Viva La Vegan!


Michael Griesmeier is a Berlin Bodybuilding champion and world record holder who was born on 23.09.1969 in Berlin, Germany. After school he was an apprenticeship cutter before spending a few years in Bundeswehr. He is currently working in the Berlin Police force. Michael has always been athletic, playing soccer, boxing and swimming in his childhood. At 14 years old, he started with bodybuilding, and when 38 he started with extreme sports.

This article is the first of many interviews with Vegan Athletes and Fitness/Exercise Enthusiasts who Leigh-Chantelle interviewed. Michael's native tongue is German, so a translater was involved with this article.

READ this interview in Traditional Chinese - translated for VegTomato online magazine. Also Simple Chinese.

Why Vegan?
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
Because I couldn‘t stand the feeling any longer that I was contributing to the suffering of the animals with my eating behaviour. At first I only omitted the meat and fish from my diet and then a few months later I stopped eating all animal based ingredients.

How long have you been vegan?
Since June 2011.

What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
All around I feel better, more fit and healthier. My body regenerates much faster after highest physical performance.

What does veganism mean to you?
In my opinion it is the only really effective way of life that works against disease, animal suffering, environmental distruction and world hunger, for me. That‘s why veganism is my life.

What sort of training do you do?
I have had a lot of different training, like I learned to be a chamfer, was a soldier for 8 years and now I‘m a police officer.

How often do you (need to) train?
5 Days a Week!

Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
No, not yet.

What sports do you play?
Strength training, stairwalking/running, hiking, ultra-running

Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
The biggest misconception about vegans is that they are sick, weak, fragile and in bad moods because of their diets - that is so absurd but comes from the human opinion that meat/animal protein is the building block for life, health and vitality.

What are your strengths as a vegan athlete?
My unbelievable will power, my muscular looseness and my physical strength.

What is your biggest challenge?
Right now I‘m training for a new world record of walking stairs for 6 hours with a 50 kg heavy backpack. In the near future I want to cross through Antarctica.

Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
Not really, I often get laughed at.

Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
A little, they are slowly getting used to 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?
They are often a bit irritated, because they have little information about it. Then I give them information. Also I often get asked what the advantages are of the vegan lifestyle.

Who or what motivates you?
To minimize suffering.
I am motivated daily because I want to give animals a voice and because of that I wish to reach the public with my projects.
I want to tell people what they do to themselves and the world around them with the way they choose to live.
I also want to break down the preconception that vegans are weak or not muscular.

Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast - Different things. Ssually fresh fruits, sometimes I make myself a smoothie with fruits, water, nuts and raisins.
Lunch - Smoothie, fruits, vegetables or spaghetti, bread, cooked beans, salad.
Dinner - like lunch
Snacks (healthy & not so healthy) - fruits, sweets

What is your favorite source of:
Protein - Nuts, beans, „Läufereiweiss“ (Protein for runners)
Calcium - Vegetables
Iron - Vegetables

What foods give you the most energy?
The fresher, the less modified, the more natural the fruit is, the more energy it gives you.

Do you take supplements?
Yes and every once in a while I take vitamin B12

What is youf Top Tip for:
Gaining muscle - Enough will power, sleep, a fresh vegan diet, at least four times per week weight training in combination with easy running units.
Losing weight - 5 times per week easy running units from 15 - 60 minutes, depending on fitness level and performance. Take in sugar, also sugar alternatives, salt and lots of water and vegan fresh natural food products (fresh fruits and vegetables).
Maintaining weight - Our body is a self-regulating system, that‘s why we should trust it and with a fresh vegan diet we can surely throw the scale out of the window, what do we need it for? To live by what the scale says and live in fear?
Improving metabolism- FRESH vegan products, enough physical movement and a positive attitude towards life.
Toning up - same as above

How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
I give interviews (like this one), put on spectacular actions and try to be a role model for other people.

How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
Everyone has their strengths, some can paint well, some speak well, and others are good in sports, so much can be done, it‘s up to the will and your conscience.
Let‘s put our strengths to work for the well being of our planet, every day!

READ this interview in Traditional Chinese - translated for VegTomato online magazine. Also Simple Chinese.


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