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Paul Ralifo: From Injury to Athlete

By: Stanley Dutton

August 24, 2016

“Usually, if I jump and accidentally touch the volleyball net, the top of the net is usually right here. *Paul points to his elbow.* I've done that before.”

Holy crap, I thought to myself … That put his arm at 8+ feet in the air. 

paul_ralifo.jpgFrom what you’ve just read, it’s reasonable to believe that Paul is in fantastic shape, especially considering that he’ll be 40 years old in a few weeks, AND a year ago his volleyball career nearly ended when he severely pulled his adductor.

When Paul first came in, his adductor injury had finally started to heal up, and he was ready not only to get back into shape, but to take his athleticism to another level.

“The system works, when you work the system.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I know for a fact that weightlifting (deadlifts, squats, etc.) build tremendous strength and power. So, I knew that Paul’s vertical jump would go up. But Paul was already pretty lean when he started, which makes losing bodyfat significantly harder.

Luckily, I’m the training guy, and Marlena is the nutrition gal.

“I just needed to adjust the portion of the carbs and the good fats and the protein. My carbs were just a little bit too much. I just needed to scale it down, but it was really, really easy.   I added things like avocado, which I love.”

Paul worked the system

He didn’t cut anything out, and he even had an excuse to eat more guac.

Does it get any better?

It sure does - Paul’s adductor injury is a thing of the past, and he’s greatly surpassed our wildest expectations. Between his impressive vertical jump and closer-than-ever six pack, Paul’s success is testament of what happens when you make the system work for you.

“You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn

Paul’s coaches weren’t the only ones supporting him

Paul’s story is the perfect testament to just how powerful association with like-minded people is. Through things like volleyball, UpLifted, rugby, and work, Paul has cultivated a group of friends that keep him motivated and working hard.

“Yeah, I'm lucky that most of my friends are pretty active. They go to the gym all the time. I think to stick to the plan, if I'm planning to hang out with people, like this weekend, I think of how many times am I going to be eating out and how many times am I going to be eating at home. If I'm going to be eating out say on Sunday, then usually, we would do something pretty intense activity during the day.”

Like Jim Rohn said, spending time with people who bring you up is one of the most overlooked keys to being successful. 


Readers: If you’re looking to find people like Paul’s friends, that will encourage you to live an active lifestyle, I’d recommend finding a Meetup that suits your fancy.

Success Leaves Clues

“Paul, you know what it's like to try to follow a nutrition program, and you were able to do it. Some people have trouble sticking to their nutrition program.  How would you help them? Because you've been in those shoes, what is it that you think they need to do?”

I asked Paul this question because he’s been able to drop a ton of body fat in a pretty short period of time. There must be something our readers can take away from it.

Paul’s response was straightforward:

“I think a little bit of effort in advance is the best way.”

Paul then went on to explain exactly what I added above - if he was going to be crushing a burger for dinner on Saturday, he’d plan ahead and make sure to get a workout in that day. Often times we like to think that because we’ve had the problem of overeating on the weekends for a long period of time, the solution must be extremely complex and restrictive…

Not true.

Instead, it’s as simple as taking a few minutes to do a quick bodyweight workout, or to join us for a saturday class. He’d put in a little work, and balance out what he’d be doing later in the day.

This speaks perfectly to something that we at UpLifted are especially passionate about:

Making your nutrition fit your life.


Making your life fit your nutrition.

He never had to turn down the food that he wanted to eat, but instead he simply chose the healthier option the majority of the time, and balanced out his burgers and fries.

What’s next for Paul?

When I asked Paul what his goals were, he only had to think for a second before busting out a very attainable (and awesome) goal:

Getting a 6-Pack by September 7th.

Let’s give Paul some encouragement by liking (or sharing) this article!

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Topics: Success Stories

Stanley Dutton

Stanley Dutton

Born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, he found fitness at an early age and worked his way up to a 2nd Degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. A TFW Level 2 coach, and a graduate of the American Academy of Personal Training.

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