Sophia Ellis, a vegan athlete and two-time British powerlifting champion, is proof that you don’t need meat to be powerful.
The athlete created history last month in the British Women’s Classic Championships in Lochgelly, Scotland, when she competed in the U76kg open division.
Ellis set six national records there, including the biggest female deadlift in British powerlifting history. Ellis deadlifted 237.5kg (524lbs), setting a new British record in both the Classic and Equipped weight classifications. It’s an unofficial European record as well.
In addition, Ellis squatted 170 kg and benched 118kg (which was its own record too). This boosted her total weight lifted to a British record total of 525.5kg (1,158.5lbs) in both the Classic and Equipped categories.
Ellis, who began participating in powerlifting in 2018, now has roughly 20 national and international records. Her achievement can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including her plant-based diet.
“It has been a combination of things that I feel has helped my athletic career; diet is obviously a huge part of recovery and being vegan has definitely helped me to optimize this alongside keeping training consistent, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels etc.,” Ellis stated.
“As long as I am eating enough and a good balance of foods then my recovery rate is a lot quicker and I feel so much more fueled and energized for training sessions… It is important for people to realize that it is the foods you eat which make a big difference – you can go vegan but if you are restricting / not eating enough nutrient-dense foods then you won’t reap all the benefits that veganism has to offer!” she said.
“I have been vegan for 10 years now and a powerlifter for four years. It is so great to be able to continue to break down misconceptions around this lifestyle and show people that you can be strong AND vegan!”
Ellis emphasized this point in October of last year, when she won a bronze medal in deadlifting at the IPF World Classic Championships, despite the fact that it was her first time attending the event.
In June 2022, Ellis will compete in the World Championships.
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