Big Bald Mike is a lot like you might imagine: He's big, he's bald, and
he's got the warm personality of a person who goes by a nickname—he called me "friend"
in each e-mail we exchanged, although we've never met in person. He can also,
it must be said, squat 675 pounds. Big Bald Mike is a professional arm
wrestler. He's strong. He's manly. And—something you might not guess at first
We love that Mike is a ball of testosterone, fueled by spinach and
quinoa. We caught up with him to talk about going vegan, nixing meat as an
athlete, and his impressive health turnaround since doing so. Brace yourself: His
story is inspiring.
A well-known comeback from meat-eaters who are skeptical of veganism is
"But where do you get your protein?" Of course, we know there are
plenty of sources—and your muscles are proof! What are you favorite foods for
Ah, the silly protein myth—I get asked this question daily, and people
are always shocked to discover that I have freaky strength and huge muscles
from eating primarily dark leafy greens, legumes, fruit, and whole grains.
main nutritional staples that fuel my heavy duty workouts are kale, spinach,
black beans, quinoa, brown rice, and oranges. Those foods are so packed with
protein and vitamins, you can't go wrong slamming that nutrition after an
Why do you think it's important for tough, strong guys like you to
spread the message about eating cruelty-free?
A lot of people look up to big dudes, and that presents a great
opportunity to show those people how to be a real man.
By taking a stand for the voiceless—animals—and rising up
against the opposition that comes with defending animals, you get to wear the
greatest badge of honor and be a big man
(or woman). Compassion is tough.
You're most well-known as a vegan athlete. How else would you describe
yourself? Who are you when you're not at the gym?
Currently, I am working on my website bigbaldmike.com. I am also an entertainer by trade (music business, movies, commercials). I
enjoy spending time with my beautiful lady and our boy, going for walks in
nature, fixing air conditioners, studying mathematics, and developing my
motivational speaking career.
We love to know what people munch on. What's your favorite snack for a
quick energy boost?
Hmm …. I don't really snack in between meals, but if need a quick energy
boost, I throw frozen bananas and strawberries in my Vitamix with some Vega
Pre-Workout Energizer and make strawberry-banana ice cream! This stuff is
amazing, better than regular ice cream, and is a great cruelty-free,
low-calorie energy booster!
What words of wisdom do you have for aspiring athletes? What about for
For aspiring athletes, a whole-food vegan diet is going to be your
greatest advantage in achieving the performance level you desire. A plant-based
diet that includes tons of leafy greens will keep your body in an alkaline
state, speeding up your recovery time dramatically and allowing your
training intensity level to be increased to where you will see noticeable gains
in performance quickly.
For aspiring vegans, please listen: The greatest way to make a positive
impact on animal welfare, our environment, and you as a person is to drop the
cheeseburgers and take in a big mouthful of spinach. Please help end the suffering
of millions of animals. They will snuggle you forever if you make the change
Anything else you'd like to add?
Since January 2012, I have gone from 571 pounds to 495 pounds, and I have
reversed diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, drug addiction, depression, and
impotence by choosing to eat a vegan diet. I can climb a mountain, go for walks
with my family, shrug 855 pounds, curl 233 pounds, squat 675 pounds, and beat
other tough guys in arm wrestling. If I can do this, so can YOU! Train hard,
eat plants, and love the animals with compassion.
All photos courtesy of Big Bald Mike.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.