I met Greg a few months ago when he reached out to invite me onto his Road to Ripped podcast, and we immediately clicked. He not only really knows his stuff and gets great results with his clients, he’s a very cool, down-to-Earth guy.
I hope you enjoy the interview!
What is your age, height, and weight?
I’m 22 years old, 5’10, and 185 lbs.
What motivated you to get fit?
There was a moment when I was six years old, when I had one of the most profound realizations of my life. I was playing with my Brick Bazooka action figure and I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be to have a rock hard muscular physique like the toy action figure I was mirin.
I remember asking my father if I could ever look like that. My father’s answer was priceless, “Gregory, if you exercise and eat right, you can improve your physique.” I was blown away! At the time, I had no idea that you had any control over how you looked. And from that moment forward, I committed myself to exercise and healthy eating.
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What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced in achieving your fitness goals? What helped you overcome them?
To be honest, I never had any trouble making consistent progress in the gym. I’ve always been extremely consistent, hard working, goal oriented and patient. I’ve been recording all of my workouts since I first stepped foot in the weight room at 15 years old. When I hit plateau’s I adjust my routine, vary the exercises and/or change the set/rep scheme to keep progress coming along.
With that said, the biggest challenge I have faced is probably diet. To me, it’s important that I maintain a reasonably low body fat for that lean and chiseled look. This requires a great emphasis on nutritional intake. Having to restrict calories is something that would have freaked me out in the past. In fact, the moment I decide I’m going to go on a ‘cut’ to drop fat, my appetite instantly goes through the roof. This makes dieting quite futile.
Being miserable to get in great shape is out of the question. I see nutrition and training as a way to enhance your life, not detract from it. Thankfully, I have uncovered a nutritional strategy that allows me to feel fantastic and almost effortlessly eat at a calorie deficit to drop body fat.
What drives you to continue putting in the work week after week?
I love lifting. I absolutely love it! I don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire week without strength training in the last 5 years. I love hitting it hard in the gym, and I love setting goals and knocking them out of the park.
I should also note, I believe in a minimalistic approach to training. I lift two to three days per week while making continual progress on my ‘key lifts’. Because of this, the time investment to realize the incredible benefits of proper training is minimal.
Beyond looking good, what do you feel are the biggest benefits of being fit?
The truth of the matter is that virtually everyone wants to be in great shape, but so few are. The mindset, outlook and skill set it takes to succeed in fitness is readily transferable to everything else in life.
When you set a goal for yourself and decide that you want to build 20 lbs of muscle or drop down to 10% body fat, and you conquer that goal, you learn so much and more importantly, you develop a strong sense of self-belief. All of the sudden, nothing else seems out of reach. Learning a new skill, building a business, meeting a beautiful girl…. All the things that once scared the heck out of you suddenly start to excite you. Why? Because you’ve bought into yourself, you believe that you can succeed.
What is your current exercise routine (both weightlifting and cardio)?
My current goals are to maintain most of my strength and size while adding some more muscle onto my arms, particularly my biceps. So I’m keeping the volume low on most movements by only doing two work sets.
I’ll also mention that a good workout is one that allows for a good rate of progress on your main lifts. The following routine has led to some incredible strength gains in the last few months so don’t overlook it because of its simplistic nature.
If you build up to doing weighted chins with 100+ lbs for 5, incline benching 245 lbs for 5 and performing dips with 150 lbs for 5, you’ll have an insanely developed physique. This is the type of strength achievable with such a routine. My best personal records include incline benching 260 lbs for 6, weighted chins with 115 lbs for 6 and bar dips with 180 lbs for 6.
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Monday – Back, Shoulders and Arms
Weighted Chin ups: 2 sets – 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
Standing Barbell Press: 2 sets – 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
Incline Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets – 4-6, 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
Skull Crushers: 3 sets – 6-8, 8-10, 10-12 (RPT)
Lateral Raises: 2 sets – 10-12, 12-15 (RPT)
Wednesday – Legs and Abs
Box Jumps: 3 sets of 3-5 jumps
Pistol Squats: 3 sets of 3 explosive reps
Calf Raises: 2 sets – 10-12, 12-15 (RPT)
Hanging Leg Raises: 2 sets x 10 reps (slow)
Abs Wheel Roll outs: 2 sets x 10 reps (slow)
Friday – Chest and Arms
Incline Barbell Bench Press: 2 sets – 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
Weighted Bar Dips: 2 sets – 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
Barbells Curls: 3 sets – 4-6, 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
Rope Pushdowns: 3 sets – 6-8, 8-10, 10-12 (RPT)
Hammer Curls: 3 sets – 4-6, 6-8, 8-10 (RPT)
I rest 3 minutes between sets and reduce the weight by 10% on each subsequent set for RPT (reverse pyramid training).
For cardio I like to do brisk walking for 40-60 minutes on rest days. This is my preferred approach. Walking improves recovery, has a neutral effect on appetite and is quite enjoyable. I’ve done a lot of interval training and strategic cardio in the past, and it works, but it’s definitely not necessary.
How do you handle the nutrition side of the game? Do you follow any particular dietary protocol?
I believe in intermittent fasting, a practice I have been doing for over three years now. I keep it relatively simple and flexible and don’t adopt any precise fasting/feasting window. My approach is to simply fast for 5-6 hours upon rising and then eat a large lunch and dinner, followed by a smaller meal sometime before bed.
Depending on my goal of fat loss, muscle gain or maintenance, my calorie intake and macros will be adjusted accordingly. During cutting phases, I like to use a reefed week every 4-6 weeks. Similarly, during lean bulking I like to emphasize lower calorie days every now and again. This has been a superbly effective protocol at maintaining muscle and regulating appetite when cutting and staying lean while bulking.
What’s more, underfeeding greatly enhances the effects of subsequent overfeeding by up regulating various anabolic receptors. Similarly, overfeeding boosts leptin, which keeps your appetite under control and metabolism strong. This makes dieting efforts more enjoyable and effective.
What do you feel are the 3 biggest fitness lessons you’ve learned over the years?
1. Stick to your workout routine…. No program hopping
If you’re constantly hopping from one routine to another, you’ll never get any solid results. You must commit to following a program for long enough to experience lasting results. Only when you have reached a plateau, should you even consider changing your routine. And even then, it’s best to make a subtle change.
2. Track your progress
Building a great physique comes down to getting stronger on key movements. If you’re not tracking your workouts, it will be difficult to know how much you have to lift each session to progress. What’s more, when you are tracking your progress you know which routines are effective and which are not.
3. Less is more
I’ve always made my best strength and muscle gains limiting my training frequency to three sessions per week, performing 4-5 exercises per session of 2-3 work sets each. Whenever I try to increase training frequency and/or volume, I inevitably stall on my lifts. With heavy lifting, your central nervous system requires roughly 48 hours for full recovery. If you’re training heavy on consecutive days, your strength potential will be limited.
Who do you look up to most in the fitness industry, and why?
I look up to and have been influenced by quite a few different people in the fitness industry, forming my own unique approach to training and nutrition. If I had to pick one person as being the most influential, it would probably be Rusty Moore. It wasn’t until I started reading his site and his courses that it finally dawned on me why I was training.
I began to identify with Rusty’s message. In training for the sleek, lean and muscular Hollywood look. This inspired me to create my own brand, kinobody, dedicated to my approach for achieving the various kinobody type physiques; warrior, greek god and superhero. Each of these classes has a varying level of muscle development and definition, with plenty of sex appeal.
I’ll also mention Mike Matthews here quickly. It’s rare that I come across a fitness blog that I actually bookmark. MFL is definitely one of those. I’ve had Mike on my road to ripped podcast twice, because, well, he’s in outstanding shape and he has a science based and real world approach to fitness and nutrition. Not to mention, he’s a very cool, down to earth guy.
Where do you plan on going from here? What are your future fitness goals?
I feel as though I have achieved a high level of strength and muscle development. It’s tempting to push it further and see how far I can take it, but I think I’m just going to maintain from here on out.
It really comes down to the law of diminishing returns. I’m close to my maximum muscular potential while bordering on elite level lifts. Increasing it from here is a very, very slow road and injuries and set backs become more common.
Plus, it’s fun to be able to pump the brakes on training and actually enjoy all the hard work you’ve done. Most people can maintain strength and muscle with very little volume. In the last month I’ve maintained everything training one to two times per week while I was living in LA.
What kind of things do you enjoy outside of fitness? Favorite books, movies, hobbies?
I’ll preface by saying that I think it’s important to have a life outside of work and fitness. Funny enough, in the fitness and bodybuilding community, I get the idea that some people think it’s honorable to dedicate themselves completely to their training and nutrition, and to sacrifice their leisure and social life altogether.
To me, this is absolute nuts. Fitness and nutrition should enhance your life, not consume it. Therein lies the beauty, when you can get in great shape while having a life too. Speaking of, with a great physique comes great responsibility. It is your absolute duty to share your hard work with one or more lucky women.
My hobbies and interests outside of work and fitness include, spending time with my friends and family, watching great movies and reveling with beautiful women. I’d also like to share that in the last year, I’ve been immersing myself in the spiritual teachings of Eckhart Tolle.
This has had a profound effect on my overall quality of life. Instead of living for the future, I’m finally able to embrace the present moment, which is all there ever is.
Do you have a favorite motivational quote or story?
“Make No Small Plans.”
It’s a personal favorite quote of my father, who past away when I was 11. Make No Small Plans represents the way, in which my father lived his life. Never once setting and never once letting anyone tell him what he could or couldn’t do. My father’s life will ripple on for many, many more years to come and I am truly blessed to have been his son.
When I was 19 years old I had ‘Make No Small Plans’ inked on my left shoulder as a constant reminder to live my life with my fathers tenacity and unshakable self-belief.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Muscle for Life readers?
I am honored to be featured on MuscleforLife, one of the few fitness sites I actually frequent. If you want to find me, I’ll be blogging over at Kinobody.com and you can download my free report the Kinobody Blueprint here.
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Young, Bold and Innovative… With more success stories in his first year than any rookie fitness author, and an attitude that says, who cares, it’s only fitness. Gregory isn’t like every fitness professional, who lives their life in the gym and subsides on protein shakes and cardboard meals.
Gregory’s always been more interested in how to get in amazing shape while living a life too; eating amazing meals, reveling at night and spending time outside of fitness. Interestingly enough, his training and nutrition approach, works gangbusters as his clients routinely achieve radical transformations in only 12 weeks.
His latest fitness course, the Warrior Shredding Guide is based on his protocols and methods to dropping down to single digit body fat, while gaining strength and revealing rock hard muscle definition.