Last February, I posted my fitness goals this year, of which I emphasized my desire to look strong, lean and tone at least for my age. It’s a personal challenge, a goal I want to do on my own terms, timing and volition. Just like when I first went plant-based in 2007 (read my decade long journey), can I do it? where will it take me? Well here we are four months after, a quick check-in of my vegan bodybuilding progress.

From dreading to loving weights. I have always been active but I am new to bodybuilding. I dread weights. I have dumbbells at home but rarely get used. My husband has Soloflex Muscle Machine that I was intimidated to touch. The first time I did bench press (10 pounds) at 20 reps, I felt like giving up. But I took my sweet time, allowing my body to adjust to this new routine, increasing the weight band as I listen to my body’s capacity.  Well 3.5 months after, can you believe that I just surpassed 50 lbs (50 reps) as of this writing? I am now lifting what my husband has been lifting! Oh I can’t wait to be able to lift more.

Adding kettlebell. Because I find dumbbells just outright boring, I bought kettlebell (10 lbs) to add to my routine. I am still learning new tricks but so far, I love doing deadlifts, swings and squats with kettlebell.


Treadmill alone ain’t fun but dancing on treadmill is full cardio-fun! I guess you can tell that I hate doing the same repetitive actions hence I constantly find ways to introduce things that I enjoy to things that I don’t. I love hiphop dance so it’s the way to go. For “complicated moves”, I slow down the speed of treadmill and face front, for basic moves, I switch up and face the side. Safety first before anything.


I film myself to monitor my progress. I am accountable to ME. I work for ME. I want to be reminded of my own progress, how well I am doing. I film what I do to correct my mistakes and improve. This is not to put pressure on me but more like understanding my body and to be able to analyze it, I need to view it from the outside (check out my recent vlog).

I joined some Facebook groups that advocate vegan bodybuilding. I don’t know of any groups here in Hawaii that promote the same hence I find “motivation and support” from social media. Since I am new to bodybuilding, I look for tips from like-minded individuals. But right now, I am there like a bystander, hoping to gather relevant information from the pro’s.

So what have I achieved so far? My legs are definitely looking a lot leaner. Even my butt seems to look more lifted. While my triceps need more definition, I have “awakened” my biceps a tad bit. But beyond these slight body changes, I have proven to myself yet again that whatever I set my mind into, I can do it. Laziness can get in the way and I do allow myself to chill to recoup but at the end of the day, my willpower is stronger.

So what’s my next game plan? I want to be able to devote more time to exercise, perhaps change my body clock (wake up early?) because right now, I am only doing 2-3 times a week at 2-2.5 hours each. I will report back by Fall and see what other things I have added.


Lastly, I just want to say that yes, you can be lean, strong and tone as vegan. I am glad that more and more athletes are now embracing this lifestyle to improve their overall stamina and well-being. There are plenty of resources and hundreds of clinical studies that link plant-based diet to disease prevention and reversal. Protein source is abundant in plants, the key is eating variety. Vegan nutrition advice penned by medical doctors like cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Esselstyn, bariatric surgeon Dr. Davis, psychiatrist Dr. Barnard, internists Dr. McDougall, Dr. Ornish, and of course Dr. Greger who founded Nutrition Facts have converted omnis to adapting vegan lifestyle including my husband! Vegan athletes like Rich Roll, Venus Williams, Scott Jurek, Meagan Duhamel, among others are living testimony that plants can power you to your fullest potential. As of June 12, 2018, The California State has unanimously passed a bill that would offer plant-based options to hospital patients as well as prisoners. Also, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to change their policies to clearly specify in federal food policies that meat and dairy products are optional. They have also called for a change in federal law so that children can request alternative to cow’s milk without the need to prove that they have a “medical condition”. Need more inspiration? I have written topics here on the blog which I think you will find helpful, they are all lumped under the Fitness tab.

’til our next update. Eat the rainbow. Hydrate. Exercise.

Sweat in Style

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31 thoughts on “My Vegan BodyBuilding Progress

  • Great progress! I don’t know how deep you want to get into this (or where you are in HI) but I’ve heard great things about Mana Barbell in Honolulu. I made decent lifting progress on my own, but it doesn’t compare to the progress I made with a coach.

    • thefabzilla

      Thanks for the heads up. I will check that place out. I will probably need a coach.

  • What amazing progress you are making, Kath!

  • Your commitment and drive are so inspiring! I’ve managed to drop 3kg after going fully WFPB and eradicating all processed food. Now to workout regularly.

    • thefabzilla

      Thank you and I’m glad you’re now doing WFPB! Best decision for your health overall.

  • Ehmkay nails

    Get it girl!!! I see all your muscles!

    • thefabzilla

      Thank you. I didn’t realize the progress until I’ve seen these photos

  • I love weight lifting! Much better than cardio. I wish I had some equipment to work on upper body strength.

  • 2 to 2.5 hours a few times a week is awesome, Kathryne! I have a bench and barbells and free weights in my basement with my treadmill, but truth be told, I hate being down in my gloomy basement. Wish I had a light-filled workout room like yours. At any rate, congrats on your progress! I hope it will inspire me to get back to it

    • thefabzilla

      Thanks Allison. Is there a way you can bring up your equipment somewhere? Yes, location plays a role coz I don’t know if I can also workout in the basement.

  • You’re making fantastic progress, keep it up!

  • I can’t believe you need to up your hours. It sounds like so much to me. It’s nice how dedicated you are.

  • Norah

    Yes girl!!!! I am into all this fitness. For me the Vipr and kettlebells are my favorite. You look fab.

  • You are such an inspiration! Great job!

  • You look amazing. I’m trying to work something out with my work schedule so I can get back to the gym because I’ve just gained so much weight after my pregnancies. We really want one more but I would feel better if I lost weight first.

  • All your strength training and background in hip hop has given you awesome balance. I can tell because if I try to do anything except go straight on a treadmill, I’ll face plant. And if I used a kettle ball, it probably would have accidentally been pitched thru the window. haha. You look strong and healthy!

  • You look toned and lean and defined! Basically, simply amazing!

  • It’s great when you figure out a routine that works for you! I love to run, but also hate the treadmill.

  • You look amazing! I wish I was motivated enough to work out from home. You have a great set up there. I keep myself in shape by going to the gym to work out 4-5 times a week! I lift weights and do a tai-chai kickboxing style class through the Y.

    • thefabzilla

      Thanks Justina. I want to add more equipment or routine but we don’t have enough space so for now, I’m going to take advantage of what I currently have. I’m happy to know you’re able to go to the gym 5x/ wk. That’s my goal. The only way I can do it is to wake up 2 hours early so I can do it before going to work.

  • Lacquerexpression

    You look great and I’m glad to read you’re making progress!

  • While I love the idea of dancing on the treadmill….I know my clumsy butt would get tripped up in a heartbeat!!! Tons of great tips!!!

  • My Nail Polish Obsession

    Glad you have a routine that works for you! I love strength training and it helps with my running and soccer.

    • thefabzilla

      what kind of strength training do you do? I want to add more to my routine

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