The vegan warrior-woman of weightlifting
Dr Anastasia Zinchenko qualifies for the 2016 British Powerlifting Championship
I rarely meet weightlifters with a background in science. Yes, most strength training enthusiasts know a fair amount about nutrition. However, in a world where we gather most of our knowledge from the non-peer-reviewed internet this information can be flawed. And dangerously so in some cases. When I stumbled upon Ana (aka Anastasia Vegan Warrior) on FB I was intrigued. The application of a scientific mind on the muscle-gaining world is a recipe for unlimited success and just what the vegan bodybuilding world needs.
During the (sold out) London Vegfest in 2015 I got to spend a few hours with Ana. Late into the night we talked, excitedly, about what all vegan chicks who lift talk about - vegan gains. I was bowled over by not just Ana’s indepth knowledge of the science of nutrition but also of her ability to communicate it to an artsy unscientific mind. She is a mine of information, cutting through the myths and legends of vegan nutrition easily....and with references!
Ana completed her PhD earlier this year at Cambridge University in Biochemistry......whilst working and training and running two blogs and a YouTube channel. If you need inspiration to get off your butt to tackle your goals, she’s your gal!
In March Ana spent time with Professor Boris Sheiko, head coach of the Russian powerlifting team for a very successful seven years. She worked as translator for Boris during his UK tour. She shares many of his tips and tricks on her Sciencestrength blog. Her time with Boris has been instrumental in her recent success, as she explains;
“He made a very important point . . . that an athlete can't peak for each competition. One has to decide on 2-3 most important competitions for a year and show the best performance at these. I have to admit that it was difficult for me to keep my deadlift attempts more than 10 kg below my best. However, it was strategically right and enough to place first and to qualify for the nationals. We don't need to go for (or to test) our maxes all the time, but doing what is strategically better for long term progress.”