Get results at Mini’s House of Pain

By From page A9 | November 22, 2013

OAK RIDGE HIGH student, Connor Herr, left, does does an inverted row as trainer and gym owner Vince Mini looks on at Vince Mini's House of Pain in El Dorado Hills on Oct. 28. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

EL DORADO HILLS — Vince Mini helps Oak Ridge freshmen Annalise Hite and Jenna Wilde with their workouts one recent afternoon — Hite on proper, pull-up techniques and Wilde with arm curls.

That’s commonplace at stations inside Mini’s House of Pain Strength and Conditioning in El Dorado Hills where Trojan and Ponderosa Bruin student-athletes work out under Mini, a former corrections officer (28 and a half years) and NFL defensive lineman. Adults also work out at the gym; from walking and running on a treadmill to lifting weights.

“I always wanted to work with kids,” said Mini who employs six trainers, “And I always wanted to teach adults about strength and conditioning. And that’s what we are — strength and conditioning coaches.”

An El Dorado Hills resident, Mini said there are 118 members at the gym, 60 percent which attend Oak Ridge and Ponderosa. The gym is open to all five El Dorado County high school student-athletes as well as adults.

Mini and his trainers want to see all members progress in their strength and conditioning goals. If a member does not show up at a scheduled time, Mini  contacts them immediately.

“It’s about commitment,” Mini said. “If you don’t show up here, I will call you and I want to know why. If you’re sick, I’ll call you. I want to know if there’s anything we can do to help.”

Mini was a three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and baseball in high school in New Jersey. A right-fielder, Mini was scouted by the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies but went to Temple on a full-ride football scholarship to start as a defensive lineman. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1983, and later that decade for the now defunct USFL’s Philadelphia Stars.

“To play in the NFL, I knew I had to be bigger and stronger,” said Mini, who is 6-foot and weighs 268 pounds.

Mini moved to California at the start of the 1990s and started working in law enforcement. With a bachelor’s degree in criminology, he worked up the rankings as a correction’s office and retired last year as an administrator.

Mini and his wife, Kathleen, have three children who are avid into working out; Natasha, 25, who lives in San Diego, Isabella, 15, an Oak Ridge sophomore and Vinni, 11.

Students can also do their homework at the gym before or after their workouts. The gym is equipped with Wi-Fi so students can bring their lap top computers to the gym. Tutors work with students at the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“It has to do with academics first,” Mini said. “Our philosophy is prepare these kids to go onto college and move on.”

Hite, who plays soccer, was doing an all-purpose workout.

“I just started doing pull-ups, squats and push-ups,” Hite said.

Wilde plays club volleyball and plans to go out for the Lady Trojans’ lacrosse team next spring. She’s all business at Mini’s House of Pain.

“It’s very intense,” Wilde said. “They make sure you do your best, at the gym and school.”

Dillon Gugin, a senior guard on the Ponderosa High boys basketball team, started working out at the gym when it opened its doors.

“(My workouts) are split up between speed and power,” Gugin said. “One day is heavy lifting, the other day is quick movements and explosion.”

Connor Herr, an Oak Ridge sophomore who played on the Trojans’ junior varsity boys lacrosse team last spring, has his sights on becoming better, stronger and faster for next spring.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Herr said. “I’ve become a lot faster.”

The quartet agree that Mini and his staff care about all members at Mini’s House of Pain.

“He (Mini) really pushes you to your best and prepares you for the future,” Herr said.

Mini’s House of Pain is located at 4990 Hillsdale Circle, Suite 100. For more information about the gym, boot camp and membership, contact the gym at 916-933-PAIN (7246) or visit The gym is open from 4 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Mini, who offers a boot camp class every Saturday morning prior to the gym opening, said all programs include a nutrition plan.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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