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Driven: Vince Galanti

Vince Galanti first donned the posing trunks back in 1984, and when the final results were tabulated, the razor-thin 16-year-old from Jersey City, New Jersey, didn’t have much to show for it. Third place—in a class of three. You kiddin’? Back to the gym, work even harder—that was the Galanti way. And it paid off slowly but surely.

Five years later—and 17 pounds heavier—Vinnie gave promise of great things to come when he won the novice overall at the NPC Suburban Championships and finished second in the middleweights at the always sublime New Jersey State.

After taking top honors in his division at the ’92 Junior USA, Galanti repeated that achievement at the ’93 USA. He was well on his way to the next level, according to some folks who witnessed his gradual climb up the bodybuilding ladder of success. Those people deserve a hand, as Vinnie did, indeed, make it to the next level—in 2008, when he won the light-heavyweight class and overall at the Masters Nationals. Yup, 16 seasons later. 

To date Galanti has competed five times since earning his IFBB pro card. I chatted with him last April, less than a week before his 45th birthday. In between working with clients at his Mahwah, New Jersey–based personal-training studio, The Training Station, he was prepping for three pro shows.

LT: Perseverance must be your middle name—16 years to turn pro and still going strong.

VG: If the 202 [and under] class had not changed to 212, I don’t think I would be competing anymore. In 2001, I walked away from the sport and really wasn’t into it much for a five-year period. I was burned out and lost the drive to train hard and live out of Tupperware; I just wanted to focus on my business, which I opened in May 2002.

It wasn’t until 2003 that I started picking up weights again, and by early 2005 the bug to compete bit me once again. I won my class at the East Coast here in New Jersey to requalify for the NPC Nationals, where I went on to place fifth in the light-heavyweight class.

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