How a Boston-area cop went from a SWAT team operation during the Marathon bombings to reality TV

AMERICAN GRIT: Jim Vaglica – “The Boston Cop”. AMERICAN GRIT, a new, 10-episode competition series starring WWE Superstar John Cena. Sixteen of the country’s toughest men and women will be split into four teams as they work together to face a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges. AMERICAN GRIT airs in 2016 on FOX.

Billerica’s Jim Vaglica, 53, has seen a lot during his 30 years as a member of the Waltham Police Department and 16 years with a regional SWAT team.

Recently, Sergeant Vaglica faced a new kind of challenge by competing on American Grit, a new reality TV competition on FOX debuting Thursday, April 14 at 9 p.m., hosted by professional wrestler and West Newbury, MA native John Cena.   Full Story on Boston.com

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Was I Prepared for a Reality TV Adventure Race?

All 3 tough

Team Cops – Expedition Impossible -Rob,Dani,Jim

Was I Prepared for a Reality TV Adventure Race?

“You’ve been chosen to compete in a month long adventure race. This will be a multi-million dollar Mark Burnett production to be aired prime time on ABC. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to get done before you leave for an unknown location in seven weeks. Make sure you train really hard, because this expedition is going to be incredibly difficult. Also, your involvement in this show is top secret, so you can’t tell anyone anything about it. Continue reading

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How Does A SWAT Team Really Train?

Tryouts

SWAT Tryouts

 How Does A SWAT Team Really Train?

It was late July and the lead story on all the local news stations was the record setting heat and humidity predicted for the day. There was a health advisory warning against any outdoor activity. We started the day out on the range with an hour of PT (physical training) and then jumped right into some shooting drills in full gear. I drank a gallon of liquids before lunch. Our team paramedic was on hand in case anyone needed to be hooked up with some IV Fluids. We had to train… it was our SWAT training day. Continue reading

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How to Build A Six Pack – Why You Have No Abs

By Jim Vaglica

How to Build A Six Pack “ Why You Have No Abs”

So you’ve done more leg lifts than a toll gate and you’ve spent more time in a Roman Chair than Julius Caesar but that coveted six pack is nowhere to be found.

Before you read any further let me warn you: By the time you finish this article you’ll hope that a lot of the information is incorrect because you’ll soon realize how much of your time and effort, over the years, has been wasted. So stop reading this if “You can’t handle the truth.” Continue reading

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HIIT Cardio

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Usain Bolt

Don’t Waste Time on Cardio – Crank it Up with HIIT

When I walk into my gym I often see familiar faces walking on the treadmills or methodically cranking away on the elliptical machines. When I finish my workout some of the same people are still plodding on the same equipment. And unfortunately, these people are still carrying the same body fat they had when I joined this gym two years ago.

If you’ve been following the same program for months and you’re not seeing results. Why would you continue to follow the same exact program? No doubt you’ve heard Albert Einstein’s quote “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Continue reading

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Be More Than Strong – Be Tough

buds tough

BUDS Training

 Be More Than Strong – Be Tough

I would say far too many guys at the gym believe being strong automatically makes them tough. Undoubtedly, this comes from the fact that in the animal kingdom, size tends to intimidate. While this is one of the general rules-of-the-jungle, some animals don’t follow the rules. A fifty lb wolverine may kill a 1000 lb grizzly bear if it comes between him and a meal. Likewise, these big gym bullies may rue the day they try to intimidate some little guy who thinks like a wolverine. Continue reading

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Firefighter Fitness – Hotshots

 

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Hot Shots

Hotshot Training: Could You Handle The Heat?

In the wake of the tragedy in which 19 hotshot firefighters lost their lives fighting a wildfire in the hills of Arizona in June of 2013, I was left with many questions. My first question: “What’s a Hotshot?” Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in Boston my entire life but I’ve never heard of the job title Hot Shot. After some research I discovered that Hotshot is, in fact, an official title for an elite team of firefighters sent in to battle some of the most dangerous and remote wild fires. Continue reading

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Strong Grip of the Law

strong arm

Strong Grip of the Law

The Strong Grip Of The Law

by Jim Vaglica

Years ago, when I was a young rookie cop, I made a lot of arrests. One night I decided it was time to lock up this bad guy, so I moved in and grabbed his wrist. Immediately he began backing up and struggling. He pulled and shook his arm violently in an effort to break free. Eventually I lost my grip and I found myself in a foot chase. He was a young wiry guy in sneakers and he was fast enough to lose me in the darkness behind a building. Continue reading

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What does it take to be an American Ninja Warrior?

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What does it take to be an American Ninja Warrior?

This writer went deep into the world of the modern day ninja to uncover the physical and psychological demands of the world’s most challenging obstacle course.

As a kid you probably imagined yourself as a deadly Ninja assassin, silently lurking in the shadows, poised to leap upon an unsuspecting sibling. You would deliver a secret death strike known only to the select few trained at a mysterious ninja dojo.

Well, modern day ninjas have traded those head-to-toe black outfits for gym shorts and tank tops. Gone are the Samurai swords and throwing stars, replaced by salmon ladders and warp walls. Continue reading

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How to Retain Muscle After Surgery

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Sports Injury to the Shoulder

 How to Retain Muscle After Surgery

I laid back on the bench and I went through the same set up ritual I’d done thousands of times before. My three warm up sets were complete and this was my first working set. I was preparing for a bench press contest, my first in almost ten years. My right shoulder was always sore but I learned to live with the pain. I really had no business benching heavy again but my thick head was in denial. I grabbed a random guy in my vicinity to spot me. I had 275 lbs loaded on the bar and this was going to be an easy double on my way up to 300. I took control of the bar after the liftoff and I started my slow descent. Just as the bar touched my chest I felt it. It was an obvious “POP” in my right shoulder. In my mind, it was a pop heard throughout the gym. I was frozen with fear and luckily my spotter realized something went wrong and lifted the bar up to the racks. I sat up on the bench, grabbed my shoulder and stared at the floor. My arm went numb and I knew something very bad just happened. Thoughts of Surgery flashed through my mind. A future of pain, pain meds, Physical therapy and dare I say it? “atrophy.” I instantly sunk into a deep depression. Continue reading

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