Team Apollon spotlights long-time gym member Melissa Cardillo. The 40 something mom has been training at Apollon Gym for 9 years and recently competed in her first NPC Figure competition.
In 2007, Melissa trained for and competed in her first sprint triathlon and quickly fell in love with the sport. The following year, she finished second out of 500 women. Less than 2 weeks later, life as she knew it changed forever when she was struck by a car while riding her triathlon bicycle a few blocks from her home. Melissa's bicycle helmet cracked, but it saved her life. She suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), 7 broken ribs and had various cuts and contusions all over her body. Despite months of physical therapy and cognitive rehab, she was determined to prove the physicians wrong by returning to work full time and racing again.
Eleven months after her traumatic accident, Melissa was back to managing her clinical research site and competed in her first half Ironman!! With a nagging fear of riding her bike on the roads and tired of the indoor trainer, she changed her focus and decided to join a MMA gym to try boxing.
A friend convinced her to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Melissa, being competitive, quickly recognized she had a newfound passion to challenge her both physically and cognitively. Seven years later she earned her brown belt under Professor Jamal Patterson of All Star BJJ. Ironically, prior to her promotion, she had decided to take a break from BJJ to pursue her NASM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer). Although she had been doing functional weight lifting for some time, Melissa became more serious with her training and decided to step outside of her comfort zone to compete in her first bodybuilding show. In 2021 at the age of 45, the mother of two completed in NPC Figure and placed 3rd in Masters 35+ and 4th in Masters 40+ after doing her contest prep with Michele Frankel and the team at RevolutioniZe Nutrition.
Melissa said, "Throughout my fitness journey, the management, staff and members of Apollon Gym have had my back and encouraged every endeavour. From casual, functional training to more serious bodybuilding I have always felt at home. Everyone has different goals and we all do our very best to support, encourage and learn from one another, without judgement. It was at Apollon Gym that I also learned about Apollon Nutrition. Despite my skepticism of the supplement industry, I trusted the owners and took the time to learn more about the ingredients and try their quality products."
"I am so thankful I gave Apollon Nutrition a chance as I use several of their products every day. For protein supplementation I use Apollon's 50/50 Formula-X Protein Peanut Butter Cookie. Pre-workout I alternate between Assassin and Hooligan and... rotating in Enigma EAA and Chainsaw BCAA for recovery and hydration! Last but definitely not least, I use OVERTIME to help with my residual focus issues stemming from my accident. Honestly Apollon's fully stacked product line really has something for everyone and I'm proud to be part of this amazing team."
Apollon Nutrition CEO Robert Samborsky noted, "I love Melissa. She trains her ass off. Originally, I offered her to try the products for free and soon after she was hooked. One of the things that I'm most proud of is that she literally takes the products every day and they have helped change her physique and increase her mental acuity."