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Frank Grillo's Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: January 22, 2022

Frank Grillo has had an interesting career that started off with about a year on Wall Street and saw him make a drastic switch into acting.

But as a personal trainer, I was even more interested in his career when I saw how he managed to transform his body and maintain a physique in his 50s that many of my clients in their 20s would be proud of.

So, our team spent a few months going through interviews, social media posts, and fitness training information that Frank has shared over the years.

Here's what we found.

Quick Summary

  • Frank Grillo has starred in many physically demanding roles where he had to get extremely ripped. 
  • Along with strength training, he also spends time at the Box' n Burn Academy boxing gym.
  • His training regime involves five days of muscle-burning sessions that require you to love training at maximum intensity.

Frank Grillo Stats

Portrait image of Frank Grillo
  • Born: June 8, 1965
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Weight: 170 lbs

Grillo shows off his muscles in Captain America: Civil War and as an MMA coach in the movie Warrior. And there's no mistaking him for anything other than a tough guy.

What's also interesting is his diet approach that is based on Paleo and mainly avoids simple carbs.

Let's take a look at his training plan first, though.

Frank's Workout Routines

Grillo grew up in New York City, and at the age of 10, his parents bought him a set of weights.

So he's not a stranger to working the weights, and that shows in his workout plan.

Monday: Upper Body

shirtless man lifting weights in a gym

For Grillo, it's an early morning trip to Fortune Gym in Hollywood to bring on the burn.

  • Dumbbell biceps curls (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Lateral raises (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Bench press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Lat pulldowns (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Triceps kickbacks (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Military press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Weighted pull-ups (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)

Tuesday: Cardio And Martial Arts

Grillo has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and spends a lot of time training in martial arts.

On this day, he also dedicates time to controlling his BMI with some work on cardio machines, including ellipticals and rowers.

Wednesday: Core And Abs

man working out outdoors

You just need to look at Frank's photoshoot pictures for Men's Health magazine to see that he must spend a lot of time on abs training.

  • Side plank hip dips (3 sets of 15 to 20 reps)
  • Hanging leg raises (3 sets of 15 to 20 reps)
  • Crunches (3 sets to failure)
  • Bicycle kicks (3 sets to failure)
  • Planks (3 sets to failure)
  • Burpees (3 sets to failure)

Thursday: Boxing

Men's Health magazine had some great action shots of Grillo in the ring, and he dedicates at least one day to get the gloves on.

  • Three rounds of varying speed and steps shadow boxing
  • 30 minutes on an aqua bag or heavy bag

Friday: Lower Body

man using a leg press machine in the gym

Today is time for working those legs.

  • Squats (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Deadlifts (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Leg extensions (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Leg press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Leg curls (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)

Saturday/Sunday: Rest

You'll need these days but try to remain active and go for some walks and hikes. The more you can keep your muscles loose, the better they will recover.

Frank Grillo's Training Principles

Frank Grillo is in the best shape of his life because he understands that his workouts have to bring on maximum intensity. If he's not feeling jelly arms and legs when he's done, then something went wrong.

What you'll notice above is a strong focus on mixing in compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups. Studies have shown that this is a good approach to achieving more muscle mass [1].

And with boxing and cardio, he manages to keep his BMI down for that ripped Men's Health-worthy physique.

Frank's Diet Plan

breakfast plate

Here is what a typical day will look like for Frank Grillo. You'll need to adjust portion sizes to your calorie needs, but it should give you an idea of what you need.

  • Breakfast: 4 scrambled eggs, whole-grain toast, mixed fruit, and greek yogurt
  • Snack: Cup of unsalted nuts, a protein shake
  • Lunch: Fresh fish or chicken, a large portion of steamed vegetables, mixed salad of leafy greens     and olive oil
  • Snack: A protein bar or shake
  • Dinner: A large portion of red meat, sweet potato fries, mixed vegetables, and salad

Frank Grillo's Diet Principles

Frank has spoken a few times about the paleo diet, and he generally tries to stick to it. Sugar and simple carbs are generally off the menu, except for going for dinner with his youngest son.

Having grown up in NY, he's a pizza fanatic, and sometimes that's washed down with soft drinks. But it's a rare occasion.

He also doesn't count calories but rather focuses on eating clean food that he freshly prepared. Grillo hasn't avoided fat as a macro and generally prefers high protein and fat content on his meal plan.

Frank's Supplements

protein powder and stack of capsules

Grillo aims to get all his nutrients from food, and as a paleo follower, he's not a big fan of supplements. But there are two things he'll rely on for the results he's achieved.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey powder is a complete protein, which means it delivers all the amino acids your body needs for recovery and muscle building [2]. With such a stringent fitness routine, it's going to be an essential part of the plan.

Pre-Workout Supplement

Grillo carefully plans every part of his fitness and workout plan. Whether it's for a gym session or a few rounds of boxing, a pre-workout supplement should provide the endurance to push that bit further.

Will You Try The Grillo Workout?

Even if you don't have goals of appearing on the front of Men's Health, training and eating like Frank Grillo will transform your physique.

It's a tough routine, and for many people, it will mean significantly stepping outside their comfort zone.

But I have yet to encounter a client who hasn't achieved great things without doing things they never thought possible.

Give this routine a try and see how much of a difference it might make to your strength, endurance, and overall health.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592763/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

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