Blond and muscled, it's hard not to notice when Keith Griffin gyrates atop a box at Blake's, parades shirtless for Atlanta Pride and uses that booty as a billboard. So we asked how he builds a body like that.
The 23-year-old Atlanta guy certainly isn't shy, something we learned when he stripped bare for the Morning Fix. And that's probably a good thing since he's studying theater in college. But he's not one to pass up quiet time at home reading or watching movies. Or put in the hours at the gym.
What got you so focused on fitness?
I was always active playing sports growing up, but what got me really focused on fitness was when I started working out for baseball conditioning in 9th grade. I had never done any kind of weight training before and for the first workout we did squats. The next day I was so sore I could barely walk up the stairs at school. From that moment on, I was hooked. I played baseball up until 11th grade but working out has always stuck with me.
The diet: Chicken and cheating
My daily food menu is usually eggs and oatmeal in the morning and then throughout the day I will have chicken, tuna, rice and potatoes. My two rules are that I eat protein with every meal and drink all water. If I feel like having a cheat meal, I don't worry too much about it. I am very fortunate in that I've been blessed with a fast metabolism. If I cook I usually just cook something boring like chicken and rice. I love to go out to eat. You can still go out to eat and stay on track, you just have to ask for what you need. The most important piece of diet advice I can give is that you have to find out what works best for you.
The workout: Weights, rest, repeat
For my exercise routine I follow a three-day split in the gym. On Day 1, I train my chest, shoulders and triceps. On Day 2, I train my back and biceps. On Day 3, I train legs. On the fourth day I will take a rest day then repeat the cycle on the fifth day. I use heavy weights and stick to the basic exercises like the bench press, squat, deadlift, pullup, military press, etc. The only exercise I do for my abs is the plank. Getting abs is all about diet. Everyone has a 6-pack but if you have a layer of fat on your stomach you won't see your abs. I don't do any cardio. Being an ectomorph, it's already hard enough for me to gain muscle and when I do cardio I feel like I get even skinnier.
I do like to mix it up every once in a while. Sometimes I like to do a CrossFit workout or come up with a fun workout to do with my friends. I've recently been doing a lot more stretching to work on my flexibility. I love to be outside throwing the Frisbee, swimming or doing anything fun.
Biggest challenge: Getting started
This may sound strange, but I don't find it difficult to stay fit. I absolutely love exercise. I love the way that it makes me feel and I love the results. I can't imagine my life without it. One of my favorite quotes is, “Once you start exercising, the hardest thing to do is to stop.” I find that to be very true for me.
Your motivation: Fitness confidence
My motivation comes from within myself and also from others around me who are working hard. When I look back at how much progress I have made since I started working out, seriously it motivates me to keep challenging myself and work even harder. When I started high school I was 5' 3″ and 103 pounds. Now, I am 5' 11″ and 170 pounds. To some people, that might not sound like much but I am very proud of myself for the results that I've achieved. Fitness is something that no one can take away from you. It is all up to you. You decide if you are going to work out and you decide if you are going to eat right. Fitness has given me an enormous amount of confidence and it has improved so many other areas of my life.
Final fitness thoughts: Consistent fun
I think the biggest key to any successful fitness program is consistency. If you stay consistent with your diet and exercise routine, you will see results. Also, it is important that you find something active that you enjoy doing. You may not like lifting weights and that is completely fine. Maybe you love to run, or swim, or ride your bike. If you find an activity that you enjoy doing, you are more likely to stick with it for the long run.
Top photo via Carl Proctor