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Q&A with Celebrity Personal Trainer Phillip Goglia

Meet Dr. Philip Goglia
President & Founder of Performance Fitness Concepts

Dr. Philip Goglia  has been a certified nutritionist for over 30 years and holds a PhD in Nutritional Science in addition to being a graduate of Duke University, The American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. His nutritional expertise is fully measurable, with the proven ability to take all of his clients and athletes to the highest level of their performance and competitive abilities. He has a pedigree of athletic history himself as a high school and collegiate All-American wrestler, a storied 12 year history as a rugby player, a Mr. North America bodybuilding champion, and a Grand-Am motorsports race car driver.

Dr. Goglia’s bestselling book, “Turn up the Heat – Unlock the Fat Burning Power of Your Metabolism” is an acclaimed “Best Seller” and was featured on E! Entertainment, CNN, People Magazine, In Touch, Life and Style, In style, Men’s Fitness and Vogue. He is the official nutritional consultant for the Dr. Phil show and The Doctors television shows, and was the nutritionist for Jennifer Grey, for her season 11 win on Dancing with the Stars (and the oldest winner).

Having been a three time cancer survivor and once told that he would never walk correctly again or play a sport, he fully understands the commitment it takes to emotionally and physically take a stand for health and well-being. Daily, he supports his clients to overcome their wellness obstacles through the use of his years of education, life experience and wisdom.


We had the opportunity to chat with famed personal trainer, Phillip Goglia about his thoughts on The Method gym in Durham and his approach to health and fitness. Keep reading to learn about Dr. Goglia’s connection to The Method and this celebrity trainer’s top fitness tips!

How do you know Maitland?

I met Maitland back in the late 70’s while at Duke University… I was a wrestler and rugby player at the time and wanted to learn about bodybuilding… I had been training at the Duke weight room but knew I needed something more. At that time, I heard of a small neighborhood gym that was owned by Maitland Nance … I hunted him down like a rabid coyote! He was kind enough to include me in the very select group of friends that trained at his place, right around the corner from his mom’s place. Many times after Saturday training sessions we would have breakfast at his mom’s. She would cook salmon and eggs– bacon biscuits … amazing food for a northern kid from Boston!

We became lifting partners. He helped me prepare for my first bodybuilding show. We ate together – trained together — ran stadium stairs together. People called Maitland “The silver fox” and called me “Big Boy.” My relationship with Maitland was extraordinary. He had entrepreneurial visions. I mentored so much of my life based on his down-to-earth integrity and work ethic. He has been one of the people that help mold me into manhood.

There are too many extraordinary stories to mention. Suffice it to say, Maitland has always been one of my heroes.

What’s your number one rule when it comes to fitness and working out?

  • Train hard or go home
  • Fitness and physique is 80% kitchen 20% gym
  • Drink your water
  • Focus-perform-accomplish-succeed

What’s your number one rule when it comes to nutrition?

  • Avoid foods that have multi-ingredients, such as breads, muffins, bagels, pastries, cereal, etc. Basically, any baked goods that include yeast, sugar, mold, and gluten.
  • Avoid diet foods that suggest low or no fat and/or low or no sugar.
  • Always try to properly hydrate your body. You should be drinking 1/2 oz to 1 oz of water per each lb. you weigh DAILY.
  • While each person’s metabolic body type is different, for a healthy diet, you should eat high fat fish, 1-ingredient carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, yams, fruits, and vegetables
  • Try to eliminate as much dairy from your diet as possible. A splash of milk in your coffee is okay though!
  • Never rely on supplementation over food and exercise
  • The biggest protein meal you eat should be at night. This is when your body has time to rest and repair your muscle tissue.
  • Looking for a great pre-workout snack? Eat raw nuts (12) with a piece o fruit. This is a great source of fat as an energy source and the sugar and fat combination will be extremely energizing and sustainable for a workout of 90 minutes or less.
  • Avoid sports drinks. Many of them are high in sodium and sugar, even some containing caffeine, which will cause digestive discomfort. The type of energy you get from sports drinks will be “spikey” at best and not sustainable.
  • Often I’m asked what type of protein bars are best to eat. There is no such thing as a protein bar! Does your protein bar taste like salmon, chicken or steak? Doubtful. It probably tastes like chocolate or cookies. Chances are, it’s a sugar with a fairy dusting of some kind of low grade protein in it. Don’t be fooled by crafty marketing. If its not fish, poultry, steak,  eggs or nuts, its not a protein. If you choose to use a pre-workout bar, make sure it is one that offers up honest marketing that is a health 50 / 50 split of sugar and fat to be used for sustainable workout energy. Examples are Bonk Breaker bars, my favorite choice and the choice of cyclists and multi sport athlete.
  • Do not under-eat

What’s the most common request you get from clients?

Energy level – body fat loss – weight loss – health wellness – improved posture and strength – disease / illness management – diabetes – eating disorders

You’ve worked with stars including Khloe Kardashian, who’s looking amazing! Did you contribute to her weight loss plan/give her any tips?

I have enjoyed working with and have been honored to work with many stars and celebs including the Kardashians and the Marvel comics action heroes. I’m always providing tips and food plan strategies to help support their goals and training strategies. I work with and am very honored to work with their trainer — Gunnar Peterson.

Khloe revealed she lost weight because of cutting out dairy/gluten. What do you think are the benefits of cutting out these food groups?

The removal of dairy, gluten, yeast and mold while increasing hydration and calories to appropriate levels act as the perfect strategy for fat loss and muscular repair. The result is an incredible physique shift, as Khloe has demonstrated. She is a fitness warrior!

While working with actors like Chris Hemsworth & Chris Pratt who face grueling workouts while on set, do you give them any specific tips for staying healthy while also getting muscular and toned in such a short amount of time?

Yes – nutritional strategies shift and change based on their schedules of filming and training. The shifts are found within the increase or decrease of calories and the strategic placement of their macro-nutrient percentages throughout their day.

Which celebrity clients have particularly impressed you with their dedication to healthy eating/fitness?

Jai courtney – chris hemsworth – chris evans – chris pratt -sebastian stan – christana locken – emilia clarke – clark gregg – rufus sewell – mickie rourke – brie larson – sean combs – kanye west!  These folks are all warriors and truly dedicated athletes who are focused and committed!

What are your thoughts about Maitland’s Method? Do you feel it’s an effective approach?

Maitland’s Method of training wellness and fitness. The longevity he practices is without a doubt founded in science and proven in practice! He is a master and is an expression of all he teaches! A wealth of wisdom and a man who always walks the walk!

Best Fitness tip:

Listen to what maitland tells you!


Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Dr. Goglia! Isn’t he just amazing?! If you’re ever in North Carolina come by our Durham personal training studio!
And to you Durham fitness-lovers, if you loved this series as much as we did, we have GREAT news! For the next month we will be partnering with Dr. Goglia in sharing his best tips regarding diet, nutrition, pre-workout foods, and hydration. It’s going to be amazing! Check back soon!
Keep training Durham!

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