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Tasty Supplements for Peak Performance: Q & A With Tom Reilly of VMI Sports

Tasty Supplements for Peak Performance: Q & A With Tom Reilly of VMI Sports

VMI Sports is a distinguished lifestyle nutrition brand known for producing effective supplements for athletes of all levels, along with the everyday fitness fan. No matter what your short- or long-term goal is, VMI Sports has something for everyone. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Tom Reilly, the president of VMI Sports, to learn more about his incredible brand and why we should incorporate more supplements into our health and wellness routine.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today?

Frank, the CEO of VMI Sports, was a NCAA Lacrosse player and I was a competitive bodybuilder, so we are former athletes. We both grew up in and around dietary supplements, and we also both have backgrounds at GNC. More on that in a minute. Early on I started weightlifting in high school for football and began consuming (protein) supplements at age 15/16 from brands called Twinlab and Isopure. By the time I was at college, I took a job at GNC just to get the employee cost on supplements. Frank’s parents owned GNC franchises on Long Island, so he was surrounded by the business early on. Fast forward almost 20 years and we are in the supplement industry, and we’ve worked together for 15 of those years — and as business partners for over 10. It’s been a fun journey, and today, our brand VMI Sports is sold in thousands of retail doors across the US and in 15+ countries globally.  

Why did you decide to create your own supplement line; what was the motivation behind it?
I had the idea for VMI while running an e-comm business in Arizona in 2009/2010. Having been in retail, wholesale distribution and ecommerce, all selling dietary supplements, I felt there was a gap in the market. I wanted a brand that could deliver both a high-end formula combined with best-in-class taste, while still having the branding and marketing experience that would make people feel like they were a part of something bigger than just their own fitness journey. Frank and I decided to push the idea forward together in 2012 (originally with four other business partners from our prior company), and with that, the product officially launched less than a year later in 2013. 

Supplements are all the rage. Why would we want to implement VMI Sports into our diet and what are your recommendations for someone just starting out in the fitness world?
The biggest thing we point out to consumers is to choose what’s right for your goals. Not every supplement category is for everyone, but there usually is something for everyone. For those starting out on a fitness and workout journey, I always suggest our Protein, ProtoLyte® Whey Isolate, and our Essential Amino Acid formula with Electrolytes, Aminogex®. These are the safest bet for most anyone as they can each help with muscle recovery and muscle building, as well as endurance and hydration, respectively.  

What are your most popular products, and do you have any personal favorites that you use daily?
Our KXR® Pre Workout Powder & Ready to Drink Beverage, as well as our ProtoLyte® Protein are our two best selling items and most popular products globally. My personal favorite is Aminogex® EAAs/BCAAs and that formula is extremely well rounded and can support almost any athlete and their goals, and can be taken almost any time pre, intra, or post workout. I use this daily, no matter what. I train seven days a week, so without it I could not recover. 



What sets your brand apart from others, and will you be producing any new products?
We get this question a lot, and I think the answer is simple. We focus on baking the perfect cake with every product we launch. A well-rounded approach if you will. We find a consumer problem/need (or void), and then we work backwards to develop a product that solves as much of that problem or need, as well rounded as possible. BUT it must have a “unique point of differentiation” in the market, that’s our must-have. While most brands start backwards from a price point they want to hit, or some focus only on how they can ‘market’ the product, we focus on making the most well rounded product possible that has that unique value proposition, and then we let the product do the talking.

Working in the wellness industry for so many years, do you have any health tips or habits that you swear by?
I think everyone needs to develop their own health habits that work for their goals, and that they can adhere to. I focus on five basics that are pretty easily controllable.
1) keep protein intake high, 2) train fasted first thing in the morning, 3) consume Aminogex and Creatine intra workout and ProtoLyte post workout, even if it’s just a cardio day, 4) Lift heavy / hard at minimum 3-4x per week and 5) stretch — this is a big one everyone forgets, and it gets more important as you get older.

Anything else you would like our readers to know?
Supplements or no supplements, you must put in the work. Set a goal for yourself & get to it. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else is doing at the gym, or with their health journey, focus on you. Create good habits and you can improve your health. Go for it, and if you get stuck somewhere, message us at VMI, and someone will help you as much as we can. You can do it.

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