Man 2.0 engineering the alpha

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For my mother, Linda Romaniello,

who taught me first to have strength,

and then how to use it,


Alvin Batista, my Obi-Wan,

who long ago gave me a book

sort of like this one.




To my parents—Ira and Sandy—who always understood that being the Alpha was about becoming a better person and helping others, and who raised me in a way that allowed me to share that message with others.





Foreword by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Part 1: Initiation

Introduction- The Fall of Man

Chapter 1- The Fitness Industry Is Completely Fucked Up

Chapter 2- Choose Your Own Adventure

Chapter 3- The Truth About the Truth

Part 2: Rebirth

Chapter 4- The Call to Adventure

Chapter 5- Discovering the Answers

Chapter 6- An Unreal Life

Chapter 7- The End of Dieting

Part 3: Engineering the Alpha

Chapter 8- The Road to Alpha Status

Chapter 9- Phase I: Prime

Chapter 10- Phase II: Adapt

Chapter 11- Phase III: Surge

Chapter 12- Phase IV: Complete

Afterword- I, Alpha




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About the Publisher


It started in the most primitive way you can imagine.

Before the championships or my move to America, and long before anyone talked about a Golden Age of bodybuilding, it began with a fantasy in the forests of Austria.

My friends and I imagined ourselves as gladiators. During the summer, we would charge up dirt trails all day, stopping to pound out sets of push-ups and squats. We would struggle through chin-ups on tree branches so thick our hands would slip off after the first few reps. And then, when we'd exerted ourselves, we would build a fire and cook our meat under the stars.

You could analyze the hell out of what led us to that particular fantasy. But if I had to guess, it was about escaping the depression that surrounded us by dreaming about men who created their own destiny by building their bodies, honing their skills, and, yes, engineering the Alpha.

The next summer, I would discover weights, and I was only a few years away from making my escape real by coming to America. The rest, you know.

That commitment to fitness that I developed as a young, imaginary gladiator has stayed with me all my life. After I won my titles, I wasn't content putting them on the shelf and walking away. I wanted to inspire others to join me in my fitness crusade.

When I began my career, if you asked someone where the nearest gym was, they would most likely look at you like you were a serial killer. If you were lucky, they would point you to some faraway dungeon with a few barbells and some weights.

Today, it's hard to find a strip mall or a building without a fitness center, and for the most part, you would never mistake a modern gym for a torture chamber. We've come a long way, but I know this is not a crusade that has an obvious end point. We will always have to keep pushing forward and fighting to show people the benefits of health.

I met Adam and Roman because they share my commitment to health and fitness. When I decided to get back into the fitness game, I sought out the best and brightest experts in the field. In that search, I asked everyone from my fans to my advisors who they recommended I look at. Without fail, the names Romaniello and Bornstein kept floating to the top. They've spent their careers inspiring people to live better lives. We got to know each other when they collaborated with me on my website to share the latest information and to spread our message as far as we can. For me, it's been an incredible experience. I've seen the fitness industry move from the workout pamphlets I used to staple together and walk to the post office to the lightning-fast sharing that happens over Twitter and Facebook. We can cast a much bigger net these days.

Within just a few months of connecting with Roman and Adam, I had applied some of their ideas to the oldest and most reliable testing ground I know: my own body. For me, it was very much like the old days, only instead of doing chin-ups on trees and hoping for results, I was using advanced concepts backed by science, methods to increase testosterone or manage insulin. I was using some of the concepts you will read about in this very book.

Adam and Roman are smart guys who are dedicated to expanding their knowledge so that they can help you improve. They know what they are talking about. I wouldn't have asked them to lead the charge with the fitness advice on my website if they didn't. If you follow what they've written in this book, you will be using advanced concepts backed by science; methods to increase testosterone or manage insulin.

This book,Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha,is the latest weapon in their arsenal. It is filled with information that can help you train more efficiently, melt fat as you build muscle, and harness your hormones to rediscover your inner Alpha. These two are the pioneers of the new wave of fitness. They are innovators who have worked tirelessly to discover new ways to motivate and continue the crusade that I started before they were born.

The research and methods contained here are cutting-edge, but the foundation is timeless. Every man, no matter how primitive, has dreamed of channeling his Alpha. It's a concept that goes beyond human evolution and explains the social hierarchies of the animal kingdom. But don't think this is about turning yourself into a silverback gorilla hybrid, pounding your chest as you ruthlessly intimidate your weaker counterparts.

It's about being happy, fit, and ready for anything. It's about finding your self-confidence and continuing to push yourself every day. It's about being hungry to be the best version of yourself.

Becoming the Alpha is different for every man. Maybe it's traveling across the Atlantic to become the world's best bodybuilder, becoming an actor or a politician, or even transforming into the gladiator you once dreamed of being. This is your shot at something bigger.

You picked up this book because you're searching for the same thing I was when I sat under the stars after a long day of big visions in the Austrian countryside. So turn the page and start finding it.

—Arnold Schwarzenegger






The Fall of Man

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”


You are not your fucking khakis.*

You were built to be strong, fearless, confident, and powerful. You were designed to tame wilderness and carve canals through mountains, to conquer nations and build empires, to cross oceans and walk on the moon.

These are great things that great men can do and have done: achievements that require strength—and the wisdom to use it judiciously. While these examples loom large in history and may not seem immediately applicable to you, all men have what it takes to accomplish great things, and to be great themselves.

But examine the ordinary man and you wouldn't know it. Most men do not understand the levels of greatness they can achieve—not because they haven't tried—simply because they have no conception of the limitations they are facing, limitations they are creating.

The reason is a simple but hard-to-swallow truth: most guys unknowingly live their lives in an ordinary world with no thought to leave it.

Chances are, you are one of those guys.

This is not a judgment. We have no doubt that you bust your ass and strive for excellence. Of course you do; men, by nature, are driven to succeed and pursue greatness with their entire being. There's a certain swagger to being a man, a swagger that is built into your physiology and coded into your DNA—a swagger that is both created by ambition and simultaneously propels it.

But look at the ordinary man, and none of those traits are readily apparent. You don't see physical prowess; you see bad posture and high body fat. Talking to the ordinary man, you don't hear confidently spoken words giving voice to intelligent ideas; you hear clipped, half-developed thoughts, oftentimes expressed in a timid nature that undercuts the speaker's manhood.

The ordinary man is no longer impressive. We don't expect the ordinary guy to be particularly strong, particularly smart, or particularly fit—or successful, driven, funny, or confident. We don'texpecthim to be particularly anything.

These qualities are not expected of the ordinary, but they are the province of the Alpha. We expect these things of the Alpha—he's the one with the strength and the wit, the charm and the poise, the drive and the leadership.

Reading this, you might recognize in yourself a few of the qualities of the Alpha; perhaps you're already on the way to breaking away from ordinary, already engaged in a battle against typicality and mediocrity, working to become something more. It has no doubt occurred to some men reading this book that they can change, grow, and improve. Some. But not all. There are others who don't realize that they can change, or that theyshouldchange. They don't realize that they need to change. Some men are perfectly content in their universe.

Our warning isn't about happiness or comfort. We know—and hope—that many people reading this are living good lives. This book is about creating a fundamental recognition that as long as you live in the ordinary world, you are limited. And that by making some very small, strategic changes, you can trigger dramatic improvements to every aspect of how you live, the way you feel, your impact on others, and your health and wealth.

It's an undeniable reality that very few people are living the exact lives that they want, and that even fewer have advanced as far as they can physically, personally, and professionally. And we know that this book can help anyone get to the next level in any of those areas.

It's not about where you are in an absolute sense; it's about where you are relative to where you have the potential to be—and the sad truth is, very few men these days are living up to their potential.

It wasn't always this way.



So how did it all change? How did everything gravitate toward ordinary? How did the cultural avatar of manhood change from someone strong, confident, and ambitious to an unimpressive, milquetoast fellow with an obsequious*demeanor?

If you look at mankind over time—as we've moved from more capable to more dependent—the typical scapegoats aren't as much to blame as you probably think. Do increased food portions make us fat? Not according to a thirty-year study conducted by Harvard. (In reality, it's our snacking habits.) Is it a lack of time at the gym that has men carrying less muscle and suffering from more health problems like diabetes and heart disease? Hard to believe that's the issue whenmoremen are spending time exercising than ever before. In fact, a Gallup Poll showed that nearly 50 percent of the population now exercises three or more times per week. And yet obesity rates are at an all-time high.

So why are so many men ordinary and so few Alpha?

There are several reasons that are typically not mentioned—ranging from sitting too much, to picking the wrong sexual partners, to not wearing the clothes that fit properly, to watching shitty reality TV. (Seriously.)

Think it's fucked up that clothes and reality TV are affecting men en masse? Just wait until you hear what it's doing to you personally. It really does start on an individual level.

Now, we understand that it might seem a little far-fetched that those things might affect your life so significantly. That anything so seemingly mundane as not standing often enough could have such a profound effect on your manhood. But please believe us—we have science to back this up.

Everything you do (or don't do) affects you both psychologically and physiologically. Every suit you wear, every book you read, every movie you watch is either edifying or eroding your ability to develop into the guy you want to be, the guy you know you can be—the guy who is the best version of you. Combine those with frequent bad food choices and inconsistent sleeping habits and we have all the elements of a dangerous recipe: a perfect storm of screw-ups leading to a universe where you are trapped—against your wishes or knowledge—in a cage of ordinary and a body that is not designed for excellence.

Taken collectively with your peers, those things—those seemingly innocuous choices—will be either the resurrection of true masculinity . . . or its complete demise.

Of course, we don't want that to happen. In fact, we've already seen enough great men held back by limitations they didn't even know existed. Those are real problems, and we'll cover each and every one of those things in stark detail in this book. Our goal is to make sure that those issues no longer exist in your life. And that your only concerns are wondering why you didn't make these changes sooner and why you ever believed some of the lies in the fitness industry that we'll share in this book. Those are Alpha problems—regrets from your past that indicate a better present and a greater future. And when you become the Alpha, that's the type of universe you create: one of contentment, a lack of frustration, and a confidence that you control who you are, what you look like, and what you can achieve.



Listen, we fully realize that some of this might sound like doom and gloom or a condescending appraisal of your life. Let's kill that thought right now. This book is not a judgment of who you are, what you have accomplished, or your level of happiness. This is a reality check on a global level.

We've been fully invested in the health and wellness industry for more than a decade, and we've seen a disturbing trend that has yet to be addressed. We're not here to point the finger at the same issues, such as carbs, fat, lack of activity, and misleading fad diets. Following that same old song and dance is like trying to track down Keyser Söze.*The solution has been under our nose the entire time. The reason nothing has changed is that we've pursued the wrong enemy.

The real culprits are behavioral decisions and lifestyle choices that have disrupted the functioning of your hormones. This is the stealth bomber of the health industry because guys aren't made aware they cannaturallycontrol their hormones. More importantly, no one seems to stress how much your hormones control how you look, feel, and age. Today's diets and exercise programs have played their role in creating a society full of men suffering from hormonal dysfunction.

Without knowing it, you're suffering from lower testosterone, dwindling levels of growth hormone (GH), and high amounts of stress-induced cortisol.

Yeah . . .you.

As in, every single man who hasn't made a conscious effort to improve hormonal functioning. (Oh, and did we mention you mightalsobe pumping out estrogen like a pregnant woman?)

It's the pink elephant in the room that no one seems to acknowledge: doctors, trainers, nutritionists, and mainstream media ignore the fact that society has developed in a way that's led to a downshift in our hormones, making us less manly.

In fact, the only place you'll see any acknowledgment of this phenomenon is in the pharmaceutical industry—and that's because they just want to sell you a drug to fix it. While that would just be treating the symptom (and ultimately be counterproductive), at least Big Pharma recognizes what nearly everyone else seems to miss: hormones are really the key to everything.

Hormones are what make you a man. What enable you to be the Alpha. And their suboptimal functioning is the reason why men have evolved into the ordinary.

It's not only logical but also undeniable that hormonal dysfunction is the reason men are fat, slow, weak, indecisive, or overly emotional. Maybe all of the above. It's the reason men are uninterested—or, perhaps worse, uninteresting—when it comes to sex. More than that, it's endangering overall health, messing with your confidence, and compromising libido in terms of both enjoyment and conception.

In short: hormonal dysfunction is the silent killer of the fundamental attributes that make you a man. It's what's undermining your potential to be the Alpha.

If men knew the true impact of hormonal optimization and that they could influence their hormones naturally, then every guy would spend more time trying to fix the very essence of what makes him a man, right?

That's exactly what you'll discover in this book. You're going to learn about all of the individual hormones you can impact, including testosterone, GH, estrogen, leptin, ghrelin, and cortisol. You're going to learn the potential risks of hormonal imbalances as well how to identify them. Perhaps most importantly, you'll learn how to correct them.

We're going to show you how to recognize and fix these issues, all while losing fat, building muscle, and increasing your sex drive. We're going to teach you these things by adjusting the way you eat and the way you train—but we're also going to help you understand how all these things go far beyond the physical world.

We're going to prove—with science and real world results—how getting stronger in the gym can help strengthen your character and how strategically pigging out while watching football can make you better in bed. (No, we're not fucking with you.)

This book will give you an understanding about how to become a better you—a better person—inside and out.

This isn't just a fitness book. It's a road map that brings together all the elements that are important to you. This book will give you an understanding about how to become a better you—a better person—inside and out. We're approaching this through fitness because we've discovered that for most men, the first step toward mastery of the self should be mastery of the body. And hormones hold the key.

So yes, wearegoing to cover getting bigger biceps andhawt abz.And you're absolutely going to get a number of amazing workouts, pick up new exercises, and learn the most cutting-edge dietary strategies in the world. But we're going to cover these subjects in a way that will cut through the typical bullshit that bombards your life, stalls your progress, and limits your results. We're going to cover everything in a way that unites the science with the practical application—a way that ties physicality with social, emotional, and cognitive development, all brought together under a single umbrella of hormonal balance*and life enhancement.


SUBJECT:Claudio Espinoza


I have always been trapped in the body of a chubby kid, and as such, I suffered the usual embarrassments of not taking my shirt off at the beach in the summer, wearing ill-fitting clothes, and a bruised ego that would make it difficult to approach the opposite sex. At times, I would grow tired of feeling this way and I would hit the weight room, but my interest in working out rarely translated to permanent lifestyle changes.


After turning thirty I said, “No more!” Having gone from a chubby kid to a borderline-obese adult, I knew I'd have my work cut out for me. I found Roman, a kindred spirit who understood what it was like to look in the mirror and know, “I'm better than this!”

Roman provided me with all the tools and encouragement necessary to transform, both inside and out. Following his recommendations allowed me to lose almost twenty pounds of fat within the first six weeks. That was my initial goal and we still had five months left!


Every week I could see the fat being whittled away, and in its place was solid muscle. My strength on all lifts doubled, if not tripled. By the end of our program, I was able to see my abs! I went from 217 pounds to 173 pounds, losing about 50 pounds of fat and gaining about 10 pounds of muscle. While there was more to be done, I knew that Roman would be there for me, continuing to mentor and guide me along as I continued to hone in on my desired physique.

In doing this, I inspired several friends to take positive steps to take charge of their lives and bodies. I can say in no uncertain terms that this has been the most rewarding aspect of my physique transformation. Thanks to me, many friends began to wonder if they too could follow in my footsteps and take control of their body, with some even embarking on their own transformations. Now I feel like I have many of the necessary tools to continue building the body I've always wanted and help others to achieve their physique transformation goals.

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