Interview with plant-based personal trainer, Josh Sakover
I’ve been training with Josh for several months now. It was a relief to work with a plant-based trainer! I have been struggling to lose weight for more than three years now and I really wanted to make that investment in myself. I was committed, already training five days a week, but I still needed help. My previous trainer, however, had me on such a high protein, low carb meal plan that I needed to eat fake meat replacements to reach my goals. They didn’t understand the needs of a plant-based client. With Josh’s meal planning, I was back on a whole food, plant-based diet, and I really couldn’t have been happier. So, I wanted to share Josh’s wisdom with all of my Vegan Life family.
1) How long have you been vegan and why did you decide to go vegan?
It has been 5 years since I've made my transition to a vegan lifestyle. Growing up my family often rescued and rehabilitated all sorts of animals. Cats , dogs, birds , ferrets , snakes, you name it, but I never had an emotional attachment to them. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I had a spiritual “awakening” that opened my eyes to love the planet we live on, and everything that inhabits it. The irony is that a “fictional dream” pushed me to becoming vegan, and not the 15+ years of being surrounded by animals.
2) What's been the biggest challenge of being a plant-based trainer?
I find no challenge in being a plant based trainer, but I can only say this because I stand atop the shoulders of giants. The vegan pioneers that came before me made all of this possible. The world is changing, and thousands of individuals are now being informed on the numerous benefits of a vegan diet. Not only for the health of the individual, but also for the planet. With each given day, Vegans are being born and discussions that in the past were dusted under the rug are now being had. Because of this, when someone inquires about my training services they at least know that it's possible to achieve their ideal results on a vegan diet, they just need a proven plan of action.
3) What's your best piece of advice for a plant-based person who wants to build muscle?
On a practical level, if you want to build muscle you must train your body accordingly. Functional strength training is what I teach my clients. By utilizing traditional weight training, olympic lifts, calisthenics, and various conditioning exercises with an organized plan over time it will build you an athletic and aesthetic physique. A physique that not only looks good, but can also do things. Secondly you must fuel your body with an adequate amount of calories and a macro breakdown that is tailored to performance and comprises nutritious and nourishing foods. These are the 2 most important factors in building muscle on a vegan diet, as one without the other is futile.
4) What is the one vegan product you have the hardest time finding?
Collared shirts that are tailored for a more muscular physique.
5) What's the best part of living the vegan lifestyle? What's the biggest challenge?
The best part of the vegan lifestyle is the feeling of living life on my terms. Being vegan, you will inevitably face negativity as you are “fundamentally” going against the grain. I never let it steer me off course and took the necessary time to educate myself. Mentally I’m sharper, physically I’m in the best shape of my life, and spiritually I have more understanding of everyone. The positive impact it’s had on the people around me is unquestioned. The biggest challenge is finding a local community that is balanced in it’s discussion about ethics and health in a way that’s inviting and less judgmental to those who may have a different opinion
6) What do you believe are the essential components to living your best vegan life?
Other than eating right and exercising, you must have a strong ”why”. Why are you Vegan and what keeps it that way when facing adversity. I also encourage you to find a support group that is going to help educate, inspire, and keep you accountable. Next you need to have a positive mindset. I understand that if you are looking to improve your health, better days are coming for you and you’ve made the right choice. If you are in it for the ethics, better days are coming for you, and you’ve also made the right choice. Having firm values, a community, and a positive mindset will take you as far as you want to go.
If you want to up your commitment to building muscle and living your best vegan life, you can reach Josh at:
Facebook - Joshua Sakover
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org