Jim Vaglica: SWAT team leader is also a fitness champ
Jim is a Police Officer in the Waltham Police Department, Boston, fitness enthusiast, and has competed in SWAT competitions against teams from all over the US, including the military and the FBI. Jim placed fourth out of 16 world class athletes in American Grit, a physical, military-based reality TV competition.
April Ambassador Jim Vaglica brings a new commitment to fitness and smart nutrition in the world of law and order. This 16-year veteran of the Waltham Police Department and SWAT team has competed in SWAT competitions against teams from all over the US, including the military and the FBI. Jim place fourth out of 16 world class athletes as the oldest competitor in American Grit, a physical, military-based reality TV competition.V
Jim says “After I started using Beet It Sport I noticed I could complete endurance sets much easier. Plus, there are so many health benefits from nitrates and Beet It Sport is just a natural source of nitrates.”
How did you get involved in strength and conditioning?
- Has your experience in the Boston Police Department and regional SWAT team helped you as an athlete? If so, what aspects have been transferrable?
I believe every police officer should be in top physical condition and I had to bust my ass just to keep up with the super athletes on my SWAT team. My team would compete in SWAT competitions against teams from all over the country, including the military and the Feds. Plus, I’d never want to let my teammates down, on an actual mission, because I couldn’t complete a physical task.
Biggest sporting achievement?
When I competed in the bench press I could bench double my bodyweight and in one contest I benched by bodyweight for 29 reps. Also, I consider passing the try-out for my SWAT team a huge achievement. It’s a daylong event with over a 60% failure rate and it regularly puts guys in the hospital. Plus, I was very proud of my performance on American Grit. I finished 4th out of 16 world class athletes and I was the oldest competitor.
Growing up, who was your all-time inspirational athlete?
Arnold Schwarzenegger always inspired me. He seemed to be everything a man should be and he was so confident that he could do anything. He was driven to be the best at whatever he focused on.
No more fitness related surgeries (5 is my limit) – at this stage in my life it’s all about staying injury free and maintaining my current condition for as long as possible. I aspire to still be able to climb over an 8 foot wall when I’m 60.
If you could be a professional athlete in another sport, which sport and why?
I’d have to say MMA. I studied jujitsu in the early 90s, when the UFC started, and I was amazed by the Gracies. By the time MMA became a legitimate sport I was too old to start getting punched in the face.
I believe every police officer should be in top physical condition and I had to bust my ass just to keep up with the super athletes on my SWAT team.
Can you give us an insight into your pre-event routine (any music type, mantras etc.?)
I had a different routine depending on the type of competition but I would generally get nervous and try not to throw up. I’ll tell you we had some long, hot, gruelling training days preparing for SWAT competitions and I would always start the day by eating a can of beets, and I stole that idea from a teammate.
How did you hear about Beet It Sport?
I believe I saw it on Twitter. I love beets so it caught my eye.
Why do you use Beet It and how has it helped you?
I love resistance training but I’ve traded the heavy weights for higher reps, sometimes as high as 100. After I started using Beet It I noticed I could complete these endurance sets much easier. Plus, there are so many health benefits from nitrates and Beet It is just a natural source of nitrates.