Top 25 Female Fitness Coaches To Follow in 2017

By Dr. John Rusin

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There are some absolutely amazing females in the fitness industry. These women are incredibly knowledgable, experienced, empowering, are constantly learning, and are incredibly strong, and deserve the same amount of respect and coverage as their male counterparts.

While I have a massive amount of respect for all of the amazing male coaches in the fitness industry, the ability to educate, empower, and inspire has nothing to do with gender. Very few female coaches receive the recognition that they deserve, and this needs to change.

I have made it a huge mission of mine to ensure the amazing females in the fitness industry receive the coverage and accolades that they deserve. Also, it is very important to me that women and girls of all ages have intelligent, strong, healthy and inspirational female role models to look up to.

Sadly, many of these women and girls have not been exposed to anything other than certain celebrity trainers, the social media ‘’fitness trainers’’ who lack knowledge and credibility, the Instagram phenoms who have gained hundreds of thousands in following based solely on aesthetics. In addition to this, females are constantly being force fed the message that they need to shrink, diet, tone, lose, and make themselves less. Again, things need to change, and it all starts with leadership.

Top 25 Women To Follow In The Fitness Industry For 2017

I have taken it upon myself to come up with a list of 25 amazing women in the fitness industry who you should follow. These women are smart, talented, inspirational, strong, and are amazing role models. All of these fantastic women, who come from very diverse backgrounds, have the mission of educating, empowering, and inspiring, versus shaming women into looking or acting a certain way. And of course, I’m absolutely sure I missed some amazing coaches on this list, but without further ado…

In no particular order, here are 25 kick-ass women who you should follow:

0_0023_backgroundArtemis Scantalides

Location: Boston, Massachusetts 

Artemis, is a personal trainer who has been working in the fitness industry for over 13 years. She is the former Co-Owner and CEO of Iron Body Studios, and current owner of Iron Body Training Systems, ReebokONE Fitness Ambassador, and Creator of the I Am Not Afraid To Lift workshop series and women’s strength retreat. Artemis specializes in women’s strength training, and Hardstyle Style Kettlebell Training (StrongFirst (SFG) Team Leader). Artemis has the mission of empowering women through strength, and inspiring them to not be afraid of lifting weights.

Follow Artemis on:


Facebook: Iron Body By Artemis

Instagram: @IronBodyByArtemis

Twitter: @IrnBdyByArtemis 

2Jen Sinkler

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jen, owner of Thrive As The Fittest, is a strength coach, who has the mission of helping each individual find a workout style they enjoy. She also devised the program ‘’Lift Weights Faster,’’ in order to help and empower people, and let them know that there are better, and more fun ways to work out than the treadmill, or as she says, ‘’dreadmill.’’ She is a kettlebell instructor through the RKC (Level 2) and KBA, and an Olympic lifting coach through USA Weightlifting. Jen is passionate about delivering high-quality information in a way that isn’t boring or patronizing. Jen played competitive rugby for 13 years, many of those years on the US National women’s 7’s and 15’s teams.

Follow Jen on:


Facebook: Thrive As The Fittest

Instagram: @jensinkler

Twitter: @JenSinkler

Molly Galbraith

Location: Lexington, Kentucky

Molly is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder and owner of Girls Gone Strong, a global movement that empowers women to understand all of the possibilities for their lives and their bodies and gives them the tools to making true, lasting change. A former gym owner who also competed in figure and powerlifting, and has been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease and PCOS, Molly uses her personal story and struggle with body embracement to help other women fall in love with themselves and heal their relationship with food and their bodies. Through Girls Gone Strong, Molly and her advisory board of world-class experts including PhDs, RDs, and PTs, provide women with body-positive, evidence-based, sane, and sustainable nutrition, training, and lifestyle information to help women find a way for fitness to enhance their life instead of be their life.

Follow Molly on:


Facebook: Girls Gone Strong

Instagram: @TheGirlsGoneStrong

Twitter: @GirlsGoneSTRONG

0_0017_loriofficial_0Lori Lindsey

Location: Washington DC.

Lori was a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, and recently retired from playing in 2014. During her illustrious career, she represented the national team in the 2011 FIFA World Cup, and the 2012 Olympic Games. Lori is now a strength and conditioning coach, and is using her incredible passion for strength training, and her vast amount of knowledge, to help many people of different backgrounds achieve their goals.


Follow Lori on:


Facebook: Lori Lindsey

Instagram: @LoriLindsey6

Twitter: @LoriLindsey6

0_0019_923219_599222923429457_1072894751_nJoy Victoria

Location: Toronto, Canada

Joy is a strength coach and also a nutrition coach, who does most of her work with the general population. She is a mother of 2, and is a former competitive powerlifter. Joy is hypermobile, and has dealt with many injuries and a lot of frustration. She has worked extremely hard to rebuild her body so it is stronger and healthier. She frequently provides a lot of valuable insight into hypermobility, which is extremely beneficial as hypermobility is very common, and her advice will help people manage their hypermobility so they can feel and perform their very best.

Follow Joy on:


Facebook: Joy Victoria

Instagram: @JoyVFitnessBaddie

Twitter: @JoyVictoriaa

0_0018_soccerErica Suter

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Erica is a certified strength and conditioning coach, soccer coach (UEFA D License), and fitness blogger who has worked with athletes and non-athletes for 5 years. She has coached hundreds of young female soccer players (ages 7-27) in the realms of technical, strength, balance, and conditioning programs. She also trains adults who want to embrace life as their strongest and healthiest selves. After being an All-American soccer player and team captain in college at Johns Hopkins University and playing semi-professionally in Brazil, she decided her mission was to help young girls turn into women, recognize their strengths, and tap into their passions and talents.

Follow Erica on:


Facebook: Fit Soccer Chick 26

Instagram: @FitSoccerChick26

Twitter: @FitSoccrChick26 

0_0016_41510-julia-ladewski-45_finalJulia Ladewski

Location: Highland, Indiana

Julia Ladewski is a strength coach who works with strength athletes like powerlifters, physique competitors, Crossfitters, and recreational lifters who have the goal of gaining strength, building muscle, and losing fat. Julia used to work at the University of Buffalo and was a strength & conditioning coach, where she worked with division 1 athletes from every sport. Julia is also a competitive drug-free powerlifter, squatting 463, benching 240, and deadlifting 424 in the 132-pound weight class.


Follow Julia on:


Facebook: Julia Ladewski

Instagram: @JuliaLadewski

Twitter: @JuliaLadewski

0_0015_dr-laura-miranda-nyc-fitness-trainer-physical-therapist-640x960Dr. Laura Miranda

Location, New York City, New 

Laura is a doctor of physical therapy, and a strength and performance expert. Laura’s mission, and also the model of her company, is to help women become the best possible version of themselves. From a very young age, Laura used sports as an outlet, and was fortunate enough to have a few very strong female coaches who played a massive rule and changing the direction of her life through their guidance and unconditional believe in her. It is Laura’s mission as a fitness professional to have the same kind of impact on her clients. If you are in New York City, the chances are good that you will see Laura and her clients engaging in some fun, innovative, and effective outdoor group workouts, and she sees the potential in everything.

Follow Laura on:


Facebook: Dr. Laura Miranda

Instagram: @drlauramiranda

Twitter: @drlauramiranda

0_0014_elisabeth-akinwaleElisabeth Akinwale

Location: Chicago, Illinois 

Elisabeth is best known for her appearances in the Annual CrossFit Games. Less than 6 months after being introduced to CrossFit, Elisabeth qualified to the 2011 CrossFit Games, Placing 13th overall. In total, Elisabeth has four CrossFit Games appearances. She is also accomplished in the sport of Olympic-style weightlifting with three USA Weightlifting National qualifications and American Open Weightlifting Championship appearances. Her Facebook page is consistently filled with photos, informative videos, and motivational posts aimed to educate, motivate, and inspire.

Follow Elizabeth on:


Facebook: Elisabeth Akinwale

Instagram: @Eakinwale

Twitter: @Eakinwale

0_0013_q_asqm-eNardia Norman

Location: Sydney, Australia

Nardia, Australia’s Personal Trainer Of The Year in 2014, an international presenter, and author, has a refreshingly no BS and common sense approach to health and fitness. Nardia is on a mission to help women combat and defeat the training and nutrition dogmas that are holding so many women back from living a healthy life, both in terms of thinking and being, and from living freely. Nardia has a phenomenal podcast, the W.O.W Collective For Women, where she interviews inspirational, and diverse, women from around the world.

Follow Nardia on:


Facebook: Nardia Norman

Instagram: @NardiaNorman

Twitter: @NardiaNorman

Kelly Coffey

Location: Northampton, Massachusetts

Coach & certified trainer Kelly Coffey has been fit and healthy for 10+ years, but she’s also been over 300 pounds, a smoker, a heavy drinker, and a master of self-neglect. Coffey’s funny, relate-able, and honest to a fault, and her Pleasure Principles have helped thousands of women change for the better when all else failed. If you want to make drastic, lasting change (lose a ton of weight, stop treating yourself like shit, etc.) then it makes sense to follow someone who’s done exactly that.

Follow Kelly on:


Facebook: Strong Coffey

Instagram: @StrongCoffeyGram

Twitter: @StrongCoffey

0_0011_14980838_10154782046112853_8894536078539617023_nSteph Buchanan

Location: Toronto, Canada

Steph is the Co-Owner, Creative Director, Martial Arts Coach, Boxer, Power Lifter at Iron Lion Training Inc. – FIGHTER for equality. Her Facebook page is a body positive, judgement free zone where women are encouraged to ‘FIND THEIR POWER IN THE PRIDE’ a.k.a. The Iron Lioness Movement, which is focused on the health and wellness of women, and children. Steph has created both a physical, and virtual space for them to do that. With both middle fingers up to the multi billion dollar fitness industry, she gives women an alternative to be more, and do more, and believes that it’s important for women to have a safe space to explore their strength, and be unapologetically strong, and confident in their own skin.

Follow Steph on:


Facebook: Steph Iron Lioness

Instagram: @StephIronLioness

Twitter: @StephIronLioness

0_0010_leigh-peeleLeigh Peele

Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

Leigh has been working in the fitness industry for over a decade. She is an NASM certified trainer, author of the Fat Loss Troubleshoot and Starve Mode, a book explaining and resetting the metabolic problems that can come from dieting. Former co-host of The Fitcast podcast and her own podcast, Ask Leigh, and currently hosts her own podcast, “You Need To Hear This.”


Follow Leigh on:


Facebook: Leigh Peele

Instagram: @LeighPeele

Twitter: @LeighPeele28

0_0009_suefalsone_1981Sue Falsone

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Sue, the Associate Professor Of Athletic Therapy at AT Still University. Sue holds the distinction of being the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major sports in the United States (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA), as she worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 years. She also worked for the US Men’s National Soccer Team. Sue is a a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS), a certified athletic trainer (ATC), certified orthopedic manual therapist for the spine (COMT) and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Follow Sue on:


Facebook: Sue Falsone

Instagram: @SueFalsone

Twitter: @SueFalsone

0_0008_static1-squarespaceNancy Newell

Location: Hudson, Massachusetts

Nancy is the first female strength coach in Cressey Sports Performance history. She is also a writer, powerlifter, and college softball enthusiast. Nancy is known for her high energy attitude and being an eternal optimist. She loves squatting, benching and deadlifting heavy.




Follow Nancy on:


Facebook: Nancy Newell

Instagram: @Nancy_Newell

Twitter: @NancyNewell2

0_0007_allisontenney-1-640x460Allison Tenney

Location: Seattle, Washington

Allison is a strength and performance expert and soccer coach. Allison used to play division 1 college soccer, and knows what it takes to help her athletes perform at a high level on the field, and she strives to help her athletes reach their full athletic potential by training smarter and more effectively.



Follow Allison on:


Facebook: Allison Tenny

Instagram: @AllisonTenney

Twitter: @AllisonTenney

1321Christina Nowak 

Location: Kingston, Ontario

Christina is a registered physiotherapist, Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist, and the co-owner at Stave Off. Christina is a believer in the strength of exercise for rehabilitation, especially for older adults, a mindset that is sorely lacking in this profession. Christina is also an athlete, and competed in CrossFit, finishing an impressive 3rd place in the CrossFit Regionals.


Follow Christina on:

Website: Stave Off

Facebook: Christina Nowak

Instagram: @ChristinaNowak3

Twitter: @ChristinaNowak3

0_0006_kristasdKrista Scott-Dixon

Location: Toronto, Canada

Krista Scott-Dixon finished her PhD in 2002. She taught at York University and did a brief stint in public health, publishing three books along the way. She escaped academia altogether in 2008 (and never looked back). She helped start the Healthy Food Bank charity and Spezzatino magazine, an online food magazine that really helps fight hunger. Along with her HFB and Spezzatino work, she currently serves as the Lean Eating Program Director at Precision Nutrition. She’s coached three cohorts of the Lean Eating program, helping hundreds of women get and stay fit and healthy. She’s run Stumptuous, a noncommercial, no-BS website for women’s weight training, since 1996.

Follow Krista on:


Facebook: Kristen Scott-Dixon

Twitter: @Stumptuous

0_0005_14563406_123113388154784_9193448916171885359_nDr. Lisa Lewis

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Lisa Lewis is a licensed psychologist with a passion for wellness and fitness. She earned her doctorate in counseling psychology with a specialization in sport psychology at Boston University, and her doctoral research focused on exercise motivation. She uses a strength-based, solution-focused approach and most enjoys working with athletes and athletically-minded clients who are working toward a specific goal or achievement. Lisa currently works as the assistant director of a college counseling center in Boston, MA, and she has a small private practice in the nearby town of Brookline. As a new addition to the “I Am Not Afraid To Lift” workshop, Lisa will integrate mental skills into the physical skills training of the day.

Follow Lisa on:


Facebook: Lisa Lewis

Instagram: @LiLew13

0_0004_headshot-197x300Kellie Hart Davis

Location: San Francisco, California

Kellie is the founder of, an online platform with the mission to help women from all different backgrounds achieve ultimate happiness by giving them the tools to build their best bodies from the inside out. Kellie is also the co-founder of Get Glutes, a strength and conditioning programming platform geared towards empowering women with the iron. She’s also the co-author of Strong Curves, and a former figure competitor who now competes in powerlifting and embodies what female fitness is all about.

Follow Kellie on:


Facebook: Kellie Hart Davis

Instagram: @KellieDavisFIT

Twitter: @KellieHartDavis

0_0003_fgsv72am3gbvmzjax1z7vpbk9rrcvrq51tcuatzqrwhew52il7jakanfgxx7zoaof4vy5v2cqsirenz4cfj4qKalli Youngstrom

Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Kalli Youngstrom is an IFBB figure pro, an elite level powerlifter, and above all else a lifestyle coach. Kalli focuses  on enhancing  health, fitness, physique, and performance while helping you reach your goals by creating custom programming designed specifically for you. As a certified personal trainer, weight management specialist, and sports nutritionist she uses her knowledge and experience in bodybuilding and athletics along with your personal biofeedback to optimize results. 


Follow Kalli on:

Website: KY Fitness

Facebook: Kalli Youngstrom

Instagram: @IFBBProKYFit

Twitter: @Kalli_Shea

0_0002_dani-shugart-interview-41Dani Shugart

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dani Shugart is the first female editor at Testosterone Nation, a published author, figure athlete, and lifetime lifter. Dani is well known for taking tough topics head on in her writing, and helping her female and male readers take control of dietary behaviors to finally build the body they want.



Follow Dani on:

Website: Good Girl Fitness

Facebook: Dani Shugart

Instagram: @DaniShugart

Twitter: @DaniShugart

0_0001_dani_headerDr. Dani Overcash

Location: Loveland, Colorado

Dani is a recent DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) graduate from Duke University, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and raw powerlifter with best meet lifts of 308/155/402, totaling 865 without wraps in the 123 class at RUM8. Although fairly new to the sport, Dani has jumped in feet first by utilizing her background knowledge of biomechanics and rehabilitation in both her own lifting and the athletes she coaches. Her initiative to learn has driven her to seek out coaches, mentors, and clinical specialists to absorb as much knowledge as she can in a deep desire to empower and inspire athletes. More than anything, she hopes to use her knowledge to make it rain a little bit of glitter and seeks to be a part of helping people be at their best, while chasing a 1000-pound total at 123.

Follow Dani on:

Website: EliteFTS Author Page

Facebook: Dani Overcash

Instagram: @DaniCashDPT

Twitter: @DaniCashDPT

0_0000_profile-2016Amy Dix

Location: Urbandale, Iowa

Amy found her passion for fitness later in life. She calls it “adult onset athleticism”. She now works as a personal trainer in Des Moines, coaching strength training, nutrition, and healthy habits to people both in the metro area and online. She also works as a fitness writer and blogs at and is a monthly author for Jordan Syatt’s Inner Circle. Her favorite part of her job is watching her clients gain confidence and empowerment as they make progress with their fitness goals. Amy is an avid lifter, a lover of heavy deadlifts, a passionate cook, and coffee junkie. She lives in Urbandale, Iowa with her husband and three boys.

Follow Amy on:


Facebook: Amy Dix

Instagram: @amydix_foundationfitness

EDITORS BONUS ADD: Meghan Callaway

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Meghan Callaway is a highly respected personal trainer in Vancouver, Canada and has over 13 years of experience. Meghan was in a bad car accident when she was 28, and this led to 5+ years of severe body issues/dysfunctions. Going through this ordeal made Meghan appreciate her health and simply the ability to feel good more than ever, and it changed her overall mindset from one that was so focused on aesthetics, to one that is now centred around feeling healthy, happy and confident, and kicking ass, both in the gym, and in life. This is also the mindset she tries to instil in all of her clients. Meghan has an extensive athletic background and has played competitive soccer for 26 years, and also grew up playing ice hockey and baseball on boys teams.

Follow Meghan on:


Facebook: Meghan Callaway

Instagram: @MeghanCallaway

Twitter: @FitFastStrong

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  1. Aron April 16, 2017 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Nice list! Looks like a very knowledgable group of fitness coaches.

  2. Nancy December 22, 2017 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Great list! And there are so many more!

  3. Didi March 4, 2018 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Absolutely no diversity in this list.

  4. Paul Lynch March 15, 2018 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Mainly North America centred. There is life in the rest of the world.

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