“I’m healthier, lighter, and have better endurance during my workouts. [As a vegan] I’m just as strong on the arm wrestling table and at the gym. My diet is cruelty-free now and that feels gratifying.”
Name: Rob Bigwood
Occupation: Interactive Art Director
City/State/Country: Queens, New York, USA
Type of Competing: Professional Arm Wrestler
Weight: 250 lbs.
Q: What inspired you to start lifting weights as a young man?
My best friend regularly competed in arm wrestling tournaments when I was in high school.
He was a smaller guy that convincingly beat the entire football and wrestling teams combined. He convinced me to start training with him, and after a few months, we decided to travel to North Carolina for a competition.
I ended up taking fifth place, not bad for my very first tournament. The weight training that I do is 100 percent geared towards arm wrestling.
Q: Who is your hero?
I wouldn’t call them heroes, but I do enjoy listening to Bill Maher, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Gary Yourofsky.
Q: What are your personal passions outside of fitness?
I’m pretty good at designing websites and mobile apps. I’ve worked on some big brands, including Comedy Central, Emirates, Scottrade, MSG, and Air National Guard. I’ve also been playing poker in Atlantic City since I was barely 21. I’m really good at binge-watching certain Netflix series, if that counts.
Q: What one thing would you change about yourself?
I could be more patient and understanding with people. I easily get aggravated and automatically expect them to think and feel the same way I do.
Q: Tell us about the path that led you to plant-based fitness.
I first thought about giving up meat back in 2002 when a group of baby pigs caught my attention at the Pennsylvania State Fair.
They looked like puppies playing with each other, and I felt disgusting knowing that I had a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast that morning.
“All animals have the same feelings and emotions and should also have the same rights and respect.”
A vegan lifestyle is beneficial for our environment, our health, less fortunate people and countries, and especially the millions of innocent animals murdered each and every year.
Q: Daily meal plan?
Unlike a bodybuilder, I honestly don’t have a meal plan. I eat whatever I’m craving.
“The ONLY thing I make myself do is have a protein shake mixed with BCAAs after each workout (usually followed by pasta and veggies).”
Breakfast: I usually make a protein shake with vegan protein, a banana, organic almond or peanut butter, and almond milk. Or I’ll have oatmeal with a variety of nuts and seeds (almond, sunflower, pumpkin), but If I’m hungover, I’ll eat a bagel with tofu veggie spread.
Lunch/Dinner: I honestly have so many options, I mix up. I do organic salads (kale or spinach salad with tofu and quinoa, veggies, nuts, and avocado). I like to eat all sorts of veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, tomatoes, asparagus, etc. I’m also a big fan of quinoa noodles, brown rice, tempeh, and those new Beast Burgers.
Q: What does your training regimen look like as a professional arm wrestler?
Just the basic exercises anyone at the gym would normally do: bench, dips, squat, pull-ups, etc. I do use a fatter grip on my back and bicep day, though, and do more isometric and half-rep type exercises. I have garage springs hooked up to the wall, where I do motions that mimic arm wrestling. I also try to get home every few weeks to train with my brother on the table.
I train heavy static holds that replicate arm wrestling motions with cables, rubber bands, and garage springs once a week. I break up the rest of the week by training chest, shoulders with triceps, and legs on separate days. Back, forearms, and grip have their own day, also.
Q: What tips can you share about training for arm wrestling?
The best way to get started is by hooking up with a group of guys that already practice and compete. Get some table time.
The Northeast Board has a great community of pullers from around the country and even the world. Also, check out the World Arm Wrestling League’s website and their Facebook page for upcoming events.
“It’s REALLY easy to hurt yourself in this sport. Broken bones, snapped muscles, and torn tendons are too common. My best advice is to practice with seasoned professionals.”
Q: If you have to pick only three exercises, what would they be?
- Static table locks with rubber band or garage spring
- Wrist and hammer curls
Q: Could you expand on your philosophy about supplements and the industry?
Steroids are also common in professional arm wrestling, like in bodybuilding. Most of the top guys are taking something (e.g. testosterone, HGH, etc.). It really creates an unfair advantage that’s almost impossible to compete against. Until organizations start regularly testing, athletes will continue to abuse these drugs and not have to pay any consequences.
Sometimes, I’ll take creatine and BCAA with my protein shakes, but I regularly take vitamins D, B, and C complexes.
Q: What ways has transitioning into a vegan diet improved your health?
I used to weigh 290 pounds, felt sluggish/lazy, and would be tired after each meal.
Every meal had to include some type of meat, or it wasn’t a real meal.
Now as a vegan, I’m around 245-250 lbs. and have more energy than ever. I’m healthier, lighter, and have better endurance during my workouts.
[As a vegan] I’m just as strong on the arm wrestling table and at the gym. My diet is cruelty-free now, and that feels gratifying.
A vegan lifestyle is also beneficial for our environment, the less fortunate, and especially the millions of innocent animals murdered each year.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to try a plant-based diet?
“Don’t rush into it, and find out what works best for your body.”
Do some research online, and pick up a few books. It’s honestly a lot easier than people think. There are a variety of mock meat products that mimic the taste of any type of meat you already like.
Q: What are the next big goals you have for yourself?
In a few months, filming starts for a documentary called “The Game Changers,” directed by Louie Psihoyos and executive produced by James Cameron.
I’m also currently gut-renovating a new apartment, which has been fun (insert sarcasm).
Chris Willitts (creator of V3), is the founder and owner of Vegetarian Bodybuilding.
V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System is a mixture of science and author’s advice, providing users with optimal diet and exercise. This system is designed for vegans and vegetarians only.
A lot of research has been put in this program. Furthermore, a lot of professional bodybuilders and athletes tried and tested the program, praising its progressiveness and efficiency.
The program is about taking control of your own body and health according to your potential and needs. And worry not; you’ll get plenty of proteins with this system. It will boost you with energy, and you’ll feel just a strong as any carnivore would (perhaps even stronger, depending on how much you invest in your exercise). It avoids vitamins deficiency and provides you with a lot of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Instead of saying things like “I think a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders,” the V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System claims “I know a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders, and I have results to prove it.”
To find out more, visit the website at V3 Bodybuilding – Plant-Based Diet Tips