High-Performance Vegan Letters

2 Fitness Laws That 98% of Vegans Don’t Use Consistently

letters Apr 09, 2024

‘Why can’t I change my body?’

That’s what I used to think.

I’d go to the gym for months and see little to no changes.

It wasn’t for lack of trying.

I was training 3-5x a week on average, working out for 90 minutes per workout.

And seeing such little changes frustrated me.

Until I took a step back.

Something needed to be fixed with my approach.

I was ticking all the boxes, but I couldn’t break through my plateaus for some reason.

Learning about these two laws changed everything.

Even after going vegan, understanding these two laws helped keep up my momentum while I struggled to learn about plant-based protein and new macro sources.

That’s how important they are.

So, let’s dive into the first one.

#1.) The Law of Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is one of the main principles when lifting weights.

It means consistently overloading your body with stimulus so that, over time, it changes.

The emphasis here is CONSISTENCY.

You can’t lift weights for one workout or even 1 month and expect to create a great body.

It takes time.

And dedication.

And often, the key to success is doing the same thing repeatedly, albeit with minor tweaks.

Most fancy exercise plans try to impress you with 50 exercises.

The reality?

Your success will lie upon 4 key main movement patterns with various exercises splashed between them.

The 4 main movement patterns are:

  1. Upper body push
  2. Upper body pull
  3. Lower body push
  4. Lower body pull

So, to use progressive overload, build muscle and strength, and change your body composition, you need to be consistent with your exercises for extended periods.

Changing them every week or month will be a disservice to your results.

Ideally, between 8-12 weeks is a good rule of thumb for using the same group of exercises, but there’s variability per individual.

Which is why training hard is SO IMPORTANT.

To overload a muscle, you need to lift heavier weights over time.

Our bodies prefer to stay the same (homeostasis).

Lifting weights (gradually heavier, with more sets, reps, and better technique over time) gives it the REASON to change and adapt.

Without a reason to adapt?

It won’t change.

Challenge yourself when you work out, and you reap the results every time.

Finally, you also train your nervous system when you lift weights using the same exercises for extended periods.

You may not notice AS many muscular changes or definitions at the beginning of your strength training journey.

That’s expected.

What’s happening is your nervous system is learning to adapt to exercises and starting to recruit more muscle fibers to fire together.

Keep staying consistent.

Over time, this will lead to phenomenal changes.

You’ll be able to recruit more muscle fibers, increasing strength and muscle growth.

Remember: your body needs a REASON to change.

Lifting heavy weights gradually while increasing intensity and doing more work gives it a reason to change.

#2.) Law of Metabolism

There’s a myth that as we age, our metabolism slows down.

According to a study on metabolism and health done on men and women between 20 and 60, age was NOT the main factor that led to a slower metabolism.

It was:

  • Lower activity levels
  • Less muscle mass
  • Chronically undereating (extreme dieting for long periods)

Not surprising.

Our bodies are meant to last in great health and shape for 100 years.

However, how we care for and treat our bodies is a different story.

If you want your vehicle to last for a long time and stay in great shape with a great engine (metabolism), moving more, eating more, and lifting more are all part of the formula.

Metabolism is your body’s fire.

A simple definition of metabolism is the chemical reactions in your body’s cells that change food into energy.

The more active you are and the more active tissue you have (muscle mass), the higher your metabolism.

The less active you are and the more inactive tissue (fat), the lower your metabolism.

But doesn’t eating in a caloric deficit lower my metabolism?

It does.

But it’s done strategically for a shorter period while pairing it with strength training, more movement, and having clear deadlines.

If you’ve been undereating - this is me calling you out.

Food is fuel.

It stokes the fire within.

When you eat more (especially when you’ve been chronically undereating), lift more, and move more, you will build a lean, toned body.

The laws of physics are laws because they can’t be broken.

In summary:

  • You can build a lean, toned vegan body using these two laws
  • You don’t need to be perfect; you need to be consistent
  • Our bodies were meant to last for a lifetime in great health - respect your vehicle, and it’ll give right back to you

If you found this letter helpful, share it with a friend. 🙂

- Gabriel

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

#1 Join our free high-performance fitness FB group to get access to dozens of free live trainings recorded, plus a tight-knit group of leaders who want to become healthy role models.

#2 Are you a high achiever who wants to be lean, strong, and lead by example? Apply for private 1:1 coaching and get in the best shape of your life (2-week waiting list).

#3 Want to fuel your fitness curiosity and follow along with the latest findings, insights, and evidence-based practices? Let's be friends on Facebook and Instagram. :)


Join our plant-based mission and become a change-maker

Join the top 1% of plant-based founders, leaders, and creators who read the High-Performance Vegan Letters weekly for exclusive strategies, tips, and resources to get lean, strong, and lead by example. 

I respect your email and all life. I'll never spam you or sell your contact info.