Thank you for checking out The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype! The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness.

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This is our 39th episode of The Community Conversation and today’s guest is Prototype head coach, Brian Zancewicz! You won’t want to miss this episode as it’s a good one!

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Mike Collette 0:03
All right, everyone. Welcome to the community conversation today we have head coach Brian Zancewicz-awicz. Sorry it’s just Zancewicz on the community conversation today. I’m super pumped about this because, you know, Brian and I are the ones that kind of started Prototype-and we were the first ones and doing everything, so this is like a special community conversation. I’m sure everyone’s gonna be listening to this. But Bri, thanks for being on. I think it’s like that 38 to 39th episode of The Community Conversation.

Brian Zancewicz 0:34
That’s awesome.

Mike Collette 0:35
Yeah, man. So I know your story pretty well, Bri, because I’ve known you for like, geez, 10, 11 years now. But I don’t think everyone at prototype-even our coaches, might not know like your story. So would you mind just kind of, you know, starting there, like, how did you get into like the fitness industry? What was your like, journey into this industry? Like, everyone’s is different and, yeah, that’d be awesome.

Brian Zancewicz 1:02
Yeah, absolutely and so, um, long story short. My stepfather. So my stepfather and my mother have been together for 30 something years now. I was probably 9 or 10. Right. And that’s when, you know, you big Al, you’ve met big Al a bunch of times.

Mike Collette 1:18
Fanny pack.

Brian Zancewicz 1:20
Yeah dude, Fanny pack Big Al. So,

Mike Collette 1:23
You’re that big you’re gonna wear a fanny pack.

Brian Zancewicz 1:25
He can do whatever he wants the scariest man alive right there. But he was a competitive power lifter, right. So a competitive power lifter, and he trained a bunch of people, right? He trained people for powerlifting, essentially. And both nights and they obviously got together and like, long story short, I would spend all my free time with him. As he trained people. He’s a prison guard as well. So he worked 3 to 11, sometimes 11 to 7. Got the middle of the day open. So and it’s summertime vacations, I had no place else to go. I’d hang out with Big Al. And we go down to the gym. And you have people come in and retrain them throughout the day, including myself and be quite honestly, I was the biggest pain in the butt alive. I used to cry. “I don’t want to work out”, “This sucks”, “You’re stupid Al”. Long story short, I look back at it, 30 years, and that’s the best thing that anybody had done for me-was to force me to kind of move my body and exercise-he didn’t care if I was the best powerlifting world best whatever, right? But he knew the mental state or if you want to feel better-to feel better about yourself, you had to move your body workout. And at that time, it was extremely overweight, I was a fat, angry kid, right? You can sum it up with that, right? And I remember this one time, actually several times he used to make the right stairs, right? He’d bring me out at night. And when he got home, he’d be like, Alright, Brian, you gotta run up and down the stairs. 50 times. And I remember and force me to do that. I’m running and crying and like, just putting up like putting on a show. Right? dramatic. And I’ll never forget this. I was coming down. I was crying. He’s like, good, Brian. It’s good. Cry, cry a little more. It burns calories. Keep going. And basically like, that, was it and here I am. But again,

Mike Collette 3:09
Did you rebel against the crying cuz you like, I don’t want to burn calories, just like I’m gonna stop crying. Because that’ll be like the biggest parent hack ever for like-I’m not a parent but I can only imagine that like, there’s these like secret hacks that all you clever parents out there use on your kids.

Brian Zancewicz 3:28
Well, no. So that’s a that’s a it’s a win-win tho right? So again, friends, and you stop crying and just do it. And that’s what you’re trying to accomplish. Right? You’re trying to get this person to do what they you know, it’d be good for them. And they don’t want to do. Right. And we kind of deal with that quite a bit here. Right, actually, not here necessarily. But in previous jobs, they had previous chairmans, people come in, and, you know, they want results, and they don’t want to put the work in here. Here, we don’t necessarily have that problem we deal with very driven like-minded people here which is refreshing. But anyhow, I’ll continue on with that. Right. So fast forward, you know, competitive power lifter, I’ve been doing this great here my back a few times. Kind of get out of it by the time I graduated high school. And again, long story short, in those times off-and-on some, you know, like, significant, like, substance abuse problems, right? So, deal with that kind of come out of that, right? kind of change things around like changing my lifestyle, then I never revert back to that, right. Another go of substance abuse and bad behavior and destructive patterns, things like that-run into some problems here and there. Again, periods of function dysfunction, as I get a little bit older right now I’m in my early 20s. And I you know, not even 21 yet and I’ve already like, quit drinking several times. I could drink quit doing drugs, several, right. So it’s all before 20 years old. Working a few jobs here and there, but continue to like, exercise and the interest in these things and know and having the hope of one day maybe, you know, being a trainer coach, right. So work construction for a couple years, hate every minute every day of it right. And I remember one day I was working for myself was working down in Rhode Island and driving home and like, I’m not I’m not going to do this anymore. I’m not going to do this. So like I called my friend who was a trainer at Gold’s Gym in Millis. Right down I think it’s 109 I think it’s down in that area, right? And you’re like, sherborn over. I was like,

Mike Collette 5:41
What old are you now?

Brian Zancewicz 5:44
At this point, I was probably 22. Right. So I skipped like, I left a lot of left a lot of area over there. Because there’s a lot there’s a lot to that. I’m trying to just get to like where we’re at now. And point 22, 23 right now and I’ve cleaned up this point, right? I stopped drinking, stop doing drugs. Okay, you know, I’m not as destructive mentally still. But like not as outwardly destructive, as violent, right? I call him Uncle Mike, what do I have to do to become a trainer and he’s like, “Alright, you gotta start off and get your certification”. Like, okay, I’ll start with that. So I get like an online certification. Fast forward probably a month and a half later, I show up in the Millis Gold’s Gym. Right, you walk in really nice people work there. Brian here, here’s an application moment when you get started right away. I’m like, Oh, perfect. Give me a shirt that says trainer. And they look out to the fitness forums, they actually pretty good sized gym to, like, here’s your shirt. Now go talk to people. I’m like really? Say, yeah, go talk to people get to know people. And you know, and go from there. And from that day on, I quit my job, and I was a trainer, just sent off into space. And Michael Titus and most coaches in terms of status, when you first started training, you don’t get paid. So this is all unpaid floor time you walk around, trying to talk to people and get them, convince them to come have me help them. Fast foreward a few months later, I had practiced this and I known I need to do this and get better at this. So I just did it because I didn’t have any choice. And again, maybe a side story to me and Lisa are going to get married a few months. And you know, we’ll get married and like, hey, Lisa, I come home, and I will quit my job, I’m a trainer now. This is one day, right? This is when I quit my job a trainer. She’s like, Oh, that’s great. And she kind of kind of went with it. And I’m like, that’s it. That’s all Alright, I thought you’re gonna be a little more resistant she goes and she’s she’s the type of person like if it’s not, you’re not happy doing it. Don’t do it. Right. You know, and now she’ll tell you now she was obviously a little nervous at the beginning but again look fast forward now almost 41 years old and we’re here at CrossFit Prototype and there’s no place I’d rather be, no place I’d rather work in there’s no group of people I’d rather work with be quite honest with you. Again, there’s a lot more there’s a lot more there’s many more side stories in there and they’ll have different depressions but again, that’s that sums up that’s the big picture right there of how I how I got here and go into a little bit how I met you. And obviously I know I listened to your podcast, we sigo Mike Scott right so early 20s I’m working in a gym right we come across this guy’s and Donnie me You met Don? Yeah, yeah. getting it done. Right Mike?

Mike Collette 8:38
We did fight club with Don.

Brian Zancewicz 8:39
Yes. So

Mike Collette 8:41
Don Croad.

Brian Zancewicz 8:42
Don Croad, big influence in my life right there.

Mike Collette 8:47
Hold on so this is at Gold’s Gym? or before Gold’s Gym?

Brian Zancewicz 8:50
Fast foreward I get another full time job at Global Fitness in Stowe, Massachusetts.

Mike Collette 8:54
Yeah, so how long were you at Gold’s Gym for? You’re a twenty-two year-old, first training job Gold’s Gym Millis and then you were there for..?

Brian Zancewicz 9:02
Probably a year. I was probably then we had moved. So we lived in. We lived in Milford at the time and then Millis is like the next town over.

Mike Collette 9:11
Oh got it, yeah. You and Lisa got married and moved to Belford. Got it.

Brian Zancewicz 9:14
Yeah, no. Yes. We moved to Milford right. And then we met my mother had a house we want to host in Lancaster, Lancaster mass that’s like, that’s route to in the middle of nowhere. Right. So we moved out there. And it was an hour and a half the drive to Millis and it tried to drive an hour and a half to catch a 5am appointment for somebody became unmanageable, right and get about three o’clock and I’m like, I can’t do this anymore. So eventually I switched jobs and worked it out. And still it’s called Global Fitness and a good friend of mine still the stage name is Dave bunny gave me a shot, right full time gig insurance, all that stuff, right? So like a real a real job for you. All right. So, you know same thing though. You walk around, talk to people and by now i’ve become good at it. I can talk to people I can get and get people engaged and get people not doing have me help them. Right. And there’s one guy in here His name is Don, right? Real nice guy. Not the most intimidating fella. But you hear stories about your whispers about my professional fighter. And he was he had he had retired at that point. Oh, but he had been professional fighter for years.

Mike Collette 9:17
And like, early stage UFC, right?

Brian Zancewicz 10:25
Yes, very cool early stage.

Mike Collette 10:28
Bare knuckles yeah.

Brian Zancewicz 10:28
Only thing you couldn’t do is poke someone’s eyes and special. It was the only through the groin, that throat whatever it anything went. And he had been involved in this for years. Right. So I was intrigued. I was like, Oh, well done. He’s like, yeah, my previous life. I was like, You know what? I do like jujitsu. Now I do some of the mixed martial arts still, right? But, you know, I’m not really as angry as he I’m like, Oh, wait, well, he invited me down one day to, to roll right. So we need to get started. You roll, right? So invited me down and instantaneously, like, instantaneously, right? We’re probably an hour and a half, two hours. And I remember turning bright light a few times. And in having excused myself going here, and it’s throw up. Right? Now, this is somebody that’s been active. All right, they’ve lifted weights, football, basketball, whatever it may be. And come down here and it was an eye opening experience. To roll with this guy who is not much bigger than Jon, right? A guy that’s not much bigger than john, right? And remember him just twisting me sideways, up and down and not having any clue what’s going on. But I thought, This is great. I want to do this. So again, fast forward a few years later, we’re legitimately going now have two half hours punching each other in the face for again, for an hour, we have two hours. And I thought it was-

Mike Collette 11:22
Is this in Stow?

Brian Zancewicz 11:56
Yeah. So and we actually had a training with a training facility in the next town over near 45 minutes away. It was an old office building that are used.

Mike Collette 12:06
That’s where I did Fight Club with you guys.

Brian Zancewicz 12:08
Bill Duggins father had, he’s a property manager of leash the data terminal is an old, old building that has like office space in it and basically be fighting between cubicles, right with NASA that’s on the ground. And they get ringworm on those mats, they still get it to this state pops up, pops up all over.

Mike Collette 12:28
So gross.

Brian Zancewicz 12:32
So Oh, my, oh, I’m going to be a fighter. This is what I’m going to do. And then fast forward a few years. I have my son Marshall. And I’m like, I’m not doing that. That’s not that’s not the life for me. And then united again, might be kind of jumping around a little bit here, too. That’s that’s how my brain operates. I brought Mike Scott a mutual friend of ours down to facility to roll with us. When was this now? Like? A year? Yes, probably. What year is it? Now? This is probably

Mike Collette 13:05
Gonna be like 2010, 2011 maybe?

Brian Zancewicz 13:08
It’s actually probably. 06, 07. Oh no, I’m sorry. I’m down there 06, 07. Fast forward. 2008. On Boston sports. Right. started training this guy Mike Scott. And he had always been interested, yeah, he’d done Taekwondo. And he’s like, all brilliant. Like, I want to train with you. I want you to get in better shape. And I heard you do these things. I’m like, yeah, I’m like, absolutely. I do these things. And I’d love to have you down sometimes. But he’s like, okay, but I want to make sure I get in shape first, right on arm, like, whatever. I know. That’s not how it works. But I’m like, okay, I go along with it training for a few months. And then one day I’m like, you know what, alright, like, I think you’re mentally and physically ready to come down with us, comes down with us. And same thing, first day hooked, can’t get enough of it, looks forward to the next time. So we go on and for a few months, I’ve been training back and forth I train at 5am I get promoted to the fitness manager. And at this point, I think he would been there for a few months already might be at PSC for a few months already been when I got hired?

Mike Collette 14:15
In 2010, 2011 yeah.

Brian Zancewicz 14:18
So James Maloney mutual friend of ours, I moved to a different job and I took over as a Fitness Manager. So I no longer train if you’re like, Oh, we got this trainer Mike lead. I think she trains great guys. We train train with them, and then get might get you down. Mike might convince you to come with them

Mike Collette 14:38
He didn’t train with me, he trained with Zach.

Brian Zancewicz 14:42
Oh that’s right cause..Okay he trained with Zack. And somehow you guys got to talking and he came down.

Mike Collette 14:53
Yeah that was like a networking thing that I was talking about the networking group and then yeah, and then that’s when I came in with you guys because I know exactly we’re talking about with the feeling like white and feeling your puke. I didn’t get hooked into it like you guys did more terrifying for me because I had zero martial arts fighting experience, but it was like, it was an incredible workout. For sure. But I was more interested in I was more interested in the GHD machine that was on the other side of the room.

Brian Zancewicz 15:27

Mike Collette 15:28
That’s cool.

Brian Zancewicz 15:29
This is great, man. This is gonna be a rink we had rings set up to with the whole way the whole setup right there. Like the range, right? Yeah. Right away, but like, Oh, this is fun. This is great. Right? And, you know, bring it back to the same moment, right? You guys were driving home. I was driving on the same point. And you guys call me like, we want to you want to start want to start a gym and start a CrossFit slash mixed martial arts? And then what? Six months, nine months later?

Mike Collette 16:00

Brian Zancewicz 16:01
And now we’re here, right? Like, that’s a big gap to between that point and where we are now. But that’s pretty much how it happened. Oh, I’m sorry to Oh, wait. rewind it rewind to 2008 my friend and mutual friend of ours, Bill Douglas, like you gotta you gotta check this in. This is at the point where, you know, where I’m actively in the Taekwondo jujitsu and mixed martial arts is like you like this stuff. You really love this stuff. Check this out. It’s called CrossFit. I’m like oh, I’ll check it out. So this is probably again rewind I’m sorry I’m jumping around so much. Probably 07? right here check this out my online it’s gonna watch the videos but this is great. I’m gonna check this out. I signed up the certification I was there probably a month later and just overall me getting my level one certification this is point two and CrossFit wasn’t wasn’t necessarily mainstream or really even knew about it. Right. Some of them the middle was at a state police barracks in the middle of nowhere a basketball man just right outside of Waterville Valley and are going in there and this is it’s strange how they do it. But right away it was it was go right away. They’re screaming at us. I remember like using a kettlebell and getting out of this league mcenaney asked which them is and which must be did 50 times and I was like, Oh, this is I’m gonna want to get away with this back and back where I live and back where I workout but I like what you got going on here. I kind of like the methodology as it’s like go short, intense, faster workouts. And again, I was hooked from there. I mean, in the end, that’s what we do now. It’s 2021 we’ve been here since 2012. Right? So it’ll be it’ll be almost 10 years.

Mike Collette 17:52
We’re going on nine years in

Brian Zancewicz 17:55

Mike Collette 17:55
In 12 days nine years September one basically is the nine year anniversary.

Brian Zancewicz 18:04
You were here inside right Karen shut down before it was it was Jim Cameron coming in here with your with your stpe-brother Bob and tearing it up off the walls.

Mike Collette 18:15
Yeah we were ripping off the the panels on the walls from the children’s clothing store. Which those the original panels are still on the front of the wall where the like the chalkboard is now but that all those things weighed like those were like maybe four by six three by five something like that giant like no way to take them off the wall they weighed like 100 pounds each. They’re on all the way in Yeah, that was all around the entire place. There was a wall at that last pillar in the back of the gym. There was a wall that separated it was a small room back there there were the changing rooms there’s two changing rooms that we had to like destroy and you know lay down all the mats over all the carpeting and all that sort of stuff. And yeah, that was a lot of work. I think the most work was pulling all those mats in on that million degree day with the whoever drove the was like how many 1000s or even just like 1000 of those four by six Thomas forget who drove them over here in a dump on the ground.

Brian Zancewicz 19:25
Donny, Nicole Moore’s step-father.

Mike Collette 19:28
That’s right yeah, yeah. Yeah, they were like how do we get these off the bed of the truck there’s like weighs like 1000 pounds. And they just like he was like one of those like, I remember like, what are those forklift things? Yeah, he’s one of those and it was so heavy that it like tilted it down. And then I remember like, he just uses a kind of scooted off the bed of the truck and smash all over the ground ready to pick them up. You know, these things don’t break so it’s a rubber mat and fold it over doesn’t matter. Pull them in with nothing. We got them all in there between like me, you and I don’t know one other person in like 3040 minutes like I remember timing it and like we’re just for time. It was exhausting.

Brian Zancewicz 20:07
Gary showed up. Gary showed up in his truck. We’re dragging him in. We got I think we got like half the men-we’re dragging it to the front. He’s like, I got this truck. Why don’t you just put them on the bed of my truck and I’ll drive to the front entrance. You pull them off, right? It’s like, oh, Garrett, why so smart.

Mike Collette 20:29
Working smarter versus harder with that was not in our DNA back then. was all excited. So you were you so just so everyone knows. So you have been training like in this like, personal training group training, like fitness? Training specifically, for by my calculation here like 19 years? Yep. Almost, it’ll be 20 or 2002 is when you got your your job at Gold’s Gym doesn’t do before and moved in. With isto Lancaster you and Lisa got married. I’m curious, I want to ask you about how you and Lisa met in 2008, you went to BSc and then 2012 Prototype, and that’s where we are now. And it was like 2011 I think was like when you were like the fitness manager of BSE. So you mentioned like that, like you quit your construction job in like 2002 and then started training at Gold’s Gym. Like what made you make that like decision outside of you hating doing the construction, but like, what, what like, led you to? I want to do this because you said you had like experience doing powerlifting? like Big Al is like a trainer powerlifting trainer? Like, what was the like, what? connect those dots? I don’t know that. I don’t know if you mentioned that.

Brian Zancewicz 21:52
I didn’t really have any clue what I was going to do. When I graduated high school. I remember wandering around town, what the hell am I going to do? Any In fact, there’s a lot of stuff that happened in between there. And this, the only time it was happening was at the gym, right? exercising. And I’m like, Oh, this is really positive. One of the only positive aspects of my life right now. Or one thing that I really enjoyed that that that I know is going to help me. And I knew construction wasn’t people that I worked for work with weren’t. I’ll say they’re bad people. Right? I worked with some bad people that didn’t really care about what you did, as long as the job was done. And I knew the way my personality was, I probably wasn’t going to be alive for right, because this is when I was in like the throes of addiction, right? hiding it. Like all any any and all the bad shit you think of like, that’s pretty much where I was at, right? And I cleaned my act up a little bit at that point. And I’m like, I got to do this, like I know. And we talk about this sometimes too. In our meetings, I’m a very black and white person. And sometimes that’s a bad thing. But in this case, it was a very good, very black and white. I’m like, I’m not doing this anymore. This is what I’m going to do. And I threw myself into it. I got every publication, every book I could possibly get my hands on. I memorized like glossary terms of your definitions of things. And I just threw myself into it. Because I knew if I wanted to make a living doing this, that’s what I was gonna have to do. And that, again, brought me brought me here gave me gave me opportunities that I would never in my wildest dreams ever thought of, it’s funny how things work. You put the effort in and opportunity comes right?

Mike Collette 23:48
How long have you been? How long? Have you been sober for Brian? Probably, or when did you stop? Like, you know, you made that decision to just change your life.

Brian Zancewicz 23:59
So by the time I was like, about 16-22, 23 I probably got sober 16-17 years 1616. So you might have to support those timelines a little bit more. might have been again, I have some foggy, very, very foggy areas of my life my early 20s probably 16, 17 years maybe a little bit longer by now and honestly don’t even remember at this point. That’s a whole different podcast right there. As far as like when I stopped when I really stopped doing really stuff is the self destructive behavior. Yeah, so let’s say 17-18 years, maybe like that. A little fun. Yeah. I don’t miss that man. Don’t miss that. And he had at that point too, at 22-23, when I stopped, I’d already been seven or eight years off and on doing real bad at bad shit. And you know what the funny part he was like, doing all this bad shit, I’d have moments of clarity and I make it to the gym, I’d exercise a few things for myself. And that was revert right back to that behavior, doing things that are not that people shouldn’t do. And I’m convinced to if I, if I stayed on that path, I’d be I’d be long, I’d be long gone by now. I remember, I remember she was senses where I’d wake up. And I very rarely had a hangover. Because I just didn’t stop drinking. Right? I wake up sometimes finally shaking. And we’re sitting down at a diner with one of my old boss guys real not not a good dude. I couldn’t pick up a spoon. I was saying, I can’t pick up this phone. I go back, we go back to the job site, I get in the back of the car and get into another 30 pack or a 16 ounce waterproof, whatever, maybe that day. And it’s funny too, because like when you do these things, remember driving down the street, drinking whatever this is and ever not caring or not caring to her driving drinking, like, half blacked out driving on the road. And like all this is gonna end poorly. It’s either gonna be dying, I’m gonna stop. But right now I don’t, I don’t really care. I’m just gonna continue on my day. And this went on for a while.

Mike Collette 26:36
was what was like, and I mean that for this to kind of go down this route. But I appreciate being so open talking about it. Does that was that like the hardest thing for you to do? Like ever in your life was to was to make that decision or just to change your, your path like was that? And you boil it down? Was that? Because it sounds like it’s incredibly hard?

Brian Zancewicz 26:58
Well, it was and it wasn’t. Because long story short, I was in a real bad way one night, and I was I don’t I very I vaguely remember calling out. It was I don’t know what time it was. But I was all sorted to my name. And we were calling me I need help. And I hung up the phone. He had no idea where I was. I was actually house sitting for my father at the time. And I think he and my mother might have mentioned that I was there. And he had left work. He worked and keyboard 311 at night and he picked me up that night. That was it. That was the last time you ever drank like there was when he picked me up he brought me back to this house and essentially locked me in the house for a few days. Like he wouldn’t let me out of sight the time off work he’s like I’m not gonna get my site the next four or five days and he will shut up and this point to it I broken up long story short it broken up with me and he said broken up because I was also with a messed up but no one no one should be around that. And he locked me in the house for a couple of days and remember shaking, sweating throwing up. Like this is no way go through life. And he basically gave me it she’s like, here’s the here’s the choice. You can continue doing what you’re doing. Probably live in a cardboard box and die probably pretty quickly, right? Or you can stop and have whatever you want. And I was like you know what, it’s pretty easy choice right there. And I stopped and now I have two Healthy Kids life house. Like Good job, like good people that I work for work with. I just no place I’d rather be and this is given the choice. Like I was lucky enough blessed enough to have somebody like the Alamo life helped me straighten this out. And again, here I am, like cut the shit. Black and White stop. Like sometimes black, my great but sometimes that’s what you need to do. That’s what you need to get be given a choice you can live or you can do it is that easy. For me it was I can only speak for myself. And again, like I I enjoy helping people and I enjoy… Jeremiah very good friend of mine frameworks to like he’ll joke sometimes enemies venomous life coach and, you know, anything that I can do to help somebody you know, again, because you gain wisdom through experience, right? So they experienced a lot of bad emotions and a lot of bad stuff. And, you know, it’s been anything I can do to help somebody. If I can share some of wisdom that I’ve had that I’ve gained through experience. If I can help other people with that, and I’m all for it. Because I’ve had many, many people help me throughout my life that really Didn’t need to didn’t have any business to or didn’t have to write. And again, what goes around comes around, right? The more you helping people, the more of the things are gonna happen to you. And again, it’s just gonna it’s gonna spread and you know, this might not be energy guy, right? So what kind of energy you put out there? Are you putting the energy out there to help or are you putting out to take right and to put the energy out there to help it comes back around? Again, we have a lot of great people in this facility that you know, at the drop of a hat would do anything for you. Right and that’s and that’s a testament to you as well Mike right it’s us you’re the you’re the you’re the you’re the you’re the piece that holds it all together. Right I get a little wacky sometimes I get off course and you put me back on right same thing your brother right I look your brother like like I know if I talk to your brother’s gonna give straight and I appreciate that a lot. Jon the truth Telenor? Yeah, tell us so do big, which is my life here, Jon and, and yourself, Mike have helped me. And I spend more time with you guys, I think than I do probably anybody else? Oh, not not as much now. But before you like, be 14 hours a day with Jon and Mike. manage to not strangle each other?

Mike Collette 31:16
Yeah, I don’t think Jon and I would win that battle against you since you. Yeah, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to Yeah, I already already know that. I’m not gonna try that.

Brian Zancewicz 31:26
As you get older get more mature. I don’t want I’m the non passive, non violent person. I know how things change over the years.

Mike Collette 31:37
It hibernates in you, though, that needs to come out. I’m sure if you come out. If there’s a if we if you poke the bear. Poke that. Have you poke the bear? How did you So did I switch gears? Because I do appreciate you just talking about all that. I feel like if you guys whoever’s listening right now, if your fucking eyes aren’t watering, I mean, I don’t know what you’ve been listening to. Because this is just an incredible story. Again, I know all this stuff. But it was just, it’s, it’s it’s really incredible to kind of hear this, Brian. I mean, I really appreciate you sharing this. And but again, not just not to just switch gears so abruptly, but how did how did you and Lisa, me and for everyone that’s listening. Right now. You? If you you know, Brian, you have to know Lisa, because she’s done like over 2000 classes at prototype. I mean, I think she rarely misses a 5am. And if she misses 5am she’s probably come in at six and like, you know, I mean, just because whatever. But how did you guys meet? Like, what what was that? Like? It sounds like she was a integral component of you kind of making this like, transition and decision to get on a path of like sobriety like, well, how did you guys meet?

Brian Zancewicz 32:55
This is my favorite story. So, um, again, you graduate high school, like I didn’t really know what to do at work, some construction jobs. I also worked as a waiter, right? So I worked at a local restaurant and the town I grew up in meaner. gotten a little bit of trouble there and like, I need to find a different job in a different town and get out of this town. Summer driving through Framingham one day, and I’m sure a lot of people remember this restaurant called Bugaboo Creek. I was driving the creek. And I was driving a big banner on the roof and said now I’m like, Alright, cool. Yeah. So I pull in. I walk in, I’m like, and I had, I had bright white hair at point two, so I made sure I had my head on. I was like, Alright, I’m gonna be on the up and up. I’m making my shit together here. So what can I talk to me like, Oh, I’d like to, I like to apply to be a waiter. He said, Oh, alright, here’s your application. I sat down. I filled it out. That’s what a week later they call me. I go into orientation. Right. Alright, so I started waiter there in Framingham. I’m floating through life at this point, right? I’m just kind of like, I’m living day to day. Like, I don’t know what’s going on the next day. I really want what happened the day before. Again, I’m there for about 6,8,9 months, maybe something like that. And I’m here this girl starts her name is Lisa. Lisa recent nauseam what’s at the time. And every time we were talking you were in you know-

Mike Collette 34:30
Bri I think you might have cut out for a second.

Brian Zancewicz 34:36
That was kind of drawn to her. I don’t know what it was..

Mike Collette 34:38
I think you cut out for like one second. I think the internet might have just been a little tweaky. What did you say?

Brian Zancewicz 34:43
Oh, yeah. pretty messed up and like, in a show, right? This show that human being to at this point. And I remember being like, I’m like, I’m retiring. Even like, well, I’ve heard this exactly. I said to I go, I’m probably not going to call you. But if you want to call me, you can call me right? And we’ll go from there. So she calls me, she called me one night. And I was like, Oh, thank you for calling me like, this is great. And we’re not in the day. I think it was the day before. Valentine’s it was February 13. And I’m like, You know what? I really like this girl. So I remember sending her like a teddy grant in the city, you can send like teddy bears, like, over the phone. They’re hearing a commercial for him, like, Oh, I’m gonna call this company. I’m gonna have them deliver. I may have a delay. So like, I think I looked in the white pages or something. I looked up the last name. And I was like, Oh, hold framing this is it right here. 105 There it is. So I sent it to her. And I remember I talked with a week later and because they’ve given us some time I was like, I’ll give it some time. I talked to him He’s like, did you send me did you send me this this teddy bear in the mail? I’m like, Oh, yeah, I did. And then went on another date. Now we’re married that’s pretty much how I met her she was in school Framingham state to become a teacher or finishing her degree in education. And again, I’m just this degenerate kind of flow through life and somehow, some way we’re together now and again. is like things are these are pretty good, man. These are good.

Mike Collette 36:27
Met at Bugaboo Creek, made her call you, you like the first date, you sent her Teddy Graham, when on a second date and then you got married? That’s the short version of that story.

Brian Zancewicz 36:38
That’s a very short version.

Mike Collette 36:41
And now you have two kiddos.

Brian Zancewicz 36:46
parents again, I you know I’m going to teach you but I was it was the best thing to happen because like, um, when big l was great. But we didn’t do a whole lot for like Christmas Thanksgiving easter egg we didn’t like miss that stuff. Somebody gave it to their family. Right? And I remember going over there and like they were they did it. I remember going over your Easter, you guys have Easter dinner you guys celebrate people’s birthdays and like celebrate Christmas like this is crazy. So it actually like introduced me to like, like family structure What are quotation marks and normal normal family structure was so like, again that that changed my life to write and I’m thankful to this day her father God Rest his soul, passed away a couple years ago was one of the greatest guys in my life and I can’t say enough good things. I come in, this idiot kid, I don’t know 18, 19 years old, I’ve got bright white hair and I’m going out with his daughter, but he accepted me with open arms and like, although I’ll never forget that. That was that was a big turning point in my life. Shit, somebody gave me a chance.

Mike Collette 37:52
It’s awesome, man. I love hearing that. I’m so like that now just switching gears one more time. I know you you got your level one CrossFit in 2018 you mentioned in the certification process and that was like early stages of CrossFit that was like before it was even really on the radar and I think it was it was on a start it was probably like here and then we kind of got into it like in like kind of here you kind of work in this area here. Now it’s like, you know, well off where where it should be you know, having like bend doing CrossFit learn CrossFit have like been involved in it for so long, probably done one of the first like level ones in Massachusetts or wasn’t in the Masters domain you said right. Where have like, what have you seen? Like, what have you noticed in regards to like, what we what we do at prototype and how that’s even changed over the years in 2012. We started to, to now in 2021

Brian Zancewicz 38:58
Come around full circle, in my opinion, what I see. Again, a lot of labels on things rights, things are little CrossFit things are labeled, this things are labeled that when really it comes down to effective exercise effective exercise. I look across it how it began, right. And you remember you I think you’ve had a T shirt ever pukey the clown everything you get a clown, so the clown, right? And I’m like it was like a badge of honor that you throw throw up after these workouts or you get rhabdo or be like, Oh, this is great. And when you’re younger, you’re like, Okay, that’s, that’s cool. I want to do that. But then as you mature and get older, like that’s not sustainable, right? You can’t You can’t push yourself like that for an extended period of time and expect to have longevity in either this business or working out like your body was break down. And what I’ve noticed with CrossFit over the last eight 910 years is that has come around full circle. It’s come around and more of a whole Let’s take approach to be like healthy lifestyle trician. Just the packaging is changed, because when it comes down to again, it doesn’t matter what you call it and call it trust. We can call it Mike’s garage gym effective exercise effective exercise. And we’re lucky, we’re lucky to have the way the model works that. Mike does. Mike did the program right started doing the programming, right. And each affiliate is individually owned, run and operated. So what we do here is much different than what they do with like CrossFit, San Diego or San Francisco or Tallahassee. I think Mike was on board with the change more than most places, right. So Mike, I know he has a background in sports medicine. It’s his degree is in extra science. So I think from the early stage, he actually had the idea of making this more more of a holistic approach. It’s almost like CrossFit followed what he was doing, even though how Greg Glassman probably didn’t know you for Holyhead. Right. So we’ve been doing that here much longer than some of the other CrossFit some of the other places, I think, as far as like trying to keep people healthy and make this more of a holistic approach. It’s like longevity and how you’re going to be in 3040 years, rather than what you look like in two or three years. And I think that’s, that’s paid high dividends for for, for the product that we put out there and, and how we help people. Right, and when it comes down to it, right, we can want healthy lifestyles, and it doesn’t have to be bleeding and throw throwing up on the ground every day. Like it used to be. Right. There’s a time and a place where there’s a time and a place to push it. Right, but it’s not all the time. Right? And it’s not.

Mike Collette 41:49
Yeah, I totally hear what you’re saying. Yeah, I, I always thought, I think this is where we are. Our heads are like at the same I always thought puking was stupid, like the idea of like, we need to work so hard to throw up I thought that that was stupid. I thought the idea that like, you know, I guess glamorizing or putting, you know, getting something like rhabdo mylot analysis on a pedestal was just absolutely just insane. It’s kind of like, you know, you look at the evolution of like we talked about earlier UFC from Bare Knuckle fighting to like there were those rules and now the structure that it has now. It’s so like, yeah, it started here, but this is where it is. And I think everything goes through the evolutionary process of like, trial and error. And like we I mean it prototype went through trial and error still go through trial and error, like you don’t have everything figured out. But like you mentioned, I mean, like from the early stages, like you know, you’re using foam rollers we were actually doing warm up drills not doing a metcon to warm people up for the metcon you know, I mean like you know having like strength with conditioning basically every workout not just a job now It’s not every day is the same but like you know from the premise of it not over complicating things you know too much and you know having having different like start even just like our virtuosity are one on one sessions to get on ramp people I mean, we started doing one on ones to on ramp folks to group classes before many gyms I think that is now the model. But before you know, we started you know, I think it was like, we dated for like a year, maybe the first year because it was just we it was only you can mean you and I do in all the classes like we had group work, you know, called it elements at the time, we had group elements class people come in at certain time do elements class, they had to do thing for those elements. Classes are like that, three of them. And they were like, you know, Tuesday was was this one, what Thursday, it was like it was the same workout those days, you had to make sure you hit those days. And then I think having the flexibility of doing this one on one on ramp or virtuosity so fundamental sessions. Like we couldn’t have done that without more people, right? Because it was just, it was too hard. Because we were doing nothing I did like the 5678 o’clock class, you might have come into the nine o’clock class, you know, a 10 o’clock class or a 12 o’clock class 330-435-3637 30 it was like, you know, that was it was crazy. We started with so many classes. I think at one point we had a 230 class. You know, it was just really nice. kind of did it. Right? Yes. Please try to please everyone. I think one of the you know, I don’t know what your thoughts are. I think one of the things that we made a big mistake is in the early stages that we tried to fit everyone into the same you know, the same protocol, regardless of like what we thought was what would have been the best thing for them. So, you know, instead of one on one training, like you should go to group it was like convincing people to Go to group It’s so good to go to group and I think because we’re so excited about still Are you excited about crossfade group classes in the in the influence that like the environment that you’re in has the impact on you. But that environment is prototype in general, not as the environment of the group classes and, and I think once we kind of figure that out, like, okay, like, we got to go back to our roots of doing one on, you know, one on one training and in prescribing, what’s the best thing for folks not just saying, Hey, we do CrossFit, comm do CrossFit. And I think a lot of gyms are still out there doing that, and they’re doing injustice and injustice to their clientele, to their members, to have them come in, say, hey, great, thanks for coming in here and going into group class as opposed to like, understanding what’s important to them what their experience is, like, you know, understanding that they need more accountability, less accountability, they need something more specific, and then giving them directing them to a path, like you mentioned, like maybe doing nutrition before you do classes, maybe, you know, doing one on one training, maybe doing a separate program like Joe’s, you know, strength or barbell program, we’re opposed to going into CrossFit classes or group group classes. So yeah, I’m, I’m right on that same page with you, brother.

Brian Zancewicz 46:15
And then what I’ll tell people too, and I’ll get this question of when you’ve gotten this question, too. And most recently, a friend of mine, he was quite a super nice lady. She comes in, comes in, just thrive here initially across the classes. She understands the importance of exercise, and her son is moving back to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to finish college. And she’s asking you say, Brian, like there’s a bunch of crosswords out there. which ones should I send? I go, I go client, this actual conversation a few weeks ago, a few months ago, I go check out the websites. Is the website clean? Right? There’s a look at it. It’s not always about looks, right. But if you have a clean website and things work on it, that shows the probably store on what they do at that facility, and go second, this is the most important one, do they have an on ramping process? Right? Because what that also tells you if you have an ongoing process, they care about how people move. And they’re not just concerned about shoving people in the class. Right? So if you have a clean website, and you have an on random process, then you’re probably at a legitimate CrossFit box or gym wherever you want to call it. Right? And she checked it out. She went in there. And I think she’s that’s where he’s going to be they found a box at it. They’re very thorough in what they do. And, and that’s what he really what you look for it because you don’t want to just show people in some sense, exactly what you said, show people in a box. Right? It’s got to fit for them. And I think one of the best things that we started here and you’ve brought this up is to prescriptive model, what’s appropriate for that person, right? Because we can help everybody here, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. If you’re blind, you have no legs, we can help anybody and everybody. But what’s going to be appropriate for them? What’s going to make the most of their time and their resources. And I think that’s, that’s where we differentiate us a little while ago, actually comes down to an ad to Ron horn, but I will. Like, I think we do things not perfect. But I think I think we do things a lot better than than most places do. And that’s why we’ve had a sustainability because these places come and go get a country, you have to kind of redirect and reorganize and reprioritize how you can help people. And if you have to help first help first mentality. That’s the goal, right? Help first, like other things, things will take care of themselves. You have to be thorough, and you have to follow through. But things will take care of themselves. If you’re if you have to help first mentality and that’s, I can very easily say all the all the coaches that we have in here now have the help first mentality.

Mike Collette 48:49
Awesome, man. I agree. I agree. 100%. I wanted to get into the Spitfire questions, but I wanted to ask one, one more thing. Like 20. You know, 2020 is a weird, like COVID and all that sort of stuff. Still is weird. Maybe it’s going back to like, to some degree of like, what, you know what it was like, during like, the pandemic and whatnot. Like, what have you like, just from your perspective, you’re the head coach, like, what is your perspective on? What, like prototype is now like in 2021, after kind of going through, you know, 2020 and all that sort of stuff, like what do you think has changed the most? Or what do you think is your or do you think is different if anything is different?

Brian Zancewicz 49:41
I think there’s a greater appreciation for it now than there was before, right? And human nature is that you don’t really always appreciate things until they’re gone. Right. So I think there’s a greater appreciation for the community and across the board, With everything, coaches, the clients that come in here, I think there’s just in my opinion, there’s just a better feel in general, because again, something was taken away, we couldn’t come in here. And it was great. We did virtual and that kept people going, that kept people’s that that kept people sanity, right, because really, this exercise works for your body. But I think it’s more of your brain anything. And I think the pandemic and the division and things that are that are that are happening in this world, I think this is a spot here, at Prototype or really, like, again, we follow the protocols, but we’re supposed to be able to see see the government. But no one really cares about what your background is, what your religion is, what any of that stuff is right? We’re all here, kind of shouldn’t make it ourselves. Right. And I think that’s, it’s a safe spot for people and info into the black and white stuff. Right there. We’re going to do the right thing support call, and, and in the safety measures and the clean, but I think it’s good brought a greater appreciation for what we do, right for exercise, exercise in general, too, right? It’s, I think it’s just, it’s, it’s magnified things. And it’s me, there’s always some good and taken out of some as bad as a global pandemic, right. And that’s what I would, I would my put my thumb on that if people have a greater appreciation for, for spending time with people exercise and being around like minded people, right again, and this mask, I’ll wear this mask every day of after, and he’s never having to sit in my house for six months, again. I think people feel the same way. They’re willing to do what they need to do to keep everybody safe and keep, keep going.

Mike Collette 51:47
Yeah, I hope that, you know, folks out there that haven’t been exercising and have you know, this has been awake, you know, when you look at the silver lining, hopefully it’s like a wake up call to help get people healthier, and be morlino be preventative, you know, health, fitness is a preventative, you know, health, you know, strategy, you know, it’s not just get on meds and and deal with it as it comes. It’s It’s It’s do the hard work. You know, in the short time short term that gives you the best long term results, I think everyone’s looking for that, you know, short, quick, easy thing that’s going to give you that short term benefit opposed to that long term benefits, like, you know, these, these lagging indicators, right, putting the time in the gym, working out, focus on nutrition, doing those sorts of things like that consistent consistently, your health in your improvements in your health would be a lagging indicator of all that work that you that you put into it. So yeah, I’m right there with you on that end.

Brian Zancewicz 52:48
More for your mental for your mental state than anything else. Again, the byproduct is that you look better, you physically feel better, but hands down more important for your mental state than anything else. That’s the reason why Lisa comes here at 5am, Monday through Friday, when it’s, you know, negative 10 degrees out in January, like you want to stay at home. But you know, like getting to the gym, like doing these things, the nutrition aspect and how that adds adds to the value of your time here. Right. It’s it’s understated sometimes, and we and we and we really put an emphasis on that. But it’s still the level of importance of these things, which cannot be stated enough mentally, for your body, but it’s better for your brain.

Mike Collette 53:36
Yeah, 100% I want to get into the Spitfire round. So you should know what this is at this point. But, uh, three questions. And first two are kind of there’s a couple there’s a couple options. A couple things. So the first one is illegal like this one’s Favorite movie of all time favorite TV show of all time. And what are you currently binge watching? That’s that’s one. That’s one question with three parts.

Brian Zancewicz 54:01
All TV guests, their brothers, favorite movie of all time. Awesome. show of all time British baking show.

Mike Collette 54:11
British baking show?

Brian Zancewicz 54:13
I love that show, man. It’s fantastic.

Mike Collette 54:15
I didn’t know that.

Brian Zancewicz 54:16
They’re so calm. And it is the it’s a competition but they’re like trying to help each other too. So I appreciate it. It’s again, it’s it’s very it’s mellow, right? There’s no there’s no anger. There’s no violence. It’s just people baking some shit and attendance in England, and like they have a competition and they’re having a great time. And they’re kind of funny. binge watch. I don’t really I don’t the show but I actually watch is the British baking show. So I’ll binge watch the British baking show. Right. There’s about 10 seasons right now waiting for the next season to come out. They had a pandemic season where they got everybody together in social distance and stuff like that kept it safe, but I’m waiting for them. season comes out. I’ll be on board with that team. So brothers in British baking show. Yeah. It’s good. The accents I get you. Yes. What you find is when you find the edge, right and you’re like, like, wow. And and honestly through those, like it’s, it’s British cooking too. So you’re kind of like, like some of the food is not that palette what is what they are palatable, but you’re like, it’s fascinating how they get there and describe the producer and actually host the show Paul Hollywood like picks them apart. Like, Oh, I didn’t, I didn’t even notice that Paul, or you didn’t like the way that time tasted with the with with the pudding. Like, it’s fascinating that you get asked to it’s there’s no accident allowance in regression. It’s just like, it’s you can very easily watch it and just be like, Oh, this is pretty cool, man. I’m gonna watch this guy’s bake some stuff. That’s awesome. raffle. Watch people watching from watching. Bare Knuckle, UFC.

Mike Collette 55:59
Bare Knuckle UFC fight. Oh, yeah. It’s quite different British baking show. You know, UFC Bare Knuckle fighting. Yeah, those are there on the same spectrum of entertainment. You know? Funny. Next one favorite band or musician of all time? And what’s your favorite song?

Brian Zancewicz 56:19
Oh Bob Marley man you could put desktop desktop on the background all day.

Mike Collette 56:23
Slap the bass, slap the bass.

Brian Zancewicz 56:26
Bob Marley and then probably off the top of my head. Probably positive vibration right there, man, because that comes down your mental state energy that you’ve given off, right? That’s probably my favorite song ever. Put that shit on repeat. Just hang out shit. While my positive vibration you can’t go down

Mike Collette 56:45
and go around with that. Alright, and then favorite hobby outside of, you know, working out and that sort of stuff. What’s your favorite thing to do? It could be family, it could be yourself what’s your favotire everything

Unknown Speaker 56:55
I love. So most of my, all of my free time is spent helping with the coaching of the different sports teams and my kids do. I send in something every day. And again, we tried to over schedule, but after the pandemic, like you know what, I’d rather be doing something and not doing something. So helping with either driving people to practice helping coaching practice or games. Same thing my daughter, it’s like, I love spending time watching them. play sports, I enjoy that probably more than anything. It’s in sports aren’t everything but what it is. It’s a it’s a microcosm of life, like the effort that you put into something. How is that gonna? how’s that gonna translate other things? They’re, they’re worth you put into your schoolwork, how you treat people How? How? Well, the key mate, you are again, these are all again, sports aside right there. They’re 11. They’re 12 and nine years old, no one gets a professional contract at that point, right? And likelihood is what less than half of 1,000th of a percent. But just how, how you kind of overcome adversity with things and the effort you put into something. Even the practicing put in something how that translates onto the field, same thing schoolwork, right, you study how does that translate to? To how well you do in school? Right? So it’s a direct indicator effort, right? So I spend the majority of my free time either driving them places, or coaching or helping coach one of their many, many activities. I probably enjoy that more than more than my farm would.

Mike Collette 58:34
Cool, man. Awesome. Well, Brad, this is this is a great community conversation. I think we definitely ran over a normal normal time, but I think it was definitely worth it. So I appreciate you being on conversation today. appreciate you spending the time all those folks that are out there listening right now appreciate you tuning in. This is certainly one of the best mean conversations that we’ve done so far. And just make sure you check out every Monday, a new community conversation will be out for all of your entertainment purposes. Check them out on our streaming platforms on Spotify, also YouTube channel every Monday to get your week started. So again, Brian, thank you so much for being by coming in conversation today, man. I love it dude. Thanks.

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