The Inspirationals #1: Anabolic Aliens
Welcome to the first installment of BeFreeMySheeple.com’s The Inspirationals where I interview people who’ve inspired me by successfully turning their passions into a career. When your career is your passion and you’re passionate about your career, it doesn’t feel like work and Mike Rosa, founder of Anabolic Aliens truly exemplifies this. Look at those guns.
What is Anabolic Aliens?
As many of us have experienced throughout our fitness journeys, sometimes you hit a wall (also called a plateau). I was on YouTube before the summer of 2018 searching for intense workouts that would push me to my limits and prepare my body for the beach. That’s when I first discovered Anabolic Aliens.
Anabolic Aliens immediately became my go-to for workout routines because the founder, Mike Rosa, created approachable programs built specifically for people who want to challenge themselves in 5, 10 or 15 minute increments of non-stop exercise routines (HIIT) sometimes using just 1 set of dumbbells. His Intense 5 Minute Dumbell Bicep Workout was the first routine I tried and it left me sorer than I had ever been for almost an entire week (video below). Pain means gains so I was completely sold. Mike also built intense bodyweight routines that can be done from home which is especially useful when you’re a traveler like me and access to a gym isn’t always convenient.
Today, his YouTube channel has almost 500k subscribers with another 40k on Instagram, all from organic growth. He’s expanded his empire beyond social media and created a workout app called Exerprise (which currently has a 4.8 rating in the App Store) and allows you to create fully-customized workouts.
I first connected with Mike in April 2018 when I messaged him on Instagram about how much I loved his videos. He shipped me a branded Anabolic Aliens sweatshirt and tank top as a thank you for the support and I filmed this Instagram video for him when I was living in Los Angeles (the greatest city in the world).
I had a chance to reconnect with him this January for this exclusive BeFreeMySheeple interview.
BeFreeMySheeple.com’s Exclusive Anabolic Aliens Interview
Adam Francisco: So good to finally connect man! I love watching your Instagram stories and seeing people from all over the world sending you messages about how you changed their lives. How did Anabolic Aliens get started?
Mike Rosa: It all started out by releasing a YouTube Video on July 2nd, 2014. It really was more of a hobby than a business. I fell in love with fitness and then I started to competitively powerlift which sparked my interest in sharing my progress. That’s when I started filming my workouts, tips and videos that could help other people enhance their own fitness while also doing what I love. Since the first video released, I have not missed 1 week of uploading a YouTube video.
Adam: They say consistency is one of the most important aspects of fitness.
Mike: Yeah that’s absolutely true! Now the Anabolic Aliens YouTube channel has over 470k subscribers, a high-traffic website, online clients, multiple sponsors, a workout app called Exerprise, and my growing Instagram.
Adam: Damn man, you’re killing it! What was your previous career?
Mike: I didn’t have one. I started this while I was at the University of New Hampshire. As soon as I graduated, I knew I was doing exactly what I love and I was going to make a successful career out of it.
Adam: So you completely avoided the corporate world of being a sheeple. I am super impressed.
Mike: Yeah, but the only hard part was trying to balance building a platform and school. Juggling school and a business wasn’t easy at all, but it was all worth it to me.
Adam: Definitely looks that way. Were there any obstacles along the way? How’d you deal with them?
Mike: Absolutely. The first main one was putting myself out there for the world. Being on camera was an acquired skill for me, not at all natural. I used to get so nervous filming and I’d stumble on my words constantly. Over time I’ve gotten extremely comfortable and can now talk into the camera on cue.
Adam: I was totally the same way. When I watch earlier videos of myself, I cringe a little bit.
Mike : [Laughter]. Another obstacle was business motivation. I mentioned earlier how Anabolic Aliens really started out more as a hobby. Since it wasn’t this big serious business yet, that thought of “I don’t need to post today” hit me often, especially when school was busy. The reason I never stopped in the beginning was because I felt somewhat obligated.
Adam: Obligated to yourself or your audience?
Mike: What I mean by that is I was noticing amazing results and became overall so much happier, so what I was doing was working. I wanted as many other people as possible to feel that same feeling. Passions is my motivation.
Adam: I love it.
Mike: Yeah. The only other obstacle to really mention was just trying to stay true to my values. As money started coming in and varying business opportunities and partnerships arose, I had to always make sure that any move I made was one my heart was behind. Sometimes dollars signs can be distracting, but always gotta keep it real.
Adam: I’m so impressed that you launched your own profitable business without any formal corporate experience.
Mike: I always hated school. I always hated being told what to do. As I was trying to think about what I wanted to do, the one certain was I needed to be my own boss. I needed my creativity and time to be completely free. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Adam: As you say, “no limits!” So if someone wanted to follow in your steps and become a successful YouTube, what advice would you give them?
Mike : Be consistent. Consistency is the number one thing I preach to everyone who is trying to grow their YouTube channel. You can have the best content in the world, but due to oversaturation of videos, if you’re not posting regularly then that amazing content you made had may never be seen. Develop some method of consistency before all else. I recommend at least 1 new video a week. Then as you stay consistent, you can keep improving your quality. Then a step further, you can start trying to ramp up the quantity. Keep posting and every time it’s more likely for your channel to be found.
Adam: I’ll take this advice into account for my thriving 31-subscriber YouTube channel.
Mike : [Laughter]. Gotta start somewhere!
Adam: You’re obviously happy. What advice would you give to someone who is unhappy?
Mike: Focus on you. Find our what your true values are and what you’re passionate about. We live in a time where you can pursue that passion so get after it. Do what you love and it’ll never be real work. The happier you are in your work life, the more motivated you’ll be to enhance other aspects of your life.
Adam: How do you define happiness?
Mike : I define happiness today as a sense of motivated self-comfort. You are comfortable with who you are yet motivated to keep getting better. You’re proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished, yet working to take it to the next level. You’ve established your values and you know what you stand for. Love, live, learn. I used to think happiness was just a temporary feeling. No more.
Adam: I can’t agree anymore. What are your plans for this year?
Mike: I plan to keep getting better and there’s a lot that’s going to go into that. Personally, I’m chasing the best physique of my life and will keep exploring new ways to enhance my overall health. Professionally, a ton of new YouTube content is going to be released. My app Exerprise is going to be having a lot of new feature developments. I also plan on optimizing and improving my Instagram content.
Adam: Let’s do a collab on Instagram if I’m in Boston or you’re in Thailand.
Mike: I’m in! Also excited to upgrade my website with improved features and overall aesthetics. I have a lot of new partnerships in the works and opportunities keep arising. This is going to be a big year for personal and professional gains. I know it!
Adam: I’m impressed Mike and really inspired by your story and your success. And a huge thank you for creating awesome videos that have improved my, as well as so many other people’s fitness. Thanks so much for the time Mike.
Mike: No limits!
Anabolic Aliens Links
Check out the Anabolic Aliens links below:
Have another person that you’d like me to consider for next month’s The Inspirationals? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.
Be Free My Sheeple!