Greg Plitt's Interview with Muscle and Body
The juiciest details?
“The producers didn’t want me talking to Jackie [Warner] until the cameras were rolling. Everything about the show is spontaneous; they never tell you anything. They tell you where you need to be, what time and how long you need to be there. They don’t tell you what you’re doing. They constantly throw a lot of curve balls at you to get you to react. You can never be a step ahead of them. It makes for a good show.”
And what does he bring to the mix?
“They picked me for a couple of reasons,” … “One, because of my name and credibility in the fitness world. Two, because of the drama I’ll bring to the table. There’s one guy on the show named Brian Peeler. He’s the alpha male and I think they’d thought we’d clash. They figured that (casting me) would stir up emotion and drama amongst the female trainers and make for a good show.” Plitt laughs. “We’ll see about that.”
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Save the drama for your mama? Not an option for trainer Greg Plitt, who joins Bravo’s “Work Out.”
By Chris Mann
Former Army Ranger Greg Plitt Joins Bravo’s “Work Out.” Can He Handle the Truth (of Hollywood)?
Telegenic fitness cover model Greg Plitt learned to endure the harsh elements and embrace a gut-wrenching, character-building sweat while training platoons of desert-bound soldiers as a West Point graduate and serving as an Army Ranger overseas. But is he tough enough to handle the image-obsessed, melodrama-churning world of L.A. reality television?
Plitt and America are about to find out. The perfectly chiseled personal trainer and up-and-coming actor — he’s also landed recurring gigs on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives,” had a role in the movie “The Good Shepherd” and appears as a carpenter on HGTV’s “Design to Sell” — is ready to change the face of health-conscious Hollywood as he joins the cast of Bravo’s hit reality series “Work Out,” which premieres for its third season in April.
Set at über-demanding head-trainer Jackie Warner’s Sky Sport & Spa penthouse fitness club in Beverly Hills, the one-hour docudrama traces the trials and tribulations of several young, buff and restless trainers, as well as the overweight — and sometimes equally overwrought — clients they’re assigned to whip into shape.
“It’s all about the trainer-trainee transformation,” Plitt says of his Bravo gig, as he heads into the vast unknown of reality TV filming. “Each trainer has a client, and drama ensues between the client and trainer, trainer and other trainer, as well as outside relationships and inside relationships, and everything else that goes on between.”
Plitt concedes that this is a true reality spectacle. He has no idea how this season will shape up. “The producers didn’t want me talking to Jackie until the cameras were rolling. Everything about the show is spontaneous; they never tell you anything. They tell you where you need to be, what time and how long you need to be there. They don’t tell you what you’re doing. They constantly throw a lot of curve balls at you to get you to react. You can never be a step ahead of them. It makes for a good show.”
And what does he bring to the mix?
“They picked me for a couple of reasons,” says the muscle magazine cover staple (including multiple times on Muscle & Body) and new face of ICE*Men cologne. “One, because of my name and credibility in the fitness world. Two, because of the drama I’ll bring to the table. There’s one guy on the show named Brian Peeler. He’s the alpha male and I think they’d thought we’d clash. They figured that (casting me) would stir up emotion and drama amongst the female trainers and make for a good show.” Plitt laughs. “We’ll see about that.”
A Soldier’s Story
The retired Army captain and company commander’s no-nonsense, military-training style and workout ethic no doubt also played a big role in his casting. And his beyond-skin-deep approach to L.A. fitness and health promises to make the rarefied air of Skylab (an offshoot of Sky Sport) thick with “Survivor”-worthy tension and conflict.
“Almost 90 percent of people in this town go to the gym for vanity,
for how they look in the mirror,” says the Baltimore native, who has trained men and women since moving to Los Angeles in 2006. “They don’t care how fast they can run. They want to make sure they can fit into whatever dress size they want, or are big enough to fill out their T-shirts. They go to the gym for social attraction. I don’t live for that reason. I wasn’t born or raised that way. I work out for performance reasons, as athletes and people in the military do. In order to do my job, I have to be physically fit.”
Plitt’s been faithful to his workout since the sixth grade, when his dad, Greg Sr., bought him a home gym. Devoting his childhood and teen years to sports — including hockey, wrestling, football and golf — the young fitness fanatic found further inspiration in the military makeover his sister, Virginia, who is 15 months his elder, undertook after high school.
“I saw the transformation in her that first year after she was in the U.S. Naval Academy. The way she presented herself — her integrity, her honor. She had that little spring to her step, with added confidence. I thought, That’s where I’m going.”
A year later, he received and accepted a congressional appointment to West Point Military Academy, an experience, he says, that built intestinal fortitude, stamina and character.
Bringing The Pain To Beverly Hills
One of the lessons he learned from an early age, according to Plitt, is, “The better shape I’m in, the better result I get. For the performance side, I had to fall in love with the sweat equity of exercise. It’s not about how you look when you’re working out, it’s about pain — you’ve got to fall in love with that pain. If you do, it’s not a matter of if but when the results come in.”
As a certified master physical trainer, he’s used to instilling these traits in new soldiers. “That transformation that you see when someone becomes a soldier,” he says, “many of them come in with real bad attitudes. They’re tough guys on the street and nobody’s going to tell them what to do. Then one day, they’ll come to you crying, saying, ‘I need someone to talk to.’ All of sudden they start changing their ways and they become the men they always wanted to be. Then other soldiers start looking up to them as role models. Then they’re proud and they hold their heads high. That’s more gratifying than anything I’ve done. That’s what’s so cool about it — to be able to train somebody and transform them and bring out all of the great qualities that everyone possesses.”
Plitt plans on bringing his authentic boot-camp mentality to any superficially oriented folks who walk through the doors of Sky Sport & Spa.
“If it’s all about vanity, that’s not going to wake you up at 5 in the morning when it’s pouring rain outside,” said the former Ranger. “If you wake up and go the gym, you have that spark for the rest of the day. You think a little quicker, you walk a little faster. You’re energetic. And that’s the real high of life. If you get the mind-body connection, you’re hooked for life.”
Tune in to Bravo to see if Plitt’s able to successfully integrate his disciplined approach, or if he instead gets caught in a maelstrom of melodrama (our money’s on the latter). Good luck, soldier.
“I work out for performance reasons, as athletes and people in the military do. In order to do my job, I have to be physically fit.”
A Commanding Presence
As a longtime member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including a stint with the elite Army Rangers, Greg Plitt isn’t used to backing down to anyone. His outspokenness has already sparked major on-screen drama for the 28-year-old, who appears in two upcoming indie features. After concluding his government contract in 2005, Plitt landed prestigious New York-based modeling jobs, which led to his first major acting break opposite two big-screen heavyweights.
“Somebody told me about this movie called ‘The Good Shepherd,’” he recalls. And without a theatrical agent or much experience, “I went up for this role in the film. Somehow I get in front of the camera to read some lines and I got into an argument with the casting director. He was telling me to read this, and I’m playing a solider. They had some jargon in the lines but it wasn’t the reality of what a soldier would say. So I said, ‘This is the way it should be. You guys have it written wrong. But if you guys want me to play it different, I’ll play it different.’”
Many struggling actors would have been shown the door. But Plitt’s straight-shooting confidence — some may see it as outright cockiness — was just what the role called for.
“They’re filming all of this between me and the casting director. Robert DeNiro was the director. He watched the tape and, boom, I get the part. I played his aide. I had a couple of lines, and all of my scenes were with Matt Damon and DeNiro. It was unreal.”