Gone are the days of common misconceptions that vegans are weak and scrawny and that age is a barrier.

As it turns out, nothing except your attitude stands in the way of achieving your goals.

Also, stereotypes about weightlifters being steroid-honed males with an ego bigger than their biceps can be dropped too – as this power-woman is living evidence of.

Arizonan athlete Rocky Luedeker of Oak Creek is a 62-year-old proud vegan and powerlifter who smashes out more world records than can be counted on both hands!

To date, Luedeker holds 26 state and national records and 13 world records. Plus, “[her] best curl is 45 pounds, [her] best squat is 124 pounds, [and her] best deadlift is 184.” 

That’s no small feat for an ‘old lady and weak vegan’! (Newsflash, stereotypes are completely redundant!)

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Four years ago, Rocky, inspired by her family, started lifting competitively: “I was sitting there and was like, ‘Why am I sitting here? I have arms and legs. I can do that, too.'”

Her impressive accumulated collection of 39 records is not enough to satisfy this champ however, and she is always striving to reach new records every day. She says, “[i]t feels good knowing you got that weight up, putting it back down, seeing the white lights knowing you got it.”

Next month, Rocky will be competing in Las Vegas in an effort to crush the bench press record.

And, inevitably, all of this world record beating and training requires a fair bit of protein, especially in the form of high-quality, nutrient-dense whole foods to repair and rebuild tissue. Thankfully for Luedeker, her vegan diet more than delivers sufficient energy, protein and nutrients.

She has previously spoken out to dispel the myth that vegans cannot get enough protein, saying, “[a] common myth is we don’t have enough protein, and we have more than enough protein.” 

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Beans and rice and tofu are just some examples of protein-packed plant-based foods, beloved dietary staples alongside, of course, a humble dairy-free pie here and there.

Rocky’s daughter Bianca is also a competitive powerlifter on a highly-effective meat-free diet, and she is currently training for the 2024 Olympics.

She says that she is proud of her incredible mother and their ‘Lifting Luedekers’ team. About her mother, Bianca has said “[h]er deadlift is twice her weight, her weight is 90 pounds. She’s deadlifting 182 [pounds], and I think about how long it took me to get to that point. It was really hard.” 

So does she ‘get it from her mama’ or is there something in the Arizona water? Or, maybe the key is in the diet.

By being one stereotype-defying successful 62-year-old vegan powerlifter, Luedeker hopes to inspire others, particularly females and elder people. She says, “[i]t’d be nice to see more ladies my age doing things. I’d really like to see that” adding, “I’m doing it! If I’m doing it, they can do it!” 

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Luedeker, or another one of your favourite plant-powered athletes – you’ll love these 10 high-protein, low-fat meals for aspiring athletes.


Image Credit: AZ Family