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250 magazine covers
04November/2016

250 magazine covers

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The man who landed 250 magazine covers 

Greg Plitt (1977–2015) was an actor, model, entrepreneur and motivational speaker who spoke to millions about fitness, nutrition, wellness and motivation. Greg, who tragically died in an accident in southern California in 2015, appeared on the covers of more than 250 fitness magazines and 25 romance novels. He was a self-confessed “perfectionist, hopeless romantic and momma’s boy”. Greg’s integrity, drive and competitive nature will always be fondly remembered. The MMH team was lucky enough to spend time with Greg and are excited to share some of his previously unpublished training advice, wisdom and inspirational words with you. 

IMAGES DALLAS OLSEN 

You’re known for your unmatched physique and attitude. What kind of training do you do to keep in shape? 

My split is chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs, with abdominals done at the end of each workout for 10-15 minutes. My routine starts on Monday: I will do chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, shoulders on Wednesday, arms on Thursday and legs on Friday. I then immediately go back to day one, that being chest, and do chest again on Saturday, followed by back on Sunday, and so on.

Given that I have four days between each muscle group, I do not need a day off. In all honesty, given the nature of work and hectic lifestyles we all lead, there is always a day each week that prevents me from getting to the gym, so that is my day off. I don’t plan a day off — so as to avoid missing two days in a row. Meaning if today was my ‘day off’ and tomorrow work prevented me from getting to the gym, I would have two days off in a row, which would hinder my growth. To prevent that, I let nature run its course and don’t schedule days off.

How often do you change up your workout?

I change my workout every time I work out. Don’t think this a huge task; it’s not. All you want to do is keep your body guessing and not allow it to get in sync with your training routine. If your body begins to figure out your pattern, it will find a more efficient way to move throughout the workout. This is the miracle of the human body, but it defeats our goal of getting stronger. 

Your body grows when it’s forced to adapt to new situations it’s not ready for. When it is adapting, it gets stronger to overcome the changes, which ultimately leads to growth. Changing your workout is as simple as switching the routine — doing dumbbells instead of barbells, hammer strength and machines instead of free weight, doing only body weight, going heavy (6-8 reps) or going light (18-20 reps). You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; it’s easy and, to be honest, it makes training more enjoyable and interesting. It keeps you from getting bored in the gym.

You must have trained in a lot of gyms in your time. Do you have a favourite?

My favourite gym is Metroflex Gym in Long Beach, California, or Venice Gold’s in Venice, California. The reason these gyms are at the top of my list is because of the atmosphere. I believe champions come in pairs of two as they battle themselves into perfection. Metroflex and Venice Gold’s are gyms filled with people who want to win, who give their all, push past the pain for pride and go the distance. Being surrounded by such drive and dedication helps you up your game, as you feed off everyone’s energy.

You stay in shape year-round. How? 

People always ask me when my off-season is and I tell them, “I don’t have an off-season, as an ‘off-season’ for me, in my career, is called unemployment”. Working out and having a great physique is very perishable; you either use it or lose it. 

I have noticed throughout the years that the quality of life is enhanced when I’m in shape. My body and mind are in sync and I feel invincible — the world literally becomes my playground to go running, hiking, rappelling, surfing, skydiving and so on, and I have endless amounts of energy to really get all I can out of life.  

When I find myself getting out of shape, due to travelling or a crazy work schedule, I immediately see my energy levels dropping and I find myself getting somewhat depressed. 

What’s something interesting about you not many people know? 

Everyone needs a release in life from the constant grind and wear and tear. What people do for that release varies, but everyone does something that causes them to unwind a bit and stay grounded once found in a stressful situation for a period of time.  

For me, my release has always been construction and woodworking. In a world that is very subjective, where you cannot always control the outcome of your efforts, I find such peace in construction. I turn an idea into a reality, and at the end of my efforts, a tangible item stands for all time as a memento to a period of my life. I find the gym to be the same way — where you go into the gym and start to build your body non-subjectively. What you put in is what you get out.  

I always talk about the gym as a metaphor for life, where you build the fundamental character blocks for success such as dedication, sacrifice, due diligence, work ethic and sweat equity.  After a period of time, you sharpen those tools and transform your body, but all along, as you look at yourself in the mirror, you find out you also transformed your confidence and how you view yourself. 

The same fundamental character blocks that got you in shape will also transcend in all aspects of life outside the gym. You will find success in your career, social life and marriage; you’ll be a better husband or father and become a role model in your society where your words are not spoken hollowly, but rather backed up by action. 

We all hit plateaus from time to time. How do you overcome yours? 

The definition of psychotic behaviour is the act of doing the same routines and series of actions but expecting a different result. In order to achieve new results, one must engage in new actions, new directions and new levels of intensity. In the art of building a stronger body, many people experience plateau cycles where their efforts are not producing their desired goals of transformation. It is simple for one to say you have to change up your workout to keep you body guessing — aka muscle confusion — but is that the master key to unlock a plateau in your program? Hell no!  

I would strongly encourage all to become students of the game before deciding to play the game. Don’t just go to the gym and lift blindly: study how the body works, reacts, recovers and grows. The more you understand how the body works, the more fluent you will be in your own body’s language.  

Your body speaks to you daily by showing you signs. The more you understand those signs, the quicker you can react to issues before they become problems where you develop a plateau. I say this because plateaus are not created in the gym; they are only identified in the gym. Plateaus are born before you even enter the gym. 

When someone develops a plateau, most will focus all their efforts on reworking their gym time as if that is the weak link in their chain of success. They’d have more success if they focused their efforts on the 23 hours between gym time instead of the hour spent in the gym. If you truly look at it, you will see the culprit of the plateau is usually not the gym, but your nutrition, rest or cardio routines.  

Greg’s plateau-busting questions to ask yourself 

Are you on a steady sleeping pattern of six to eight hours a night or did you pull an all-nighter last Saturday partying and sleep through Sunday recovering?  Don’t think that doesn’t affect the following week’s training patterns. 

Are you totally stressed out with work or personal life? Did you just go through a break-up?  The emotional stress on the body far outweighs the physical stress of lifting on the body and deteriorates the body’s ability to rest and recover. 

Are you getting your nutrition by liquid means right after your training program to take the most advantage of the 45-minute window of growth? It’s more important when you eat, as opposed to what you eat, for nutrition means nothing unless your body absorbs it.  

Are you multitasking in the gym, doing a lifting session followed by a cardio session? If so, you are killing your growth by 50 per cent. 

Do you always work out at the same time of the day? Try switching it up by doing a morning lift or late evening lift. 

Do you stretch? Do you cycle your lifts for heavy days to light days to compound-lifting days to isolated-muscle-group days? 

Do you cycle off supplements for a week, or even cycle out of the gym for a week, and do all bodyweight workouts in the outdoors? 

Have you ever tried a two- to three-week fast where you get all your nutrition in liquid form?  There are endless ways to shock the body, inside and outside the gym.  

Don’t get complacent and develop psychotic training behaviours — change it up and put the work in on the back end to ensure your body is getting the proper rest and nutrition. That is where all the growth is found and is the master key to unlocking any plateau.    

Lastly, Greg, tell us what success means to you.

I feel success is something that should speak for itself — it should never be talked about, because if it is of true value, then it will speak for itself. If you have to speak for it, you weaken the accomplishment altogether, and if you have to talk about it, it probably isn’t worth talking about. Whenever I work on something, it will be talked about not by me, but by others if I achieve what I’m striving for. 

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