Michal and Joonas not smiling and not being dicks

About Plant Strength

Plant Strength is the green, great smelling brainchild of Michal Palus and Joonas Heikkinen, two experienced Sydney based trainers with a track-record of getting corporate men results.

In Plant Strength we’ve combined our knowledge and experience to get busy dads looking and feeling great. You don’t have to follow restrictive training and eating rules which require you to stand on your head while sucking broccoli florets through a straw. Although cool on Instagram, that shit is not sustainable.

We both spent our youth fuelling training with excessive amounts of meat and animal products. Joonas has eaten mostly plant-based since 2015, Michal since 2017. We are both feeling better for it, not only physically, but mentally too.

Besides of getting everyday dads to feel better about themselves, animal welfare and environmentalism are driving values in what we do. A mostly plant-based diet is one of the simplest ways to improve your health while contributing to a better planet.

Michal Palus

Trainer | Nutritionist | Technohead

I once went five days without eating any food. Another time I fasted 80 hours without eating a thing. And then there was the time I ate only fresh fruit and vegetables for two weeks. 

This doesn’t mean that I recommend any of the above to my clients. Rather, my aim is to challenge the conventional wisdom on what the body can endure. 

It was this desire for experimentation that led me to try a plant-based diet in the first place. At the time when I was still eating a coop of chickens a day, I took on a vegetarian client. Due to my lack of understanding in vegetarian diets, I felt uncomfortable coaching him. I was still stuck in the “you won’t get enough protein” - mentality. 

But because I wanted to better understand how my client felt combing vegetarian diet and training, I went vegetarian myself. Little did I know that this would completely reshape how I see eating and nutrition today.

My training style has changed over the years as well. When I was competing in bodybuilding shows I used to be hell bent on heavy strength training being the only right way to train. I have since incorporated a more holistic approach that includes a combination of gymnastics, calisthenics and, I thought I’d never say this, but yoga, meditation and breathing exercises as well.

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Joonas Heikkinen

Dad | Trainer | Single Malt Enthusiast

Growing up in the harsh Arctic temperatures of the Finnish Lapland partly explains my deep affection for black coffee, heavy metal and the eternal search for sunshine. And no, my last name has (unfortunately) nothing to do with a certain Dutch beer company.

I am a recovering fitness addict. My life used to revolve around counting calories, spending countless hours in the gym, being sick and getting injured. I felt empty and frustrated. Something needed to change.

After years of deep learning curves, I now have a better balance between fitness and life than ever before. This has improved not only the quality of my life, but also the quality of the relationships I have. And in my mid-thirties I am healthier and fitter than I was in my twenties.

In 2018 I published, Spandex Not Compulsory - How to Get (and Remain) Strong, Fit and Confident without Restrictive Rules with the goal of helping others to find a more balanced lifestyle. Now I am trying to navigate training and life with our one year old son.

Why mostly plant-based? Why not vegan?

Plant Strength is not about being 100% plant-based. It’s about the goal of improving ourselves and the world we live in by moving towards a mostly plant-based diet. The goal is to become whatever feels right for you. Both emotionally and physically. For you this might mean being 80% plant-based and for someone else it might be 99%.

This can be a difficult concept for most outsiders to accept. Most people want clear definitions. They want to put you in a clearly labelled box that says “vegan” or “vegetarian”. Only so they can better understand who you are and where you fit in the world.

Not us. We hate boxes and we sure as shit hate labels.

As long as you are content with who you are, and live according to you values, why should you care?

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