WWE’S Austin Aries Champions a Vegan Diet!
Meet the vegan WWE champion
If you’re unfamiliar with the world of wrestling, chances are you may not have heard of Tyler Bate. Dudley born and raised, the 20-year-old has risen through the ranks of WWE to where he now proudly stands as the current WWE UK Champion. To see Tyler in the ring, showcasing his brute strength and power, you’d be forgiven for thinking the 80kg wrestler lives off a diet of steak and eggs. However, as MH finds out, Bate’s body is benefiting in the ring and in the gym from becoming vegan.
MH talks to Bate about Crossfit for wrestling, not cutting carbs and taking inspiration from The Rock and Arnie in his bid to take over WWE and become the face of veganism.
Men's Health:What does a day's diet look like?
Tyler Bate:Every time I eat I consider the vitamins I’m taking in, that’s key for me. As a vegan, I rarely eat bad food and the majority of my intake is from good energy sources. I’ll start the day with a bowl of oats with almond milk. I’ll often throw in flax seeds, blueberries and maybe crush up pumpkin seeds to put in there too. That way I have a good mix of carbs, protein and fats. Then I’ll go straight to the gym at which point I’ll probably have a protein shake, with peanut butter and a banana.
(Related: The underdogs of Olympic wrestling)
After that I don’t have set meals for the rest of the day. My motto is to eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full – I’ve never counted calories. My favourite meal is a bowl of quinoa mixed with vegetables. I’ll also have lentils with cauliflower and peppers, and any meal with beans in is great for body fuel.
MH:What nutrition principles do you stick to?
TB:Firstly, make sure your intake includes as many vitamins and minerals as possible, this is what allows your body to perform at peak condition. I rarely supplement other than my protein shakes, as it’s good for the body to take in nutrition through natural sources.
Secondly, carbs are not the enemy. They get too much of a bad rap when actually they’re your body’s primary source of energy. I can’t stress the importance of fuel enough. I’m wrestling 3 to 4 times a week and going gym at least 4 or 5 times. If I go into a match without taking in the food and energy I need, I could cause injury to myself or an opponent through poor form or a mistake. Just opt to get your carbs from sensible sources like quinoa, oats and beans.
(Related: How to build muscle like The Rock)
MH:What conditioning do you do and how important is it to have endurance, as well as muscle, in the ring?
TB:Everything I do is Crossfit style, so I work on full body compound moves as opposed to cardio. The more muscles I engage, the more my body works. Something I’ve been doing in the gym lately is 4 rounds of 500m rows followed by 60 double-under skips with no rest in-between – this really gets the heart working, and is as good a cardio workout as anything out there. Wrestling isn’t running or cycling, it’s engaging every muscle you have to a higher degree, so my training needs to reflect that. I’m in the ring for about 20 minutes at a time, so I like to make sure my gym sessions test my whole body.
MH:What does it take physically to be a champion in WWE?
TB:There is more variety today in wrestling physiques, now there are a lot more athletic builds that have great mobility and flexibility that you might struggle to achieve with bulkier builds. I consider myself a well-rounded performer, and pound for pound I’m pretty strong too. I can go to the top rope and I can lift.
(Related: The truth behind vegan bodybuilding)
MH:Grip strength seems pretty important for picking up other guys in the ring – how do you strengthen your grip?
TB:I don’t train my grip specifically, but it’s something that comes naturally in a lot of my exercises. I do a lot of deadlifts and exercises where I pick equipment up off the floor. What I’m trying at the moment is Olympic lifting, which is really good for building forearm strength. I do a lot of cleans, snatches and overhead pressing to build power.
MH:What will a typical training session look like?
TB:I train 4 to 5 times a week and I’ll probably be in the gym for about two hours, one of which is devoted to warming up. Then in my workouts I’ll give myself 20-minute brackets to fill with full body compound exercises and Olympic lifting in an AMRAP format. It’s very rare I go over 15 sets.
For me I find pull-ups a good move for power, so I superset them with cleans to really get my heart pumping and the blood flowing. A brutal workout I do is 10 reps of cleans, followed by 10 reps of pull-ups, no rest and then straight into 9 reps of cleans, 9 reps of pull-ups and work my way down to 1.
(Related: The health snob's guide to vegan protein)
MH:What are the foundations of a body fit for the ring?
TB:My training is focused on mobility and endurance, a lot of which involves strength but I’m performing in 20-minute bursts, so I need to make sure my body is mobile. A lot of moves aren’t just about slamming opponents; we need athleticism and coordination, which is why a lot of my gym routine isn’t based on isolating muscles. You need to leave your ego at the door and lift weights that you can control before increasing the load.
MH:What are your goals going forward in WWE?
TB:Everyone’s dream is to go to WrestleMania. I was lucky enough to go and watch this year’s event in Orlando, which was absolutely incredible. If I can make it to the main event and win the WWE Universal Championship then it will be one of the biggest moments in my life.
Tyler Bate will defend his title at NXT Takeover Chicago on May 20 against Pete Dunne.
Video: Vegan Wrestler and Impact Wrestling Champion Austin Aries
Women At The Top Awards: Here’s What We Learned In One Inspiring Night
Confirmed Janet Jackson Pregnant with Her FirstChild
Toddlers Reaction To Mom Returning After Her 3-Week Cancer Treatment Will Make You Cry All Your Tears
Join Greatists 30-Day Wall-Sit Challenge
How to Navigate the Holidays After Losing Loved Ones
How to Act Like an Enchantress
50 Windmill Tattoo Designs For Men – Rotational Ink Ideas
How to Master the Art of Kissing
Preventing Dehydration and Overhydration With Meningitis
Mark Ronson’s Stylish French Wedding to LingerieModel