Q: I’m here with Rich Massa, fitness trainer and author of The 5 Keys Of Fat Loss. How are you these day, Rich?
A: Jonathan, thanks for inviting me. These days are fricken AMAZING!! If I told you how amazing I felt and things were going, you wouldn’t believe me. I consider myself a very blessed person.
Q: How did you get interested in fitness? What drove you to this field?
A: I started working out at the young age of 16 and got interested in it for the same reason any other teenage boy would at that age. GIRLS!! Then as I matured and progressed through the years, I used fitness to overcome personal and mental obstacles.
This journey helped me discover that when you train the body to be strong, the mind will follow and it has affected my life in such a powerful way that became my purpose to help others do the same.
It’s my belief that when you have a way to help others grow profoundly, and you’re passionate about your message, it is your personal responsibility to share it.
Q: How long have you been professionally involved in fitness and fat loss?
A: I have been a Fitness Professional since 2004 and have trained hundreds of people in my career, some saying that it has improved their life dramatically. Or did they say their life hasn’t been the same since I came along…. Hmmmmmm I’m not sure. Of course I am joking around which you will notice I do a lot not only in this interview, but in my book. In my experience, if you don’t make it fun and exciting people will get bored very quickly and one thing “The Champmaker” is NOT, is boring.
Let’s make it clear though that fat loss is a side effect of your lifestyle so I am not involved in “fat loss”, I am involved in changing lives and training is my vehicle to make it happen. When you break it down simply, I am a psychologist or life coach using workouts that push people physically and mentally as my method of therapy.
Q: Your nickname is “The Champmaker”. How did this nickname come to be and how do you live by it in your work?
A: That’s actually a funny story. One day at the gym in between clients, I was walking around helping members. We had this one guy called “The Shot Doc” that had a sports show on A.M. radio who had a very outgoing, eccentric personality. He always watched how I trained my clients and loved how I pushed them. One day I was walking by and he called me the unstoppable Rich “Making Champs” Massa and it just stuck.
How do I live by it in my work? I call ANYONE that I train my “Champs” especially if they make it part of their life. Why? My programs are not exactly easy. People, in my opinion, want to be Champions, they WANT to see what they are made of, but due to self-doubt and the hard path of life some go through, it is difficult to make a person believe in themselves. Sometimes they need that ONE person to tell them they can do it, that someone believes in them and that they can be more than what they are. That person happens to be a VERY LOUD Italian from New Jersey.
Q: You suffered a massive injury a few years back, but managed to recover and rebuild your fitness. What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
A: I learned it’s going to take more than a damn car wreck that would have killed any normal man to take ME out. Seriously though, there isn’t enough room in this interview to put EVERYTHING I have learned since it was such a traumatic life altering experience.
Let me put it simply. I asked myself many times, “Why did this happen to me?” which is a normal question for someone that went through a car accident, watched the body he worked his life building go to crap, and a hellish divorce. I came to realize that life only throws at you what you can handle, no more, no less and there’s ALWAYS a reason why. I believe this experience was meant to put me on a path to be an example to help others and give me a driving purpose to do so. To show the human spirit is powerful beyond measure so no matter how tough life gets, be tougher and rather than letting it beat you down, learn from it, grow from it then PUSH BACK. One of my favorite quotes that helped me get through it is from the movie Rocky Balboa (and no comments of being a typical Italian that likes Rocky!):
Rocky Balboa: Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!
Q: What tips can you give someone who is dealing with an injury and wants to become fitter?
A: Tip 1- Never give up
Tip 2- See tip 1
Basically, just like with any challenge, you have to accept it is not going to easy and accept you may not be able to do things you were able to before. This does not mean life is over; it just won’t be the same. Take things day by day and find different ways to challenge yourself physically as well as mentally that you enjoy. You’ll be surprised over time נט what you will be able to do.
Q: Let’s talk about The 5 Keys Of Fat Loss. What drove you to write this program?
A: Over the years, I began to see a consistent pattern why people did not succeed in a fitness lifestyle. I wanted to give people something different than the other books out there. To not only show someone what to do, but also why the common pitfalls don’t work in the first place and how people end up in a repeated cycle of failure. I believe if people see why things don’t work and show them what does and why it does, they are more likely to get results. I don’t want to just “tell them what to do”, I want to show them why things work. Add techniques to motivate them and you have a success system that is unstoppable. Motivation+education=Success
Q: In general, what are The 5 Keys you’re referring to?
A: Now Jonathan, that’s like telling the end of a blockbuster movie that is about to be released. Sorry it’s TOP SECRET and if I told you, I may have to kill you. They only way to find out is if you go to 5keysofFatloss.com and download the book.
Q: You seem to take a “Tough Love” approach in the book. Why is this approach successful?
A: Because in my experience that is what people really want. Many of my clients have thanked me by having those hard talks other trainers are afraid to have because they don’t want to lose a client. One example I bring up in the book is Simon Cowell. When people went on the show “American Idol”, they respected his opinion the more than Paula who was nicer. Why? He was brutally honest and to the point plus his track record for finding talent cannot be argued. People will fight you tooth and nail when you give them a dose of “tough love” but they will thank you for caring enough to do so. Simply putת sometimes people just need a good swift kick in the ass and I wear big boots.
Q: You start the program with a mental exercise. How important is one’s mental conditioning before one can condition one’s body? What are some of the emotional limits people place on themselves.
A: The body is merely a vehicle for the mind which is more powerful than people realize. Take an Olympic athlete that has abilities to win a gold medal, but has a no mental drive or purpose, he will lose. You give me a person with a disability that has “never say die” attitude and the possibilities are endless. The old saying is true that whether you think you can or cannot, you are right. That is why before we get to ANY information in the book, I give the reader tools to motivate themselves and overcome emotional obstacles.
The limits usually depend on a person’s past and current social circle. People are told DAILY that they can’t do something or if they did fail (usually from improper planning), they let it break down their mental wellbeing rather than use it as a learning experience. For instance many people have S.B.L.S. which stands for a self limiting belief system. Some examples are:
· I am too old
· I am not good enough
· I am probably going to fail
· I’m too short
Breaking through these mental barriers takes time and the problem is people want instant gratification which adds to the failure cycle we discussed earlier. The trick is showing someone what they CAN do then pushing those limits little by little week by week. A year later I promise you that person will not be the same and become a force to be reckoned with.
Q: What sort of workout routine does this program teach? How many workouts each week and what sort of equipment is needed?
A: As it says in the title it is “The Champmakers Guide”. I give examples of workout routine but not an actual workout program. This book gives you information of what works for the individual rather than a cookie cutter program anyone can do. The reader is able to make choices for themselves based on what they learn and that, my friend, is power.
Q: Does this program work for men and women both? Is there a difference in how men and women go through the plan?
A: This book will help both sexes. In fact it will help both sexes have more sex which is something I cover as well. I’m called a controversial trainer for a reason. Sex is something rarely brought up in ANY fitness book but I wanted to “touch” on the subject so to speak. Let’s be honest, that’s what people really want; to feel attractive to the opposite sex, their spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. When you do, life is just that much sweeter.
Q: What are the results a person may expect from this program?
A: Whatever goals the reader puts their minds to is possible. It is impossible to guarantee results because I am not in control of what that person does daily. What I can tell you to expect are great stories of realistic people, information based on science not fads, how to set yourself up to be successful in a fitness lifestyle and A LOT of smartass sarcasm with a big twist of tough love.
Q: Finally, what would you tell a person who wants to lose weight, but failed to do so many times before?
A: Get off your ass and make a decision that this is going to be part of your life now. The ONLY reason why people fail in anything is because they don’t plan properly and when they hit an obstacle they give up. Will it will be hard work? YES! But suck it up buttercup because NOTHING in this life worth having is easy.
Remember it were the decisions you made in the past that got you into this situation, now make a decision to change it. Why? Because your family is worth it, life is worth it, and yes YOU are worth it. You are an amazing machine aren’t you? Now go out there make specific challenging goals, plan how you will accomplish them, and see what you can do because nothing in this world can stop a decided heart. Here’s is another quote that inspires me daily:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”- Marianne Williamson
There’s a little tough love from “The Champmaker” self proclaimed greatest trainer of all time. Now DROP AND GIVE ME 20!!!
I hope you guys enjoyed this interview with Rich Massa as much as did. Check out my other expert interviews with Dr. Kareem Samhouri, Karine Losier, John Romaniello and Flavia Del Monte. You can learn a lot of tips from them all.