Brian Mazza (@brianmazza) began his career in hospitality as a bottle runner at a nightclub. It was there that he laid the foundation for what would become a bulletproof reputation for hard work, and it wasn’t long before he began ascending the ranks of the New York City restaurant scene.
Today, Brian is President of the Paige Hospitality Group—a premier operations and hospitality company specializing in high-end event planning and production—and is responsible for running several high-profile restaurants in the tri-state area.
Given the rigors and demands of the hospitality industry, it’s especially impressive then that Brian is also one of the fittest human beings you’ll ever meet.
A former Division 1 soccer player for the University of Rhode Island, Brian is the definition of an athlete, and calling him competitive would be an understatement. At home, in New York City, he channels that energy into Tone House—widely regarded as the toughest workout on the east coast. In fact, by the time this episode airs he will have completed almost 900 classes.
This past year has been an eventful one for Brian—even by his standards. The same year he landed on the cover of Men’s Health, he tore his Achilles tendon—sidelining him from physical activity—or, at least that’s what you’d expect.
He also became a dad, which, of course, comes with its own set of challenges.
In this wide-ranging, in-depth interview, Brian shares the game-changing habits, routines, philosophies, and principles that have allowed him to achieve repeated success, both professionally and personally.
Having worked his way up from the bottom, Brian reveals the valuable lessons he’s learned, including advice for dealing with difficult people, launching a successful marketing campaign, and making strategic lifestyle adjustments to benefit a long-term goal.
We also talk about the opportunities that lie in social media, and what you can do to take advantage of these tools to further your personal brand—and what kind of behavior to avoid.
Needless to say, we cover a lot of ground.
I hope you will find this conversation as informative and inspiring as I did. And if you do, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS (ratings and reviews are appreciated, too!).
This episode is brought to you by Altra.
Altra makes shoes that allow you to run the way you were born to.
Altra’s founders noticed something—that the design of most running shoes was hurting runners more than helping them: In traditional running shoes, elevated heels promote a high-impact landing; and narrow, pointy toe boxes squeeze the toes out of their natural position—increasing risk of bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
So, a couple of years ago, Altra founder Golden Harper began melting off outsoles and removing the excess heel elevation from his traditional running shoes. It was ugly, but it worked! The term ” Zero Drop” was coined to describe the level cushioning and perfect weight balance from heel to forefoot.
Today, every Altra running shoe features a fully cushioned Zero Drop platform that places the heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground. This natural balance aligns the feet, back, and body posture for less impact. It also strengthens the Achilles and lower calf muscles that have been weakened over a lifetime of running on elevated heels.
In addition to Zero Drop, Altra’s Footshape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally, while allowing the big toe to remain in a straight position. This enhances stability and creates a powerful toe-off to maximize running performance.
I was introduced to Altra a couple of years ago, and their running shoes have since become a sort of secret weapon for me. I break them out for especially punishing runs, and when it’s time to go off-road, their trail shoes are the only ones i’ll wear. The Lone Peak is my personal favorite.
This spring, Altra wants you to #EmbraceTheSpace and get fired up for taking your runs outside with their lineup of fast and light road shoes. One model to check out, for sure, is the Altra Duo, which features 31mm cushioning beneath both the forefoot and the heel, and weighs in at a crazy-light 7.5 ounces.
If you’re interested in checking out the Altra Duo, you can head to fleetfeetsports.com. They’ll be available there through March.
Altra is also committed to helping runners avoid injury by teaching efficient, low-impact running technique. Golden, (who, by the way, ran a world-record 2:45 marathon when he was 12 years old), taught me everything I know about running with proper form. By focusing on four core pillars, we totally overhauled my running form and noticeably improved my performance and efficiency.
In case you’re curious, since you’re here because of a podcast dedicated to self improvement, those four pillars were:
- Establishing a forward-momentum posture
- Utilizing a proper arm swing
- Cultivating low-impact landings
- And maintaining a high cadence
You can find more information on those, which I encourage you to check out if you’re a runner, along with all kinds of advice and tips for proper running form, as well as, of course, information on all of Altra’s products, at altrarunning.com.