Each Sunday morning, we publish a compilation of the best fitness content we came across the previous week. The selections you see this week are the best of the best, the true standouts from our weekly lists over the past 12 months. This is the first year we expanded from our focus on articles and blog posts to include videos, podcasts, and social media posts.
Our goal is to showcase the best information, insight, and analysis from across the fitness industry, with most of it written by trainers, for trainers.
You can also check out our previous Best of the Year compilations, beginning with 2011, the year Jonathan Goodman launched the PTDC. As you browse through the older lists, most of which highlighted the best articles published on this site, you’ll see how both the PTDC and the fitness industry as a whole have evolved over the past 10 years.
Thanks for a successful 2020, and we wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021!
— Esther Avant, Shane McLean, Mike Howard, and Christina Abbey
Top Article of the Year
Why Fitness Is Not Essential in America — Kevin Mullins, drjohnrusin.com
Ask anyone in the fitness industry if they think exercise is essential, and the answer is obvious. Alas, that sentiment is far from universal, as we’ve learned this year. In this article, which we consider the best of the year, longtime PTDC contributor Kevin Mullins makes the argument for why fitness is essential, and challenges us to do more to convince the world of that.
More Noteworthy Articles
The “Calories-In, Calories-Out” Confusion: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Energy Balance — Danny Lennon, Sigma Nutrition
Training Through the Struggle — Chris Cooper, Personal Care for Personal Trainers
Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight — Brian St Pierre, Precision Nutrition
Five Big Rocks of Fat Loss — Shane McLean, Balance Guy Training
Top Video of the Year
Programming for the Novice Athlete — Tex McQuilkin, NSCA
If you’re a new coach, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with programming options, tempting you to change things up too often and making you feel like a fraud for not knowing things you can only learn with experience. And if you’ve been training athletes for a while, you know there’s always more to learn about writing top-notch programs.
This hour-long video from Tex McQuilkin, director of training for Power Athlete, illustrates the four phases of the competitive life cycle for competitive athletes and provides strategies to apply progressive overload.
More Noteworthy Videos
New Science of Muscle Hypertrophy — Andy Galpin
Sales Process for Online Personal Trainers — Sukh Sidhu
Tracking Calories but Not Losing Weight? — Ben Carpenter
How to Find the Right Squat Stance for Your Anatomy — Aaron Horschig, Squat University
Top Social Media Post of the Year
Why Don’t You Stick to Talking About Nutrition? — Krista Scott-Dixon
Social media has been a minefield this year. Everywhere you look, some people are telling you to stay in your lane while others want you to announce where you stand on important social issues. The choice to speak up is usually based on what makes the most sense for us and our business.
But maybe it shouldn’t. As Krista Scott-Dixon of Precision Nutrition argues in this Facebook post, fitness professionals should consider the interconnectedness of health and social issues. That’s why she doesn’t just stick to “talking about nutrition,” and you might not want to either.
More Noteworthy Social Media Posts
Become the Type of Client You Want to Attract — Rachel Bell
Do Diet Drinks Spike Insulin? — Aadam Ali
Trainers: Knowledge vs. Personality — Nick Tumminello
Just Listen to Your Body … or Don’t — Mike Doehla
Top Podcast of the Year
Why Most Injuries Happen, and How to Prevent Them — Marianne Kane with guest Travis Pollen, Equipped with Strength
From the loss of revenue to the feelings of guilt and loss of trust between you and your client, having a client get injured on your watch is one of the worst things that can happen to a trainer (besides, you know, the whole in-person industry coming to a halt for the better part of a year).
In the best podcast of the year, Marianne Kane and Travis Pollen dive deep into this topic, covering everything from what actually constitutes an injury, to ways you may inadvertently be putting your clients at higher risk, to whether certain exercises are better left for in-person training.
More Noteworthy Podcasts
The Art and Science of Creating Great Content — Mike Matthews with guest Lou Schuler, Legion Athletics
Dropping Weight, Building Strength to Promote Hypertrophy, and Training Around Pain — Eric Trexler and Greg Nuckols, Stronger by Science
Understanding Biohacking, Fad Diets, Fat Loss, and More — Ted Ryce with guest Spencer Nadolsky, Legendary Life
What Works for 90 Percent of Clients in Training and Nutrition — Luka Hocevar with guest Andy Galpin, Vigor Life