Brian Mazza runs the restaurant that serves one of the most unhealthy cheeseburgers in NYC — the mac and cheese burger.
He also works out seven days a week, follows the Paleo diet, and doesn’t drink alcohol.
In other words, this guy is the definition of fit.
In fact, he says he’s in better shape now, at 31, than he was when he was playing division one soccer in college.
We sat down with Mazza to chat about how he balances his food focused job as the president of Paige Hospitality Group — which includes eight restaurants in the New York City area — with his ultra-healthy lifestyle.
Make sacrifices in order to perform at your best
Mazza started off as a bottle runner at Southampton nightclub Dune when he was 22. He loved it and continued to work his way up in the restaurant business. While he admits to having done his fair share of partying during his early years in the industry, he said he hit a point where he realised he was going to need to give that up in order to perform at his best.
“Within the past two years I’ve really changed my lifestyle dramatically… I’ve set myself up for success where I feel like I can operate like a savage 24/7 and not feel fatigued, not feel tired, and constantly want to take on new projects because I know I have the energy and the bandwidth now to do it,” he explained.
Prioritise staying in shape
Mazza’s workout of choice is Tone House, which he describes as the “hardest workout on the East Coast.” He describes it as high intensity training that involves using your own body weight while competing against fellow participants in a “fun, camaraderie environment.”
Mazza starts every one of his weekdays with a 7:30 am Tone House class. He also plays soccer two nights a week, and lifts weights at Equinox on the weekend.
Eat right — which is the hardest part
Although Mazza tastes the the food and cocktails at his restaurants to make sure they’re up to standards, he doesn’t let himself eat full meals or drink whole drinks. He calls himself a very “disciplined human being.”
According to Mazza, in order to train and receive the best results, people need to be willing to make a commitment to their bodies and make a drastic change in their lives. He cites the example of cutting sugar out of his own diet.
“I think a lot of people just go to the gym, and then they go out every night and eat late and drink and then wonder why they don’t see results. And it’s pretty simple. Eating is probably the single most important part about trying to see results and trying to get fit and be healthy.”
However, indulge in a cheat meal once in a while
All that isn’t to say that Mazza doesn’t let himself indulge every once in a while. His go-to cheat food is pasta, specifically bolognese from Pepe Rosso, which he considers the best Italian restaurant in NYC.
If you don’t have time for a full workout, do pull ups and push ups
Mazza says pull ups are great because there are so many different variations to do, and it’s a move that works out your whole body. Push ups, he explains, are one of the oldest moves out there, and they work everything from your core to your legs to your chest, arms, and shoulders.
Always strive to be the best possible version of yourself
Mazza is a believer in constantly improving himself, and he tries to impart that philosophy onto his coworkers and other people in his life. He realises that staying fit takes hard work, but he also views working out as one of the few factors in life people can control and that will in turn improve their health.
“This is how I look at it: If you own a Ferrari, you’re not going to put the worst type of gas in your car, because then your car won’t perform and your car will probably break down. So a lot of people don’t understand that, and a lot of people feel insecure about things, and a lot of people don’t really want to put the work in to achieve certain goals because it’s a ton of hard work.”
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