When we mention the term ‘strength training’, many people immediately start thinking about powerlifting, World’s Strongest Man competitions, and Olympic lifts like the clean and jerk. But the fact is that strength training can be performed in a number of different ways, including body weight exercises and training specifically for functional strength, as well as using the more conventional free weights and cable machines.
Strength training also provides a number of important benefits for your overall fitness and health, such as reducing the risk of osteoporosis, assisting with weight control, strengthening muscles to prevent against lower back pain, enhancing mobility and balance, and of course improving self-esteem.
However, strength training routines can be intense, and it’s best to find a trusted source with years of experience in what you’re looking to achieve so that you can learn from their mistakes and benefit from their knowledge. That’s why we’ve put together a very select list of our top 10 strength training blogs to follow in 2015.
Update: Looking for even more motivation? We just published our top 10 strength blogs for 2016!
With more than 3500 training articles dedicated to all aspects of lifting heavy things, elitefts is an incredible source of high quality content that’s designed to help you compete, break personal records, and even recover from injuries in a safe and successful way.
But despite such an impressive number of training and nutrition articles, as well as podcasts, features, and hundreds of educational and workout videos, the team behind elitefts haven’t sacrificed on quality.
Looking through the bios for the 20+ columnists currently listed as writing for the site shows an impressive track record of strength achievements, with world record holders, strength and conditioning coaches, exercise science graduates, competitive lifters, and exercise physiologists all contributing to what has become arguably the world’s most comprehensive resource on strength training.
In fact they have just articles and videos to cover just about everything you could need, from teen training advice, to advanced programs for leg hypertrophy, and in-depth analysis of world record lifts.
Not sure how to perform Bulgarian Split Squats? Then their extensive exercise database with step-by-step guides to performing advanced exercises correctly will be hugely beneficial.
There’s so much more to the site than we have the space to cover here, and we haven’t even mentioned the strength club, online strength store, or regular Q & A sessions! If you’re a fan of strength training, elitefts is a site that simply can’t be ignored.
If you’ve ever searched for a strength video on YouTube, the chances are that you would have already come across Elliott’s strength channel.
With over 1.5 million subscribers between this and his second channel ‘Ideas For Living Stronger’, and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, there’s no shortage of regular content designed to help you become a stronger version of yourself.
But away from the social media and YouTube success, it’s important to give credit to the blog. However, it is worth mentioning one important point, which is best explained in one of his latest blog posts.
After a short break from posting new videos on YouTube and scaling back on the social media side, there now seems to be a much greater focus on growing the success of Strength Camp gym in St. Petersburg Florida.
That being said, you can still watch nearly 8 years of videos on his YouTube channel, and read through over 200 extremely well written articles relating to strength training and motivation on the blog.
There’s no doubt that Elliott is an incredibly talented writer, and extremely dedicated to helping other people achieve their own strength training successes, in a similar way to how he achieved his own.
We look forward to seeing what develops over the coming months and years, and wish him every success with the growth of Strength Camp.
If you’ve been reading the likes of Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, ESPN, or Maximum Fitness, then you may already know about how incredibly successful Jason has been in establishing his personal blog and fitness consultancy business.
As a result, you’ll find regular blog posts about not just health and fitness, but also how to achieve your dreams outside of the gym, with regular features on developing the right mindset for self improvement.
The most important thing is that Jason has decades of experience working in the health and fitness industry. Not just that, but he’s also experienced with building up successful businesses, helping people make incredible personal fitness transformations, and still found the time to read 100 books per year.
This last point alone has led to a comprehensive list of books that can help with personal, business, and relationship development, as well as improving your physical fitness.
Jay also interviews guests as part of his podcast series title ‘The Jay Ferruggia Show’, as well as running transformation contests that usually involve flying the winner out to California, as part of the Renegade Strength Club.
If you can’t get enough of the free content on the blog, this is essentially a more exclusive membership system, with varying price tiers to suit your goals and budget.
You can find out all the benefits by taking a look at the Renegade Strength Club website, but essentially this covers everything from new workouts each week and forum access, to personalized 1-on-1 coaching from Jay and monthly progress calls.
As the man behind the Strength Sensei site, and arguably one of the world’s most renowned strength coaches, Charles Poliquin has a 38 year history of training with weights for not just himself, but also professional athletes and Olympians worldwide.
But as well as this, Charles also teaches the teachers, which was made possible with the creation of the Poliquin Performance Center in Chicago.
Although in the past couple of years this has been renamed as the Bystol Performance Center (find out the reasons why), this has allowed the blog to develop into an incredibly useful resource for anyone with an interest in strength training and kinesiology.
This includes hundreds of articles, with new content on an almost daily basis ranging from advice for women training for strength gains, to motivational life lessons.
You’ll also find a number of high quality reviews for everything from the best gyms from around the world, to guest posts about advanced workout supplementation and nutrition.
As with many coaches, it can often be useful to hear them speak face-to-face, giving you the ability to take in more information on a personal level.
If you think this is something you might be interested in, we would definitely recommend checking Charles’ seminar schedule. Although the places do tend to sell out fast, it’s always worth checking to see if there’s one being hosted at a location close to you.
It shouldn’t take long to build up a picture of just how influential a speaker Charles is in the strength coaching world.
As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology, Eric Cressey regularly coaches athletes from all experience levels through Cressey Sport Performance.
But Eric is also equally as talented at writing as he is coaching, publishing over 500 articles in total since the blog was started back in 2002.
As well as having articles featured on his own blog, you may have also come across some of his work in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, T-Muscle, Yahoo Sports, EliteFTS, and many more well respected fitness and strength sites and publications.
If you’re looking for some visual content to clarify some of the points mentioned in the extensive collection of blog articles, EricCressey.com also has a YouTube channel, where you’ll find videos on everything from ankle mobility to the perfect back squat technique.
Depending on your own personal goals, we would definitely recommend reading through the series; ‘Random Thoughts on Sports Performance Training‘.
Much like the rest of the articles, these are exceptionally well written, and come complete with video guides and detailed diagrams. The diagrams can be particularly useful if you start to find any of the articles a little too technical.
But in our mind that’s what makes this blog special, and we’ve found both the blog and High Performance Handbook to contain incredibly useful information for strength training.
Founded by personal trainer and boxing coach Ross Enamait, Ross Training has grown into a leading online resource for strength training, inspirational, and nutrition based content.
As well as the more traditional type of strength training with free weights and compound exercises, you’ll also find a number of unique articles on ways to build a stronger, healthier body with very little financial investment.
Training with used tires, jump ropes, home made dip belts and thick grip bar wraps, and outdoor workouts with heavy stones are just a few of the articles we came across from the first few pages of the blog.
Throughout the site you’ll also come across a number of nice little touches that really add up to make this one of our favourite strength training blogs. This includes an inspirational quote at the end of each article, and including videos that Ross has produced himself to provide a clearer demonstration of many of the more unique training methods he talks about.
In addition to the regular posting of some truly original content, you can also visit the RossTraining.com forum, where you can find over half a million posts on strength and conditioning, MMA skills, training equipment, and many more topics designed to help you achieve your strength goals.
Ross has also written a number of books based around efficient strength and conditioning systems, including ‘Never Gymless’ – dedicated to home workouts using your bodyweight as the resistance, without the need for a fully equipped gym.
Founder of The Underground Strength Gym and creator of The Underground Strength Coach Certification, Zach Even-Esh is someone who is truly passionate about helping people achieve their very best in all aspects of their lives.
This is what shines through in the blog posts, together with his love of old-school style gym training and of course, a love of strength training.
The articles cover a wide range of strength workout options, including how to put together an effective training routine in your garage, and a collection of shorter (less than 30 minutes) workouts for when you’re short on time.
As well as being featured in fitness publications such as Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness, Zach has also built up his own impressive library of videos and strength training systems to supplement the hundreds of articles he’s written for the blog.
In fact, even before you read any of the articles, we would definitely recommend reading a bit about Zach’s fascinating life story and the various lessons he’s learned on the way to being where he is today.
If you like what you read on the blog but are looking for a 1-to-1 approach, Zach can also provide a private life / business / training consultancy option for a few carefully selected people.
Created by Nick Horton, The Iron Samurai is a little different to the blogs we’ve already mentioned in this category. This is due to the fact that it focuses on mental strength in the form of Zen training, as well as more conventional body strength training.
After training as a mathematician and practicing Zen for close to 18 years, the site now acts as an online training resource based around 3 main categories; Training and Coaching, Science and Mathematics, and Culture (Zen).
Together with the impressive list of blog posts, The Iron Samurai also has its own podcast. This is where you can listen to a combination of motivational life lessons, strength training advice, and Zen techniques that will help you succeed in your fitness and life goals, while at the same time learning to embrace and overcome any failures.
Away from the blog, Nick is also a strength coach at Asheville Strength gym in North Carolina, where regular weightlifting seminars, camps, and competitions are held for people of all ages and experience levels.
Update: For anyone interested in learning more about Olympic lifting – specifically how to snatch, there’s an online course now available which aims to show you how to maintain the best technique through a series of videos, written material, and answers to your questions.
Although this particular site doesn’t strictly fall into the category of being an individual’s blog, the information presented and quality of the site is simply too valuable to ignore.
Now based in Sunnyvale, CA, but originally founded in San Diego by Greg Everett back in 2006, Catalyst Athletics is not only an online publisher of high quality strength and Olympic Weightlifting content, but also a facility where people local to Sunnyvale can put the lessons they read into practice
The first thing you’ll notice when visiting the site will likely be how frequently the articles, videos, photos, and range of other online content is updated.
If you’ve already started to include Olympic lifts in your routine, there’s over 2500 action shots covering every stage of the lift to analyse if you want to.
There’s also nearly 1000 Olympic Weightlifting training videos to watch for free via the website or the Catalyst Athletics YouTube channel, including a series of instructional videos with commentary so you can pick up tips on how to improve.
New workout plans are posted on an almost daily basis, with each being based around the big power exercises, such as the snatch, snatch pull, back squat, and push press.
The main collection of articles is dedicated to all aspects of a strength training lifestyle, with a strong focus on general training and Olympic Weightlifting, but also with articles on nutrition, what equipment you’ll need, and some quick tips on mobility and preparation.
We haven’t even mentioned their Olympic Weightlifting seminars and coaching certifications, which can be extremely beneficial to your training, whether or not you want to pursue strength coaching as a career.
If you love searching out new and exciting fitness blogs, the chances are you’re already very familiar with the work of Steve Kamb, who founded Nerd Fitness in 2009 to help others achieve positive change in their everyday lives.
What makes the site not just unique, but one of the most popular fitness blogs online, is the personality behind the articles. As a self proclaimed nerd, Steve writes articles for the site with a number of influences from superheroes,
Instead of recommending any single fixed routine, Nerd Fitness has the philosophy that you should do the exercise that you enjoy the most, with The Rebel Fitness Guide created to help you get in shape without a gym membership.
You’ll also find no shortage of diet articles, with an entire guide dedicated to the Paleo Diet, as well as a number of articles that focus on the importance of your mental attitude towards achievements and goal setting.
If you’re looking to connect with people that share the same passion for fitness as you do, there’s even an active Nerd Fitness Community, where you can discuss everything from life hacks to fitness apparel. There’s even a dedicated group for powerlifting and weightlifting.
Alternatively, if the idea of getting away from it all to an environment where you can actually meet and train with other people, including Steve Kamb himself, the Nerd Fitness Camp – launched in 2014 – is probably the ideal solution.
Fitness activities at the camp included Kung Fu, squat and deadlift tuition, grip strength classes, and bodyweight strength training. But what makes this experience even more special is that the fitness is combined with themed parties, lake activities, basketball, and much more.
There’s even more being added for 2015, so we recommend getting in early!