…you don’t get credit for re-building the twenty pounds you’ve lost, that’s just a rebound. The clock starts on vegetarian building once your back to 160.[/quote]
Very valid point that shouldn’t be overlooked. After 18 months of no training, almost anything done consistently will bring initial results. Maybe consider a couple of months to establish a kind of “baseline”, and then try the experiment? Just a thought.
I’d like to be able to prove two things: that yes, muscle gains are possible by using starting strength[/quote]
This isn’t something that needs to be proven. It already has been, plenty of times.
This has also been proven a bunch of times. If does, however, require super-intent focus on what you’re eating. It’s very common for vegetarians to overestimate their daily nutrition (protein and total calories especially).
[quote]But I would like to ask your opinion, do you guys really believe it is possible to achieve good results, as in gaining weight and strength, on a vegetarian diet?
What are your thoughts? Any vegetarian bodybuilders or athletes here?[/quote]
There have been a few articles and threads discussing it. It’s definitely be done, but it takes a lot of effort and planning. There were a handful of guys on the forum who were vegetarian or vegan. Not many of them post for whatever reason. It is pretty much “against the grain” here and they tend to get grief.
A few years ago, I did a version of what you’re doing. I went vegetarian for a month and vegan for a month. I was trying to maintain, but I ended up losing 12 pounds total. Berardi also did a vegetarian experiment and gained 5 pounds or muscle and 2 pounds of fat in one month. (Berardi is and was quite a bit smarter than me.)
Quality protein intake will be key. As was said, this is tons easier for a lacto-ovo vegetarian (with dairy and eggs), but things like rice or pea protein supplements are used by vegans. Read up on food combining, regarding complete proteins. Soy protein powders should be avoided, but whole food sources of soy are fine in moderation.
Carbs and healthy fats are also easy enough to get. Sometimes too easy. That’s one reason why it’s relatively-harder to cut on a vegan diet than it is to bulk. But, just to repeat, it can certainly be done. Vegan and vegetarian bodybuilders get into contest shape all the time.