2016 was tumultuous year for fitness. Full of controversy, breakthroughs, and a rise in the “bro” movement, 2016 has set the stage for what looks to be an even more exciting year to come.
Each year I put on my wizard hat, look deep into my crystal ball, and predict the top 40 fitness professionals that you’re going to want to keep an eye on.
Mark my words and keep your eyes peeled on Nick Cheadle. A semi-finalist in a bodybuilding.com spokesmodel search, a budding membership site, and an ever-growing, massive social media following, this Aussie had an incredible 2016, and is poised to make 2017 a home run.
Alexander J.A Cortes is an outlier in the industry. A prolific writer who speaks from his heart and pulls no punches, he puts health above all, but is certainly no stranger to the intricacies of muscle building, fat loss, and building an impressive physique. He recently came on as the Health & Fitness writer for Mike Cernovich at Danger & Play, and has a bimonthly column on EliteFTS.
The Mountain Dog himself. After dropping a bomb on the supplement industry in 2016, he’s now looking ahead to revolutionize it. Not to mention, he’s seemingly an ageless wonder. After falling just short of gather enough Olympia qualification points last year, he’s on a mission to grace the O stage this year (and, he’s jumping up from his usual 212 class to dance with the big boys in the open).
He became a father at the tail end of last year, so, he’s pretty well won at life already. Fresh off of the launch of his website and now being able to expand his knowledge reach, 2017 looks to be a promising year for the ‘Doc Who Lifts.’
Perhaps best known for polarizing the fitness industry with off-the-wall marketing, Greg has helped thousands of people transform their physiques and lives through his simple and effective program. The more movie adaptations he makes, the more people he reaches. Supposedly with much more on that front to come in 2017, keep your eyes on the big screen. Plus, he gets sent free PopChips.
The ageless gym bro with great hair, great tweets, and even greater vascularity. While helping educate the fitness industry at large with mild-mannered snarky comments, and a lengthy client roster that keeps him holed up in his office more often than not, it’s been a busy 2016. But, with the help of his bulldog henchmen, Goose and Maverick, you can expect to see more of self-professed #douchebag mirror selfies.
Year after year, Brad continues to a be leading scientist in the fitness industry, and bring new, relevant information to light. His rare combination of in-the-trenches experience, meshed with the alphabet that follows his name surely means more muscle building discoveries to come in 2017.
A strong man, with a stronger beard game. Over the past year he’s practically written ‘the book’ on how to optimize your bench press, squat, and deadlift. If you care about even getting slightly stronger, you should be paying close attention to what Greg writes.
Intensity. Every rep, every set. With a motto like that, it’s easy to see why a seasoned veteran of contest prep, and a lifelong competitor himself, had a big year in his bodybuilding competitions, and those of his clients. With a revamped website, a membership circle on the horizon, and seemingly unstoppable metabolism, 2017 looks to be promising.
Fuelled by borderline questionable amounts of coffee and bourbon, Eric helps busy guys build muscle and athleticism without devoting their lives to the gym. On top of multiple fitness products, Eric dove into the world of helping struggling fit pro’s build their business as well. Oh, and he’s got great hair.
Aside from being able to drink beer that goes straight to his quads and having a knack for ordering lethal weapons from Amazon, Alex is the brains behind the brilliant operation that is Complete Human Performance. Which offers coaching, programs, and even it’s own certification course.
Menno is the lifter in charge of Bayesian Bodybuilding. Being another one of the rare few who meshes in the trenches experience with a flair for science-backed methods, Menno is sure to help countless more build muscle and get shredded in 2017.
Alan created the original gold standard monthly journal for those who want to stay on top of the latest research in muscle building, fat loss, and supplementation. On top of that, he specializes in effective program design for recreational, professional, and Olympic level athletes. Also known for his strong jawline of peace.
Originally hailing from Moscow, Russia, Mike dabbles in bodybuilding, powerlifting, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With a doctorate in meatheadology, Mike also helped found Renaissance Periodization which helps strength, physique, and performance athletes take their game up a notch.
Alain has a lofty goal to go with his slogan “train hard, eat big, get jacked.” That goal? To help one million skinny guys like he once was build more muscle, and a physique they can barely of. Having navigated the typical hardgainer path himself, there’s no doubt that Alain will do just that. Especially with his influence growing year over year.
After cutting his teeth as a teacher for over a decade, while building his fitness business, he officially left teaching at the end of 2016 to go all in on Anyman Fitness. With no job limiting his time anymore, 2017 looks to be a big year for the big, tall man.
Need I really say more? B-Pak just keeps on building…and growing. In business and in life. Stemming from the creation of arguably one of the best muscle building programs on the market, B-Pak has since gone on to build his own facility where he holds weekend hypertrophy camps.
The man behind the recent muscle that’s been packed on social media mogul, Gary Vaynerchuk. Which, really is enough said. Jordan also runs Syatt Fitness where he’s helped countless people lose fat, and build the body they’ve dreamed of.
Chris is the editor, and man in charge of content for T-Nation. He also helps inform the fitness industry with clever, informative articles with a propensity for stirring the pot. Keep your eyes out for which hornet’s nests get kicked in 2017.
Wife of the man above, Chris Shugart. Dani does an awesome job of writing helpful, actionable advice for women who want to get jacked (particularly in the glute development area), as well as countless articles that help cut through the bullshit that circulates the fitness industry.
To say Vince stepped up his game in 2016 would be an understatement. Even with two young kids, Vince had another huge year releasing his first book Living Large, releasing No-Nonsense Muscle Building 2.0, and creating Mass Mechanics, an outstanding resource dedicated to in depth exercise execution, likely his best contribution to the muscle building community. And props to Vince for continuing to practice what he preaches by taking his own gains to a new level.
If you want to expand your exercise repertoire, learn how to *properly* cook a steak, or not be able to walk for 4 days after one of Eugene’s sessions, you need pay attention to Eugene. One of the quiet leaders in educating the strength and bodybuilding world, Eugene knows what he’s talking about, and has the chops to back it up.
In the words of Dean himself, “it’s not just science, it’s #science.” Primarily helping people move better, build strength, and become more Kanye-er (whatever that means), Dean also helps educate the fitness industry on best training practices to prevent and rehab injuries.
My doppleganger that can’t pronounce words properly has made a big shift by placing a lot of his focus on copywriting. But that doesn’t mean he’s left Healthy Living, Heavy Lifting in the dust. With a trusted team of coaches, 2017 looks to be another year of continuing to help people lose fat by eating their favourite foods.
As a former nationally-competing sprinter and long jumper in college, Lee having now written for practically every notable publication there is,the Toronto-based generalist is ready to give the fitness world a much needed voice of reason, and pulls no punches while doing so. His often unpopular opinions in the industry will definitely make you think.
Jen takes a realist’s approach to fitness. She’s not going to offer a plan to melt 10 pounds from your frame in 10 days. She won’t offer a “Get Ripped Quick” scheme. But she will show you what it takes to get in awesome shape and look your best – whatever that may be for your individual body type and lifestyle. She’ll help you lose fat, shape your body, and find the joy that comes in training for the pure sake of training.
Charles aims to cut through all the noise that surrounds the fitness industry and delivers information and results that speak to his no-bullshit ways. A firm believer that fitness is context-dependent, Charles uses strategies and tactics based on evidence and based results to help clients reach their goals.
Dr. John Rusin isn’t your average physical therapist. After mastering his craft as a traditional hardcore strength and conditioning coach, he transitioned his practice into the field of sports performance physical therapy. He now lives and breathes all aspects of human performance. He creates life-altering programs for an impressive and diverse clientele. His single-minded goal is to bridge the ever-growing gap between high-performance strength and conditioning and cutting-edge rehabilitation methodology for both elite strength athletes and amateur fitness fanatics.
Formerly Gary Vaynerchuk’s trainer before passing the reins to Mr. Syatt (#18), Mike is owner of On The Regimen which as he says, “is fitness for us normal people.” Meaning, he helps people eat their Ben & Jerry’s without losing their abs. Mike believes that fitness will help enhance every aspect of your life, and is hellbent on proving it.
Paul generally keeps to himself, but at the tail end of 2016 he released a book he co-wrote with Christian Thibaudeau, Maximum Muscle Mass. Paul keeps his blog full of full of punchy, informative articles to help the industry at large.. Paul also writes for T-Nation, FLEX, EliteFTS, and Strength Sensei.
I think it’s safe to say that ‘Roman’ has moved from aspiring wordsmith, to brilliant wordsmith. With a Campbellian self-development book in the works, as well as helming the RFS Business Mastermind, Roman is flexing his entrepreneurial muscles while continuing to be the driving force behind RFS.
Ben Bruno, Lord of the Landmine. Primarily working in sunny California as an in-person trainer, his exclusive clientele consists of Kate Upton, Victoria’s Secret models, and a few other celebrities that many would love to train.
Bret will forever be known as “The Glute Guy.” Bret’s biggest focus is high level training for strong, well-shaped buns of steel. Coming from a science-based background, Bret uses the most current research meshed with years of experience to great incredible glutes all over the world.
Nia spends much of her time helping woman realize that they should be lifting heavy to get the results, glutes, and body that they’ve always wanted. At the end of the day, Nia shares health and fitness information that doesn’t suck, and helps women reach their goals through empowering strength programs.
Skip has possibly my favourite tagline ever. “Skin is overrated.” Aside from primarily helping physique competitors crush their competition, he’s also regular columnist for EliteFTS, Skip plays in the bodybuilding world, and dispenses invaluable, hard truths that few want to hear.
Shelby is an extremely knowledgeable prep & bodybuilding coach who makes a few more decibels of noise each year. An IFBB pro, powerlifter, nutritionist, and coach, Shelby helps hundreds of physique athletes reach their goals year after year.
The self-professed Physique Artist is a physique coach and natural bodybuilder who overcame the the typical hardgainer woes to build an impressive physique (even more so give that he did as he approach being 40).
England’s loveable meathead, Alexander Ferentinos prides himself on delivering eloquently designed, bespoke training and nutrition plans. A regular speaker for BodyPower, he trains professional athletes and physique competitors both in person at Emporium Gym, and online.
A nationally qualified athlete in both Classic Physique and Bodybuilding, Alex is the owner of MASSthetics, and is certainly not your average meathead. A self-professed espresso connoisseur and short shorts enthusiast, Alex helps men and women build not just the physique they’ve been dreaming of, but one that turns heads in the streets.
Of course, this list list of fit pro’s to keep an eye on wouldn’t be complete without yours truly. Year over year, the JMax Fitness tribe keeps on growing, and the Max Fit Lab is picking up steam as lifters around the world are getting incredible results. Keep your eyes on the sky for a flurry of podcasts, training products, and quality muscle building info in 2017.