Australian Joel Kirkilis is a vegan bodybuilder who became the Victoria (Aus) bodybuilding champion in 2009. In 2010 he entered the INBA Melbourne Open and the Victoria Class 2 competition, and finished second in each.
- Victoria Champion 2009
- Benched 150kg at 80kg bodyweight
He has since been working on technique and coaching other athletes. “I went vegan because I don’t think it is right to exploit animals in any way for my benefit.”
He’s found it helped him find variety in food.
“ I have discovered so many other foods which are very nutritious and tasty and have helped me not only feel good but also enhance my athletic ability. I have eaten animal products in the past but ever since I cut them out of my diet I have felt more energetic and also feel better morally.”
Joel is also an accomplished powerlifter. Competing at 80kg, Joel’s best lifts are: Squat 190kg, Bench 150kg, Deadlift 195kg. He’s also trained in Olympic style lifting and at 78 kg has snatched 112.5 kg and clean & jerked 135 kg. By 2020 he had also competed in crossfit. Joel said “it became something I got very competitive with and have enjoyed it ever since.”
Joel is aware of the example he sets in bodybuilding.
“Being a competitive vegan bodybuilder, in a sport which has a significant emphasis on the consumption of animal proteins has provided me with the opportunity to prove that a vegan diet is just as effective for enhancing physical performance yet more importantly it does not involve the cruelty required to produce ‘traditional’ bodybuilding foods.”
Vegan bodybuilder, vegetarian from birth
Vegan powerlifter, strong vegan