Robert Cheeke on Staying Motivated, Changing Course, and Embracing Imperfection


In an effort to keep the show fresh, Matt and I rarely invite a former guest back on to No Meat Athlete Radio. To be asked back for a third episode puts vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke in rare company.

But with a new book, a move to a different state, and the transition away from speaking and traveling (as frequently, anyway), we knew this conversation with Robert would be different. And it was.

In this episode we talk to Robert about how his lifestyle and career have shifted as more plant-based bodybuilders hit the scene, and what that transition has done for his motivation levels. He also shares why he’s embracing imperfection when it comes to nutrition, and how he’s gained more muscle than ever before.

If you liked the first two episodes with Robert, you’ll love this new one.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • How Robert gained more muscle than ever before
  • Robert’s food confession
  • Why stepping away may provide more inspiration
  • Muscle mass and longevity … what’s the connection?

Click the button below to listen now:


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  1. He is Vegan? That is crazy! Thanks for sharing this feature. He is truly inspiring.

  2. I appreciated the confession that sometimes being vegan/plant based out in the world comes with potential feelings of always being on stage as the “perfect example” which can come with a lot of pressure (real or imagined). As someone who travels often with colleagues who are big meat eaters, there is always interest in what is on my plate and how I can survive at the steakhouse with just the plain potato and double house salad(no cheese, croutons or dressing). Even with prior planning, at times finding options while traveling with this group are tough and I have to do the best I can which is the processed bar or dry packaged cereal. I know it is not my usual go to choice, but I still feel that twinge of guilt that I am letting the whole -foods -plant -based community down.

  3. Karen Higgins says:

    What a great interview. I love when people keep it real!

  4. Scott Varney says:

    Great episode, I love the part about not being perfect all the time. When I first adopted a whole food plant based diet I had a lot of anxiety around making sure I was doing it right and it almost burned me out on following it, once I allowed more freedom and had more fun with it, it became a lifestyle I can follow everyday and enjoy thoroughly which i believe has made me all the more healthier even if it isn’t perfect everyday. Thanks for the great show!!

  5. For me, veganism is not something I view as an option. It is based in personal ethics (all three-health, animal compassion, and environment). This past summer I struggled with the “perfectionist” part… but craving processed foods, then overdosing on those foods, and taking the pendulum to extremes. The numbers on the scale weren’t scientific, they had ego attached. So I put away daily logs and committed to just eating what I really wanted. I wanted the body-shaming to go away.
    Since then I still look forward to the monthly vegan potluck to try everything on the table. And I eat what I crave, which is mostly fruit. The ironic part is I’m eating more nutritious that when I was consciously trying to be perfect. And I sleep a lot better, too.
    It must be working. I did a trail 50K on Sunday. It took me 7 hours, 37 minutes to complete. A TWO HOUR PR from last year’s time. My sources of fuel were raw brownies (dates, walnuts, and cacao powder), rice cakes with miso, and apples. Afterwards I enjoyed tart cherry juice, wheatgrass, grapes, and a sweet potato.
    My recovery has been wonderful. My body is really appreciating these foods.
    Eat what you crave and learn. It’s all about evolving. 🙂

  6. I know you guys like to keep the show new, but Robert is definitely a favorite of mine for you to interview so I was thrilled to see he was back again. Always an inspiration, I love his honesty about the pressures of being “perfect” and his changing acceptance of food options.

  7. He may be a “regular”, but I always love hearing from Robert! Glad to hear how he’s thriving on a less processed diet. Inspiring!

  8. I’ve been following Robert Cheeke’s book “Shred It!” and I’m 6 weeks into the workouts as a vegan. So far so good, I’m definitely getting more muscle. Maybe not as fast as I’d like, but Robert’s book is awesome. Good luck to Robert on his new venture!

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