Barny Du Plessis: Vegan Bodybuilding, Tattoos, and Life

barneyHow veganism impacted your mental health and physical health in the long run?
Its incredible really. I feel emotionally more balanced, certainly more sensitive. Genuinely happier in myself -like a dark cloud has been lifted plus living with the knowledge that nothing is suffering, being exploited or murdered for my existence, and, that’s a good feeling. All our food is GMO Free and organic when able, and, other products we purchase these days are ethical trade and with the environment in mind plus of no animal origin.  We’ve even decided to boycott buying products from china as their animal rights are non existent and what they do to animals is totally disgusting and unforgivable.

So were clearer in our minds and the same thing with our bodies.
Think about it -GMO free, organic, Vegan. Food that is seriously healthy and good for us in abundance…our bodies thrive on this. My energy is always good, ache less after workouts, strength and muscle  is as good as it was on a meat based diet but far healthier.

I eat a lot more, I need to to keep my gains. But I only get leaner because the food is so healthy. The body uses everything as it should..nothing is stored as fat.
I’ve also noticed that my body is far more responsive. Little adjustments are registered almost instantly rather than a dulled response. I wasn’t expecting any particular changes in my health and physical ability but the results are profound.So I eat more, get leaner, train less and get better gains. No brainer!

What was the turning point that made you become Vegan?
Josie wanted to go vegan a couple of years ago -but- I wasn’t ready. However, the seed of change was planted.
Many reasons came together at once really.

I have a couple of hernias that were causing me increasing discomfort over the years due to the acidity of my meat based diet. It was becoming unbearable.

I watched the documentary GMO OMG and it really opened my eyes..there was no way we were going to give another single penny to the industries we don’t believe in. Josie was becoming increasingly sensitive to dairy products, so they were almost out of our diet anyway. I was becoming aware of the mass industrialized farming methods that are now completely standard acceptable practice, and, there is no way I could support that.
I was aware now of how much animal products I relied on and was disgusted with myself and the bodybuilding and fitness industry, I felt like I was living as a hypocrite.
I love animals, I wouldn’t kill a butterfly let alone a cow or pig, so why did I think it ok to pay someone else to do it? All these things were playing on my mind for ages and after a brief conversation with a local Vegan coach Paul Kurton, aka the bench herbivore, the penny dropped…it was time to change my entire life.
That evening I mentioned the idea to Josie thinking she would be resistant to the thought but contrary to my expectance she was relieved and said “of course, lets do this. I’ve only been waiting 2 years”.
We’ve never looked back. That was the best decision we’ve ever made. Should have done it years ago.
We’re taking responsibility and accountability for ourselves and our choices nowadays.

barney 3When did you know you wanted to aim for Mr. Universe title?
I was 17, and I remember being at a friend’s house. He’d been given a few vinyl weights and a bench for his birthday. I hadn’t a clue what was what but something about it all seemed really appealing. I picked up a dumb bell and said to my mate, “I’m going to be Mr. universe one day, by the time I’m 40”. He laughed and said why not? And sure enough I was. Actually 40 two days before! But never mind haha.

Who has inspired you the most?
Arnold Schwarzenegger was always my first real encounter and the essence of what I wanted to be like. Films like pumping iron and commando really inspired me. I wanted to become the greatest like Arnold.

What is your trainning routine-current?
Off season:

Maintenance training really..I am not planning on competing for a few years now so my training is more low key maintenance stuff these days.
Typically it looks like this..
15, 12, 10, 10 reps per exercise increasing the weight. 3-4 exercises per muscle group.
Monday -chest, biceps, abs
Tuesday -back,triceps
Thursday -shoulders,traps
Saturday -quads,hams,calves

What is your current diet (macros , cheat days?)?
Ok ready……
This is, what I am up to now… Magic JOSIES Vega nutrition,
Protein 300g
Carbs 700g
Fats 130g
5120 calories
Pre workout 7am- strong espresso, bcaas, coconut oil, beetroot juice, pre workout.
Post workout – creatine, vivo vegan protein (perform), 1 banana
Breakfast – rice & quinoa  mix, seeds, vegan protein.
Lunch – rice & quinoa  mix, lentils, veg.
Mid afternoon -rice &quinoa mix, lentils, veg.
Dinner- oats, seeds, vegan protein powder in a porridge.

What advice can you give for aspiring Vegan bodybuilders?
Train smarter not harder. Train to stimulate but not over do it. You’ll just take longer to recover and won’t make quicker progress.
Eat 1-2000 more calories than you would on a normal meat based diet to make the same gains.
Make sure you get a wide variety of protein foods in your diet to ensure all and plenty of amino acids are supplied to your body.
Supplements to take would be b12, d3, creatine, a good plant based protein powder like the one we use (its the best product I’ve ever had tbh) vivos perform plant based protein with added bcaas.

Veganism in America is just beginning. Any suggestions/advice that you can share with us?
It’s the future. There is not one good reason to eat meat or anything from animals but there is hundreds of good reasons why we should all be vegans. It’s for the greater good of everything, that’s the main thing to remember.
We aren’t cavemen anymore. We’ve evolved a bit since then.

barney 2What would you like to be working with? Tell us about your future plans?

Josie and I are moving to Malta at the end of the year where we will set up our new business. I am going to be a tattoo artist using all vegan products and Josie is doing all her holistic healing. We have other creative ideas, but those are the main things. I’m easing right back from bodybuilding, mainly because I’ve lost the interest and it’s time to do new things. You will still see us cracking skulls at some bodybuilding shows, though not as much as we used to.

Your final thoughts.
I think everyone needs to know the facts about where their food comes from and how they affect the industry they support. People should become responsible and accountable for their choices and actions and aware of how it affects us, the animals and the planet.

I am realistic I believe in miracles. I believe we are capable of changing the world simple as one plate at a time.

Through education, people leading the way like ourselves and the fact that food is actually starting to make people ill, their will be huge amounts of people becoming vegan. Once reaching certain tipping points, the domino effect will be profound and quick.  I truly believe that the only way we can ever survive as a species on this planet is to adopt a gentler, healthier, less selfish way to our existence and that means adopting a vegan lifestyle.

It’s not living that matters but living rightly– Socrates (vegan). I’ve been training 25 years and 56 shows at an elite level. This is by far the best thing I’ve ever done for my health and physique. It’s truly remarkable.


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