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Podcast Episode 65: Finance to Fitness – How Brian DeCosta Discovered Incremental Changes Yield Bigger Results. Brian DeCosta had the degree, the dream job, and the 401(k)—but was he happy? After a near-death experience brought his priorities into focus, DeCosta discovered a more fulfilling life pursuing fitness as a career. As a successful online coach and a self-made bodybuilder, DeCosta imparts upon his clients the same lessons he learned in finance—small actions compounded over time yield amazing results.

Original Publish Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Behind The Scenes Photo:

Dr. Bill Campbell visits Bodybuilding.com

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Ep. isode 65 Transcript

Nick Collias: Let’s do it. Hey, good morning, everyone. Welcome to The Bodybuilding.com Podcast. I’m Nick Collias, the host right here. Over here at nine o’clock, she’s Heather Eastman. She’s Heather Eastman all day, not just at nine o’clock.

Heather Eastman: All day, especially at nine o’clock.

Nick: Do you have a secret identity we don’t know about or you’re Heather all day?

Heather: Half.

Nick: Half. Okay, half.

Nick: Our guest over here, he’s Brian DeCosta. He’s a fitness model, coach, member of Team Bodybuilding.com, prolific YouTuber. Do you have a secret identity?

Brian DeCosta: I do.

Nick: You put it out there all the time.

Brian DeCosta: I do have a secret identity, yeah.

Nick: But it’s a secret?

Heather: But it’s a secret.

Brian DeCosta: No, we’ll go into it.

Nick: Excellent. You’ve done a whole bunch of stuff, you’ve done bodybuilding shows, you’ve done a powerlifting meet last year as well, right?

Brian DeCosta: I was going to, I didn’t end up doing it, but I was preparing for it.

Nick: I watched some prep videos, I didn’t see the one that said…

Brian DeCosta: I was preparing for it.

Nick: Well, that’s the most fun part.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, that’s true. Get strong.

Nick: I want to ask about you, but I don’t want to start there necessarily, I want to start a little somewhere else close to you. Your bio in various places says you help busy professionals lose fat and gain muscle. I don’t know why but that kinda caught my eye, because it made me think about how this new expectation that there wasn’t a generation ago, of what it means to be successful. Right?

You don’t just need to work, you don’t just need to have a good job, but there is an increasing expectation that for somebody to be successful, there is a physical component to it. I’m not just talking about Jeff Bezos and his arms and things like that. That’s part of the expectation out there is like, the truly successful guy, he doesn’t just have the money, he doesn’t just work a bunch, he doesn’t just have the stuff, he’s working on his body, too, and that’s part of the project. At the same time, work is still the religion in the United States.

Brian DeCosta: Sure.

Nick: And I’m wondering, when you are meeting with somebody for the first time, how do you help them even figure out where fitness fits in the priorities of their busy life, and their idea of success?

Brian DeCosta: Wow, that’s such a great question. So, meeting them where they are, just some actual… you know, to go into it like, what’s your fitness routine right now? Is where I’ll start. Wow, that’s such a good question.

Nick: They are like, “I do a little this. I get on the treadmill and check my emails, but really what I want is that six pack in a vacation photo, please.”

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. First thing is setting expectation, like what is it going to take for you to create something sustainable? And my thing is like, I got to meet them where they are, and have them… If they want to transform their body, and you want to perform well with your work, perform well with family. We have one vessel, and we take care of this. We can show up more so in all those other aspects. So…

Nick: I think that’s important. That’s hard for somebody to understand. They think it is an isolated part of their life.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. It’s important to create that time to take care of ourselves. Right? I mean, it sounds logical when you say it, but a lot of people will work themselves to the ground, lack of sleep, go, go, go, caffeine, whatever it may be to keep going. It’s like, well, we can take a step back, we can get a routine that only has you in the gym four hours a week. We can have nutrition that’s close to how you eat right now, which will control calories. Simple stuff.

The shift doesn’t have to be massive, but their results over time are profound. Especially for like busy professionals that I like to work with. I don’t coach competitors or bodybuilders, people who have all this time and extreme passion for it. I work with the guys like, “Dude, I’ve got this amount of time, this is what I like to eat. What could you do with me? This is what I look like.”

Heather: It’s funny that you say it that way, because working with busy professionals as a personal trainer, that’s kind of your bread and butter. They finally get to that point where they are forties, fifties, and they have the money to throw at personal training.

Nick: They also have that eye at like, oh wait, here this is the end of my life, I can see it off in the distance.

Heather: Right. They are very transactional in the sense that they want to know the numbers. Like, okay, how many times a week do I got to be in here? They want to know what it looks like on a sheet of paper. And fitness is so much more than that, or at least I think it’s so much more than that. So, do you find that when you are working with these clients that they are trying to get you to be like, “This many times a week and then I’ll be fit.” Or do you feel like you have a different approach?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. I don’t do in-person training. Fun fact, I’ve actually never done in-person training. I’ve only ever started online. What I share on social media, like on YouTube, on Instagram. That attracts the person that wants to work with me. They see how I train, and a lot of it is like, they think they should train like me, or they think they need to be in the gym super long. It’s, again, like setting expectations for them.

It’s like, I’ll train six days a week, but I do this full-time now. I used to be an accountant, I say, in a prior life. I don’t do the nine to five anymore. What’s going to be realistic for you? It always ties back to that. If someone eats apples all day and I say, “Starting tomorrow you are going to eat blueberries.” They are going to be like, “F off, dude.” Or they’ll try it for two days…

Nick: My apples, I love these things.

Brian DeCosta: …and peace out. For me, it’s just, where are you at right now? Because it’s habit change. It’s like and habits shift over time. How can we shift 10, 20% from what you are doing now to get you excited, you start to see results, but it’s not something so drastic. You are not cutting out all these carbs, you are not doing triple drop sets in the freaking gym to lose fat because you saw some YouTuber talk about it. It’s just setting expectations.

Heather: It’s really cool that you are coming from an accounting background, because fitness and finances are two things that people… Those are the top two. Every New Years, it’s I’m going to get in shape, and I’m going to get my wallet under control.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Heather: Do you feel like that background has given you an advantage for working with people in fitness? Because you are not going to become a millionaire all at once. You are going to have to set things up and…

Nick: Incremental.

Heather: It’s incremental change. Do you think that there is some crossover there?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. That’s a great question. I never really thought of it that way.

Nick: You are the fitness accountant.

Heather: Yeah.

Brian DeCosta: The fitness accountant. I do, I talk about that, it’s like, it is kind of funny, small wins.

Heather: I had an accountant one day when I was in my twenties and like, “Why don’t I have any money? I work so much?” He’s like, “Okay, well, it’s really simple. You either have to make more or spend less.” I was already a personal trainer at that time, so to me it was like, “Oh, my God. It’s calories in… it’s the same thing.”

Brian DeCosta: It is.

Heather: You are just applying it to finance. I’m just wondering if that’s part of having that background and having that mentality has really helped you hone this coaching mentality.

Brian DeCosta: 100%, being in finance classes, you hear compounding, interest and things like that. If you save in your twenties you are going to be a millionaire in your sixties. Seeing the effect of making small deposits, save 10% here, save 10% here. There is crossover with fitness. Just small actions compounded over time just yield amazing results. You don’t have to do crazy stuff every single day. That’s a really good question.

Nick: You obviously have that still in your mind, even if you didn’t have the accounting metaphor in there, that idea of you are putting pennies in the bank a little bit every single day. How long did it take you to grasp that, because you were a lifter long before you were doing this particular job, right?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. I think… Yeah, I grew up an athlete. I grew up a soccer player. I was a cross country runner, a super skinny kid in high school like 150 pounds. When I started weight training, it was senior year of high school and started watching content, and started consuming all this content about fitness, and like I started to see the results from the mirror. It was just like, I was just going all for it at that time.

Nick: Lit up.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, and then I was fortunate enough to find some mentors like we shared early, like Scott Herman, a lot of people who share information online. Just like, “Hey, you are going to be disappointed if you think you are going to gain all the size in a month.” The expectations were set for me. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to … This is going to be a lifestyle.” A lot of these people that I’m watching, that are mentors to me online, they are in their thirties. Some of them are in their forties. They’ve been doing this for a while and they look that way.

So, I think I’m blessed that I’ve been able to adopt that perspective since I was younger, because I think a lot of guys, it’s like, my bench press isn’t at 225 after a week? This football player is doing steroids. Let me see what he’s up to. Yeah, I think that’s the mentality… I’m fortunate to have adopted that mentality that it’s a long road.

Nick: What was fitness, what was lifting to you at that point in your life? If you kind of stepped back and looked at it. Was it like, “This is my time to really develop myself, develop my goals.” Or is it just like this is what I do for fun. I have to protect this, it’s my fun time.

Brian DeCosta: It’s funny. I remember when I started lifting. It was in an elective class I took in high school. There was a lot of football players in there, but it was like fitness & conditioning was the class. As soon as I started training, after the first couple of weeks in that class, I specifically remember getting feedback from a lot of the players, like, “You can put on muscle well, you can do really well at this.” That built me up, because at that point I had low confidence, I didn’t have really quite a direction where I wanted to go after graduating high school.

It was something that I could grab on to. I think fitness, a lot of people have a similar story. I grabbed onto fitness, it saved me. I really think it gave me some meaning, gave me confidence like, I can invest in this, I’m good at this. People are telling me I’m good at this. I grasped onto that, because the truth was, I think with a lot of guys in high school and girls, you are lost. You are told like, you need to have big career aspirations. Pick a major, all these things.

I was anxious, I was like, “I don’t know what my future is going to be.” But fitness became steady for me. I can control that, I could go to the gym, I knew the results would come if I put in the work. So, it was like that pole I could grab onto in a storm, so to speak.

Nick: So were you just like a diehard, I’m in the gym five, seven days a week for years and years at a time?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Nick: Just not even thinking about it?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. It wasn’t like, am I going to go to the gym? It was like, when am I going? I just fell in love with it that much.

Nick: Did the idea of actually having a career in fitness even like, was that a somewhere in the mix, or you were just like, “This is still me, this is my time.”

Brian DeCosta: No, it was never in the mix. It was never in the mix, honestly.

Nick: Not even as like, “I’m going to be a personal trainer. I’m going to coach somebody.”

Brian DeCosta: Not at all. I think I was very much under the influence of society and peers, and my family, like, get a good job, get a good…

Heather: A normal job, work nine to five.

Nick: A personal trainer, that’s a terrible job.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, personal trainer, it’s like, “Okay, and what else do you do?” I never even put that in my mind, put that in the space that it could be a possibility, it was for me. And then over time, I started to think back, I went through college, got a degree, started in accounting, a couple of jobs there. Thinking about the most influential people in my life who had built me up, and it was as crazy as it sounds, like mentors, soccer coaches, and then mentors I found online that have helped me get in better shape, build this confidence.

I think that really did influence me. I want to be like them. I want to be able to give to others what has been given to me, in the way that I’ve been able to consume it. It’s crazy because some of these people that have influenced my life, like Greg Plitt, Scott Herman, Steve Cook is BBcom-associated, changed my world. I didn’t even know these guys at this point. I do now, which is crazy, well, not Greg Plitt, but it’s crazy just how being influenced by them allowed it to enter the space later in life like this is what’s meaningful for me, based on how I’ve been.

Heather: Right. That’s what I love about your story is that you are very much an embodiment of that, go to college, get a job, work nine to five, and just rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. That daily grind of like, okay, I’ve made it, I’ve got the good job. And you weren’t happy. I always write down, because we’ve interviewing athletes all week. I write down a little sentence of, that I think embodies their message. For you I wrote down, “But are you happy?”

Brian DeCosta: Yes.

Nick: Which is another thing that shows up on your bio quite often. Without any context, it’s just, “But are you happy?”

Heather: You actually woke up one day… I want to dig into like… You woke up and basically said, “I don’t want to do this.”

Brian DeCosta: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Heather: And completely just a 90-degree turn into fitness. What was that like?

Brian DeCosta: “But are you happy?” So, the premise behind that question is like, I have that specifically on my social platform, because especially Instagram, everyone posts all these amazing photos, the highs, it’s not the lows.

Nick: Instagram is for perfection.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, right. It’s the highs and the lows. My reminder, I like it to be a reminder when someone comes to my page, the assumption is like, yeah, you post all the stuff, yeah, you show how great your life is, but are you happy? That’s where I want people to go with when they read that, because again, I wish I saw that when I was younger, and going down a path that I didn’t want, but I felt that I had to do.

It was as simple as like, I really freaking hate this accounting job. Other things are working in my life, my social life is great. At the time I was living in Washington, D.C, and went to West Virginia University, moved to Washington D.C, things were good. I really didn’t like my job, and I saw where I was going to be in my forties.

Nick: It was all laid out.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. It was all laid out, like my boss’s boss, saw their life. I’m just like, “This sucks.” I genuinely know I’m not going to be happy when I get to that point. I’m not driven by money. So, it was like, “Okay, well, now what do I do?” That was a low point in and of itself, it’s like, “Do I just continue? Do I numb myself?” I was going out on weekends drinking, spending money. Just like this is the way it is.

Then to compound that, everyone around you is kind of doing that, too. A lot of people, especially when you are younger, starting out in careers that maybe you don’t like, still finding your way.

Nick: The money is good, it allows me to do all this other stuff.

Brian DeCosta: Right.

Heather: I’m doing all the things.

Brian DeCosta: Right. Then family, and people are like, “You have a good job out of college. What more could you expect?”

Heather: What else do you want?

Brian DeCosta: You are able to live in a nice place. For me, it’s like, okay. I don’t like what I’m doing. It’s not fulfilling to me. Thankfully, I chose to honor that, and thankfully, seeing the online space grow, online fitness space grow, being passionate about it as I was for prior at that point six, seven years. It was like, now I’m starting to see guys that are my age, even younger, building an online fitness empire helping hundreds of thousands of people influence them, build a business around it as well.

I know a lot of these guys, what they share they’ve learned from the same guys that I’ve learned from. They just decided to actually take action on their vision and their goals. I see them sharing this every day real life. That’s insanely inspiring for me to see people living what you want to live and you are not living it yet. When I started to see that it was possible, it’s like, okay.

For example, Steve Cook posts a lot on YouTube. A couple of other guys, Christian Guzman, Scott Herman, I mentioned him again. Just seeing guys that are like-minded to me live that out and it’s like, okay, they do YouTube, they do well. They post on social every day, bring value, I’m going to buy a camera. I’m just going to start filming stuff.

It started like that, just walking around in the gym starting to film myself. I didn’t really know where I was going to go. It’s just like, I just know I’m going to film these clips, I’m going to put it into freaking iMovie, and I’m going to upload it on YouTube. I started doing that.

Nick: Did it feel natural?

Brian DeCosta: No, it did not feel natural at all.

Nick: It’s hard for me, because I’m struggling with that a little bit right now, because I’m preparing for a competition, and I’m supposed to have a video for some of it. It’s hard to want to talk to that camera, man.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, it is. It really is. You hold it up and then… We create these expectations in our minds like, this has to be good.

Nick: It has to be me. When I start talking I’m like, “Is this me?”

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. Then you get in your own head.

Nick: I don’t want to ruin your YouTube vibe here.

Brian DeCosta: No, it’s true, and it’s so funny. Now I give advice to others with, I’m like, it’s literally just a metal object, and you are holding it up. Just be yourself, it’s fine. Let it go. I’ll give this advice now, but at the time, I think what helped me through that was again seeing others do it, and even seeing others share. It’s awkward at first, but get the reps and do it, and you’ll get used to it, and it’ll become second nature.

People care much less about you than you think they do. They’ll look at you, maybe give you a weird look, and then they are on with their day. That was a big thing for me. What are people going to think, they are watching me filming in a grocery store? That was a big thing.

Nick: It’s interesting when you talk about guys like Christian Guzman, Steve Cook, Greg Plitt, Scott Herman. They all have their different way of portraying what exactly fitness is in their life. For Greg Plitt, man, it was so profound.

Brian DeCosta: Insane.

Nick: It was like things were happening on a mythological level in his mind. It was legend coming to life. Scott Herman, so many of his videos, they’re just instructional videos. His personality is always in there, but he was just putting out how to do a reverse curl, how to do this, how to do that.

Heather: This is how you do this.

Nick: Then the other ones, they make their way in, and then you look at Steve Cook now. Guys like that, it’s just like day in the life. Here is the window into the life. And that seems like more what really speaks to you. It’s like this is my life right here.

Brian DeCosta: Exactly. For me, when I see, that would be a big question for me when I was younger is like, I see these guys doing instructional stuff, or more the polish stuff, nutrition talks and what not. Then the thought was like, “What are they doing after the camera shuts off?” What’s their actual life like? I really want to know, because I’m so enamored with the way that they look and they operate. It’s like, “What are you eating afterwards? What time to do you go to bed? How do you get up? What are your routines?”

Nick: What time do I go to bed? That’s the next video.

Heather: Everyone wants to know. It’s the craziest thing. That’s what everyone wants to know. It’s like, “That’s nice to hear the life story but what are you doing every day?”

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. What is your day-to-day like? Do you have dogs? What’s your car? All these things. When I stumbled across YouTube vlogging. I was just like, “This exists? Like, what?” Someone films just their life and edits it into a video that’s kinda cool and little edits here and there, and people love that. I didn’t know people… but I loved it. I’m watching this person, they don’t know, is it weird that I’m watching this? There is a ton of views so everyone watches this. It’s weird that I’m watching their life. They don’t know me.

It’s so cool, because I can truly get to know that person. You pick up on things about that person I feel they don’t even notice that are in the video necessarily. Just certain like ways that they communicate, ways that they treat other people, certain belief systems, certain remarks. You really start to get a feel for how the person is beyond that polish point. That was so cool for me.

Nick: What makes them successful? I imagine, too. They think this is what makes them successful. But I look at it and I’m like, this is the lesson right here. Do that. It’s interesting.

So, when you started doing this. The people from your past career, your family, people like that. Would they look at it and they are like, “You left accounting for this?” Or were they like, “Wow, this is obviously where you fit. Look at that. That’s just perfect. This is you.”

Brian DeCosta: There’s been a little bit of both. I never got direct… I don’t think I’ve ever gotten direct feedback from anyone saying what you are doing is a wrong decision. It’s not a good decision. Or anything that’s been, I guess I would say negative, hasn’t necessarily been negative. It’s just been a bit of ignorance or naïve, and like what are you doing. And then that’s my opportunity to educate what I’m doing but for the most part, by far and between, it’s been peers and friends seeing me take massive action. Seeing results start to come and being like, “Dude, I don’t know where this came from, Brian, I don’t know what you are doing but this is really cool. Keep it going. This is new. This is unique.” That fueled my fire.

On the parental side of things, my dad was a corporate guy turned entrepreneur coach himself. He was all…

Nick: He gets it.

Brian DeCosta: He was like, “Yeah, let’s go, keep going.” My mom’s a speech pathologist, same job for a small-time lady. The most loving woman in the world, but more like, your 401k, conservative. So, she was a bit more concerned I would say when I was investing more and more time into that. Fast forward now, she loves it.

Nick: It’s interesting. When you talk about massive action, it’s not just like, you show a video when you’ve got, I got a new PR or something like that. You really do make big changes in your life that you document. It’s like, I’m going vegan was one last year.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Nick: Wow. I wanted to ask you about that, because that’s a popular choice. But it’s a really difficult choice.

Heather: It’s very difficult.

Nick: I wanted to know where it’s at now, obviously, but also what that experience was like, because you did it as part of a powerlifting prep, which is an interesting way to approach it.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. It’s funny, I didn’t even necessarily plan that. It just happened that way. I wanted to try to being vegan, and I think a bit later I was like, I want to do a powerlifting meet. They were happening simultaneously. For the vegan adopting that lifestyle, I truly did just want to try it out, because I had consumed content on it here how… I was sold on… increase micronutrients in your diet, vitamins, watch documentaries here and there.

Then a big thing that did it for me was, there’s a vegan bodybuilder named Nimai Delgado. I had an opportunity, I met him at the gym, trained with him a few times. Dude’s never eaten meat, he’s been vegan, so he was vegetarian up to I think maybe 21, I think he’s 28 or so now, and just been vegan for a long time at this point. He’s an IFBB pro bodybuilder, looks insane. Just to again see in real life that that’s possible, and how good he felt, for me it was like, I want to try this.

Nick: Not just how good he looked, how good he felt, that’s interesting.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. How good he felt, and how connected he seemed. I needed to try this. I wanted to be able to speak on it for myself, and it was a great experience. It was a great experience overall. Maybe we can go into like why I stopped.

Nick: That’s interesting. You said he seemed connected. When you say connected, you mean really connected to just his food, as well, like he’s so conscientious, he really knows what’s coming in and out.

Brian DeCosta: I would say connected on like a… It sounds wishy woo-woo, but like a mindfulness level, just very in tune with the universe, how his actions affect everything, care for animals, empathy. Just kind of like an aura about him, and things that he valued, too, like meditation, retreats, taking time for yourself. It’s something that I’ve gotten more into as I’ve moved to Southern California. But it was just, I can’t really put some words to it right now, but it was an ‘it’ factor. It was like, I want to try this out.

Heather: It’s an embodiment, because it’s not easy to go vegan in this country. I mean, most foods have something in it that you can’t…

Nick: And it’s probably easier here than in most other countries.

Heather: Yeah. That’s the thing. Then it does become… You start asking yourself the questions of, why am I doing this? Am I doing it because of animals? Am I doing it for my own health? Am I doing it for a combination of both? It starts to make you question food, and what you are putting into your body, and then that leads to a whole, like… You start seeing things around you.

Brian DeCosta: For me when I adopted it, I didn’t necessarily put any expectations on it. It wasn’t like, I don’t even think I set a timeframe that I told anyone I would do it for. I wasn’t like, I’m going to do this for a year, I’m going to do this forever. At least my mentality going into it was like, I’m just going to try this and see how it goes. I could stop in a week, I could stop tomorrow. I ended up going for four months. Yeah, I think three and a half, four months. It was not for animals, it wasn’t like any morality thing.

It was honestly just, like, will I feel better? How will this affect my body composition? Almost like an experiment, too, because I worked with clients at that point who wished to cut meat out, did not have meat in their diet. I just wanted to be able to speak on it from experience, too. The results were, muscle hardness wasn’t quite there. I wasn’t able to get pumps and stuff, but I had maintained the same size, maintained pretty much the same strength, all these things that are common in this country. You are going to lose muscle, all this stuff, you are not going to be able to perform. Didn’t show up for me, it didn’t show up for me at all.

Heather: It’s not a cool eating plan. It’s not like… People, they are like, “Oh cool, you are going vegan.” It’s like, “Really?” People can do keto, or paleo, or all those things.

Nick: And still eat out.

Heather: Yeah, they’ll go find a little niche of people that are like, “Right on man, don’t you love that?” Veganism feels like that kind of redheaded step child of the dieting world, where it’s like, nobody wants to talk about it, nobody wants to do it.

Nick: What did your four months leave you with? Ultimately, do you feel like there is an influence still from that on how you eat now?

Brian DeCosta: Very much so. My takeaway was, less processed food is better, whole foods leading from, a whole food diet as much as you can. I’ll still go out and eat crap from time to time, Oreos and stuff. But as close to the ground as we can get in terms of like, vegetables, fruits, grains. I think that was a big takeaway for me is like, less processed as possible.

Nick: And did it translate to a difference in how you felt or your energy level, did you feel like, or does it still?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. I would say, I don’t know still. I would think so. I think during the time my energy was much more consistent, I didn’t have crashes necessarily. I didn’t even need caffeine. My days…

Heather: That’s what they don’t tell you about, that’s a thing.

Brian DeCosta: My day started quicker. I would fall asleep easier, I would wake up easier. It’s funny, it’s like life was just easier. Energy levels…

Nick: Eating was harder, life was easy.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, eating was a bit more of a challenge, but life was easier. I will say too, Los Angeles and Southern California is, I think, “further ahead” when it comes to that mentality I think than the rest of the country.

Heather: A little more welcome there.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, growing up in West Virginia, which is very unhealthy, very obese. It just would have been much harder, honestly. That factor was kind of like in my favor, for sure.

Nick: Okay. Now you’ve done… How did that feeling compare to fasting, because you’ve done some longer fasts, as well, I saw, it was 72 damn hours.

Brian DeCosta: Yes. That was fun. That was like a month ago. The question was how does it trend?

Nick: Just how does…

Heather: How does it compare?

Nick: That dramatic change, how did it feel different? How did being vegan… We know you had more consistent energy, did you feel like fasting gave some of those same benefits or is it just way hard?

Brian DeCosta: Yes. No, fasting is amazing. I really, really like utilizing it. The 72-hour fast was kind of a sporadic decision. Again, I work with an individual, his name is David Laid. He is an online fitness enthusiast personality. I work with him in the business, and he likes to do fasts as well. We made an agreement, we were like, “Let’s do it. Let’s just try it.”

I had been consuming content on longer fast on YouTube. I think something simple maybe popped up on my recommended videos. Up until the point of doing that 72-hour fast, I normally would start my day and not eat until noon to 1:00 pm.

Nick: So six to eight-hour window?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. So, I’d start eating around… The eating window would be roughly noon to about 8:00 pm. I’m not strict on that every single day, but I’ll do it quite frequently. I’d say two, three days a week. The focus I find in the morning is amazing. In terms, and I think something like not having the energy, be with your stomach to digest. I feel like all your energy is brain power at that point.

Then you can form a habit where you have a bigger meal later in the day, and then that can carry you over into the next day, where you are not waking up starving, and then your body can get used to it. That kind of becomes a habit, and then your body is used to eating later in the day. Focus work can really get done like two to four hours in the morning like, I get up, I go through a routine, I’m not making food, I’m just getting into my stuff. That was extremely powerful. In the 72-hour fast I had never been more productive in my life.

Nick: That was working for you, what were you hoping that doing it for 72-hours was going to do, just deepen that experience?

Brian DeCosta: I truly just wanted to see if I could do it. Like a pure challenge. I had heard just from doing some research, it could become a spiritual experience. You have extreme highs, you can have lows, but then there comes a point where you are just even energy, you are not hungry. You are just in a state of being. I was like, what does this feel like? That’s interesting. The fact that someone can go three days without eating, and then you don’t have this… You’d think, I’d be freaking ravaging.

Heather: You think hunger is a linear thing, and it just goes up, up, up, up, but it doesn’t. It does exactly what you are talking about, the highs, the lows.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. My hungriest was at the 24-hour mark, I was dying. And then I went to bed, got up in the morning, that was like hour 32, 33. Throughout that second day, I would say average hunger, not crazy. And then that night was hungry again, I think it’s because I’m used to eating a bigger meal in the middle of the night.

Nick: You’re just conditioned, yeah.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. Then literally after the second night I was not hungry. That third day, I broke the fast. I could have kept going. I was like, “I guess I’ll eat now.”

Heather: They say about day three or four is right when you hit that stride.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Nick: It’s when your brain starts eating itself.

Brian DeCosta: Ketosis.

Heather: No, what I mean it turns out… because your body is not dumb, your body has mechanisms, that’s why we store body fat is to use it later on. I’m a fan of fasting, I don’t know if you can tell. We were having this discussion the other day on how food is a drug, and a lot of people don’t want to equate it to that, because that sounds really scary, but it is, it affects your body the same way chemically as drugs do. As with any substance, it can get abused.

And so, we were talking, how do you remove someone’s obsession with dependency on compulsion to consume a food? I was thinking, in my experience, and I’m going to turn it over to you to see what your experience is. Fasting can be a way, just like you would put an addict into a detox. Fasting, can be a way to remove that food completely, and let your body clean itself out so you don’t have that craving, and you don’t have that obsession with food. I’m curious if in your dabblings with fasting you’ve experienced that or if you’ve had that happen with some of your clients that you work with.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. For sure, to speak on my own experience. I think there is a quote my brother shares this a lot. My brother has been through a lot of traumatic things in his life like substance abuse. He shares a quote, “If you hang around the barbershop enough you are going to get a haircut.” We translate that quote, if you are around food enough, bad food, you are going to consume it. If it’s there you are going to.

So, fasting is that opportunity to at least mentally be like, “Okay, there is no food. It’s not an option.” Then it gives us an opportunity to really like, okay well, food is not an option, then what else do I focus on? Our brain, we have to focus on something. Preparing food, and getting food throughout the day. It’s such a lot of time.

Nick: A lot, and a lot of energy.

Brian DeCosta: We went to dinner two nights ago, and we were actually just sharing this. We got in an Uber, we got ready, we went to dinner. A dinner can be a three or four-hour experience. What does our brain focus on at that point? It can be work, it can be catching up on chores. Whatever it may be, but it’s not food. As we distance ourselves from focusing on that, I think by default we can start to cure ourselves of that obsession just by starting to focus on other things.

Nick: It’s interesting though, because I’ve done a couple of slightly longer fasts, nothing like that. You do just sort of, once you make the decision, food is not an option for this period of time. You see how much energy around you gets poured into it. You see the zombies just doing nothing but eat and eat and eat.

Heather: Just shoveling it in.

Nick: Oh, that’s me, that’s what I do day in, day out. What am I doing? You go from meal to meal, and it looks so strange when you’re not doing it.

Brian DeCosta: You don’t think about it.

Heather: Yeah!

Nick: But like, my God, I must be putting 90% of my energy in my day into just figuring out what to eat. I’m not somebody who really obsesses over food that much. It’s an odd experience, it’s like the veil gets pulled back.

Heather: I always tell people, when I did bodybuilding competitions, I became better at conversations, the closer I got to the show, simply because I wasn’t eating. I’d try to go out dinner with friends and family, but I’m not eating what they’re eating. I have my little Tupperware, and then I’m kind of done. You are looking around and you have to figure out, what do I fill the time with?

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, exactly. That’s a great point.

Nick: There is a great article on our website called “The Self-Made Bodybuilder,” about you. You had a complicated relationship with food before this. Did that make this appeal to you more? Did that make you take pause and be like, “Do I really want to do this?”

Brian DeCosta: It crossed my mind, for sure. Like, could this bring up a past experience of mine? But it ended up not doing that. That’s a good question, it was a thought, because I’ve struggled with my relationship with food. I think the reason why I struggled with food, I struggled with bulimia for four years of my life. It was for control. I really wanted to control the fact that I didn’t know where I wanted my life to go. Again, in alignment with fitness, and grabbing onto fitness. I used food as a stress reliever. I used it as something that I could go to to distract myself, to numb myself.

Once I truly understood that, I was able to cure my… I didn’t cure myself. I consumed a lot of content. I read, I was helped in that way. But at this point, I fully embodied to understand the fact that food is fuel. Sure, we can use it for entertainment, but it is fuel. It doesn’t talk to us, it doesn’t logic us through problems. So, operating from that space, I was able to enter the fasting like, if this gets to be bad, I’ll just have some food.

Nick: Was your 72-hour fast water only?

Brian DeCosta: It was so… I got sparkling water, and Pink Himalayan sea salt. That was the direction in some articles I read.

Nick: Sparkles. No sparkles allowed in the fast, man… you did it wrong! You gotta go do it again.

Heather: No, the sparkles are just carbon dioxide and that’s fine.

Nick: I know.

Brian DeCosta: It made me full though.

Nick: I’m sure.

Brian DeCosta: It felt super bourgie just going to my Whole Foods and buying my water.

Heather: I love that you were putting salt in there too, because that’s something that’s a lot of bodybuilders, and it’s kind of a residual fear of salt. It’s like, “No, you got to get salt. It’s so important for, just to feel good.”

Brian DeCosta: Very important. That was like, I heard that direction quite a bit when I was doing my initial research, coming up to it like, salt, electrolytes, your body needs it, consume it. I was like, wow, of all the things, like salt and water. Wow.

Heather: I do the two days fasting, and my fast days are basically drinking broth, and I’ll add salt to it, because you just feel better. You feel so much better.

Brian DeCosta: Very much so.

Nick: One of our great contributors Paul Carter, he does a monthly 60-hour fast, and has kind of a most days, six to eight-hour eating window, and then once a month sort of blows it out, and feels like that really makes everything else a little bit more effective. Do you feel like it’s something you want to return to?

Brian DeCosta: Yes. I think I made a claim in that video that I’m going to do this once a month. I haven’t done it since.

Nick: 72 hours. That’s a long time.

Brian DeCosta: It’s a big obligation, yeah. Probably not every month but I will do it again this year, for sure. Again, I’m not going to set an expectation on that. I’m going to be intuitive with it, but it was a great experience. I had the time, I was home for that period of time. I wasn’t traveling. It was a great opportunity.

Nick: Did you train fasted in there, or?

Brian DeCosta: I did.

Heather: How was that?

Brian DeCosta: I had two workouts. They were great workouts.

Heather: That’s what a lot of people ask me, is like, “How do you train?” I’m like, “Your body will figure it out.”

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. They were great workouts. I had an arm day. I think I did a chest day.

Nick: Fasted pumps.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, actually the pump wasn’t quite there.

Nick: I’m imagining it wasn’t.

Brian DeCosta: I did notice that. The pump wasn’t quite there, but from an energy perspective and being able to perform it was there. If I put on like super heavy squats, I’m not sure what that would have been like. Maybe we’ll test that next time.

Nick: That seems like a good idea. Let’s go do that in the basement here right now.

Brian DeCosta: Why not? Human experiment. Why not?

Nick: Now, a couple of years also you got a really interesting reminder of the delicate nature of your life that seemed like it helped steer you in this direction as well. You got in a car accident, right, which is something that’s also covered in this article. I was wondering, tell us about that, and how that steered you to where you are now, as well.

Brian DeCosta: That was, this got to be two and a half years ago at this point. Leading up to that car accident that I was in, I had already known that what I was doing with work wasn’t what I wanted to do. I knew that. I had actually started down researching for fitness, how I could get a camera, start doing these things. I hadn’t taken action on it yet though.

Nick: The ideas were just bubbling.

Brian DeCosta: The ideas were bubbling at the time. I was leaving work one day, actually I left work and I was visiting home, I was living in Washington D.C. I was driving home to west Virginia to visit my family. I was driving through Maryland, and a really busy section of I think Hagerstown, Maryland, and I was trying to take my jacket off on the highway, so stupid.

Nick: It’s the sort of thing that all of us do in weak moments.

Heather: We’ve all done it.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. I just wasn’t thinking like, it’s freaking hot in this car, I’m taking my jacket off. Start taking my jacket off, it’s tight. I actually start to try to pull the other sleeve to get it off and I actually lift my knee and it turns the steering wheel. My arms are pinned behind me at this point because I’m taking this jacket off, I can’t grab the steering wheel right away. I’m going like 55, so I’m moving. I turned left, I go across the median, dove down, and this all happened so fast, but I literally remember every single thing so clearly.

Dove down, hit the front end. The top came up, or the front of the car came up. Then next thing I remember is crossing over into the other side of the highway, and just seeing so many cars, a lot a lot of cars, a couple of 18-wheelers. It was like, I’m going to get hit here, and I’m probably going to die here. That’s what I was thinking. Then I closed my eyes, and I made it across, I ended up making it across the highways, and I crashed into an embarkment on the other side of the highway.

Nick: Still moving pretty fast at that point.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. Definitely was, and no car had hit me at that point. Till this day i still don’t know how that happened. There were so many cars coming, crashed the car, and then police came. I think I shared this in the article. I didn’t know they did this, but they sent a preacher to the scene to read me my final rights, because they received calls from the highway that I had died. It was sure that I was dead. I guess they do that with people who die in car accidents.

I didn’t know that happened. He told me, the preacher when he was there, “I actually came here to read you your final rights, because we had heard that you were dead.” I was just like, “This is insane.”

Nick: Did you even black out, or did you just sort of come to it and like, “Here I am, I’m still alive.”

Brian DeCosta: It was more so… So, I closed my eyes … I didn’t black out, I didn’t blackout at any point, it was more so like the car stopped, I crashed. It was one of these like, whoa, that just happened. That was an insane experience, a couple of cars pulled over off on the side to see if I was okay. Yeah. That was… I called my dad crying and I was like, “I just got in a car accident.”

Nick: You were able to get out, you weren’t injured.

Brian DeCosta: I wasn’t injured. No, I was not injured at all, literally not a scratch on me. Airbag deployed, I was able to get out and walk. I was literally fine. The car was totaled. That was, so that over the coming couple of months, I ended up getting a new car, going back, getting into my routine. That accident would constantly be on my mind, like I probably should be gone right now, or could be gone right now. I have another chance. That’s the way that I interpreted the situation like I have another chance.

And I could have died then not doing what I want to do, living a life for society, for my parents, for what I’m “supposed” to do, and what do I have to show for it. I could have just been like Brian DeCosta.

Nick: He died with some money in his 401k.

Brian DeCosta: Exactly. That was the true kick to like I’m going to start action on some freaking things, because tomorrow is not promised, and that’s really when I started taking action on fitness, get the camera, start doing things, start sharing content, just do things that you like.

Heather: Suddenly that square is not as scary as it was before.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Nick: So, but it’s interesting the timeline you talk about. It wasn’t like the next day you are like, walk in quit the job, I’m out the door people. I’m going to go live my dream. There is a boulder you have to get rolling.

Heather: I think that for the made-for-TV movie, though, that should be the way it went down, because that’s much more dramatic.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, I wish it was like the next day it’s like, “I’m done, and I’m doing this.”

Nick: Tell everyone what you think of them.

Nick: How long did it take for you to really be like, “Alright, it’s inevitable, I’m going to do this.” Was it just a few weeks?

Brian DeCosta: It was probably like six-month period. A six-month period that. It started evolving. It was like, I’m going to share on social media, I’m going to still perform my job. In my mind it was still like, this is my life. It was still like I’m going to honor this career and stuff, but I’m just going to keep pushing forward with fitness. It was like just create content for free without expectation of receiving or growing a business. It really truly wasn’t that.

It was like, I just want to do things that excite me, and things that I see help other people. I started going down that road of posting content. Started to see viewer count grow. First YouTube videos got like 50 views. Then the next one got 100 views, then kept sharing more. People were like, “Oh, you live in my area. I found your YouTube channel, this is really cool what you are doing.” Certain people started to find it. That started to grow, that started to excite me. Then YouTube subscribers started to grow a bit like, a couple of hundred subscribers, 300, 400. Instagram started to grow a little bit.

Then I was like, I’m really, really loving this at this point. People are really connecting to this. Dude, you work a job. You are not like these other fitness YouTubers, people who do fitness all day, you are like me. You have a normal job, but you show leaving work wearing a button-up, then going to the gym and changing, going through a routine, and then what you eat after. That’s what I was documenting. And then I fast forward, I did the Spokesmodel Search.

I’m jumping around here, but did the Spokesmodel Search, which even put way more exposure, way, way more exposure on me, submitted a video for that, and made the top 20 for that, and I was going crazy. This is unreal, some of my idols work for Bodybuilding.com, I consumed all the articles when I was younger, and then made the top five, and then was able to go to the LA Fit Expo, and come here. That all happened within three, four, five months of actually posting my first YouTube video, posting on Instagram. That happened so quick.

So, that was like for me that’s feedback, when I put out the energy of what I truly want and is aligned with me, and I just go in and trust that, look what comes to me. I’m freaking sponsored by my dream company that I learned from when I was this insecure kid poking around on the Internet with like, I need big arms.

Nick: Right. I wonder how, as that momentum started, how it influenced your fitness and your lifestyle though, too, because I’ve watched a couple of your videos, where it seems like you have a pretty set ritual. You are like, “I’m up at 5:00. I’m in the gym at 6:00, I’m back at 7:00.” You got that stuff nailed down. Did you have that stuff nailed down, or was it as you got serious about, you were like, “I got to live up to this now. This is here. I need to get it in line.” Or it just happened naturally?

Brian DeCosta: No. I’m not a morning person. I’m not a routine person. I’m more of a creative mind, and it’s so bizarre, because I did go into finance and accounting. I’m finally accepting the fact that I’m not a good planner. I miss things. I forget things.

Nick: Those are not accountant qualities.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, no. I am detail-oriented though, but either way, my relationship with time, and like planning things, either way. That, operating the way that I do now, has been the way that literally I have to, just if I’m going to be able to continue and grow my vision, because what I’ve learned the hard way is that when you work for yourself, you get up at freaking noon if you want to, or you can get up at 6:00 am, and conquer the day. You can do nothing all day, or you can do everything all day.

I don’t go to work. I end up leaving my job, right. I don’t go to work anymore and have KPIs, a boss to talk to. They are going to know if I don’t show up. I’m the boss now. So like, just learning, and just researching on my own, reading. I hired a couple of mentors that are entrepreneurs.

Ritual is so important, routine, mindset, affirmations, all these things. I know if I don’t go through those steps, I’m just not, I’m not at my 100%. I’m just like, I’m a watered-down 60% version of myself. I don’t get stuff done. It’s just not a good situation. You could become victim, what I’ve noticed, too, to your business, as well. If you are not on your crap. Entrepreneurship is glamorized a lot nowadays, too, like, “Oh, work for yourself. You can do it!” But…

Heather: It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Brian DeCosta: No, it’s not, it’s really, really hard. It’s really hard.

Nick: If you’re not good at drawing those boundaries, you end up working more.

Heather: If you are not good at working hard, you are going to work really hard.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, and if you don’t start your day with intention, know the things that you are going to focus on that day, instead of just starting in reaction mode, let’s check email, see what’s going on today. Then you are just pulled in every different direction, realize that’s probably not a good thing. I should probably know what I should do today before I cater to everyone else’s agenda.

Nick: You mean you don’t start the day on the IG?

Brian DeCosta: That’s tough, man. That’s really, really hard not to do. I try my best. I’m not the best at it, though.

Nick: It’s a battle.

Heather: It’ll suck you in.

Brian DeCosta: Sometimes it’s such a reaction, have you ever opened the app and just been like, “Why did I open this?”

Nick: Only every single time.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, just like, I open this, I don’t even know what I’m even looking for, but I opened it, now I’m looking at it.

Heather: It goes back to the whole, like…

Nick: The world is happening here. It reminds you of something. I don’t know, I recently went three days without it, without the phone at all.

Heather: Then he came back with a flip phone. He was so excited to be smartphone-free.

Nick: Yeah. It’s like not eating. In that you just have the veil pulled back and you go, “Oh, my God. Everybody is on the phone all the time.” They do it without realizing it. They are getting on the train, they look at it, they are swiping their credit card, they look at it. Every single thing they do, they are getting some reminder, there is some little comfort thing that you are reaching for.

I mean, the flip phone thing hasn’t stuck, because they are incredibly helpful and useful. It’s hard to text anymore. The level of expectation that people have from a text message is different than back when I was T9-ing it, I was a fucking pro on the T9.

Brian DeCosta: If I get a green text right now, I’m like, “Oh, my God. Who are you?”

Nick: Right. Exactly. I’m back, but it’s an eye-opener, for sure. And I think it’s a fast that is worth doing.

Brian DeCosta: For all of December, I deleted social media off my phone. I deleted Instagram for 30 days. That was amazing. That was an amazing experience.

Heather: That would change your routine.

Nick: It will. I’ve done that one, too, and I felt like not having it was a whole other experience, just because you don’t realize what a part of your body it is, man. Even text messaging, I love text messaging. That’s really all it is. It’s music, text message, and I call my grandmother.

Just having that reminder, it buzzes and says, “Hi, somebody is reaching out to you. You are in the network. You’re in the network. You exist.” It’s almost like, when you get rid of it, for the first day you don’t exist, and you are like, “All right. What am I going to do with this? I totally am not a member of the human race, anymore.”

Brian DeCosta: It’s an object, but it represents so much. It represents family, community, work, spirituality, everything.

Nick: Exactly. The first day I’m like, I’m floating, I’m lost. The next day I’m like, “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m never going back.” Then the third day I’m like, “Can I borrow your phone? I need to do something on it.”

Brian DeCosta: Did you go out in nature or, like, hike?

Nick: No, we were in Seattle. My wife and I were having a weekend vacation up there. We did a whole bunch of stuff. We walked a ton, we ate a ton. It was a perfect way to do it. Yeah, I’ve done hikes and stuff. Even when you go out in nature these days. You usually bring that thing because you want to take a picture or something.

I’m really getting to the point where I feel like the only way to do it is to have windows where it’s like, “All right. It’s in this window. It’s not in this window.” That’s really tough to do, because that FOMO is real. Even if you don’t really think that you have any fear of missing out, there is some part of you that’s like, “What are you doing? Get back in there.”

Brian DeCosta: That’s the thing too, like, I consider social media now part of my job.

Nick: Us, too, this is why. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even have one.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. I get reminders now on my phone, because Apple, they released time limits on apps. (I couldn’t… it escaped me.) So, I have that pop up on my phone like you’ve now spent two hours on social media today. Now that I say that, I may actually turn that off, it makes me feel really bad when I see that. But honestly, a lot of it is, it’s like creating stories or writing posts, or messaging people. A lot of my business goes down in Instagram DMs.

Nick: I’m sure.

Brian DeCosta: A lot of that. That’s another tough thing to balance with the relationship with the phone, too. It’s like, and that’s the rationale, but it’s work, like. I should be looking at this.

Nick: When I started working here, I did have a flip phone, so seven years ago. And Instagram was starting to get pretty big, and I would just have my tabs on Instagram on my laptop. I’m like, “All right, I get to work. Time to check my tabs.” It worked to a certain degree. It contained that, but at the same time, that world was moving so much faster than me, that at some point I’m like, “What am I doing here?” I’m driving a car with square wheels.

Brian DeCosta: Flintstones.

Heather: It’s remarkable talking to all the different athletes, I mean, you guys all use social media, and you have these huge followings, but it’s not controlling your lives the way you think it would, you almost embody social media. You just said it, it’s part of work. It’s something that…

Somehow you guys have all managed to find a way to use it in a way that benefits you without being totally consumed by it. I think I’m one of those poor schmoes that can just open up a tab and then two hours later be like, “What did I just waste my life doing?”

Brian DeCosta: Oh, yeah.

Heather: So, I think that that’s also something that social media can bless all of us with is that we see…

Nick: There is a massive upside, there’s no doubt about that.

Heather: Yeah, we see what you are doing, and we see that you also use it as a tool. It doesn’t have to be this massive time suck, and if you like it there is a way to turn it into a positive. Just like someone can go to the gym and emerge four hours later being like, “All I did was chest today. What was I wasting my time doing?”

Brian DeCosta: I’m very, very imperfect when it comes to my relationship with social media. A lot of feedback I actually do get from friends is presence. A lot of like looking at my phone in social situations, sometimes friends share with me, they’ll say something to me, and literally it’s like, because I’m looking at my phone. It’s not cool.

Heather: No.

Brian DeCosta: It doesn’t send good messages. I had an experience, I was home for Christmas visiting my family, and it was kind of just like a self-awareness check, observing myself. I was sitting around all my family, and my brother’s one-year-old was there, he was playing, I was looking at Instagram, and it’s like, I live in California, my whole family is here. I’m not here all the time. These are sacred times, and I’m looking at my phone. What am I looking for? It’s like conditioning, we are used to it. I constantly focus on that, and try to improve that relationship.

Nick: That’s not what we invited you here for was to make you feel bad about your phone habits. But, I mean…

Brian DeCosta: It’s important stuff, though. No, I don’t feel bad. It’s important stuff, though.

Nick: It is, it is.

Heather: We are sharing how we all have a common problem with our phones.

Brian DeCosta: I kind of went off on a tangent there, anyways.

Nick: What goals do you have moving forward, though? Like, what’s next on the horizon for you?

Brian DeCosta: So, I have a vision, say three parts. First, I want to impact 100,000,000 people with my music. Second one, is I want to directly help 1,000,000 people transform their bodies, build the bodies of their dreams. Then the last one is I want to help 1,000,000 build the business or the life of their dreams. Design their life around what they like to do.

That’s, like, life vision. I really liked music in college. I grew up playing guitar. I was in a band in high school. In college, I was a DJ to make money just on the side, at clubs and bars. I let that get away from me for years. It’s actually one of my main true passions arguably bigger than fitness is music.

That gets to be something that I introduced this year. I actually just launched unofficially a music radio show on SoundCloud, where every week I’m just going to post mixes of awesome songs that people can listen to in the gym.

So, just me getting started, there is a music production school that I’m going to be starting in Los Angeles to learn how to produce music, electronic music later this year. That’s on the music passion side of things. That’s going to come out on social media. I’m going to document that process, to share with people how that’s going. Then on the fitness side of things, on the coaching side of things, continue to coach, that’s my main revenue driver at this point.

And I love coaching, helping others, and because I worked a corporate job, I can see how I can still benefit and understand from that aspect. Continuing to coach, and create content there. And I want to do a natural bodybuilding show this year. Never have done one.

Nick: Interesting. There is a lot in there. And there are a lot of things in there that are demanding of your time. Music is from a playing perspective, but also from a production perspective. There is a lot of time in there.

Brian DeCosta: It is a lot of time. School is three days a week at night.

Nick: I like it, though. I think that’s interesting, too, because a lot of people look at the fitness thing. That would be, that’s the top of the mountain. There is something about music that still speaks to you even above and beyond that. That’s first on your list, I’m going to do music. It’s the biggest number, 100,000,000 I heard is that number.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah. Well, that’s the number because in my mind to rationalize on Spotify how many plays you can gather, SoundCloud, iTunes, I mean, it’s a huge crazy number. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to get that point. I’m factoring like, to impact 100,000,000 people, how many plays can I get? If I can get that many plays on a song that I produce, then that’s in my mind impacting that amount of people.

Nick: So, you’re thinking eyeballing production more than creating your own at this point or both?

Brian DeCosta: I would like to create my own music. That’s my intention. That’s what I will do. But I also like showcasing songs that I really like, and as a DJ controlling the vibe of a venue is really cool. Taking song requests, making sure the songs blend well with each other. I love that.

Nick: “Love Shack, play Love Shack!”

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Nick: I’m sure if you were doing… DJs… exactly.

Brian DeCosta: Love in the club.

Heather: I heart you.

Nick: No, I’m not, but I’ve been to enough weddings.

Brian DeCosta: I will tell you, I don’t have that song. So, it would be like producing my own music and then showcasing other people’s music, as well.

Nick: Fantastic. I feel like we had a big revelation at the end. I did not know that about you until this… Well, um…

Brian DeCosta: This is new. This is new, yeah.

Nick: Right. Well, we’ll be watching every step along the way. Brian DeCosta, tell people how they can find you online.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah, so, the best way to find me is just on social media. This can be Instagram, just @BrianDeCosta. It’ll be YouTube @BrianDeCosta. I tweet rarely, but from time to time.

Nick: But it’s a thing.

Brian DeCosta: Twitter is a thing, and that’s @BrianDeCosta, as well.

Nick: And Facebook, and SoundCloud, potentially.

Brian DeCosta: SoundCloud is @BrianDeCosta, as well.

Heather: That’s very cool. You got everything.

Brian DeCosta: I post music mixes on there.

Nick: So, you are posting music mixes on there now.

Brian DeCosta: Currently, yeah.

Nick: Okay. Let’s go check this out.

Brian DeCosta: Yeah.

Nick Collias: All right. Brian DeCosta. Thanks so much for coming in and talking to us, man.

Heather Eastman: Thank you.

Brian DeCosta: Thank you. This has been awesome.


The Self-Made Bodybuilder: How Brian DeCosta Unlocked His True Strength

The Self-Made Bodybuilder: How Brian DeCosta Unlocked His True Strength

Team Bodybuilding.com member Brian DeCosta, a 27-year-old former accountant, defeated an eating disorder and survived a near-fatal accident to build the body (and business) of his dreams.


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