Fitness guru John Romaniello did an interview with us at the Brobible about his successful business, fitness advice, and his upcoming book: Engineering the Alpha.
When I first started talking with John on the phone I immediately knew he was not your typical gym bro. An Ivy League School guy, John is a self-proclaimed nerd who speaks with distinction, yet has humorous inflection attached with his voice. He explained himself as being, "a fat smart kid trapped inside a great body."
John has built an impressive fitness empire that is on its way to the top. We talked about money, sex, fitness, and being an alpha male… You know, bro stuff.
Alex Nerney - "Alright John, tell me about yourself, let's start from your past."
John Romaniello - I was a chubby kid till I was 20 years old and realized that who I was internally did not match whom I looked like externally. I made some changes in my life and went from 193lbs. to 160lbs. Then, once I lost all my body fat, I started bodybuilding and bumped up to 190lbs. of muscle. Once I graduated, I decided to become a trainer and by age 25-26 I was training models and actors.
Ok, so what makes you different from other trainers and fitness gurus out there?
Well, everybody in the fitness industry seems to be dedicated toward this one goal. That goal is to "Look Good Naked." As far as both my book and my training are concerned, that's not the whole story. A big piece of the puzzle that seems to be missing is WHY you want to LGN. Sex. Instead of ignoring this topic, it is an integral piece of both my book and my training.
Let's talk about this upcoming book "Engineering the Alpha," What exactly is an Alpha male to you?
In the book I really wanted to take control of that word. The general definition is the most dominate member of the group. However, I do not like that definition because it only focuses on intrinsic values and not extrinsic. There's a big difference from being an Alpha male and being an asshole. For example: one of the traits I teach in the book is how to be confident and not cocky.
Is this book a fitness book?
The book is extensively a fitness book that reaches into a broad array of categories. The program is 16 weeks long and provides extensive coverage of both diet and training. The book focuses on optimizing hormones and boosting testosterone. A big portion of the book is about boosting testosterone. I actually became inspired by this topic when I was diagnosed with low T and doubled my testosterone naturally.
Cool, let's talk about some of the finer points of fitness. Do you have a particular diet you do?
I do intermittent fasting, which usually involves a fast for 16-20 hours before I eat (Intermittent fasting explained HERE). I workout around 1-2 pm everyday and do not eat until after the workouts. I have also invented some new techniques as far as IF goes including a Feast and Fast protocol to mix things up. It is the technique my book teaches as well.
What are your thoughts on supplements and do you recommend then in your book?
My thoughts on supplements are they are optional, but can be very helpful. I use a tier system for recommending supplements, which starts with the most important supplements and moves on to the less important. Tier 1 starts out with things like a multi-vitamin, greens products, and fish oil. Tier 2 is things like Biotrust(I'm an advisor for this company) IC-5 which helps with insulin management. All the way down to tier 4 with nootropics like Alpha Brain.
Let's shift focuses for a little bit and talk about branding. You've built yourself into an incredibly successful brand, how'd you it?
The fitness industry is a massive brand with tons of information in it. Everyone seems to teach the same thing and this is pretty similar in all industries. The key for me was to focus on the 1% that makes me different from everyone else. I'm a nerd. I have a Lord of the Rings Tattoo on my ribs. Instead of focusing on fitness stuff I focus on what makes me different. I drop F-bombs and love dungeons and dragons. These are the things I enjoy and I do not shy away from it.
Any other advice for newcomers in business?
People don't buy coaching, they buy coaches. You need to be the most awesome version of yourself you can be. Also, life is all about networking and you should spend at least a year building your network and platform. By going to conferences, I have gotten to know people like Tim Ferris and Tucker Max for business stuff. It's ok to name drop with these people and suck up a little bit. You need to be going to conferences and building relationships with these kinds of people.
What are some of the mistakes you made along the way?
Well at first, I did not take what I was doing seriously enough. The first three years I did not advance in work or in marketing myself. I am also guilty of taking lots of time off. I have spurts of motivation followed by lots of time relaxing. It's something I am working on.
What is the number one tip for someone to improve his or her bodies?
The number one most important tool is to keep records of what you do. It's amazing to me how people want to improve, but keep no records of their diet and training. It's the best way to progress.
Anything else people should know about your book?
Well the book is divided into phases. Phase 1: Prime - Helps to teach and reinforce training patterns. Phase 2: Density - Focuses on density and circuit training. Building in challenges to your workouts by going for as many reps as possible. Phase 3: Surge - Focuses on growth hormone and gaining mass without gaining weight. Phase 4: Complete - Focuses on different styles of training every day. All these combine to focus on the best training and diet combinations to maximize your hormones.
Where can the guy's at the brobible find the book?
Lastly, a little word association:
HaHa. Thanks for your time John.
The Book: Engineeringthealpha.com
-Interview by Alex Nerney (Side Note: I bought the book and am reading it right now. It is solid and I highly recommend it)