Top Seven Fitness and Nutrition Experts

I have a bone to pick with the Buddha. Here was a guy who spent his entire life living outside of society, giving lessons to people about how to live in society. How hypocritical is that? The Buddha is probably the first person in history to open the door for those with absolutely no experience on a subject giving advice about it.

Look at some magazine editors. They’ve never done a damned thing in their entire lives, but they’ll write articles on how to get a big bench despite the fact that they get stapled to the bench when they attempt their body weight. Today, just like back then, these people call themselves gurus. Thanks a lot, Buddha.

Below is a list of real experts with either an extensive personal history of helping others, or those who’ve interviewed literally hundreds of people who have direct experience with thousands more. I trust these people. When I need an answer to a question that’s beyond my scope, I ask them.

Be warned: Wannabe experts post such lists in a shameless attempt to get more traffic. That’s why you see lists of the “Top 100 Nutrition Experts” naming just about everyone they can think of who has an audience so they can scrape up a few new readers here and there.

The problem with this behavior is that the size of the “expert’s” audience blinds the author to who they’re actually recommending. Hell, they order the list according to the number of Facebook friends the “expert” has. The people at the top of these lists are actually internet marketers pretending to be nutrition or training experts because there’s a shit-ton of money to be made in this industry if you lack the morals for it.

This is not such a list, although I’m sure it will stroke a few egos. In this instance, their egos deserve to be stroked for their dedication to helping people instead of their dedication to selling crap. Without further ado, I present to you the Top Seven Fitness and Nutrition Experts:

(By the way, you can find interviews with most of these guys on my SoundCloud Channel or iTunes.)

The top 7 experts in the industry right now:

1)      Gary Taubes
You may not know about Gary, but you should. His background in this industry isn’t too far off from mine—a scientist and athlete who became obsessed with presenting the truth about nutrition and exercise to the general public. He’s a gifted writer, has a keen analytical mind, started a research foundation for the sole purpose of doing high-quality research to discover the optimal human diet for health (NuSI: The Nutrition Science Initiative), and is one of the few people I enjoy lunch with for the sheer pleasure of the knowledge that gets tossed around. If you haven’t read either of his books (Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories), you’d best get to it.


2)      John Meadows
John is one of those rare gems who decided a long time ago to say f**k the status quo. Without the deep scientific knowledge, John pretty much nailed the absolute bleeding-edge of training theory before science came close to figuring it out. How did he do it? Trial and error. John and his Mountain Dog Training represent the pinnacle of applying the scientific method. The bastard even refined a version of CBL mixed with Carb Nite for contest prep (The Mountain Dog Diet) that took me way longer to figure out. The only thing I hate about John is that he works as much and as tirelessly as I do at expanding his knowledge and skills, which makes it hard for us to ever get on the phone to chat.

3)      Robb Wolf
I mean, could I possibly hump this guy’s leg any more than I do? Not only is Robb a biochemist, but he actually works with hundreds of people and has helped thousands more. He hates it when I recommend cherry turnovers, but when it comes to our conclusions about what it takes to simultaneously achieve peak health, performance and longevity, we couldn’t agree more. Although I hate the word Paleo for a diet description, Robb’s book, The Paleo Solution, is worth a read. Again, the only reason Robb ever gets on my shit list is because he was the ultimate Pod-tease for six months, stringing me along before we got to talk, using lame excuses like, “Oh, my wife just had a baby.” Come on, Robb, you can do better than that.

4)      Bret Contreras
Bret’s another guy that’s a slave to the scientific method and cares only about the “truth” behind the biomechanics of the body. I thought no one could be as fascinated with women engaging their glutes as me, but it turns out Bret beats me in that category and has a killer prescription for glute work. I was lucky enough to get him on my podcast, even though I made a fool of myself trashing an article based on the asinine title that it turned out Bret wrote. T-Nation’s new title for his work prevented me from actually reading it. Sorry Bret.

5)      Layne Norton
I know I’ve taken a few jabs at Layne, just as he has at me—actually, I’m not sure the guy even likes me—but that doesn’t take away from his work in this field. Layne was one of the first researchers to understand the importance of the mTOR pathway of tissue growth and natural, supplement-based ways to manipulate it. I even reference his research on leucine in Carb Back-Loading. He’s one of the few people in this industry with a doctorate whom I feel deserves the clout that comes with the title Doctor.

6)      Joel Jamieson
I hate steady-state cardio. Joel doesn’t. Therefore, I hate Joel. Not really, but that’s about the only point of contention we have. When it comes to energy systems, developing them, and understanding the science behind why, few if any people can compare. I even thought (naively) that I could trip him up with a conversation on mitochondrial biogenesis. Tweet: #FAIL on my part. If you’re serious about your performance goals and you’re not using Joel’s HRV system, or you don’t even know about it, you’re cheating yourself out of results (and now you’re stupid because I just told you about it and you’re probably still not going to check it out).

7)      Mike Robertson
Jim Laird introduced me to Mike’s work and directly to Mike, who runs iFAST in my birthplace, Indianapolis, Indiana. iFAST is, in all likelihood, the foremost corrective exercise center in the world. On several different occasions, I’ve heard pro and college strength and conditioning coaches say (and I quote), “We have to get Robertson in here to fix our guys up before camp.” If you’re looking to fix shoulder stability—or any kind of joint instability or better yet, if you want to know what stuff like joint stability will actually DO for you—check out Mike’s incredible body of work.

8)      Monte Spicer
I know I said “7 experts” and here I go listing an eighth, but I need to mention Monte. He’s someone you’ll probably never hear about other than through me, which is unfortunate. Although he’s one of the top people I know for contest prep, Monte also understands the human body and nutrition on a deeper level than most of the other assholes—uh, I mean, “experts”—on the internet today. One of my personal goals in this industry is to get more people exposed to the man from Planet Swole.

You may feel like there’re glaring omissions here. I compiled this list based on the top people who create information that can help anyone, from soccer moms to Olympic athletes. You may also notice the lack of women on the list. That’s not because there are no female experts. It’s because they deserve their own list.