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Vegan Athlete Marco Laterza’s Hardcore Workouts

Work on crafting lean muscle and upping your strength with this workout from vegan fitness influencer Marco Laterza.

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Marco Laterza
Per Bernal / M+F Magazine
Marco Laterza
Per Bernal / M+F Magazine

If you still believe that you can’t build serious muscle on a plant-based diet, you haven’t been keeping up with Marco Laterza. Born in Switzerland, this vegan fitness phenom is proof that plates of dry chicken and heaps of grilled (and potentially artery-clogging) steaks aren’t the only nutritional keys to a sculpted physique. He adopted the vegan lifestyle a few years back to combat digestive issues, and despite filling up on tofu and quinoa nowadays, Laterza is still every ounce the specimen he was back in his carnivore period, as you can see above.

You can’t just slap some tempeh on the stove in the hopes of becoming a fitness model, though. In large part, Laterza’s success is still rooted in a strict workout program designed for efficiency and function. It may look simple, but the results are pretty clear—it works. Read on to see how this fit vegan built his world-class body.

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How to Build Muscle on a Vegan Diet

Plenty of protein to be found beyond meat.

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Singing the Praises of Vegansim

Some studies suggest vegetarians and vegans have poorer health, but the majority of research shows that folks who avoid meat have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and type-2 diabetes, plus have a longer life span. A recent, large study in The Lancet found that people who cut carbs and upped their animal intake had a higher mortality rate than those who eat more plant-based foods.

And despite the bad rap of plant protein, 2017 research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that as long as men and women were getting at least the recommended daily allowance of protein (0.8g per kilogram of body weight), carnivores and omnivores had about the same muscle mass and strength.

Research also found that among endurance athletes, fueling with plants or animals led to pretty much the same body composition.

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5 Hacks for Going Vegan

A vegan transition can be taxing, ease the toll with these tricks.

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Routine

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Marco's Program

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 13

Barbell Back Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
How to
Take a 30-second rest before starting next exercise.
Exercise 2 of 13

Barbell Shoulder Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 13

Barbell Floor Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Take a 30-second rest before starting next exercise.
Exercise 4 of 13

Barbell Bentover Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 13

Walking Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12-15 per leg
Rest
--
Perform with an olympic bar if possible. Take a 30-second rest before starting next exercise.
Exercise 6 of 13

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 7 of 13

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Perform with a pronated grip. Take a 30-second rest before starting next exercise.
Exercise 8 of 13

Incline Dumbbell Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 13

Ring Dips

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--
How to
Take a 30-second rest before starting next exercise.
Exercise 10 of 13

Zottman Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
--

Abs Circuit

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 11 of 13

Ab Rollout

Equipment
Ab Wheel
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 13

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
12-15
Rest
--
Exercise 13 of 13

Plank with Alternating Leg Raise

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
90-20 sec.
Rest
--
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