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I’ll never forget the exact moment I discovered Greg Plitt. I was walking through CVS in Davidson, North Carolina when I came across [not literally but almost literally] the November 2007 edition of FitnessRx magazine. Our eyes met. Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” played over the store’s speakers. I went from 0 to 1 on the Kinsey Scale. Greg was body goals before #BodyGoals ever existed.

Greg Plitt

My obsession with getting jacked/swole/huge/brolic/yoked/ripped started when I was 15. I was 6’5, 180 lbs., and Iooked as awkward as I moved on the basketball court (like a baby giraffe taking its first steps). I saw how guys on the football team got girls, their clothes fit better, and they oozed arrogance confidence. I got no girls and was a walking wire hanger. A meek weakling. I realized their swagger came from being strong & muscular.

In August 2007 I was cruising the Caribbean and in great shape— lean, muscular, and coming off a summer of intense college basketball workouts. I was poolside on the Lido Deck with my shirt off (and may or may not have doused myself in baby oil). My friend Jenn walked over, handed me a Dos Equis and said, “Big Steve, NICE LITTLE BODY YA GOT THERE!”

While that was a nice little compliment, it wasn’t enough for me. I continued obsessing over having a Greg Plitt-like physique for the next 15 years, but to the detriment of my happiness and well-being.

Fast forward 5 years. I was still 6’5 but now a well-muscled 245 lbs. I was walking home from a bar at the Jersey Shore. Some teenagers—all hopped up on Four Loko and Surge (I hope your sperm counts are wrecked)—threw eggs at me and shouted, “Fuck you, you lanky bastard!” Although I was way more confident at this point, I was still that skinny kid in my own mind.

In late 2022, I was physically burnt out and mentally tired of going to the gym. I wondered, “Why the fuck am I in the gym 6 days a week? I’m training just to come back to the gym to train more.” Insane behavior when you think about it. Fitness should enhance your life, not consume it.

I continued going through the motions for the next few months until one Friday night…

I was at a bar in Los Angeles and someone handed me an ice cold Dos Equis. I was instantaneously transported back to the Lido deck and heard Jenn’s voice. “Big Steve, NICE LITTLE BODY YA GOT THERE!”

It took almost 16 years, but in that moment I realized two things:
1) having a “nice little body” is more than enough for me.
2) I’ll never look like Greg Plitt… and that’s ok!

I took the next week completely off from training. I wrote down everything I knew about health & fitness, including every mistake I made along the way. And I made a plan for how I’d live the rest of my life.

Nice Little Body is a collection of my experiences over the past 20+ years. I’m not preaching or telling you what to do. I’m simply sharing my best practices, biggest mistakes, and fun stories.

The Core Values of Nice Little Body or: Notes to Self

Health is everything

  • Health is the foundation for your entire life. You often take it for granted and don’t think about it until you’re sick or injured. When you’re healthy you have all these wants & dreams, but when you’re sick all you want is to get healthy. All your wants & dreams get put on hold until you feel good.
  • Being healthy makes every other part of your life better. When you’re fit, strong, & vibrant, life becomes easier and more enjoyable. Do something every single day to improve your health (yes, that can even mean resting!).
  • Make health & fitness fun & enjoyable. You don’t have to be David Goggins. Take health & fitness seriously but…
Why So Serious?

"The day you stop racing is the day you win the race" - Bob Marley

  • When it comes to your health & fitness plan, ask yourself, “What can I do for the rest of my life and actually enjoy doing?” If your normal routine or everyday habits feel like a prison sentence you’re doing it wrong.
  • Everything clicks once you understand that this is a lifelong pursuit. Consistency is key.
  • “Play infinite games.” I got this idea from Alex Hormozi. When you’re playing a finite game (like basketball or football), there is a clearly defined end point and there are winners and losers. The goal of an infinite game is to keep the game going. Your health & fitness is an infinite game. Figure out how to keep it going in the most enjoyable and lifestyle-friendly way.
  • In April of 1958, Hunter S. Thompson wrote a letter to his friend Hume Logan in response to a request for life advice. He says, "But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life." While this is career advice, it applies to health & fitness goals. Let your results be a byproduct of your lifestyle and choices.
  • Enjoy the journey! “Half the fun is getting there.” - Jimmy Buffett, “The Slow Lane”

“You have to assemble your life yourself, action by action” - Marcus Aurelius

  • Your health, fitness, & life are your responsibility. No one can do it for you. No one’s coming to save you.
  • “It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.” - many people on the internet
  • - Don’t overthink. Do!

    - Taking action → results → motivation → more action

  • The importance of systems & processes (but being flexible within your systems)
  • - “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” — James Clear

    - “What you do on your bad days matters more than what you do on your good days.” — Kevin Kelly

  • “If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.” — Epictetus
  • - If your choices are healthy, so too will you be. You’re the sum of your choices and habits. Say yes to good things and no to bad things as often as possible.

  • Shoot for progress, not perfection.
  • - “Progress > perfection” — Mike Vacanti

    - “Progress = happiness” — Tony Robbins

    - Sometimes progress is simply not taking a step backwards (or not taking more steps backwards).

    - Always keep progress in mind, especially when you don’t feel like doing [insert positive action step].

    - Don’t let your feelings or emotions determine your actions (or lack of action).

  • “So, what if, instead of thinking about solving you whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” — Rainbow Rowell, Attachments
  • Think of your health as a Savings Account. Every healthy choice you make is a deposit. Make as many deposits as possible and grow your savings. When you make a withdrawal you’ll still be in a great place.

simplify & subtract rather than complicate & add

  • Your health is as much about what you don’t do as what you do. It’s simple:
  • - Limit the negative inputs.

    - Nail the basic outputs consistently.

  • Intensity & focus are way more important than having the “perfect” program. Greg Plitt never did the same workout twice. He just got in the gym and busted his ass.

do what works for you

  • People achieve success through various methods. Sometimes even in spite of their actions. Figure out what works for you through trial & error.
  • Become your own trainer/coach/nutritionist/guru. Learn stuff. Test it. Figure out what works for you. Do what works consistently.
  • You fall into one of two categories. Either…
  • - you need to shift your identity to align with who you want to become.

    - you need to make the good habits work within your lifestyle (more on this below).

  • In that same letter, Thompson says, “I ask you though, in listening to what I say, to remember that all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it. What is truth to one may be disaster to another. I do not see life through your eyes, nor you through mine. If I were to attempt to give you specific advice, it would be too much like the blind leading the blind.” Take my advice with a grain of Redmond Real Salt - Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 16 Ounce Pouch (2 Pack).
  • The Three Pillars of Nice Little Body

    feel great

    • How you feel on a day-to-day basis is the best indicator of health & vitality.
    • - do you feel well-rested and calm?

      - do you have energy when going about your daily life? in the gym?

      - is your mind sharp? is your brain working optimally?

      - how’s your sex drive?

    • Sure, you want to look great. But having a nice little body is as much about you feel inside as how you look on the outside. You want to be thriving in all areas of your life.
    • The “Do I feel great before/during/after?” test (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually).
    • - Use this for workouts, food, drinking alcohol, dates, sex…

      - Let’s use food as an example:

      -> am I looking forward to eating this? (before)

      -> am I enjoying eating this? (during)

      -> do I feel great after eating that? (after)

      - And for sex:

      -> am I looking forward to sleeping with this woman/these women? (before)

      -> am I enjoying sleeping with this woman? am I enjoying eating this? (during)

      -> do I feel great after sleeping with this woman? (after)

    • Things that help you feel great…
    • - Quality sleep

      - Nutrition

      -> Everything changes when you focus on food quality and micronutrients (not just macros). You’re energized and rarely get hungry because you’re giving your body everything it needs.

      -> "Can I enjoy eating this way for the rest of my life?"

      -> 90% of the time I eat the same 4-6 meals. That may sound crazy but I love these meals. I only eat out with friends, on dates, or other special occasions. I’m disciplined but I’m never “dieting” or depriving myself.

      - Lifting weights (no more than 3x per week — unless you truly enjoy being in there more often).

      arnold quote

      - Walking/hiking (great “cardio” and a form of meditation)

      - Listening to music & dancing

      - Spending time with family & friends

      - Laughing & being silly

    rock a nice little body*

    *whatever a “nice little body” means to you

    • Turning heads and receiving compliments is great. But it shouldn’t be what drives you or be a source of happiness. Do it for yourself. Anything else is bonus.
    • Having a nice little body is simply a byproduct of following your systems & processes.
    • “Happiness is there when you remove the sense of something missing in your life… Happiness is the state when nothing is missing.” — Naval Ravikant
    • - It’s ok if your body doesn’t yet look how [you think] you want. Strive to make progress, but don’t let that rob you of your happiness now.

      - If you’re not happy now—from within—you won’t be happy when your body looks a certain way.

    enjoy life

    • Don’t put off living your life!
    • - “I’ll ask her out once I lose 20 lbs.” or “I’ll start traveling once I get in shape.”

      -> No! Get in great shape while living & enjoying your life!

      - “The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” — Seneca

    • Don’t live your life in the gym (unless it brings you joy).
    • - Three intense lifts per week is perfect.

      - Enjoy the journey…

      -> “This is the real secret of life— to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” — Alan Watts

    • “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” ― Hunter S. Thompson
    • hunter s thompson daily routine Ok, maybe Hunter isn’t the best example of how to treat your body. But what’s the point of having a nice little body if you’re not out there living your life to the fullest?

    Thank you for reading.

    feel great. rock a nice little bod. enjoy life.


    the chillest dude in fitness