It’s all about technique, training, and recovery – Herbalife Interview with Jerome Bortoluzzi
Professional hammer throw athlete and all-round nice guy, Jerome Bortoluzzi visited Herbalife recently and was happy to discuss some of his secrets to effective workout strategies. We chatted about the importance of technique, training, and recovery and how athletes can push a workout routine even further.
Herbalife: Hi Jerome, Thanks for taking a break from your training in Texas and coming over to Los Angeles. Just in case anyone isn’t familiar with your sport, can you sum up hammer throw for us?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: The hammer is a 16-pound iron ball, on a 3-foot wire, and the goal is to spin and throw as far as possible. It originated from an old Irish game and do you know why it weighs 16 pounds exactly? Because that’s the weight of a cannon ball. Back in the day an actual cannon ball was attached to a cartwheel spoke – it’s obviously evolved since then – but that’s why it’s called ‘hammer’ because it looked like a gigantic hammer.
Jerome Bortoluzzi: As a kid I was doing all sorts of sports. Like every young kid in France I was playing soccer and I was the short, chubby one so I was the goalie.
Herbalife: Well you certainly are a long way from there now! How did you find hammer?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: I started doing track and they put me in throwing events. My hometown had a good hammer throwing tradition so I picked it up there. I enjoyed it so I started doing it for the fun of it and got better and better. Within a few years I won at the Nationals, then the European Juniors and I thought “Let’s see how far I can go!”
Herbalife: And you’ve gone a long way… What are the highlights of your hammer-throwing journey?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: I’ve still got further to go. I come to every event, enjoy myself, find new techniques, new workouts and try to surpass myself. I thought that making it to London was my goal, but now that I’ve been there and I know what I’m capable of at big meets, I want to go to Rio in 2016 and get a medal. Who knows what will happen… but the medal is the goal.
Herbalife: As with all competitions – that will require a lot of preparation and training. What are you focusing on now?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: I know what training works for me. I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. I just have to make sure I train well in the next three years so I can get everything done to make it possible.
Herbalife: What would you say are the most important aspects towards making that possible?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: For me, the main thing is technique. Knowing I’ll be able to use 110% of all my abilities, that’s very exciting. I’m strong enough to throw really far, so it’s just about converting my strength – specific to hammer throwing.
Herbalife: What’s the difference between building up your strength for competition versus everyday routine? Do you always focus on strength for your technique?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: I used to think it was only about strength but really it’s all about power. How much power I can put into the hammer takes a whole different approach. I’ve got the strength. I’ve got the power. Part of my training involves power lifting, throwing, and specific movements for hammer throw. When training for competition, it’s 2.5 hours a day and then pre-competition it’s 45 minutes of focus. Off-season, it’s a lot of throwing, a lot of lifting and a lot of kettle bells and good general physical preparation, which is just specific movement for the hammer. Then, closer to competition, I focus on creating explosive force.
Herbalife: All of these things sound like they are valuable for your technique. Do you have any additional athlete secrets to share with us on how you jump start your workout routine?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: With a little help from Herbalife, I’m really excited about just trying to get the most out of what I can do. I’m really excited by it actually. Right now I really like Herbal Aloe, the drink and Herbalife24 Hydrate. Herbal Aloe is refreshing and I feel like my body is absorbing it. I feel I can train more after that. I take the Herbalife Formula 1 protein shakes in the morning, at night, and after practice. It tastes good, goes down really well so I’m not hungry for a couple of hours, and is just the right amount of protein. I drink it at the beginning of practice and it lasts the whole practice.
Herbalife: It’s been good to discuss how a great recovery plan and our Herbalife products can push you to success. Is there anything else you have coming up that you’d like to mention?
Jerome Bortoluzzi: I’ll be competing in The Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games on May 4th in Arlington Texas. I want to participate in the real Irish game, as it’s where my sport comes from. It’s not too far from what I do, it’s a break in my routine and I think it’s going be a lot of fun. If you’re in the area stop by and say ‘Hello’.
Herbalife: Sounds great! Thanks so much for sharing your training techniques Jerome.