ATHLEAN-X HITS IT BIG! READ ABOUT IT IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
* NY SPORTS - APRIL 30, 2010
How David Wright Bulked Up - Ad With 'the Situation' Shows Off Wright's Buff
Physique; Heavy Lifting
By MIKE SIELSKI
The commercial is 109 seconds long. It is funny and self-deprecating, and of the two public
figures who appear in it, here's how to tell which one is David Wright: He's the one who
keeps his shirt on.
The commercial is for one of Mr. Wright's sponsors, Vitamin Water, and it features the Mets'
third baseman working out with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, of MTV's reality series
"Jersey Shore." A training montage set to the soundtrack from "Rocky," the Internet-only ad
has been viewed close to half a million times on YouTube.
The ad was a coming-out party of sorts for Mr. Wright, who had spent
the off-season quietly putting himself though a rigorous conditioning
program meant to increase strength and help him rebound from a
disappointing 2009 season in which he only managed to hit 10 home
runs—down from a high of 33 the season before.
When Wright showed up for spring training, his upper body was so
much more muscular that several reporters asked him the inevitable
question that hovers over baseball these days: was there more to his
new physique than diet and exercise?
In an interview, David says what he's said all along—no. He said he's never considered
using performance-enhancing drugs. "I've always believed that if people put the work in, it
pays off," he says.
So how did Wright overhaul his body?
David’s personal trainers—Robert Reyes and Jeff Cavaliere—said that adjustments to
Wright's eating and workout habits allowed him to trim away body fat and build muscle
without gaining weight.
The Mets listed his weight last year as 208 pounds, and his trainers said that he weighed
206 pounds when he reported to camp.
"It's almost like an optical illusion," Mr. Reyes said. "When you're showing more muscle,
you look a whole lot bigger."
This offseason, David split his time between his apartment in Manhattan and the
Chesapeake area of Virginia, where he grew up. In New York, he trained as many as six
days each week in the Citi Field weight room with Mr. Cavaliere, who was the Mets'
physical therapist from 2006 to 2008.
There, Cavaliere, 34, would join Wright in performing a series of "functional training"
exercises designed to simulate the quick, explosive actions that the third baseman carries
out regularly on the diamond.
For instance, a third baseman often has to push himself up to his feet after diving to field a
ground ball. So Mr. Cavaliere set up plyometric boxes of staggered heights around the
weight room and had Mr. Wright climb them with his hands to approximate pushing
In another drill, Cavaliere had Wright stand with his legs apart and one leg on a raised
bench. Cavaliere would toss him a medicine ball over one of David’s shoulders, forcing
him to rotate his trunk at the hip and waist as if he was twisting and turning to chase a popup.
"This is not about trying to become a big, bulky bodybuilder," said Mr. Cavaliere, who
utilizes his AthLEAN-X Training System with Wright. "A lot of people don't want to look
like that, anyway, but they'd die to look like David does right now."
What weightlifting Mr. Wright did, he did with Reyes, who has trained him since just after
David’s high-school graduation in 2001. Reyes, 59, became certified with the National
Strength and Conditioning Association in 1992. He has been collecting clients from the
region ever since, including five other major leaguers: Michael Cuddyer, Mark Reynolds,
Ryan Zimmerman and the Upton brothers, B.J. and Justin.
Wright generally began his daily workouts, both in New York and Virginia, around noon.
Reyes and Wright would adjust the workout from day to day. One week, they might perform
heavy lifts. The next, they would use less weight but perform more repetitions. The next it
was back to heavy lifting.
After each daily weight session they would do something different: a cardio workout one
day, skip the next day, an abdominal-and-core workout the next. Mr. Cavaliere would meet
Wright at Citi Field. The two of them would warm up for five to 10 minutes on a bike or
treadmill, then begin the functional training.
Both Reyes and Cavaliere said the All-Star third baseman also changed his dining habits,
including eating smaller meals and no longer drinking alcohol. "I didn't really drink all
that much anyway," Wright said.
According to both Reyes and Cavaliere, David stopped eating sugar and was diligent
about snacking on energy and power bars immediately after his workouts. "He ate clean,"
Mr. Reyes said.
So far, the results have been paying off for Mr. Wright. His new regimen has led to an early
season power surge, with David banging 7 home runs in the first 6 weeks of the season
(after having 10 all of last year).
But his new physqiue has worked well for him in one regard: selling water.
"He's the All-American kid," said Rohan Oza, the chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola Co.'s
Glaceau, which produces Vitamin Water. "He's hard-working. He loves Vitaminwater but
he's a funny guy. So we blended all those together in an ad that was very humorous and a
The ad, which Mr. Oza says has accumulated more than one million hits on various Web
sites, shows Wright running, lifting weights and drinking Vitamin Water with Sorrentino.
For those who aren't familiar, the reality-TV star's nickname is self-bestowed—it's the
phrase he uses to describe his abdominal muscles. In one scene, Wright smacks a
baseball bat against them.
"It was fun to do, and the response has been pretty good," said Wright, who added that he
does watch "Jersey Shore" from time to time.
"I know my brothers and my friends are my toughest critics, and they enjoyed it."