C.T. Fletcher is as Spartan as it gets. The three-time World Bench Press Champion and three-time World Strict Curl Champion — as well as host of Spartan's newest show, Don't Break — he has died five times, only to survive each time and come back unbreakable. C.T. sat down with us for a candid conversation and revealed his favorite workout, favorite exercise, the biggest mistake people make when training, the most important factor for staying in peak shape, and much more. Plus, find out the strongest person C.T. has ever trained with, and his favorite moment in front of the camera.
More C.T. Fletcher: 5 Fast Facts About the Powerlifting Legend
The Spartan Q&A: Spartan Sits Down With C.T. Fletcher
His Favorite Workout
Spartan Race: If you could only do one workout for the rest of time, what would it be?
C.T. Fletcher: Probably my favorite workout — or the go-to if I only had one — would be the gauntlet. I have a lot of favorites, but the gauntlet — the tricep gauntlet — would probably be my No. 1 favorite workout routine because it's 200 reps and it's hella hard.
His Favorite Exercise
Spartan Race: What about specific exercises? Do you have one, in particular, that trumps the rest?
C.T. Fletcher: The gauntlet is probably my favorite routine, but if I could only do one exercise it would definitely be curls. If I could only do one, it would be curls. Curl, motherf*****, curl.
What People Do Wrong
Spartan Race: What is the No. 1 thing that people do wrong when it comes to training?
C.T. Fletcher: I believe that the No. 1 sin is listening to too many different opinions. You're always gonna find a bunch of chalkboard or keyboard experts, and they're gonna give you a whole bunch of different opinions. The only way that you really, really, truly know if something works or not is to try it for yourself. That is the only way to really know if it works for you. You'll get a whole lot of people who tell you their system is the best, their system works the best, but there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to training. If you want to know if it works, try it. If it works for you, then it works. It's just that simple.
The Most Important Factor
Spartan Race: What do you consider to be the most important factor for getting in, and staying in, peak shape?
C.T. Fletcher: Easy question: diet. Diet, diet, diet. What you put into your body is what fuels your body, and if you put in low-grade fuel, then your car's not gonna run right. You've gotta put in top-grade fuel with any motor to make it run right. Diet, diet, DIET. And remember, you're not dieting for taste. You're dieting for the results that that diet is gonna have upon your appearance and your functionality. So, shut up and eat that sh**.
Advice for Beginners
Spartan Race: How would you advise those who want to begin training, but aren't quite sure where to begin?
C.T. Fletcher: I would tell them to begin at the beginning — basics, the basic steps. Everything starts up here [points to his head]. You have to make up your MIND that you really want to do it, and that this time, you're really gonna stick with it. I suggest setting small goals; conquering that small goal and then shooting for a larger goal. My first goal after having a heart transplant was just to be able to stand up on my own, under my own power. I had to use a walker to begin with, but just standing up on my own was my first goal. The next thing I wanted to do was walk around the ward. So, set those small goals, achieve them, and then set another goal after you achieve the first goal.
His Strongest Workout Buddy
Spartan Race: You have trained with some of the strongest people in the world. Who is the strongest person you ever trained with?
C.T. Fletcher: This is an easy, no-brainer. I trained with this young man for over 25 years, and we went to war every Monday. Every Monday evening after we got off work, we went to war at the American Eagle Gym in Norwalk, California. It's undoubtedly, unquestionably, "Big Daddy" Richard Schoenberger. Man, we would go to battle. Every Monday night, tit for tat, nobody giving in, nobody giving up an inch. Then after we did that, we'd go right across the street and eat them out of double cheeseburgers!
Nothing else mattered but being strong. We were so big that we'd tie up our shoes and be winded. We had to tie them on the side because tying them up front was just too much pressure on your stomach. I saw that guy military press 525 pounds 20 years ago. I hadn't seen anyone else do it until recently, until I saw Iron Biby do it. That lasted for over 20 years. Richard "Big Daddy" Schoenberger is the strongest motherf***er I ever trained with.
His Favorite Acting Experience
Spartan Race: You have eight acting credits to your name. What is the coolest experience you've had as an actor?,
C.T. Fletcher: To say that I'm an actor is an insult to actual actors. I made about five low-budget gangster movies years ago, but my coolest experience was, hands down, Batman v Superman. Now, you may say, "I've seen Batman v Superman and I didn't see your punk a** in there anywhere, C.T." Well, you have to look at the director's cut, because I did not make the one that was in theaters. But in the director's cut, you'll see me shanking the sh** out of somebody in a prison scene. That was my favorite experience by far.