Rob Bigwood, vegan armwrestler
Rob took up arm-wrestling in 2000. It was after a tournament in 2002 that he first starting feeling uncomfortable about eating meat and moving towards a vegan diet. Like many people, Rob had been led to believe that meat was an important part of building strength.
"I was concerned at first but didn't care. I made a conscious and ethical decision to give up meat, and was willing to face the consequences. It is more important to practice what I believe in than to worry about being a strength athlete. My body did not feel right at the beginning, and it took a couple of weeks to adjust without the meat. Eventually, I began to gain energy and consistently lost weight. I have never felt better in my entire life and it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made."
World class competition
It was a tournament in 2009 that emphasised Rob's ability in arm-wrestling. After two years of inactivity he trained for just three months, and ended up placed second for both arms. Rob has placed 4th in the US nationals and has won the left handed super heavyweight World Championships in 2006. He's won over 40 state championships across the US.
In 2010 Rob entered the MMA Arm Wrestling tournament held in Atlantic City, NJ. Among his rivals were Roman Tsindeliani (12 Time World Champion) and Shawn Lattimer (3rd Ranked left-handed Super Heavyweight in the U.S.A). Rob took first place left handed and second place right handed.
Since then Rob has been a star of the sports documentary series Game of Arms. The series followed regional teams from the USA as they competed against each other. Rob was one of the five members of New York City Arms Control. The show showed teams meeting up in abandoned warehouses, neglected factories and similar locations for matches which decided cash prizes. Once Rob competed in a disused slaughterhouse. The show covered his veganism and some opponents tried (and failed) to antagonise Rob over his veganism in pre-match mind games.
- "First and foremost I am an animal lover. When I actually thought about what I was eating made me sick. I did a little research and realized how disgusting and inhuman factory animals are treated, and I didn't want ANY part of that."
- "I am a lot lighter now. Before all this I use to be 290 lbs... now I am 225. I don't feel it affected my strength at all considering I still get all my protein but just not from meat!"