Whether you’re about to perform your first deadlift or a seasoned competitor, there’s always going to be new training techniques to help you improve your form, lift more reps, and increase your overall strength.
But how do you separate the poorly written (and often expensive) programs that are destined to fail, from the quality information that puts you on the path to consistent strength gains and break your plateaus?
After reading through dozens of strength blogs online, we’ve compiled what we believe to be the definitive list of strength training blogs to follow in 2016. This includes the latest techniques from personal trainers, accomplished strength coaches, and some of the most elite powerlifters, bodybuilders, and strongmen in the world.
In last year’s guide we featured Charles Poliquin’s ‘Strength Sensei’ as one of the best strength blogs to follow in 2015, and after undergoing a complete redesign in the summer, is now the winner of the top strength blog to follow in 2016.
Recognized as one of the world’s most successful strength coaches, Charles has trained numerous Olympic and professional athletes, written hundreds of strength training articles, and published books including the ‘Poliquin Principles’, which details his training methods.
Poliquin also founded the Poliquin Performance Center, and most recently the newly built Poliquin Group™ World Headquarters situated in East Greenwich, RI.
This 60,000 sq. ft. facility is home to a 20,000 sq. ft. gymnasium, and was opened around the same time as several websites designed to help coaches, personal trainers, and anyone looking for the Performance Line range of supplements, which included the PoliquinStore.com and Vitruviant.com.
Over the past 25 years Charles Poliquin has succeeded in building an incredibly successful career in the fields of exercise science and strength and conditioning, which is one of the reasons the Strength Sensei blog is such an invaluable resource for anyone interested in improving their strength and fitness.
2. T Nation
Also known as Testosterone Nation, T Nation is described as the world’s largest hardcore training site, and home to thousands of articles dedicated to all aspects of strength training and muscle building.
The articles themselves have been written by some of the biggest names in the strength industry, such as Dave Tate, founder and CEO of Elite FTS, and Charles Poliquin, founder of the Poliquin Group and one of the most successful strength coaches in the world.
Widely recognized as a leading authority in all things bodybuilding and strength related, T Nation has a wealth of training advice and actionable steps that you can use to increase your strength in a wide range of exercises, including bench press, deadlift, and squat.
With over 3000 articles published over 17+ years, it’s safe to say that if you have a question about anything powerlifting and strength related, T Nation has an article or video explaining everything you need to know.
Although they aren’t posted with the same daily frequency as the articles, T Nation has an excellent collection of videos that form part of an ‘I, Bodybuilder’ series.
Produced by Canadian bodybuilder and strength-training coach, Christian Thibaudeau, these videos walk you through a program designed for elite lifters, and those looking to take their strength training to the next level. Full rep and set schemes are included, with videos for training every major muscle group.
T Nation also operates a free training forum with an active community where you can ask questions on everything from powerlifting to injury rehab.
Girls Gone Strong is one of the world’s leading online resources for women’s health, wellness, nutrition, training, and lifestyle information, offering realistic and achievable solutions to your fitness and strength goals.
The blog itself is home to hundreds of articles with a focus on nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, recovery, and strength training, written by Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS), Registered Dieticians (RD), Personal Trainers, and Mobility Experts. There’s also a series of articles in the GGS Spotlight series which highlight the motivational success stories of GGS members, which are well worth a read.
But because GGS is a complete training solution, the personalized advice and guidance extends far beyond the blog, with a number of easily accessible handbooks filled with actionable tips to improve your confidence, lose body fat, and prevent injury.
If you want to take your training to the next level, GGS has also produced ‘The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training‘ as an entire training system, complete with step-by-step advice for the best way to achieve your personal fitness goals.
The guide is beautifully designed, and does an excellent job of providing all of the most important and actionable information in a way that’s easy to understand. This includes an HD exercise glossary showing how to perform each of the exercises you’ll use in your training, a 90-minute HD video library, three different 16-week training programs that are perfect for any ability level, and much more.
Girls Gone Strong also offers a more one-to-one approach with one of their world-class coaches, as part of their 9-month training program called ‘Strongest You‘.
Registration for Strongest You Coaching opens 2-3 times per year, with a limited number of spots in each group. If you would like to find out more about the coaching program, coaches themselves, or pre-register for the next group, you can do so on the GGS website.
As one of the top strength coaches in the country, and one of the co-founders of Cressey Sports Performance, Tony Gentilcore has been featured in a long list of major fitness and bodybuilding sites, including Men’s Health, T Nation, and BodyBuilding.com.
The blog is home to hundreds of articles discussing all aspects of strength training, from mobility exercises and CrossFit, through to strength programs and resistance band training.
In addition to keeping the blog regularly updated with his own advice for increasing your strength, there’s also no shortage of guest posts from other experienced strength coaches sharing their advanced training techniques, such as the low bar squat.
As if maintaining a successful blog wasn’t enough, Tony also offers personal coaching for anyone living in, or visiting the Boston area. There’s also specialist distance coaching available for anyone living further away, which are just a few of the services available that are designed to improve the training of you or your athletes.
In truth we simply don’t have enough space in this guide to detail all of the series’ and useful resources that Tony has on his blog, so whether you’re a strength coach, aspiring personal trainer, or simply looking to lift more weight in the gym, there’s something to benefit you.
Roman Fitness Systems was founded by John Romaniello in 2003, and originally started life as a personal training service, coaching professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts in the NYC Metro area.
The RFS site itself was launched in the summer of 2009, and has since grown into one of the top authorities on ways of improving your personal fitness, with hundreds of blog posts on everything from nutrition to time management.
There are of course a wide range of articles about strength training and conditioning, written by John Romaniello himself, as well as respected strength coaches from around the world, like this guide to cold weather conditioning.
The RFS site is full of useful guides like these, which is one of the reasons why it’s been featured in dozens of awards lists, as well as a number of world renowned sites, including Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and The New York Times.
In addition to the articles that are added to the blog on a regular basis, Roman Fitness Systems also has a section dedicated to online coaching. This includes an extensive assessment of your current fitness level and planning to help you achieve your goals, through a combination of personalized workout programs and education on the best form of nutrition.
The best part is that this coaching is available wherever you are in the world, so if it’s something you’re interested in, you can fill out a quick application on the RFS site.
As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Bret Contreras is the founder of a number of workout programs designed to help improve your strength, through both equipment and bodyweight exercises.
Bret has over 500 published articles on the blog, including over 170 on glute training alone. In fact, he’s even published an eBook detailing some of his most advanced and effective training techniques.
If you’re not sure where to start, we would recommend taking a look at the About Me page, where you can find shortcuts to various strength training guides and resources that Bret has either authored or co-authored, as well as quick links to hundreds of posts in categories such as powerlifting, core training, and hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Bret has also been featured in some of the most authoritative weightlifting, powerlifting, and fitness sites on the internet, at least one of which is featured in this guide. These include EliteFTS, BodyBuilding.com, and Men’s Health.
For anyone that’s looking for an advanced strength training program that they can follow step-by-step, it’s worth taking a look at the ‘2 x 4: Maximum Strength‘ guide. This is the same guide that Bret himself used to achieve a 600 lb deadlift, and includes a 14-week nutrition and workout plan, complete with video library.
Despite being best known for its glute training advice, the Bret Contreras blog is an excellent resource for anyone interested in strength training at all levels, with new high quality, research-backed articles added on a regular basis. Highly recommended.
EliteFTS is one of the strength industry’s best known and highly respected online destinations for free educational resources that can help you achieve your strength training goals.
The team is made up of more than 100 strength athletes, coaches, staff members, columnists, and contributors. This has helped build the education side of the site into something that offers articles on all aspects of strength training, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and nutrition.
There are also dedicated sections for the EliteFTS podcasts, video library, and online store, where you can find a wide range of high quality strength training equipment. This includes everything from power racks, benches, plate loaded machines, and powerlifting bars, through to chalk and deadlifting shoes.
As for the blog itself, EliteFTS features dozens of training logs from bodybuilders, strongmen, and powerlifters, as well as coaching logs from World’s Strongest Man competitors, professional strength coaches, and WPC World Powerlifting Champions.
Whether you’re just getting started with strength training or are looking for advanced training techniques to help you prepare for your next powerlifting competition, EliteFTS is a world class site with a wealth of valuable information that will help you succeed.
8. Eric Cressey
Eric Cressey is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology, and founder of one of the most established strength blogs online, having posted the first article in the fall of 2002.
Over the past 13 years Eric has built up an impressive reputation for being one of the leading authorities on athletic performance, strength, and conditioning, after publishing well over 500 articles, creating five books and guest speaking at events in countries around the world.
As for the blog itself, the articles are focussed on all aspects of strength and conditioning, ranging from advanced workout ideas for experienced lifters, through to improving your aerobic capacity.
But if you’re someone that learns more from watching than reading, there’s also a large selection of coaching videos that can help you correct any common mistakes you might be making with your lifts, helping you gain more strength with less risk of injury.
If you want to take your strength training a step further, or are looking for more of a ‘hands on’ approach to learning lifting technique, we would certainly recommend taking a look at the products page. This is where you’ll find complete guides on high performance training, and improving core stability. There’s even information on the Elite Training Mentorship program, which can be performed from a Cressey Performance training facility, or the comfort of your own home.
9. Strong First
Founded by Pavel Tsatsouline in 1998, Strong First teaches men and women how to achieve their strength goals using a system that has a proven track record with people from all walks of life, including professional athletes, elite military, and law enforcement.
The blog is full of articles designed to help you increase your strength through bodyweight and kettlebell exercises, with sample training plans, advice for overcoming plateaus, methods of improving your posture, and much more.
Throughout their training system and the articles on the blog, there’s a clear focus on natural movements using your body weight or free weights, such as kettlebells and barbells.
This teaching is available in several different forms, ranging from the blog posts on the Strong First website, through to their collection of books and videos, and courses. There’s even a range of instructor certifications that can be earned relating to bodyweight, barbell, and kettlebell exercises, if you want to take your training to the next level.
The courses are mostly located in the US, with information now available for the U.S. SFG Kettlebell Courses for the first half of 2016. The curriculum was created by the founder of Strong First, with instructors committed to teaching coaches, personal trainers, and gym owners how to educate their clients in all aspects of kettlebell training. Bodyweight Instructor Certifications are also available.
If you’re interested in maximizing your strength gains, you can also sign up for one of the StrongFirst barbell, bodyweight, or kettlebell courses. This can be an excellent way to learn professional lifting technique for some of the most important and effective strength building exercises, such as the deadlift, back squat, and military press.
To find out if there are courses or special events local to you, it’s worth taking a look at the courses page of the StrongFirst website.
10. Diesel Crew
Diesel Crew specializes in innovative strength training suitable for elite athletes, with a collection of articles tailored towards sports performance, strength development, rehab / mobility, and nutrition.
With some training resources first published in 2005, this is one of the most established strength training blogs online, with complete guides to everything from pull-ups to travel workouts available in their Training Center.
Many of the articles also include videos with instruction on the best way to perform specific exercises, as well as gym tours and grip training. There’s even a collection of eBooks written specifically to help you improve your grip, build explosive strength, and train with specific strength equipment, such as kettlebells and sleds.