Lessons from Living in the Gym

By Cam Dupre, Contributor

When someone “lives at the gym,” we assume that fitness plays a large part in their life.  Juggling work, relationships, personal time, and life in general can be quite the task, so when someone is able to commit to a proper fitness program it’s quite respectable.  We should all strive to get to a point where our acquaintances might refer to us as that person who “lives at the them”. For one man, “living at the gym” is easy.

New Orleans native, Matt Frost is a personal trainer, Marine veteran, artist, and he literally lives in the gym.  He has taken his commitment to another level by enveloping himself in his passion 24/7 and has constructed his living quarters around that passion.  In what started as an empty garage with a crappy speaker and some dumbbells became a clever, functional, and advanced gym complete with kitchen, full bathroom, and loft.

Among New Orleans’ Garden District’s antebellum architecture, perfectly manicured gardens, and A-list celebrity residents, lives Frosty.  “In 2014 I bought this big house with a garage in the back,” said Frost. “I started doing bootcamp classes in there part time with minimal equipment I had acquired throughout my life.  I started to rent out my house short term and that worked out so well that I built a loft, bathroom, and kitchen in the gym and moved in there.”  The rest as they say is history.  A history that is well documented on his Instagram page which often features pictures and videos that resemble the life of someone who is always on summer vacation.

Frosty said, “Working on my gym is extremely therapeutic.  I will be working on it for many years to come.  I like starting a project and really giving attention to it.” And it certainly shows especially in a particular series of pictures which document his process as he laid 20,000 pennies on his bathroom floor in a pattern to create the image of a fleur de lis.  Murals, interesting wallpaper, and decorative signs/wall pieces are all a part of what makes Frosty the way he is.


What about his actual fitness?  Terrible…Terrible in a way that show me that I’ll never amount to anything close to his level no matter how much encouragement my mom gives me.

“Fitness has been a passion of mine since I was about 12 years old,” said Frost. “It has always been a source of therapy for me.”

If fitness is therapy for Frosty he’s close to becoming a monk.  He is a walking billboard of his own program that he approaches with just a few basic thoughts:

1. Consistency over Intensity
2. Don’t over complicate it
3. Make it fun
4. Be your own boss
5. There are no rules

“I’ve heard to be healthy exercise is 20% and diet is 80%.  Wrong,” said Frost. “Diet is 100%.  Food is medicine and it will cure you or kill you. People are trying to lose weight by looking for the right workout.  Exercise does not make you lose weight!  Diet makes you lose weight. Exercise added to the proper diet will speed up the process but people are putting too much attention to the exercise and not enough on the diet.  After many years of listening to my body and giving it what it wants and needs I feel like I’ve got it down but I’m always learning.”

To see more about Frosty check out his Instagram feed – @frostyfitness.

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