Ex- Pro WWE Wrestler and ViPR Global Ambassador

I used to work out like a bodybuilder, and guess what? It worked. I put on muscle, got big, and got strong. The human body will adapt to the stimulus we provide. Like many teenagers and young adults, I began working out by isolating muscles and doing a traditional bodybuilder split, and my body adapted. Oh yeah, and I had this crazy dream of becoming a professional wrestler, and look at the size of those guys!

Well, things have changed … drastically. I now spend more time training my foot and ankle than I do my chest and triceps.

Transformation begins

After a lot of hard work and dedication, I achieved my goal of becoming a professional wrestler and travelled around the world with WWE, as well as independently overseas.

Giovanni Roselli performing as a professional wrestler A dream come true – from an overseas tour of Italy in 2007

Although I looked the way I wanted, I always felt tight. In addition to solely bodybuilding, I didn't consider massages as a way to maintain balance in my body. I didn't know about rolfing and how I could benefit from such specific healing of the body. Before the age of 30, I went through four major orthopedic surgeries. I knew I needed to change. Did it help that I was a professional wrestler? No. Could some of these injuries have been prevented or been less severe if I trained differently? That is up for debate.

Giovanni Roselli backstage at wrestling show Backstage at a wrestling show 11 years ago (I liked muscles … and facial hair)

Sowing the seeds

Renowned strength coach Mike Boyle uses a great analogy. Working out is a lot like farming. The farmer gets his soil ready, plants the seeds, and then waits. To an inexperienced eye, it may not look like much is happening, but then eventually, what is planted starts to grow. A farmer knows the importance of caring for the land. Crops will be adversely impacted if they are given either too much water or not enough.

I wholeheartedly trust the law of the farm. If I incorporate mobility drills, if I start training much more multi-directionally, if I start to work on owning my own bodyweight, I may not see immediate results and improvements, but they will come.

A long journey

ViPR has been extremely influential and I would even say it's the main reason why I’ve been able to make this transformation.

I think for someone with a background like mine, one of the biggest game changers was the fact that using ViPR allowed my body to be in lengthened positions under load. Now with ViPR in my toolbox, weight was moving away from my midline and in a multitude of directions, as opposed to staying within my midline in normally one very linear direction. Think about the difference between how the bicep is stressed doing a DB curl (muscle shortens) vs a ViPR Shift (muscle lengthens).

Giovanni Roselli using ViPR

Say what you want about professional wrestling, but it takes a tremendous amount of athleticism to be a performer. Looking back on my lifting routine of a body part split with each exercise mainly in isolation, was that in any way helping me move better in the ring? A professional wrestler needs to be strong, agile, mobile, in every direction possible and imaginable. Isn’t that also a description of the benefits of ViPR?!

What isolation exercise will prepare me to do this?

Giovanni Roselli performing as a professional wrestler

What’s next?

I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. I will continue to plant my seeds, water them, care for them, and watch them grow. ViPR will continue to be by my side, every step of the way.

See Giovanni in action, with his most recent #movementmonday video:

By Giovanni Roselli, ViPR Global Ambassador