"Most kids were into cartoons. I was into martial arts movies,” Joseph Valtellini says. “My parents really encouraged me to follow my interests. A support beam in our basement was turned into a kicking pad. I had elastics to help me strengthen my kicks.”
The Toronto native started practicing taekwondo when he was 7 years old, earning a second-degree black belt by his 17th birthday. He started training in kickboxing at 19 and had his first professional fight in 2010. Since then, he’s gone 10–1 overall with nine KOs, and is 3–0 in the GLORY World Series of kickboxing.
Valtellini attributes much of his striking ability and power to his technique, but he also understands the importance of hard training in the gym. “I have a degree in physical and health education, and when I was an undergrad, all my projects were geared toward kickboxing,“ he says.
While some fighters tend to drastically cut weight before a bout, Valtellini instead focuses on losing weight at a healthy rate (about a pound per week) when he’s preparing to weigh in. “Fighters who cut too much weight the day before their fight do a lot of harm to their performance,” he says.
Many of today’s top martial artists have gravitated toward the bright lights offered by MMA, but Valtellini plans on sticking to standup. “I’m a perfectionist, but people who do MMA have to be OK with being OK at standup and OK on the ground,” he says. “Kickboxing is a sport I can strive to be perfect at.”
Joseph Valtellini's Workout
|-superset with- Overhead Med Ball Slam||5||3|
|Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat||4||10|
|-superset with- Single-Leg Broad Jump||4||3|
|Dumbbell Floor Press||3||5|
|-superset with- One-Arm Dumbbell row||3||8|
|Weighted Vest Pushup||3||10|
|Weighted Vest Chinup||3||10|