Understanding Nutrition With Dr. John Berardi

Hey folks, I am excited to share with you Dr. John Berardi, who has published over 200 popular articles for magazines like Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, and so many more.  He’s worked with a variety of clients ranging from the average person to Olympic and professional athletes.

Not only is he one of the most popular and respected authorities on fitness and nutrition, Beradi has authored Precision Nutrition and The Metabolism Advantage. As well as co-authored books from Gourmet Nutrition with Dr. John Williams, Scrawny to Brawny with Mike Mejia, and The Grappler’s Guide to Sports Nutrition with Michael Fry.

We have a lot to cover so let’s get started.

Craig: Hey everyone. This is Craig Ballantyne from TurbulenceTraining.com, and I want to welcome Dr. John Berardi from Precision Nutrition.

John: Thanks for having me, Craig.

Craig: Everyone is pretty excited about this. We’ve got lots of questions coming in on Facebook for you, so we have quite a bit of stuff to cover with you. You are one of the fat loss masters for nutrition, but some of my readers may not be familiar with you or have followed you from 2000 like I have.

So why don’t you tell us about a bit of your background from your meat-head bodybuilding days to what you have been doing up until now. In addition, tell us about  the new projects that you are working on these days.

John: Absolutely. I’d be happy to. I guess I’ll start on the athletic side. That’s where it kind of all began for me. In my younger days, I was a track and field athlete, football and ruby player, and I competed in bodybuilding, actually winning the 1995 Junior Mr. USA contest in Las Vegas.

Even though I have always been into sports, the truth is I was literary one of those guys with his nose stuck in a book. I bet you can identify with this, Craig, being an avid learner yourself and having done a Master’s Degree.  Although I read and still do read a lot of fiction I was a lot like this in high school, reading a lot of physiology and nutrition text books, talk about being a geek!

I figured there would be something in those books that I could use to improve my sports performance and my physique, so that’s why I was always reading that kind of stuff. So, it’s probably not a big surprise that I ended up going on to get a premed degree as an undergraduate and then a Masters, specializing in Exercise Physiology as well as a PhD specializing in Nutritional Biochemistry. Now, the interesting part, for me at least, and I don’t know if anyone else will find this interesting, but I never really wanted to be an academic.

Truthfully, I wanted to learn how to help people from athletes to recreational exercisers GET BETTER RESULTS from their training. Coming from sort of a sport and physique background I was really passionate about that. So, most of the motivating and driving factors for me to go to a higher education was to learn how to do that.

So, when I got out of school, which was a long journey, as you know, 10 years for me from undergrad to completing the PhD work. I started a company called Precision Nutrition. Our mission is to help athletes and recreational exercisers LOOK BETTER, FEEL BETTER, AND PERFORM BETTER using the most effective exercise and nutrition techniques.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve left behind my ties to academics. I do hold an adjunct faculty position at the University of Texas and at Eastern Michigan, and I teach a couple of graduate level sports nutrition classes. However, the bulk of my time truthfully is spent working with our awesome team at Precision Nutrition.

Now when it comes to Precision Nutrition I often can go on and on all day because I’m so excited about the projects that we’re doing, so I’ll try and keep it brief.  We started the company in late 2006 early 2007 where we’ve had the opportunity to work with over 60,000 clients in over 100 countries through our online community.

In addition, at the end of this year we will have coached over 5,000 people and those 5,000 will have successfully completed one of our online coaching programs, either the Lean Eating coaching that we offer or the Scrawny to Brawny coaching. Obviously two different directions, lean eating is for people that want to LOSE FAT and scrawny to brawny is for people who want to BUILD MUSCLE.

We also will have certified over 1,000 trainers through a new program that we have called the Precision Nutrition Professional Certification. That’s kind of the nickel tour of my background. In the end it’s been an awesome run. Our Precision team is really passionate about what we’re doing and the truth is I wouldn’t choose to spend my time doing anything else. So, I’m really excited about all this stuff and I’m really happy to be able to talk to you about some of it today.

Craig: Let’s go back to when you were looking through the books back in the day. If you knew then what you know now what changes would you have made when you were first getting started, both in training and nutrition?

John: That’s a great question. It’s actually, I think, a really difficult one to answer, because I usually try not to go back into the past and think about rewriting history because I’m really happy where I ended up. Now, that’s not to say my entire process was smooth and linear. It certainly wasn’t. There were lots of times where I was working really hard in the gym and not seeing results, but I’m not quite sure I would change anything because a lot of those stagnation periods of success taught me a lot about what works and about what doesn’t work.

So, I guess my answer or part of my answer is that I really like the fact that there were a lot of trial and error involved. It TAUGHT ME A LOT ABOUT MYSELF that I’ll be able to continue to use for the rest of my life.

That sort of process of digging in and figuring out what has been a successful impact and what doesn’t have a successful impact can really change the way you look at things.

In terms of the process, I personally wouldn’t want to change a thing. However, I have learned a lot of stuff.  I can shortcut some things and get through those plateaus a little more quickly. I know that we’ll talk more about the nutrition things to some exercise things as we get deeper into this interview series.

Now that you’ve gotten to know more about what drives Dr. John Berardi you’ll want to join us in part 2 where the fitness expert explains the importance of reaching your goals, starting with the big picture.