I received this book in the mail from Amazon today. I started reading it on the way to work (I don’t drive) and finished it within about 5 hours. Actual reading time, probably 3.5 hours.
Man 2.0 is a collaboration of two authors, John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein. The basis of the book is very Manospherian, as the writers focus on becoming more Alpha through fitness, eating right, having the right mindset and achieving your goals. Plus they talk a lot about sex and the epidemic of men suffering from low testosterone levels.
This is a 266 page book, although the last 34 pages are just workout routines and nutrition plans.
Adam and Roman have a very distinctive writing style. It’s evident within the first few pages that they are men writing for men. You will find yourself laughing at several points while reading Man 2.0, as there are several puns and amusing anecdotes, not to mention Star Wars and video game references.
The Manosphere community is mentioned early on, but only the PUA/Seduction corner. This mention is only to point out that the PUA definition of Alpha is not the definition of the authors. From the introduction:
Part of the reason for the negative perception of being the Alpha is how prevalent that word is in the seduction or pickup-artist community. Within that world, the drive to be the Alpha comes from an understanding that adopting certain traits might enhance your ability to get laid. While there’s nothing wrong with getting laid or putting yourself in a better position to do so, that’s not the point we’re trying to make.
We believe that the Alpha is the most evolved version of you. This is not about being the AMOG – the Alpha Male of the Group. That’s an unfulfilling approach. Just think about it. Your mind-set isn’t “I want to be good” or “I want to be better.” It’s “I want to be better than the other guys in the room.” That approach makes it hard to feel satisfied or experience the positive feelings that come with achievement and success. Your goals should be based on your own expectations, not on something as abstract and unpredictable as who else is in the room.
All good points, though I disagree with the premise that PUAs only want to be better than the other guys in the room. The only beef I have with a lot of PUAs is they focus on mimicking behaviours of real Alphas instead of putting in the hard work to become real Alphas. Not all PUAs are like that, some of them are serious about self-improvement. But that’s neither here nor there, I’m reviewing a book, not critiquing part of our community.
The only real complaint I have about this book is repetition. I realize repeating something helps people remember it, but damn. I don’t need to be told 16 times in one book that I need to get at least 6 hours of sleep per night. Perhaps it was written for people less intelligent than myself, but you only have to tell me something once.
The primary focus of Man 2.0, which ties in with all other aspects, is hormones. Specifically testosterone, cortisol, insulin, growth hormone, leptin, ghrelin and estrogen. The nutritional and training advice given are aimed at getting your testosterone up, increasing your body’s production of growth hormone, reducing cortisol and getting all your hormones where they should be. I learned a few things I didn’t know about different hormones and how they affect muscle gains, fat storage, mood, hunger, sleep and every other aspect of life.
They go over 7 Alpha traits, and I cannot say I disagree with any of them. For example:
Alpha Trait #3: Vain – But Not Conceited
Alpha Trait #4: Prideful – But Not Arrogant
and a personal favorite of mine: The Alpha is fucking good at fucking.
As I said, there’s a lot of talk about sex.
All around, I would recommend this book to any man interested in self improvement. There are several success stories with before and after photos sprinkled throughout and feedback from guys who have tried the program recommended. Having read all the advice and information offered, I can easily believe their clients get the exact results they claim. Why?
Because I didn’t learn any new ways of eating or living from this book. They are preaching the same things I’ve been preaching for years, and often get called crazy or stupid for. The writers advocate for intermittent fasting (which I do constantly, yet many readers argue with me about), eating one big meal before bed (the only meal I eat is before going to sleep, and several commenters have told me this is ridiculous) , avoiding sugar and processed foods as much as possible (I hope we all do this) and having a balanced combination of strength training and cardio in your work-out routine, including sprinting and long distance running (everyone around here seems focused only on heavy lifting.)
As I said, Engineering the Alpha just confirmed for me that I’ve been doing all the right things for years, aside from my excess alcohol intake and tobacco use. And I’ve always stayed in great shape and never had a waist size bigger than 32 inches. The only time in my life I’ve been out of shape was the first half of this year, but that was because my badass shoulder injury kept me out of the gym for months. I lost the 10 lbs of fat I gained and I’m back in the gym bulking now, so no harm done.
So I know their advice works, since it’s the same advice I give people who want to get into shape. I was hoping for some new ideas, but I will settle for a lot of new info about hormones and how to control them…along with having my crazy nutrition and fitness ideas validated. I still cannot believe so many people preach that “eat six meals a day” crap. Ugh. I don’t even get hungry until I’ve been awake for around 10 hours, so I cannot imagine forcing myself to choke down all those meals when I’m not even slightly hungry.
Did I mention the Foreword for Man 2.0 was written by Arnold Schwarzenegger? He tried out their program, including the intermittent fasting and eating huge meals before bed…and lost 8 lbs of body fat while increasing lean muscle mass. If Arnold says it works, I think it works.
The best part about the book is probably the writing style. It’s very casual, there’s plenty of talk about football, burgers, steak, pizza, beer, Fight Club and sex. Not to mention plenty of F-bombs and “bro” getting tossed around a good bit. These guys are like Mr. Miyagi for the modern American man. They speak our language and put the real objectives on the table….look good naked, bring back your teenage sex drive and live a more successful, happy and manly life, bro.