October 09, 2021 10 min read
In recent years, one of the most successful internet personalities in the fitness industry has been Greg O’Gallagher.
With his impressive physique and a workout program that gets results without making fitness one’s life, he’s found great success in leading others to healthier lives and more aesthetic bodies.
Down below we’ll be breaking down the philosophy that backs up his training program. Many of its precepts are something you usually don’t hear about, such as the lack of cardio in the workouts. This goes against a lot of other programs that promise amazing results, especially in the aesthetics department.
With his company, Kinobody, a diet has also been created. Stressing intermittent fasting and carb cycling, it’s gotten thousands of people great results. Combining these different aspects into the Kinobody workouts can very likely get you the body of a sculpted Greek statue.
Hailing from Canada, Greg O’Gallagher was born in 1986. From a very young age, he was into fitness, and he ended up dropping out of college to pursue an internet fitness brand: Kinobody.
At the ripe old age of 24, O’Gallagher became a millionaire because of the success of this brand. By 2016, it had become one of the most popular fitness programs in the world, boosted by his very popular YouTube channel.
As we mentioned, Kinobody was the online fitness program that O’Gallagher launched. Although it had humble beginnings, it now includes his own line of supplements, recipes, blue-light glasses (for blocking blue light from screens, leading to better sleep), and clothing and merchandise. These days, Kinobody has shared ownership between Chris Walker, Nate Mohr, Darren Crawford, and Mike Dobson. The program has seen tons of success and is as popular as ever, which warrants a closer look from us.
There are several different workouts in the Kinobody universe, all dealing with different goals and starting athletic levels: from programs that help you primarily gain muscle to fat loss programs. However, they have many things in common as well.
For example, they all emphasize muscular definition with a very low body fat percentage, while also cultivating mass. Correct proportions are also critical in the Kinobody workouts. As an example, Kinobody has often been criticized for not allowing for enough lower body exercises. However, the reason for this is that the legs tend to grow faster than upper body muscles, and O’Gallagher is all about proportionate aesthetics.
For this reason, programs go by the names of “Movie Star Body Program,” “Warrior Shredding Program,” and “Greek God Program,” among others. This should give you a good general idea of the goals that the Kinobody workouts will be hitting. Although this might not meld well with everyone’s athletic goals, it’s gotten results for thousands of people.
The aesthetic comes down to a broad chest, a wide back with strong-looking delts, and dense abdominal muscles. And although the legs are developed as well, they’re meant to be lean and defined rather than yolked, which enhances the overall proportions of the physique.
All Kinobody workouts are meant to be fun and fast. O’Gallagher argues that you shouldn’t have to revamp your entire lifestyle around fitness, but rather that fitness and working out should work around the life you want. After all, an athletic and good-looking body should enhance your life, not become your life.
For this reason, all the different Kinobody workouts only have you training for three days a week, on non-consecutive days. Not only does this allow for the proper amount of rest between workouts, but it also helps you maintain a consistent workout routine for a long period of time without having to worry about getting burnt out.
And once you’ve reached your goal and are only interested in maintaining, you can even get away with only training twice a week—talk about efficiency. The workouts are also simple, mostly featuring compound movements that hit a lot of different muscle groups. Not much time is spent on small exercises that only emphasize one muscle, and for this reason, there’re only four to six exercises each day.
This cuts down on a lot of the complexity of working out and makes things easier to follow—especially for beginners. Kinobody workouts also don’t call for absolutely destroying yourself in the gym. Instead, they get you to slowly but surely progress to your goals.
O’Gallagher is also a big believer in progressive overload—slightly improving your lifts every week instead of killing yourself at the gym during every session. This is seen in his advice to substitute out exercises once you either get tired of them or stall out on them.
Although the substitutions will never work the same muscles the same exact way, they do provide a mental respite from doing the same things over and over again.
Most exercises are completed using 6-8 reps, which puts you on a nice middling ground between hypertrophy (bulking) and strength training. However, O’Gallagher does emphasize the importance of training for strength when looking for a lean and mean physique.
A lot of workouts are done using reverse pyramid training when the heaviest weight is used in the first set. Then, the weight is decreased by about 10% for the next set, and the reps are increased by 1 or 2. This is then continued until all the sets are finished. This way, you’re going to be hitting the heaviest set when you’re at your freshest, maximizing strength gains.
Another unique aspect of Kinobody workouts is the lack of cardio implemented in the routines. Although O’Gallagher says that cardio has its uses, it isn’t necessary for looking good. However, if you’re looking to ramp up the fat-burning, then a bit of cardio can go a long way—just don’t do so much that you’re losing muscle as well.
The lack of cardio and a “lifestyle first, fitness second” mindset makes the Kinobody workouts extremely popular with people looking to get fit and look good. Down below is a sample routine, that follows the Kinobody formula closely. Make sure you get some stretches in as well. The Kinobody routines call for mobility exercises, and they’ll help you get the right range of motion in your lifts, allowing for even greater gains.
Maintaining a healthy physique is 30% exercise and 70% diet, and the Kinobody workouts don’t forget this. In fact, they largely emphasize the correct dietary protocol for losing body fat and keeping it off, while also maintaining a good level of muscular mass.
The most important aspect of the Kinobody diet is the intermittent fasting part. This is when you don’t eat for a few hours every day, and instead, have a “feeding window” where you’re allowed to consume food. In a sense, everyone goes on a fast when they sleep, and a simple intermittent fast can look like 12 hours of a feeding window, and 12 hours of fasting.
When considering the time you sleep, that’s only a few hours before bedtime where eating is usually limited. Intermittent fasting mostly helps in that it limits the amount of food you can get in you during the feeding window. Since you’re not allowed to eat for as long during the day, you’re inadvertently going to lose weight (unless you binge during the feeding window).
The way O’Gallagher goes about this is an 18/6 fasting method, where 18 hours are spent fasting, and then two meals are had within a six-hour window. For him, this window extends from 2 pm to 8 pm, with a 400 calorie meal at 2 pm followed by a larger, 1600 calorie meal by 8 pm.
He makes a lot of use out of coffee, drinking at least three a day since they speed up metabolism and leave you feeling full. Leaving the 1600 calorie meal for the nighttime also allows people to eat out with friends without having to worry about their calorie intake. Another argument for this method is that eating at night will optimize fat mobilization, along with catabolic and anabolic activity.
This will lead to a rise in growth hormones and testosterone, allowing you to preserve more muscle mass while eating at a caloric deficit. Insulin sensitivity in your body will also rise, giving you leaner muscles as your body stores less fat. Although some people may intermittent fast in cycles that last for days, the Kinobody program warns against this.
This is because extreme fasts put your body into a catabolic state while also lowering the glycogen levels in your lower. This ultimately kneecaps your ability to train optimally, and can also severely get in the way of building more muscle.
Carb cycling is also used to some extent in the Kinobody training program. It’s a relatively new approach to dieting, and it involves the timing of carbohydrates to make them work with your body’s processing of them, allowing you to store less fat in the long run.
In practice, this means including two high-carb days during the week, two moderate-carb days, and three low-carb days. These days are meant to match up with when your body needs carbs the most—so for example, the days you’re training at the gym. On the other hand, low-carb days are supposed to switch your body over to a ketogenic state where fat is being primarily used as fuel, rather than carbs.
The high carb days are also used to improve the functions of hormones that regular appetite and weight, along with refueling muscle glycogen which is important for workout performance and in the reduction of muscle breakdown.
Pairing this approach with intermittent fasting is a winning strategy towards losing fat and keeping it off. But it also comes down to the types of foods you eat….
Once you’ve got your eating regime down to a T, you’re going to want to focus on the types of foods you’re eating. O’Gallagher says that intermittent fasting helps you to choose healthier, more filling foods during the evening meal since your body craves nutrients that aren’t empty. However, you should be trying to go for clean food regardless, even if you don’t completely stick to the intermittent fasting regime.
Foods that are high-quality include things that are either not processed or minimally processed, are unrefined, and are whole. You also want to include healthy fats, whole grains, and healthy proteins. Although it’s often said that a “calorie is a calorie”, the quality of calories makes a lot of difference—especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
This is because healthier sources of calories tend to be more filling and don’t contain as many sugars, refined grains, and starches. You’ll want to avoid potato chips, sodas, cakes, donuts, sugary cereals, and other junk foods and fast foods.
What you do want to include instead is some of these items:
Incorporating these foods into your diet will provide more fuel for you to build muscle, and will keep you satiated for longer. Stick to this type of diet and you’ll be able to much more easily maintain a lower body fat percentage to show off your new guns.
However, O’Gallagher’s entire philosophy hinges on making working out, work for you. So it’s no surprise that he partakes in cheat meals throughout the week—anywhere from one to two. However, keep in mind that cheat meals shouldn’t break your diet completely.
They’re good to keep your mind in a good state, but don’t go overboard. Even better if you can still cheat without going way over your caloric goals for the day.
As we mentioned up above, one of the reasons that Kinobody workouts only have three days of work per week is because O’Gallagher argues that it takes the body 48 hours to completely heal and recharge.
While the exact timing likely depends from person to person (since many people workout a lot more often and get good results), it does highlight an important factor when working towards your goals.
Contradicting popular belief, your muscles don’t actually grow and develop when you’re in the gym. Instead, the gym is what tears muscle fibers and they only heal and mend when you’re resting. This is why over-training can be such a problem for some people—training more and training harder isn’t going to necessarily get you out of a plateau, and it might even make things worse.
Along with the right exercise routine and the right diet, you’re also going to want to remember to get enough sleep and take care of your body. Combine these three factors to the best of your ability and you’re guaranteed a next-level physique.
Thousands of people have found success with Kinobody workouts, so they’re definitely worth trying out if you like what they’re generally about. However, they also highlight some key factors when it comes to working out in general.
The training philosophy of O’Gallagher can be emulated outside of Kinobody in your own routines and exercises. For example, not changing your entire lifestyle to fit into your fitness goals. Keep things fun and light, and you’ll see that you can go a lot further than you otherwise would—and in the end, working out is a marathon, not a sprint. Allowing for fun, quick workouts that get you results will give you the best of both worlds.
These workouts also highlight the importance of choosing a goal and sticking to it. If you’re going for pure strength or bodybuilding, Kinobody workouts will probably not be that attractive for you. This is because they stress the importance of aesthetics over everything, instead of strength or the biggest muscles.
Having goals that are both well-defined and achievable is not only going to help you choose the right method for training, but they’re also going to help you mentally when the going gets tougher. Tackle the physical game along with the mental game, and the results will come in time.