Name: Charles Parker
Year of Birth: 09/26/1985
Birthplace: Nashville, TN
Current Residence: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sports: Track and Field / Bodybuilding (NPC Men’s Physique)
Facebook: Cp3 Nutri Fit
Affiliate: 2014 Team Vega Ambassador
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
I was born and raised in Nashville, TN. My wife and I decided to relocate to South Florida to increase career opportunities and networking abilities. I currently own my personal training and nutritional consulting business known as Cp3 NutriFit. My hobbies include weight training, running, reading, and meditating. I am most interested and passionate about helping people live healthier and happier lives through changing their fitness and eating habits, as well as coaching them into changing some lifestyle factors that could lead to disease and chronic stress. I have a mission to show other athletes that being a vegan can elevate their performance by nourishing their bodies and minds with living foods.
Why did you become vegan?
I become a vegan after making friends with a co-worker at Fed-Ex. He taught me the basics of veganism and why he and his wife adopted the lifestyle. He would always bring plant-based snacks to work for me to sample and even gave me some recipes to try at home. 1 year later, after moving to South Florida, I met a couple whom I worked with and they shared more information about being a vegan athlete. They both had fitness and nutrition backgrounds, so they knew exactly I needed to eat without sacrificing my performance. What finally convinced me was the documentary “Vegucated”. It enlightened me on the Industrial Food Industries malpractices and animal cruelty practices.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I become interested in fitness back in 2002, when I joined my high school’s track team. My mother, being a personal trainer and natural bodybuilder, educated me on the importance of eating the right foods during the season and how to stay conditioned during the summer months. She has been my biggest motivation in the world of fitness. I guess I can say, I wanted to follow in her footsteps of being fit and teaching others to do the same. She was my role model and still is to this day.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
Breakfast: Protein Shake (w/ Peanut Butter, Quick Oats, Spinach, Coconut Milk, Soy)
Snack: Odwalla Soy Protein Bar w/ Orange Slices
Lunch: Black bean Bowl (w/brown rice, tomatoes, ground soy, peppers, corn)
Snack: Mixed Nuts w/ Protein Shake (same as above)
Dinner: Veggie Burger Salad (peppers, mixed greens, dried cherries, walnuts, balsamic)
Before Bed: Protein Shake
How would you describe your training program?
When I am training for Track and Field competitions my cardio training consists of Sprints, Tempo Runs, Plyometric, Form/Technique Drills, Speed, Agility, and Dynamic Flexibility.
My Weight Training consists of Olympic Lifts (Clean and Jerk, Power Clean, Overhead Squats), and explosive power lifting in which every exercise last only 5-6 reps @85-90% 1RM. Other days I work on Strength training exercises (Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift, Single-Leg Lunges, and Step-Ups) typically for 10-12 reps per set.
When preparing for Bodybuilding (Physique) Contests, my cardio focus is interval training on treadmill and/or outdoor track for on average 30minutes in duration.
Weight Training consists of Body-Part Specific Training, which includes Concentration Curls, Military Press, Triceps Pull-down, Leg Press, Calf Raises, Walking Lunges, Deep Squats @ 8-10 reps of Max Effort during the Hypertrophy Phase on training and transitioning to higher reps(@15-25) and shorter rest times up to 15 seconds leading up the week of show.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
Lysine – Help to repair muscle tissue and build collagen fibers
Green Tea Extract – Great for burning stored fat for energy and fights off free radicals after intense training sessions
Vitamin C – Supports my immune system, helps my body absorb more iron, and helps to use fat for energy.
Saw Palmetto – Decrease my DHT levels and protect my prostate from inflammation (Prostate Cancer runs in my family also)
Multi-V/M – Added support of nutrients that my body needs to repair and grow stronger.
Flaxseed Oil – Support my immune system, regulate inflammation process, maintain elastic and clean arterial walls
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Some friends and family were shocked because they believed I couldn’t be a bodybuilder as a vegan. They would constantly entice me with meat and animal based foods to get me to convert back.
Now, when I tell people I am vegan, their first question is “How did you build muscle eating plants?” or “I couldn’t do that forever, maybe for detox, but not every day!”
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
Veganism is some of kind of religious or cult practice
You have to be a mean, diet-pusher that criticize people who eat meat
Vegan athletes can only be successful in endurance-based sports
You have to be a health saint and can no longer eat anything considered “junk”
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
Yes, I have had success in my promotional efforts. I would talk to friends, clients, and family about why I decided to become vegan, share some negative facts about the food industry and it’s practices, ask about their love and respect of domestic animals and how to relate that to cows, chickens, fish, etc. that eat every day. Then finally show then the same documentary that convinced me “Vegucated”
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
The most important aspect of training is consistency because without it, there can be no significant progression in performance.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I love the way plant-based foods makes my body feel. I have more energy, better mood, and sleep and recovery a lot better. I also love knowing that I am not contributing to the suffering of animals in cages and the inhumane practices they have to endure.
What do you like best about being fit?
I love feeling strong and able to take on physical challenges without worrying about by my health condition and fitness capacity. I have a sharper thinking ability and motor skills as a result of practicing fitness. Lastly, I enjoy being acknowledge about my physique and motivating others because of it.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
I would advise them to take it slow and master proper lifting and running technique first. I would also suggest they assess their current fitness level and find a program that will allow them to progress on a consistent basis. Lastly, find a strong support team with experience in training who can guide you through the process of becoming fit.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
I would advise them to try a vegan diet for 1 week, and each day record (in a journal) their energy levels, sleep quality, clarity of thinking, and emotional status. Also, meet with practicing vegans in their local community for additional information and advice. Lastly, I would advise they educated themselves on plant foods and nutrition to make the transition smoother.
What motivates you in life?
What motivates me the most in life knows that I have the power to change lives each and every day through sharing my testimonies of being a successful vegan athlete, entrepreneur, and role model for adolescents and for those down on their luck.
I wake up every morning knowing that I live in a world that needs me and the knowledge and wisdom I have attained throughout my young life. I am motivated to constantly strive to be the best Charles Parker I can be, not for myself, but for the person who needs a source of inspiration.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
I love the website. It provides a plethora of information for vegan athletes as well as those looking to convert their eating habits. I love the community of fellow athletes, seeing the success they have acquired, and advice they share to make others better in their sport. It motivates me to continue with the mission of changing lives through diet, fitness, and providing education on veganism and its true essence. I am inspired by the relentless pursuit this company has in not only spreading the news of vegan fitness but also enriching the lives of those who contribute their efforts.
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
I support the efforts and vision of this organization and know that it is helping to raise the human consciousness.