Amber Testimonial – Vegan Online Training and Nutrition Client

Vegan BodybuildingAmber is an online training and nutrition client located in Minnesota that first contacted me because she was interested in learning her way around the gym. She was an endurance runner who had competed in several marathons, but she’d never lifted weights before. She was starting to see a few imbalances and aches and pains from repetitive movement.

She wanted to work on building muscle to improve her running and overall body shape, fix the imbalances taking a toll on her knees, and learn about how to eat for her lifestyle. Not only is Amber a vegan but she is also a raw vegan which added an additional challenge to the mix. She was worried she’d have to compromise her beliefs to see results.

I created a workout program for Amber based on her goals, and included weak point training for her hamstrings and glutes to compensate for the emphasis running put on her quads and knees. Since she had never set foot in a gym before and I wouldn’t be there face to face, I encouraged her to have a local trainer help her through her first week to ensure she knew how to safely follow the program.

Since Amber was interested in building muscle, it was important for her to get enough protein and calories to support this but she wasn’t sure how much she was eating daily. She laid out a typical day of meals for me and was surprised to find that it was quite a bit lower in calories than she’d assumed. Eating mostly fruits and vegetables can give the illusion of a lot of food because of the volume, but calories are low since they aren’t calorie dense foods.

I worked with Amber to include healthy fats such as nuts and seeds which are a great source of calories and fats for energy. She also decided to include plant-based cooked protein sources like quinoa, lentils, and other grains which increased her protein intake to help with muscle building. There was a lot of trial and error as she figured out how to remain vegan and eat for her goals, but she was open to suggestions and approached it as a fun adventure which makes all the difference.

There is no such thing as perfection. You don’t have to follow a workout or eating program perfectly to get results. There is a middle of the road and small changes do add up over time. As she experimented with the nutrition, she remained focused on workout performance right and being consistent in the gym. She competes annually in the Tough Mudder which is a pretty challenging obstacle race. Here’s what she had to say about her latest race:

“So I know I haven’t been a ‘model’ client and I basically eat my usual way (although I do try to get at least 80-90 grams of protein). I just wanted to tell you that I did EVERY obstacle during the Tough Mudder, including the rings and the monkey bars that go up at a slant, then back down! I could not do either last year! What a great accomplishment! I was actually pretty proud of myself and I wanted to say thank you!”

As a result, she crushed her Tough Mudder abilities this time around, and gained strength and confidence. A sustainable approach is one that you can consistently follow and fits into your life. Not one that is unrealistic, not attainable, or goes against your beliefs. A good coach will support you, make suggestions and help you find what works best to get you to where you want to be.

You can read more about me and my journey or see what other clients have to say about me. If you want to work on your own transformation, let me know at and we can talk about your goals.