Victor Gallego And His Life Long Passion For Weightlifting By Lisa R. Mele Victor Gallego is a 54-year-old USAW Level 5 Certified Weightlifting Senior International Coach, which is the highest level for weightlifting coaches in the United States. Victor is also a USA World Coach and was named “Coach of the Year” for 2013 and 2015. Victor coaches some of the best up-and-coming top athletes in Youth, Juniors World, Juniors Pan American, Masters and Seniors Championships around the globe. His dedication, hard work and love for weightlifting all started in Cuba where Victor was born and raised. Victor explains, “I began training for weightlifting at the age of 8 and soon I was competing in the school-age competitions. In my early teens, I advanced to the junior level and as a young adult, I started to train as a weightlifter full-time in Cuba and competed on the world stage.” Victor adds, “After a series of injuries I had to stop weightlifting altogether.” It was then that Victor became a physical educational professor at the University of Cuba and many of his former students from the University are now coaches all around the world. In 1994, Victor left Cuba and moved to Puerto Rico, where he coached all levels of Olympic athletes. Soon after, Victor moved to the United States, where he became a United States citizen. Victor explains further, “I moved to Philadelphia and took various jobs, but not in coaching, and I attended community college to improve my English. I eventually became a certified personal fitness trainer for Bally’s Total Fitness in Philadelphia. With over 40 years of experience, Victor trains both men and women of all ages and levels for weightlifting at Pivotal Training in Southampton, New Jersey. He has traveled with his athletes to China, Peru, Chile and Russia for competitions. When Victor is not training his athletes, he is staying in shape three times a week, by doing Make Your Mark CrossFit at Pivotal Training. Victor trains many women athletes in weightlifting and one of his top female competitors is Dr. Marcy Rose, who has been training and competing in Olympic weightlifting for over four years. Dr. Rose has been training with Victor most of her lifting career and feels Victor encourages her to pay attention to technique and to be consistent. Dr. Rose trains for weightlifting anywhere from four to five times a week for two hours a day. Dr. Rose explains, “I started out as a CrossFitter and I found that my strength allowed me to be a better weightlifter. I compete in the 55-59-year-old division of masters weightlifting as a 63-kg lifter.” Dr. Rose adds, “I love weightlifting because it requires skill and strength. It is a major challenge and I always love a challenge. It keeps me fit and it is great 4 PHILLYFIT
for my overall health, physically and emotionally. I would highly recommend this sport to other women.” Dr. Rose has won three national and three Pan American records for her age group. This summer, Dr. Rose and Victor traveled to Puerto Rico to compete in the 2016 Pan American Master Champion and thanks to Victor’s encouragement and training Dr. Rose brought home the gold. Lisa R. Mele is a Fitour Certified Group Exercise Instructor, Licensed Zumba Instructor and AAAI/ISMA Mat Pilates and Barre Above Instructor for Echelon Health and Fitness, La Fitness and Future Fitness Centers in South Jersey. Since 2011, Lisa has been a PhillyFIT Workout-athon Instructor and in 2012 became the Stage Manager for the event. Lisa has won numerous awards for her unique, fun and easy to follow instructor style. In her spare time, Lisa writes fitness articles for PhillyFIT Magazine and loves to spend long weekends in the Pocono Mountains with her family and friends.
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