About Roman

John Romaniello

Hi. I’m John.

Most people call me Roman. This is a page about nothing but me, so don’t feel obligated to read it.

That said, I am a fascinating character, so it might be worth checking out.

First thing’s first: if you’re looking for a quick copy-and-paste bio to put on your site or use as a lead for an interview, you can just use this:

John Romaniello is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and New York Times bestselling author. An advisor to nearly a dozen fitness and tech companies, Romaniello has written for a myriad of publications covering topics ranging from insulin sensitivity to investment strategy, and has been featured in dozens of publications and on a number of TV shows. He loves the NY Jets, unicorns, sarcasm, and writing about himself in the third person.

There. That should do it. Now, for something a bit more personal.

Who Is This Guy?

That’s a great question. Been trying to answer it for years, myself. If I ever figure out a suitable answer, I’ll let you know….

Limited self-awareness notwithstanding, there are a few things you should know about me, and this site. Most pertinently, I’m the founder of Roman Fitness Systems, which began as a personal training company and has since blossomed into something more than I could have ever imagined.

For a long time, my job was to be a trainer, or coach. While I still do those things, I tend to regard myself as a writer and entrepreneur who just so happens to work in the fitness space.

With regard to that, I think it’s worth noting a few things about my career.

I started training clients in 2001, after undergoing a body transformation that changed my life (more on that below). Over the past 12+ years, I’ve helped thousands of people achieve and surpass their fitness goals using methods both traditional and unconventional.

Living and working in the New York area, I was lucky enough to have opportunities to work with some really high-level clients: I’ve written training programs for TV stars; handled the fitness needs of touring rock stars; and consulted on the hormonal panels of some of the most prominent music producers in the world.

On the performance side, I’ve served as a strength coach for athletes of all levels, from high school wrestlers to collegiate soccer players to recreational golfers and volleyball players. I also do nutrition consulting for some professional athletes–in particular, football players and MMA fighters.

Now, with all the fancy-talk and credibility-building pseudo name dropping out of the way, let’s just establish that the vast majority of my clients have been ‘regular’ people with regular jobs who don’t care about performance, and just want to look and feel better. And it’s to those people that I’ve dedicated the majority of my career.

I’ve also done a lot in terms of content creation. My articles have popped up all over: The Huffington Post, the New York TimesMen’s Health, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, T-Nation, Fast Company, etc., etc. Stuff like that.

And, just to serve my vanity, I’ll mention that my modeling images have appeared on packaging for supplements, in underwear ads, a variety of fitness magazines, and probably some very inappropriate websites.

Oh, also! I also wrote a book called Engineering the Alpha, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. That was pretty sweet.

So. Yeah. Chances are, if you’ve picked up a magazine in the past few years, you’ve either seen me or read something of mine.

But…it wasn’t always this way. Now that we’ve established some expertise, let me just say, I started out in the same place as everyone else: nowhere.

In fact, fitness was pretty much the last thing I ever thought I’d be doing. Until…

Everyone Loves an Origin Story

Something you should know about me: I am and always have been a nerd.

Unapologetically, I love Star Wars, comic books, video games and all things technology. To put it in literary terms, I’ve always been more Lord of the Rings than Lord of the Flies.

This plays into everything I do and write, and has completely influenced everything about RFS itself.

I wasn’t a natural athlete, but instead a chubby kid who would rather be reading than running. When I was in the 8th grade, I really only started playing sports to “diversify my resume for my college applications.”

Forced by that logic to take time out of my busy Dungeons & Dragons schedule, I began to wrestle, play football, and run track. With a lot of hard work, I was able to work myself into a passably decent athlete, although I was never a star.

Years later, when I was 19 and way fatter than I had any right to be, something happened: I saw a picture of myself and realized that I didn’t like the person in it. The guy in the picture looked…slow. Stupid. Lazy. Resigned. I didn’t view myself as any of those things; I knew I really wasn’t that person.

Put simply, I came to the conclusion that who I really was in no way matched the physical manifestation of me.

And I wanted to change that. I thought that with some time and effort, I could look like the guys in the comic books…instead of the guys at the comic book shop.

Being a bookish sort of guy, I dove headfirst into all the fitness literature I could find. I read everything on training, nutrition and supplementation I could get my hands on. I read for hours and trained for hours—and made A LOT of mistakes!

The thing about reading everything is that there is just so much bad information out there. This is probably something you’ve noticed for yourself. Everything you read seems to contradict everything else you’ve read.

And, for the most part, you never really know what’s right, or wrong, or just plain stupid until you try it. So I tried everything. And it worked.

Despite the fact that I made mistakes, I DID make progress: in a two months I went from a chubby 193 to a shredded 165. Six months later, I’d packed on almost 30 pounds of muscle, and was back at 193, but with radically different physique.

Over that first year, I completely changed my body and my life. I went from hating beaches to loving them, loving shirts to hating them, and being uncomfortable with my body to being a fitness model.

And, again, this was despite my mistakes.

However, those mistakes were the best things that ever happened to me. Stumbling onto methods I would not have otherwise been aware of, my mistakes helped me come up with systems that became the cornerstone of my career, and allowed me to do all the cool and impressive stuff I told you about earlier.

This important part is this: getting into shape changed everything for me. It changed nearly everything about me. I grew more confident and assertive, more ambitious, and more successful in every area of my life, from school and work to my personal life.

And I decided I wanted to help other people do that, too. I continued learning as much as I could, got certified as a trainer, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Which brings us to the now.

What Do You Do?

These days, I spend a lot less time training people in the gym than I used to, though I still do have a few select clients.

However, the majority of my work is as a writer, entrepreneur, and consultant. I advise a lot of companies, have invested in several others, and am part of a growing community of angel investors who are helping push exciting technology, especially in the fitness space.

But even with all of that, a good bit of my time is spent helping people one on one, through either online fitness coaching, or my business mentorship programs.

And, of course, I’m not only the CEO of Roman Fitness Systems, Inc. (as well as its subsidiary companies), but also the Editor-in-Chief of this very site.

In that capacity, I have always been absolutely committed to making RFS one of the premier resources in the world for all things related to health, fitness, sex, business, and personal development.

To that end, I spend my days working on secret projects that will make this site better, this business bigger, and expand the reaches of the Roman Empire. I write articles, create systems and come up with new product ideas.

All in all, I’m just a guy from New York trying to leave a mark on the world. Every day, I do my best to steer this ship towards glory. It’s pretty awesome, and I truly hope you’ll come along for the ride.


P.S. Not that any of this is really relevant to you, but, if you’re interested in some more personal stuff, here’s pretty much everything you need to determine whether or not you’d enjoy hanging out with me.

I love super heroes, the History channel and poker. I dig surfing, skydiving, Green technology, and classic motorcycles.

I believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man and has never made a bad movie.

I emphatically prefer physical books, and experience physical pain whenever I think about the rate at which they’re being eclipsed by digital ones.

At least 65% of what I say is either an obscure pop-culture reference, or a direct quote from a movie–probably Zoolander. Much of the remaining 35% is related to the Hero’s Journey.

There is no doubt in my mind that Alexander Hamilton was the forgotten founding father most worthy of praise (though I would probably party with Benjamin Franklin).

I absolutely refuse to censor myself about anything, ever. Along those lines, I’m an outspoken advocate for marriage equality and gender equality.

My workout playlists are almost entirely nostalgia-fueled punk/emo mixes from bands that haven’t been popular in 10 years. That’ll probably never change, as I believe (and will aggressively assert) that Brand New is the greatest indie rock band of all time.

I have the unfortunate distinction of being an absolutely die-hard fan of the New York Jets, and as a result live in a state of near-constant of disappointment.

I love cheat days and don’t think ice cream is going to ruin your diet. I hate spicy food, because I don’t see any reason for something to make me uncomfortable while I eat it. I don’t eat shellfish because, dude, they look like bugs. Speaking of which, I am terrified of spiders.

Most importantly: I have an incredible family, the most amazing friends in the world, two stupid but adorable dogs, and I love my fucking job.