It’s 4 p.m. on a Thursday, Victoria Vaccaro’s favorite time of day. She closes her locker and locks it, ties back her hair, laces her sneakers and puts in her headphones — finally able to do what she’s longed for all day. She opens the door to the main fitness gym and looks around. It’s busy today, busier than most days at this time, but it doesn’t slow her down. It motivates her to see all the people around her who love doing what she does.
When she isn’t studying for school at Lemoyne College or working at one of her two jobs, Vaccaro focuses on being a fitness influencer at Gold’s Gym, 5791 Widewaters Parkway, DeWitt. Training and lifting became a passion of hers five years ago during her senior year of high school when she stopped dancing and doing sports.
“I really needed something to keep me in shape,” she said. “I saw other girls lifting in the gym and I really thought I should try something on my own. It was much more of a challenge than I’ve ever had, and it continues to challenge me everyday.”
Before she became a fitness influencer, Vaccaro was constantly at the gym trying to better herself. She used her Instagram account (@victoria_delores) so she could see her progress, but it would also prove to be the platform she needed to help motivate other people. Gold’s Gym then contacted her through the app to become a member of the many fitness influencers they have there.
“I thought it would be a good idea because it’s a great marketing tool and it would motivate, as well as drive me to put more on Instagram for others,” she said.
Being an influencer entails many things, but for Vaccaro, the main objective is in the word itself: to influence. She wants to influence others in lifting and trying new exercises; therefore, making a positive impact on their lives. She frequently posts pictures of herself after a workout, which sometimes involves a meaningful caption or a tip about her exercises or diet. According to Vaccaro, the number one trait an influencer should have is dedication.
“People want to see persistence and dedication in a trainer because it leads to trust,” she said.
Vaccaro debated whether this lifestyle was enough for a full-time job, but despite the obstacles, she said she can’t see herself loving anything as much. She mentioned with enthusiasm that she will soon begin working toward her personal training certification.
“Being an influencer doesn’t just help other people get motivated and learn what they love to do in the gym, it also helps me realize why I love doing what I do from the reactions I get,” she said. “I only hope to grow as a person mentally and physically as much as the influencer Instagram quota does. It helps keep myself continually driven day in and day out.”
Vaccaro doesn’t just, eat, sleep, work, lift, and go to school, she tries to make every day revolve around what she’s passionate about. Her diet, for starters, consists mostly of proteins and carbs for breakfast, such as whole grain toast, peanut butter and scrambled eggs. She tries to keep proteins, carbs and fats in every meal.
“I really like to focus on the break down of protein, fat and carbs before and after my workout because that is most important with helping you train and recover,” she said.
As for her workout routine, she splits her days up according to which body part she wants to focus on. She focuses on her arms, shoulders, chest and back, but legs more than anything, strengthening her hamstrings and glutes because of personal preference. “I find that leg exercises work best for me, but everyone has different strengths,” she said. “And remember, even though you may have a strength, it’s good to balance out your routine.”
Balancing all the things humans do on a day-to-day basis is always a challenge, but motivation is the key to getting out and staying in shape. The change that Vaccaro has seen in herself helps her stay motivated, however she knows there is so much more to achieve. On the gym floor, people will go to her and ask for help or ask questions about certain exercises, and even though she’s not sure whether they take her advice or not, she loves giving it.
When asked what advice she would give other people who want to train and work out like she does, Vaccaro didn’t hesitate. “Don’t be afraid,” she said. “You might feel a little awkward working out in front of people, but you’re only going to learn from practicing. Get out of your comfort zone and ask for help.”