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By the age of 27, Matt Green had already flexed his muscles in the political arena, landing gigs with President George W. Bush (2002–05) and then–California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (’05–07). And though success came early for the driven and personable Baylor University grad, it didn’t come easy. Despite being an ambitious go-getter, Green struggled with a deep-rooted self-doubt that plagued him since his youth. As a kid growing up in San Antonio, TX, he was often the target of torment by bullies who would tease him for being skinny.
“My biceps were the size of my wrists,” Green recalls. “I was a very lean guy. The guy inside of me, I felt, was not being represented.”
Professionally, it didn’t hold him back: Green had the cojones and gravitas to handle the fast-paced, volatile world of politics. He knew his self-worth, never backed down from a challenge, and earned the respect of many important people, the Oak included. But psychologically, those bullies’ words still haunted him into his late 20s.
Working with Schwarzenegger opened Green’s eyes to the importance of a strong physical appearance.
“He’s such an internally confident person, not cocky, but confident. That’s what he ultimately taught me; believe in yourself because nobody else will.” Green reflects on how working with Arnold triggered his own transformation. “I finally had enough and stopped using my work as an excuse,” he continues. “Feeling good about yourself and how you dress and how you look exudes confidence, and that helps in the business world and anything else you do.”
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In 2007, he set his mind to transforming his lanky, 145-pound physique into a head-turning piece of chiseled mass. At first, the gym intimidated Green: The presence of hulking commercial gym meatheads made him self-conscious, and not being the best was a foreign feeling. However, the Eagle Scout and straight-A student worked around his insecurities by enlisting the help of a fit co-worker and routinely working out late at night, sacrificing sleep for gains. As Green’s muscles changed, so did his outlook on the gym.
“After a long day I want to get out of the freaking office, stop talking to people at work, and invest time in myself,” explains Green. “For me [now], going to the gym is fun.”
Nine years later, Green, now 36, is a ripped 195 pounds. He was a marketing director at top supplement company Cellucor and currently works for a Fortune 500 company heading up marketing and branding for C-level executives. On the side, he’s become a heavyweight in the fitness industry, attending expos, creating nutrition programs online, even landing a sponsorship with Myprotein as its U.S. ambassador.
“I want to be the best that I can be,” Green declares. “It’s about competing with myself and asking… ‘Is this really your best? Are you giving this your best effort?’”