The Physique Connoisseur
Greg Reid is the mastermind of the physical body. Aside from being one of the most sought out personal trainers for over 20 years, his recognition as an award-winning body builder portrays his lifestyle of dedication to fitness; mind, body, and soul. Reid’s attention to intricate detail concerning the physical and mental self sets him above the rest. He is known as the Physique Connoisseur.
Name: Gregory Alan Reid
Date of birth: November 18, 1962
Birthplace: Huntington, New York
Up until the age of ten, I lived in the borough of Long Island in the state of New York. I lived in the suburbs of Deer Park, Brentwood, and Bay Shore (which is where my grandfather lived) and went to school in these areas up to the third or fourth grade. I spent a good handful of years living with my grandfather until my mom, brother and one of my sisters and I moved to California. As I remember, at five years old, I used to watch Jack Lalanne every morning before
walking to school. I would see him standing straight and tall, a perfect example of the human physique. So you could say that this is where the element of fitness was seated for me and Jack Lalanne became my first fitness icon.
Growing up with my grandfather was no walk in the park. Here is where my “exercise entity” was planted. For punishment my grandfather would make us do various exercises: stand at attention, deep knee bends (also called squats), and even jumping up and down in place. I guess one might think “how cruel”, and mind you, I was not a bad kid. So this is where I became one of the universe’s fitness ambassadors. I guess I can say I got more fitness at home than I did in grammar school. LOL…
We moved to California in ’73 when I was ten years of age. I had no idea kids my age played organized sports like Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, and even basketball. I thought that the only people that played team sports were people on TV. This is also the first time I saw the game ping-pong and that was cool too, because all the friends I was making played it and played it well. This was one thing I took to better than all the other sports kids were playing. Even though I got beat a lot my game got better because I was playing it a lot! And it was very inexpensive to play. My best friend Darryl Tanner had a ping-pong table in his garage and we could always play rain or shine. I also rode a skate board around the ages of 12-17. All of the other sports, well, were okay… but I always got picked last….:((.
Being in California, I saw huge dudes. I mean, this is the mecca of bodybuilding.
The first time I saw a huge guy, I might have been about 11 or 12 years of age, which was around the same time I stated training with weights, (which continued through junior high and high school). In eleventh grade I played football (B squad) for my high school, Westchester High. I really didn’t know what to expect and boy, did I learn fast! The first time I got hit by another teammate in practice, it rang my bell like nobody’s business. Needless to say, I caught on real quick and became one of the people that did the hitting.
As a senior I played varsity football at the same high school and the same position (strong guard). But at 149 pounds you can only bring so much…feel me? So therefore I had to bring extra heart to the playing field. Back in seventh grade I was put into “remedial PE” which meant the gym, due to my knee condition. The diagnosis was “growing pains in the knees”. When the doctor told me this, I thought, “What? I’m growing too fast for me knees?”… where?”
So all through junior high and high school, training got more serious, at school and more so in the gym at my friend’s house, and my physique started to take on a muscular shape. It was my gym teacher, Mr. Gambina, who told me I had great genetics, good symmetry and good proportions.
After graduation from high school I went into the US Marine Corps at about 150 pounds. This is where I met my first official workout partner, Dennis Olsen. When I weighed in at the end of boot camp I was surprised to see that I had gained 15 pounds ( they feed you three times a day for thirteen weeks.) Learning how to eat to gain muscle weight was something I had to learn. In other words, I became an “expert eater”.
This is where my competitive career started. I did 21 shows in about 15 years. I captured 4 titles and at one point in my career I was one of the “top 5” in the country. I placed as high as third in a “national/pro” qualifier (North America) to fifth in the USA in ’92 and ’94. These were in the heavyweight class.
Very early in my career, my personal training aptitude showed itself. The first body that I was a part of changing was a friend I met in the USMC. This was while I was in Okinawa, Japan, which was where I won my first two titles: Mr. Hansen ’83 and Mr. Far East ’83. In both shows combined I took home 13 trophies. At the base I was on, Camp Kinser, I was put in charge of coordinating the bodybuilding show we had.
In 1988 I received my second honorable discharge ( I had re-enlisted in ’84). I was now out of the “green machine”. As I was now a civilian and I could get as big as I wanted, if not needed to, it was off to the races. When I got out I weighed somewhere between the high 190s to the low 200s. The first show I did when I got out was the 1988 “Ironman / Ironmaiden” show where I placed second to a guy by the name of Leaf Garret. Little to my knowledge, I had once again qualified for the Nationals. Training up ’til now had been very educational as well as physically enhancing. I met my first mentor (’84), Rory Leidelmeyer, aka “Boss”, to whom I give a great deal of credit, because he molded me into the bodybuilder I became then, and more so, for the reason why I am as good with my training as I am to this day.
Until I got ready for the ’89 North America show, I had no idea that training could go to yet another level… so much more from the place my first mentor had taken me, and I have some good stories about that. Serge Nubret, my second mentor, took me into a realm of training that I still implement with my personal training clients as well as in my own training. I had already experienced doing 100s for eight weeks with my first mentor and that was grueling, but to do set after set of reps counting as low as 30 to 50 and sometimes 60, really took me over the top. And like I said, sets…plural…not just one or two, but many.
At this point my daughter was born…Shizue Naomi Reid. I was 26 years old.
The Mr. LA ’91 show was a time I will never forget. This is where the universe was calling me back into the spirituality that was seeded by my mom at the age of thirteen…back in the day.
At this point in my bodybuilding career, I had experienced being on the chiropractor’s table (basic alignment), deep tissue massage (for muscle enhancement), and physical therapy. And let’s not forget to mention being certified for personal training through IDEA (which became ACE …the name changed in ’90-’91.) A lot of this was due to the gyms that I had belonged to and in which I worked. All of these types of professional services were inside the gym. I would say at this point in my life, my attention to the “posture and care”, and health and well-being of the physical self really came into my life. The show prep for the ’91 LA show and studying for my physical training certification really put me in the “know” of the body. In all the years of being on the table (chiro/massage/therapy) I always made it a point to ask as many questions as I could. I wanted to know what was being touched, or why certain muscles would do what they were doing to bring me to the table for treatment. As my knowledge grew in these areas I also broadened my awareness of the body.
’90-’91 was a major time in my personal training life and it was then that I became the trainer that I am right to this day. Having a deep want to help people and to get them into the best shape possible, I found that I would get a great rush out of helping others achieve their contest and personal goals, even more so than my own show prep.
Back when I was around thirteen, I walked to a lot of places in my neighborhood. One place I walked to was a gym that was on the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw. As I was walking past the big window, looking inside and being amazed at the sight of hugeness…I stopped and tried to get a better look. At that point, a large weightlifter dude came to the door to get some air (I guess) and I was shocked at his size, and more so, his arms. I was so taken, that I asked him, “how do you get your arms big like that?” He kinda looked at me, but didn’t say anything, and went back inside. I had just experienced being ignored. That crushed me as a kid, because I was very interested in weightlifting and I had a question and the “grown-up” blew me off and didn’t give me the time of day. That moment has always stuck with me…because I had a question and didn’t get an answer. Questions are important!!! Which is why teaching is important, as well as learning, and should never be ignored or blown off!!!
As I have come to understand life and some of the true elements of life (my own life more so), I have come to a place where I see my purpose here in life as well as in the universe.
To help mankind, for the good of mankind, is one of our greatest purposes.
And so, I present to you….the “Physique Connoisseur”.