Shaun T is a high intensity workout king. The fitness guru has created some of the most popular at-home programs in the country, and is an industry legend.

But even “Mr. Insanity” himself couldn’t starve off the effects of Father Time. As Shaun T reached his 40s, he noticed his body was starting to wear down. He was dealing with shoulder pain, and felt his joints aching. So, he underwent a bit of a physical transformation.

For the first time, Shaun T started dedicating himself to bodybuilding. While he liked the way his muscles started to bulge, he most enjoyed the mental release.

The prospect of showing off his work didn’t scare him away, either…

“My gym is super inspiring, because you walk in and see everybody on the stage. And where do I like to be most? On the stage!,” he said. “It was a perfect combination of healing, and wanting to showcase my body.”

Today, Shaun T, 46, is a full-on pro bodybuilder. But if you talk to him, it’s apparent he holds two titles above all the rest: husband and father.

A true family man, Shaun T married his hubby, Scott Blokker, in 2012. Five years later, they became dads to twin boys.

Shaun and Scott’s Instagrams are filled with adorable fam photos, offering a peek into the most important part of their lives. Father Time isn’t always scary, you know?

“I never met my biological father, and I was sexually abused by my stepfather,” said Shaun T. “It may sound like I have a second chance, but the foundation of how I raise them is just with love.”

With his next competition coming July 6–and a fresh underwear line in stores–Queerty recently chatted with Shaun T about dad life, misconceptions and playing tennis with Serena Williams. Here’s what he had to say…

QUEERTY: We all want to know… what is Shaun T’s fitness regimen?

SHAUN T: I wake up, mental health is part of that. I have 15 minutes to myself, I get my boys out of bed. I have a fun time with them. I drink coffee, one of them drinks a little bit of coffee. They have breakfast. I eat my oatmeal, my berries and my egg whites, then I hit the gym. I’m a morning gym person. I hit the gym for an hour and 15 minutes of lifting, and anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of cardio. And that’s it! That’s the crux of my fitness day. I don’t go back for a second workout and all of that stuff. I’m usually done by 11:00 a.m., and my day is good. 

That sounds very doable! What’s one misconception people have about you?

I’ma go there! I’ma go there! Most people think that somebody like me, if I’m into fitness, that Im only attracted to people who have bodies like me. And they couldn’t be further from the truth. I love everyone’s body. Keeping it very real, if I’m at a pool or a beach, I’ll take the bear over the ripped guy! For me, I think sexiness is so broad. Sexiness is how confident someone is in their body. … Own yourself so somebody can own you!

What’s your favorite cheat day meal?

Oh. My. God. My bodybuilding coach is letting me have a “re-feed.” Are you ready? I’m gonna have a burger with a pretzel bun. No cheese, because I’m lactose intolerant. But with grilled onions, onion ring on top of that, with some ketchup and a side of fries or tater tots. Here’s the thing, if you give yourself a “re-feed” meal every Sunday, your Monday workouts are going to be next level! People are so afraid of fat. They don’t understand fat is actually energy. If you have a day where you’re like, “I ate bad yesterday, but I’m [crushing] it in the gym,” that’s why. Just don’t do that consistently. 

In addition to training, you’ve been working on your new underwear line, T-Bone Threads. It begs the question, what’s your undergarment of choice?

The thong! I wear a jock for my husband, because you likes.. you know, that. But for me, the thong—I also talk about in my book, there was a time in my life when I had gained a lot of weight. I really just didn’t like my own face. It was puffy, it was big. So I said, “Find your best asset.” And my best asset is my a**! I just feel like the thong is enough to show it, but you’re still covering it.

That’s an image we can get behind! What do you like to do when you’re not at the gym?

Spending time with my husband and kids. I love hanging out with my kids. My kids are so f*cking cool! I can’t wait until they’re like 15, 16 or 17. Spending time with my family is really great. Then my husband and I, we love to travel. We love to travel whenever we get a chance. We love an all-inclusive, we love a pool with some drinks. But in my personal time, I go to therapy. When I have a lax in my schedule, once per week, taking that time to go to therapy, is the most incredible moment. It’s my reset, and outside of that, the other thing I love to do is play tennis.

How’s your game?

My game is next level. I don’t wanna brag, but I’ve been on the court with lots of pros. I’ll just say that… I’ve hit with Serena Williams. I’ve hit with her coach.

OK, you’re hitting with Serena Williams… does she go easy on you? What’s the vibe?

No, no, no. When I was playing against Serena one time, she was mad. I think I scored against her. So at that next point, she was at the net, and hit the ball so hard at me! When we were at a party later, she walked up to me and was like, “I am so sorry for hitting the ball at you like that.” I was like, “Girl, do it again tomorrow!”

I would be remiss if I didn’t ask about your kids, and what fatherhood means to you? They really seem to be the joy of your life…

I never met my biological father, and I was sexually abused by my stepfather. It may sound like I have a second chance, but the foundation of how I raise them is just with love. I just realized that, kids just want to be loved. They may have a temper tantrum, and people may think that’s bad, but they’re just looking for love. I’m not afraid to spoil them with love. That’s the best thing about fatherhood. I told my kids when they were three, “You can always sit on papa’s lap.” Now they’re six, and they’ll be walking around the house, and they’ll just come sit on my lap. I never say “no,”because at one point, it will be the last time they sit on my lap. I like to stay as connected to them as possible.

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