Expert Panel

We have a substantial network of health and fitness experts who help our team at Garage Gym Reviews. They provide us with scientific data, research and their expert opinion on the articles we publish.

Cooper Mitchell

  • Owner, Garage Gym Reviews
  • Co-owner, Intentional Fitness

Cooper is a graduate of Missouri State University with a degree in Finance. He found his love for fitness while training for hockey, a sport he played with various teams throughout his career, including Lindenwood University, St. Louis AAA Blues, and the St. Louis Jr. Blues.

At IFP, Cooper focuses on the training layout and client experience. In addition to co-owning Intentional Fitness & Performance, Cooper runs the website and associated channels for Garage Gym Reviews

When not eating tacos or staring at a screen, Cooper can be found with his Wife Mollie, son Ezra, and dog ‘famous’ Amos.

Mike Masi

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the International Society of Sports Nutrition
  • Credentialed Orthopedic Specialist

Mike graduated with honors from Nova Southeastern University in 2014 as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He was recruited to Charlotte to become Carolina Rehab’s Orthopedic Resident for 2015. During his tenure as a student and resident, he sought out extra-curricular certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) respectively.

In 2015, and 2016 respectively, Michael became credentialed as an Orthopedic Specialist (OCS) and Sports Specialist (SCS) within the field of Physical Therapy. Shortly after, Michael became certified with Myopain Seminars as a Manual Trigger Point Therapist. 

Michael specializes in rehabilitating the strength-sport athlete, and providing off season conditioning and programming for a variety of other sports including football, lacrosse, baseball, tennis, and track and field. He is also proficient in treating a wide range of orthopedic conditions including back and neck pain, plantar-fasciitis, headaches, shin splints, and knee and shoulder pain.

Jacob Penner

  • Owner, Endless Strength Weightlifting Club
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach
  • NCSA Certified personal trainer
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Jacob is passionate about bringing out the best performances from others in a healthy, sustainable way. He has more than six years of experience in athletic leadership positions, including coaching competitive weightlifting. An athlete himself, he has been competing in weightlifting for about two years. He has coached athletes to both regional and national level events under his weightlifting clubs.

Prior to his extensive track and weightlifting coaching career, Jacob was a member of six state championship teams with the Marvin Ridge cross country and track and field programs.

Kate Meier

  • Senior Editor, Garage Gym Reviews
  • NASM Certified personal trainer
  • Certified USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach
  • Certified CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • Former CrossFit affiliate owner

Kate has more than a decade of experience training both adults and children in some capacity, whether in CrossFit, boot camps or soccer. She has a deep-rooted passion for pushing people to achieve their goals. With a Level 1 certification from both USA Weightlifting and CrossFit, Kate has extensive experience as a CrossFit affiliate owner.

Kate has been a fan of fitness nearly her entire life, starting when she was 4 years old doing Jazzercise in her living room with her mother at 5 a.m. She has been doing CrossFit as an athlete for six years and has competed in weightlifting for three years. Prior to finding the barbell, Kate was a runner who raced full and half marathons. She played soccer year-round for about 15 years, including playing competitive club soccer in college.

Anya Perry

  • Certified Primal Health Coach
  • Certified USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach
  • Certified CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Anya grew up in Soviet Russia and left home after getting her college degree by age 19. She went to the best musical Academy in Moscow, Russia, and immigrated to the US in 2010.

Barely speaking the language, she put myself through school and 3.5 years later graduated from Clarkson University with honors. In 2016, she became a certified Primal Health coach and took up the sport of weightlifting.

Since then, she has helped thousands of women via private coaching, virtual summits, and other programs to become the unstoppable badasses they always wanted to be.

TJ Mentus

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Trainer
  • Paul Chek Holistic Life Coach Level 1
  • Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist

TJ has been a personal trainer for 6 years. He fell in love with working out as a way to change for sports as a teenager. During his college years he began to seek out more knowledge of health and fitness and eventually became so passionate about the field he decided to pursue it as a career. Fitness had been a huge part of his growth as a person and his goal was to use fitness as a vehicle for others to also improve their lives overall.

When training clients he wants to help build up their bodies so that they are prepared for the physical challenges of life. Making sure movement patterns are good and improved upon first, then building strength, muscle and conditioning to get the body performing the best it can physically.

For his own fitness he focuses on training to compete in CrossFit and weightlifting competition which he has been competing in for over 2 years.

Crystal Hochman

  • Certified functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner
  • Holistic health coach
  • Yoga teacher
  • Reiki practitioner
  • Level 2 breathwork facilitator

Crystal Hochman’s expertise lies in teaching others to conquer their inner chaos and boldly step into the healthiest, most fulfilled version of themselves. She believes true freedom lies in becoming the observer of our own thoughts, the awareness between the stimulus and the response; ultimately gifting us the power of choice to navigate each day with conscious appreciation.

Brandon McDaniel

  • Vice President, Player Performance in Professional Baseball 
  • Owner, Blue Diamond Performance 
  • NSCA: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • USWA Certified
  • Functional Movement: Functional Movement Screen and Selective Functional Movement Assessment certified 
  • Strong First Kettlebell Certified 

With more than 14 years of professional baseball service, Brandon McDaniel is the Director of Player Performance for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He holds multiple certifications from organizations including the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Strong First and Functional Movement.

Brandon previously worked with EXOS in the U.S. Department of Defense. Outside his work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Andrea, and their three boys (Caleb, Turner and Asher) in Burbank, CA.

Randa Alami

  • NASM-certified personal trainer
  • NASM corrective exercise specialist
  • NASM-certified fitness nutrition specialist

Randa Alami is a petite powerhouse who was certified as a personal fitness trainer in 2014. In addition, she is Schwinn, STRONG by Zumba and POUND Fitness certified and accomplished in boot camp/body sculpt/cardio/HIIT/spin classes.

Alami’s style is warm, personal and encouraging. She is a consummate professional. Alami knows her client’s abilities and provides challenging and inspiring exercises to develop physical and mental stamina. Her exercises are anything but routine. She builds on the basic squats, lunges and planks, but adds compound movements, reps, techniques and music to keep the classes interesting, members sweating and “kraving” more. According to Alami, “a good trainer is also a great student.” She is constantly seeking new ideas and skills to embolden each class, further building strength.

In 2014, Alami opened the first U-Krave Fitness Studio in Wellington, Fl. The thriving brick and mortar business moved to the current Lake worth location in 2015–a clean, light filled space brimming with fitness fans. Throughout the work-outs, Alami is keeping pace for her members, presenting work-outs and motivating the "krew" to just keep moving! Alami taps into her client’s potential and is building strong lives for her U-KRAVERS one jump squat at a time!

Rachel S. Eidelman, M.D.

  • Board-certified cardiologist
  • Director of the Center for Women’s Heart Care at Bethesda Heart Hospital in Boynton Beach

Rachel S. Eidelman serves on the Cardiovascular Peer Review Committee and the Credentialing Committee at Bethesda Hospital East. She has five first-authored and contributing-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Her practice specializes in noninvasive clinical cardiology for women and men with an emphasis on women with heart disease and preventive cardiology. They are dedicated to providing quality cardiovascular and heart care services for every patient.

Dr. Lori Lane

  • Podiatrist
  • Specializes in exercise-related injuries

Dr. Lori Lane’s expertise includes exercise-related injuries, traumatic injury, collapsed arches, tendon tears, foot and ankle reconstruction, custom orthotics, conservative foot, ankle and leg treatment, foot and ankle arthritic pain and more. She recognizes that anyone who is engaging in exercise faces unique foot and ankle challenges related to his or her sport.

Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández

  • Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians
  • Lung health specialist

Dr. Luis Javier Pena-Hernandez, FCCP, is a lung health specialist at PCSI, the largest integrated pulmonary and chest specialty group in Palm Beach County. His areas of expertise include asthma and immunotherapy, COPD, lung cancer, and invasive diagnostic techniques in pulmonary medicine including endo-bronchial ultrasound and diagnostic bronchoscopy. He is also one of the few experts in cardiopulmonary exercise testing and exercise physiology in Palm Beach County.

Michael Scichilone

  • Gym owner
  • “Human Wikipedia of all things Fitness Equipment”
  • Brand consultant

Michael Schichilone is known as the “Human Wikipedia of all things Fitness Equipment.” His entrée into the world of fitness began in 1995 as an owner of a 15,000 square foot gym. Wanting to be a “student of the game,” Michael immersed himself in the industry working for companies in software, commercial equipment manufacturing, and management of private athletic clubs.

Under Michael’s watch, Fitnessmith has grown to include business services such as consulting, design and layout, franchise development, finance and leasing, and extended warranty programs. Mr. Scichilone has served as the brand consultant for industry, shaping companies including Orange Theory Fitness and YouFit Health Clubs.

Julia LeBlanc

  • Doctor of physical therapy
  • Certifications in dry needling, spinal manipulation, and Graston technique

Julia LeBlanc, PT/DPT (doctor of physical therapy). Dr. LeBlanc graduated from Simmons College and has been practicing outpatient orthopedic physical therapy for 15 years. During this time, she worked with high-level collegiate and professional athletes in the Boston area, the Boston Ballet and also a wide range of post-operative, chronic pain and acute patients.

Her certifications include dry needling, spinal manipulation, Graston technique. Dr. LeBlanc is also a certified yoga instructor, allowing her to provide her skills to a wide variety of patients. She strives to integrate the benefits of physical therapy and yoga, while pursuing the most current information to provide patients the best care!

Rachel MacPherson

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT)
  • PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach
  • PN Macros-Based Coaching Specialist
  • Certified Pain-Free Performance Specialist
  • ACE Certified Youth Fitness Specialist [in progress]
  • GGS Certified Prenatal/Postpartum Coach
  • GGS Certified Women’s Coaching Specialist [in progress]

As a lifelong health and fitness enthusiast with 15 years of experience, Rachel is passionate about cutting through fads and the noise. Her aim is to clearly communicate health information with actionable, science-based advice. She wants clients to come away knowing what to do next, feeling like someone out there is in their corner.