Interview with Kyle Kendall: Vegan Personal Trainer
Written by Leigh-Chantelle
Created Thursday, 22 November 2012
I am vegan because it feels right, my body loves it, my mind loves it and my conscience loves it, I guess I could just say, “I love it!”
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
Whilst studying for my personal training and nutritional advising exams it seemed so obvious to me that I could function at a much higher level, look and feel healthier, and possibly avoid many illnesses if I was living on a plant based diet. Therefore, I decided to give it a try. Six months into my new vegan diet, I noticed the amount of suffering to do with the ‘meat trade’ and made the choice to never go back. That was over a year and a half ago and I have never looked back. I now have more energy than I have ever had before and feel better than ever.
How long have you been vegan?
Over a year and a half ago
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
ENERGY! And a much lighter conscience
What does veganism mean to you?
Veganism to me means a large step in the right direction, a much better way of life for all concerned, animals live without suffering and in turn vegans live without so much disease. There has been many illnesses linked to animal products and since giving them up I have not been ill once, not even a cold, maybe coincidence but this is my personal experience.
What sort of training do you do?
I like weights and circuits mostly but I do enjoy a run, cycle, hike, long walk or swim in the sea when I can.
How often do you (need to) train?
My patterns always change but on average, I will train 5-6 times a week. My weights session can be anywhere from 90mins to 180mins depending on how much energy I have built up.
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
I do offer my services to others although at the moment I am volunteering as a sports teacher in South America so I am only offering nutritional advice, eating plans and such.
What sports do you play?
When it comes to sports I am a bit of a ‘Jack the lad’ I love to play nearly all sports but I am never going to be a pro in any specific area. My favourite sport is Thai boxing.
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
For me the biggest misconception about vegans (in my environment) is that vegans are skinny and fragile. I address this by being myself.
What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
My biggest strength as a vegan athlete is my energy, I just can’t stop some days, I watch people come in to the gym, do their whole workout and leave many times over. I was recently told my training sessions are more like a day out at the gym.
What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge being a vegan is travelling. Learning what I can and can’t eat in a new country can be hard and sometimes I can feel I am missing out but it always turns out fine in the end.
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
The non-vegans are very supportive in my industry; they are more interested than anything else. Some cannot believe that I look so well or train so hard on only a plant based diet. They ask so many questions, but I am always happy to answer them all.
Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
My family and friends are very supportive of my vegan lifestyle, although not all understand it.
What is the most common question/comment that people ask/say when they find out that you are a vegan and how do you respond?
‘You don’t look like a vegan!’ my response - ‘Good!’
Who or what motivates you?
The thought of being the best I can be motivates me a lot. Person: Jerhico Sunfire. Quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" by Marianne Williamson
Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast - Green smoothie (my own recipe)
Lunch - Indian dahl with large salad (total more than 51% salad)
Dinner - Jacket potato with large salad (total more than 51% salad)
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - Raw vegan snack bar, fruit, nuts, seeds, smoothie, rice crackers, Dark chocolate, vegan sausage sandwich
What is your favourite source of:
Protein - Spirulina
Calcium - Raw greens
Iron - Raw greens
What foods give you the most energy?
My green smoothies, by far.
Do you take any supplements?
Reishi, cordycep, ginseng, flax oils, probiotics and creatine (creatine on and off)
What is your top tip for:
Gaining muscle - Work hard! In addition, get your spirulina.
Losing weight - Water, chilli, lemon juice, green tea and cinnamon are the first little tips that pop to mind but personally I use lots of liquid meals, for example fruit smoothies, green smoothies, soups, Raw vegan soups. Quick and easy for the body to digest, and keep the stomach unstretched.
Maintaining weight - If you’re at the weight you are happy with then keep doing what you are doing, it’s obviously working.
Improving metabolism - This is how I keep mine at a speed I am happy with. Start the day with water (I have been known to put a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt, squeeze of lemon and a pinch of chilli powder if I want an extra boost when I am burning fat) and make sure you get enough throughout the day, drink green teas and nibble on a square or two of dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa solids) in the evening. This should speed up your metabolism.
Toning up - Circuits circuits circuits circuits, in the gym, down the park, in your garden or even in your very own home, these bad boys never let you down. Whether you are after losing a little belly flab for a holiday or want to look like Bruce Lee for the summer the circuit will provide all. Change your weight routines into a circuit too by super setting muscle groups and throwing in 7-10mins of cardio all throughout your usual sets.
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
I have a FaceBook page and a blog too where I can share information. In addition, of course every time I step into a gym
How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
Try your local college for available courses in fitness. You can also look at courses available with open universities, this way you can fit your studying into your own schedule.
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