The secrets to getting abs like this Atlanta guy

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Griff King lives and breathes fitness almost as much as Clemson athletics. So it's no surprise that he's constantly in motion. When he's not doing mud runs and playing kickball, he's helping others get physically fit. So we asked him to share some fitness tips.

What he offers comes from personal experiences. The 28-year-old Atlanta guy, personal trainer and freelance graphic designer had a health scare that prompted him to shed weight, fix his diet and eventually bulk up to the toned, muscled guy above.

"I love to work out and stay active," says King, who offers personal training at Gravity Fitness and private gyms. You can email him or message him on Facebook.

What got you so focused on fitness?

I have always been in the gym. I played sports and baseball, in particular, up until my sophomore year in college. So fitness has always been in the picture. It wasn't until I moved in with my ex that I put on so much weight. The summer of 2005, I weighed 210 pounds and lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. It wasn't until I got my cholesterol checked during a routine check up that I got the news that due to my lifestyle of bad eating habits and lack of exercise, I would be dead with a heart attack by age 40. This prompted me to get my butt in gear and eat and exercise.

I ended up losing 70 pounds and got to my lowest weight of 140 pounds. This wasn't achieved overnight. It took me almost a year and some change to lose all that weight. After that, I decided to gain some muscle and put on 20 pounds and have maintained that for several years now.

The diet: Fresh and green with a side of cheat

My diet consists of very healthy and fresh foods. I eat a lot of lean meats and leafy green veggies. I do keep the carb intake low and keep it whole grain. If I do get food out, I prefer to eat foods that are very fresh and have low sodium and saturated fat. By the way, I love Chipotle. But I do have a cheat day where I can have a meal that is totally bad for me.

The workout: Diverse and fun

I work out five times a week. I focus on interval training and heavy weight training. My work out habits combine cardio, weights, agility and endurance building exercises. My workout routines are varied so much that I end up not repeating the same exercise over and over yet still get to work the specific muscle groups out. This keeps the workouts fresh, fun and exciting.

Biggest challenge: Don't be lazy

The toughest part of staying fit is giving in to indulgences such as sweets, fatty foods, alcohol and being lazy. These things are easy to achieve and it feels good to indulge in these things. What motivates me to keep from falling back into these habits are knowing the risks to my health and also going back to that time where I was a bigger person and being unhappy.

Your motivation: Healthy habits

I'm motivated by the positive influences in my life, which are my boyfriend, Rick, my friends, and my family. I lift and exercise because it's important to be healthy. It's also about looking good as well. It's good to have a healthy habit, mine is the gym and my lifestyle. Just remember that if you want to begin training, the biggest and heaviest weight you will ever lift is your ass off the couch. It can be intimidating, but just like with life, if you don't put yourself out there, you will never achieve anything.


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