Joe ‘Monk’ Coleman is a bodybuilder who started competing in his 40s and still provided stiff competition for competitors far younger than him.
Following years of an unhealthy lifestyle, Joe started to change his habits. This included meditation, attention to his diet, and exercise. He turned Straight Edge in 2008. He gained the nickname ‘Monk’ as people compared his lifestyle to that of a monk.
In 2015 he started competing. “My first competition was at the Naturally Fit games and I competed in the open (all ages) category when I was already at Masters category age – and placed 3rd.”
Next year he entered the Masters and placed first. “Then I did a NPC show (not tested) in Masters and placed 2nd.”
- IFBA and INBF Pro Card bodybuilder
- Won Pro Card within a year of competing
- Won Open category in competition aged 46
A further breakthrough came in August 2016 where he entered the Natural Central Valley Bodybuilding and Figure Championships and won a Pro Card with the IFBA federation. “I placed 1st in the Masters and 1st in the open (all ages) to get my pro card” said Joe. “My biggest achievement to date would be winning my pro card in less than one year after I started competing and doing it in the open division at age 46.”
In 2017, a month short of his 48th birthday, he competed in the Battle of the Bay in the Open category against men in their younger years. He won, and was awarded his second Pro Card, in the INBF/WNBF federation (read more here).
“I’m completely vegan! For life.” Joe told us shortly after gaining his Pro Card in 2016. “I first became vegetarian 4 years ago. then after learning the horrors of egg and milk processes I became vegan 2 years ago.
“My journey to veganism was actually through my meditation practice. I learned about animal treatment only after I stopped eating meat. Well after.”
Now he eats a high carbohydrate diet, and in particular plenty of oatmeal, beans and rice. He also eats a lot of raw vegetables.
Joe trains a five day split programme, with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) closer to the competitions. He trains himself and has no coach, so doesn’t have to discuss veganism with someone organising his training.
“I’m self coached but the people I train with completely accept my veganism. Some even went vegan themselves.”
With his Pro Card now achieved, Joe plans to continue to train for the stage and take on more competitions, getting some more good results and “bringing it home for us vegans.”
“My philosophy basically is to live life with love and compassion in all you do. With doing that you want to cause no harm to any other being. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Live life to the fullest and uplift others as you do it.”