— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain
Meet Club Fit Personal Trainer Vince Wright
Vince Wright is in the Club Fit café, happily munching on a plate of chicken tenders and mashed potatoes from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Hmmmm. This is not the typical type of meal you’d expect to see Jefferson Valley’s newest personal trainer eat . . . but then again, Vince is not your typical type of trainer. “It’s not about restricting yourself,” he says in defense of his occasional foray into KFC-land. “It’s about getting into a healthy lifestyle and making it so that you can enjoy some of the good stuff.”
Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, Vince was a small, sickly kid who suffered from asthma. He vividly remembers not being able to climb the rope in gym and not being able to play with his classmates at recess. Vince couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath. And he was bullied. Determined to get stronger, he asked for and received a set of weights from his father—not that he really knew how to use them. But Vince desperately wanted to change his physical condition. He just didn’t know how.
Then one day a friend challenged him to see who could jump furthest on a bike. What happened next was Light Bulb Moment No. 1. Vince’s fifth-grade mind reasoned that jumping on a bike was basically a matter of lifting the bike, while in motion, and then landing. So to train for the upcoming bike jump challenge, every day for two weeks Vince lifted his bike. When competition day came, he was more than ready. “I smoked him– just smoked him, “ Vince recalls. “I remember the bike felt so light when I went to lift it, and I thought—‘Wow, that really worked!’ So that began my fascination with weight training and how it could improve my performance and make me better.”
During high school, Vince spent countless hours in the family garage lifting weights and reading Muscle and Fitness magazine, but his results were mixed. On the plus side, his asthma symptoms disappeared. But on the minus side, despite eating healthfully and working out for hours each day, Vince wasn’t bulking up. His 5’8” frame wouldn’t budge above 140 pounds.
It wasn’t until he was 21 years old that Vince experienced Light Bulb Moment No. 2, which basically came down to this: Simpler is better. Everyday, Vince had been spending hours trying to exercise each muscle group—when in reality he should have been focusing on one muscle group for just 45 minutes a day. Moreover, he was doing some of the exercises incorrectly. And although Vince often ate a healthy dinner, he never ate breakfast and lunch, at best, was a crapshoot. Bottom line: His food intake was off. Vince made some adjustments.
“I looked at my workout program and whittled it down. I made it lean and effective. I started focusing on certain muscle groups on certain days, and I didn’t go beyond a certain period of time in each session,” Vince says. “And I made sure that I was providing the proper nutrition for myself in order to sustain those workouts. The result was like night and day. My body—it was like a plant. It finally got the light. It finally got the water. And it finally got the food to grow. “ By making those changes, Vince gained a much-desired 40 pounds in one year. He felt empowered by his newfound knowledge and the transformation he had made in his life. And he hasn’t looked back since.
Vince has been certified by the National Strength Conditioning Association and currently holds an International Sports Science Association certification. Since moving east, he has worked in three Westchester gyms and experienced numerous success stories among his clients. One woman had shin splints, terrible posture, and bad feet-–but she wanted to be a marathoner. Says Vince: “I thought I was a little bit out of my league because I wasn’t a runner, but I always had a need for information so I researched what was going on with her and what she needed to do.” Long story short—after training with Vince for over a year, the woman’s body was transformed. She developed a little six pack, some muscle definition in her arms and her posture improved. Most importantly, she ran in two marathons, completing the second one in under four hours.
Another success story was that of the high school swimmer who, after training with Vince, won a New York State swimming championship. And no, Vince isn’t really a swimmer, either. But as with the marathoner, Vince’s persistence, his knowledge base, and his willingness to research and cross-train made all of the difference for his young client. Here at Club Fit, Vince hopes to create group classes that help women transform themselves and eventually, he hopes to work with all types of athletes through the Parisi program. Naturally, personal training sessions are on his agenda as well.
“I’m in this to help people,” Vince says. “ I’m in this to make a change in someone’s life, just the way I made a change in my own life. That’s what I look forward to. That’s what drives me and keeps me going.”
What else keeps Vince going? Here’s a quick connection with Vince Wright, Club Fit style:
Favorite guilty pleasure—Moosetracks ice cream.
Most exciting G-rated experience– Going across country, from Chicago to San Francisco, with my mother on a bus. I was in the fourth grade. It was an amazing trip, seeing the countryside.
Favorite type of music—Drum and bass (electronic dance music from England)
Favorite TV show—Breaking Bad.
Least favorite vegetable—Red beets.
Favorite actor, and why—I like Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman’s my man. You know why? When I was a kid, he was on the Electric Company, and then as I grew up, he was always out there somewhere. I’ve always respected Morgan Freeman.
Fitness goal—Right now I’m at about 12 percent body fat; I want to be at 8 or 9 percent. And I want to be bigger. Right now I’m about 190 pounds, but I want to be like 200, 205. It’s almost like being anorexic. When I look in the mirror, I see a small guy. For as hard as I work out, I don’t feel like my body represents that.
Weightlifting routine– On my heavy days, I’ll deadlift 430 pounds for 5 reps. On my chest day, I’ll bench press 325 for 5 reps. On my leg day, I’ll squat 430 for 5 reps.
But that’s on my heavy days. Then I have lighter days and I have moderate days—you can’t always go heavy, not at my age, you’ll beat yourself up. I’m 43. When I was 20-something I could do that, but at 43, you have to cycle it a little bit.
Favorite Sports team—Either the Chicago Bears or the New York Giants. I’m torn because I’m a hometown boy, but at the same time, I’m here now–and I love the Giants. I love my football.
A perfect day consists of—Spending time with my three sons (ages 21, 16, and 8) and going to the beach and barbequing. I enjoy cooking out.
What would people be most surprised to find out about you? That I’m a nerd. I’m a tech nerd. I enjoy computers, I like talking about the technical aspects of things.