A:I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but my family trekked all over the country during my childhood. As an adult, my career has taken me to Los Angeles, Manhattan, eastern Pennsylvania, and now Boise, Idaho, where I work as editor-in-chief of Bodybuilding.com, the world’s largest fitness website. So “resting my head” is sometimes a dream rather than my reality.
Q:When did you realize that your career would ultimately be in the health and fitness industry?
A:I studied Latin American Studies at UCLA with an eye toward becoming an FBI or DEA agent. During the interview processes for those gigs, I did some freelance writing and realized that’s where my true passion lay. I’d buy Muscle & Fitness off the newsstand, so when I saw an ad for an opening there, I thought, “How amazing would it be to work for a magazine I read as an enthusiast?” I was right.
Q:You are a former Executive Writer for Men's Health. Describe that journey...
A:I worked there for three years and it was an incredible experience. So many extremely smart, extremely dedicated, extremely hard-working people together under one roof. They invented service journalism for men, and their influence is now pervasive. “Tons of Useful Stuff” is the tagline. Who doesn’t want that?
Q:You are now the Editor-in-Chief for Bodybuilding.com. Describe a typical day...
A:I live in a hotel across the street from our office, and I wake up there at 7 AM or so. By 8 I’m digging into e-mails from the late PM and early AM while planning my day. I hit the office at 9 AM and work into the evening, except for a lunch workout and dinner break. We publish more in a few days than magazines do in a month, so it’s just a blur of interacting with authors, editing manuscripts, managing staff, attending meetings, putting out fires, writing articles, communicating with supplement vendors, brainstorming ideas, and so forth. It’s hard work but great fun. We all enjoy working with one another, which is rare in my experience.
Q:What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of providing health and fitness information to people?
A:We’re earnestly trying to help people live fuller and healthier lives. It’s not like we’re writing ad copy for cigarettes or junk food. Hearing that you’ve helped someone turn his or her life around—and we hear that everyday—is reward enough.
Q:You have authored the books Formula 50 and Sugar Nation. Describe these works...
A:Sugar Nation is a prescriptive memoir about our type 2 diabetes epidemic, as seen through the prism of my family’s experience with the disease and my own brush with prediabetes. Hyperion, a Disney imprint, published it in June 2011. Formula 50 is 50 Cent’s fitness book, and he enlisted me as his collaborator. Avery, part of Penguin Group, released it in late December 2012. The workouts in Formula 50 are the best way to avoid the fate of the diabetes victims in Sugar Nation.
Q:What trends do you see in the fitness industry?
A:Training-wise, CrossFit seems to be on everyone’s mind, of course. Nutrition-wise, intermittent fasting is emerging from the shadows to enter the mainstream. People seem to be doing things that have been resurrected from the past—sometimes the distant past, e.g., Paleo—but tracking their progress and connecting with others through super-high-tech means, whether it’s social media, digital workout trackers, etc. Bodybuilding.com is really at the cutting edge of this through BodySpace, the world’s largest social media site for the fit-minded.
Q:Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
A:I never presume to look that far ahead. I hope to have a great day tomorrow, and I’ll be very thankful if that happens.
Q:Can you give us your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, website and blog handles?
Interview by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven.com