Suskia Strafella is 21 year-old South African powerhouse and at a majestic 5’9″ she is making a name for herself as a plant-based warrior in the bikini division.

I believe that vegetarian bodybuilding is growing…you will digest faster and you will have more energy… I felt like meat gave me less energy…it’s a great way to decide what your body really needs and what it lacks.

suskia-strafella-vegetarian-bodybuilderSuskia’s Profile

Name: Suskia Strafella
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Age: 21
Height: 5’9″
Type of training: Bikini competition
Weight: 132lbs

Supplements

  • BCAAs
  • Glutamine
  • CLA

 

Why did you became a vegetarian bodybuilder?

I became a veggie about 2 weeks ago, mainly due to the fact that my body cannot properly digest animal meat. I feel the hormones in chicken and red meat are negatively effecting my body and stop me from reaching my goals as an athlete as I tend to miss meals because I dread eating another portion of meat!

I started competing in April this year, I started because I wanted to challenge myself, it was always a dream of mine to eventually step on stage although I was so scared of the prep and the commitment. I’ve always been the type of person to say I’m going to do something and then I end up disappointing myself because I either give up half way or I don’t meet my high expectations.

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

In the past, I only ate chicken and hake with broccoli and asparagus and pineapple before 3PM and carb loaded every 4th day with sweet potato. Now, my diet will consist of tofu, beans and lentils and all of my favorite high protein greens like spinach, broccoli, string beans and asparagus.

What is your favorite food during prep diet:

Egg whites!!! With cayenne pepper for that buuuurn.

Off-season diet?

I try keeping my diet pretty consistent, as I don’t enjoy yo-yo-ing my diet and my body. That’s possibly the worst thing you could do to your body. I eat everything in moderation and still keep to consistent meals, every 3 hours and high protein! With a sneaky cheat meal every weekend! I love my morning berries with Futurelife and enjoy almonds and pumpkin seeds during my snack time.

Favorite food off-season?

Definitely the biggest bowl of my Dad’s Napolitano pasta and a jar of Nutella

Favorite quinoa dish?

Love quinoa with lentils, brussel sprouts, red kidney beans and broccoli.

Vegan supplements that you use?

I feel that vegan BCAA and Glutamine are an absolute must for any woman who trains twice a day and at high reps to prevent muscle loss and dehydration. CLA are also a miracle in mobilizing fat for fat loss. But that’s all, I recommend using as little supplements as possible, your body can only absorb so much at a time and there are only 24 hours in a day. Don’t’ ever reply on supplements for energy, a good physique or overall weight loss and health.

Describe your training for a competition (favorite exercises, weekly training schedule, etc):

I start off at 6am with my morning cardio spinning/cycling of 30–45 minutes and finish off with an intense ab workout every single day. I then do my evening weight training after work. I really enjoy my cardio sessions as I have so much more energy for that being in the early AM!

When it comes to my resistance training, I incorporate a lot of high reps, super sets, giant sets and barely any rest in between my sets unless I’m about to throw up! My high reps and different training techniques are quite a new method for me so let’s see how it goes with my future prep!

My favorite workout is hands down back day! Love my pulls and row. Nothing better than that burning pinching hot back sensation.

Describe your training off season (favorite exercises, weekly training schedule, etc):

Pretty much the same although my cardio is down to only 3 times a week and kept at 30 minutes… otherwise everything stays the same. Some days I prefer doing heavier weights and lower reps to build some bulk.

Do you think vegetarian bikini competition and bodybuilding will go mainstream?

Obviously I’m going to be very optimistic about this, as it’s what I believe in and because I’ve seen the difference and I’m starting to understand it better. I do however believe that everyone’s body is just so different and you need to listen to your body. If you want to eat meat, do it. If you want to eat veggies only, do it! Nothing is stopping you from being your absolute best aside from yourself!

I believe that vegetarian bodybuilding is growing and people need to realize that you can build a beautiful, healthy and muscular physique without all the animal meat and proteins. There are ways and a means to do it; you just have to be prepared and armed with knowledge.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in becoming a vegetarian bodybuilder?

As above, be well educated and know that you don’t need animal protein to build muscle, so don’t fear becoming a veggie due to false information. You will feel healthier, stronger and look better due to lack of processed animal hormones.

You will digest faster and you will have more energy (just to bust that myth too). I felt like meat gave me less energy and made me quite sluggish especially at lunch time. It’s a new challenge and it’s a great way to decide what your body really needs and what it lacks. Go for it, you have nothing to lose (literally).