Dusan Dudas is a strong man—a very strong man. In fact, Dudas is a former Mr. New Zealand and winner of other prestigious bodybuilding competitions. He started out the same way that many bodybuilders do, relying on protein from meat and other animal products. But all that changed after he moved from his native Slovakia to New Zealand and began to suffer from heart problems—just like most of his family members had—that landed him in the hospital.

His doctors wanted to put him on medications, [URL] but Dudas had his own ideas and declined. That’s when he decided to cut out meat and the other animal products that were likely making his cholesterol levels and blood pressure shoot sky high and simply go vegan instead. His symptoms started to disappear almost immediately, and he hasn’t experienced any serious health problems since.

Now in his late 50s, Dudas is still dedicated to bodybuilding and trains others as to how to develop muscle and build their bodies on a nutrient-packed vegan diet. He’s also the author of Naturally Amazing, a guide to this type of strength training. His advice? Steroids and other supplements are unnecessary—even potentially dangerous. By contrast, a sensible, healthful diet will do the trick safely and effectively.

If you’re thinking that Dudas is an isolated example, think again. Included in the growing number of elite vegan and vegetarian athletes, representing a range of sports, is powerhouse mixed martial arts fighter and King of the Cage World Champion Mac Danzig, who says that going vegan was crucial for achieving his stunning success.

You can be a high-performance vegan athlete, too. Join the PETA Pack, and get all the training and tips that you’ll need to run or bike with the best!