Hey everyone. Neil DeRosa here. So, what do drummers, baristas, and fitness all have in common? Absolutely nothing. But those are the three main things that make up my background and who I am.
I grew up in the restaurant and cafe industry, making me a certified barista and coffee aficionado, but the pillar of who I am is a drummer. I’m a touring musician, signed to a band, music historian and snob (not sorry), and a lifelong student of the craft. I love lifting heavy weights and combat sports, boxing and Mixed Martial Arts especially. On the other side of the coin, I also love anime and video games—I'm a Warlock main but run him like a Titan—and my wife and two hairless cats are my life.
In the past, I was overweight, tired all the time, overwhelmed, and sick of feeling that way. I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I had to take band pictures and I couldn’t find a shirt that fit. In 2017, I joined a gym where I ended up meeting my own coach and future fitness mentor—and boom—my life changed. Having a coach wasn’t like having a normal gym membership (that I honestly barely even used anyway). I was taught the importance of being strong, having a great aerobic system, and having real balance in your lifestyle. I was hooked and needing to know more about what fitness, strength, and wellness was all about. I was all in.
Through this journey I came to realize I was really good at struggling and surviving. After what seemed like a lifetime of this, I didn’t want to be good at surviving anymore, but instead be good at thriving. Feeling strong, able, and ready to go for whatever was on my plate. It seemed counterintuitive that working out and exercising would be the solution. I was already really busy and I needed every last bit of energy I had in order to get through the day. Well... I was wrong. It was—and still is—the way! Prioritizing and making time for exercise makes you stronger to deal with life's demands and tasks (like carrying the goddamn drum gear from gig to gig, running up and down the stairs at the cafe, or practicing a live set 2-3 times in a row).
I’ve learned through life that drumming, fitness, and health are all parts of the same thing. All good things in life have a process and take time. You can’t force yourself to play better or faster with one practice session—fuck, maybe not even a month! You can’t force yourself to lose more body fat by cheating the system with a fad diet, or a single week of “clean eating”. You can’t expect to undo years worth of bad behavior in a 30-day challenge. But what you can do is try to step back and enjoy the process. You might learn a thing or two about yourself while you move and grow!
Fitness coaching has become a way for me to connect with people and enhance their lives to be closer to who they want to be and do the things they want, just like how it has enhanced mine. The better I eat, the more I move and listen to my body, the more energy I have to do the things I love. It means that I have the strength, energy, and fuel to spend time with my awesome wife, and to create music.
So I ask you, what drives your fitness and what does it mean to you?
Certifications and Credentials
- Bioforce CCC
- ACE Certified CPT
- OPEX CCP (in progress)
- Online Trainer Academy