Name: Jeremy Moore
Birthplace: Portsmouth, VA
Current Residence: Pasadena, MD
Why did you become vegan?
While volunteering at the PSPCA(Philly) I saw piles of dogs, and cats euthanized thanks to human desires. After seeing that I realized I was causing numerous animals to be killed just for me and I was being equally as bad. Once I realized how much harm I was doing to animals simply by living on a normal omnivore’s diet I made the change. It only took about 2 weeks of being vegetarian for me to realize that the dairy and dozen egg whites I ate every day made up for the meat I was eating so I went vegan very quickly after becoming a vegetarian.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I’ve been playing sports ever since I was 7 and it has always consumed my whole life. At first I just did it because my brother and sister played sports and pretty early in my life I realized it was something I wanted to do and I put everything else on the back burner. Nothing motivates me better than failing to meet my potential and I’ve taken a liking to sports that I’m not too good at when I start them. Football is the one sport I was good at right away and I could only stand one season for that very reason.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I try my best to eat as many whole foods as I can. In the summer I tend to eat large amounts of fruit, normally starting with a large smoothie before my morning training session and often a smaller one soon after. In the winter I begin to add more rice/grains and veggies to my diet, but I make sure fruit is a large portion of what I eat at all times. I try not to eat too much bread and pasta, and when I do it tends to be minimally processed. When I’m being really good about my diet I also try my best to eat as little protein as possible to try to break my muscles down and not allow them to build back up again.
How would you describe your training program?
My training program is pretty intense. In the winter months I do as much mileage as my schedule allows me. This means a few 4-5hour bike rides a week, with 3-5 3 hour rides per week. These rides tend to be very low in intensity and hurt my bottom more than my muscles. Once spring comes around I keep most of the riding to 3 hours but I add in some cross training for a few weeks. This may mean 1hour of jumping rope after a ride, or a 45 minute run. I often don’t ride with others because my intensity level leads me to get very dizzy and I often can’t control my bike very well so I don’t push it as hard in group rides as I do on my own. On days where the weather is bad I may just spend a bit of time on my bike trainer, do endless reps of lunges and throw in some jump rope work. Occasionally when I have time I also like to get to the pool and do a 2hr session of lap swimming. I also have an intense core regimen. I’ve been doing 1000 reps of abdominal work one a daily basis ever since I got into college in 2001. It’s now just a routine for me and I do it for maintenance.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I actually supplemented like a machine before I went vegan. I took every legal thing I could. Once I went vegan my maxes in the gym skyrocketed without any supplements so I didn’t bother. However recently (maybe this February) I tried a few cycles of creatine and it helped me out quite a bit. I also like to take VEGA with my smoothies. Creatine seems to give me better recovery time. I recover quite well already but it seems to give me additional power as well. One of the biggest reasons I take it is to slightly even the playing field out a little more. Other athletes take drugs I would never consider taking and the advantage I gain is nothing compared to what they gain from the things they take. This is a major problem I’ve been facing since I was in high school competing as a national level shot putter. There were even teenagers taking drugs.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
People think you can’t gain muscle being vegan. That is extremely untrue and I know what its like being big trying to get stronger, to now where I’m trying to lose muscle. As a shot putter in high school I was always big. I was around 300lbs when I went vegan but I stayed that way and replaced a large amount of the fat I had with muscle. My plateaus in the weight room disappeared and I was soon benching 370lbs and squatting 600lbs as a 19 yr old. If I kept with the sport I know I’d be benching near or over 500lbs and very likely squatting 750 or more. Now as a cyclist I’ve been trying to lose muscle. In my first year of cycling I dropped from 285lbs to 200lbs but that was with and extremely restrictive diet. Now I’ve been 200lbs give or take 5lbs and I can’t even lose muscle when I eat 20g of protein a day for 6 months. If I can’t lose muscle as a vegan then surely other can gain muscle.
Protein is a major issue. First of all many people think you simply can’t get the same amount of protein as a vegan. This is false because I was eating 300grams a day as a minimum for the first 3.5 years I was vegan. Some days I probably even ate as much as 500grams. People also think you can’t get a high calorie diet with is equally false. All in all I was eating 8,000-12,000 calories a day without any supplements. However this was very stupid of me. I didn’t need that protein and what I really needed was calories. Nobody needs that much protein. I did need those calories though since I lost weight if I ate anything under 6,000-7,000 and 8,000-12,000 simply let me maintain my weight. I ate this much while avoiding fried food, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.
What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?
Recognize what goals you have and work hard to achieve them. Be true to the goals you have and never quit. Also don’t feel that the goals you set need to be based on others. Be realistic, there’s nothing wrong with simply wanting to be able to run for 30 minutes, or do a few pull ups. There is something wrong with quitting.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I like the fact that I can wake up every day knowing I’m not going to be responsible for killing others. I only wish those other people woke up every day thinking about they animals they kill on a daily basis.
What do you like best about being fit?
It’s a way I can prove being vegan isn’t going to kill me. Virtually anyone who may potentially challenge me as an athlete to prove a vegan diet is inadequate and a vegan person more importantly has no shot at beating me in a test of athletic ability.
What are your strengths as an athlete?
My biggest strength is my cardio system. Since I was a fit vegan at 320lbs, my heart had a lot of work to do to get blood to my muscles. Presently at 200lbs my heart has it easy which is why during a group ride when everyone else’s heart rate is at 150 or 160 mine may be at 120. I rarely ever hit 170 even when racing. I also know that I’m a lot stronger than most other cyclists and hopefully this year I can start lifting again without gaining muscle. This will give me an even greater advantage over other cyclists.
What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?
Be true to yourself as an athlete. Never show that you can’t handle what others are doing. This doesn’t mean you can’t fail but never fail not trying. If you work hard you’ll find that the way you eat will lead you to the top while everyone else’s improvements lag. Let performance speak for itself…once you do that you can say whatever you want and people will listen to you with an open mind.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Just give it a try now for a month. You’ll feel better the faster you do it. Also if you wind up doing it in a slow manner you may regret all those that suffered while you couldn’t decide if you were ready or not. After all, who isn’t ready to be healthier right this second???
What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?
I know every step I make towards improvement as an athlete makes people’s minds open up a little more to the possibility of this being the best diet. I know for myself that it is but I know others don’t agree. If they see me and other athletes doing the same they’ll start thinking about a vegan diet. Once they do that they may try it, and soon after that they’ll be hooked. There really aren’t many of us out there but the ones that are out there are great. Right now in cyclocross racing there are 2 vegan riders in the Pro Men’s ranks. Both of them were in the top ten at the National Championships this year and there is no way in hell that 20% of cyclists are vegan.
How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?
The forum has really benefited me in terms of knowing others are out there. Nothings wrong with not being an athlete but it seems that people who lean towards veganism are not athletes first. I don’t mean sports should be more important, in fact when animal welfare first came into my life it was the only thing I’d ever change my schedule for. The forum is nice because it’s a place where I fit in. Before I went vegan all my friends were athletes. After I went vegan I did make quite a few vegan friends but they were nothing like my old friends. They weren’t fitness minded and most smoked cigarettes and ate fairly junky diets. The forum has brought me friends that are vegans first (ideologically) but have the mindset of athletes as well. Many of the forum members have also become family to me and I’m very grateful for that. I still love my family but there’s something about sharing this belief with others that you can’t get anywhere else.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your vegan fitness lifestyle?
I will not always be an athlete but I will always be athletic. For me it’s an obligation as a vegan to show people I’m healthier than they are. Vegans can’t go around saying we have a healthier diet since we don’t eat meat or dairy if we simply replace those foods with junky vegan foods…all while sitting on a fabric couch instead of a leather one.