Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Jae Griggs, I am 37 years old, married with four kids, three boys and a girl, 23, 24, 17, and 11.
Born in Ft. Benning GA, I did a lot of traveling in my younger years as Military brat and settled in Columbus GA after my service in the U.S. Air Force, but still hoping to relocate to Texas in a couple of years.
I am currently a Gunsmith II for VSE in Ft. Benning GA, (Military base), inspecting and repairing weapons for the soldiers (nine years), and I am also a personal trainer and nutrition coach. I’ve been a personal trainer for about five years now.
I got into weight lifting at an early age, I want to say around 12 when my dad bought me my first weight set.
Lifting was always a part of the sports I was involved in — football, track, and even boxing. But it wasn’t until about five years ago when I made choice to start competing in bodybuilding. I fell in love with the challenge of pushing my body and doing something that I only dreamed of as a kid.
So depending on what goal is ahead of me will determine my workout routine. Right now I am bulking to add some size which is not the easiest being that I’m vegan. Right now I am focusing on weaknesses. Two heavy leg days per week. A lot of calf work and hamstrings since those are my weak points.
Describe a typical day of training
My typical training day, hopefully I got a full night of sleep the night before. But during the week, I work out first thing in the morning. I wake up at 4:40 am. At 4:50 am I try to do at least 10 to 15 min of meditation.
Then I take my supplements. Supplements include a Woke AF pre-workout, D-Aspartic Acid Powder by XPI Raw mixed with spring or alkaline water. A few different vitamins, fenugreek, Ashwagandha, maca root, things for overall mind and testosterone health.
I normally arrive at the gym at about 5:20am. I train at a gym called Body Evolution, owned by IFBB Pro Mary Cain. It’s an old school, iron, warehouse type of gym, great people and great atmosphere. A lot of people who compete train here so there is motivation everywhere you turn.
First things first, I get my playlist ready, over the ear Bluetooth headphones on, I hate ear buds, put my gloves on, now it’s time to put in some work!! I typically do a four day split. Back and Biceps… Chest and triceps….shoulders…….then leg day then repeat.
My sessions are about an hour and maybe 10 minutes long. I take days off as needed so I don’t have specific days that I would call off days or rest days. And when I need a change of scenery I go to the park and do some circuit training.
After a session, I do a protein smoothie, two scoops of planta vegan protein, blended with frozen strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, and 5-10g of Nutricost Creatine monohydrate.
How do you keep going and push harder?
Lack of motivation is something we all deal with. I always try to use social media to my advantage in this case. I follow so many athletes, friends who are trainers or competitors that are constantly pushing and motivating others through video posts, or quotes and I too use those as motivation.
I also realize that I have goals of how I want to look and feel and me staying home simply because I don’t feel motivated is not a good enough excuse for me. But on some of my bad mornings I often have to turn on some Ct fletcher motivation on YouTube to get me going.
One of the main reasons I prefer morning workouts is because it doesn’t take any time away from my family, I work out while they sleep.
I will say that one of my biggest challenges has been adjusting to my new diet, I have been vegan for a year and a few months now, so the bulking process is a challenge but I’m making it work.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today my current weight is 233 lbs. I am working on putting on some lean muscle and maybe hit 240 lbs before I start cutting weight for my next classic physique show. I’ve had some bad bulks in the past so I’m doing this one right.
Last year, I launched My Avid Athletics brand so that has been a learning experience and quite the process. Hopefully, through my website and YouTube channel I can expand the brand to the point that it is known worldwide and possibly transition into supplements as well.
My plan is to someday be able to set up and have my clothing at the Olympia expos and the Arnold Classics along-side other athletes that I have admired for years.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
The key to me resting and recovering is listening to my body. As I said before, I don’t pick certain days of the week and say “I rest on Saturdays or Sundays.
I like to go off of how I feel, some days I wake up early on a Sunday and actually plan on relaxing but sometimes I just feel too good not to work out so I will go get a hour or so in.
Other days I might have to work on my website, or edit some videos so I will use those days as my off days. I like to call those productive rest days. I’m also a firm believer in getting massages and adjustments to aid in recovery. And take vacations!
I will say that rest is one of the keys to injury prevention. When it comes to dealing with injury knowing what I can work through and knowing when to rest and heal is super important. Always choose health first.
When you’ve been working out your whole life, having to take a few weeks off the recover from a pull or sprain seems like an eternity and mentally it feels like all the gains will disappear but it’s for the better and I have learned through experience.
You don’t want to make something minor become detrimental simply because you want to be tough and work through it.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is strictly plant based. A few months after competing in the Cain Classic last year, I decided to adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle. It was actually something that I have always thought about doing especially since eating animals never quite felt right to me.
So of course I get hit with the “So where do you get your protein from” questions. Vegetables have plenty protein, as well as beans and peas, but companies like Gardein and Beyond have made it a lot easier by making plant based meats which pack a ton of protein as well.
Supplementation plays an important role. My favorite protein supplements right now are Now Sports plant based protein.
I try to eat clean for the most part but I still have my cheat meals I just don’t go overboard and my alcohol intake is maybe twice a month if that.
Plus I’m not big on going out being that I’m an introvert I don’t feel the pressures to indulge in things that don’t fit my diet or lifestyle. This also makes cutting a lot easier when the time comes and cutting carbs and added cardio does the job.
What has inspired and motivated you?
My past failures have been some of my biggest motivational tools. There were things that I have failed at simply because I didn’t give 100% of myself. And that continues to drive me forward.
I also have wonderful a wife that supports, motivates, pushes me and gives me the kick in the butt that I need if I start slacking. I want my kids to know that they can accomplish whatever they want if they just put in the work that’s needed, so I try to be the example of that.
There are things that I listen to for inspiration. I am a big fan of Eric Thomas. When I am not listening to music while I am lifting, I go to my motivational playlist which is full his speeches and CT Fletchers. One of my favorites is Motiversity on YouTube.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My advice for anyone looking to improve themselves, especially fitness related is to be real with yourself. Start off with small goals and build off of that.
If you are just starting a workout routine, don’t try to jump in head first with a seven-day a week workout plan. Start out with a couple of days and gradually increase it as your body adjust to this new training. Follow positive people on social media, people who exercise and eat the way you would like to.
Try not to get caught up in quick fix fad diets and supplements with false claims of weight loss or muscle gain. Treat your fitness journey as a lifestyle and don’t wait for the summer or special occasions to try to get in shape.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there are a lot of coaches and trainers such as myself that love to help people become better versions of themselves.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I am always looking to work with new clients. One thing I ask is that they are honest with me. The hardest part in training a client is that you are not with them 24/7 so you have to hope that they are eating accordingly with they are not around you.
Since everybody responds differently to diet and exercise, it is the coaches or trainers job to make adjustments along the way as they determine what is working or what is not working so diet integrity is a must.
The reason I feel I stand out as a trainer is because I focus on teaching as well as the results. I want a client to know exactly what they are doing and why. Proper techniques, mind and muscle connection and proper dieting. By teaching them these things, it sets them up for success when the time comes where they feel they no longer need a trainer.
All of my current and past clients have been in person, but my website is currently being updated as we speak and I will be excepting online clients. I look forward to helping more in their fitness journey.