Rick Valente is a Venice bodybuilder. He’s from the old school Gold’s Gym. He won many contests back in the day, and he was insane about training. We trained together for a little while, but I just wasted his time.
I almost messed him up for good. I was shooting him for a Venice Muscle Beach sequence (the old, real Muscle Beach, not the new tourist trap) for the BO KNOWS commercial. I asked him about heavy weights, if he could press four hundred.
‘I haven’t done that for a while.’
We put four hundred on a bar and Rick laid down on the bench after warming up a little bit and neatly pushed that sucker up and down ONCE.
There was a huge black guy that was part of the scene and he tried and made a mess.
Some time goes by and I hear Rick is in the hospital. I visit.
‘I was sitting there thinking about the four hundred and I did a few reps and tore my pec.’
‘Will you be okay?’
‘Hard to tell’.
I had heard it was impossible to come back strong from a torn pec, but that info didn’t mean shit to Rick. He recovered great and is still competing to this day.