Today on the podcast I’m chatting with Brian Mazza. Brian is a former D1 college soccer player who rose through the ranks of the NYC restaurant industry to create the extremely successful brand of high-end sports bars, The Ainsworth. He’s also the founder of High Performance Lifestyle Training, and has been featured on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine.
Brian and I talk about the lessons he’s learned in business and how he applies them to health and fitness, as well trends he sees in the wellness industry as a whole. He also shares his tips for better nutrition and hydration, and what goes into the famous 24-karat gold wings served at The Ainsworth.
Given the success he’s had in so many areas, Brian clearly has a knack for what it means to be a high performer, and I think many of our listeners will really identify with him.
3:19 - What is HPLT? High-Performance Lifestyle Training. “I really want to build a community of people that want to achieve greatness, and surround myself with people who are going to make me better.”
4:27 - Fitness Background. “A lot of my choices now really go back to my college soccer career where I made a selfish and childish decision. … But it led me to many other really cool things in my life.”
7:46 - Food & Beverage Industry. Brian started by guest bartending at various places. “I moved to NYC with $400 in my pocket.”
10:45 - Secret to Success. “I’m going to do everything that nobody wants to do,” was the attitude he had in order to rise through the industry. “Anyone can be amazing in the gym for one hour. It’s what you do with the next 23 that matters.”
13:04 - Origin of The Ainsworth. “We started the first ‘Sunday Funday,’ we were really the pioneers in sophisticated sports bars.”
14:08 - 24-Karat Gold Wings. “We really have edible gold wings at The Ainsworth. You can get a 10-pack for $45.” Brian was shocked by their success. “I’ve never seen anything explode like this in my life, it was the best thing that could’ve ever happened for our brand.”
15:58 - Mazza Sport. “I have an amazing relationship with a brand called Layer 8.”
18:00 - Ethos of HPLT. “I believe everyone is born a high performer.” The retreats bring together people who are high performers with those who aspire to be. “We sharpen their tools through fitness and the lifestyle choices that we make.”
21:36 - Early Rising. “I love to get up way before my kid gets up.”
22:46 - Intermittent Fasting. “I don’t really eat until noon or 1 pm.”
23:01 - Meditation & Gratitude. “Quiet, in the dark, get in the moment--things I’m grateful for, things I want to do…” Brain says gratefulness “is a huge catalyst for human growth and personal growth.”
23:56 - Running 13.1 Miles on a Whim at 3:45 am. “I just got up and did it last Saturday,” even though he’d never run a half marathon before.
28:55 - Getting on WHOOP. “I’ve never experienced anything like this in terms of recovery.”
30:54 - Training for Half-Ironman. “I’m going to do one in December. I feel like I’m missing something in my life where I can be super competitive.” Brian is not a fan of running, swimming or biking. “I’m going to do it because things I’m horrible at I need to get good at.”
33:50 - Workout Style. “I’m getting after it every single day. Every day some type of HIT workout.”
34:46 - Favorite Measures of Fitness. “I like to do the 70 kcal assault bike, 1-mile run for time,” and also “80 burpees and a 4k row for time.”
37:11 - Empire State Building Race. “That was by far the hardest cardiovascular thing I’ve ever done in my life.” It’s 86 flights and 1,576 stairs. “Start at the bottom and go to the top, and figure it out. … I’ve never been that out of breath and that fatigued.”
40:48 - Similarities in Hospitality & Fitness. A lot of group training programs “are not as true to the beliefs and the systems as they should be.” Brian points out that finding the right trainer is like going to a bar to see your favorite bartender. “Hospitality and fitness are very similar.”
44:45 - Recovery Awareness. “People have no clue. They don’t like to do the other things that are necessary to get better at what they do.”
47:08 - Sleep Routine. “Our dog sleeps with us. I’ve noticed I’m not getting good sleep because of my dog. … We try to be in bed by 8:15-8:30 every night.”
52:43 - CBD & HempHydrate. “It’s a CBD water. I consume that every day. … For me CBD is great for anxiety.” Brian also believes it helps with sleep and inflammation. “We created a CBD menu at The Ainsworth.”
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