How I finally got myself in shape for a fitness competition

Vegan Beef Team!

Vegan Beef Team!

Since so many of you have asked me how I got ready for my recent fitness contest, I thought I’d write down my “secrets” and share them with you. This is just my humble opinion, I’m not an expert by any means. Just an average person with a desire to help human and nonhuman animals.

If you don’t feel like reading through What Motivates Me to do what I do, you can just skip down to the section called Strategy for Success. But motivation is just as important as the steps required to accomplish your goals so I encourage you to glance through the motivation section.

What Motivates Me

I have attempted to compete before, many years ago, before I was vegan. And I always failed.

This time was different. Not only did a properly formulated vegan diet make it easier for me to achieve my goals, but veganism also gave me the motivation to persist during that dreaded dieting period.

Why did veganism do that for me?

When we do things for others rather than ourselves, we can accomplish so much more

When we do things for others rather than ourselves, we can accomplish so much more

Because I was finally doing this for others and not for myself. I wanted to show that one could achieve their fitness goals without harming other human and nonhuman animals. This was the same drive that got me through a 100 km run for charity in 2013 despite not being a naturally talented endurance athlete or growing up running.

When we do things for others, we can accomplish so much more!

So align yourself with something that matters to you so deeply that it drives you despite the difficulty and enormity of persistence it requires.

For me, the need to end the suffering of other human and nonhuman animals is so great that it drives me beyond anything I’ve ever known. I believe that everyone has the right to live a life free from being exploited, tormented and being used for someone else’s means.

Many poor humans around the world suffer as economic slaves as well as starve to death because of our current system. In many countries where people don’t have access to clean water and are starving to death, we grow crops that are that are then sold to wealthier countries as feed for farmed animals. It takes 16 lbs of plant food to produce just 1 lb of animal flesh making animal agriculture, an enormously inefficient system of food production. The Earth could grow enough plant food to support 7 billion humans. But the Earth cannot grow enough plant food to support 7 billion humans AND 70 billion animals slaughtered every year to be eaten by the wealthy while the poor are starving.  In a world where 1 billion people are starving and 6 million children die every year from malnutrition, the least we can do is eat a plant based diet and encourage others to do the same.

To do my part, I am not only eating a plant based diet but have committed to running a minimum 100 miles per month every month in 2015 to raise awareness and funds for A Well Fed World.

But even if we are not fundraising or doing some large feat to raise awareness for various social justice causes, at the very least we can ensure we make informed choices so that we do not cause more harm.

The environmental impacts of animal agriculture are enormous too. If you haven’t seen the documentary Cowspiracy yet, it’s well worth it.

Furthermore, when we buy food, clothing and other goods, we must ensure we buy only Fair Trade as this is an important step to preventing economic slavery of some of the most oppressed and exploited people around the world. If you would like to learn more about this, please watch this amazing documentary: Slavery, A Global Investigation

Nonhuman animals are also exploited in unprecedented numbers in the name of profit. The cruelties and injustices present in animal agriculture are beyond what words can describe.We also need to understand that whenever we exploit animals for profit, there is always cruelty involved. To learn more, please watch this 12 min video: Meet Your Meat

Not everyone is in a position to help but everyone is in a position not to harm them

“Not everyone is in the position to help other animals but everyone is in the position not to harm them” ~ Anthony Douglass Williams

Of course, the issue is not HOW we use animals and how we treat them but THAT we use animals, period. We do not need to eat animals in order to have optimal health, for example. We also don’t need to use animals for clothing and other purposes since there are so many alternatives available.

In fact, most people agree that it’s wrong to inflict unnecessary pain and death on animals. And yet, all of animal agriculture is causing unnecessary pain and death. It’s great to see though that once people make this connection, they go vegan. That is why veganism is one of the fastest growing social justice movements today.


Vegan Beef Team on stage

Our passion for inspiring others to make this world a better place got the Vegan Beef Team the First Place Team Award at the Miami Night of Champions bodybuilding contest

This is why, at our most recent contest in Miami, FL, we had 10 amazing athletes competing together in our team called the Vegan Beef Team. Our passion for inspiring others to make this world a better place got the Vegan Beef Team our First Place Team Award at the Miami Night of Champions bodybuilding contest. We were thrilled!

Strategy For Success

It should come as no surprise that diet and training are both crucial parts of getting in shape. But one thing people often forget is that rest is just as important. I won’t get into the science of it as I wanted to finally write this article without trying to allocate many hours to including properly cited research. If you would like to learn more, there are numerous resources you can find. Just always make sure to look up properly conducted, peer review research.


I decided to incorporate a version of German Volume Training as my prep for this contest. Please click on the link for more detailed instructions but for simplicity sake, GVT involves20150815_171832 doing 10 sets of 10 reps of two exercises per workout with each rep being done very slowly (4 seconds down, 2 seconds up). For example, a leg workout would include 10 sets of 10 squats and then 10 sets of 10 deadlifts. A back & chest workout would include 10 sets of 10 chin ups and 10 sets of 10 dips. Arms, shoulders & calves would include 10 sets of 10 reps of bicep curls, 10 sets of 10 reps of tricep extensions and 10 sets of 10 reps of calf raises. Abs are done after every weight workout.




Here’s my training program:

1 hour run Back & Chest & Abs
1 hour run
1 hour run Legs & Abs
1 hour run Arms, Shoulders, Calves & Abs
6-7 hour hike/run
2-3 hour run

A quick note on the running mileage. I don’t think it’s necessary to run as much as I did. However, my body is very used to running so such long runs don’t have as much of an impact on my body. You need to do a bit more cardio than you’re used to in order to get the results you’re striving for when you’re dieting.


Not only is what you eat important but when you eat may be just as important. For example, I tried to incorporate two fasting days per week. Also, on days I was eating, I only ate for 5-6 hours and the rest of the day I was fasting. Once per week I had a “cheat” day where I would eat lots and all day. I would eat anything and everything I wanted – and of course, always vegan.

Here’s an example of the eating schedule:

Eat from 2 pm – 8 pm 1,500 calories
Fast all day 0 calories
Cheat day 3,000 calories
Eat from 2 pm – 8 pm 1,500 calories
Fast all day 0 calories
Eat from 2 pm – 8 pm 2,000 calories
Eat from 2 pm – 8 pm 2,000 calories

A few members of the Vegan Beef Team hanging out together back stage (from left to right: Ariel, Mark, Andrea, Charles, Ivan, William)

Approximate average daily calories: 1,430 calories.

Number of weeks I followed this regimen: 10

My team: Vegan Beef Team

I didn’t stress too much about macronutrient ratios except that I tried to eat lower in fat. No added oils since they don’t really help us accomplish much. My typical macronutrient ratio was approximately:

60-70% carb
15-20% protein
15-20% fat

Here’s an example of a day of eating (keep in mind that I typically ate all this within a 6 hour window):

Meal 1: 2 cups frozen berries, various green leafy veggies, 1/2 cup cooked mixed beans
Snack: Matcha latte with soy milk
Meal 2: Rice, veggies and tofu
Snack: Fruit
Meal 3: Vegan chili with mixed beans and veggies
Snack: Peanut butter sandwich
Meal 4: Edamame beans

Back stage pic hanging out with my dear friends from the Vegan Beef Team

Back stage pic hanging out with my dear friends from the Vegan Beef Team

Those are just some of my tips and tricks for getting in shape. If you have any specific questions, please ask in the comments below and I will try my best to answer.

Best of luck to all of you, my dear friends!

To health and happiness for all!








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About Andrea Kladar

Andrea Kladar is the founder of the 100 FOR 100 Movement who led by example and ran 100 km to save 100 animals in 2013 placing first for women under 40 in the Canadian National Trail Championships and raising over $14,000 for charity. Andrea is not a professional athlete. She is a war refugee. She is a daughter, spouse and friend. She is a godmother and philanthropist. She is vegan and a finance professional who lives in Calgary, Canada. If Andrea can take on this challenge, so can you! Join the 100 FOR 100 Movement today!! Go to to sign up now
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9 Responses to How I finally got myself in shape for a fitness competition

  1. A~
    Thank you for your detailed and intriguing account. Your passion for optimal health and performance is unequivocal and admirable. Eloquently merging the philosophy of your movement w/ said passion highlights your visionary spirit and philanthropic heart. Your boundless effervescence and tireless diligence on behalf of sentient beings is awe-inspiring. Head humbly bowed w/ reverence not from my beloved Rocky Mountain peaks…but from the glass, steel, and concrete mountains of Philadelphia. Namaste…

  2. Desiree says:

    Awesome post!! A few questions… so what is your height/weight? I’m not sure I could do such low calories as I am 5’7″ and 135lbs. What did you do when you felt hungry? Were you still able to do cardio and weights on the days you fasted? And how much water did you drink daily?

  3. tracey says:

    Thanks for this info! Can I were you able to go for an hour run plus put in a full leg/abs workout on a day that you were fasting? I really feel it when I don’t get the right amount of food in me when I try to workout and I find my workouts are subpar and suffer because of it.

    • Thanks so much for your question, Tracey. You bring up a good point. I mistakenly listed leg day on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. I actually did leg day on a Cheat Day since it’s hard to run and do legs while fasting. My orignal post has a mistake. Thanks for your comment again, I’m going to fix my post to reflect Leg Day on Wednesday. 😊❤

  4. Anne says:

    Hello Andrea,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Plus you look really amazing. All the hard work paid of. I was reading on the German training and wanted to ask you if you took anything for the soreness. Any form of supplementation? Thought I should ask 🙂
    Thank you once again.

    • Thank you for your message and kind words, Anne.

      To answer your question, I’ve never taken anything for muscle soreness. I actually somewhat like muscle soreness because it makes me feel like I actually worked hard, lol.

      I have taken supplements while training for this contest. However, I do strive to eat as much whole food as possible. The supplements I did take included a vegan protein powder (Vega Sport Protein can be found everywhere but there are also many other vegan brands that can be easily found in many stores). I also got additional BCAAs from a vegan company called The Clean Machine.

      The other specific muscle building supplements that I think might be worthwhile taking (but I only took on a rare occasion) are creatine and beta-alanine (beta-alanine creates a weird but benign skin tingling sensation so many people don’t like taking it for that reason).

      I also ensure to take a B12 supplement since this vitamin is not produced by neither plants nor animals. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria (mainly fecal bacteria) and we live in an overly clean world which is a good thing for avoiding diseases but not good for maintaining adequate B12 levels. The Framingham Offspring Study showed that as much as 40% of the population are deficient in B12 so it is wise to supplement this vitamin.

      Another vitamin I supplement is a Vegan D3 since I live quite far North and don’t get enough sunshine. Most Vitamin D supplements on the market are made from animals so one needs to ensure that they specifically search for a Vegan D3 if they want to avoid causing unnecessary harm to animals.

      All this said, I’m currently weight lifting and building for the next contest without any sport supplements.

      Best of luck in your endeavors, Anne. Are you training for a contest or general health and well-being in life?

  5. franklyRE says:

    When you fasted, did you test ketone levels? Did you feel hungry or a faint hunger feeling that you just got used to?

    How much weight did you lose?

    • Thanks for your question. Yes, I often measured my ketone levels on fasting days and my levels would get to between 2 and 5 mmol/L.
      Yes, I would sometimes feel hungry on those days and sometimes not. I do believe one can get used to the feeling of hunger and learn to ignore it. I certainly did.

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