By Fred Grandinetti
Actor Cuyle Carvin has been in combat for several months battling demons in the popular web-series Revelations. He portrays Jeremy who is an ex-marine dealing with a society overrun by creatures on the hunt for humans. The program was named best web series at the Idyllwild Cinemafest in 2013 and episodes can be viewed on You Tube.
Person of Interest, Alien Opponent, Fog Warning, Victimized and Dragon Day were other films which required the actor to remain in top physical condition. I had the pleasure of interviewing Cuyle Carvin regarding his passion for fitness, which extends beyond the requirements of the movie and television screen.
F.G.: At what age did you start a workout routine?
C.C.: I’ve been athletic since I was a wee lad, but I did not start formally working out until my senior year in high school. I stepped into a gym a few times but it was not consistent and I only did a couple of exercises. I played football my senior year so I had to finally get into the weight room. I was not very strong at all and looking back I get a laugh at how strong I thought I was!
Later in college I played a couple of years of football and they had us on a pretty strict regimen of gym workouts, plyometrics and a good diet. During my college years I went from about 140lbs to about 165lbs and it was all muscle. I actually do not drink or do the party lifestyle, even in college (yep, not even in college) I stayed right on target with my health and workouts.
F.G.: What has been your exercise routine over the years?
C.C.: College football introduced me to proper forms and a vast array of workouts in and out of a weight room. It also really got me interested in working out and eating right, which up to that age I did not care about. I have to admit I got into trying to achieve ‘perfection’ in my diet, workouts and physique. This was actually a very bad mental state to be in. I felt manic if I went a day without working out. I could not look at myself in the mirror because I always saw some kind of imperfection. I wanted to see every muscle fiber in my body and was never satisfied. It is a bad and unhealthy mental state to be in. I became quite vain which I could not stand about myself. Finally after two years I got over this.
Upon graduating from college I looked at magazines and started following the routines in the various fitness magazines. They have great routines featured each month. Eventually they became too easy so I amplified their workouts and substituted exercises I knew from football. Gradually I moved on from magazines and created my own routines and schedules.
Over the years, I have tried anything and everything. I have worked out at home with DVD workouts, including the popular P90x and Insanity. I exercise in the great outdoors using logs, boulders and the natural environment. I really enjoyed adventure and mud races which are challenging and fun. They are much different from regular road races where you run on pavement for miles. I also turned to running for a period of about two years when my gym workouts became inconsistent. I have run races from a single mile to a full marathon. However, my favorite workouts still take place inside a gym.
There is just something I love about putting weight on a bar and lifting, pushing or pulling it around. Nothing makes me feel stronger than a good gym workout. Anyone who goes to a gym can attest to the fact it is rare to see anyone doing squats or deadlifts and rarer for something like clean and jerks. This is because these are difficult exercises which people tend to shy away from. Many tend to stick with what they feel comfortable handling. Squats and deadlifts are actually full body exercises and build very strong legs, core and back. However, legs are not a beach muscle and men care more about what we look like with our shirts off and not our pants. An impressive chest or wide back and big biceps go a long way. You can get even stronger and bigger if you incorporate a solid leg work out and do the hard exercises. I cannot tell you how many men walk around with huge defined upper bodies on pencil thin legs. I just want to push them over. Alas, I should not talk too much as I have the thinner athletic legs myself but they are strong and getting stronger. I put myself through hell with squats and deadlifts.
F.G.: What does your current workout consist of?
C.C.: My current workout consists of a wide variety of things which pretty much incorporate everything I have done throughout the years. I mainly do CrossFit now but incorporate roughly 10-15 miles of running per week. I make sure to include kickboxing a couple of times a week. The older I am getting the less time I have to workout. However this combination has left me in the best shape of my life. I have become stronger and healthier in every measurable way than ever before. It is hard for people to take my word for it but the absolute most time I spend in a gym is 40 minutes in a given day, but usually much less, probably only 20-30 minutes. This is one benefit of CrossFit as the workouts are short but very intense. In my opinion it is the intensity at which you work and not the amount of time. I work out 5 or 6 days per week, depending on my schedule, that includes my gym workouts, running and kickboxing.
F.G.: What important information, based upon your own workout experience, would you like to share with readers?
C.C.: A vital factor I learned early on is the importance of varying your workout. I suppose this depends upon on your goals but generally speaking if you want to have a great balance of strength, speed and endurance I have found the best way is consistently challenge your body by never doing the same routine twice. You should switch up your workout every single time. Whether it is changing your rep scheme, the weight you use or most importantly the actual choices of the individual exercises. Changing things up is how to progress.
Now that I am getting older I have discovered the importance of doing functional exercises and workouts. Trying to have the biggest biceps in the country or lifting a car is no longer my concern. Doing functional exercises is what I prefer because these are designed to help you be strong, stable and flexible in practical living
F.G.: Has staying in shape been helpful in getting acting roles in action-related films?
C.C.: Remaining in shape has definitely helped me in my career and I think it will down the road. Because of the leading man category that I am in out here in Los Angeles it is important to look just that, a leading man. You cannot play a character ready to fight off evil with the body of childhood icon Mr. Rogers or the late Chris Farley. It just will not work. Even on a lesser scale, a military man, or a cop – you have to be in shape for action roles.