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Gregory Plitt

Greg Plitt Fitness Legend Continues Inspiring New Generations

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Nov. 3 2020, Updated 9:33 p.m. ET

Actor, fitness legend, entrepreneur, model, legend; Greg Plitt could do it all. Even though he passed in 2015, Plitt’s legend continues to inspire new generations of fitness enthusiasts, as his social media accounts show to this day.

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Plitt Turned to Fitness at a Young Age

As CELEB explored in our profile of Plitt, the fitness guru discovered a love for fitness at a young age. “Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Plitt joked about how his father gave him a choice between reading and working out, and the young Baltimore native chose the workouts. In an interview with Iron Man Magazine, Plitt describes the start of his lifelong love with fitness,’…One summer I was supposed to read so many books to advance from the second to third grade. My dad would come home from work, see me playing ball and ask how the extra reading sessions were going. I told him I was too busy to look at books; I was playing sports all day. That didn’t go over so well.

He gave me a choice: I could either read for 30 minutes a day or do 100 laps in the pool, 300 situps and 300 pushups. I took the workouts. After two weeks he upped the ante, adding 100 laps, situps and pushups. Eventually we were able to agree on more reading and a bit less workout, but what I learned when I eventually got back to the playing field was that I was quicker, faster and stronger than the other kids. From an early age I saw what the benefits of working out were, and I incorporated that throughout my life.’”

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Master Wrestler, West Point Grad, Army Ranger

Greg Plitt Benchpress

A state and national champion in wrestling, Plitt left for college where he started a bright career at West Point. Of his time serving as an Army Ranger, Plitt was thoughtful. “From West Point graduation, the second lieutenant served in multiple places, including Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, Afghanistan, Korea, and then back closer to home in Washington D.C. Plitt continued to pursue his love for fitness, and as an Army Ranger he found a strength deep inside of himself that matched his outward strength and he became a role model for the platoon members he led in Korea. In the Iron Man interview, Plitt explains what it was like to serve in Korea and how it felt to lead, ‘…Here I was, 22 years old in Korea, in charge of 45 guys.

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I was the second-youngest person but was the platoon leader. It was considered a hostile area; we were on the DMZ, which separates North and South Korea. Shots were fired every day across the lines. You’re dealing with soldiers who are away from their families. Some of them came from the streets, were given a choice between jail and the Army.'”

Plitt continued, “You become their role model; I ended up being a marriage counselor, a financial adviser. Slowly the attitude is gone and is replaced with pride. It was like a positive cancer, spreading through the company. Being a part of something so much bigger than yourself, that collective group, was so empowering. It was the greatest time in my life.”

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From New York to Los Angeles

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After leaving the Army, Plitt worked as an actor and a model in New York. With early career roles in movies alongside greats like Robert De Niro and Matt Damon, the sky was the limit. “But soon, Plitt had gone as far as he could in New York and packed his bags for sunny Los Angeles. The actor and model told Iron Man about his decision to pick up and move, ‘When I would come out to L.A. for a shoot, I would shop around—agencies, places to live. I knew I would move there someday but wasn’t sure exactly when. I had a dream one night when I was still in New York about doing a major film or photo shoot. I woke up about 5 a.m. and said, ‘I’m in the wrong frickin’ city; I have to get out of here.’”

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Plitt packed up one day and moved to Los Angeles. “I took a cab to Brooklyn, rented a U-Haul with my pit bull, Quest, who I rescued a couple of months earlier [last year Plitt added Gunnar to the family]. I drove to Maryland, where I had all my stuff in storage. I called a girl I’d met in L.A., flew her to Maryland, and she made the cross-country trip with Quest and me. That was March 2006.

My first place out here was Marilyn Monroe’s old apartment in Hollywood—Harper and Sunset—and people who were looking at the star map would come up and look into the window. What did they see? This pit bull, barking his ass off; shortly after that I got evicted because I wasn’t supposed to have pets. Same story with the next place, so I ended up buying a house.”

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Plitt Took L.A. By Storm

Greg Plitt pulling tire

Once arriving on the west coast, Plitt’s career soared ever upward. Starring in multiple national commercial campaigns and taking his career from the big screen to the small screen, Plitt aced every challenge he tackled. At the same time, the former Army Ranger continued to focus on fitness and encouraging those around him. The fitness star was named one of the, “25 Fittest Americans,” by Men’s Fitness Magazine, alongside other well-known names like Will Smith and former President Barack H Obama. He was named, “One of the 60 Sexiest men Alive,” alongside Daniel Craig and David Beckham, and won, “Best Male Physique on TV,” for the Star Physique awards.

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Iron Man quotes Plitt discussing his diet and workouts; “When you’re in great shape, you go through life in fifth gear, not in fourth. When others are walking through life, you’re running through it! I love living a healthy lifestyle; I love to be active. To me, the things I do outside the gym are just fun. I don’t consider them to be a workout, per se. I have had days off, but I’ve never planned them. They happen on their own accord—usually things I can’t control—about once a week. Basically, though, I have a blissful lifestyle. I don’t consider what I do as a ‘job.’ I don’t work out just to try and look good; I do it for the journey and for the confidence it gives me.”

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Plitt Touched the Lives of Those Around Him

Greg Plitt deadlift

As CELEB discovered when researching Plitt’s profile, he was a man who left behind an impression of greatness in those whose lives he touched. “Plitt wasn’t just well-known for the things he accomplished though. His personality and penchant for hard work and dedication earned him the respect and love of fans and peers alike. After Plitt passed away tragically while filming a video in 2015, Inside Fitness shared the words of those who had the pleasure of working alongside the fitness star, and they paint a picture of a man who was kind, dedicated, hard-working, and beloved.

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One personal trainer and model, Tyler Best, told IF, ‘I am deeply saddened to hear of Greg’s passing. Greg was a close friend and mentor. He was fearless, driven, and always told you how it was. Never at a loss for ideas, he always lived life with such zeal, more than anyone I’ve ever met. Oftentimes, we would sit at his house and just bounce ideas on how he could better reach and connect with his fans. Passionate and humble in all his endeavors, those who were close enough to call him ‘friend’ knew how solid he was. I will miss his laugh, his advice, and his uncanny ability to have a good time no matter where we were. Cheers to a legend, a friend, a soldier, a leader.’

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IF cover model, Frank Sepe, shared these words with IF, ‘I, like everyone else, was saddened and shocked by the death of Greg Plitt. I had the pleasure of working with Greg for over a decade, and I could honestly say he was one of a kind. What made him so successful and separated him from the pack was his ability to lead. They say that leaders who are admired and respected have earned that admiration and respect. He didn’t follow a blueprint to get to the top; he led by example and did things his way. Well, this leader’s way positively affected the lives of a countless number of people. The dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. Greg, you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, my friend.'”

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But His Influence Goes Even Farther

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Plitt’s influence wasn’t limited to those he directly came into contact with. As his social media accounts show, 5 years later people still find Plitt inspiring and encouraging.

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On Instagram, thousands of messages call Plitt a legend, and a champion. One Instagram user, @jr.thurston, responded to a video montage of Plitt with, “Man, this guy was special. So sad, seriously bums me out, but I am also very grateful for the fact he existed at all. Thank you Greg for your contribution to this world and the fitness industry.”

Another user, @_alphaesthetics_, wrote, “I call many “the goat”, but this guy Greg Plitt was truly the Goat. His speeches were the most real and motivating words I’ve ever heard. Absolutely a superhuman.”

Dozens of fans offered in tribute that they still perform his fitness routines to this day, and the word, “GOAT,” appears nearly every other comment. 

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//greg plitt inspires new generations quote

Under another video of Plitt, users flooded his comments with more love. The video is subtitled in the caption, with Plitt’s inspiring quote; “‘Tough times, hard times, they don’t last, it’s only the hard people, the tough people that last’ – Greg Plitt.”

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Fitness model and titan in the industry, David Morin, @getmorin, had this to say about Plitt, “Greg was a man of action, even when he spoke he moved you!”

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Gone But Never Forgotten

Greg Plitt punch

Not everyone is as dearly missed as Plitt. The fact that, 5 years later, strangers and fans are still inspired by his words, deeds, and dedication to fitness and self improvement, really speaks to his legacy. The kind of person who touched the lives of everyone around him, Plitt lives on in the people he continues to help every single day. As Plitt once said, “You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.” And Plitt definitely worked it right. 

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