Authors, former Navy SEALs
The appearance of not one, but two former Navy SEALs on this list results from a combination of factors: America’s fascination with the elite warriors in the aftermath of the SEALs’ mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden and the popularity of extreme fitness routines favored by the SEALs. It doesn’t hurt that both veterans are also social media black belts.
Jocko Willink and David Goggins are the highest-profile of the crop of retired SEALs operating in the health and motivation space. Following them on their many social media outlets (Willink has 1.3 million followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook; Goggins has almost 2 million followers on Instagram alone) provides a healthy dose of sweat, profanity, drill instructor shouting and encouragement to not let anything stand in your way.
The first post of the day from the barrel-chested Willink typically includes a photo of his watch showing the time he started his workout; it is rarely later than 4:30 a.m. Subsequent photos often show the patterns his sweat has left on the gym floor.
Goggins shoots video of himself running or lifting weights while offering bits of wisdom directly into the camera: “Always be asking yourself, ‘What’s next?’ Make sure you always have an answer.” The fact that the lithe Goggins transformed himself from a 300-pound exterminator to a champion ultramarathoner, with stops in the SEALs and an elite Air Force unit along the way, serves to reinforce his you-can-do-it message.