“Bikini competitions aren’t something I ever thought I would ever do, but I’ve done two shows now and placed Top 3 in both.”

andra-purba-vegetarian-bodybuildingName: Andra Purba
Occupation: Food and Beverage
City/State/Country: Las Vegas, NV USA
Age: 33
Height: 5’8”
Type: Bikini Competition
Weight/Competition Weight: 136lb. / 130lb.
Instagram: Andra604_702

What was your childhood like?

I was raised in Vancouver, BC. It is a beautiful place with so many outdoor activities.

We did a lot of camping in our beautiful mountains as well as water sports on the lakes.

I’ve always been outgoing and like to have fun; sometimes getting myself into a little trouble.

I was raised with an amazing group of friends that I still have to this day. Im lucky to come from such a supportive family and circle of friends.

Did you have mentors growing up?

My older sister and mom definitely played a role in planting the fitness seed for me. Growing up, my mom went to the gym daily and was/ is an avid runner.

You will still find my mother in the gym every day and has aged gracefully, so it’s definitely a great incentive to stay on track. She has shown me that we don’t need to minimize our fitness goals just because we get older.

Seeing the shape that my mom is in tells me a lot of people just use age as an excuse. She can still outrun me! My sister was an accomplished competitive swimmer and swim coach growing up. She loved to try different different types of physical activities even as an adult, from Taekwondo to Kayaking.

I’ve learned not to be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself by trying new things. As we get older we lack new experiences and that can make life monotonous. My sister is now in her mid 30’s with a young son and is vegan, and a double Ironman. She continues to raise the bar for herself, which makes her still my number one role model.

What is one of your personal passions outside of fitness?

I love to travel. I once took a one-way trip to the UK when I was 19 and traveled most of Western Europe. In the past few years I did a road trip through New Zealand, traveled Fiji, and I’m actually heading to Maui at the end of the month.

What uncommon activity do you schedule into your daily routine?

I was recently introduced to guided meditations on YouTube and I LOVE it! I’m addicted. I do it throughout the day. If I’m feeling anxious I’ll do one in the middle of the day.

At night if I’m having problems sleeping, I’ll do a guided meditation for sleep. They have been so beneficial and I’m pretty sure I’ve turned into that annoying person that won’t stop talking about their new favorite activity.

When did you first hear about vegetarian bodybuilding?

I can’t say that the actual niche was something I was introduced to. I’ve been vegetarian for eight years and got serious about the gym scene about two years ago.

I started working out with a trainer who trains a lot of competitors. She herself was actually in the Olympia this year and took 7th in her division.

With that, the idea of competing was introduced to me.

Bikini competitions aren’t something I ever thought I would ever do, but I’ve done two shows now and placed Top 3 in both.

I guess I’m also a “Vegetarian Bodybuilder” lol.

Vegetarian bikini competition meal plan:

  • Meal 1 – Half cup homemade sugar-free granola (I bake oatmeal with cinnamon and sugar-free maple syrup). For my protein shake: I blend almond milk with berries, protein powder, and peanut butter.
  • Meal 2 – (post-workout) low sugar, low-carb protein shake.
  • Meal 3 – Spicy buffalo tofu with sesame green beans and an apple.
  • Meal 4- Protein Bar (Quest) with some almonds.
  • Meal 5 – Plain Greek yogurt with stevia, protein powder, and peanut butter.
  • Meal 6 – Protein shake before bed.

What does your diet look like while preparing for a bikini competition?

andra-purba-vegetarian-bodybuilding-afterReally cutting back on the carbs and fat and eliminating all the sugars.

Favorite post-workout meal at the moment?

I love my chocolate peanut butter protein shakes! After many years it’s still my favorite post-workout meal.

Describe your training regimen (favorite exercises, weekly training schedule, etc) and do you ever overtrain?

Right now I’m lifting four days a week:

  • Back
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Legs

Not necessarily in that order. I always try to do shoulders and legs with my trainer. I do Yoga once a week, usually after leg day and cardio five times a week 20-30 minutes.

My favorite exercise to do are pull-ups. It just makes all the muscles pop in such a great way and is really empowering. When it comes time to cut for my next show the cardio will double. I’m convinced that’s overtraining, but my trainer tells me otherwise.

How much sleep do you get?

I sleep seven hours a night. If I sleep too long I feel just as sluggish as if I didn’t sleep enough.

Do you meditate?

I do guided meditations and I love it! Morning, noon, night, whenever I want to feel rejuvenated.

What do you do to relax?

I like getting massages. I try to go twice a month. If I can get myself to sit still long enough I’ll do a movie marathon on my comfortable couch with a blanket and tea.

What tips can you share that have lead to your success?

Putting alcohol down was the biggest part of my success. It is such a distraction and can hinder your next day workouts. Also extra sugars and calories. Aside from that, always having food prepped and ready for your next meal.

I take a lunch to work everyday, even though we have a free cafeteria. If I know I’ll be out during my meal times I’ll make sure I have food with me. My purse is also a very convenient lunch bag!

Do you think plant-based fitness is a fad or will it continue to build credibility? Who are some people leading the way?

I think there are a lot of fitness fads out there. Being on a “diet” is not sustainable. Making a lifestyle change is something different. It’s an overhaul of everything with an intent for permanent change, leading to lasting results. Being a fitness enthusiast with a plant-based diet is the opposite of a fad to me.

People in the gym are constantly trying to tell me that I won’t get results unless I eat meat and I’m always having to justify myself and my dietary choices. If I have to work twice as hard to be a meat-free athlete then so be it! This is the only way we will be able to prove our credibility.

I know through personal experience in competing that I have changed the opinions of many people that once believed steak, chicken, and turkey were the only way you would ever be successful in this lifestyle.

What are your near-term goals at the moment?

Well I qualified for the USA’s at my last show (July 24). So right now I’m working hard at making some gains and I’ll start the process of cutting 12 weeks before my show. I am on a 6-month training regimen for this one! Its a biggie! Here’s an article worth reading if you’re thinking about entering a vegetarian bikini competition (has a meal plan).