Catching Up with Mike Rosa (The 2019 Edition)

Fitness entrepreneur and Anabolic Aliens CEO Mike Rosa returned to Jake’s Take. (Photo courtesy of Anabolic Aliens)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is always a pleasure to welcome my friend, fitness entrepreneur, and Anabolic Aliens founder Mike Rosa to Jake’s Take.

Mike has found impeccable success with Anabolic Aliens. He has amassed over 86,400 followers on social media and inching closer to almost 600,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel.  He is also inspiring his followers to pursue their fitness goals through his Exerprise™ app.

In this edition of Catching Up, Mike Rosa opened up about the Exerprise™ app’s evolution, his fascination with TikTok, and dropped two pieces of exclusive news.

Jacob Elyachar: How have you grown as an entrepreneur since the last time we spoke

Mike Rosa: If it has been a year, this has been the most dynamic year of my life, honestly. I have taken a scale from influencer to business. I am not focusing on promoting other brands anymore and being sponsored. I am focusing on building Anabolic Aliens as a company. I am making my products; I am hiring my athlete team for Exerprise and Anabolic Aliens employees. I love creating content; that’s what I love to do. Also, I can either use that content to influence other brands or create something of my own. In this last year, I have taken the approach of utilizing my platforms to build my brand instead of having an influencer lifestyle. I have a whole website team whose primary focuses are helping me with online coaching and creating programming for diets and workouts. The website also has full fitness courses and eBooks. We are trying to figure out how to take my content and put it into a way that’s going to make exercise more convenient for people and give them everything they need on my website. We are trying to provide as much value as possible at AnabolicAliens.com.

The Anabolic Aliens’ Exerprise™ app has gained a plethora of followers. (Logo courtesy of Mike Rosa)

Jacob Elyachar: I was going to mention the Exerprise™ app. But since we are the subject of the Exerprise™ app. How has that app evolved? Because I remember in our last conversation, you were at the beginning stages of building it. 

Mike Rosa: There are over 150,000 active users, and the features have probably quadrupled since the last time we spoke. My team and I have put a ton of work into the app. We have a lot more features coming soon. Some of those features include a whole meal prep generator, a pull-up bar section, and cable workouts. There will be self-defense training in the app. We also plan on incorporating AI technology as well. There are a lot of questions that my team and I had to answer. Some of those questions included: “How do we make this app tailored to anyone who wants to exercise?” “If they do not have time?” “If they don’t have equipment?” and “How do we make exercise more convenient to people?” My team and I want to be able to answer those questions as fast and efficiently as possible. I want to make Exerprise™, the best app ever, and I have more ideas. My team and I are non-stop developing the app by listening to our community, reading the reviews, and try to fix problem areas.

Jacob Elyachar: Since the last time we spoke, you have surpassed over 79,000 Instagram fans and nearly 600,000 YouTube subscribers. What are some of the factors that drive people to the Anabolic Aliens brand? 

Mike Rosa: I think people are coming to Anabolic Aliens because I am trying to make exercise as convenient as possible across all my platforms. What I have done is I have taken my content and how I present it and developed a better strategy. For Instagram, I found that the swipe workouts that I do actually at the gym do significantly better. They are a lot easier for me to film. They take a lot longer to edit, but the efficiency behind what the value I am putting out, it gives people an actual full routine to follow along, versus a picture that says look at me. I have taken each platform and figured out how I can best provide value at the fastest rate. 

I prep my content in advance now, versus take a picture of try to write a caption. Then like YouTube, the follow-along home-based series does the best. I just finished that 30-day abs program, and I am launching a 30-day dumbbell more significant arms program. The next week or so and I want to approach how can I best engage with people per platform because people that are on the platforms for different reasons and I want to be able to engage with them and help them follow along. I think that’s been what’s driving people to the Anabolic Aliens brand. Because I’m listening to what they need, and I am responding to what they are enjoying. Then, I try to scale my content towards those levels. I am also posting content on multiple platforms now I am posting content daily on TiKTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

The Anabolic Aliens’ YouTube channel wrapped up a 30-day ab program. (Video property of Anabolic Aliens & Mike Rosa)

Jacob Elyachar: Speaking of social media, a majority of Anabolic Aliens’ success is your YouTube channel as you post four times a week. How has your editing and filming style evolved since you first published five years ago? 

Mike Rosa: My editing has improved because of practice. I have learned some tricks along the way, but I am not the best editor. I focus more on the content value behind it, even though I am always trying to improve my editing skills. For me, it is the content that does best is the workouts. I figured out a system as I said, I have transitioned from Anabolic Aliens as an influencer to a business. That’s all about the business models I have set up. For YouTube, I look at that as a business media. It’s a great marketing platform for my audience, and I think I brought about a ton of value for them. But every time I am posting a video, I am trying to figure out how can I officially provide the most value and continue to do so. That’s how it just established my 30-day abs program. I released a video every single day for 30 days straight, and my engagement rate has significantly increased. My exercise app downloads tripled. What I noticed was people were following the videos day one through day 30, which is incredible, and they reported final results, which is the whole point of movements and costs in the first place. I guess the most significant difference I have made recently is instead of trying to pick new topics every week and taking the two days to film it and have randomized content throughout the fitness industry to post on my channel. I am trying to give people more of guidance these days, and something that they’re able actually to hold themselves accountable. I love it because it’s not only just more efficient for me; it’s a better way for me actually to connect with my community.

Jacob Elyachar: TikTok is a new player in social media. There are a lot of people that are asking themselves: “Why should I move to TikTok?” What have you experienced for your business through TikTok?

Mike Rosa: I think TikTok is probably the most prominent platform that if you are not on it now, you should get on immediately. The organic growth is crazy because your post reaches way more people than any other platform besides LinkedIn. TikTok is for the younger generation. People are hesitant about it because it’s like a new school Vine. TikTok focuses on all these kids 15-years-old and under who are trying to get famous. Users post 50 15-second clips of the most random and crazy things. TikTok is entertaining, and it is also for that agile mindset. 

 Initially, I shot on the content I have got on the platform because it was a new platform. I need to get on it right away and try to post content on there and get my brand out there. That’s how I thought about it. I want to get my brand out there as much as possible. I started posting content on TikTok, and it’s different than the style of content I posted before. What I noticed is on TikTok, when you open the app, the videos automatically play with sound, which is different than a lot of other apps. At first, I did not have any considerable following, but I am now starting to grow consistently, which is fantastic organically. I established a style of contact for me, which says best is voiceovers. 

It is the only platform I post. I do exercises a day for a specific muscle group or something, and I do a voice over for that type of content. It’s the only voiceover style content I release. I find that the verbal aspect along with the video aspect is what people, the younger generation is on TikTok for meaning I’ve done videos with the exact, I can do the same video. All right, so I’ll put the same video on Twitter that has a music background. If I put that on TikTok, they won’t do as well. But if I put the same video and transfer out the music background with a voiceover, it does significantly better. It’s fascinating. It’s a new platform, but I think it’s only going to grow even though there’s been, I do not know if you’ve heard recently, there’s a ton of stuff going on with China and the regulations and material. There are a lot of security issues with TikTok right now, but the whole younger generation is there, and those are the future buyers.

Jacob Elyachar: What have been some of the challenges that you faced transitioning the brand to business? How did you overcome those obstacles? 

Mike Rosa: The biggest challenge has been time. There are so many platforms and posting art, and it’s not like I am posting easy pieces of content. It takes me hours to edit, and I am posting on literally multiple platforms. It was taking hours a day to make content, and it’s taking hours a day to release content, and it’s taking hours a day to edit the content. Then, there’s my website, my app, and there’s also a clothing line I am dropping soon, and then a bunch of other things going on.

Be on the lookout for the new Anabolic Aliens clothing line! (Photo courtesy of Mike Rosa)

Jacob Elyachar: Is this an exclusive announcement?

Mike Rosa: Yes, it is, Jacob! The clothing line is going to be called Invasion Wear. I am partnering with Dissident Gym Wear to create it, and we are hoping for a Black Friday launch! Back to what we were saying, the biggest thing is time. There are so many different things I want to do, and if you couldn’t already tell, my brain is rapidly working. I talk incredibly fast because I am going non-stop at a breakneck speed. I had to make a choice. If I want to take the role of being an influencer, I can stay where I am, keep doing the content. It’s fun. I love the content, but the brands influence me. I was like; that’s not what I want to do with my life. I want to take Anabolic Aliens to a whole corporation eventually, and develop all of these different models and systems that have a ton of room for organic growth and can help not just one audience, but all different types of audiences. I like to think outside the box and have no limits, as you know. 

The thing is, with the time, there’s only so much time in a day. I started to fix this problem by way hiring employees. It was honestly probably one of the scariest things I have done.  I am still very new to the process and learning how to deal with other people, like taking away responsibility for myself and giving it to someone else. It requires a lot of trust, and it’s something I’m not good at yet, and I have learned to do because I have done it myself for two years without Eric in the past. Before that, I was doing all my videos and everything myself anyway. It’s a new process for me. But the biggest thing that they are allowing me to do is give me time to be able to do more things and grow more. I guess that’s my biggest problem is time. When you scale to a point where you are satisfied financially, I think the most significant way to problem solve is our higher voice. Do more.

Jacob Elyachar: Earlier in 2019, you did your very first powerlifting competition. Have you thought about moving in to come on powerlifting, and thinking about competing in a bodybuilding competition? 

Mike Rosa: Yes, this is something that I have not made public yet. You are the first person to report this. 

Jacob Elyachar: Is this a Jake’s Take’s exclusive? 

Mike Rosa: (Laughs) It is a Jake’s Take exclusive! I am taking a break from powerlifting. At my last meet, I have declared the best lifter in Massachusetts, and that was awesome. I love powerlifting, and I have been successful with it. As I said, the business behind what I am doing requires so much time and effort, and I am in love with it. The growth my company has had in the past year has been insane. The scaling of it, I have so many things that I want to do that I know I won’t get to for another couple months. It is a process. The reason I’m pulling away from powerlifting is, I was working out for three to four hours every day doing my powerlifting prep. It is so much time, and honestly, it’s not the time for working out. That was my issue. It was my central nervous system. It was fried, and it made it hard for me also to pursue all of my business goals.

Fitness is enormous in my life. It is where my business is derived from, and it’s what I love. It is not like I have slowed down training. I just transitioned my goals, and I am looking into doing my first ever classic physique show in the spring. Yes, it is going to be a complete game-changer. Honestly, I have not been lifting as heavy as I usually have in the last three months. I am the most aesthetic that I have ever been, and I honestly feel the best I have ever felt in my life. My joints feel so much better, and it’s been game-changing.

 I am not lifting light either. I am still squatting, deadlifting, and benching over 400 pounds. I still lift my hefty amount, but I’m not pushing my central nervous system to the point of failure as much in the sense that I’m going for PRs as frequently or max levels of volume. I’m focusing on just sculpting my muscular foundation, and I honestly look at that as a business as well. That’s how I think about it, and I am excited to try to step into something new, see what happens.

Jacob Elyachar: Over the past few months, you have worked out and partnered with various athletes. Now that you are transitioning from building a brand to growing a business, could you describe your selection process when it comes to adding employees or sponsored athletes to the Anabolic Aliens team? 

Mike Rosa: The factors for employees and athletes are entirely different. My employees are helping me do things that I do not have the time to do or do not like to do. It’s giving me the time to grow. What I look for in employees is like the website stuff. I am so focused on creating all this content. I cannot focus on optimizing a website, and if I did focus on optimizing the site, it would take away from content creation. I need a website team. I do not know if you have seen it yet, but my buddy, Max, he has wholly restricted the whole anabolicaliens.com. In the last two weeks, Max and his team have gone through 85,000 keywords to optimize the site altogether.

Everything that’s come to anabolicaliens.com in the past four years has been from organic traffic. I know my content works, and that’s where I figured out, all right, I need to focus on the content. Now on my website, I have a team that is going to be optimizing all this SEO — everything to bring people to the website. Like I have a blog. One of the things, there’s a blog, a blog that gets you thousands of new visitors to your site a month. I thought: “I do not have time to write a blog, but I have a ton of content that can be transcribed into blogs.” I needed someone to do that for me because it will not just give someone a position. It will help every aspect of my business.

 My blog writer and I are going to be dropping a whole Anabolic Aliens blog called “The Signal.” It is going to be utterly recycled content in the sense that we’re providing value in a more structured way through texts. I also have a graphic designer, an app guy, and an assistant who handles my emails now and answering questions on Quora while finding solutions to problems that affect the Anabolic Aliens community. I am also hiring someone to manage my marketing. Because honestly, you have to be such a niche with both the Facebook and Instagram ads to be truly successful and get the most bang for your buck. I do not know how to do that. I could learn it, but it will take away from all the other things I do, and I love doing it.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with people that are struggling with their fitness journey, what advice would you share with them? 

Mike Rosa: I think people have to make exercise tailored more toward their happiness. Meaning a lot of people do exercise such a thing that they don’t want to do, that it becomes a stressor. When the whole point of using is supposed to be a non-stressor, it’s supposed to de-stress you, and if you can make exercise more convenient to your lifestyle, which is the business model I am taking. I know I keep relating to business because it’s so true in what I’m doing with my brand and also what I truly believe. That’s why I’m spending so much time and passionate about growing all this because what I found for myself and I think is benefiting so many people who follow Anabolic Aliens is the convenience behind exercise that I’m trying to make more accessible to people. 

If you only have dumbbells, 30 minutes a day, and stressing about going to the gym. Just work out from home. Use your dumbbells and establish a habit that you can consistently build from, and you’re going to see way more results than if you’re trying to stress every day is going to the gym for an hour. Start small and work up. Little things lead to big things, and I think anyone who has a struggle point on their fitness journey; it’s because they haven’t established a way to exercise in a method that’s convenient for their lifestyle. We tried so hard to do what’s optimal for the general person, but in theory, everyone is so different. What’s optimal for you at this point you need to do because that also might change two months down the road. Maybe you have more time two months down the road. Take action. But right now, if you only had 30 minutes, don’t stress to have an hour. Take advantage of your 30 minutes. Use what you have. Get the most out of your time because time is what makes everyone so stressed. Maximize it.

For more information about the Anabolic Aliens brand, visit his website!  You can also download the Exerprise™ app on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play shop.

You can also connect with Mike Rosa and the Anabolic Aliens team on social media. Visit their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube channels.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar