Interview: Top Vegan Bikini Competitor Samantha Shorkey
Most vegans I know have that one other vegan person we really admire and relate to–call it girl crush, spirit animal, etc etc. If you don’t have one yet, prepare to fall *hard* for Samantha Shorkey, who blazed onto vegan bodybuilding scene as the 1st place winner of her 1st bikini competition ever in June 2013. Vegetarian since age 8 and vegan since 2012, Samantha has been advocating for veganism with PlantBuild team and as Vega brand ambassador. But looking insanely gorgeous in a sparkly bikini isn’t the only thing about Samantha–she is whip-smart, candid, and incredibly funny (and not the “funny” that every celeb interviewer attributes to a “girl-next-door” starlet. Really, laugh-out-loud funny.) Find out how she gets that body–and how she keeps it all in perspective!
PD: Thanks for joining us and welcome to Peaceful Dumpling! First–what motivated you to become a bikini competitor?
SS: I’d been lifting weights and going to the gym for a few years already. Learning about bodybuilding was the one and only good thing I took away from dating a personal trainer for four years ;) I was already doing a lot of research on www.veganbodybuilding.com and had read the “Vegan Bodybuilding Bible,” aka Robert Cheeke’s book Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, cover to cover. I couldn’t help but notice how few vegan female competitors existed. I always loved the look of “jacked” bad ass b!+ches and my ex had always told me I had a great shape for the bikini division. So after we broke up, I added up all of these factors up plus the fact that I’m an ego maniac and a pretty competitive person and decided to give it a shot!
PD: For those of us who are not familiar with bodybuilding competitions, could you please explain what your division means? Do you choose your division based on your preference or natural physique?
SS: There are usually three divisions: physique, figure and bikini. In a nut shell, “physique” refers to the SUPER JACKED chicks. The typical “figure” girl shape resembles the letter “Y” and is more about overall symmetry with quite a bit of muscle. And “bikini” is a softer look: long and lean, not as much muscle. This body looks more like the letter “x”: tiny waist with a big arse and shoulders. I am a bikini competitor. To be honest, I prefer the figure poses but my body is pretty “hourglass” shaped so that’s why I do bikini. But if I continue to get “jacked on the beanstalk,” who knows– I just might give figure a go!
PD: Tell us about your training, off-season and in-season. What do you do to get so sculpted?
SS: You know, I’m always trying new things and testing my body’s responses to different types and levels of training. I used to do a ton of cardio, especially right before a show, but now I’m actually doing the same amount in the on-season as the off–which is only about 30 – 45 minutes. For weights, I’ll go 5 days per week when I’m prepping for a show with high reps and sets; and only 3 – 4 times per week in the off-season. I usually train two muscle groups per session. Staying fit and consistently getting stronger boils down to just that: consistency and dedication. That means a week off from the gym here and there is fine but year-round, you gotta make time for workouts and continually push yourself. I’ll do the same program for four to six weeks but as soon as I’m not sweating like a pig by the end of it, I switch it up. And whether on or off-season, I genuinely just love working out. It’s the competition diet part that sucks
PD: Speaking of diet, what are some go-to meals or favorite pre-/post- workout snacks?
SS: My go-to, easy-to-grab-and-pack healthy snacks are raw green beans, raw almonds, single packages of Vega Sport protein powder in vanilla or chocolate. I just mix them with water and make a little pudding mmmmmm. It’s also easy to have apples on hand and eat ‘em with almond butter. I also love rice and beans, veggies and hummus, unsweetened apple sauce. When I’m prepping for a show, I’ve also been known to keep bricks of tofu in my purse and cans of kidney beans. I have a brutal sweet tooth so I’m always inventing new, SUPER healthy vegan desserts. A lot are huge fails haha. But I share a few of my faves in my eBook, Jacked on the Beanstalk: Plant-based Fuel for Vegan Athletes (get it here!).
PD: Do you have a favorite body part? And how do you work it out?
SS: Funny that you combine these two questions! My favourite body part is probably my ass which is funny because I hated my ass for many, many years AND it’s my least favourite body part to train! So I would actually answer this two-part question with the answer being my back. I’ve always liked how shredded my back looks. I also thoroughly enjoy working it out with lots of pull-downs, pull-ups, rows and cable movements. That reminds me I’ll have to post a good back workout on my blog soon!
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