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Health & Wellness

Podcast No. 28: Brian Mazza, Creator of The Ainsworth & Founder of HPLT

June 19, 2019

Today on the podcast I’m chatting with Brian Mazza.

By Will Ahmed

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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.

Brian Mazza Podcast Show Notes:

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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Will Ahmed

Will Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WHOOP, which has developed next generation wearable technology for optimizing human performance and health. WHOOP members include professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, fitness enthusiasts, military personnel, frontline workers and a broad range of people looking to improve their performance. WHOOP has raised more than $400 million from top investors and is valued at $3.6 billion, making it the most valuable standalone wearables company in the world. Ahmed has recruited an active advisory board that consists of some of the world’s most notable cardiologists, technologists, marketers, and designers. Ahmed was recently named to the 2021 Sports Business Journal 40 under 40 list as well as 2020 Fortune 40 Under 40 Healthcare list and previously named to Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Ahmed founded WHOOP as a student at Harvard, where he captained the Men’s Varsity Squash Team and graduated with an A.B. in government.