Vegan Bodybuilding title

HomePersonalities Blog Forums Getting StartedArticlesTraining Supplements Events Downloads Links Contact Search Podcast Questions

Brighton Vegfest 2013


 Interview with Juice FM...


 Inverted row contest...


Female contest...

Male contest...


Talk by Alex Mitchell...

Day 1 wrap-up...

Day 2...

Pull-up challenge...

Death by 1,000 pull-ups...

Wrap up...


The VBB crew warming up for the coming day of action on the stall

This was our first time doing a stall & contest at this venue, so we were quite excited.  It was also our first time using our new piece of kit from trapezerigging, which made it an extra special weekend for the Vegan Bodybuilding crew.

Maz was also selling his cookbook all about creating everyday food the typical meat-eater would recognise....just without the meat!  So, be sure to check that out (no, there isn't a recipe for a chip butty).

Return to top

 Interview with Juice FM

Bodybuilder Alex Mitchell was interviewed by Juice FM who started the interview with "I'm here with a vegan bodybuilder who looks big & scary!" - if the interview is online somewhere let me know & I'll add a link to it here.


This year we thought we'd introduce you to a few of the people who made our contests possible.  So as everyone was setting up for the day we sent round Vegan digital artist & sculpture Kay Johns to snap some of our supporters & friends at this years event.

Here's Simon from Veganicity - I'm not sure if this is the only 100% vegan supplement company, but these are the guys you should consider if you're looking for a 100% vegan society approved range of products (Martin was hiding!)

Good hemp have been supporters of our contests for years.  In my opinion their hemp protein has a better nutritional breakdown than the Canadian hemp products that many hemp companies use (they use hemp grown in the UK) & I even used their hemp milk to mix my protein shakes while at the event during the weekend.

Bodycheck are fairly new company offering supplements to those into hardcore training, athletics or other activities involving the need for strength or endurance.  So far I only really know Darren (on the right of the picture) - but I got my first taste of their product during the weekend (I'll go into that in more detail later in the write-up) & it really does give you the ability to go that extra mile when working hard.

Here's Peter from Vegan Runners If you check back to our adventures in Turin during 2009 you'll see we had a great time with him touring Europe, so if you're into running check out these guys & gals (& why not join the VR team!)

Return to top

 Inverted row contest

During the day we had the trapezerigger set up as we needed to demonstrate the exercise form we wanted during the contest as entrants signed up. 

I'd like to take a moment here to address the contestants directly.  I noticed that a few of you lacked both the ability to stabilise their core & were unable to retract their scapulae.  This certainly wasn't everyone, but it did mean that some of you led with the belly, not the chest, or let the stomach collapse, while others pulled with protracted shoulders throughout the pull (shoulders pulled forward), which isn't the most stable position for the shoulders to be in when pulling.  I'd suggest some planking variations & rowing/scapulae retraction work - If anyone who competed needs any advice about how to included these into their training email me & we can sort out a few simple things you can add in to improve these areas.

Return to top


The sponsors of our events are the reason we are able to do these contests.  Some of these companies have supported us since our first events back at the beginning of the 2000s when we really weren't sure if there was even going to be any interest in doing a strength contest at a vegan festival.  Many of them took quite a chance supporting us as there certainly wasn't any guarantee we'd even get enough people to hold a contest, let alone improve their sales.  These people supported us just for their love of fitness & health, so it is certainly worth supporting them if you can, so if you are in need of any of their stuff, please take the time to check them out as they all offer great service & products

Main sponsors

Vitashine vitamin D
Vitashine vitamin D3 (yes it's vegan!).

Veganicity - Top supplements for health & maximum performance

Viridian banner
Viridian vitamins sells great supplements

V-pure vegan DHA EPA
V-pure Algae-based DHA/EPA pill & sponsors of our Vegan bodybuilding competitions!

Bodycheck supplements
Bodycheck supplements
- especially designed for vegetarians & vegans into training with a purpose!

Opti3 - vegan DHA/EPA pill. They are also sponsors of our Vegan Bodybuilding competitions

Hemp Natural
Good Hemp Nutrition  protein powder is grown & produced in the UK

Revolution Foods
Revolution Foods - Alkaline enhancing vegan supplements for improved health & performance

Vegan Health & fitness magazine
Vegan Health & fitness magazine - Helping you achieve your best without harming animals

Nuique Sportique
Nuique Sportique range - Best range of pre-during & post exercise creams to aid exercise & recovery

Return to top

Supporters on the day

Plamil - vegan company who sell milk, sauces, chocolate, soup & many other foods

Wheaty - vegan company that makes a variety of meat alternatives

Sweet Mandarin - hand made Chinese dipping sauces & restaurant (in Manchester)

Vegusto - makers of vegan alternatives to meat, cheese & other foods

Lush - all sorts of cosmetics

Return to top

Female contest

There was some confusion finding the event.  We were 15 minutes late & I know a few of the entrants came up later in the day to say they had trouble finding the venue - hopefully we can do a better job getting people to the contest next time, anyway we had to rush to set up & get on with the job.  First up it was the women who were doing an inverted row with knees bent at 90 degrees.

Mika got things started with12 reps

Next up came Laura with a blistering 14 reps

Tanya did amazingly to get 20 reps

& finally Luz worked hard to get 5 reps

Return to top

Male contest

There was a bit of confusion with the results for the guys.  Not the results themselves, but Maz's writing down of the results in an order I can't make sense of!  So, the picture may not match the people!  If I've got your name wrong then let me know & I'll change it. The men did the full version of the inverted row with straight legs.

Jon started things off with 22 reps

Alan added pressure by getting 19 reps

Simon got a hard fought 16 reps

Return to top

Rob managed 10 reps for the Green Party

Aneil took an early lead with an awesome 25 reps

Davier got a credible 14 reps

Rob topped him by one rep by getting 15 reps

Otter powered his way to 8 reps for Sea Sheperd

Return to top

Bern from Vegusto got a decent 10 reps

Sebastian achieved 22 reps

Dave the reining VBB push-up champion fought his way to 27 reps

Mark finished things off with 16 reps

Return to top


As time was tight we only gave prizes to the first & second place male & female at the event.  Everyone else got prizes back at the stall.

Due to some camera issues I missed getting a picture of the winning female getting her prize.

Laura with her 2 place winnings!

Aneil with his second place prizes

Dave collects another win-can anyone beat this man?

Even with the contest over we still had a few people wanting
to give it a go because they'd turned up too late to enter the contest

Then it was time for the other contestants to get their prizes

Otter enjoying a bit of Vegusto sausage!

Return to top

Talk by Alex Mitchell

Amateur bodybuilder Alex Mitchell gave what was by all accounts an amazing talk about diet & exercise, but because I was getting photos of everyone receiving prizes I was unable to get there.  If anyone has any photos of (or filmed) the event let me know & I'll add it here.

Day 1 wrap-up

Our first day was pretty eventful, we met a load of amazing people & had a great time, but now it was time to pack up, get home & get some rest so we could be ready for tomorrow.

Return to top

Day 2

Day two started with me all alone on the stall as Mr Maz was a bit ill, Alex had only been allowed out for one day & the others weren't expected until later..."Luckily," I thought to myself, "today will be a slower day" wrong I was!

Pull-up challenge

We had kept some of the prizes aside from the inverted row contest for a new idea we thought we'd try out.  It was an all-day challenge event where people could get a prize for doing reps on the trapezerigger (this time set-up for pull-ups).  Males needed to do 5 pull-ups & a female needed to get 2 reps.  We allowed either pull-ups (palms facing away from you) or the slightly easier chin-ups (palms facing towards you).

We anticipated that as there weren't that many people who trained pull-ups so we'd only get a few winners.  I'd like to take a moment to especially thank Veganicity & Bodycheck as we ran out prizes during the day & they gave us extra stuff so we could keep the challenge going - who knew we had so many strong people coming to the vegfest!

Before we get to the winners I'd like to take a moment to again address the actual participants.  Several people noted that when training on a fixed pull-up bar (like those in a doorway), they could do more reps, but during the challenge using our mobile pull-up equipment they couldn't get as many.  For those people you would often notice some sway in the apparatus when they did the reps.  This is because you lacked strength & so to overcome this you had, unnoticed by yourself, started to add in some 'kipping' into your pull-ups.  Kipping is when you use some body-swing, to make the lift easier.  This is a method employed by crossfit, but is not used in a true pull-up or chin-up.  Again if anyone involved in the event needs any help improving their pull-ups, let me know & I'll help you as much as I can achieve your goals.  If you had a lot of swaying during your set then you were likely one of the people using this method, it's easy to fix & once you do your upper body strength will improve quite quickly.  Now back to the challenge.

NOTE:  I was holding the trapezerigger during the challenge (health & safety you know), so the pictures of the people on the device apparently doing reps where taken after they actually did the challenge (so think of it as an extra rep!).  Remember every woman got 2 reps, every man got 5 reps & every under 16 got 1 reps (or in the case of the family you'll see later each child got 2 reps to win a T-shirt)

Return to top

Sarah-Jane & Aydan

No pic of Sarah-Jane for some reason? Sorry!



Return to top



Anna & Mariette

Alison (who got 5 reps easy!)


Return to top


Dave (who I believe did 10 pull-ups, then later 10 chin-ups because he wasn't
sure which way he wanted to do them!) Also with added Vince & Cerys

Cerys the youngest entrant :-)

Fuzz (It's so hard to get him to be in a picture!)

Return to top

Squirrel (who did 12 reps with a broken finger- NAUGHTY!)



Return to top


Family take-over!!!!!

Ryan & Gareth from Revolution Foods

Return to top

Morgan (aged 6) got 5 reps!





Return to top


Corin (who's still stronger than his lad....just!)



Each of these young 'uns did 2 reps to get a t-shirt

Return to top

Cerys takes over the stall!



Dean Pro-football player (that's soccer to you lot across the pond)
& outstanding geezer at Revolution foods

Cerys puts an end to the event (the boss!)

Return to top

Death by 1,000 pull-ups

There were a couple of aspects of the second day I didn't anticipate.  The first was the high interest in our challenge, we only put up pictures of the people who won the challenge, many people failed, so I was run off my feet all day!  The second thing was the amount of people asking to have pull-ups demonstrated.  I'm not a great repper (doing a lot of repetitions of an exercise), most of my training is focussed on a one max rep, so doing reps doesn't come that easily to me.  Anyway, at first I thought I'd only get asked a couple of times during the day, so I knocked out a quick 10 reps the first time I was asked, then very soon after another (I was a little uneasy as I'd had two requests so close together), next time I was asked I decided I just do 8 reps, I did that a few times, as asked, but by now getting a bit more worried as in a short time I'd knocked out more reps than I'm used to doing in a workout!  I know the main trouble though, I should have swallowed my pride then & stuck at demonstrating 1 rep each request, but being a bloke (& therefore inherently stupid!) I couldn't go lower the 6-8reps on every demonstration request & the requests kept coming with alarming regularity.  To be honest by half way through the day I had started to seriously flag.  Thankfully the guys over at Bodycheck helped me out by giving a sample of their product saying it would help me get through the day.  They weren't wrong as I managed to keep up with the steady requests for demonstrations all day.  I was even talking about details of the exercise as I did it - I'll not lie, I was still hurting a lot doing the reps, but hopefully I covered that up well enough?

I wish I'd kept track of the amount of reps I did, I have no idea, but it is certainly more than I've ever done on this exercise in one day.  At the end the guys over at veganicity made sure I had some glucosamine joking about how I'd be needing it (they weren't wrong!).  Still hopefully next time I can get someone else doing the demonstrations (volunteers anyone?).


That was pretty much my whole Sunday, a blur or pull-up demonstrations & watching people do pull-ups.  The weekend went really well & ran pretty smoothly, everyone had a fantastic time (even those who didn't succeed at the challenge).  I didn't expect the second day to be busier than the first, but I think we've learnt from that.  I think now people know we're there next year will be even crazier!

Hopefully everyone had a fantastic weekend at the vegfest & don't forget there are vegfests going on all around the UK, so check out their website to find the one nearest you!

Return to top