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What started as a class research project has turned into a career for Romy Antoine BI’12.
While he had kept a fitness and lifestyle blog previously, the idea to build the blog into an online personal training company, called RippedNFit, really took off as a business during his senior year at USciences, when he redesigned and expanded the site for his capstone project.
“I redesigned the blog and published articles using the concepts I learned in class over the years,” said Antoine. The website now includes daily motivation, workout routines, and recipes. Antoine also uses the blog to publish articles that highlight current research regarding nutrition and to explain the anatomy of muscle groups to help readers better understand how their bodies work. “Years later, it’s still humbling to receive emails from complete strangers who tell me how much I helped change their reality simply through my social media posts,” said Antoine.
Antoine, who minored in exercise science, began working as a research assistant at the prestigious Wistar Institute after graduation. He knew that working in a lab wasn’t what he wanted to do forever. What he wanted to do was work hands-on with clients and debunk the myths in the fitness industry. So Antoine began working during lunch breaks and in his free time before and after work to expand the website as a business. He relished working with clients to customize workout schedules and meal plans to meet their individual needs.
“Although I did not follow the traditional path, I feel that my education and experiences at USciences gave me the skills and confidence I needed to start my own company,” said Antoine.
In a few years’ time, Antoine grew a company that has helped thousands of clients all over the world train for fitness competitions or work toward a healthier lifestyle. As a result, he has been featured in Men’s Health magazine.
Since graduating, Antoine has also obtained a certification as a corporate wellness specialist, and through another company he founded, One Stop Wellness, he speaks at conferences and designs workplace wellness programs to keep workers healthy, happy, and more engaged while helping companies attract and retain employees and save money on healthcare costs.
Antoine was attracted to USciences because of its small class sizes, its tight-knit community, and the opportunities of being in Philadelphia. Ultimately, he said his professors, including Karin Richards, MS, PhD’17 chair of the kinesiology department, and Catherine Purzycki, BI’83, MS, assistant chair of the biological sciences department, encouraged him to see the intersection of science and entrepreneurship and encouraged him to build his own companies.
“Professor Richards was one of my biggest supporters when I told her I was starting my website. She provided helpful feedback in the early stages to help launch this dream of mine,” said Antoine. “Mrs. Purzycki has been a great mentor and even after graduation worked to connect me with the right people to help me become more successful.”
Categories: Feature Story, News, Alumni, Profiles, Proven Everywhere, Samson College, Department of Kinesiology, Exercise Science and Wellness Management, Misher College, Department of Biology, Biology, Exercise Science Homepage