Vegetarian Bodybuilding

Vegetarian Bodybuilding

Can Vegetarians Gain Muscle And Be Bodybuilders? You bet they can!  I’m a vegetarian and it hasn’t hurt me any! :)

Vegetarian bodybuilders are at no disadvantage whatsoever and can gain as much muscle as their meat eating training partners.  How can this be you ask?  You don’t have to eat meat to gain muscle, all you need to do is get high quality protein and that is possible without eating meat.  The main reason that most folks think being a vegetarian is a disadvantage for a bodybuilder is they don’t understand what vegetarians can eat.  First of all, the term “vegetarian” has really fallen out of use because its too vague – its kind of like a “toning workout”.  Skip the dictionary definition, lets use mine:

  • lacto-ovo vegetarian: someone who can eat all plant based foods plus the eggs and milk from animals
  • vegan: someone who can only eat food which comes from plants

If someone says “vegetarian” without specifying, then they probably mean lacto-ovo vegetarian.  Someone who just eats vegetables is a vegan, not a vegetarian.  Alles Klar? The protein quality in the eggs and milk that a vegetarian can eat are just as high as the protein that is in meat!

Please read the full details in my page vegetarianism and bodybuilding to see how easy it is to get the same high quality protein that you would by eating meat.

By the way folks, I consider myself a pseudo-vegetarian.  Since I made up the term, I get to decide what it means.  It means I get *most* of my protein from plant sources during the year.  Under normal circumstances, I get about 90% of my protein from egg, dairy, and plant sources.  I’m not a vegetarian for political, religious, or ethical reasons.  I’m a vegetarian because I belive it to be healthier. Can I *prove* that a vegetarian diet is healther? No, but I can’t prove global warming either. Everyone has to decide for themselves what level of proof is required before they change their behaviour. Many studies have indicated that meat can cause heart disease and cancer, the latest was released just today. This study suggests that red meat eaters are 18% more likely to have heart disease and 10% more likely to have cancer.

Vegetarian Bodybuilder

56 thoughts on “Vegetarian Bodybuilding”

  1. Scooby! my main source of protein is chicken, fish, and eggwhites, as well as tofu, and lentils However, I prefer eating vegetarian, as I just feel healthier when I do. However I am on a mission to lower my body fat, I’m female with a lot of hormonal and thyroid issues that make it difficult for me to meet my goals, but I’m almost there! the top part of my abs pretty much show, but i’
    m working on lowering my bodyfat even more. My question is I take soyprotien after my workouts. I work out 30 min cardio everyday (6 days a week) and lift every other day! However, someone at the gym just told me that soy products will actually add body fat instead of help remove it…and that instead I should take Whey. Is this true?

  2. Wow, what a bunch of pathetic crybabies complaining about how much meat Scooby eats or not. What a complete non-issue!! The point is that you can gain muscle without eating meat. Get a clue.

    1. Wow, what a waste of a comment. It is so bad I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll try. The issue is that yes you can “gain” muscle, without eating meat. But to what extent? People come to this website to look like scooby, who as a matter of fact, eats a ton of meat. According to his own meal planner for carb cycling he eats it at least three times a day.He might not eat as much now as he did then, but when he posts a picture of his physique with a can of black beans next to him, one assumes that all he eats are vegetables. This is not true. If this was posted by anyone else he would ridicule them on his Wall of Shame to no end. It is deceptive and misleading and in all honesty should be redacted. I love scooby as much as anyone out there and he has helped me a ton, but he also needs to be called out on this one because he totally “jumped the shark” Now Mr. Logic I invite you to quietly shut up and stop calling people pathetic or cry babies, because you are definitely not the super genius that you think you are.

  3. I think this message is completely ridiculous scooby. Tell us exactly what you ate when you were 20, 30. Saying “being vegetarian hasn’t hurt you” completely flies in the face of the fact that you have reached your genetic potential and due to muscle memory as long as you work out a tiny bit and eat somewhat o.k. you will end up looking very similar to the way you do now without much work. If you ate the same way you do now, back in your 20’s and 30’s than fine. But I’m willing to bet you didn’t eat what you are eating now in your major muscle growth years. Misleading people to think that the way you became Scooby was through a majorly vegertarian diet is a farce and a joke. PS: You are not a vegetarian, no matter how you classify it. And it is o.k., just be you.

  4. I think all you guys are morons, clearly Scooby states ” Skip the dictionary definition, lets use mine” means it is his perception of a vegetarian. (Example) It is the same with religion so just because I believe in god although I don’t go to church then I am not a Christian? that’s just idiotic thinking.

    So what if someones perceptive and terminology is different from yours, look at him then look at yourself. He is giving away free helpful advice and what have you contributed to the community? a few sneering remarks of your own blocked mind.

    Okay? so what you are offended? take a step back and a few breaths. If you don’t have anything helpful to comment stop posting your making yourself look stupid.

    1. Hey calm down and open your mind.. It is Scooby himself who taught his fans that info should be assessed with a critical mind.. All those who are criticising him are in fact his true and loyal fans. It’s absolutely hypocritic to assess him with different standards just because his info is free..

      1. An excellent comment Kum_23. It is good to see someone who understands that all nutritional information handed out by those in forums like this is assessed in the light of current scientific and medical standards. Scooby is very quick to put people in to his Hall of Shame having considered them to be fraudulent and/or misleading. I wonder why it is that those who applaud Scooby for his vigilance, cut him so much slack when he himself posts something that is equally misleading and so easy to prove inaccurate.

        Scooby’s body building advice is excellent and he is to be applauded for that information free or otherwise. However, when he moves in to the field of nutrition, I, like you, will not just bury my head in the sand out of some ill-placed sense of loyalty and blindly follow him. Scooby has made a statement that clearly and unambiguously shows him to be someone who regularly eats the flesh of animals and as such it is absurd and dangerous not to challenge his statement. There are young teenagers following his advice and they need to know his nutritional advice is accurate and beneficial to their developing bodies. Scooby does them no service maintaining his ridiculous claim that he is a vegetarian.

        1. Glad to you share my opinion :-D

          Actually this is not the first time he contradicts himself on nutrition you know..

          I came across him on youtube when i first started bodybuilding.. As you know when you’re first starting out, a funny guy with a hat and a pillow screaming around does make you think he knows his shit.

          I was following his diet to the word but guess what.. I was only losing my bodyfat without ever getting muscle gains. Steamed chicken with rice and veggies??? What the hel!!!

          It is only 3 months later, when i decided to eat what i felt was good for my body that i noticed significant gains. I gained 10 pounds in 2 months no jokes.

          And guess what.. To my utmost deception, Scoooby came out 6 months later with a video saying that you didn’t actually have to follow such a strict diet!!!! WTF Scooby??? I wasted 3 months of my life following his suicidal meal plans.. By the way i am an ectomorph..

          Plus that made me realise that this guy may be a pro in weightlifting but his advice on nutrition really isn’t up-to-date.. He claims that body type isn’t related to nutrition. How can he say that??? So many acclaimed around the world have done extensive research on the matter and he just contradicts that???

          And what is more dangerous about that is that beginners, like me, may be misleaded in thinking he got such a great body eating only boiled chicken, rice and veggies..

          I think the whole 6packshortcuts thing has turned Scooby into Scooby-Doo..
          His Insta-Abs video may be good for a laugh but it just shows how paranoid Scooby has become..

          I just hope he comes back to sanity and does more research on nutrition..

  5. I disagree with you,Scooby. I will tell you why:
    #1- I see YOU (SCOOBY) making dishes with Chicken (meat) and fish (also meat).
    #2- My friend is a lifelong Veg-head and she’s obese; border-lining on morbidly obese.
    #3- I personally notice a difference when I eat a high protein meat from when I eat some of her veg-head food.

  6. Jesus Christ! People are misunderstanding the purpose of the video. The question is not about what Scooby says, the question is about bodybuilding being a vegetarian. If he is a T-Rex or a cow is not the point.

    1. Of course it is about what Scooby says. He is giving nutritional advice. If he is wrong on something as simple as the definition of a vegetarian, and even a child could find out what that is by looking in the dictionary, then what else is he wrong about. Nutritional advice is a serious matter, and to be so misinformed, and to be frank, so stubborn as to not admit his error is most surprising. I like many others held Scooby in high esteem, however, it would seem that he is just another one who has come along, got some popularity then lost the plot with his new found fame. A lot of people follow his advice, therefore, he has a responsibility to make sure the information he gives is accurate and truthful. He is doing body building while eating meat several times a week, while at the same time telling people that he is getting those results as a vegetarian. It is nothing more than deception and Scooby should correct his error as a matter of principle.

  7. Hey scooby, I have an interesting question.

    How fast can a person lose muscle considoring that the nutrition is intact and they stop
    going to the gym. And by intact I mean, they eat less because they arent working out, and healthy along your lines (vegies, chicken meat, tuna, oats, rice, green tea etc)

    1. There are a few questions to be answered before one can give you a well educated assumption as to how much you would lose.

      What do you mean by not exercising? Are you in a full body cast, sitting around all day doing little more than some standing and walking, or are you still moving around enough to raise your heart rate for a long period of time (ex: certain construction work)?

      Even with a perfect diet, if you are COMPLETELY immobile you will lose muscle weight about as fast as you put it on, if not faster, back down to your baseline. The more you move around during your day, the more your body has to work, and the less your body will lose. (This is a general rule of thumb for 90% of the population regarding the muscle lose gained from exercise)

      Definitely try and move around, if its a medical issue that is holding you back such as a cast, you can always workout the other muscles. If you are completely immobile (such as bedridden in the hospital) then be aware that their are ways to mentally raise your heartrate (with out increasing cortisol, your stress hormone); this would be done through meditation. This is known as imaginary training and has been researched as being effective for limiting muscle loss by 80% (Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing; Jun2008)

      So as a general rule of thumb, if completely immobile, it will come off as fast as you put it on. Good diets can slow it down but can not give you 100% maintenance. Think about astronauts, even with their attempts to exercise in space and their nutrition based health diets they come back so weak they can rarely stand when placed back in a world of our gravity.

      Hope this helps,
      Goodluck friend

  8. Much ado about nothing ! Fact is if you eat healthy foods in proper moderation and cut out the junk you know is bad , ie; sweets, fastfoods… you’ll be fine ! Keep your protein levels at a level according to your fitness regimen and you will do fine ! This isn’t Rocket science people ! If there is a secret to building muscle it’s consistency ! You must find what works for you ! Then practice it on a regular basis ! Heavy , light or in between weight doesn’t matter ! They all work if you do ! At 53 i’ve been lifting pretty much non stop for well over 30 years ! Primarily nothing but free weights and body weight workouts , while i’m not ripped to shreds like 18 year old anorexic cover model , theres still no mistaking i’m a lifter when the shirt comes off ! NEVER remotely considered a steroid in my life and never will ! Don’t try to emulate the routines and diets you see in mags or on the net ! You must build your own thru trial and error ! Building quality muscle is at best a long ,slow and meticulous process and keeping it requires a life long and lifestyle commitment ! Not everyone can do it ! But everyone can improve there health thru it ! This is the truth as i’ve lived it ! Accept it , live it and quit whining and berating those who are trying to help you ! If you don’t like somebody’s advice then move on till you find something that works for you ! As for Scooby’s diet … I could give a shit one way or the other ! But having went thru his sight I find his training info to be very much on the money ! Stick to the basics and kick some ass on a regular basis and watch what happens !

    1. Once again we have fuckwit Ed spouting off his “look at how great I am” bullshit and ignoring the facts. All we have to do is wait for his next installment to find him claiming he is also a vegetarian who eats meat. What is it with these old idiots. Dementia must be setting in when they accept obviously false statements without question, and then seem to justify them on the basis of “his training is very much on the money”. What a fucking pathetic moron. He misses the whole point, that Scooby is being dishonest…and if Scooby can’t be trusted on the absoute basics like this then what can he be trusted on?

      Crawl back under your rock Ed….or go find some other fuckwit like yourself to fuck up the ass and piss off with your “living the truth” bullshit.

      In case you missed it Ed – – – – GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU FUCKING PIECE OF DOG SHIT. YOU ARE A WASTE OF FUCKING SPACE.

      1. Seeing your Maturity and Vocabulary [ That means how well you speak ] is yet to catch up with your lil wienier , Might I suggest a Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda video while your waiting for Puberty to arrive ? If not , take up ping pong or maybe a yo yo ! Try not to hurt yourself !

        1. How typical of someone past their prime trying, and I do mean trying, to sound like they are clever and know what they are talking about. The simple fact that you mention Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda show you are well out of touch with modern applications. Those two may have been influential 100 years ago, but get with it moron the train has left the station. And for your information Vocabulary is not how well you speak. Take the time to look up what it actually means. Better still I will tell you:

          A person’s vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person.

          Now we have got that straight you should understand (although I doubt it) that a person’s knowledge base is not automatically reflected in the way he/she speaks.

          And fuck, you are most probably one of those pedophiles who pervs on underage girls and boys. And I say that because of your references to lil wienier and yo yo. You seem to have a preoccupation with things associated with children you sick fucking pedo.

          God help your children if you have any, or grand children because they are not safe around you.

          1. Ed sounds like Athur Spooner:

            “give me one gallon milk and an expander and i`ll show you a workout you”ll never forget. All i can say is dynamic contraction.”

        2. I’m with you steve. This ed guys seems very suspicious. he does seem preoccupied with that crap and his mention of waiting for puberty to arrive sets off alarm bells. His sort should be castrated and locked up. His kind are pariahs and leeches on society. And he is also a hypocrite as he says “Don’t try to emulate the routines and diets you see in mags or on the net !” and then goes on to say Scooby’s training advice to be “on the money”. He needs to make up his mind. Either Scooby’s info on the net can be used or it should not be. He doesn’t seem to know what he is talking about.

  9. Who gives a shit if he’s a vegetarian or not. All you dumbasses should be concerned about is the quality of his information on bodybuilding and nutrition, not his personal life or choices. You people make it seem as though he hasn’t produced anything good from his videos and website, just because you pieces of shit disagree with him on him being a vegitarian. His website and ALL of his videos are very helpful. Be greatful that he’s even providing you guys with this information. And as for him taking steriods…..you guys need to give it up. He’s been working out for over TWENTY YEARS. How in the hell do you think that after TWENTY YEARS of lifting he wouldn’t be the way he is now? You’ll have the right to say he takes steriods when you’ve been lifting over 20 years and you don’t look even close to what he looks like. otherwise, just keep your mouth shut.

  10. By the way Scooby, maybe you should give us some details as to when you precisely did become a vegetarian in your 25+ years weightlifting.. If it happened lately then you are spitting in the same dish in which you ate some years back and which were a major pillar in your muscle gains! I am sure if being a vegan did not allow you to maintain your muscle mass you wouldn’t be a vegan. Maintaining muscle mass and buidling muscle are two completely different issues, we all know that..

  11. Couple questions:

    Can you get enough protein as a vegan? (I mean how much soy can one eat, and I don’t think soy, for as good as it is for most people, has all the amino acids needed for humans.)

    Just because red meat can be dangerous (i.e. increased cancer/heart risk), I don’t think this necesarily applies to lean chicken or fish, which seem to me to help round out a human’s protein needs.

    1. One can get all the essential amino acids (amino acids = building blocks of protein), minerals, and nutrients under a strict vegan diet. The problem is that there has to be greater food diversity, it is harder to eat outside of your homes (in most areas of the United States at least) and sometimes the caloric amounts add up faster than you think. Most of us are not used to playing the calorie game with vegan diets as much as with “regular” diets. If you are attempting a vegan diet it is healthy and obtainable, but dont like any diet, dont let the calories creep up on you.

      Also beware of the amount of fats your getting, regardless of diet. When eating meat, eggs, milk, you are getting your cholesterol, and, as a male, this is NEEDED to produce Testosterone. If you dont give your Ledig Cells (“hormone converters” if you will) enough cholesterol they will not give you enough Testosterone and you will feel tired, unmotivated, and drained. (This can also happen if you are not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun, another essential part of the bodies hormone system ESPECIALLY when exercising)

      You bring up an excellent point on lean meats vs red meats. The difference in the meats is that lean meats contain mitochondria (the “Power plants” of the cells in your body). They are much healthier. While white (lean) meats are healthier to eat, and give you proper amino acids, do not rely on them alone as your food of choice. Variety is essential for efficient, healthy bodies. Make sure you are getting enough fiber, minerals, and vitamins when eating meats. Also be sure to look at the SODIUM amounts in prepackaged meats. Attempt to consume <2300mg of sodium per day and <1500mg of sodium per day if you are over the age of 51. (2010 American Food Guildlines)

      I hope this helped and was understandable. I tried to explain everything as best I could; if you dont understand something on here Im sure its my inefficiency at explaining and not your lack of trying to understand.

      Hope this helps,
      Eat well

  12. Thanks for addressing the veg issue, Scooby. It is important to mention that being a healthy vegetarian is not just about eliminating meat. You must eat a balance of vegetable matter that includes whole grains, legumes and yellow/orange and dark green vegetables to get a full complement of amino acids.

    1. You are quite correct. Being a healthy vegetarian is not just about eliminating meat, however, the one main factor that makes a vegetarian a vegetarian is that the person DOES eliminate meat from their diet.

      Scooby is a meat eater. In other words he eats the flesh of slaughtered animals. That is no way qualifies him to call himself a vegetarian.

      It is time Scooby set the record straight and was honest enough to admit he fucked up on this one. The longer he remains quite the more it would seem he has to hide.

  13. My admiration and gratitude for you cannot blind me enough not to point out that you are highly controversial in what you are preaching here.. First of all let me say that vegan and ovo-lacto are in no way your definitions! It takes time for people to learn new words and terns so don’t go and say these are your definitions! Secondly, i saw your videos where you prepared foods with chicken and salmon(you might argue that it was just for video purposes but i remember reading an article of yours where you say that you don’t mind having steak once in a while!!!)!!!!! So, either you are an ovo-lacto or you’re just like all of us but you clearly cannot say you’re a vegetarian!!!! By the way, meat-eater has a major edge over a vegan in that his diet will provide significantly more creatine and nitric oxide. It’s also worth noting that these two substances will be from natural sources..

  14. Great, it’s pretty common sense once again. Personally, I am eating primal and will stick to it for a bit, but will probably be modifying it more and more as I find out what I can change, so I still feel as good as I do now. (mostly because of cutting the grain products I believe).

    Out of curiosity, have you taken a look at “from scrawny to brawny”? It is supposed to be the best reference for people who by genetics do not easily build muscle. It suggests high calorie levels, but does give a responsible mix of nutrients I believe. Or does it???

    Cheers, Phil
    Auf Wiedersehen:)

  15. Instead of everyone bitching about how scooby isn’t vegetarian once a week why don’t you stop looking for things to pick apart and pay attention to the message of the article? from a dietary standpoint his nutrition is coming almost completely from vegetarian sources and its not negatively affecting his bodybuilding. Take it as it’s meant. You don’t need tons of meat to gain muscle.

    1. The reason some people are bitching is this: If he lies so blatantly about this what else is he lying about?
      I am a vegetarian and I eat meat twice a week
      I am clean with no roids but I take xxx twice a week

      You can be sure that is Mike Chang from sixpackshortcuts had said he was a vegetarian and was eating meat several times a week then Scooby would have ridiculed him as a fraud.

      Scooby is being judged by the same standards he judges others.

  16. Maybe scooby turned vegetarien the moment he wrote this thing. Or maybe he dosen’t eat the chicken he grills in his videos. Or maybe all that proteine finaly just messed his brains up. Just kidding :D

  17. the problem in this video is that vegan protein sources are only seen as single products. their real quality comes when you combine them so that one source may lack certain amino acids but those are present in other sources. always combine beans and gluten and you won’t have any difficulty with vegan BB

  18. So between this article and others you’ve written about protein requirements the basic idea is that protein powder works perfectly well as a replacement for meat?

  19. Scoob you gonna get some heat for this article and not in a good way!!! If i where you i would revise it as you contradict your self ! Say that your protein intake consist mainly from non meat protein and occasionally (once or twice a week you meat) and by doing all that it hasn’t affected your ability to gain muscle!

  20. Come on Scooby, don’t BS a BS artist. You’re not a vegetarian… you eat meat .
    That’s like saying you don’t smoke but smoke a pack on the weekend.
    But I’ll say this, you have the best web site for bodybuilding.

    1. I also strongly disagree that diets that include meat (red meat too) are inherently less healthful.
      I’d say that studies that show higher death rates for meat eaters are actually showing that in the general population, meat eaters are more likely to not care what else they ingest…junk food, booze, high glycemic carbs, transfats, etc etc…
      Vegetarians/ Vegans, by defination, pick their foods (generally speaking) with a bit more thoughtfullness- thereby, possibly, eating less junk.
      My feeling is that a TRUE COMPARISON of a healthy diet that includes good red meat
      to vegetarian diet (and even more so to a vegan diet) will prove once and for all as superior.
      Problem is, you’ll never be able to do a study such as this- it would have to be long term- say 50 yrs – and it would be nearly impossible to control for so many variable.
      I base my opinion on our (mans’) survival and domination on this earth with a diet consisting mainly (calorie wise) of meats AND SATURATED FATS, both land animals and seafood.
      -and now, to get a bit nasty- I’d like to see a pissy assed vegan survive a winter somewhere
      in northern Europe in the year 200,000 bc. being finicky about what he/she was eating-the others would have thrown them outta the cave…

      1. I think eating meat was healthy as well, that is until Monsanto started injecting these cows with steroids to produce more meat. There are numerous peer-reviewed articles that show a strong correlation between eating meat injected with steroids and the rise in certain types of cancer. So I think that is the greater concern. If you’re eating a wild animal that you hunted there is probably nothing more natural and healthy.

  21. Hi Scooby,

    i like your videos and the way you explain your view of things.

    This helps me a lot to humour the other “scooby” wich means:

    ..I am a vegetarian but i eat meat..
    ..I am a clean BB but i take obviouly steroids..

      1. Bollocks to you Mufasa. The ONLY reason we are able to say that Scooby takes no supplements or illegal stuff is because he tell us that is the case. Scooby saying he is a vegetarian and at the same time eating meat once or twice a week definitely calls into question his integrity. His body building information is spot on, however, as he chooses to enter the field of nutritional advice he needs to be knowledgeable and accurate. His claim to be a vegetarian is clearly absurd and misleading.

  22. Good article, but I think it’s kind of a cop-out calling yourself a vegetarian and saying it hasn’t hurt your ability to build muscle at all, when clearly and even admittedly you are not a vegetarian. As you say you do eat meat once or twice a week and you even have videos on here of you cooking chicken. Also I assume and I may be completely wrong, but I would bet that when you were younger and were body building you were eating meat much more often. Having said all that I think this site is awesome, I respect what you do, and I believe becoming vegetarian or mainly vegetarian is a smart health decision. However, I think you should be more honest when referring to yourself as vegetarian.

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