Vinnie is a former collegiate athlete, powerlifter and personal trainer who wanted to participate in a sport in pursuit of fitness, and to find a community who would support him in that goal. Most importantly, he wanted to find a place where trainers and members pursued excellence in their movement. His interactions with former personal training clients led him to check out Bellum. His interest in CrossFit helps to satisfy his desire to consistently push himself mentally farther than he’s comfortable with (ask him what his “Grace” time is), as well as giving him an avenue to fuel his competitive drive.

Inside the gym, he’s maxing out his lifts and one of the best “hype men” we’ve got in our fam. Though we haven’t been able to meet physically in our gym home the last few weeks, Vinnie has still been working hard to stay fit. Even though he has several pieces of standard gym equipment at his home that he’s been able to utilize for home workouts during quarantine, he’s also come up with some really creative solutions to sold-out (or over-priced) gym parts. From building his own pull up rig, to DIY-ing a rope for climbs and a lat pull-down set-up with cable, a pulley and some parts from the plumbing aisle. 

Outside the gym, Vinnie is also an incredible home chef, getting creative with ingredients to make some really tasty recipes. He loves spending time with his wife and best friend, Sarah, finding new restaurants and breweries, and enjoying the occasional extremely creative indulgemce- burger with a “bun” of grilled cheese sandwiches, anyone?

Vinnie, we miss hearing you scream at everyone to stand up, push harder, don’t give up. We are always motivated by your yelling and extreme focus during heavy lifts or a tough metcon. You are one of the coolest, most humble, beast of an athlete that we are privileged to call a Bellum family member. Thanks for being your awesome self both in and out of the gym! We can’t wait to suffer with you again once our doors open back up.

Name: Vinnie

Age: 29

Occupation: Manager/ Head Salesman Anchor Pool of Gloucester TWP.

What type of workouts did you perform before coming to Bellum?: Prior to joining Bellum, I programmed a good amount of my own workouts. I would do things similar to what we do now, such as an Olympic Lift, or a power movement, mixed in with some accessory work and conditioning.

Why were you looking for a new style of workouts?:  The truth is I got lazy, both with my programming and my time in the gym.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement or workout?: I’ve always been a strength person, but I have fallen in love with the metcons and conditioning we do. I like to embrace that “suck” from pushing myself past what I know as normal, and then rolling around on the ground like bacon sizzle afterwards.

I do enjoy the Olympic lifting aspect as a close second, especially Snatches since I’m not very good at them.

What is your biggest accomplishment since starting at Bellum? My biggest accomplishment since starting at Bellum would have to be the weight loss I have been able to achieve. In a little under a year I have dropped 50lbs. My weight does fluctuate back and forth at times, but the workouts help keep me pretty consistent.

To say you “know your way around the gym” is an understatement. You have an extensive background not just as an athlete, but also as a trainer and coach. What made Bellum stand out to you, as opposed to joining a more traditional gym and writing your own programming?: I had heard so many good things from a lot of my own clients about Bellum when I was training. Many of the athletes that came to me also went to Bellum, and I was so impressed by the technique, form, and work ethic they were all taught. After burning out from working so much as a Strength Coach, I just wanted to join somewhere that did the programming for me, but wanted it to be intelligent, well thought out, and effective with an emphasis on proper form; That’s when I found Bellum.

What made you choose Bellum and CrossFit, as opposed to other styles of workouts?: I chose Bellum because of the intelligent programming, and the emphasis on proper technique. I love doing CrossFit now because it is the closest thing to a sport I can participate in. After collegiate wrestling, I lost that aspect in my life. I had nothing left to really push me past my limits, to try to excel and learn new things, and to give me the competitive nature I desired. Bellum and CrossFit has put that back into my life.

What are a few things that you are doing to stay motivated to work out during this time of quarantine? Honestly, the motivation to workout at home has just come from habit. I’m still in a routine since I’m working. I get home from work at 5pm, get dressed, and start working out at 5:30. I’m forcing myself to be as normal as possible with my life and keeping the schedule the same. If not, I would slip into some bad habits again and I’m keeping that in the back of my head. Also, the post workout beer had been something to look forward to. No workout, no beer!

How are you keeping up with your workouts at home (any equipment recommendations, workout strategies, project suggestions that can help the “at home” athlete)? This question made me laugh a little, mainly because I’ve built so much stuff from the hardware store. I think if you’re handy you can build anything, especially with people gouging with equipment prices. Get a 50lb bag of sand, wrap it up in a contractor bag and stuff it in an old backpack for a sandbag. A pulley, length of cable, and some plumbing from the local hardware store turns into a lat pull down. Let’s also not forget that you can make a power rack with some 4x4s, and more plumbing. It’s just being imaginative! Plus making the stuff can turn into a workout itself.

What is your favorite out-of-the-gym activity?: My favorite out of gym activity would have to be spending time with my wife Sarah and my four legged furry daughter Daisy. Sarah is my best friend and I love to spend time with her and do things like go to breweries (especially dog friendly ones so Daisy can come), take day trips to the city where we can walk around and explore, and find new places to eat. I also love to cook. I find trying to create new recipes, or tweaking existing recipes to make it my own a lot of fun, and would probably make a career out of it if I could do it all over again.

What’s your “Why”? I exercise for two reasons

The first is because of my family history. Heart disease runs on both sides of my family. Most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on one side have diabetes and are either obese, or have had surgery to to help them lose weight because they were obese. I have the fat gene and I have been there and I see my family and I do not want to live that way.

The second reason is for the competitive nature and the fact that it is an outlet for me. When my wrestling career ended I had nothing left to really give me that stimulus. CrossFit brings that back into my life.

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