Friday, March 13, 2015

A conversation with Gino Caccavale, bodybuilding champion and IFBB Physique Professional, Creator of the REZIST System. By Dr. Michael Dusa

A conversation with Gino Caccavale, bodybuilding champion and IFBB Physique Professional, Creator of the REZIST System.
By Dr. Michael Dusa

MD: Gino, many thanks for taking some time out from your impossibly busy schedule to speak with me. There is so much to what you do and what you have accomplished during your many years in fitness. Talk a bit about your background, if you would.

GC: Thanks Mike. Well, I participated in many sports when I was in high school. Baseball, football, track. I did ok...but I was kinda like a "Jack of all trades," and master of none of them. I headed to Central Connecticut State University and played football there. All the while through these sports, I did do some weight lifting. Even in college, I just didn't feel the passion for football. I became friends with Bob Ruggierio, who as you know was a great Connecticut bodybuilder. He looked at me when I graduated from school and said, "You can do this too." I know it sounds quick, but yeah, Bob won the NPC CT in 1988, and I trained for that show for one year. I won it in 1989.

MD: I remember the time. I was in school in Chicago and picked up a magazine at the gym and there you were, being congratulated by Mike Katz in the winner's circle!

GC: Yup. I continued to compete in bodybuilding for ten years after that...winning eight shows. You know, I always liked it more for what it did for me as a person, rather than just being focused in on the trophy and the title. The adulation and cheering lasts 24 hours. Even though I was only 22 at my first win, it wasn't enough for me. I wasn't giving anything back. With training others, I feel I have a knack for helping others. It makes me happy.

MD: So, in the midst of these years, what was your career focus?

GC: Well, I needed a job (laughs). So I became a corrections officer in Bridgeport, Ct. But I have to say that before I took the job I had a great opportunity where I won the regionals to become a contestant on the show American Gladiators. It was an awesome experience. Sadly, the show was canceled before the finals were ever held. In corrections, the first 4-5 years were spent by me on the cell block. It was pretty mundane. But I did catch the eye of the C.O. academy and they used me as a personal trainer for 50 cadets at a time. This provided great breaks from 'the block.' Even better, I was assigned the position of becoming a bounty hunter for the department. I was given a vest and a car and was sent to "find people." It was a great gig. My co-workers called me ,"The Golden Child(laughs)." It was a hard decision when I left corrections after 11 years. It was a secure job with great benefits. But I had to, for me.

MD: I'll say. Working without a net is certainly not for everyone. It took guts to do this.

With Lee Haney
GC: It did. I took risks. I left my established clients, my state job and went to live in New York City. There was more opportunity there for me. I had an agent, was doing fitness modeling and some acting. I landed roles on the 'Guiding Light' and 'All My Children.' But I didn't want to be a celebrity actor. On the outside-yeah-things looked great for me. But I personally felt like I wasn't doing anything. I'd stand there, and they'd just snap a picture. Again, it wasn't enough.

MD: Sounds almost as if it were a matter of focus. I just read that both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates said that the number one ingredient to their success was one thing: "FOCUS."

GC: Yes, very, very true. I was putting 50% in on acting and modeling, and 50% on training folks. That's no way to do anything and be fulfilled, happy and successful. It just won't work. I got to where I could put 110% into helping others reach their physical goals.

MD: A rhetorical question: You've been successful training clients?

GC: (Laughs) When I first moved to the city, I lived in a Harlem apartment. Not too savory. Now, I live in Battery Park in a 5th Floor Walkup and I have a doorman.

MD: I love George Peppard and his famous line: "I love it when a plan comes together..." So, all systems "Go." I know you've had many projects going on at this time and presently as well.

GC: I am employed by Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine-I am their technical advisor for exercise. It's a great gig and I meet many interesting and successful people. My clients are from the downtown area-I have 18 of them presently. They are in the 30-60 years of age bracket, and generally work hard, 10-12 hour days on average. Most train for fundamentally the right reasons...they want to have good health and enjoy their families. My own goal is to lift to be healthy and strong, even when I am 60 or even 70 years old. The beach? Not really a motivating force for me.

MD: So you've worked with a few celebrities?

GC: Oh yes. Carmen Electra, the Bella Twins of the WWE, others. Nice folks for the most part.

MD: Speaking of've been a cover model several times.

GC. Yes. I was the cover man for Exercise for Men in 1991, and have done numerous print ads.

MD: Tell me about your new exercise system that you invented, "REZIST."

GC: Well, there's a bit of a story behind that. I was up for winning the award for "America's Top Trainer" which was an online contest. There were thousands of entrants...many of whom are tops in the industry. It came down to me and another fellow. I took second. I'll admit, I was a bit ticked off by this because I am competitive. But all was not lost. The sponsors of the contest liked me, and, after all, I was second out of thousands of trainers. They did want me to be a part of their organization and for me to create a workout for their system. I was like, "Well, I don't need you to do that-I'll just do it on my own." So I put together the REZIST workout, and we literally just had our one year anniversary of its launch a few days ago. Things have really snowballed.

MD: How did your concept arise in a mind that is no doubt jaded from all the malarkey that is spawned in the fitness industry?

GC: You know, like anyone, I'd often be up late and see the ubiquitous weight loss and fitness infomercials. They are very, very dishonest. I'd get upset-it's always about the pitch and the sale...and imaginary results that are rarely sustained. I knew it'd take much work...but...I had a novel idea. Maybe we need someone selling something who is honest.


GC: Yes. REZIST is based upon the wrong approach of folks doing either only cardio or only weights. For some, cardio is easier. For others, they think weights are superior. In the infomercials I'd see that never were the two combined in one workout. Also, you must understand that, especially in NYC, everyone is pressed for time. They want a 30 minute workout. So with REZIST, we give a 30 minute, intense strength and cardiovascular workout. Its all dumbells-and it doesnt matter the state of fitness you occupy. The workout is tailored by increasing or decreasing weight, dependent upon your level of fitness. There are 20 movements performed, one minute for each, with 20 seconds of rest. Its very scalable for the individual.
Click to visit
MD: It's doing very well as I know.

GC: Yes. The Huffington Post gave us great reviews. Hollywood Life Magazine and Natural Health Magazine have voted us the best in-home workout, too. We are constantly adding classes in NYC, and its spreading across the country. We have in the works resistance and even kettlebell components that will become part of workouts in REZIST. At our Ohio location, its done so well we have added a second location. Retro Fitness Partners is bringing us on in NY and NJ. You know, Mike, it's only been a year. We are growing.

MD: Growth is good. Any other selling points?

GC: REZIST offers multi joint compound movements. More joints are involved, more muscles are involved, thus, more calories are burned. Injuries are minimized. Remember, you can use a 5 pound weight with REZIST if that is all you can manage. It's always great as long as somebody does SOMETHING for their health. I applaud this. But if you look at Crossfit, there are many injuries, very high intensity with poor form.

MD: So, my fellow entrepreneur, what did it take to pull this off? I look at you, you look like the Farnese Hercules carved out of ice! You juggle so much. I am sure folks look at you and think it must be easy.

GC: (Laughs) Well, I needed to produce a video of the REZIST workout. It needed to be 30 minutes long. One of my clients, who is a big money manager in the financial district, started asking me some questions about how I was going to proceed. He said I'd need 300 thousand dollars to get the production done. "Do you have that?" he asked. No, I didn't have that. This guy was telling me that there was no way I could get this done without hundreds of thousands of bucks. I bore down, got the talent, the space, production equipment, and got it done for a fraction of what this guy quoted. Yes, it was my life savings, but I did it on my own. No compromise. One other thing-about things looking easy. In my business, I truly have to be a "Product of my Product." Ive always gotta be in top shape. It's what I sell.

MD: You've said 110% is put into the business. But you did find time to not only go into the IFBB Men's Pro Physique Championships in Pittsburgh last won it!

GC: Yes, it was great. I'd like to thank the Montanari Brothers Powerhouse Gym - Super Gym. The brothers saw me at the gym over a year ago, and said I really should compete. The business does come first, always, and competing is just a small part of my life-it's really just a vehicle to move on to better things. MHP nutrition company also sponsors me as a pro IFBB athlete and I am very thankful to them.

MD: You have an online newsletter...

GC: Yes. Anyone can visit and sign up. Its free.

MD: Challenges you face in converting people to adopt your ideas as clients?

GC: Well, it is not always easy. Fitness isn't fun. Food isn't delicious. You know, the covers of magazines always show folks having fun and being fit. The journey to fitness is not always filled with such. I've been in top shape for over 30 years, and I can tell you that there is hard work to be done. I love being in shape. But when I go to the gym, it's work. It's my job. It's very serious business.

Of course, some clients can be emotional vampires. A huge thing is I am at the point that I can pick and choose whom I want to work with. My people are dedicated to being the best they can be. I have my blood family. And, I have my fitness family.

I tell folks that they must become regimented. Let's say they are eating 35 meals in a week. Everytime you eat, it doesn't have to be a gourmet experience. 35 meals per week. 5 per day. If you have a cheat meal for one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner for the entire week, well, you are still consuming 32 clean meals.

MD: I tried Bikram hot yoga. I used to laugh at Yoga. I no longer laugh at yoga. I couldn't finish. So, of course, I must try REZIST. How do we get more information?

GC: You are always most welcome my friend. I invite everyone to visit All the information you need to get started is there.

MD: Gino, I wish you the best of success. You are one of the good ones.

GC: Thanks Mike. I appreciate the opportunity.

  ©,2015. Bodybuilding Mauritius. Any reprinting in any type of media is prohibited. Interview article published with permission from Dr. Michael Dusa (North Haven, Connecticut). 
Disclaimer: The Content on this site is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. BODYBUILDING MAURITIUS is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties.  Correspondence:


Post a Comment