A natural IFBB Pro, Austin Current has spent much of his time and resources on his education and training. As a coach to others, whether seeking to step out on stage or adopt more of a healthy lifestyle, he incorporates a simple grounded philosophy; by realizing the necessity of taking responsibility for our lives we are then truly given the ability to practice control over it.
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Joe: [00:01] Alright, dude. Austin, thanks for joining me on this podcast. It’s about time that we did this. Every time we sit down and talk, we ALWAYS get a half hour into it and we’re like we should be recording a podcast.
Austin: [00:14] We should record this podcast. Yeah, man.
Joe: [00:16] It’s about time.
Austin: [00:17] Every time we talk, honestly… the past – I would say – the past 5 interactions we’ve had, it’s just like… why didn’t you record that? And not that it’s like we’re these profound people, but I think this would help other people in the sheer fact of a new perspective or a different rabbit hole, in a way, of a topic that’s like I never thought it like that.
Joe: [00:45] And being extremely vulnerable. I don’t know how many times I’ve said to you, “Uhhh…. I’m just going to be extremely transparent here.”
Austin: [00:54] Yeah, man! Like the other day we both got down that in that kind of that place. It’s just like, I’m not here to… I think that’s a unique thing, you know, to find in another person. Another man, specifically. I don’t know, I think it’s hard for men to be vulnerable. I think that’s an obvious thing to say on my end, but it just is. And it’s hard because, like I was telling you over coffee the other day, my friends – the people I would be vulnerable with – I can count on one hand. It’s not that I’m scared to be vulnerable, it’s just that I don’t have that many friends. And I’m okay with that.
Joe: [01:38] That want to dive that deep.
Austin: [01:40] Yeah! I just don’t, and that’s alright. I have a lot of acquaintances. And I have some friends that… sometimes I do but sometimes I don’t… because yeah, I don’t know. And that’s alright. People are different.
Joe: [01:54] Dude, I want to start this by diving into your experience through leaving the country, twice – different directions – and just a little bit of background on yourself and when you started making the decisions the way that you do, because it’s powerful and I think that a lot of people get so trapped. And it looks like you just got to a point where like, hey, I’m just going to listen to myself and I’m going to make these decisions. Give the listeners a little bit of background of what we’re talking about.
Austin: [02:27] Yeah. So, when I was… I can’t remember exactly what age… I was a junior… I would’ve been a junior in college when I really made the decision that I was going to go abroad. I wanted to study abroad – I mainly wanted to travel abroad, internationally. I knew I could use school as a vehicle to get me there. I got a scholarship. As soon as I wanted to go abroad, I started applying for scholarships. My parents were helping me pay for college because they’re amazing, amazing people, and I’m incredibly grateful for them that they helped me with that. I also wanted to take the burden off because that was going to raise my tuition past where it was because the school that was in the same city as me was significantly more expensive. It was a private school with like 1,800 kids, which my high school had more than that, so the tuition was just really high. They have a school over in, just north of London that I wanted to go to. I applied, got accepted, and then I interviewed for this scholarship, ended up getting that. That really catapulted me… that was the catalyst to get me to go. Because up until that point, I’d never left the country.
Joe: [04:01] Oh, no shit? Before you moved? I didn’t realize that.
Austin: [04:06] When I went to England, I’d never left the country before, so I moved there for school.
Joe: [04:12] Ohhh.
Austin: [04:14] Yeah. I mean, my mom kind of laughed at me and was like, yeah, okay, cool.
Joe: [04:19] See you soon!
Austin: [04:20] Yeah, see you soon. I thought you were going, but sweet. It was one of those things, I came home a week later and was like, I got accepted. I’m going. Then it was kind of like, oh shit, this is for real. And it was very real; I was leaving. I needed this. I was basically running away from my life is what I was doing. I’d just gotten out of a relationship that I really shouldn’t have been in for as long as I was, and I know that now. You can reflect and be as introspective as you want to be, but in the moment, you don’t know. Looking back, I obviously stayed in that way too long. To feel true happiness, you have to feel true sadness.
Joe: [05:03] We dove into that the other day, and I was like – it’s not a prerequisite for the people that I surround myself with to have gone through shit or to been in dark places or extreme sadness or depression or something, but I… somehow, every person that I develop really good relationships with, they’ve just experienced. I think that that’s very important. It’s not like that we all have to do that, but how do you know what true happiness is if you don’t know what true sadness is? If we’re just playing it safe on both ends of the spectrum, we’re always just in this complacent, I’m happy, I’m content; but where are you going?
Austin: [05:49] I think that’s true with a lot of many aspects of life. It’s the yin and the yang of life. Before we started recording, I was talking about that… just the yin and yang of my professional career, and where I’m deciding to go from here. Until you’ve experienced the other side, you can’t truly experience – let’s just go with the blanket statement of like – until you’ve experienced the true negative side, you can’t experience the true positive side, because you’re never really going to know. So, I was running away from my life and so I went to England to study and I was there 4 or 5 months, and I ended up traveling Europe with a really good buddy that ended up going to the same school. We went to 12 different countries while we were over there. I talk a lot about traveling, and I love traveling… that was really the catalyst for me to love traveling, because I didn’t know. Why I love traveling so much is because you’re able to really challenge yourself to the degree you’ve never truly been challenged if you hadn’t traveled. Internationally especially, because you’re in these new cultures. So, imagine being in the U.S. and you’re like – oh, I’m going to drive a state over – but imagine that state has an entire new language, has an entire new cultural norm, has all these things that you have no idea what is going on.
Joe: [07:19] Currency.
Austin: [07:20] Currency, everything! There’s all this new tension, you know, that we were talking about at breakfast – tension creates damage, which you need recovery to equal adaptation and growth. That’s a recipe that I’ve gone with as I’m in the fitness industry and educate on muscle growth, and educate other trainers and coaches, and just individuals that are interested in fitness. Just the same as you need an exercise, you need tension to illicit a certain amount of damage; then you need recovery to equal in adaptation and growth. And I think that’s true in any part of life. I think that’s what traveling did for me – created a lot of tension really fast. I was able to really do some soul searching. I started traveling to really – not create a new me – but to find the true me. I didn’t know who that was because before I left, I started competing when I was 19. I turned pro when I was 20. By the time I went abroad, I was 22, going on 23. So, I’d lived that life 2 or 3 years.
Joe: [08:36] What drove you into competing?
Austin: [08:39] My friend, Alicia. She was… I’m from Indiana.
Joe: [08:42] And your incredible genetics.
Austin: [08:44] Yeah, yeah. That helps. So, my friend Alicia… I come from Indiana – the southern part of Indiana – and my good friend Alicia, at the time, was Miss Indiana for 2 or 3 years in a row in the figure category. We worked at the same gym, and she was like hey, you should try this. And I was just like, nah. Nope, I’m alright. I don’t want to do that. One, I don’t know how to prepare for it; I don’t quite understand what people are doing up there, or why it’s a sport, or why things are happening the way they’re happening. I was truly confused; I was ignorant to the sport. I had no idea what the physique world was. But this was kind of early days of men’s physique and she was like, you know there’s this new category. Look up these guys. Look up the Matt Christianers, look up the Steve Cooks, and she was like, look at these dudes. And I was like, okay, they have great physiques. I kind of just toy around after playing sports in high school… being able to go on to the next level but choosing not to sort of thing. I was in a place where I was lost from a competitive standpoint. I think a lot of people listening can relate if you played sports at all growing up and they were taken away from you due to injury, or just taken away in general, just not being able to move on. You have this competitive emptiness inside of you that’s like, a person I once was I now am not. You don’t know how to move on. Even if that’s not your whole life, it’s a part of it. I think it’s this primal drive, just like we need it innately.
Joe: [10:28] One hundred percent.
Austin: [10:29] So, I was like okay, I’ll compete to one: make you stop talking about it; and I was like, alright. She’s like, do the Kentucky Muscle, which, at the time in 2014 – it’s grown since, so imagine that. It’s the 5th largest show in the nation.
Joe: [10:50] Oh, really?
Austin: [10:51] She wasn’t putting me into this show of – this is a local show; you’re fine, you know? It was like, no, this is a big show, how about you do it? Because I know you’re going to be good… and this is a theme that kept going years after. You never quite see what other people see in you, until you do. This is true with any mentor you’ve ever had, or your partner in life; they see things you can’t see. So, I think there’s something to listening. You have to be a good listener to the point of you have to be open to new challenges, new tension. So, I competed, I prepped myself for that. I had the help of a guy that, thankfully, he was – in the 80s and 90s – Mr. Universe, Natural Universe – it was a big deal; and just generally overall a good dude. His name is Glenn. And Glenn worked at our gym as well, so he advised me on some things, like here’s what I think you should do with your nutrition. I knew what macros were. I kind of made my own macros to follow and did my own training. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing past the point of what I’d learned in previous athletics. Thankfully, I come from a background where I had a very overqualified strength and conditioning coach in high school. Thankfully. And he taught me a lot… and really laid the foundation for what I have built since. Through all of that, I had 6 weeks to prep, and so I prepped in 6 weeks and then I ended up winning the 3 categories that I entered.
Joe: [12:40] In that very first show.
Austin: [12:41] In that very first show. And then I was like, again, very confused. Very funny story about this: my mom, my parents are amazing people and they’ve supported me forever. And so has my brother. My brother… they’ve come to every show I’ve ever done. Even pro shows. I had a show in Texas – they drove 18 hours over the course of a day and a half just to see me compete; then they turned around and went home.
Joe: [13:03] Sitting at a show is not a short experience.
Austin: [13:06] It’s not fun! Even my grandparents – and this means the world to me – my grandma and grandpa… my grandpa is my absolute hero. He came to my show in Pittsburgh where I turned pro. He sat through 6 hours of pre-judging of just bodybuilding. Imagine that. My grandpa is an old-fashioned, brute of a college football coach, like “mrrh mrrh mrrh mrrh” kind of old dude that’s in his own world. He’s completely out of his comfort zone here, but they’re making the sacrifice to come see me do my thing. They don’t understand what’s going on either. But my first show I ever did, my mom was there. I was sitting with my mom watching the pros go on first, and what happened was my mom – they were doing these routines that physique guys do – and my mom looked over and goes, “do you have one of those routines?”
Joe: [14:01] Oh, I remember you telling me this.
Austin: [14:03] I was like, “Hmm… you know what? I don’t.” She goes, “Do you know what you’re going to do up there?” I was like, “You know what? I don’t; so I’m just going to wing it.” And this is a theme that kind of continued throughout my life of like, I don’t really know what’s going on but I’m going to make myself super uncomfortable, and I’m going to adapt to it, and I’m going to make the best of it. So, that’s what I did. I watched a couple of guys that seemed like they know what they were doing; they looked cool and collected. They did some cool stuff, hit some poses. I was like alright, I’m going to do what that dude did and combo it with what that dude did in his back pose. So, I went backstage and I had like an hour before I went on stage, so for that hour I just sat back there and practiced my routine. It was complete horseshit because I got on stage and I looked like an idiot. I think I looked like an idiot, but clearly I did a good enough job to win. You could tell… I could look back at videos and like, wow, long way to go – BUT – it was good enough. So, that was that. I just think that was a funny story.
Joe: [15:11] Yeah.
Austin: [15:12] Going in unprepared.
Joe: [15:13] I think that’s something that I see there and I’ve just seen from you since I’ve known you is like – the theme is that you don’t know exactly what you’re doing – you’re going to put yourself into that uncomfortable situation, like you’re not scared to go into that situation; but you also inherently have faith in yourself and belief that like, I can figure it out. And that’s the whole thing with the traveling thing too, and especially when you’re talking about you going to Australia too; and I think that was really interesting to me, where you took a very big risk, AGAIN, you and Kas, and it’s like, well, we’re just going to figure it out. And you’ve been able to consistently do that. I think that that’s something that like… that’s not something that you can teach, and I wonder where that comes from because when I look at myself and building a business, and people that I like to surround myself with that actually push me forward, they all do that. Do you know what you’re doing? No. Do I know? No. But I’m going to figure it out. I’m not scared. I’m not scared of that tension because I know on the other side of that is: well, I’m going to be steps ahead of where I was before, and I’m going to have learned something, whether it’s going to be extremely painful or extremely enjoyable. I’m going to learn, and that feels good. I get some type of dopamine response by learning something new and putting myself in that uncomfortable situation. I mean, that’s what I see with you, and that’s what I’ve heard over and over again. Whether you were conscious of it at the time you were competing or not…
Austin: [16:59] No clue.
Joe: [17:00] Yeah, and so now… is that when fitness and this path started to become your life?
Austin: [17:11] Yeah. When competing ended up working out, and after I won that first show, it was a very surreal moment. I’m a very introverted kind of to-myself dude. I don’t like being in the center of attention… and that was a big growing moment for me. You’re up on stage, you have this spray tan, and you’re doing all these things, just hitting different poses. I remember my mom – or maybe it was my brother – ask me, like… they’re asking me questions at this show. And they ask me questions at every show, like what about this and what about this. They’re trying to learn more about it. A lot of times I’m like, man, I really don’t know; I’m here to flex and that’s really it. I’m here to hit some poses, and if the judges like what they see, sweet; I’ll move on. That’s the extent of it for me. But the big thing for me when all of this really clicked was – originally, I needed a new discipline. I LOVE discipline. It’s been engrained in my life as long as I can remember because, again, my grandfather has been a football coach my entire life; I mean, before I was born. And he was a collegiate football coach, I want to say, 20 years. During that time – so I grew up in… he was the assistant head coach at Ball State University. So, I grew up in that locker room. I grew up going to practices. I grew up traveling to away games with them and hanging out with the players. I grew up around this discipline environment of you show up at this time; if you show up at this time, there’s consequences. If you don’t get this done, there’s consequences. There was kind of this seed early on of discipline really put into my life, and again, I think a lot more now than I used to. And thinking about that more and more, what did bring this discipline? And I’ll talk about responsibility here in a minute, and that’s another big theme in my life, was taking responsibility. That excites me.
Joe: [19:34] Yeah.
Austin: [19:35] Growing up around this discipline environment, and I think I needed, after sports ended for me at a high school level due to – I chose not to go forward because I had a series of traumatic head injuries that REALLY scared me. When I was a junior in high school, I saw this – this was when concussions were really starting to become popular in the media and all these, these are a big issue, and we’re seeing these retired football players from the 70s and 80s REALLY starting to see them having some trouble with this… I think it’s CTE is the condition. So, we were starting to see trouble within that, and I saw the 60 Minutes that covered that. I watched it by myself; and I remember I walked upstairs – I thought about it for a few weeks, and I end up telling… quitting sports for me, coming from a sports family – like my grandfather, obviously; I’ve explained him… my uncle played college football – and I just come from a sports family. My mom grew up that girl in like in Remember the Titans. The coach’s daughter that’s like calling out play calls… that’s my mom. That’s what I come from.
Joe: [21:00] That’s supposed to be your life.
Austin: [21:01] That’s my life, this is my future. And in school, I’ve never been intellectually gifted – so I thought – and I’d never been gifted in the way of my belief that I had any intellect at all, because I was always this sports guy growing up. You live the narrative that people tell you to live, especially as a child.
Joe: [21:24] It’s the fucking truth.
Austin: [21:26] Especially in high school.
Joe: [21:28] Some people do their entire life.
Austin: [21:30] Yeah, and unfortunately, they do. So, fitness really brought this confidence and this drive again, because after high school sports ended for me, I didn’t have… it was a scary world I was going into, man, because it was college; and as I just mentioned… I had embarrassing SAT scores; embarrassing ACT scores. I didn’t know what was next for me because I just dealt with all these traumatic head injuries; I was failing all my classes; it looked like I was not getting into college. Like, a community college, at best, was my best resort. Thankfully, my grandfather pulled some strings. He knew the admissions guy at Ball State and he took a chance on me. He’s like, “look, I put myself out there, and I gave my word that you’re going to make this happen.” And that’s where responsibility comes in here – because that was the first time – college was the first time that I’d ever took the responsibility from an academic perspective, from an intellect perspective. Growing up… I come from a sports family, I was good at sports. I always played up; I always played a grade ahead of me, or two grades ahead of me; like, I never worried about it. But academically, I always struggled, and my family is kind of like well, just get the grades to play sports and you’re good. That’s the narrative I lived and that was alright with me, until all of that was taken away, and it was like, shit, now what? Now I’m responsible for this. So, college was the first time I ever took responsibility for my academics, my intelligence… and that first semester I came home – that first year after college, I came home with a 3.95 GPA.
Joe: [23:25] And that is when you went to Europe?
Austin: [23:28] No, that was my first year of college. That’s where I gained a lot of confidence. All this stuff… this was before I started competing. So, I gained this new confidence… in myself.
Joe: [23:40] Did you go to Europe for grad?
Austin: [23:41] No, I went to Europe my junior…
Joe: [23:43] I was trying to piece it together.
Austin: [23:45] This was my freshman year of college. Sorry, I wanted to preface my story before… when fitness really took over, because I think all of this is kind of like this domino effect of seeing the pieces come together. So, I went to… I’ve had time to think about this since, so it’s become a little bit more clear… I really gained confidence, and I gained momentum – and I think momentum is a big thing in our life as well – but I gained momentum that first year of college coming home. Again, a 3.0 was the best I ever got in high school. That was like me trying my hardest. So, I went to college, I took the hardest classes I could possibly take, and then I came home with a 3.95 GPA. And I showed it to my grandfather.
Joe: [24:35] Who took a chance on you.
Austin: [24:36] Who took the chance on me and believed in me. He was the only one that didn’t bat an eye of like, you’re going to make it; you’re going to be alright. You’re going to come back and you’re going to keep going back to college… because everyone else in my family was kind of patting me on the back and saying it’s okay if you come home and don’t want to do school; it’s fine; because they weren’t sure. That was scary. And I don’t come from a family of risk-takers. For me to take a risk and put myself out there like that was big for my family.
Joe: [25:06] Which is really interesting because I just think about everything that like – your life…
Austin: [25:12] Filled with risk…
Joe: [25:13] Filled with risk!
Austin: [25:13] And the unknown. I put myself into those – that situation – thankfully, because my grandfather allowed it to happen and made that happen. So, I took the responsibility to make him proud… and I wasn’t sure of myself, yet. I came home with that and that was the first time I’d ever felt a spark of this possibility for me from an academic perspective, from maybe I have more to offer this world than just playing sports; maybe I have more to offer myself than I thought, and I have more routes than I thought; because I thought I was doomed, man. I thought I was doomed. I was really, really scared for this next step of my life. So, that momentum carried over into giving competing a chance. Once I really… you’re taught what to learn most of your life, and not taught how to learn most your life. I taught myself how to learn that freshman year of college; that’s how I did so good. I literally just taught myself how to learn; I beat it into my frickin’ skull. That just became a theme in my life, and I kept going and this is where fitness really came in, where I got talked into competing. This is my, what would’ve been my sophomore year of college at this time… or at the end my freshman year, sophomore year, something like that… and, again, I went in, I learned, since I started to learn how to learn, I knew how to learn how to compete, and I knew how to learn how start training and how to start manipulating nutrition. And for the first time, this sense of discipline and this power of knowledge really came together for me, and I’m like – oh, so I’m in control of this. This has always felt out of control for me. This is the first time I ever felt in control… not only of my physique, but my life. That was powerful to me.
Joe: [27:25] And you were literally conditioned to not think that you had the control of what you wanted to do. That was…
Austin: [27:30] The thing was in the other peoples’ hands. The thing was in the recruiter’s hands. The thing was in this college’s hands to come see me and see me play and give me a chance at a scholarship. That was my life.
Joe: [27:40] And your family’s idea of what… this sports pursuit. There were so many aspects of that, and I bet if we continued to dig, it’s probably like that’s all you knew.
Austin: [27:56] Yeah, we can dig, but we won’t So, we’ll keep going. I mean, that’s where everything really started to come together for me, was the control. And that power I felt – I felt so empowered as a person and as a man. That really helped shape like – okay, this is what I kind of want to do now. I started to… I worked at a gym at the time. I’d always been interested in fitness just because we trained a lot in sports. I just started getting more into it. Then, I had more success with competing world, and I won a couple more shows, and then I was like – I honestly… and this is where my family comes in – I want to give so much to my family, especially my mom, for showing me what hard work is… and my grandfather showing me what discipline and never quitting is, because… these are the people that talked me into going to Nationals to get my pro card. I wasn’t going to do it because I’d never been an ambitious person. I think you can get that theme, right? Throughout my life, I was always told what to do, what the next step was… like, just do the bare minimum, you get here, and that’s fine; these are the steps. And I was never an overly-ambitious person. So, again, I had to be talked into – not only competing – I had to be talked into to go to Nationals and put myself out there and take a chance… take that really, really big chance on myself to go in front of these judges at a national level and basically be told I wasn’t good enough. Fortunately, I think I was at the right place, right time in the physique world that, as a natural guy, I was able to go to Nationals in 2014 and go up against some of the best physiques I’d ever seen, as a 20 year old dude. I was blown away that I was able to win.
Joe: [30:10] You won that first Nationals appearance?
Austin: [30:12] Yeah.
Joe: [30:13] In Miami?
Austin: [30:14] Pittsburgh.
Joe: [30:15] Oh, Pittsburgh. Okay.
Austin: [30:16] I went to North Americans, in Pittsburgh, in 2014, and I won North Americans in 2014, and that’s where I got my pro card. All these things, man; it’s just this momentum that kept building in my life and this certainty within myself. During that time, when I started to gain more confidence and certainty, and I felt like I had more control of my life, I started to weed myself out of these situations I was in. I started to run away from my friends that were pulling me down. I ran away from my relationship I was in because it was pulling me down. I talk a lot about these moments of… these moments in life you have. You have these moments that they come as quick as they go. You have to be listening to hear this moment, to see this moment come, and during all this momentum, I was gaining this confidence and control and all of this stuff I was having on my life… this last puzzle piece fell into place… that I ran away from my friend group, I ran away from that relationship, and I just did myself. I took complete control for the first time in my entire life. That was the most liberating thing I ever did. It was SO educational, and I’ve been building upon it since. So, I’m 25 now; that was when I was 22. The past 3 years have been this rollercoaster of self-discovery.
Joe: [31:45] It’s been a catalyst, dude. It’s crazy to see that it was like inch, inch a little bit closer… oh, well, that worked. Inch a little bit closer – still have a little bit of control. Inch… but then you finally broke.
Austin: [31:57] Yeah, and there was things in there too – like I don’t want you to be mistaken – there were things in there that were real setbacks. I was like, I gained some ground then lost a lot, you know. I think that’s important too because you’re going to see these fallbacks; you’re going to climb 5 steps and fall back 10. There’s going to be these themes but you just have to get back up and keep going. I know that’s a cliché but that is the truth. Man, it’s the truth. There was definitely setbacks within that time, but enough progression forward that it allowed me to stay on top a little bit.
Joe: [32:32] Is that when you just started building a community through Instagram educating people?
Austin: [32:37] Yeah, so my Instagram following as I competed started to grow and I really was confused about what that was; again, another platform that…
Joe: [32:44] It’s really interesting because like – and you do a really good job of educating on it – but that whole platform is based around heavily visual.
Austin: [33:01] Now certainly it is.
Joe: [33:03] Yeah, and especially – I think about when I first got on Instagram and I first started competing and everything, and it was like, oh, that dude’s shredded and the fitness industry controlled Instagram. Did you see it?
Austin: [33:16] I WAS that guy. Originally when I was on Instagram, when I was competing, I grew my following enough to start to gain some sponsorship deals and things like that, that were like, this is the coolest thing in the world to me. Then, the more I was learning about myself, the more I traveled, the more I was discovering these things about life outside of fitness that were empowering me in bringing… fitness brought me who I am today. The foundations of who I am today. So, I’m forever grateful for what fitness has brought to me from a foundational level. It wasn’t until I started to reach out and make these other self-discoveries that – through traveling – and putting myself in uncomfortable situations and meeting new people, surrounding myself. And I talk a lot about traveling and putting yourself in these situations because I think this the accelerator, this is the incubator to accelerate that growth as an individual, as a human on this earth. My wife and I aren’t from very large towns. My wife is from a VERY small town – like 1 stoplight kind of town. And she, again, is a big traveler. Without travel, her opportunities were nowhere. The people that have stayed back in our hometowns are nowhere further than they were when we were there.
Joe: [34:51] It’s comfortable.
Austin: [34:52] It’s comfortable! That’s okay too; and if it is okay with you, that’s okay. For me, it wasn’t okay. It became less okay when I started to see the possibilities elsewhere, and I think that’s a big theme here because… you’re good until you’re not; things make sense until they don’t; and I was complacent, I was comfortable, like wow, I don’t have any need to go anywhere else. I’ve kind of nestled myself as this guy in this community in this small town and I’m comfortable with that. Then you start traveling and you start meeting these new people and you’re around these new environments and these new challenges, and it’s amazing. I think travel, for me, was just that accelerator to learn all these new things about myself, about the world, and I think that was the start – where you mention in the beginning – of being able to not overthink things. That’s something that over the past couple of years that’ve really started to become clear to me… because I spent most of my life overthinking things, as we do. I think it was very clear the moment I stopped over thinking things, things started to make more sense; and things became more clear. I had more of that white space to make clear decision.
Joe: [36:31] It’s such a trap. It’s such a trap, and I think that was something that was really cool from when I first met you, and when we were sitting down with you and Kas, your wife… and just talking about how that’s how you guys started making decisions.
Austin: [36:50] Yeah, that’s a cool thing.
Joe: [35:52] Like when you guys eloped, and the conversation that we had the other day, and you guys then moved to Australia. Those are big decisions that you could think about for years and years and years, and you could let other peoples’ outside opinions control that. But you learned to take that control and you just said we’re just going to fucking go for it.
Austin: [37:18] Yeah, so that decision was purely made – we looked at each other… we looked at each other and just made this decision of – because we were going to allow our family to dictate what we didn’t want. One of the first questions I ever asked Kasandra was – like when you’re playing 20 questions when you first meet, you’re kind of like what’s your favorite color – and all this other stuff. One of the first questions – I think it was question #2 – what kind of wedding do you want? So, I think I went from what’s your favorite color to what wedding do you want. And things accelerated SUPER quick. My wife and I met in England. We met when I was in a place – and I think we talked about this too the other day – is you’re putting out all this negative emotion; you’re putting out all this negative energy; so why would something as great as my wife come towards me? I think that’s another topic that we can talk about. But, I met my wife in England. We met traveling, we met in this new growth period for the both of us. I don’t think my old self would never have asked that question, but my new self – my new self discovered… self, I guess I could say. I wanted to ask this question, and I started to speak more of that truth. I started to be more blunt and just like, forward. You know now, I’m a very forward, blunt guy.
Joe: [38:48] Yeah.
Austin: [38:49] Within social norm.
Joe: [38:51] But it makes you get to the point that you want to get to. It’s like either I want to be friends with you or I don’t want to be friends with you.
Austin: [38:56] I’m not going to waste my time.
Joe: [38:57] Yeah, and I think so many people do that. This whole world is very, very surface level, and… it’s like, I’d rather go deep with a couple of people than surface level.
Austin: [39:10] And I think it’s okay not to be friends. Like, I have a lot of acquaintances. I do. Because of what I do, I am an outgoing guy. I like to make acquaintances and form relationships with people. That doesn’t mean we’re friends. That doesn’t mean like, we’re not – if you reach out to me, I’m not going to answer you. I see an acquaintance as normal people see friends. And I see friends as people normally see their best friends. That’s what I label a friend – is a BEST friend – because that’s all we truly have time for emotionally, in my opinion.
Joe: [39:46] One hundred percent.
Austin: [39:48] Because you’re spreading yourself too thin. So, the question #2 I ever asked my future wife, which is now my current wife – my only wife – forever… but is, what kind of wedding do you want? This was music to my ears because… the reality of the situation is, this turned the relationship from ‘I want to marry you’… it could’ve went ‘I want to marry you’ or ‘we’re just hooking up’ REAL quick. Because if she said she wanted to have this extravagant wedding – which there’s no issue with that; I just didn’t want that. I’ve never wanted that. She said, “You know what? I kind of just want to run away and elope, and kind of have a party for our family when we get back from our travel. I want to take a month and just get married, travel, experience life – raw life with you – and then have a party for our family when we get back. Show them the photos; you know, celebrate what we just experienced together, this amazing time.” And that’s essentially what we did. To preface why we made that decision was, we looked at each other… we were about to just say, you know what? Let’s just go ahead and have the wedding, because my family is very upset. They felt uninvited to the wedding. It’s not like they weren’t invited, its that’s they felt UNinvited. I’ll be upfront: they were never invited to begin with. I never invited you; why did you think you were invited? I love my family and I’ve expressed that, like they mean everything to me; but this day wasn’t about them. This day was about us. So, we looked at each other – and I think this is the important part – we looked at each other and we said: if we reproduce, if we have an offspring, if we have a child… what are we going to tell them to do? All your parents ever do is want the best for you. And all your parents ever do is tell you to go with your gut; go with what you want to do; live the life you want to live; take risk, take chance; and I would say the majority of our parents are hypocrites in that moment because they aren’t living that life that they’re telling us to live.
Joe: [42:12] Oh, fuck yeah.
Austin: [42:14] They’re not doing that! So, from that beginning moment, that first decision we made as a couple, that first like, big fucking decision we ever made was we’re going to live for ourselves, and we’re going to live for our child that we may or may not ever have. I know if we’re living that way then we’re living the way we want to live. And we’re going to set that fucking example that we want to set for our child, or whomever out there, that’s how we’re going to make decisions – based off of that right there, that principle of what would we tell our future kid. Would we tell them to do exactly what makes them the happiest? How are we going to tell them that with complete confidence if we’re not doing that today? If we’re not doing that right now? And that’s how we’re going to start our life. So that was the decision; we went in and told our families, and that was a catastrophe; but at the end of the day, we went to Asheville, North Carolina and we got married in this gravel parking lot on a Tuesday. It sounds kind of redneck but it definitely was not. It was a beautiful ceremony. The two people that came were our witnesses, were also photographers. They captured the moment; it was beautiful. And we got tacos afterwards; and that was what we wanted. Then, that night, our quote-unquote reception was my wife and I went to a bar, had a drink, went home. That’s all we wanted. It was quiet, and it was quaint, and it was beautiful. I think the moral of that, what I’m trying to get out here is… if you truly want what this decision was made off, made from was – if you’re going to tell someone to live their happiest life, why the fuck aren’t you? And that was the key moment for us moving forward as a couple.
Joe: [44:16] I mean, it’s the… the world that we live in – and especially on social media – is SO frustrating to me. Part of that is my responsibility. Part of that’s my responsibility in how I take in the content from the people that I’m following. First of all, why am I following them if I’m getting frustrated? But second of all, the ability to say one thing and do another in this world is very easy, because we can create a façade of our life, and we can filter our life; and we can put out exactly what we want to put out, perfectly, but… this has been something that I’ve seen over and over again, over the last 5 years of when I stepped into the fitness industry and started meeting more people that I had followed on Instagram or whatever it may be. And I’m like, you’re nowhere close to the same person you are on social media.
Austin: [45:15] Yeah, that’s a big thing for me. When people meet me… if you ever meet me, I want you… all I want you to feel is like, wow, you’re the exact person I thought you were going to be. That’s all I want.
Joe: [45:36] It’s a disservice to the world and to people, and to communities of followers that people have if you’re not doing that, because one: one of the biggest problems in our world today is anxiety and depression, and a lot of it IS from social media and people thinking that they can’t – they’re comparing themselves to other people and they can’t live up to whatever it is that they’re putting out there. If we, if you – somebody who has a big platform and other people out there that do – if you don’t take responsibility for that, what do these likes actually do besides give you a little bit of a dopamine hit? Then, at the end of the day, does that actually make you a person, and what are you doing for your community if you’re not giving them that real you? It’s something that’s super interesting, man; and honestly, I think if these conversations aren’t had, and if people don’t show up like they’re supposed to show up for every channel of their life – whether it be through a phone or it be an in-person connection – the world is up for a rude awakening. I think, honestly, that enough people are starting to talk about it, but it was scary for a while, man. And it still can be, but I think of the years of like, wow, how much time do I spend on social media? What am I doing to myself?
Austin: [47:09] I almost quit. I was so close to deleting my Instagram so many times. In 2017, that’s when I kind of grew the most. I grew 200,000 people on Instagram in the year of 2017.
Joe: [47:31] No shit.
Austin: [47:32] Yeah. I grew 200,000 people in the year of 2017. I had the big growth period then. During that time, engagement obviously was at its all-time high. If you know anything about Instagram algorithms, that was the golden algorithm of the chronological era, when all these meme (?) pages exploded. Now they’re making fucking hats and shirts and everything of like make Instagram chronological again. There’s all that going around. It just cracks me up. So, that was a big period for me, and that was a huge adjustment because I’d never really had… that was the first time I ever had what I would call an influence, or a platform. And I never ever thought of myself or wanted to be an influencer, but I’ll take the responsibility of influencing others because I do see what’s out there and I do see a lot of people doing their best, but I also see a lot of people that are influenced themselves as influencers to do certain things that don’t positively influence the people they’re trying to influence. If that all makes sense.
Joe: [48:51] Yeah.
Austin: [48:52] I think that’s a powerful thing. Like I was telling your before we hopped on the recording was, you were like, is your Instagram still growing? I was like, no; I’ve lost 25,000 followers in a year and a half or so, probably… or two years, whatever it’s been. That’s because I’ve moved… I went from solely doing what was making me grow to transitioning to more of the education. What made me grow was I was on the early end of a trend of the X and checkmark within the fitness industry. I was the second guy to ever put out a video to start doing that. It was me and Jorge – fitness_iq. We were putting out these videos, and we both grew like wildfire, because this was like the first time that these were put on there to this scale. That became a trend in 2017, and that really exploded the X and checkmark thing.
Joe: [50:04] And it helped a lot of people.
Austin: [05:05] Oh my god, it did! And again, I did it because it got people’s attention. My captions – if you look back – my captions never changed. I was still educating; I was still talking about execution cues; I was still talking about exercise mechanics; I was still talking about creating tension; I was still talking about all these things on posts that were getting 100 likes or 200 views. Then all of a sudden, I put some emojis on a video and put a thumbnail on it, and worked the hashtag game a bit, posted three times a day, and those videos started to hundreds of thousands of views, and 10,000 likes, or whatever it was. It took an emoji, or a couple of emojis on a video of an X and a check mark, and a thumbnail – if that’s what it takes to reach people and educate them, then alright, that’s fine. Cool. So, I transitioned out of that for a bit because I got lost, man. You get lost. That was the weirdest thing I think that ever happened to me because that was a time in my life I was truly confused on… I was torn between the person I wanted to be and the content I wanted to put out versus well, this is what is getting engagement. I owe a lot to my wife because she knows me for who I am and the person that I am. She was like, what are you doing? Within that 200,000 people growth period, I was anxious. I was in this world of what now, what content now; I should start an email list; okay, I gotta get back on YouTube; now I gotta do this; and now I gotta do this too, because if I do this, I do this; okay, what about a business coach because my business isn’t flourishing as much as my Instagram; okay, now I gotta hire a business coach. It was like this flurry, this flood of things happening all at once in this years’ time, and my wife was just like, take a step back. Just be within what you’ve created here. What do you want to say? Because you don’t owe anything to anyone.
Joe: [52:46] Oh, and that’s such a trap. In Instagram, the trap is when you start…
Austin: [52:52] I owe my followers this. It’s like, no!
Joe: [52:54] No, no you don’t. And this is what’s going to get the most likes.
Austin: [52:57] You don’t owe them anything! You owe YOURSELF putting out good content. If you owe them anything, it’s quality shit. Whether that’s quality through education, whether that’s quality through entertainment, whether that’s quality through just being transparent and being honest, and teaching through that. If you owe them anything, it’s that you owe them yourself. You owe them being your true self. That’s what you owe yourself, that’s what you owe them, if anything… because you’re doing nothing but hurting and putting these false expectations, these comparisons that people are having towards people they look up to, if you’re not yourself. Be honest. And obviously, we have these personal brands now that I don’t think anyone really knows how to navigate. We have the Gary Vee’s of the world that are helping us, I think, piece things together from a personal branding perspective, and kind of what the possibilities are, which is awesome.
Joe: [54:04] It never existed before.
Austin: [54:06] It never existed before!
Joe: [54:07] Like, thank you social media.
Austin: [54:08] So thank you social media. It’s also this trap, and also this place of anxiety and comparison because… at my peak of social engagement and all this stuff, that wasn’t good enough, internally. I was comparing myself to others. I was comparing myself – and why I was so anxious was because… if my videos were getting 100,000 views, why are these videos getting a million views? Or 200,000 views? Because I think my stuff’s more educational. Maybe they got me in the entertainment. Okay, so how can I up my entertainment? I was doing all these things of like – I look back and I’m like, why was I doing that? And why was I anxious? I was anxious because I was comparing myself. I kept comparing myself. Each post, how did it do? Every time I woke up, I woke up in this state of reaction, a state of… get on Instagram, how did my post perform. One of the weirdest things during this growth period – this is when I was living in Australia. Because for the whole year of 2017, I lived in Australia. I posted, because my following is mainly still in the U.S.
Joe: [55:27] I was curious about that.
Austin: [55:28] Yeah, so I posted a lot. It grew a lot in Asia, it grew a lot in Europe. It grew in Australia, obviously, because I was over there. But mainly still in the U.S. So, I was posting at these weird, obscene hours and I’d wake myself up in the middle of the night just to post, because I’m like, oh, I gotta stay relevant. It flipped my whole world around of this person I wanted to be and this life I wanted to create for myself, and I was living on other people’s terms, and just to live up to this façade, you know. This person. I was proud of what I built and the community I was able to gather, but I will say, since I’ve since moved on from doing that and posting for others, and going to back to what do I want to tell people, because it’s one thing – it’s really hard to grow, especially right now in this current climate on social – it’s like, it’s really hard to grow. I see a couple of guys, like Brian DeCosta right now is a guy that like – I think he’s gained like 100, 000 followers in like a month. He found his thing, and he’s doing this swipe workout things and he’s posting workouts, but he’s being himself, man. That’s one thing about Brian that I love. Dude’s a positive dude, but he’s influencing in a positive way. He’s not doing anything to do anything else other than to be himself and teach other people how to be better people. In the process of that, he’s growing this huge platform. Once you gain this platform, I think, once you gain this influence, especially an influence that you never thought you’d have… it becomes more important to you. Like, are you teaching what you want to teach? Are you speaking about topics that deserve to be spoken about? To each their own to this; but this why you’ll never see me post a photo and say thought it was cute, might delete later. And again, there’s nothing against that, but if that’s what you put out, and that’s what people want from you, that’s great; and that’s what you want to say, that’s great. But for me, I wanted something more, and I want something more from this platform. If I could do anything in my entire life, it’s… I don’t want to create competition, I want to raise the standard of what is out there. For me in the coaching world, why do I put up content that challenges other coaches? I’m not putting this coach down, and I’ll even say, don’t fire your current coach, just ask them for more. Like, there’s a threshold of what you deserve. If you’re a coach, or you have a coach… expect more. Want more. They’re a coach; you’re paying them. We’re professional trainers, at this scale. I am a professional coach, I’m a professional trainer. I hold myself to a standard of being a professional. I’m not an Instagram coach, I’m a professional coach.
Joe: [58:43] You’re holding yourself accountable, and I think that was a thing that didn’t happen for a very long time. We saw a lot of people making a lot of money off of selling an e-book, or selling a program that was a cookie cutter program but they had an influence based off of visual components and whatever else it may be; or other pages blowing them up, and getting this huge influence. And then, so many people getting ripped off and getting their metabolism screwed up. I think that something that really stood out to me about what you just said is just expect more, because if you’re not, you’re once again, you’re going to get lost and you’re going to do yourself a disservice; and we have to expect a lot out of professionals that we are paying to do something for us; especially when it comes to our health.
Austin: [59:35] The power that a coach or a trainer has over someone’s health is insane. The impact… what you recommend from nutritional and training component… the effect it can have on an individual – negative or positive – is insane. You should take a lot of responsibility in that, because you’re in control more so than that person’s physician on their health. You’re with them, whether it’s virtually or whatever, online or in person, you’re with them everyday. You’re telling them what type of training they’re doing. You’re looking at their biofeedback. You’re looking at their markers – are they sleeping; are they digesting things well; if they’re not sleeping, are you continuing with that training that is making them not sleep? What about their nutrition? Are you allowing them to recover? And then are you allowing them to thrive within the rest of their life? I think this is another big thing… I would say 90% of my people are general population. And I also coach other coaches in that. I do coach competitors too, but it’s a small percentage. I love general population people. I love just lifestyle-type coaching, because I think there’s a new challenge to that. You’re looking deeper in the psychology of the normal person day-to-day, challenging them more so and giving them the power that I once was given over their own body, over their own life, and I think that’s a powerful thing to instill in a person is that control and that power that a little knowledge can give you. Because people, they feel so lost. They just – I’ve tried everything; I’ve spent so much money – and these are things I hear on the phone because I always do a phone call before someone signs up to make sure this is the right thing, are we the right fit, and can help you with what you want. And if I can’t, I’ll refer out. I’ll give you to someone else that is qualified. But when someone sits on the phone and tells me how much money they’ve spent on their health, and how much progress they haven’t made, like… I take responsibility in that. I can feel that. All I want to do is help. This is a big reason why I’ve lowered my prices. I’ve been the $500+ a month coach. I’ve lowered my rates because that’s not the… each price point attracts a certain client. The people I truly love working with can’t afford that. They just can’t. And if I’m looking to make a true impact in this industry, and a true impact within peoples’ lives, I gotta meet them where they’re at, and I got to figure out the business side of things on my own. That’s my responsibility, not theirs.
Joe: [01:02:46] That’s powerful. That’s powerful because there’s a lot of people that won’t meet people where they’re at.
Austin: [01:02:51] Then how do you help them?
Joe: [01:02:53] Right. That ability to say hey, I’m going to change my prices, or I’m going to be able to say hey, I’m not going to filter these people out because, well, they’re not going… my time is worth more than that.
Austin: [01:03:10] That’s a good point is how you value your time as professional; but also, at what point does that have a negative return or negative impact on the industry? Or the people you’re trying to help? If you got in this to help… like, if you got into this to make money, dude, knucks. Make money. Like, that’s fine. I see an innate flaw in that because you’re, again, you’re dealing with people’s health; but at the end of the day, do what you’re going to do. I really think the impact we can have on people, just the responsibility that I feel day-to-day on other people’s lives that I’m coaching, that are clients of mine, are just incomparable. I can’t articulate it. It’s hard. I just think it’s so incredible because when I was a higher-priced coach – it’s not cheap, but I was outside a lot of people’s price range of what they could afford – I was attracting these people, like… I was attracting these CEOs of these companies, these true crazy-high performers, which was cool in a way, but they were also people I didn’t want to help… because they were people that didn’t want help – and some of them did; I can’t blanket statement that – but a lot of them, they were the alpha in their life and they brought that to the coaching. It turned into – why did you program this for me? No I’m not doing it. No. Change. Change this or I’m out. And it’s like… what?! Don’t do that, it’s going to work. It’s going to work, I promise. We’ll progress from that. It’s going to be good. We’ll get you to your end goal, I promise; but I need you to do these things beforehand. And it’s like, no. Change. I’m paying you this, you’re going to work for me. And it’s like, okay I’m out.
Joe: [01:05:13] That’s a predicament right there. I’m super curious, because it’s been… it’s been the journey for you and the journey over the last year with being a, basically, full time educator to now going back to your physique development business. How do you check in with yourself everyday? Because you’ve made – it’s this continual process of improving ourselves every single day, and listening to ourselves. And you’ve tried a lot of things, and you said I enjoy this, no I don’t enjoy this. How do you check in with yourself? I see you have a great support system, but at the end of the day, how do you check in with yourself every single day to make sure that this is – hey, this is the path.
Austin: [01:06:06] Good question. I think time to think.
Joe: [01:06:14] Giving yourself that space?
Austin: [01:06:15] White space in your day… without distraction. I think living – and again, it’s nearly impossible unless you’re like a monk – to live your day without distraction. We’re all distracted at all times of the day. I think why I love… why I love what we’re doing right now in this moment is because no phones are out, we’re looking at each other in the face, in person, and we’re talking. We’re having a great conversation. There’s nothing that fuels me like that. I think living – giving yourself time without distraction allows you to live in your true world. It allows you to live and see your true self. It allows you to check-in: am I happy? And you’re going to lie to yourself. I lied to myself for a while when I was going through this transition from where I was to where I am now. There’s a part where that discipline comes into play, and growing up, if you started a sport, if you start something, you finish it. There’s no quitting, no excuse, I don’t care if I have to drag your ass to practice, you’re going. I don’t care if you’re not wearing the right thing. That’s your fault; you be embarrassed. Put your uniform on, let’s go. That was my childhood right there. And that has stuck. I didn’t want to give up on something. I felt like I was doing those people that invested, that believed in me, that gave me a chance there, I thought I was letting them down, I was letting myself down… but then I realized I was letting myself down if I continued that. I say that because I allowed myself to think, and I allowed myself to lie to myself. I allowed myself to cry. I allowed myself – like there was one day… this is easy for me to say to you… but not in general. There was one day I was so paralyzed that I broke down crying in my bed, and I couldn’t get out of bed… last year. I think for me that was a real wake up call. I felt, I had a lot of confidence and I believe in myself a lot… and I broke down.
Joe: [01:09:08] The crazy part about that is that we as males, and we’ve talked about this, is that we don’t have a lot of space to do that.
Austin: [01:09:18] No.
Joe: [01:09:19] It’s not okay to do that. We’re supposed to be this stoic… human being that never cries, that never goes against the grain, and shows up and makes the paycheck. Like society, man of society, for the last – I don’t know, however many – like up until now recently, the man had to play this very specific role; and it’s interesting because you and I have both been conditioned to be that way as well, and then when we start to feel like, oh, I feel a certain way, or I’m actually not happy… am I allowed to express that? It’s weird. Fucking weird.
Austin: [01:10:03] My wife… that morning – I’ll never forget it – I woke up and I was paralyzed; I couldn’t get out of bed. My wife was scared. She’d never seen this person, she’d never seen this side of me, because I never allowed it to surface. I’d been this way for a while… there’s always a tipping point, and there’s a threshold on everything. I started to break down, and I honestly felt paralyzed, and she just was like, uhh… what? I’m here, know that. I don’t know what to do. Do you want me to leave? Do you want me to leave you alone? And I was like yeah, please. I think I was in bed for another hour, two hours, crying, laying there. I think I stared at the wall for an hour. Like, fuck, what now? And that was a wake-up call. I really gave myself time to think, evaluate, and I think that I’ve kept doing that. I think it’s important to make a distinction between… where you’re at emotionally and mentally with something, and where you’re at in terms of success with something. Because where I was at mentally and emotionally was something… THAT needed to be visited. But because I have this philosophy of don’t over-assess where you’re at, keep going, in terms of business, that I mixed the two so I wasn’t allowing myself to emotionally and mentally check-in with myself. In business, I have this philosophy of – this is another thing I’ve gotten from Gary Vee – and he came out with this video two, it would’ve been almost two years ago now, and I’ve used it ever since; I loved it. Being in my 20s, and at the time, I was 24 when I saw the video, or 23 when I saw the video, and I’m 25 now; and it was don’t look back until you’re 29. He was speaking in terms of business, but I put this in every… and this is where you have to make distinctions within advice. You have to make it individualized, because I took this advice, I took this to heart and was like, okay, don’t look back until you’re 29. Don’t evaluate, just fucking work. Put your head down and if by 29 none of this shit has worked, okay, evaluate, what am I doing wrong. So mentally and emotionally, I wasn’t allowing myself to check-in and it obviously took its toll. So, that was a huge evaluation period for me and learning experience, and again, our entire life is just this rollercoaster of self-discovery. You need… you truly need time to think, whether that’s through guided meditation, whether that’s you sit in a room and just allow yourself to not be distracted. I think, again, give yourself time to be bored. This is a luxury, by the way; I want to say that. If you have time to be bored, utilize it, because there are people in this world that don’t have that time. They really don’t. It’s a luxury to be able to think that we have as a 1% population in this world, in the history of the world.
Joe: [01:14:24] I think that’s a like – if we pull… there’s a shit-ton to pull from this podcast – but that’s really, really important, is giving yourself, allowing yourself the time to think; because we think about everything that you talked about through the course of your life. I think about every decision that I’ve made in life, and a lot of it was from an external influence and I didn’t question it. I didn’t think. I just took the next step because, well, I want to make this decision that I’m going to be enough; that I’m going to feel loved; that everything’s going to be okay.
Austin: [01:15:03] And then it never worked out like that.
Joe: [01:15:05] And then, no. No, no.
Austin: [01:15:06] That’s always a theme, isn’t it? It’s just this continuous rollercoaster of self-discovery. I think… in the past couple of years, I’ve gotten a lot more introspective over the last couple of years; in especially this past year because of moments like that where I was paralyzed in bed for an entire day, or an entire morning. I was paralyzed in not being able to be myself for even longer than that. That was something that really awakened me, to know that – and that’s where, you don’t realize the life you don’t want to live until you’ve lived life… you don’t realize the life you want to live until you live life you don’t. That’s the theme that we kind of went with in the beginning with you don’t know good until you’ve felt bad. Again – this is relative – I’m extremely grateful for what I do have, but there’s never an excuse to accept less than what’s possible for yourself. Obviously, that’s relative to the individual, but if you have a chance, if you’re able to do it… if you’ve been born in any capacity outside of this incredible poverty and homeless… if you have a chance, if you have any, any chance at all to make your life better, just take a step towards it. I truly believe that, and it does start internally. It’s a reason why the internet’s so cool in the sheer fact of – past the distraction part – but if you’re in a lesser situation, you can always… there’s at least this, the internet. There’s a phone, there’s a laptop, there’s a computer at the library you can go to, there’s inspiring people on YouTube, there’s people in the podcast world; so if you’re at work… even if your job is at a factory and you’re on this assembly line of boredom, you can at least listen to a podcast. Make yourself better in some way. I think that’s crucial too. Going back to what we were talking about – give yourself time to think. Give yourself time to be uncomfortable within yourself. I think… this is my theory, but I think it’s impossible not to change something; because if you sit there, in silence, for any amount of time that’s uncomfortable – so, for the modern day person, I’d say more than a few minutes.
Joe: [01:17:58] I was going to say it might be pretty short for some people.
Austin: [01:18:02] As soon as it’s a minute, past the point where you are daydreaming – which is cognitively productive – I won’t go into that but give yourself time to daydream… but give yourself time to not be distracted. If you are sitting, and if you’re listening to this podcast, after you do this, after you listen to the rest of this, just sit… without a phone, without noise, to the best of your ability, it’s a noisy world; but just sit. Turn your phone off, set it in your room, make it to where you have to get up to get it, to reach it, and just allow yourself… you have to be intentional about this too because you can’t – there’s no telling what your mind is going to come up with to think about – go in with an idea of an intention where you wanted to think about… think about, am I happy. Mentally and emotionally check in with yourself here and see how long you can sit there in that discomfort ‘cause it can be a prison. I’m telling you, there’s one part of you that’s going to want to change something.
Joe: [01:19:17] One hundred percent. One hundred percent, man. You know what? I want to talk for a second about what you’re going to do, because you said that you were on a new path here; but I also want to give you the chance to tell the listeners how to find out more about the coaching that you do for people. So, dive into both of those because I think it’s really important. I think that just the – and I don’t know that this will be the final title or subtitle for your podcast – but what you shared with me and what the fitness world has kind of got caught up into, there’s so much more than that, and I think that it’s going to take a lot of people that do have an influence and have a platform and have been teaching people to help shift a paradigm for sure.
Austin: [01:20:02] Yeah, I appreciate this opportunity to speak on those things. As of late, I’ve been wanting to start a podcast of my own. I think I just want a good reason to have good conversations with good people. Again, I have yet to find anything that really fuels me like a great conversation. I think I just want an excuse to talk to good people. But I also – I hadn’t started a podcast up to this point because, or wanted to, because I wasn’t the person I wanted to put… I didn’t feel like I was putting my best foot forward. I wasn’t the best person I could be to put myself out there like a podcast would. And I feel like I finally found that thing that I want to talk about, and that’s, again, that is life beyond fitness; and that’s what I want to call the podcast. The podcast doesn’t exist yet, so if you’re trying to look for it, it doesn’t exist; but I hope it will soon. If you’re listening to this, past the point of its launch, look for it because I want to start this, and it’s going to be called Life Beyond Fitness. That subtitle is looking past the X’s and O’s of training and nutrition to look deeper among powerful individuals making an impact. For me, as someone that literally spends most his life educating on the X’s and O’s, there’s so much that has contributed to my life and influenced me as a person… outside, or beyond fitness. There’s so much out there that has influenced me as a coach or as a human, as a friend, as a husband, as a brother, as a son… that I think that it’s important that I want to speak to other individuals, other coaches, other people making impact within the industry and allow them to talk more about their life beyond fitness. I think it’s a huge – if you’re someone that’s interested in fitness or looking to be a coach or trainer, or someone looking to be in this industry at all – it’s important to live a life beyond that fitness world that you’re in. It’s so, so important. That’s the podcast, man. That’s what I want to create.
Joe: [01:22:26] That you’re going to. I’m going to hold you to that.
Austin: [01:22:29] Sorry. I’m going to create that! I’m actually in the process, man. I made a definitive answer to that question, so I’ve been thinking about this for a while, man. Last, I think it was… maybe a week ago, I don’t know how long ago it was, but I made the definitive decision of I’m going to do it; I’m doing it. So, I know lot goes into launching a podcast. I know it’s going to be a couple of months, but I’m already preparing; like, I’m getting stuff, I’m putting pieces into place. In terms of the podcast, that’s what it’s going to be; so look out for that. My coaching – our company name is Physique Development – physiquedevelopment.com if you want to visit that. That’s our coaching service, and we’ve been doing it for five years, and I think we’ve progressed from being… in the early stages – I think year 1, 2, and 3 – we were that first line of defense for people; we were that first coach, teaching people how to track macros and do the basics of training. Years 4 and 5, so this is year 5, now we’re usually coaches 2 or 3; at least your 2nd coach. You’ve had at least had 1 coach before us that has taught you how to do those bare essentials…
Joe: [01:24:07] Whether right or wrong…
Austin: [01:24:08] Whether right or wrong! Yeah, whether right or wrong. We’ve transitioned into this service, this, you know… this service of teaching you the why’s behind it all. I’m not going to give you a college education when you’re with me, but what I’m going to do is…
Joe: [01:24:34] That’s what makes it sustainable though.
Austin: [01:24:36] Yeah, this is what makes it sustainable.
Joe: [01:24:37] That’s how they can – and something that was really important that you said before the podcast, I think it was before the podcast – was like your ultimate goal; like, you’re working with me… but what’s your ultimate goal?
Austin: [01:24:46] My ultimate goal is to allow you to spend time with us and not need a coach again. That’s my end goal. My end goal is to give you that knowledge you need to understand things, and you have this power now to… you need to know what you need to know; and that’s all you need to know. It’s simple as that; like, you don’t need to know more than you need to know, because the more you know, the more you figure out what you don’t know, and that’s its own toxic world. As an educator that’s done nothing but learn for the past… I spent all of last year learning. I dropped all my clients pretty much and I just spent the year educating and being educated. That’s like… I already have my undergraduate degree, I already have my CSCS. I already had all those things, but I took a year off coaching to learn MORE… and how to be a better coach so that I could show up better for clients. That’s something that I think Physique Development brings is this approach of when you’re with us, we’re going to educate you on the why. By the end, it’s our goal to have you on your way of being your own coach. You don’t have to coach other people
Joe: [01:26:14] That’s powerful though because basically what you’re saying is, I’m going to help somebody and then I’m going to have a client, and then I’m not going to have a client anymore. When you think about that from a business perspective, it’s not the best business model, right? But that’s a very powerful statement to say hey, I want you to actually make that change that’s going to last.
Austin: [01:26:37] Yeah, we’re referral based business. I’m not a repeat customer business. We’re a referral based business, so it’s our job to do a good enough job to where you want to tell other people about how good it was. That’s… whether it puts me out of business or catapults my business, I’ll live with that.
Joe: [01:27:03] That’s what’s going to make you stand out though. That’s what is going to make you stand out because you’re actually going to have people have success, and that’s very important. How do people find you specifically?
Austin: [01:27:14] Yeah, Instagram is about all I’m at at this point. Instagram: AustinCurrent -like the electric current or the current of the ocean. Search Austin Current on Instagram and you should be able to find me.
Joe: [01:27:32] Dope, dude. Thanks for hopping on this podcast.
Austin: [01:27:35] I’m incredibly grateful; thank you.
Joe: [01:27:36] Appreciate it, man.