get on stage to get great fulfillment from bodybuilding and lifting weights, but from experience I can say that competing on stage is one of the greatest levels of fulfillment to be achieved in the sport of bodybuilding.” – Robert Cheeke
“From the onset, one might ask a vegan bodybuilder where he or she gets their protein. Protein consumption is just a singular issue that is given a lot of attention when really there are so many components to a sound nutrition program. Protein is at the forefront when it comes to importance and interest among bodybuilders and for good reason: it delivers results, time and time again. But not to be overlooked are the important roles that carbohydrates, fats, and total calories play, not to mention specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well. Even some non-essential amino acids become “essential” for optimal bodybuilding results based on their functions and contributions to muscle gain, fat loss, and overall health.” – Robert Cheeke
“I believe that true success in bodybuilding nutrition comes from some variety in diet. It allows for more creativity, enables a bodybuilder to enjoy diversity, and causes less stress emotionally and mentally compared to a very basic diet for which a bodybuilder will lose enthusiasm for over time.” – Robert Cheeke
“In a time when many people are looking to cut calories, reduce food intake, cut food costs, and lower their bodyweight, bodybuilders are looking to pour it on.” –Robert Cheeke
“No bodybuilder is going to make any respectable gains on a low protein or low calorie diet. It just doesn’t work that way for the majority of athletes, especially bodybuilders. We require a lot of protein and calories to allow ourselves sufficient recovery material and to give our bodies ample opportunity to grow. Unless someone is amazingly genetically gifted and can gain mass and grow muscle without a lot of calories and with only moderate amounts of protein, an aspiring bodybuilder or strength athlete will need to pile on the food in championship style. “ –Robert Cheeke
“After only a couple of years lifting weights I was squatting over 300 pounds, leg pressing over 700 pounds, and pressing 100-pound dumbbells in each hand with ease whether on a flat bench or an inclined bench. I went from a very skinny and thin frame to a much thicker frame closing in on 200 pounds, all built on plant-based vegan foods in just a few years.” –Robert Cheeke
“My diet wasn’t the most exciting it had ever been, but it did work. I ate a lot of pasta, breads, peanut butter, beans, rice, tofu, and up to seven Clif bars a day. I rarely ate green vegetables. I chose to sit rather than stand and didn’t like walking or running long distances because I didn’t want to burn calories. I was in the game of gaining mass, and I was going to do whatever I could to make it happen, even if it meant years of stomach aches, bloating, and by-passing social activities so I could eat, rest, recover, or train at any hour of the day or night. I worked hard to be the best and wanted it so badly that I did whatever it took, even if it meant stuffing my face full of food until I was sick. I learned a lot from those experiences and not just mistakes that I made. I learned a lot about myself, my will power, my determination, and my passion for excellence.” –Robert Cheeke
“We learn by doing, or we learn from other people’s influence. In my case, I learned in both ways. I found my own way to success on a vegan bodybuilding diet, and I enhanced it by learning from another vegan athlete who had years of experience and lots of tried, tested, and true knowledge to share. I went from never eating salads to actually wanting to eat salads and even buying salads when going out to dinner when many other options for sandwiches or wraps were available. I stopped drinking natural sodas, something I had been doing for ten years, and started drinking more water, natural protein drinks, teas like yerba mate, nutrient-dense smoothies, and real fruit juice. I even started drinking coconut water. I began to buy avocados, seaweed, quinoa, and other healthy foods with names I didn’t even know how to pronounce before I met Brendan. Having a friend and a role model who was able to have this kind of influence and impact added so much value to my life and ultimately made me a better athlete, a healthier person, and a better role model for others.” –Robert Cheeke
“I don’t regret the nearly all-soy food diet I followed for ten years because it gave me incredible muscle-building gains and it taught me a lot about getting by and making due. Now I eat a wide variety of whole foods, organic foods, fresh foods, soy foods, super foods, and pretty much anything that is vegan. Though I have cut back dramatically on junk food, I still have some every now and then, and it is enjoyable. But the more my diet improves, the more junk foods become less appealing. Even if there is soy ice cream in front of me or even coconut-based ice cream in the freezer, I’ll often pass. I prefer to eat fruits over junk foods any day. I often ask myself, “What will eating this food do for me?” If the answer is a negative or lacking positive benefits, I usually won’t eat it.” – Robert Cheeke
“Someone could have an outstanding comprehension of a bodybuilding diet and a background in nutrition but not have the work ethic and desire to put it into practice. That person won’t be as successful as the person who understands some basics and puts them into action regularly.” – Robert Cheeke
“The questions to ask are what is moral, what is ethical, what is in line with your belief system, and what seems to make the most sense and cause the least amount of harm? Eat the foods that are in line with your sincere answers.” –Robert Cheeke
“The reason why a lot of people discover that a vegan or vegetarian diet does not work for them is because they don’t make “whole foods” the foundation of their nutrition program but rather a lot of processed foods like breads, pastas, processed soy foods, chips, and other junk foods that don’t provide much positive nutrition. There is a very clear reason why it doesn’t work.” –Robert Cheeke
“Focusing on whole foods gives any diet a better chance for success. A whole food is simply something in its original state. An apple is a whole food; a carrot, a potato, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries, etc. are all whole foods. If it grows in the garden, in a field, on a bush, or on a tree, it is a whole food. Foods like bread and potato chips are not whole foods. They are a combination of many food extracts and ingredients, are processed, and not nearly as healthy as something that comes directly from the ground, a bush, or a tree naturally. “ –Robert Cheeke
“You don’t need to understand the intricate details of a cell or have full comprehension of how carbohydrates get used as fuel or know the conversion rates of specific nutrients. You don’t need to name all the steps in ATP Transport or recite the Kreb’s Cycle, but if you know what foods to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat them, you will likely find success when you put it into action and follow through with accountability.” –Robert Cheeke
“You’ll want to know more, and more you know the more you’ll grow. “ –Robert Cheeke
“The better understanding you have of science in general—biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition—the more you’ll appreciate learning about the scientific aspects of your nutrition program and the more tools you’ll have to work with. When you realize how and why the body functions a certain way, you will realize how important food choices are in supporting your body to be at its best. This will give you an incredibly helpful, new perspective on food and will help your bodybuilding lifestyle tremendously.” –Robert Cheeke
“When I understood how carbohydrates were used as fuel and how aerobic and anaerobic fitness impact the body in different ways and what roles different muscles and tendons play and how they work and what makes them signal and function, it became fascinating, and I wanted to learn more.” –Robert Cheeke
“One of the visions behind this book is to show non-vegan athletes and bodybuilders that there is a healthier way to live their lifestyle, therefore prolonging their life, and creating a higher net gain quality of life without having to jeopardize their bodybuilding or athletic dreams or success.” –Robert Cheeke
“Bodybuilders, vegan or not, are faced with a double-edged sword when it comes to health and their bodybuilding careers. We have to follow some perceived unhealthy habits in order to achieve our goals and dreams within the world of bodybuilding. Even our intense, hardcore workouts could be described as unhealthy based on the impact they have on our joints, muscles, tendons and the toll it takes on our bodies. We do the same nutritionally as we stuff our faces full of food, pump our bodies full of protein powders and supplements, and then starve ourselves, deplete ourselves of water, and take other drastic measures as we prepare to get on the bodybuilding stage. At times we’re playing with fire, and we know it. But we do it to chase dreams and to live outstanding lives with high levels of personal fulfillment and satisfaction.” –Robert Cheeke
“If at anytime I experience measurable adverse health problems from my bodybuilding nutrition program, I’ll make some changes, but until then I will move full speed ahead, adding mass to my frame and making a massive difference in the world.” –Robert Cheeke