Spotlight for National Vegan Month: Meet pro wrestler and vegan Austin Aries, who is featured every Thursday night on TNA Impact Wrestling airing on Spike TV, regular pay-per-view events, and national and international tours
Pro wrestler Austin Aries is one of the top stars of TNA Impact Wrestling. But what make him unique among his peers is that Austin has been a vegan for two years and a vegetarian for 13 years before that.
Aries is a professional wrestler with TNA Impact Wrestling. A former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, World Tag Team Champion, and two-time X-Division Champion, he serves as a focal point of Impact Wrestling on Spike TV every Thursday night, as well as live shows and pay-per-view events.
Aries has been a vegetarian as long as he's been a pro-wrestler: 13 years. While most of his peers were inhaling chicken breast and steak in order to get as big as possible, Aries took the long view. He realized that a healthy lifestyle with smart eating decisions and thoughtful workouts would allow him to build size while maintaining the speed and explosiveness that are his in-ring trademarks. It has obviously paid off, as he is one of the most celebrated, respected professional wrestlers in the world.
Around the time Aries became TNA World Heavyweight Champion, the most prestigious championship in the company, he had become a vegan. That meant removing all animal products from his diet. It seems as though many of the highlights of his career coincide with food lifestyle decisions.
It takes a large degree of creativity to feed a muscular frame a diet without meat or dairy, especially one that flies through the air and crashes to the mat several days a week. Aries has become a clever chef by necessity and to great joy. His spice cupboard takes up almost an entire pantry. Things like tempeh, lentils, garbanzo beans and fresh vegetables are turned into amazing concoctions at his hands. His sidekick is a trusty Vitamix machine that churns out protein-filled vegan shakes, ice cream, hummus…even pancake batter!
It's a far cry from growing up as the oldest of four kids in a crowded lower-middle-class home in Wisconsin. There, you ate what was put on the table and you ate fast before it was gone.
Aries has always been a natural athlete, excelling in football, baseball, amateur wrestling and gymnastics as a youth. He was recruited by Winona University as a left-handed pitcher, but was bitten by the wrestling bug soon after and moved up to Minneapolis.
In the gym, Aries varies up his workout routine often to keep his muscles guessing. He has enlisted the help of a personal trainer (Adam Davis of Motion Performance Fitness), and has formally studied personal training himself. He values stretching and full range of motion for maximum output, and to help earn his nickname of "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived."
Although he no longer holds the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Aries is recognized as one of only five wrestlers to achieve the TNA Triple Crown by winning the World Heavyweight Championship, the Tag Team Championship and the X Division Championship.