Vincent Russo is an athlete, a bodybuilder and educator who is passionate about both fitness and nutrition. As an All-State football and baseball player from David Brearley High School in Kenilworth, New Jersey, Russo went on to play football as an All-MAC in college. Graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Russo now teaches high school science at the Alternative School [for behavior] in Rahway, New Jersey. He has also coached high school football for six years and high school baseball for two years.
But Russo’s interest in educating people doesn’t stop at the high school level. He has coached classes at Orange Theory Fitness for two years and has the following certifications:
- *NFPT certified personal trainer
- *CPR certified
- *Clinical Nutritional License (pending)
So it should come as no surprise that he is also a sponsored athlete with Bodybuilding.com and with Grenade. Additionally, he’s an ambassador for Fit Mark Bags.
Compete: Why are you so passionate about fitness?
Vincent Russo: Fitness has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I always needed to be the best player on the field or the fastest kid running track in gym class. And this was only achievable through rigorous training. I remember my father reading muscle magazines and I would look at these guys and wish I could one day look like that.
When I realized that I had the lifting aspects of fitness down, the drive to make myself better led me to work on bettering my overall health. This is where nutrition became a big part of my life. Fitness is not just about how many times you can make it to the gym or how long you can run; it’s about living a healthy and fit lifestyle and then sharing your experiential knowledge with others who are seeking advice.
C: Why do you believe nutrition is so important?
VR: My nutrition philosophy is geared toward reaching goals in a sane and healthy way. I provide personalized nutritional plans that are used to teach clients the importance of nutrient timing and how to use nutrition to their advantage in reaching their fitness/health goals which also helps them live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
I refuse to provide my clients with a quick-fix method that can degrade the metabolism. One key aspect I preach is to NOT be concerned with “scale weight.” Instead, be more concerned with energy levels, strength levels and how you feel over all. I customize nutrition plans to the individual and his or her desired goals. The methods used are scientifically sound and evidence-based in order to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional performance.
C: How does your education background play into all this?
VR: I am an educator at heart. I firmly believe that education is the key to better health. I believe the more you know, the more empowered you are to make better decisions to achieve your goals. If I can have a positive influence on someone’s life and impact it in a positive way, then my job in this life is complete. This is why I choose to teach in a behavioral school and not in a more prestigious academic environment with future Harvard alums.
C: What makes you different from other athletes and fitness models?
VR: Many athletes and fitness models choose to keep their secrets to success to themselves to stay on top of the game. But I am here to share my experiences, to share what has worked for me as well as my clients. I choose to give as much information that I know that will benefit another person as I can to as many people I can.
C: What is your main goal that drives you in life?
VR: My main goal is to have my clients say to me, “VIN, thanks for all you have done! I’ve learned so much from you through this experience. And because of what you taught me, I am now able to do this by myself!”
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