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Vertimax Customer Spotlight with Richard Pellarano

Team VertiMax

Interviewer: Can you tell me about what you are doing in the Miami area, like what you do day-to-day, and how you work with kids to turn them into talented basketball players?

Richard: Absolutely. I coach basketball and football, and I will tell you how I got into the whole Vertimax thing. I have kids; one who plays basketball and one who plays football.

I was raised here. I was in Denver at a finance company. I was traveling back and forth. Whenever I came back home, it was hard to find a trainer; somebody I could rely on. I couldn’t trust them. One of my kids suffers from a back injury. A lot of the training taking place was with weights and things like that, and squats - all the things that were putting pressure on his back.

I wondered what I could do and what I could find out. What could I get that would help my son get better, faster and stronger, but without putting pressure on his back and re-injuring it? That is how I came up with the Vertimax.

I went ahead and bought one. It was technically built for personal use, so we started doing that, of course. He plays sports and he has friends, who suddenly started to hear about the Vertimax. They started to see him working out and how fast he was getting fit. But, most importantly, they saw how high he was jumping, as that is what everybody wants to do - jump high.

I started helping a couple of kids from the basketball team. I had people liking it and going crazy about using this product, as there weren’t many people down here who had one. Everybody knows what a Vertimax is, but it isn’t always accessible to them.

The facilities that have and train with them are expensive. One of the things we have noticed and learned is that a lot of the kids come from families who don’t have the means to pay $200 to $400 a month for training, I started to facilitate that, and in a way, it felt like I was doing a good deed by helping kids who were putting in the work or who were serious about wanting to become great athletes or going to the next level, such as college.

We started working and training. I am a full-time realtor, so this is not what I do. I love sports and I love helping kids. I train six days a week on the Vertimax, ranging from football to basketball to baseball. That is how it all started and that is what I am doing now.

Interviewer: It is a community effort. You are basically supporting your local athletes. You provide the platform. Which Vertimax do you use?

Richard:
The V8.

Interviewer: You provide them with access to the V8 and you work with them to develop fast twitch muscles and things like that. Essentially, when they are done training six days a week, they go back to their regular trainer or their high school coach, correct?

Richard: Correct.

Interviewer: Walk me through how you were first introduced to the Vertimax. You said that your son had a back injury. Can you tell me what type of back injury he had?

Richard: He had a dislocated disk from playing basketball and needed surgery, but we were trying to avoid that. One of the things the doctors were saying was no heavy lifting. When he tried to do squats, he was putting all the weight on his back.

With the Vertimax, you can target your lower body, because you have the harness around your waist. All the weight is not on your back, but more like laying on your hip. A lot of the kids I have worked with avoid going to exercise to get better and faster with weights, so the Vertimax is perfect.

You are not putting this on your back and you are not lifting heavy weights. It has worked out for me, as well as many kids I have met and who were staying away from the traditional weight lifting regimens.

Interviewer: Why were they trying to avoid the weight lifting?

Richard: Some studies report that it stagnates growth. Basketball players and most kids want to get taller, so they stay away from the weights, but they have also noticed many injuries come from using them. Using resistance bands is much different. There are many things you can do on the Vertimax that you cannot do by lifting weights at the gym.

Interviewer: That is a good point. Can you walk me through some of the exercises you do on the Vertimax? Why do you think it is better than lifting weights, for example?

Richard: Lifting weights makes it hard to develop speed and explosiveness in the gym, but with the Vertimax, you can do those things. Sprinting with resistance bands on the Vertimax creates a stronger core because it holds you back. You cannot duplicate that with anything you can use at the gym. Even a weighted vest is not going to do it, and that is usually what people use.

You can put weights around your ankles, but there is no resistance, so the force remains the same when you use weights. But, when you use the Vertimax, it increases the force as you go further. So, it makes you work harder - it makes you work your muscles.

You can develop extra strength when you use the Vertimax instead of weights, or even without weights. The speed of seeing results is the big thing people cannot outdo or duplicate with anything else out there, whether it is weights or no weights, parachutes, or anything like that - it remains the same.

With the Vertimax, as you keep working with the bands, it puts more force on you and it makes you work harder.

Interviewer: Right – that is the resistance curve.

Richard: Exactly.

Interviewer: Anything else is pure veneer.

Richard: It is what it is. If you put on a 10-pound weighted vest, you are going to sprint with 10 pounds. With the Vertimax and the resistance, it takes you to a whole different level.

Interviewer: What are some of the exercises you do on the Vertimax to maximize the resistance benefits?

Richard: We do high jumps, knee jumps, and sprints. We use the Vertimax for the upper body, and for basketball and football players. Even without supplicating with something like the bench press, or anything we do for arms, we can do on the Vertimax. The same things you can do in the gym with weights, you can also do on the Vertimax. The same motion and resistance factor is separate from just regular weights.

It depends on what we are targeting, but we try to mix it up three times a week. One day, we focus on the core; two days after that we focus on upper body strength, and then on the last day of the week, we go for the lower body and the vertical, for the speed and for the jump.

You want to have a strong upper body if you are a basketball or football player. The core is one of the most important things you can train, and with the resistance, it is much better. It is not just your traditional workout. With the Vertimax, we can attack more than one thing or area at the same time. We can also control the strength of the core, as well as the upper body at the same time with different exercises, rather than just traditional exercise.

Interviewer: We are trying to illustrate to other people is how easy it is to use the Vertimax correctly. Can you give me a breakdown on what a typical week for one of the kids looks like? What workouts are they doing three days out of the week? From when they show up until when they leave, is all their time on the Vertimax? What exactly are the exercises they do?

Richard: We try to determine their bigger goals, asking things like, “What do you want to improve on?” Everybody wants to jump higher, but there are no benefits to being a great athlete from just jumping. For example, one of the days, we do bicep curls with the Vertimax, inclined dumbbell curls without using dumbbells, preacher curls, and triceps. We do many different things, like dumbbell kickbacks. We also do shoulder presses and section overheads using the Vertimax.

On a different day, we work on legs by doing squats, high knee jumps and repetitive moves with kickbacks.

With the core workout, we do abs and different exercises using the ball with various sets. We do chest flies and rear deltoids. There are many different things we do on the Vertimax, and it is like regular body building, except without the weights.

Interviewer: The more I talk to people about the Vertimax, the more I hear about the variety of different exercises, but also about the different methodologies and approaches to using it. I was talking to a guy yesterday who does baseball coaching. He uses it primarily as one aspect of his diverse workout, so these older guys do weight lifting and yoga, and then the Vertimax.

Another guy is using the Vertimax to do sport-specific exercises. He will have baseball pitchers and hitters, as well as lacrosse and basketball players, jump on the Vertimax, while trying to build muscle memory there, too.

It is interesting to hear exactly how you are using it because we would like to create a resource of videos to show people how to maximize the time with their athletes on the Vertimax. Also, it could prevent people from using it incorrectly or not getting the results they think they should get.

Your story is a good example of how one person introduced Vertimax to the community, but the only reason people are interested is because you get results. If they didn’t get those results, it would probably do more harm than good and they wouldn’t want to be a part of it.

Richard: Just to give you piggybacks on that, I started doing this about two years ago. The clients I worked with back then are still the same clients I work with now because they have seen the results. They see how this is constantly improving them, so they haven’t stopped working.

I have a lot of clients who are paying clients, but I also have some who are not paying clients. When you pay, you are more committed to working. The kids, though, whether they are paying or not, are as committed as everyone else is, because of the results they get from their workouts.

Some of the stuff we do is specific to certain sports. With basketball, we do layups with the Vertimax. We also take jump sets, so we do a lot of specific stuff with these kids, who, at one point were not as good at a sport or perhaps didn’t have the confidence to achieve.

We work specifically on those things and have turned them into better players. I deal with many high school coaches who are constantly trying to send me kids because they have seen what I have done with them and how much they have improved, but I can’t help everybody.

Interviewer: There are only so many hours in the day, right?

Richard: I don’t do this for a living, but basketball coaches and programs have wanted to hire me to do this full time. I am a realtor who makes decent money and I love what I do. I wish that one day, I can do this full-time, so I can help more people, as I love coaching and training.

I am just not there now. Maybe I can do it with other people in the area to help, as well, but I’d like to be more accessible to train these kids. I have been around this for a while. I am an athlete and have been into weight lifting and all kinds of different things. It would be great if there were more resources for training on the Vertimax. I talked to Brent recently and they are going to do a certification for trainers. That would be awesome.

I think that would help people who own this product, and people who are training on it. Using the Vertimax limits the possibilities of injury, but training with an actual Vertimax certified trainer could help avoid injuries, too. It would also help trainers teach athletes how to use it with better results.

Interviewer: Yes, that is a good point, because the high percentage of injuries happen within the first six weeks of using Vertimax, even though the incidents are low. Making sure people are confident in their ability to use it is key. I am sportsman myself. I played a lot in high school, going back 10 to 12 years, but if I had the resources some kids have now, or at least their parents have now, it would have made my life much easier. It would have also saved my parents tons of money in coaching fees and time spent trying to find the right coaches, programs and nutrition. It would have helped them know which exercises were the best for the sports I was playing, too.

I think Vertimax realizes that building a resource like that is good. That is essentially why different coaches, in different towns, in different sports, and at different levels are basically knowledge bases. But they are more focused on doing their own thing day in and day out, and people are busy. It is hard for them to get online and create videos or blog posts or take photos to show people how to do these things.

I think the interpretation will be a big part of that, like making it easier to find more uses for the Vertimax. There should be some information to get you going, to make sure you know what you are doing from day one with the Vertimax.

Richard: I will tell you from experience, when I got set up, people who used Vertimax in different facilities and people who bought one would call and ask me to do a session to show them what I do every day.

I would go over there and find out they didn’t know what they could do on the Vertimax. These are people who owned a training facility where they had all these personal trainers with different styles. I would go out there, and they wanted to hire me to do this stuff.

I can’t do that, as I have my own clients and it isn’t what I am trying to do. So, I show them what I do and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be doing that. I show them the benefits of doing the different exercises, as what most people want to do on the Vertimax is just jump.

I get it – they want to jump higher, but there are so many different things they can train, as well. There are several people who have bought Vertimax, and the first thing they ask is to see what I am doing. They have the material, like the books and links online, but it is not the same as my experience in using it.

I’ve learned different things I could do on the Vertimax by having the knowledge and experience from being an athlete and doing heavy lifting. Have more Vertimax resources could help many people who already have them. And for people who are thinking about getting one, those resources whether it is training, videos or certifications could help, too.

Interviewer: Yes. Do you have any videos you have created with your own training that would be interesting to include in your spotlight?

Richard: I have tons of videos, but I don’t post them all. I stopped posting them and I took some down because people were reaching out to me to train them. I am proud of what I do with these kids, but if I could show you on Twitter or Instagram, I would get 10 solicitations a day from people wanting me to train them. I have had people hitting me up for the last year to see if I have a spot available now.

I am not taking new clients, but I do have lots of videos showing what I do with different athletes, as well as middle school, high school, and college kids. So, I can provide them to you.

Interviewer: This has been good. I think there is an interesting angle here, mainly the community aspect. I have talked to a lot of coaches and people who own a facility, but it is more interesting to hear the community stories from those people who come together or have gone to you because of Vertimax. It is a nice story, so I appreciate that you took time to share it with me.

Richard: I will tell you one thing: I am 38 years old and still trying to figure out why I am here. I don’t want to get all touchy-touchy with you, but my thing is that I have learned so much. It is a pleasure to be able to help these kids. I feel if they don’t stick to something like this when they try to go after one thing, whether it is a dream or a hope and take it to the next level, they often can’t because of circumstances like finances.

Honestly, these kids don’t come from the best neighborhoods or the best families, and if I can provide that, I am grateful I can do that for my kids, but why not help those kids out there? If they are working hard, why not help them?

Unfortunately, growing up as an athlete and as a parent, I have seen how some kids don’t end up in the nicest places, so for me, it is an honor. If they would rather be here working with me, busting their behinds, sweating and killing themselves, rather than hanging around and doing things that will land them in trouble, I am all for it.

To me, it is something I enjoy. I am passionate about being able to mentor and help these kids and to me, it has been a blessing. Maybe I have fulfilled a little of what I am supposed to be doing in life. It is funny how it all came about, just from using the Vertimax and helping kids.

I love it, but my wife was unhappy when I bought the Vertimax because it cost a lot of money. But, now she sees what happens when we have the kids over and I’m helping them out. When we have those conversations, when we are reaching out to them, it is all because of the Vertimax.

This is something I thought would be cool for my son and would help him, but now I can help kids from all walks of life. To me, I have become a family to many of these kids. If you go back to when I first started, where I came from it is the Vertimax.

Interviewer: I think it is super positive. At the end of the day, it is easy for people to get caught up in their own thing. I don’t think enough people realize the gifts or skills they have at their disposal and how they can share them with other people.

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