Name: Lauren Harrison
Year of Birth: 1984
Offseason, 107 Competition.
Current Residence: NJ
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
I am a social worker. I like to help others and animals. Bodybuilding is my passion. It is brutal but it is also addicting!
Why did you become vegan?
My compassion for all things living.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
As a child I was always involved in sports. My college and post-college years led me astray and I became inactive, unhealthy and overweight, which led me, thankfully, to a wake-up call. I began lifting and loved it right away. The dieting came later, which helped me tie everything together. I have competed 3 times and I earned a pro-card in the ANBF at my third competition.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
Six meals a day. For competition prep I eat 135 grams of protein, 110 carbs, and 73 fat, carbs tapering down, fat tapering up, protein pretty consistent. For my current prep I am doing moderate carb cycling, 50 extra grams every other day. In the off season I make sure to get my protein and still eat six meals a day, fats and/or carbs are increased moderately. I prep all my meals on Sunday. Meal 1 is oats and pea protein, meal 2 is cous cous, walnuts, and pea protein. Meal 3 is seitan, broccoli, brussell sprouts, and almonds. Meal 4 is soy bean spaghetti and peanut butter. Meal 5 is tofu and peanut butter and lettuce. Meal 6 is peanut butter, olive oil, and pea protein. And I do have my cheats for sure!
How would you describe your training program?
I train every day. I use a four day split.
Day 1: back and hams,
Day 2: Chest and Bis.
Day 3: Legs.
Day 4: Shoulders and Tris.
I hit abs on the weekends. I use a variety of rep ranges. I use supersets and drop sets. I believe in training to failure and I love being sore. In competition I do cardio daily and the amounts and intensity depends on what my trainer tells me to do, but what is really effective is intervals on the treadmill: power walking at 15% incline, 60 seconds at 3.5 mph and then 60 seconds at 5.0 mph.
Repeat for 20-30 mins.
What are some common misconceptions a
That it is hard to find protein! That is the easy part. I think the hardest part is limiting carbs. There aren't a lot of companies that cater to the carb conscious vegan…for example I love the idea of a quest bar…high protein, low carbs and sugar, but unfortunately they use whey. If they made a similar item using pea protein I would be all over it. But if there is a will there is a way and I've found it!
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
Don't let other people tell you what you should or shouldn't do. It may take some time to find your way but you will find it. There were people who told me I would never be able to compete and now I'm pro.There is a lot of good advice out there but also a lot of bad advice - it will take time to sort through. Take what's good and leave what's bad, and let your results speak for themselves. As far as training goes, watch youtube every night! Also lots of good material on anabolicminds.com and bodybuilding.com. Also be patient and persistent and consistent. Something I am really proud of is that when I started I couldn't even do one pull up, now I can do ten. Appreciate the small improvements that you make and before you know it it will amount to huge changes!