How Fitness YouTuber Greg O’Gallagher Stays Jacked With 2 Workouts a Week - Men's Health Magazine Australia

How Fitness YouTuber Greg O’Gallagher Stays Jacked With 2 Workouts a Week

"The idea that you have to do all these fancy workouts, be in the gym for hours, and hit the muscle from all these different angles, is wrong. You really just need to get stronger in some key exercises."

When the fitness industry zigged, Greg O’Gallagher zagged. This chiselled 30-year-old YouTuber has built up a multi-million-dollar fitness company that teaches people how to look like movie stars while still eating chocolate and only working out twice a week. And yes, that includes Brad Pitt in Fight Club. 

We chatted with Greg about his views on fasting, how to build that V-shape movie star body, and what he thinks about Liver King. 

MH: You’re all about getting people into “movie star shape.” Who are your top five movie characters that have aspirational physiques?

Greg O’Gallagher: I personally really gravitated towards the movies that came out in the late 90s, early 2000s, and up to the 2010s. So for me, there’s Brad Pitt, whether it’s Fight Club, when he’s extremely lean, or in Troy, when he had a bit more muscle. Daniel Craig is in really good shape for someone that doesn’t quite care to get completely shredded but just looks really good. Ryan Gosling got in pretty good shape for Crazy, Stupid Love, and Christian Bale was in great shape for American Psycho and The Dark Knight. They’re some of the classics.  

So what do all of these guys have in common physique-wise? 

Well, two things. The first point is that their physiques are achievable naturally. 

Maybe they’re natural, maybe they’re not. Honestly, I don’t care because I have my own style of achieving that condition naturally. So I’m not looking at their training or at their nutrition – I’m just looking at their physique.

And two, these guys are not as huge as you might think.

A lot of people focus on bulking up and putting on size, so they lift weights, they eat a ton, and then they look sloppy and their faces get puffy. I used to train in that direction and my body fat was like 14%. I didn’t have that chiseled look. My face was more rounded and chubby and that was not how I wanted to look.

In reality, what all of these actors like Christian Bale and Brad Pitt have in common is that they have very low levels of body fat. They’re all under 10% body fat, which gives them amazing proportions. Their faces are chiseled, they have vascularity and their shoulders are rounded because when you get very lean, you lose the fat and the shoulders pop. 

Greg O’Gallagher

Okay. So how does someone get that lean? 

As far as eating is concerned, getting lean requires a calorie deficit. However, the key to being in a calorie deficit is to make that as enjoyable as possible. The idea that you have to eat every two to three hours is completely wrong. The idea that you have to cut out carbs is also wrong because it messes up with your training, your recovery, and your testosterone. These methods make weight loss counterproductive and too unenjoyable to sustain. 

The goal of nutrition is to make it as easy as possible so that you can actually do it every day. 

I’m not speaking about losing 15 pounds (6.8kg) of body fat a month. That said, you can easily lose four or five pounds (1.8-2.2kg) of body fat a month. If someone is 180 pounds (81kg), moderately active, 16% body fat, they’re going to burn around 2700 calories per day on average. So, they’ll need to be consuming 2200 – 2300 calories, and then get their 10,000 steps in, hit their lifts to maintain muscle, and get sufficient protein. If you do that, you will lean up. 

For me, I have steak and potatoes and chocolate every single night and I’m getting down to 6-7% body fat.

The idea that someone’s eating a calorie deficit and not losing fat is completely wrong. It’s just that they’re not in a calorie deficit, or maybe they are for five days a week, and then one or two days, they blow it with heavy drinking or eating. 

You’re also a big proponent of fasting. Where does that fit into achieving a calorie deficit?

Part of sustaining a calorie deficit for me has been fasting. I’ve been fasting since I was 19, for over ten years. If I go to a family dinner with 20 people, nobody can eat more than me. I have a big appetite – I can eat. But for that same reason, I couldn’t stick to any diet. I couldn’t get lean. 

Then I began researching fasting and it all kind of clicked.

There are some cool benefits to fasting. You’re increasing growth hormone, you’re increasing fat mobilization. There are a lot of health benefits to it. But even just conceptually, the whole idea that we have to eat first thing in the morning is complete garbage. 

For most of human evolution, we have not been eating first thing in the morning. We’ve been fasting and foraging during the day. We evolved to eat big feasts in the evening. So I just felt like my body is designed for this. I feel incredibly focused during the day. I’m much more inspired to get work done when I wake up and have a cup of black coffee than if I’m sitting down, making some breakfast, eating some calories, and now I’m just thinking about snacking again. 

So by fasting, you’re super focused, a you’re not eating breakfast then a snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, and constantly thinking about food all day while gaining weight. 

Instead, you skip breakfast, eat a light lunch and then have a big dinner. For me, I have steak and potatoes and chocolate every single night and I’m getting down to 6-7% body fat.

 So what workouts would you suggest for someone aspiring to look like a movie star? 

The idea that you have to do all these fancy workouts, be in the gym for hours, and hit the muscle from all these different angles, is wrong. You really just need to get stronger in some key exercises. 

Right now, I only lift weights twice a week.

Those key lifts are incline presses, shoulder presses and weighted chins ups, plus some accessory movements like lateral raises, biceps curls, triceps extensions and face pulls.

If I take someone that’s doing reps of 135 pounds (61kg)  incline press and I take them up to 205 pounds (92kg) incline press, their chest, shoulders, and arms are going to get a lot bigger. The stronger you get, the bigger you become. If you get stronger on five to eight reps on all these different movements, you’re going to build an amazing physique. 

Right now, I only lift weights twice a week. For most people, I suggest that you do three days. I’ll do Monday and Friday upper body focus, and then Wednesday is a lower body focus. For leg training, I really like Bulgarian split squats and Romanian deadlifts. 

You’ve made a few videos recently on testosterone, can you speak about why it’s so important to be aware of? 

We’re in this sort of epidemic right now where testosterone levels have been dropping since the ‘80s. From 1999 alone, the average male testosterone level is now 25% lower. You might not even know if your testosterone levels are low and you get it checked and it might surprise you. Low testosterone creates a negative spiral. Working out and improving yourself becomes much harder. You have to force it, and it doesn’t feel great. 

One way to tell how high or low your testosterone levels are is whether you wake up with a strong erection in the morning. A lot of men don’t, and that’s a key symptom of low testosterone. When men have poor sex lives and aren’t motivated to exercise or improve themselves, they can start to get very depressed. 

We recently released a supplement through my company called Kino Mojo which is designed to support your total free testosterone levels. It’s not a steroid, it’s a natural supplement with five ingredients, three minerals, and two herbs that have been shown to help support either total T, free T, or help reduce estrogen. I’ve been taking the samples for the last couple of months. I love it.

Why is testosterone going down? 

A few reasons. One is that there’s an insane amount of phytoestrogens and toxic compounds and chemicals in our environment and it’s probably unavoidable to limit them all. The big thing I would recommend is that you don’t use a lot of fragrances. Avoid body washes, heavy fragrances in your laundry detergent, and colognes. 

I use a natural deodorant natural soap and shampoo. Colognes and fragrances are loaded with phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors. So you just want to limit your exposure. And then, for example, even eating broccoli and cauliflower is good at helping reduce estrogen. In our Kino Mojo, we have two things that help deal with that. Tongkat Ali is very anti-estrogenic and Boron is also helpful there. Also, waistlines are increasing and people are becoming more sedentary. Your waistline is inversely correlated with your testosterone. 

What do you think about Liver King? He also has a supplement company, he’s promoting a healthy lifestyle, and yet there are a lot of allegations against him being unnatural. As an advocate for being natural yourself, what are your thoughts on LK? 

Yeah, he’s definitely not natural. There’s no question about it. That physique is completely unattainable. All the signs of drug use are very clear-cut. 

That said, I think his marketing is fucking genius. He’s doing an incredible job marketing himself and his brand. I don’t know the structure of his business, or whether he’s spearheading the marketing. I’m pretty sure he’s not. But regardless, his marketing is freaking genius. The 9 ancestral tenets are awesome. What I don’t agree with is false marketing, which is saying that you’re natural and it’s these ancestral tenets that built your physique when clearly there’s strong drug use involved. 

His stomach protrudes out, which is a sign of potential growth hormones, and his training is all very conditioning-focused. He’s not training in a way that’s conducive to muscle growth. 

So I think that there are benefits to eating organ meats. I respect the marketing. I do not, however, respect lying about not using drugs. I get my testosterone checked, my body fat checked, I’m doing it all on camera for the world to see so that people know what’s achievable naturally. Why can’t he do the same?

You can find Greg on Instagram @Gregogallagher and you can find his workout routines and supplements at kinobody.com

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the former Digital Editor at Men's Health Australia, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has written for Women's Health, esquire, GQ and Vogue magazine.

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