“Plant-Based Muscle” Book


Two and a half years in the making, the Plant-Based Muscle full-color eBook is finally here! (We also are working on a print version, which you can pre-order or order now, depending on when you’re reading this.) Co-authored by plant-based athletes with more than 35 years’ combined experience, Robert Cheeke and Vanessa Espinoza, this is the most complete plant-based fitness book to be released since Shred It!.

Sharing experiences from different perspectives, and different backgrounds in exercise and sports nutrition, this plant-based fitness duo brings you the information, motivation, and inspiration to take your plant-based athlete lifestyle to the next level. 

You can purchase and download the Plant-Based Muscle eBook now, right here.

Table of Contents

Our Story


  1. Our Training Philosophies
  2. Our Current Training Programs
  3. Selecting Workout Programs to Follow
  4. Workout Tips from Our 35+ Years’ Combined Experience
  5. Sample Workout Programs for Muscle Building, Fat Burning, and Conditioning
  6. Our Plant-Based Nutrition Philosophies
  7. Our Current Plant-Based Meal Plans
  8. Plant-Based Meal Plans for Muscle Building and Fat Burning
  9. Plant-Based Performance Recipes
  10. Grocery Shopping Tips and Strategies for Optimal ROI
  11. Activism in Action Through Sports


About the Authors

Excerpt from the book:

What To Expect From This Book

We are writing this book with you in mind. We want this to be an incredibly helpful manual, designed to provide you with the exact tools you need to achieve your health and fitness goals as a plant-based athlete. By athlete, we mean YOU. The inner athlete inside all of us is ready to come out, and this book will give you the confidence to unleash your best plant-based self. From start to finish, this book will provide you with the motivation, instruction, guidance, tips, recommendations, and resources to put you on the path to success. We’ve got you covered on everything from how to create a workout routine, to how to select quality foods and ingredients to prepare plant-based meals, to what to eat for improved athletic performance, to how to prevent and overcome injuries and setbacks.

Here are some specific things that you can expect to learn from our 35+ years combined experience as plant-based athletes:

  • Motivation to get you pumped up to achieve your goals
  • Programs for muscle building
  • Programs for fat burning
  • Programs for fitness conditioning
  • Samples of our actual meal plans and workouts
  • Grocery shopping lists and tips
  • Healthy plant-based meal plans
  • Delicious plant-based recipes
  • Meal preparation guidelines
  • A detailed account of our nutrition and fitness philosophies
  • Photo demonstrations of numerous exercises
  • Strategies for effective outreach as plant-based athletes
  • Techniques to prevent and overcome injuries

Learn more about Robert and Vanessa:

Vanessa Espinoza

Vanessa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She adopted a plant-based lifestyle in 2003, at age 22. Today she owns a personal training business, specializing in strength and conditioning, boxing, and basketball skills.

As one of the top 10 point guards in the U.S. coming out of high school, Vanessa was awarded a full basketball scholarship to Colorado State University. She was drafted to play professionally in the WNBA. Due to her father’s passing during that time, Vanessa declined the offer to play in the WNBA and took up boxing, honoring her father who was a professional boxer. Vanessa became a 3-time Colorado Golden Glove state boxing champion.

Along with Vanessa’s in-home personal training business, she offers personalized nutrition and training programs on http://www.plantbasedmuscles.com. She is a regular contributor to Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine, has been vegan for over 15 years, and aims to inspire others, showing that you don’t need to harm animals to have a muscular physique.


Robert Cheeke

Robert grew up on a farm in Corvallis, Oregon, where he adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1995 at age 15. Today he is the best-selling author of the books, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and Shred It!.

As a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, Robert is considered one of VegNews magazine’s Most Influential Vegan Athletes. He tours around the world, sharing his story of transformation from a skinny farm kid to champion vegan bodybuilder.

Robert is the founder and president of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. He writes books, gives lectures around the world, and maintains the popular website, VeganBodybuilding.com. He is a regular contributor to Vegan Health & Fitness MagazineNaked Food MagazineForks Over Knives, and The Dr. T. Colin Campbell Center For Nutrition Studies, is a multi-sport athlete, entrepreneur, and has followed a plant-based diet for more than 20 years.

Follow Vanessa and Robert on Instagram for regular updates.

Praise for Plant-Based Muscle

Plant-Based Muscle provides a wealth of vital information to help you achieve optimal health and improve your overall fitness, while using a plant-based nutrition plan. In this book, Robert and Vanessa share their enthusiasm and knowledge, by providing practical steps necessary to build and maintain lean muscle mass. I especially like the ‘mindset’ aspect mentioned throughout the book because as a medical professional, it is well known that mindset shapes positive outcomes and further facilitates success! Plant-Based Muscle is beneficial for a beginner as well as for the experienced athlete.”

— Harriet Davis, M.D., Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, plant-based IFBB professional bikini athlete, PETA’s 2015 Sexiest Vegan Next Door


Plant-Based Muscle takes the mystery out of building muscle on a plant-based diet like no other book ever has! It’s like getting to spend a week with two of the best and most experienced vegan bodybuilders in the world, and having them walk you through their exact, proven routines – in the gym, in the kitchen, and everywhere in between. Whether male or female, beginner or expert, whole-food or high-protein, if you’re looking for the motivation, the philosophies, and the step-by-step meal plans and workout routines for building a world-class physique with a diet you can feel great about, you’ve found it in Plant-Based Muscle.”

— Matt Frazier, vegan ultramarathoner, author of No Meat Athlete and The No Meat Athlete Cookbook


“Not only are Robert and Vanessa inspiring athletes and human beings, they are extremely intelligent individuals. The knowledge and experience that both Vanessa and Robert have put into Plant-Based Muscle is powerful and will help so many people on their fitness journey. Plant-Based Muscle is thoroughly written and filled with information that will educate anyone interested in plant-based living and training. I highly recommend anyone, no matter where they may be in their fitness journey or how new to plant-based living they are, to read Plant-Based Muscle and learn from these two wonderful and educated souls.”

— Bianca Taylor, personal trainer and fitness model

“What I love about this book is how Robert and Vanessa’s approaches to nutrition & training are vastly different in many ways, yet they have both achieved high-level results by using differing methods. The typical ‘one-size-fits-all’ model regarding plant-based nutrition & training goes right out the window with this new book. As it really shines light on HOW to figure out what kind of training and nutrition style best fits YOU and your needs. A total game-changer!”

— Fraser Bayley, founder of Evolving Alpha, vegan nutritionist and bodybuilder

Plant-Based Muscle is an excellent how-to guide for the beginner and advanced plant-based athlete. Robert and Vanessa have truly laid out the foundation for anyone trying to become the healthiest version of themselves on a plant-based diet. Not only that, but their philosophies on training and mentality can be applied to many other aspects in life.”

— Nimai Delgado, plant-based IFBB professional bodybuilder 

“After igniting the modern vegan bodybuilding movement, Robert has built an incredible worldwide community of world-class plant-based athletes. I’ve benefitted from his wisdom and expertise in my own fitness training, and I’m absolutely stoked that Plant-Based Muscle is finally here! Robert and Vanessa give you the keys to the kingdom of lifelong sustainable fitness, including workout routines, meal plans, mindset hacks, and motivational tips to help you live a strong, compassionate, and purposeful life. This book is a compendium of expert information and will be a trusted resource for newbie fitness fanatics as well as competitive athletes looking to add years to their life and build muscle in a healthy and ethical way.”

— Jason Wrobel, celebrity vegan chef, bestselling author, and host of Cooking Channel’s “How to Live to 100”


“I hold Robert in very high regard as the ‘Godfather’ of vegan bodybuilding – an early pioneer who helped kickstart the entire movement – which is why I couldn’t wait to read his latest book. It did not disappoint. Robert and Vanessa Espinoza make a great duo, and this book is absolutely packed with gems from their wealth of experience. No matter if you’re just getting started, or you’re an experienced lifter who is curious as to how vegans fuel their workouts, this book is a great resource to help you pack on pure plant-based muscle.”

— Stephen Coote, founder of RiseOfTheVegan.com


Plant-Based Muscle is the go-to book for anyone interested in getting lean and building muscle on a plant-based diet. Robert and Vanessa do an incredible job in this book to cover all aspects of nutrition, diet, and ethics. Plant-Based Muscle is great for everyone from the beginner in the gym to the body building pro looking to incorporate a vegan diet. Being a beginner in the weightlifting world, this book has helped me tremendously. I highly recommend it!”

— High Carb Hannah, YouTuber and author


 Plant-Based Muscle is an inspiring book that delivers a great sense of knowledge and wisdom that can only come through decades of experience and success in bodybuilding and elite athletics. A real personal look inside the lives of two incredible plant-based athletes! Robert Cheeke and Vanessa Espinoza have magically blended two different styles of eating and training which gives even the seasoned athlete new insights and tips. Loved it!!!!”

— Jeff Morgan, Certified Personal Trainer, plant-based nutrition certified, and creator of plant-based YouTube channel “Guilt Free TV”


“Two luminaries in the vegan fitness scene deliver a comprehensive, inspirational, do-it-yourself workshop on building muscle from plants. After all, it’s what all the biggest, strongest animals walking the Earth do.”

— Jonathan Balcombe, author of What a Fish Knows

“I remember the shock I felt when I stumbled upon Robert on MySpace back in 2005. How had he achieved such a big physique with no animal protein? Years later, I got to know him in person when we were both living in Austin, TX. The book Plant-Based Muscle is a lot like Robert: positive, straightforward, no-nonsense, and it works. There’s no hype or grandstanding. Robert and Vanessa lay out the guidelines of what has worked for them and give you the roadmap and the encouragement you need to achieve it yourself. If you are looking for a guide with the nuts and bolts of getting into the best shape of your life on a healthy plant-based diet, this is it!”

— Benjamin Benulis, DC, Chiropractor and plant-based athlete

“When it comes to first hand, in-the-trenches experience in building muscle on a plant-based diet, you’d be hard pressed to find a better pair than Robert and Vanessa. Robert was virtually the first competitive vegan bodybuilder on the scene and in many ways has propelled the movement on his own shoulders, and Vanessa has over a decade of experience as a trainer and competitive athlete. Plant-Based Muscle brings the knowledge of these two into a text that will serve as a great inspiration and reference for anyone looking to improve their performance, look their best, or optimize their health on a plant-based diet.”

— Derek Tresize, co-founder of Vegan Muscle & Fitness, author, personal trainer, professional athlete

“I sat down to skim this book with the idea of eventually giving the authors my feedback and possible endorsement, and I accidentally read the whole darn thing in one sitting! I could not put it down! I edit a magazine on this sort of thing all day, but still loved this book that much. This book gives all the details of exactly how Robert and Vanessa train and exactly what they eat — this information is so valuable to anyone who wants to build a more effective physique. While both Robert and Vanessa are quite muscular, and this book definitely tells you how to put on the plant-based muscle, I said ‘effective physique’ because it also makes a lot of sense for simply getting stronger, and thus more effective in whatever you do in life. If only to prevent injury, strength is vital, but in the quest to excel in any physical endeavor, the information in Plant-Based Muscle will lend a huge boost to performance. Great job providing all these juicy details and for inspiring readers along the way! I cannot wait to read it again.”

— Brenda Carey, founder and editor-in-chief of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine

“Robert was one of my earliest inspirations in my vegan journey. From Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness, to Shred It! and now, Plant-Based Muscle. Honest, inspirational and practical are the three words I would use to describe Robert’s style of writing. Along with Vanessa’s expertise as a long-time vegan athlete, this book breaks everything down into its nuts and bolts. From training, to nutrition, to practical tips for everyday life, this is for everyone wanting to live a performance driven plant-based lifestyle. Both legends in their own right, they share their years of experience as athletes with one goal…to help you unleash yours!”

— Luke Tan, author, vegan bodybuilder, Crossfitter, and co-founder of plantfitsummit.com

“Robert and Vanessa have crafted a book that not only serves as a well-honed guide for building muscle and amping up your fitness level on a plant-based diet, they’ve created a program that will keep you highly motivated to achieve your goals. Whether you want to simply get fit or increase your athletic performance, Plant-based Muscle is will give you the foundation you need to get there.”

— Jason Wyrick, executive chef of The Vegan Taste, author of Vegan MexicoVegan Tacos, and NY Times Bestselling Co-author of 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart

“No one could possibly know more about vegan bodybuilding than Robert and Vanessa – both pioneers in this field, with decades of experience in training and veganism. The knowledge presented in this book is invaluable and I can’t wait to implement it into my own training and nutritional regimen! A must-have for anyone interested in getting started or learning more about vegan bodybuilding and fitness!”

— Simone Collins, figure champion, multi-sport athlete, vegan personal training specialist

Plant-Based Muscle is a very candid look at how Robert and Vanessa build and maintain their amazing physiques. The information is so detailed, anyone from a novice to the most seasoned fitness enthusiast could easily follow along. I’m really impressed, and I am inspired to apply some of these techniques to my own training regimen. Robert and Vanessa have paved the way for future plant-based athletes worldwide looking to achieve a high level of fitness.”

— Will Tucker, America’s Vegan Trainer™, 4-time Natural Bodybuilding Champion, owner of Will Tucker Fitness

“When you put the science into practice, you get Plant-Based Muscle. More than a workout guide, Robert and Vanessa reveal their personal philosophies and insights into building some serious vegan muscle, and how a plant-based lifestyle can unlock your ultimate fitness potential. This ain’t no text book. This is real world experience. No matter where you’re at on your fitness journey, Plant-Based Muscle is here to deliver you long term gains, and smash a few stereotypes along the way.”

— Tim Moore AKA @veganfatkid, founder of TrainVegan™

“Robert and Vanessa have written this must-read book for anyone looking for an edge in their training that will complement their plant-based diet and active lifestyle…Read Plant-Based Muscle to learn from two of the best in the industry.”

— Crissi Carvalho, founder of Vegan Fitness Model, international bikini athlete, and vegan online coach

“Leaving no stone unturned or question unanswered, Robert and Vanessa have packed their new book, Plant-Based Muscle, with all the information you’ll need to bulk up and get strong on a plant-based diet. The authors reveal foundational truths that will take you and your body to the next level. Robert and Vanessa have been training hard for decades and are living proof their advice on maintaining a consistent fitness routine truly works! And as Robert says in the book, ‘results don’t happen without consistent action.’”

— James Aspey, animal rights activist, touring speaker, vegan athlete

“All I can say is wow!…I get so many emails about vegan health and fitness, and I can tell you that Vanessa and Robert answer all of those questions in this book. Whether you are a beginner, or have experience and are just looking for a new regimen, this book will have something for you. It covers everything from eating, workouts, and most importantly, mindset. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for more knowledge about plant-based fitness, better yet, about fitness in general!”

— John Lewis, creator of BadAss Vegan & VeganSmart

Download your copy of Plant-Based Muscle today! 

Thank you for your support.