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Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Trainers?

Updated on February 26, 2014

I thought it'd be interesting to see who is inspiring others in the world of fitness.

Who do you trust?

Whose ideas helped you build an impressive body, reach a physical goal or just keeps you motivated?

I'm going to tell you 3 of my current favorites and maybe they can help you like they've helped me.

Pavel Tsatsouline

First I'd like to mention Pavel Tsatsouline (on the left of the picture below).

Who is this Russian man?

Well he used be an instructor for the Soviet Special Forces, but more currently he instructs US Military, Special Ops, Police, SWAT, Elite Fitness Instructors and is a Kettlebell RKC Chief Instructor. He's also a subject matter expert to the US Marine Corps, the National Nuclear Security Administration/US Department of Energy and the US Secret Service.

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Pavel doing power moves like it's nothing.

He's involved in a lot of martial arts fitness training and the use of kettlebells. He was voted "Hot Trainer" by Rolling Stone in 2001. And He's published a number of books, and articles in Milo magazine and Performance Press.

Alright I think that's about enough, don't you? The man's done a lot!

What's he physically capable of?

He was once a nationally ranked kettlebell lifter in the USSR. You can watch him in his videos do some single-arm lifts with a 97lb Kettlebell, and he seems to do it with ease. He can do single-arm/single-leg pushups. He can do single-leg squats, called pistols, while holding a 72lb kettlebell. So he's pretty much one tough Russian; all that strength packed onto a slender frame.

What's he done for me?

Well besides the fact that I plan on getting my own kettlebells and seeing what I'm capable of. I gain new ideas from his newsletter and I just recently finished one of his books, The Naked Warrior. I recommend you check this one out if you're interested in some bodyweight exercises that will help you gain true strength and also to learn a lot of techniques that powerlifters use to improve their lifts.

He teaches you different variations of the one-arm pushup and the single-leg squat (pistol) along with a number of great lifting techniques that can help you excell in all your normal lifts. I use a lot of those techniques when I want to lift heavy on my everyday lifts in the gym. His book helped me master the one-arm pushup and pistol!

Charles doing a farmer's walk.

Charles Staley

Let's move on to Charles Staley (center of pic above). You're probably saying...

"Who's this old guy?"

Well, I'll tell you. He's a sports conditioning specialist and the Vice President of Program Development for the International Sports Sciences Association. He used to compete in and train people in martial arts. He's also an Olympic weightlifting coach. He's written a number of articles, published a few books and gives fitness lectures. And he's the creator of a lifting program called Escalating Density Training (EDT).

He may not look like much of an athlete but he's a master's level track and field competitor (discus event) and powerlifts.

What's he done for me?

Well other than the great information I've attained from his newsletters and his site, I have one of his books sitting right in front of me. It's called Muscle Logic and it's his EDT book for your whole body. Originally he had authored a book that soley focuses on getting massive biceps. Imagine that, I just flipped over the book and who do you think is giving praise to Coach Staley? Pavel Tsatsouline! Honestly, I didn't know it was there. But here's his quote:

"Charles Staley's EDT is the most foolproof method of building muscle I have ever come across. And it is not the fake muscles of a pump artist; EDT muscles are as strong as they look!"

Odd coincidence. But, if you're looking for an "outside of the box" workout that has been proven to pack on the muscle, then maybe you ought to be reading up on EDT too.

I read the book and created a workout based on his ideas and my own fitness method (Dynamic Plateau Training) and had amazing results! The volume of weight I ended up lifting by the end of the workout was SO MUCH MORE than what I started with... and I lost 32 pounds and 5 3/8" off my waist! 

Here's Craig doing one of the moves Pavel taught me how to master!

Craig Ballantyne

And lastly, we come to Craig Ballantyne (on the right in the pic above).

So who's this guy that's in need of a haircut?

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a Strength & Conditioning coach in Toronto and is a member of the Training Advisory Board for Inside Fitness & Oxygen magazine. He's the President of CB Athletic Consulting, Inc. Plus, you may have already read one of his articles and not known it. He's written a ton of articles in magazines like: Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Oxygen, Maximum Fitness, and Muscle and Fitness Hers. He's also currently a consultant to Rugby Canada helping the National Team prepare for the 2007 World Cup. If you've ever heard of Turbulence Training, this is the guy who created it. He's all about using intervals for fat loss and muscles gains.

What's he done for me?

I get information daily from his newsletter and I've already, in the past, had success with interval workouts. They're great for fat loss and you won't run the risk of burning up all your muscle. You can check out his programs in the Turbulence Training link above. You can also sign up for his free newsletter if you like or join his membership site.

Alright, those are some of my favorites, who are your favorite fitness trainers? Let me know in a comment who your favorites are, if you've heard of these guys or if you put your trust in these guys yourself.

Who Are YOUR Favorite Fitness Trainers?

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    • kjrzeek1 profile image

      kjrzeek1 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      Pavel is by far the most interesting and effective. His concepts are so basic and effective. Great hub!

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Yeah I actually have, martha.e.a! She totally dominates YouTube with her workout videos... she does a pretty good variety of workouts.

      I think when people see her videos they'll see how and why she built such a big following.

    • profile image

      martha.e.a 6 years ago

      Ever heard of Zuzana from bodyrock???? she has a bunch of youtube videos... just type in "zuzana bodyrock"! :]

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      I never really got into the DVD workouts but Kelsie looks like she knows what she's doing!

    • profile image

      Crystal 7 years ago

      My favorites are Billy Blanks, Kathy Smith, and Deenise Austin. I also use a lot of videos by the FIRM with instructors including Allie Del Rio, Emily Walsh, Nancy Tucker, Rebekah Sturkie, and Kelsie Daniels. Of the FIRM instructors, Kelsie Daniels is my favorite. I get a really good workout with her.

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Yeah we do need some more female suggestions on here Niki76!

    • profile image

      Niki76 7 years ago

      I second that last nomination of I like that she's a women's fitness expert. I loved the site and it's obvious my girl Karen Ficarelli knows her stuff!! She gets a 10! Listen, I love the guys, but we've also got to give a shout out when a special womens fitness guru comes along too!

    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Great nomination! Looks like she has a great site set up and could definitely help women reach their goals!

    • profile image

      Christine Denton 7 years ago

      I noticed you had 3 men up there and would like to nominate a women to your list. I have really had a difficult time getting in shape since my last child and found a great women's fitness guru by the name of Karen Ficarelli. Her website is and she really seems to identify with us women. Hope this helps, Christine D.

    • profile image

      yavor 8 years ago

      Pavel, Mark Rippetoe, Vince Gironda, Poliquin, Mark McManus

    • profile image

      Miki Ilic 9 years ago

      Valery Fedorenko, Steve Cotter and crew from GymJones

    • profile image

      Fitness Black Book 9 years ago

      Pavel is the man for sure! He was the first guy to really breakdown the best method of developing true muscle tone. His book, "Power to the People", is the most revolutionary fitness book in the past few decades. Absolutely outstanding!

    • kettlebellnathan profile image

      kettlebellnathan 9 years ago from Calgary, Canada


      Dan John

      John Berardi, I met him, very nice and intelligent guy

    • profile image

      Amit 10 years ago

      Hye! Saw your post on T-nation.

      My favs are Bud Jeffries, Dave Tate and Pavel Tsatsouline.

    • profile image

      Paul Parris 10 years ago

      Fred Hatfield

      Charles Poliquin

      Louis Simmons