Frank Grillo grew up in New York, the son of an Italian immigrant and the eldest of 3 boys. He wrestled in high school and started boxing in his twenties. Grillo received a business degree from NYU and worked on Wall Street for a year before scoring a gig in tv commercials. He went on to appear in the soap opera Guiding Light and other tv shows including Battery Park, The Shield, and Prison Break. He landed small parts in movies such as Minority Report, but became better-known for playing in Warrior, The Purge and Captain America: Civil War. Grillo formed a production company with his best friend called War Party. He is skilled in MMA and boxing, and has a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is considered to be a fitness influencer. Although not a huge fan of social media, he has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. Grillo has been married twice and has 3 children. He is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 170 lbs. and has 5% body fat.
Frank Grillo’s Diet
Grillo wrestled in his youth, and thus he always had to watch his weight. He has never been one to cut loose and eat just anything he wants. He follows a diet that is based on the principles of Paleo, meaning all foods must be in their most natural state, including wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef and organic vegetables. He avoids refined foods, bread, pasta and the like, as well as added sugars, and he also does not eat dairy products. He says he does not take any supplements. The one thing he consumes for pleasure is wine, and he does so regularly.
- Low-Medium Carb 20% 20%
- Medium-High Fat 45% 45%
- Medium Protein 50% 50%
Due to being an athlete for his entire life, Grillo has always been disciplined with his food. He eats almost exclusively to fuel his body and keep his weight down.
Natural All the Way
Grillo only eats meat that has eaten its own natural food, and not been fed grains or antibiotics. His food rule is ‘nothing that is post-agricultural revolution.’
Grillo eats clean, but he doesn’t count calories or macros, and he eats whenever he’s hungry.
In Vino, Pleasure
Wine is the one indulgence Grillo allows himself, and it might be a whole bottle in one sitting.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Grains: oats, rice, etc.
Grillo on his Diet
‘I stick to a paleo-centric diet — wild-caught fish, organic chicken, no grains, rice or oats.’
Grillo on the Paleo Diet
‘I’m the first one to say, “That’s a fad,” but it works. For years, I avoided fat…They tricked us into believing if you ate fat, you’d get fat, but it’s the opposite. My cholesterol and blood pressure, all my vitals have never been better.’
Grillo on his Eating Habits
‘As a wrestler, I was always cutting weight, so I was never really a foodie.’
Grillo on Wine
‘I’m convinced they’re making bottles smaller these days.’
Frank Grillo’s Fitness Routine
Grillo is up and at ’em at 5:30, seven days a week. He heads to the Box ’N Burn Academy at Fortune Gym in Hollywood where he sweats it up.
Grillo says he had to switch from jiu-jitsu to boxing because while boxing may give you a lump, jiu-jitsu leaves abrasions, which as an actor, he has to be careful about.
Full Body Conditioning
Grillo thinks boxing is the best exercise because it works the whole body as well as the mind. He spars, does mitt work, conditioning, heavy bag, all of it.
When Grillo is traveling for work or vacation, he doesn’t take a break from exercise. He has a routine he does when he can’t get access to a gym that includes shadowboxing, jumping rope, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats.
When he can’t get to the gym
Stretch: 5-10 min
Shadowbox: 10-15 min
Hotel Room Circuit:
Push-ups: 25 x 5 sets
Air squats: 25 x 5 sets
Chair/stair dips: 25 x 5 sets
Plank-to-push-up: 25 x 5 sets
Jump rope: 60 sec x 10 sets
If you have dumbbells, add the following:
Dumbbell clean & press
Dumbbell weighted step-up to biceps curl
Dumbbell flys (shoulder and/or chest)
Jump rope: 6-10 min. Vary speed & steps
Shadow boxing w. 3 lb. weights: 3 rounds
Sparring w. 16oz. gloves: 5 rounds
Mitt work w. 10oz. gloves: 5 rounds
Heavy bag: 5 rounds x 3 min
Swiss ball bench press: 10 reps x 3 sets
Swiss ball fly: 10 reps x 3 sets
Goblet squat: 10 reps x 3 sets
Pull-up: 10 reps x 3 sets
Swiss ball plank: Hold to failure
Crunches: 100 reps x 1 set
Grillo on Boxing
‘There is no better workout than boxing.’
Grillo on the Benefits of Boxing
‘You’re burning deep, deep fat cells and using everything you store.’
Grillo on Excuses
There’s never an excuse to miss a workout.’
Grillo on Boxing
I love training more than acting, but there’s not a career there for me.’
Grillo on Martial Arts & Spirituality
‘Through martial arts, there’s a level of spirituality, respect the world, the trees, the sky.’
Frank Grillo’s Supplements
Frank Grillo’s Lifestyle
Grillo says getting beat up in second grade is what pushed him to learn how to defend himself, and thus began his devotion to martial arts.
Tough But Tender
Grillo doesn’t want to be typecast as an action hero and searches out roles with more emotional depth.
Dirty Little Secret
Grillo says he’s the first person in his family to try acting, or do anything artistic, and he doubted anyone would take him seriously.
Coming Back for More
Grillo got clocked in a boxing match and couldn’t see straight, but kept going for three more rounds. Afterward, a doctor informed him that the blow had detached his retinas.
Grillo admits to clobbering a bigmouth, and says he’s the first one to suggest they take matters outside, much to his agent’s chagrin. He tends to stay home these days, to avoid conflict.
Grillo on his Stint on Wall Street
‘I did it for about a year but it wasn’t for me. Wearing the suit? No.’
Grillo on Quitting
‘One thing you don’t ever do when you’re fighting is stop. You just don’t quit.’
Grillo on why he Stays in
‘People like to challenge you. They read stuff…and they want to see if you’re really a tough guy.’
Grillo on Grit
‘Grit…is a word I love.’
Grillo on Rules
‘There are no rules. There are only things in your head. The only rule is: don’t stop and don’t quit.’
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: Civil War
The Purge: Election Year