Posted by on Mar 3, 2014

At Fitocracy, we spend a lot of time digging through the industry to find coaches that are most capable of changing people’s lives. Often, these folks are not yet well known, but the results that they get for their clients put them on the upswing.

Here are 5 coaches (in no particular order) who you might not have heard of yet, but their sheer knack for changing people’s lives means that you shouldn’t be surprised if you come across their names very soon.

1. Greg Nuckols – In which Ed Coan and Yoda Have a Baby

nuckolsWe actually debated leaving Greg Nuckols, often affectionately called “Nuckols” for short, off of this list. The reason is that Nuckols, whose deadlift and squat both significantly exceed 700 lbs, has had a bit of a cult following on both Fitocracy and the Internet for quite some time now.

But we decided to leave him on. Because this beast is only 22 years old.

22. Years. Old. That is not a typo.

Greg is also one of those guys whose lifting numbers aren’t necessarily the result of brute-forcing his way up in strength. Rather, a quick read of his blog will show you that his outer strength manifests his inner wisdom, much like we’ve written about.

Greg attributes his wisdom at the age of 22 to simultaneously being a husband, student, writer, coach, entrepreneur, and competitor. Greg’s level of wisdom and well-cultivated beard give us no reason to believe he’s lying about his age, so it’s possible that he might be Yoda incarnate.

2. Ben Tormey – The Neil DeGrasse Tyson of Fitness

bentormeyBen Tormey, who is probably on many a man’s “I’m not attracted to men, but if I were…” list, is one of Fitocracy Team Fitness’s most acclaimed coaches. Seriously, when talking to his trainees, his reviews are more off-the-charts than a Justin Bieber hit album.

As it turns out, his off-the-charts reviews is explained by his off-the-charts IQ. What you might not know about Mr. Tormey is that he was almost Dr. Tormey. Ben Tormey dropped out of a PhD in mathematics in order to pursue his passion as a fitness coach. His IQ, which likely rivals his squat PR, explains why he’s able to cure anyone’s ailments when it comes to breaking a fitness plateau.

But it’s not Ben’s encyclopedic nature that makes him special; it’s the fact that he combines this with an Ender Wiggin level of empathy. This allows Ben to work with clients who have struggled with fitness due to issues ranging all the way from anxiety and depression to incredibly busy lifestyles.

And like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, he’s just such a damn charismatic genius.

3. Adam Fisher – The Bruce Lee of Barbells

adamfisherWe first stumbled upon Adam Fisher before realizing he was already on Fitocracy. Adam’s writing – which is some of the most brilliant that we’ve seen – seamlessly connects fitness with philosophical schools of thought, like the Tao. The fact that he boasts a 530-lb deadlift led us to originally believe he was a decade older than his actual age of 23.

Aside from his writing, Adam is just one of those guys who “gets it” when it comes to coaching the beginner. You would think that someone who loves the barbell would be hardcore about having beginners starting out with the squat, bench, and deadlift. But Adam understands that because of factors around intimidation and skill level, starting out with those movements are not for everyone.

In fact, his Fitocracy Team Fitness group is entitled “Bodyweight to Barbells” and is designed to gently get beginners to the point where they can lift relatively heavy.

Most of Adam’s time is spent training offline, but look for that to change once people catch wind of his coaching abilities.

4. Sons of Strength – Celeb Trainers You Can Tell Your Mother About

sonsofstrengthTechnically, listing both brothers – Eric Johnson and Ryan Johnson – would make this list “6 Fitness Coaches Taking the World by Storm,” but their collective brand Sons of Strength operates as one.

There are some really awesome things about these dudes. First off, they started building their offline reputation first before making the move into the online space. They’ve trained the likes of Andrea Powell, in preparation for her role in Ender’s Game and Sebastian Stan in preparation for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Basically, they’re world class celebrity trainers who are the real deal.

The absolute best part about these guys is that while they’ve already crossed into the mainstream, they still espouse real, evidence-based fitness as opposed to defaulting to buzzwords like “long, lean, muscles.” Yes, we’d send our mothers to these guys.

Best of all, they draw into their fighting expertise in order to make fitness fun and “functional.” With them, you’re not merely preparing to get in shape as much as you are “preparing for a fight.” Look for these guys’ online reputation to catch up with their offline credentials in a hurry.

5. Mike Vacanti – Fitness Coach 2.0

mikevacanti(Obligatory disclaimer: Mike Vacanti is a consultant to Fitocracy and the official coach for Fitocracy-run groups. That being said, the reason that we scooped him up is because he was our first choice to make this list.)

In sports, a coach wears many hats. They need to be able to understand the opponent’s offensive and defensive schemes, inspire players, and also hold them accountable when necessary.

Fat loss isn’t much different. People need to be inspired, but also told what to do and why they’re doing it. A decade ago, the odds of Average Joe reaching his goal physique seemed rather bleak. Most coaches recommended six meals per day and devoting hours a day into the gym. Veering from a recommendation led to the inevitable “toughen up.” As you can see from Mike’s clients, times are changing.

That’s because Michael Vacanti is the epitome of “new age coach,” which makes his brand “On The Regimen” aptly named. Mike goes into detail around how to count your macros, how to deal with alcohol, and even uses Justin Bieber to give you the correct perspective on life.

The thing makes Mike stand out is his usage of inspiration, information, and accountability in the perfect doses. He’s just a damn good coach, which is why he’s relied on by the busiest of folks, including client Gary Vaynerchuk.

If that’s not enough, Mike is also familiar with the internal transformations that need to occur to reach new milestones in life. Case in point, a few years ago Mike was once an accountant who tore up his CPA to pursue his passion of fitness. Which makes it even more impressive that he’s already worked with over 900 (not to be confused with over 9000) clients both in person and online through Fitocracy Team Fitness and one-on-one coaching.

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