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Editor’s Letter Volume 2: The Next Generation

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On the latest evolution of the empire

Hello dear RFS readers,

Six years ago, Roman Fitness Systems entered a new chapter: We started accepting guest posts and turning RFS from a single guy’s blog into one of the top places for fitness and lifestyle information around.

Today, as the twilight of 2020 cedes into 2021, we’re wrapping up another important chapter in the history of Roman Fitness Systems.

In 2015, Roman Fitness Systems evolved away from just being one guy’s blog; we started publishing guest posts. The business continued to grow and grow. And unfortunately, it got too big.

Too big in the sense that RFS didn’t have the personal and processes in place to manage it.

At the same time as the website grew beyond management, John drew a line in concrete away from fitness to dive into his deeper intellectual work like storytelling, writing, and mental health.

Roman Fitness Systems lay dormant for a few years, while John downsized the company and shifted his focus to his other endeavors.

And it stayed that way. Until I came along. Now, my entrance was not a kind of heroic gesture to take over Roman Fitness Systems. I had been apprenticing for John for almost a full year before we even discussed RFS.

The story of RFS’s revival really takes place in the city of Toronto, Canada. 

John and I went to Toronto for one of John’s Storytelling Workshops. Now, these workshops are all-day events with a small group of around seven people looking to improve as writers, storytellers, and entrepreneurs. And, from such a long day of teaching, they often end in celebration.

In Toronto, John and I got invited to link up with one of John’s former clients and friend Peter Tzemis, who’d built a name and following for himself in the fitness space over the previous few years (one of the catapults of which was his first published articles on RFS).

John and I rolled into the steakhouse somewhere in Toronto (don’t ask me where) and sat down with Peter and his two bros. We exchanged elbow bumps (this was the onset of the pandemic, but before everything had shut down), and dined.

“What’s going on with RFS these days?” Peter asked John.

John, with a big piece of steak in his mouth, shrugged.

“I don’t know man. I’m trying to groom David to take it over but we haven’t done anything with it yet. Any interest in getting involved?”

“Yeah, I’m definitely interested,” Peter replied.

I wish I could share a grandiose tale of the three of us sitting right then and there and deciding on the lofty future goals the three of us would have for RFS. Alas, the rest of the evening was mostly spent with the five bros talking amongst ourselves about steak, steroids, and sex.

A few days later, the three of us resumed the conversation on a Zoom call. 

“I don’t want anything to do with RFS or anybody asking me about intermittent fasting ever again,” John opened the call with. “Peter and David, you both have the training knowledge and experience to take it over. In addition to the fitness expertise, David, you have the writing skills, and Peter you have the entrepreneurship skills. I’ll give you both an equity and Roman Fitness Systems and it’s yours to do as you please.”

Peter, at 25, was a few years ahead of me, 21 at the time, both in terms of business and entrepreneurship acumen, and life experience. He became an integral teacher for me in learning how to write emails to our mailing list, and how to shift my writing style to be more suitable to a blog format (compared to a more academic style I’d grown accustomed to writing in).

We were off to the races. I was pumping out around an article a week, sending out emails, and even relaunching some of our old programs, like the Super Hero Workout.

We’re now wrapping up 2020, and it’s been almost eight months since Roman Fitness Systems has been back producing articles and content for the first time since 2017.

And if you’ve been back reading our stuff, new and old, I first off want to thank you.

While I would continue to write just to get ideas out of my head, it means the world that other people, with unlimited options of things to do and read from doom-scrolling on Twitter to binge-watching Cobra Kai, take the time to read my thoughts. If you’ve gotten something out of them, all the better.

But you’ve also likely noticed in this new iteration of Roman Fitness Systems that John is completely hands-off. If you know John it’s not too surprising he’s exited the fitness space. Even from the beginning of the blog, he wrote about all topics like how bad the Twilight books are to his rules for success in life.

And also, he’s way too smart to be writing about push-ups. His contribution to the world outside of fitness has been and will continue to exceed what he did in the fitness industry. Plus, he’s just tired of getting asked about intermittent fasting. So don’t ask him. Ask me instead. Or just re-read the articles he’s written on the subject.

Who the hell am I, and what the hell do I know?

Both great questions. The short answer is I’m John’s apprentice. How I acquired this role, you can read about here. If you have more questions about my credentials as a trainer and writer, I brag about how qualified I am over here.

While I’ve written almost thirty articles for RFS this year, I do not want Roman Fitness Systems to just be “my blog” (I have my own website for that). Now, I have no issue becoming the new face of the brand, as I do think my face is pretty enough for it, but I believe Roman Fitness Systems is so much more than just a single person.

As we have in our mission statement, Roman Fitness Systems is about taking a unique approach to fitness and life. We want to become one of the top places on the internet for people to find the most entertaining, well-written lifestyle and fitness content around, and I’m out of my mind if I think I alone can accomplish that.

We Are Once Again Accepting Guest Post Submissions

Bernie Sanders Guest Post Submission meme

This is exactly the kind of Gen Z meme you can expect more of from here on out.

You can read about our article submission requirements here.

But the summation is this: It has to be engaging and well-written.

I am a classically trained writer. I’m used to my writing getting circled for every misplaced comma, poorly selected verb, and unnecessary adverb. You don’t have to be Hemingway around here, but it has to be good.

Wait, So What’s Changing With The Latest Evolution of RFS?

You will see new programs out, like the BioAnalytic Coaching Program that we released in mid-2020.

In terms of style, though, you can expect much of the same. John and I have similar writing approaches (probably because I’ve learned so much from him) but there will be a few differences.

Mainly, while John is an elder Millennial, I identify as firmly being a part of Generation Z. That means I waste too much time on TikTok and have an extensive repertoire of Spongebob memes in place of John’s vast knowledge of Final Fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons.

I, like John, also love emo music. But unlike John, you won’t hear me talking much about Brand New and Dashboard Confessional. Those are dope bands, but I grew up listening to the next wave of pop-punk/emo, like A Day to Remember, State Champs, Neck Deep, and The Story So Far. So expect some updated emo music references.

I too consider New York City my home, and I have plenty of city references up my sleeve. But don’t expect me to hate on Brooklyn as much (Brooklyn is dope and John is just being smug about it). And while I’m a city boy now, I lived the first 20 years of my life in a small town in Vermont. And I’m super goddamn proud of it.

While that’s the experience I’ll continue to draw off of, if you’re planning on writing for RFS I expect you to draw on yours. Show us what you got.

All to say, you can expect lots of new super dope articles and programs from myself and others, so you should definitely subscribe to our mailing list to get your dose of tongue and cheek fitness and lifestyle information delivered right to you.

More importantly though, I want to build and interact with our community. I actually do respond to all of the replies from our email list, and I thoroughly enjoy your sarcastic comments. 

About the Author

David is a writer and strength coach and co-owner of Roman Fitness Systems. In addition to helping run RFS, he's also the head editor for prohockeystrength.com, the official website of the Strength and Conditioning Association of Professional Hockey.

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