A vegan powerlifter broke a world record at the 2018 International Powerlifting League Drug Tested World Championships.
22-year-old Alysan Casey of Bigfork, Montana, who stands just 5 feet tall and weighs around 120 pounds, holds the world record for her age and weight class.
She placed first at the International Powerlifting League Drug Tested World Championships in Las Vegas, where she squatted 248 lbs, benched 121.2 and deadlifted 325.1 for a total of 694.4, breaking the old record by 32 lbs.
That is despite the fact that Casey only began lifting in 2016, and the 2018 International Powerlifting League Drug Tested World Championships in Las Vegas was only her second powerlifting competition ever, Flathead Beacon reported.
Casey told the Flathead Beacon that she initially just wanted to put on muscle, but when her trainer, Donny Tudahl, a veteran powerlifter, encouraged her to give powerlifting a shot, she tried it and loved it.
“When we started to figure out my numbers, we realized that for my body weight I was pretty strong,” she said.
When Casey started to do more research into diet, she learned about the harm done to animals in the meat industry and decided to become a vegan, eliminating all animal products and by-products from her diet, including meat, eggs and dairy.
“There are some horrible things that happen to the animals,” she said. “For me, it was such an eye opener.”
“I think it is a big misconception that vegans are deficient. You have to pay attention, but if you pay attention it’s not hard.”
“It really forced me to go out of my comfort zone and try new things like chickpeas and bean chips and other ways of getting extra protein in.”
With hard work and dedication, she saw improvements to her strength and was able to nearly double her bench press and add 100 pounds to her back squat.
In her very first powerlifting meet in the summer of 2018, she qualified for the world championships, where she competed against the best on the planet, and the rest is history.
Casey is among a growing number of vegan athletes showing that it is simply a misconception that meat is required for strength.
In 2016, the only U.S. male weightlifter to qualify for the Rio olympics was Kendrick Farris, who has been vegan since 2014.
Farris broke the U.S. record by lifting a total of 831 pounds. He credits his vegan diet for making him stronger.
Other vegan athletes include “Germany’s Strongest Man” Patrick Baboumian, who holds a world record of 1,223 pounds in the yoke walk.
Nick Squires, who jokingly called himself “Strongest Man in California,” is another gold medal vegan powerlifter changing stereotypes.