Name: Duane Van Staden
Age: 28
Height: 185 cm 
Current weight: 114 kg 
Current city: Johannesburg South Africa 
Occupation: Gym owner & Coach 

What made you get started with training and living a more healthy and fit lifestyle?

I was looking for a sport that I could participate in as an individual. This way, I could recognise my hard work as my own. I wanted a healthy and fit lifestyle because this is what self-care entails. This also allows me to enjoy life and feel more fulfilled because I feel great and most importantly, confident. I feel a sense of pride through my accomplishments because I’m my biggest critic.


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


Who has been your biggest influence/support in your life and how have they affected you?

Celebrity influencers include Ronnie Coleman because he is the strongest bodybuilder I know. He looks amazing, lifts super-heavy and has an undeniable work ethic. 

Dorian Yates and Eddie Hall inspire me.  They are all about pushing their hardest to achieve goals which are impossible for most people.

Is your training more focused on bodybuilding or powerlifting?

My training has always been split across powerlifting and bodybuilding. I focus about 40% on powerlifting and the rest is bodybuilding. 


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


How was it throughout the lockdown keeping to your training?

Luckily for me, I have my own powerlifting/strongman gym which meant I didn’t feel the impact of lockdown. I remained consistent and worked towards my goals.

What are your future plans?

I want to continue working on gaining strength and gaining quality muscle. The key priority is remaining healthy.

Take us through an average day of yours:

  • Wake up at 5:30am, meal 1
  • 6am to 10am: Training my clients, one-on-one in my gym
  • 9am: meal 2
  • 10am: meal 3
  • 10am to 12pm: Training online clients
  • 12pm to 3pm: I complete my own training 
  • 3pm: meal 4
  • 3:30pm to 5pm: Training online clients 
  • 5pm to 9pm: Training clients one-on-one at my gym
  • 6pm: meal 5
  • 9pm: meal 6
  • 10pm: Bed


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


How long have you been vegan for and what made you change?

I have been vegan for about 2 and a half years but was Vegetarian for 5 years. Social media opened my eyes to animal cruelty and suffering. I am vegan for the animals.

Do you think as a Vegan it is more difficult to get adequate protein in your diet? Do you think we actually need as much protein as we are made to believe? 

We need less protein than we are made to believe. But as a vegan, we need to ensure that we have a variety of food sources that provide adequate nutrition. A balanced diet is key, for any kind of diet. 


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


Is it difficult to gain muscle or strength as a vegan?

Not at all. I was actually at my biggest and strongest as a vegan, than when I was eating meat. I consume more calories which are easier to digest.

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet

I would typically have 5 to 6 different vegetables and 2 to 3 protein sources in one meal. It’s important to have a balanced range of carbs, fibre, fats and protein in each meal.

Protein sources include black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chick peas, tofu,  broccoli,  green beans, some faux meat options, soya milk and vegan protein shakes.

What is your go to high protein vegan snack?

About 3 times a day I have 250ml soya milk, 25g of vegan protein, one teaspoon of chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of flax seed powder in a shake.


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


Do you think, to generally lose fat one needs to be super strict and repetitive, as strict as a diet for a bodybuilding competition?

I agree that you need to be strict with your eating and diet.

Your training can be great, but you will not lose fat without changing your diet. Results are only seen with a calorie deficit and consistently clean eating.

Have you seen any common mistakes that guys may make when starting out in the gym?

Guys tend to look for quick results and don’t realise that training goals take time to be achieved.  They don’t maintain consistency. When they don’t see results quickly, they tend to give-up on their goals.

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training/training schedule and on average how long do you workout for?

Training split is a 8 day split. This means my training repeats every 8 days. I have two rest days in each cycle. 

  • Session 1: Front deltoids and triceps
  • Session 2: Biceps, side deltoids , traps
  • Session 3: Legs – squats and quads, calves 


  • Session 4: Chest
  • Session 5: Upper back, rear deltoids 
  • Session 6: Deadlifts, hamstrings, glutes, Calves 


  • Each training session includes cardio, core and abs
  • Leg sessions are 4 to 5 hours long
  • All other sessions are 2 ½ to 3 hours long
  • Rest period between sets is typically 2 minutes


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


Do you advise using supplements, and do you use any yourself?

Yes. Pre-workout and vegan protein shake.

Do you think vegan protein powders are just as good if not better than non vegan protein powders?

Yes I do. They don’t cause bloating, and are softer on the stomach.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Duane (SuperBeast Coach) (@superbeastgym)


What are your 3 favourite exercises?

  • Deadlifts and squats. These provide whole body strength.
  • Bench Press. It is a great accessory to improve pressing movements. Also a very enjoyable and challenging exercise.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Duane (SuperBeast Coach) (@superbeastgym)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Duane (SuperBeast Coach) (@superbeastgym)


Can you give a few tips to training and what sort of exercises do you favour the most when doing them?

Progressive overload and push yourself at every session. Leave the gym knowing you did your best on every set and you cannot continue.

Do you do a lot of cardio with your training? How do you schedule cardio and when?

Schedule cardio in the beginning of each workout, as a warmup.  And then, at the end of each session as a cool down.

Favorite male fitness/bodybuilding/powerlifting icon(s): 


Vegan Powerlifting Athlete & Trainer, Duane Van Staden 


Favorite Quote:

“Don’t tell people your dreams show them.”

What is the most common question you get asked?

People always ask: How long did it take for me to look like this.

Where can people get hold of you?


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