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When you think about bodybuilding, you probably also immediately think of steroids, protein shakes and a meat-heavy diet. But that’s not the case with Randy Kujawa.
The 34-year-old Prince Rupert resident is preparing for the Iron Ore Classic in Prince George on Oct. 1. And he’s doing it as a vegan bodybuilder.
It all started last year when his wife became a vegan.
“I thought I would give it a try and the food was absolutely delicious. It was such a change from what I was used to and then I thought why not see if I could bodybuild on a vegan diet,” said Kujawa, who only moved to the North Coast this year.
What people don’t always realize is that all plants have protein, he said. That’s why it’s possible for him to get everything he needs while on a vegan diet.
After making the decision to pair being a vegan and a bodybuilder, he hasn’t looked back.
“It’s been amazing. I’ve never looked better, I’ve never felt better, I have more energy. It’s just affected my life in absolutely every way possible.”
But the choices he’s made aren’t just part of a temporary diet. For Kujawa, this is a lifestyle.
“To be vegan and a bodybuilder, it’s a real passion of mine,” he said. “Being that the bodybuilding world is really surrounded around the meat industry, there’s not really much of (veganism). I want to create awareness.”
Kujawa says the reason he became a vegan was for the sustainability of the planet, first and foremost, but also because of health benefits and animal cruelty.
“If I really love animals, why am I eating them,” he asks.
The more he talks, the more excited he gets about the subject. Kujawa uses advanced apps to keep track of how many calories he’s intaking each day, making sure he’s having the right amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates that he needs.
His diets consists of everything plant-based, including tempeh, tofu, lentils, beans, legumes and rice and potatoes for carb sources, to name a few. Everything that he eats has protein.
The excitement grows when Kujawa talks about his upcoming bodybuilding showcase, one he’s very optimistic about.
“I feel very, very confident in this show. I’ve done everything in the last six months to control my variables. I’ve gotten seven to eight hours of sleep at night, I’ve prepped with intense focus throughout all my phases with my bulking and with everything and I just feel really confident in the package I bring,” he said.
Kujawa has participated in three other competitions before. His best placing was at the 2014 Southern Alberta Bodybuilding Championships, where he placed sixth in the men’s physique category, narrowly missing a chance to move on to the provincials.
He will be in the men’s physique division once again at the upcoming show, which he chose because of the year-round attainable look. He started competing three years ago when some friends convinced him to go with them.
“I was hooked ever since. It was just great; it’s such a rush to get up there and it’s just being around a community of like-minded people, who are just wanting to be healthy and fit,” he said.
And now Kujawa is turning all of his knowledge, experience and passion into a career. As of Oct. 3, he will be a full-time personal trainer at The Gym.
“The reason I’m doing this is because I feel with my passion and my desire for fitness and for a healthy lifestyle, I have so much knowledge and so much excitement. I really want to inspire other people.”
No matter what happens at the competition, Kujawa is just hoping to make people aware that you can be a bodybuilder on a vegan diet.
“I want to show people that this can be done. You can do it in a cruelty-free manner and in the healthiest way possible so I really want to create awareness. That’s what I’m doing with the impact I’m having as a vegan bodybuilder,” he said.
To stay updated on Kujawa’s journey, follow him on Instagram: veganprocardprep.