Name: Joe DelVecchio
Year of Birth: 1985
Weight: (I don’t weigh myself)
Birthplace: Camden, NJ
Current Residence: Glassboro, NJ
Sports: Have played football, baseball and soccer in the past
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
My name is Joe – I currently work for Rowan University’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and business incubator; I will be finishing my MBA Fall 2013. I have founded a public speaking organization and am in the process of developing two more companies. I am also a project manager for many programs within our department. My passion is following my dreams and helping others pursue theirs, which has drawn my interest to the work that I do.
Prior to working for Rowan, I worked in the fitness industry for five years as a personal trainer and manager. I have always had a passion for fitness and I know the impact it has had on myself and many of my past clients.
If I had a gift, it’s the ability to influence others as I have always had great salesmanship. With that said, I believe we have a responsibility with our gifts to use them the right way, which is why I am a believer in social entrepreneurship.
I have a strong interest in acting as I’ve been a lead actor in two indie-films (thank you CW) that will be released soon. There’s something about losing yourself in a role and putting yourself in a character’s shoes that’s challenging, relaxing and addicting all at the same time.
My hobbies include exercising, reading, meeting new people, music, acting, writing, sports, website building, thinking of new ideas, and occasional video games.
Why did you become vegan?
I have wanted to become vegan for a long time as I’ve read about the immense amount of food and water needed just to have our meat, which is a tremendous waste of resources. But that didn’t matter until I started seeing the animal treatment videos. I witnessed animals slammed to the ground, punched, beaten, and I finally had enough when I witnessed dogs in China slammed to the ground and skinned alive…dogs that looked like my own dog. I wanted to make a change and I did my homework on exactly what it took to become vegan and I also made sure that it wouldn’t affect my life. For my first competition in April, I began taking on a vegan diet and it shredded me up. So far, everything’s good and I’m starting to gain muscle.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
When I was 13, my father bought me a weight set for Christmas. Looking back, I feel spoiled but it was the best gift he ever gave me. I was not very confident in myself when I at that age and I needed an outlet, which is exactly what it gave me. I went from 130 pounds to 160 pounds in 3 months and I was off to the races from there.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I eat these foods consistently and randomly throughout my diet:
Oatmeal with peanut butter, cocoa and cinnamon
Homemade French fries – potatoes chopped with olive oil/canola oil and black pepper with BBQ sauce
Protein pack from Wawa, toss out the egg
Rice and kidney beans
Vegan pizza – dough, sauce and soy cheese
Cheat meals – vegan chocolate chip cookies, vegan chocolate peanut butter cup cakes
There’s more than what’s here, but that’s the basis.
How would you describe your training program?
Tons of pushups, dips and pull-ups, and cardio. After 15 years of exercising, I pretty much go into a gym visualizing what I want to look like and getting a gut feeling on what exercises I need to do in order to get there.
My philosophy isn't so much weight and statistics as resistance. I've worked out for so long that numbers are irrelevant to me. What matters most is if I want to develop more muscle in a specific area, I will go heavier and slower. If I want to lean out, I will go faster with more repetitions.
These are my primary exercises and being a vegan I make sure I hit many of these heavy as I want my body to continue developing strength. This is not an exact science but more of an art when I do these.
TRX Suspension chest press
Incline Bench Press
The only exercise I truly hit heavy at the moment is the flat bench press. Everything else I typically do for reps, especially pushups. During my last competition, I was reaching reps at a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 100 for pushups per set. Near the end of the competition, I would to 1,000 on a Saturday. For dips I will do between 20-30 per set. For my next competition, I plan on taking a different approach and continuing heavier weight training.
Pullups (will do 100+ for sets between 10 and 20)
I am very careful with back exercises as I've had 2 back surgeries 10 years ago.
EZ Bar curls
Close grip bench press
one arm dumbbell extensions
Nothing too crazy here. It's all a matter of hard work.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Loss of muscle density, decrease in testosterone levels, you’re “girly,”and the idea that it’s too tough to be on a vegan diet because of all of the foods surrounding you socially.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
When going vegan, try vegetarian first. Do your research and slowly ease into it; don’t go cold turkey as you’ve probably been eating meat for a very long time. Develop confidence in doing so and be proud when you do; we are the early adopters to this diet as I know it is the future!
I am extremely motivated to take bodybuilding to the highest levels and be an example regarding what this can do for others. Every day I am on this diet, I know that I am making opportunities for the world to become a better place.