“Once you’re committed and you see the results you’re GOING TO CONTINUE… and you’re going to like it… and it’s going to become a lifestyle!” -Lorena Sixtos-Garcia, Santa Cruz
“We’re still working on it but THIRTY POUNDS LOST SO FAR!” -Jessica Perez, Aptos
Billy Prusinowski on Team PlantBuilt
Plant Built was founded in the fall of 2012 by a group of seasoned and novice physique competitors with the shared goal of promoting a plant based diet in a sport where eating animal products is widely accepted as the only way to achieve success and abstaining is seen as absurd if not blasphemous. Vegan athletes in the full spectrum of fitness and bodybuilding divisions were asked to join a group that would compete en masse at one show in the summer of 2014. The group chose the Austin Texas “Naturally Fit Super Show” as their debut and will be competing with at least 40 members this July. The group plans to compete annually and welcomes fellow vegan athletes!
Personally, I am proud to be representing my people (herbivore athletes) in a competition against people who try to attain optimal performance by eating animals. I chose the path of compassion and to stop eating animals in 2000. This was based on my ethics and not wanting to harm other living things for the sake of my appetite. Since then, veganism has become a weapon in my fitness arsenal to keep me a cut above the rest, both morally and physically.
People who have interacted with me on a business-level over the past several years in Santa Cruz, California, have known me as a committed personal trainer and fitness instructor, more so than a pompous animal rights activist. I would like to remain this way, and only encourage, never force, my principals on clients or class members. I am proud of who I am and remain this way because I do truly believe that veganism is a higher standard to live by. Difficult at times, yes, but now with such a worldwide support network (PlantBuilt 2014) this struggle has just gotten a whole lot more exciting!
Past 6 months of Herbivore Athletics
Beginning in Spring 2013, exciting publicity began, due to the awesome journalism of Elizabeth Limbach from the Santa Cruz Good Times. Her article about Billy Bad Ass and Herbivore Athletics really got us some terrific circulation in the community. After her feature, we were advertised in the GT Active health and fitness magazine. This was our ad!
Some of our most dedicated and serious members came through the door in the beginning of summer. Emi, who worked our front desk for the past year, set an amazing example of consistency and grit, cardio kickboxing her way through class after class at the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center.
Nice weather gave us the opportunity to do lots of outdoor sprints and bodyweight exercises to get us extra shredded AND TAN!
Huge turnouts the entire month of July is unheard of for a fitness business, but we had it! There was one Wednesday night class offered AU GRATIS to everyone that a bunch of our friends came and tried. Naomi Kelley and JP Dupless are front center here, taking a day off from their training at CrossFit West.
One of my personally most memorable classes was entirely outdoors when we were kicked out of our studio because of the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival. One of the Tannery apartment residents stuck her head out the window to tell us that she "Absolutely love your enthusiasm for fitness, but could you be any louder?"
From day one of Billy Bad Ass Cardio Kickboxing, we have talked about, worked out, and concentrated on sculpting our ASSES. It was no different this summer. "Hey, anyone willing to get a picture of their derrier posted on the blog?" Everyone: "Sure!!"
Billy Bad Ass took his annual summer trip home to New York to train with his fellow karateka at Kenpo-Jutsu Karate in Syracuse, NY. These martial artists are as serious as they come, as their dojo has existed since 1974 and still stands as strong as ever to this day. Check out their website if you would like to learn a little about the art that is very infused into Billy Bad Ass Cardio Kickboxing.
While on his leave, Lorena Sixtos instructed all classes. Her style is....INTENSE. This was a picture of a class that she taught. All dead? (could this picture have been posed??) Nice workout everyone. Thanks for grabbing that picture, Emi!
Feeling quite honored, Billy Bad Ass was asked to represent Herbivore Athletics as a Santa Cruz plant-based athlete at a UCSC event about sustainable eating. The panel consisted of academics and students from all parts of the "herbivore to omnivore spectrum" and shared some valuable opinions about sustainable plant-based eating in 2013. What I really took away from this was that our health food and dieting and CHOICES to be so strict about what we put into our bodies are entirely due to privilege. Don't ever take for granted our choices to NOT eat high-fructose corn syrup and AVOID sugars and transfats. Some of those things are so saturated into neighborhoods (that we call "food desserts") that people can hardly manage to eat anything BUT that killer crap.
A new friend and fellow vegan bodybuilder from Santa Cruz, Christian Garcia, came to support us at the UCSC event. This kid is awesome and will be a great bodybuilding competitor this upcoming season with his PlantBuilt team!
A long-time class participant, Mike Flemming, a survivor of leukemia, ran a triathalon and we held a fundraiser for his team. Following the HUGE CLASS we had an "Herbivore AfterParty" upstairs at Sharon's apartment in the Tannery. Such a great fund-raising experience and chance for our cardio kickboxing family to come together and enjoy participating in a great cause.
Last but not least, classes are continuing into the winter months with amazing energy and participation from YOU ALL! And do you want to hear who came to our last class? The South African anti-apartheid hero, Nelson freaking Mandela.
And there it is. From Santa Cruz to South Africa. Well, even more importantly present in this picture is our new front desk assistant, Alea Salvay. She is awesome- a current high-school senior in Santa Cruz that gives us her all every week. Thanks, Alea!
Have you had a great experience with us in the past six months? We are ever-present online and would absolutely LOVE your e-support.
Taking four minutes to give us a five-star Yelp review would mean the world to us. This is how people can hear about everything we do and become beneficiaries of our awesome health and wellness services like you are.
Our page on Facebook is always being "bumped up" by new likes and Check-Ins. Thanks so much again for all you do!
Also, our YouTube is chock-full of amazing videos of YOU ALL rocking hard at Billy's Boot Camps and Cardio Kickboxing. Check it out and SUBSCRIBE!