Figure competitions have come a long way since Schwartzenegger was Mr. Universe. Women who compete now are not jacked up pageant contestants–they are serious athletes who challenge the traditional notion of femininity with equal measures strength, style, and sass. We met with Claudia Lailhacar, a top competitor who is changing the name of the game with her outspoken veganism. Find out what motivated her to start competing, what she eats, and what she does to get that body.
PD: Thanks for joining us and welcome to Peaceful Dumpling! You are known for being one of Canada’s top Vegan figure competitors. When and why did you first decide to become vegan?
CL: Thank you and I am very happy to be here. Humbled by your kind words. I decided to become Vegan almost 14 years ago. Why?? For me it all began with the animals. I wanted to live a cruelty-free life. I know now that it also did wonders for my health.
PD: How does being vegan affect competing? People generally associate figure competitors with drinking tons of whey protein to build muscle.
CL: Being Vegan does not affect my competing in any way. I was able to make it to the Canadian National stage on a plant-based diet. If anything I think it helps me. I am able to eat more and keep my body healthy and acidic-free.
PD: How did you first decide to start competing professionally?
CL: I have always loved weights but I wanted to compete – to take my body to another level. Also face my fear of walking on stage in heels and tiny bikini. 🙂
PD: Tell us about your training, off-season and on-season. What do you do to get so sculpted?
CL: My OFF Season is all about building. I eat more and try to build my Metabolic capacity. I lift 5 to 6 days a week as heavy as I can. Usually it lasts 7 to 8 months.
My ON season involves leaning out, Peeling the outer layers off to display my OFF season gains. Cardio is added back into my routine and food changes as I get closer to the stage. Lifting is always part of my plan…Its what I most love.
PD: What are some go-to meals or favorite pre-/post- workout snacks?
CL: I lift in a fasted state – Just my pre workout, BCAA’s and my Glutamine. My Post meal is the most important in my books. It always includes Oats, Hemp seeds, RAW Protein and Perfect Greens by Garden of Life.
PD: Do you have a favorite body part? And how do you work it out?
CL: Yes, My SHOULDERS!! It’s also my favorite part to train. I love presses, lateral raises, front raises etc. Super setting shoulder exercises is the best.
PD: What would be your advice to women who are trying to lose weight or shape up?
CL: IGNORE the scale! It does more sabotaging that anything! Use the mirror and the way your clothes fit to see progress. Be CONSISTENT….changes do not happen over night. Do something you enjoy, it might not be the gym…BUT, I always suggest ladies to lift. So many benefits, not only looking sexy and strong.
PD: What makes all the hard work worthwhile?
CL: Its not the trophies …although I DO LOVE THEM. Its seeing the changes in my body, seeing how far I have come in the 4 years that I have been taking it more seriously. I love the ability I have to change by body through lifting weights. I have the control 🙂
Claudia’s Essential’s List
Claudia in 3 words: Happy, Generous and GRATEFUL
Must have vegan beauty product: My face creams – Andalou Goji berry anti aging cream ( I am 41 YIKES! lol)
Favorite city/country to visit: Where I live now – Vancouver but I love my birth country – Chile.
Favorite vegan restaurant/bakery: Hmmm I do not have one…actually I like Banditas and Foundations – Both in Vancouver.
Your Mantra: NOT mine but Dalai’s Lama – “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace”
Guilty Pleasure: wine and vegan nachos hee hee
Coffee or Tea: COFFEE and my Yerba Mate
In 5 years, I’ll be… Doing what I love, helping others reach their goal on a plant-based diet. Inspiring others to be their best
When you feel most beautiful: In my gym clothes and my High tops 🙂
Photo: Claudia Lailhacar