Derek Tresize is a professional bodybuilder and has been a vegan since 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, is a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University.
It started as a 30 day vegan challenge for Lent, but Derek found that he felt so much better and shed body fat so quickly that he decided to stay with it. “When I first transitioned in 2007 it was for health reasons and I planned to have animal products occasionally as a treat, but a few instances of them making me sick, plus learning more about their ethical and environmental impacts quickly made me realize I wanted no part of them”, Derek explains. Reading the China Study also played a part in the decision to go vegan. “I had heard red meat was unhealthy for years, but never a solid scientific argument for avoiding it and therefore assumed it was beneficial. When I was first presented with and read The China Study my eyes were opened to the multifaceted negative health impacts animal products have on us”, says Derek.
On diet and training
Derek’s diet revolves around whole plant foods, with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans being staples. “I eat a lot of beans, grains and fruit for the bulk of my calories, and as many vegetables as possible for their nutritional benefits”, Derek says.
- Three first places
- WNBF Pro card holder
- Six top three placings
His training is primarily free weight resistance exercise supplemented with some calisthenics and cardio. Derek typically weight lifts 5 days per week and performs some form of cardio, swimming being his favorite, another day each week. “My weight training routine changes often, but I typically use the ‘Arnold Split’, training my whole body over three days with the first day being Chest and Back, the second being Shoulder and Arms, and the last being Legs”, explains Derek.
Body building achievements
Derek has placed first in three bodybuilding competitions, one of which earned him his WNBF Men’s Physique Pro Card. His favorite of these was the Men’s Bodybuilding Light-Heavyweight class win at the 2013 Naturally Fit Super Show. ” I was in my career best shape and I won a tough class as the only vegan”, Derek reminisces.
2011 NPA Master’s Universe: Men’s Open Middleweight – 3rd
2011 NANBF Washington State Natural: Men’s Open Middle Height – 3rd
2012 OCB Bodysculpting Open: Men’s Novice Tall Class – 1st, Men’s Open Tall Class – 2nd
2013 OCB Battle of Tidewater: Men’s Bodybuilding Open Tall Class – 4th
2013 INBF Southwest Natural: Men’s Bodybuilding Light Heavyweight – 1st
2014 INBF Southwest Natural: Men’s Physique – 1st, WNBF Pro Card Awarded
2015 WNBF Pro Universe: Pro Men’s Physique – 2nd
Hopes and plans for the future
Derek continues to strive towards his personal goals as a professional bodybuilder, his next goal being to place first in a Men’s Physique Pro contest. In the future we may also see him compete in the bodybuilding class again, which is Derek’s favorite discipline. Derek is optimistic about the future of vegan bodybuilding: “I started competing in bodybuilding in 2011 because I wanted to show the world and especially the heavy meat consuming bodybuilding community that you can build a winning physique on a vegan diet. In that time I’ve seen the movement grow and progress so much that I’m very optimistic for the future. I still plan to compete and always strive to be a positive example, but I feel that the time of veganism has come”…”I used to get a lot of surprised responses after telling someone I’m vegan, but now that the movement has become so much more mainstream I hear a lot more positive comments and general support. Progress!”