About The Man
THE Rich Massa
Rich Massa is a coach, speaker, author and creator of The Shock System. He is best known for coaching people on increased personal performance who exclusively works with men to achieve what they want with unstoppable energy and drive.
Interested in learning more about his journey? Read below.
Chunky Jehovah’s Witness
My life changed at the age of 13 when my dad bought an old-school cement weight set and put it in the attic. It felt like it was calling me and I got very curious. I sat on the bench, touched the bar and a shock hit my body. I knew I was meant to use this and prove to myself that I can be like, or even better, than the people that constantly made me feel different. I think every kid goes through that.
As I worked out, my confidence grew and after graduating high school, I realized that my faith was not for me. We couldn’t date, yet I loved girls, and the things I wished to explore were not allowed in the church. I was at that age where curiosity controls your life. My parents were not happy about this and tried to stop it from surfacing, but I was slowly getting attracted to the forbidden side of life.
Hey Mr. DJ!!
Basically, I was hired to dance at Sweet 16s, weddings and bar mitzvahs. My job was to get people up and dance. I LOVED IT! It was fun to express myself physically and I had a knack for getting people to have fun. Yet still, deep down, I was not satisfied. I wanted something bigger.
Move over "Magic Mike"
The group was phenomenal with some of the most talented men I have ever met and I finally found a place where I fit in. We worked as a team, bonded like brothers, lived to see the world. Some of the guys are my best friends to this day.
Of course, my confidence went through the roof and that thirst to understand that forbidden side of life was being satisfied. This was my “college experience” and I learned more about men and women that you can possibly imagine. You wouldn’t believe some of the stories I can tell.
After about five years, I left the group because we weren’t growing and I didn’t want to be a 30-year-old stripper without a plan. I went to school for computer networking, bartended part time and dated someone in the industry.
(Yes, a female dancer you, pervert.)
One night, at the age of 28, I was driving to my girlfriend’s house after she won a bikini contest. Out of nowhere – BOOM! – a drunk driver hit me head on. I woke up to the rescue team cutting me out with the Jaws of Life; the sound of rain on metal, a mix of blood and rain dripping down my face. Shattered glass was everywhere. I could see my kneecap. MY FRIGGIN’ KNEECAP! So many bones were broken and it was not pretty.
My first question when I woke up was, “When can I go back into the gym?” Obviously it wasn’t anytime soon. My body was broken but not my spirit. I asked my girl to break up with me, because I knew it would be a long road to recovery but she wouldn’t. I looked around and all my family and friends were crying and scared. I knew even though I was hurt, I had to be the strong one and assure them that everything will be ok, even though I wasn’t sure it would be. Deep down, I was scared, but I couldn’t show it.
It took 11 surgeries to rebuild me. The doctors had to put so much metal in me that if you saw my x-ray, you’d see that I looked like a damn Terminator.
A New Path
I could barely move for months and eventually looked like I had never worked out a day in my life. The man who could at one time make 500 women stand on their feet screaming, now looked like a shadow of his former self. I admit sometimes I had trouble looking at myself in the mirror.
Totally ignoring my doctors, I tried to work out as soon as I physically could. I swear I wouldn’t last 17 minutes in the military. Once the cast on my arm came off I tried to do push-ups and only got 3. Only 3?
As I was recovering, I saw one of the guys I performed with training people at the gym. I always wanted to be a fitness trainer so I asked him how he got started. I used my tax returns to get the two certifications he had and studied my ass off! Even though I passed the tests, I was still using a cane, but I walked into that health club and convinced them to hire me.
A month later, I proposed to my girlfriend knowing I would be successful at this new path and I was. I became one of their top trainers getting five national certifications, won top producer in the area five times and broke the area record in sales. Everything was going great!
My wife and I started growing apart. I didn’t know how to have a healthy relationship because my own life experience didn’t give me the right tools for it. So naturally, our relationship was going to crap.
We ended up getting a divorced and I was crushed.
A New Beginning
Then, it all hit me, like the drunk driver on that horrible night. I suddenly felt the heavy weight of the demons that were with me for so long: my childhood, all of the things I saw in the male dancing world, losing everything of myself from the accident and the shame I felt in divorce. It was time to rebuild areas of my life I thought I had lost, including my confidence, self-image and my worth.
I used humor to deal with my situation. When people asked, “Oh wow what happened to your leg?!” I’d say, “I was surfing in Australia during tsunami season and I got bit by a great white hammerhead. I got away by tearing out its eye – so if you think this is bad, you should see the shark.” (I don’t care what you say, that’s funny).
I started using growth hormones and testosterone to get my body and confidence back. I wasn’t proud of it. But it gave me a taste of what I felt like before my accident and it somehow killed the infections so I didn’t need the prescriptions anymore. But it wasn’t real, it was a Band-Aid on a shark bite and it wouldn’t last forever.
It was time to take a leap and start my own thing or eventually get fired. Both were fine with me so I told them to go screw themselves. I left and started my own personal training business and a small bootcamp with a Zumba instructor. My leg was doing better so I decided to do a photo shoot for a charity. Life was getting pretty good and I started to feel like myself again.
I lost my father after a long battle to colon cancer in October 2012. While we were all expecting it to happen eventually, it didn’t make his passing any less painful. He was my drive and motivation to accomplish great things. I always wanted to a make him proud of me and now he was gone. I was at a loss. You feel numb after something like that happens and I was getting tired of being numb.
Journey to the Mountain
After a lot of personal reflection, journaling and meditation, I came back enlightened and with purpose. I had found my footing. It was like Moses going to the mountains to get the Ten Commandments, but I came back with the MASSAmendments.
I FELT LIKE I WAS ON FIRE!! The new and redefined me started iBootcamp, a place where I helped people become champions. I hosted workshops on nutrition and I programmed team workouts. My mission was to get people in the best physical shape possible to build their confidence and I was damn good at it.
During this time, though, I got into yet another unhealthy, emotional relationship with a married woman. It took this to help me recognize the one common denominator in all of these issues I’ve had: Me! I decided not to date or have a relationship until I figured this shit out.
I embarked on an intense journey of figuring out who I am. I practiced Buddhism to give me a spiritual blueprint and became very close with my family. I read books on leadership, Law of Attraction, the sub-conscious mind, watched hours of videos on religion and attraction between men and women. I trained in CrossFit, Jiu-Jitzu and competed in events to challenge myself physically. I didn’t want to become dogmatic about any one discipline. I also ditched anything unhealthy including the hormones.
I started applying my leadership and personal development skills into my business and it started to grow fast! In a record time, I rented two locations, coached over 500 people, convinced many of them to do obstacle course races to overcome their fears, and mentored several people to coach and start their own bootcamp.
Her death hit me hard. The night I got home from her passing, I drank a whole bottle of whiskey and lost control. I threw the bottle across the room, broke a glass painting, punched holes in the wall, flipped the couches and passed out. When I woke up and witnessed the destruction I caused, I looked around and said, “Well…looks like I was pretty upset last night.”
I felt like a punching bag. Just one of these traumatic events can break a person and I went through four traumatic events in a little more than a decade. I was exhausted and lost passion for my business so I let myself mourn and heal. Remember, I am unbreakable, and so are you. I truly believe that in my heart.
Rise from the Ashes
Two years later, it was time to get to work! I started studying, dieting and training harder than ever. I expanded my disciplines of philosophy and began learning public speaking at Toastmasters. I came out of male dancing hiatus for a short time to ELECTRIFY the stage yet again so I can complete the final steps back to the confidence I once had.
By the way, even though I’ve had 11 surgeries because of that accident, I can still dance like a motherf****r!
The journey was complete and I felt more powerful than ever before. The search for the next step began by asking myself, “What was this all for?” Then a small voice in my head said, “This was your training.” I fell to my knees, broke down and cried. THAT WAS IT! It was all training for this!
For a moment, I got angry at whatever you call “God”, the universe, or life itself but after we had a talk, we came to an understanding that through this painstaking process a new path was before me. It is to use my story and share the lessons I learned so other people can find their personal power like I did. To use my gift of being on stage and coach others so we can learn to love the true assholes we really are, and embrace it.
Come with me, won’t you?
I am THE Rich Massa.
Healing time is over, people. So get ready for a ride!