You likely fall into one of two camps: You absolutely love podcasts and listen to one every day on your commute while cursing traffic or the public transportation system, or you don’t even know that there’s a podcast app that comes standard on your phone.
Even if you fall in the latter camp, there’s no arguing that podcasts are having a major moment. Hotter than spiked seltzer in summer 2019, podcasts are listened to by about 90 million people monthly and more than 50 percent of the U.S. population age 12 and up, according to new research.
As a podcaster myself, I can appreciate that surge of popularity. I got into the game at the very end of 2017. I started Hurdle—a show where I chat with everyone from entrepreneurs to top CEOS and athletes about how they’ve gotten through tough times by integrating wellness into their routine—in the comfort of my living room with a $99.50 Blue Yeti microphone and a few crazy ideas.
While everyone has their own opinion on what makes a good podcast, I prioritize well-spoken hosts with a passion for their subject area, a great cadence and rapport with the guests they take on, and stellar audio quality.
I’ve done my fair share of listening to other shows, both for inspiration and to keep myself entertained, over the time I’ve spent creating 120+ episodes of my own content. Here, I dive into 19 of the top podcasts in the health and fitness category:
1. Trained by Nike
On Trained, Nike’s Senior Director of Performance Ryan Flaherty—a legend in his own right for his work with top athletes like LeBron James and Russell Wilson—interviews experts like Nike master trainer Joe Holder and the USWNT’s Julie Ertz about their holistic fitness tips.
2. The Jillian Michaels Show
Jillian Michaels is an industry veteran, and it shows in the way she offers up top advice in her weekly podcast. Alongside her business partners, the fitness professional makes all things wellness feel approachable—and even opens up about what’s going on in her personal life.
3. WHOOP Podcast
Without a doubt, the best part of the WHOOP Podcast is the quality of their guests. Hosted by WHOOP’s founder and CEO Will Ahmed, some highlights include Katrin Davidsdottir, Don Saladino, Andy Pudducombe, and Men’s Health’s own fitness director Ebenezer Samuel.
Admittedly, this one’s hardly a podcast. Rather, a nonstop, one-hour, high-energy workout music mix. Posted twice monthly, each episode title lets the listener know exactly what the beats per minute (BPM).
5. Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth
The title of this one says a lot. Hosts Justin Andrews, Adam Schafer, and Sall Di Stefano answer some of the most popular fitness questions, from how to break through a plateau and the truth about testosterone boosters to how to build a great body without access to a gym and the pros and cons of powerlifting.
6. Ben Greenfield Fitness
As a coach, author, speaker, ex-bodybuilder, and Ironman Triathlete, Ben Greenfield has the know-how to intelligently interview the high-level guests he gets for his show. This one gets technical every now and again (Greenfield has a masters degree in physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition) making it great for intermediate to advanced athletes.
7. The CrossFit Podcast
If you’re a CrossFit fiend, then this podcast is made for you. Featuring athletes of all levels from champ Mat Fraser to 12-year-old Shiloh Ellis, there are a lot of uncensored conversations that make the program feel more like a freewheeling talk radio show and less like a formulaic podcast.
8. Froning and Friends
Rich Froning is more than just one of the fittest men on earth. He’s surprisingly an excellent podcast host, showcasing his compassion and thirst for his sport in conversations with other CrossFit elite.
9. Joe DeFranco’s Industrial Strength Show
Joe DeFranco can be a lot, but in this situation, it works for him. The information he talks about with his guests like Reesa Hoffa and Andrew Sendejo is applicable for beginners and pros, tackling topics like misunderstood aspects of elite training to smarter workout programming tips.
10. On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Getting a little more into the wellness side of things here with Jay, trust me — it’s worth it. Shetty talks through smart strategies for handling everyday interactions and taming your mindset. Strategies that can help you get through everything from your next workout to a business meeting.
11. Bulletproof Radio
Hosted by the Bulletproof guru himself, Dave Asprey, Bulletproof radio covers everything from your microbiome to how to cut your cardio to 9 minutes or less.
12. AMRAP Mentality with Jason Khalipa
Jason Khalipa is one of the most likable, honest guys in the CrossFit world. The businessman hosts a few different types of segments on this show, including Coffee With Khalipa (him talking into the microphone about best-practice tips for handling mental challenges) and one-on-one interviews with athletic all-stars. Some of his past guests include Lewis Howes, Josh Bridges, Annie Thorisdottir, Patrick Vellner, and Lauren Fisher.
13. The WAG Podcast
Michael, co-founder of Brute Strength, and his wife Adee Cazayoux have a great dynamic on the WAG podcast. Connecting the dots between mindset and nutrition, stress and relationship—they offer up relatable stories about health and nutrition that keep their audience coming back for more.
14. Brute Strength Podcast
Michael Cazayoux is a three-time CrossFit Games competitor and a two-time CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Champion, and he also happens to be an awesome podcaster. See above if you’re not convinced.
15. Barbend Podcast
Only a handful of episodes in now, the BarBend podcast with site editor David Thomas Tao is definitely going to do well. I’m a firm believer that good quality content that sounds bad is better than bad quality content that sounds good, but this podcast nails both thanks to Tao’s interview skills and high production value.
16. The Jordan Syatt Mini-Podcast
On The Jordan Syatt Mini Podcast, host and powerlifter Jordan Syatt discusses the “gym, your workouts, nutrition, entrepreneurship, & sexy time (very nice 👍).”
17. Chasing Excellence
The Chasing Excellence podcast, hosted by CrossFit coach Ben Bergeron, is a show “dedicated to dissecting what it means to live a life of excellence, both inside the gym & out.” Each episode dives deep on various aspects of “being an athlete & maximizing your potential.”
18. No Meat Athlete
The No Meat Athlete podcast, hosted by plant-based bloggers Matt Frazier and Doug Hay, is all about “vegan and vegetarian nutrition, running and training tips, and healthy lifestyle and habit change.” Guests on the show have included Rich Roll, Brendan Brazier, and more.
19. Muscle For Life with Mike Matthews
Full-body training is “das it girl” right now, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Well, full-body workouts certainly have their advantages, incluidng . . . 🔹They’re helpful for quickly learning exercise technique. 🔹They allow for more flexibility in your workout schedule (missing workouts now and then is less penalizing). 🔹They make it easy to use antagonist paired sets and alternate sets in your training. 🔹They may reduce soreness and fatigue during and between workouts. 🔹They’re useful for experienced weightlifters trying to optimize training volume and frequency. 🔹They can be a fun change of pace. That said, full-body training can also be more complicated to program correctly and most of the benefits are only relevant to advanced weightlifters. Also, if you like doing multiple exercises for the same muscle group in one workout (as many people do), you may find full-body training less enjoyable than other popular splits like push,pull, legs or upper/lower. So, in the final analysis, full-body training is just another effective way to get jacked, not THE way as some people proclaim. If you want to try a full-body workout routine, here are the main points to keep in mind: 1️⃣ Emphasize one or two movements or muscle groups in each workout (don’t try to directly train all major muscle groups, as “full-body” implies). 2️⃣ Do the compound exercises at the beginning of your workouts. 3️⃣ Train each muscle group with one or two exercises and three to six sets per workout and do 10 to 20 sets per muscle group per week. 4️⃣ Always focus on getting stronger (progressive overload). What are your thoughts on full-body training? Is it an “ach-ya” or “nish-nish”?
A post shared by Mike Matthews (@muscleforlifefitness) on Sep 3, 2020 at 1:11pm PDT
The Muscle For Life podcast, hosted by author and entrepreneur Mike Matthews, “gives you simple, science-based know-how and inspiration that will help you build your best body and life ever.”
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