Expert Panel

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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.

Dr. Greg Cason, Ph.D.

  • Licensed Psychologist in California
  • Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas
  • Diplomate of Academy of Cognitive Therapy

Dr. Greg Cason is a psychologist in Los Angeles best known as “Dr. Greg” from the Bravo docu-series "LA Shinks."  He has appeared regularly as a psychological expert on many shows including "The Nancy Grace Show," "The Jeff Probst Show," "The Tyra Banks Show," "Extra," and several news features. His expertise was also featured in documentaries as "The Butch Factor," and "The Secret Tapes of the O.J. Case: The Untold Story." His writing includes an often irreverent psychology column called “Off The Couch” that appeared in Frontiers Magazine and he has been featured about in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, People, and several other publications.

He has a Ph.D. from the University of Houston and maintains licenses in California and Texas and is a Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Dr. Cason is also a clinical faculty member at UCLA with a private practice in Los Angeles specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy and the LGBT community. In addition, he not only believes in the benefits of exercise both physically and mentally, he is also an avid gym-goer in Los Angeles and likes to combine bootcamp, weights, rowing, cycling, and yoga into his routine.

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.

Jarrod Nobbe

  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) NSCA
  • USAW National Coach
  • EXOS Performance Specialist (XPS) through EXOS
  • U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association
  • Certified High-Performance Coach (CHPC)
  • Certified Sports Nutrition Coach (CSNC) through the National Sports and Performance Association

Jarrod is the Head Weightlifting Coach for the Athletic Lab Weightlifting team. He has an MA in Sports Performance and a BS in Exercise Science from Ball State University. He is a USAW National Level Coach. Additionally, Jarrod holds a CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) through the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association), a Level 2 Certified High Performance Coach by the Athletic Lab Coaching Academy, a XPS (Exos Performance Specialist), and a CWPC (Certified Weightlifting Performance Coach) and CSNC (Certified Sports Nutrition Coach) through the NSPA (National Sports Performance Association).

Jarrod coached for 2 years as a Strength & Conditioning Graduate Assistant for Ball State University where he led the strength and conditioning programs for Men’s Volleyball, Men’s Tennis, Men’s Golf, & Softball. More recently, Currently he serves as the Assistant Weightlifting Coach for 1Kilo Weightlifting out of Bloomington, IN. Jarrod has worked with national- and world-level medalists in the sport of weightlifting accompanying his experience in the sports performance world where he continues to work with athletes of all backgrounds from novice to professional level.

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.

Laura Endres 

  • AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
  • inerTRAIN Certified Online Personal Trainer
  • Silver Sneakers Senior Fitness Instructor
  • Physical Mind Institute Certified Mat Pilates Instructor

Laura has over 25 years of experience working as a coach, personal trainer, educator, public speaker and entrepreneur. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education and Health Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and holds certifications in personal training, senior fitness, Pilates, and online personal training.  

Laura is also the founder of the online team fitness game Get Fit Done where she motivates players with teamwork, gamified exercise and nutrition habits, and silly banter. She has also produced more than 100 workout videos on YouTube.

Laura has worked with kids, elite athletes, seniors, and everyone in between. She has trained people with severe health considerations including progressive multiple sclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, glaucoma, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's, and amputation, and is a pro at working around pain and mobility challenges and supporting clients’ physical therapy programming. Currently, she primarily helps clients in the 40-plus age group regain what they once had but lost, and she helps seniors regain mobility, strength and balance.

Nadia Murdock

  • Barre Certification: Beyond Barre
  • Mat Pilates Certification: Physical Mind Institute 
  • B.A. Psychology
  • Certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

As the Founder of Nadia Murdock Fit, Nadia is credentialed as a Mindset & Movement Coach, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and is certified in cognitive behavioral therapy. Nadia is also a certified fitness instructor, coach, content creator, writer, and public speaker. 

Nadia’s journey is a personal one, having previously found that her life lacked movement and was weighed down mentally with fears that made living a full life impossible. She eventually embraced the transformative power of a health-focused mind and body, leading to the development of her “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” philosophy, which has become the root of all her work, helping women take charge of their minds and bodies. 

Nadia's education and experience are in the interlocking battle of fitness and psychology, including pregnancy and postpartum. Her mission and purpose are to motivate others to adopt a self-positive mindset leading to healthier choices and body confidence.

Bethany Welch 

  • AFAA personal training certification
  • NASM nutrition certification
  • TRX Level 1
  • CFSC (certified functional strength and conditioning)
  • RRCA Run Coach

Bethany is a New York City-based fitness instructor, personal trainer, and run coach with more than 10 years in the industry. While most of her time is spent as the head coach at Orangetheory Fitness in FiDi NYC, she also has her own run club and personal training business. Her run club, Keep The Pace, has trained hundreds of runners to run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, and everything in between! 

When Bethany is not helping her clients become their best selves, she is busy training for any and all endurance challenges! She most recently completed the Berlin Marathon (and PR'd!) and the Midstate Massive (100-mile trail race). Her next challenge is tackling her second half-Ironman while training for anything else that may come her way!

Michelle Polizzi 

  • Certified Yoga Teacher

Michelle Polizzi is a 500-RYT (has instructed more than 500 hours of yoga), specializing in accessible and beginner-friendly yoga. Her classes are designed to promote relaxation and ease for everybody, often incorporating elements from yin and restorative yoga. She has led workshops on meditation and writing, and her articles on yoga and healthy living have appeared in VeryWell, Parade, YogiApproved, CO Yoga+Life, and more. She resides in Denver where you can find her practicing yoga, reading a good book, or exploring the mountains.

Social handle: @michellepolizzi