Nimai Delgado is an American professional Men’s Physique bodybuilder and vegan athlete. Nimai has been vegetarian his entire life, but in 2015, he switched to a 100% vegan diet.
What started as Nimai’s personal mission to stay fit and healthy. Eventually, it turned into a ‘full-blown’ movement which educates people how it’s possible to gain muscle and stay ripped on a plant-based diet.
“I am taking a stand against the violence, suffering, and death of innocent living beings. I am helping people understand, realize, and learn that it is possible to push your body to its physical peak and compete against elite athletes while living a vegan lifestyle!”
Nimai now uses his social media presence to spread his message about the vegan lifestyle far and wide – here’s his story:
“Learn how to look inside yourself for answers, not outside. By practicing mindfulness we can really tune into how/why we are feeling and then once we identify it we can make a shift. But first, you have to learn how to calm the mind and become aware of those feelings!”
|Full Name: Nimai Delgado|
|American||Mechanical Engineer, Men’s Physique IFBB Pro, Online Fitness Coach||2010|
|Profession||Mechanical Engineer, Men’s Physique IFBB Pro, Online Fitness Coach|
“What motivates you? I believe that too many of us forget to search deep within ourselves to find what truly motivates us. We are told from a young age to grow up and get a good paying job to buy nice things. But we are rarely taught to follow our heart and do what makes us happiest.”
- Fresno Classic, NPC, Men’s Physique Class C, 2nd
- Fresno Classic, NPC, Men’s Physique Novice Class C, 1st
- Grand Prix Championships, NPC, Men’s Physique Class B, 2nd
- Fresno Classic, NPC, Men’s Physique Class C, 1st
- USA Championships, NPC, Men’s Physique Class C, 1st – Pro Card Earned
- Sacramento Pro, IFBB Men’s Physique, 6th
- Hawaii Pro, IFBB Men’s Physique, 8th
- San Jose Pro, IFBB Men’s Physique, 5th
- Vancouver Pro, IFBB Men’s Physique, 7th
“Life becomes so much clearer when you have a purpose. Your purpose will constantly inspire you and provide the necessary motivation to work for it.”
Vegetarian From Birth
Nimai Delgado was born in South Mississippi, and was raised vegetarian by his Hindu parents.
“Both of my amazing parents are converted Hindus, and I was raised with a strong sense of compassion. Growing up, my diet has always been about 95% vegan, with the exception of dairy products.”
Alongside Nimai’s healthy diet, he was also active and fit from an early age. He took part in sports and other extracurricular activities which kept his strength and stamina at high levels; gradually building a foundation for his fitness journey which he later embarked upon.
Becoming a Vegan
In 2015, Nimai decided to transition from being a vegetarian to vegan. He cut out all of the dairy, eggs, and other animal products from his diet to become a 100% vegan.
Nimai’s reason for this decision was simple – he wanted to live the healthiest lifestyle possible, basing his diet on unprocessed, plant-based foods. Another reason why Nimai wanted to become a vegan was to spread awareness on the health, as well as the environmental benefits of leading this lifestyle.
Here’s Nimai explaining more about why he wanted to become a vegan;“I decided that I wanted to not only live the vegan lifestyle, but I also wanted to help spread awareness on how to become the best version of yourself while living this lifestyle.”
Fitness Star on the Rise
Throughout his journey as a vegan, Nimai trained hard in the gym to build a body that represented his lifestyle. He wanted to show people how it’s possible to eat a plant-based diet, and still look muscular and ripped – using himself as an example.
Throughout the years, Nimai has become successful in his aim – he added serious amounts of muscle mass eating grains, beans, avocados, lentils, salads, and other vegan foods; proving to everyone how plant-based diets can be just as effective for building muscle as any other diet.
But Nimai didn’t stop there. He took everything a step further, becoming a Men’s Physique competitor.
By the end of his first year of competing on the bodybuilding stage, Nimai won several contests. Including the NPC USA Championships, which saw him become an IFBB Pro.
Nimai Delgado Today
Nimai continues to put efforts in his cause of promoting a plant-based diet and active life.
He hopes that with his example, he’ll inspire as many people as possible to have a diet and lifestyle that are both healthy, and environmentally-friendly.
Nimai likes to have a lot of volume in his workouts when he trains for size. He feels that doing many sets and reps, combined with heavy weight loads, induces the highest levels of muscle hypertrophy.
However, when preparing for a bodybuilding contest, things look a little different in Nimai’s training routine. Around this time, he’ll drop his workout volume down, and also decrease the weight.
Nimai does this mainly to avoid a muscle injury, as cutting down to low body fat levels makes his body more prone to receiving damage.
Nimai’s Arm Workout
When training to gain size, Nimai will follow his principle of incorporating high amounts of volume while using heavy weights. He’ll also use progressive overload, as he says; “I do 4 sets of each exercise and my rep ranges are 12/10/10/8 with increasing weight each set.”
- Heavy Barbell curls
- Seated dumbbell curls
- Preacher curls
- Single arm cable curls
- Tricep pushdowns
- Close grip bench
- Skull crushers
- Cable kick backs
“Even though vegan pizza isn’t the healthiest vegan option. I still like to live a balanced life and satisfy my cravings sometimes. It’s important to know that one piece of pizza won’t make you fat just like one salad won’t make you skinny.
I would rather satisfy my craving than completely eliminating certain foods from my diet and end up binge eating and falling off track.”
Transitioning From Vegetarian to Vegan
When Nimai was a vegetarian, he ate 95% plant-based diet alongside consuming animal products like eggs and cheese.
But once he transitioned to full vegan diet, there was no more room for any animal product. Nimai says the transition wasn’t difficult for him, the only slight problem he had was cheese on the pizza which he could no longer eat.
However, as there are vegan alternatives to cheese. Nimai quickly adapted to his new lifestyle, and continued dieting and training without any problems.
“You Are What You Eat”
Nimai is a firm believer in the saying “you are what you eat.” In his opinion, there is a big correlation between the foods he eats, and the way he looks and feels.
For this reason, Nimai chooses to eat only the healthiest of foods – including dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc.
Soy and Hormones
Nimai believes how increased estrogen in men who consume soy is just a myth.
He says how soy is completely harmless for men’s hormones, and is in fact, one of the best sources of plant-based protein.
Nimai also says how soy “contains all of the essential amino acids and is a very quality source of protein.” He continued; “In fact, soy actually has shown to decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer in men.”
Diet When Cutting
When Nimai wants to cut down his body fat for a contest, he’ll have six meals – each meal having this macro ratio;
- 35 grams of protein
- 15 grams of carbs
- 11 grams of fat
Nimai says it’s okay if he goes a few grams above or beyond of the targeted macro range per meal. That is, as long as his overall daily intake is in align with his goals.
An example of one of these meals would be;
- 1 packet of vegan chicken
- 1 avocado
- 2-3 handfuls of spinach (Nimai never counts the exact weight of his veggies. He always tries to get as much as possible as they are low in calories, and rich in fiber)
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium zucchini
- Lemon Juice and Balsamic vinegar for salad dressing
Nimai Delgado’s Favorite Vegan Dish
Nimai’s favorite vegan meal is a fresh avocado on toast. He’ll typically have this for breakfast, as it’s rich in fats and carbs which give him the energy to begin the day.
- 1 whole avocado
- 2 slices of toasted whole-grain bread
- 2 slices of tomato
- A dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Idols and Influences
Niami draws inspiration to keep preaching about veganism, all thanks to his fans and everyone else who shares a similar mindset.
His followers, as well as other fitness influencers who promote a healthy and active lifestyle, are all people whom Nimai Delgado looks up to. He uses their success stories as motivation to continue pushing forward in his endeavors – both in fitness, and life.
“I’d always rather have a passport full of stamps than a bunch of material things I don’t need. You’ll eventually forget about those shoes you bought that one time, but I guarantee you that you’ll never forget that one sunset you watched from the top of a mountain in a foreign land. Accumulate experiences. Not things.”
What we can learn from Nimai Delgado
If anything, Nimai Delgado has shown us that you don’t have to do what everyone else does to become successful.
Many people doubted Nimai on his journey towards becoming an IFBB Pro as a vegan. People said how there’s no way he could get as far as he wanted by just eating plants, but he proved everyone wrong by accomplishing each and every goal he set for himself.
What this tells us, is that you should strive towards your goals without trying to replicate what others are doing. Focus on your own path, and stay true to yourself – just like Nimai Delgado did.