“Excuse me, what?” I said.
I was talking to John Romaniello (“Roman”). We were randomly sitting next to each other at a dinner Tim Ferriss threw when he was launching his book, ‘The Four Hour Chef.’ Roman had a tattoo of a semi-colon and I wanted to find out what that was all about (he was an English major) but then our conversation, as they so often do, started to drift.
“Yeah, basically, if you get used to watching all this sex on the Internet then when you are in bed with your wife you will actually get LESS stimulated and aroused so your testosterone levels will start to go lower.”
“That DOES NOT happen to me,” I said. Claudia was sitting right next to me. I wanted to make sure she heard me.
“Haha. Well [note: ignoring me], some of the effects of lower testosterone are: greater chance of getting fat, less muscle growth, increased risk of some cancers, and even less confidence and ambition.”
“This is why since 1980, when they measure testosterone levels of people in the US, the average male has 22% less testosterone now than they had in 1980. This has to do with our lifestyle. There’s more technology. So we are more sedentary. We stare at screens more. Men watch pornography more. People actually get on average 45 minutes less sleep now than in 1980-”
“I have to interrupt there,” I said. “I try to get 10 hours of sleep a day.” I was feeling very proud suddenly for my sleep-filled lifestyle.
“That’s good,” he said, “sleep is when human growth hormone is created in the body. So the more sleep, the more HGH, which leads to more testosterone. HGH is often called the fountain of youth hormone ”
“Isn’t that what athletes who cheat take?”
“Yeah, but you don’t want to do what they do. They inject it. You want to build these things up naturally. That’s what I teach people how to do.”
He also told me he was writing a book, MAN 2.0. He said he asked Tim Ferriss’s advice on writing a book and he said Tim said to “go all out. Don’t just cobble together past writing. Put your all into this book.”I remembered that this weekend when I realized his book was coming out…tomorrow! So I called him because I have a book coming out on June 1 (“Choose Yourself!“) and I wanted to find out how things were going and see if there was anything I could learn on how he was getting the word out on his book.
But then the conversation drifted (see above) and I asked him, “so you told me you were an English major. How the hell did you get into being the MAN 2.0 guy?”
“I was a fat kid in college. I was 200 lbs. I started working out and I got ripped and lost 30 lbs. And then I wanted to get bigger so I built back 30 pounds of muscle. And then I started training other people how to do it.”
“OK,” I said, “so you were a personal trainer. A lot of people do that.”
“Yeah,” he said, “but then I started doing all of this research and work on the relationship between certain exercises and testosterone and human growth hormone and I started putting together courses based on that.”
“You mean like steroids?”
“Not like steroids when they talk about athletes abusing it. I wanted to find natural ways to build up these very useful chemicals in the body. And I did a ton of research plus work on my own body.
“You have to understand, if you go through a physical transformation, or any kind of transformation: emotional, mental, physical, whatever – everything is going to transform in your life. When I went through my body transformation and when I kept continuing my study of the body it also transformed me as a businessman. I started selling training programs and really helping a lot more people than when I was training people one on one.”
“So you basically created your own career. You’re obviously not doing anything related to being an English major. You’re like a Choose Yourself physical trainer. That’s great.”
“Yeah, again, I really can trace it back to my body transformation and I equate that with the arc of the hero as described by Joseph Campbell in his books on mythology.”
“Wait a second, don’t go all English major on me! If you don’t mind my asking, how much money do you make? Physical trainers make a salary but you have a real business.”
“Well, when I was just doing the physical training I was making six figures a year. Then in 2009 I started to blog about this stuff. I didn’t have many readers but I put together a course based on my ideas. People loved it and it was working so I started selling more and more. Now I make over seven figures a year.”
“You totally chose yourself. You made your career and used all the available platforms to spread the word.”
“Totally, I was blogging on different sites. I was helping whoever I could. I started sending content to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s site on fitness because he started getting back into fitness after he was governor. I was his first writer. He even wrote the foreword to my book.”
“Yeah, we were talking about fitness and he was very interested in what I was doing and agreed to write the foreword.”
“So wait, let me ask you a few questions: I’m not going to do any heavy weightlifting. I like yoga and stuff. But you’ve seen my build. What can I do to build testosterone and human growth hormone?”
“Well, you already sleep a lot so that’s great.” He then described some exercises involving squats but I couldn’t quite follow but they are listed on his site. So I said, “let’s say I want to do pushups?” He said, “start with 4 reps of 15 pushups and build up from there.”
“What should I be eating?”
“Take fish oil capsules. And don’t be afraid of saturated fats.” He started throwing out chemical stuff about cholesterol and something called LDH.
“I can’t follow that at all. Is all of this in your book?”
“OK,” I said, “A lot of women who read my site. Should they be building testosterone also?”
“Absolutely,” he said, “it instantly helps reduce fat, it helps balance the estrogen in the body to reduce the risk of later diseases like breast cancer or osteoporosis, it increases sex drive. Women absolutely should be thinking about testosterone levels.”
“Hey,” I said, “if I put this on my blog can you check it out during the day and answer questions if anyone has any?”
“Yeah, definitely. I’d be happy to.”
We got off the phone. I got right down on the ground and did….8 push-ups. OK, I will do more later. I could’ve done 15 but it was late. You know how it goes.
And then I remembered I forgot to ask him about how he was marketing his book. Ugh, I need to boost my testosterone levels just to get my memory back.