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Weekend business feature

Matthew Griffy’s a man on a mission

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 11/6/21

Make time.

That’s Matthew Griffy’s motto. It's how he owns and operates his 24-hour gym, MG Fitness, while also being chief of police in Petersburg.

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Weekend business feature

Matthew Griffy’s a man on a mission


Make time.

That’s Matthew Griffy’s motto. It's how he owns and operates his 24-hour gym, MG Fitness on Northside Drive in Shelbyville, while also being chief of police in Petersburg.

Monday through Thursday, Griffy’s at the station throughout the day. Then in the evening, he goes to his gym.

“It’s tough,” he admits. Sometimes that “making time” means cutting out some things—like personal training, which he did for 25 years, and competitive body building which he did from 2005 to 2015.

Griffy got into fitness while he was a teenager playing baseball and basketball at Community High School.

“I just fell in love with the process of it. I, like anybody else, once you start seeing results, you want more of them.”

He went to Martin Methodist College with the expectation of teaching physical education. But after transferring to Midde Tennessee State University, Griffy said he became interested in law enforcement.

“It’s the aspect of helping people—making a change, making a difference,” he said.

But even though being a police chief and a personal trainer are seemingly two different careers, there’s a few commonalities between them. Mostly, it’s the connections.

Attracted to the other motto of “make a difference or be the difference,” Griffy said, “I just relate that to many facets of my life—just being able to be here at the gym, helping people overcome obesity, anorexia, gain muscle, lose weight...”

And in law enforcement, “A lot of times, we’ll get calls to where we can just actually go and have a one-on-one...Some people, they just want somebody to talk to.”

It’s a different kind of one-on-one training. But the psychology of helping people overcome whatever rut they’re in, is essentially the same.

He worked as a crash investigator for the Shelbyville Police Department from 2003 until 2010, when he opened MG Fitness that June.

Now 10 years--and a year of shutdown—later, Griffy said he’s servicing around 2300 people at his gym, helping them to make time and accomplish the fitness goals they want.

“Just seeing the many facets of different people who are here every day, it’s something I love to see. Because a lot of people think fitness is not for them, but there are so many people just like them that are doing it,” he said.

Griffy, along with Rusty Reed, had a radio show “Shut Up and Train,” which Griffy said was more popular than he thought. It allowed Griffy to go into the homes of shut-ins', who would call into the station asking for help, to help train with them—helping them to curl with cans of corn or learn how to stretch.

“I've been blessed with having good people here,” he said, “You can do so much, but without the support of other people, it’s hard to do anything.”

With the remaining trick or treating cady lying around and with the holidays around the corners, staying fit is more challenging during this time of year. But that’s ok.

Griffy says don't focus on the mainstream ideology of fitness. To do that you need to train your mind.

“Body dysmorphia affects everybody,” he said. “The biggest thing is the psychological part of it. A lot times we want to look a certain way, but we want to get there in a week...it takes time to build want you want.”

It's a lifestyle change—continuously do throughout your life. Griffy also highly recommends researching your supplements, which help supplement your diet and exercise. They're not made for everybody. Also, don’t just focus on the weight number—look at measurements.

And again, make time—even if it’s just an hour, or 30 minutes, or three minutes of walking through the neighborhood or doing a few push-ups or sit-ups.

“You have to work hard, and you have to do things right. Are you going to slip along the way? Yeah, everybody does...but as long as you stand up each time with a goal to be better, then I think you’re making progress,” he said.

And in the spirit of “doing it right,” Griffy’s biggest advice for anyone wanting to go into law enforcement is “do it for the right reasons.” Often the badge and the gun can cause a power-grip for some officers, but Griffy says don’t think you’re better than anybody or because they stand differently than you.

“For me personally, I got into it to make a difference, to help, and to make a change in my community. And that was something I really wanted, even before I got into law enforcement,” he said.

So, for those interested in becoming members at MG Fitness, Griffy encourages any interested members to give him a call at 931-685-8100 or email at griffy14@hotmail.com.

“Everything that you want in life, you have to make time for it,” he said.