The internet has been both a blessing and a curse to the fitness industry. On the one hand, it has given people access to an unprecedented amount of free information on fitness. Prior to the internet, people would have had to rely largely on print articles, textbooks, knowledgeable friends and maybe even their own doctors for fitness information. Now any burning question about health and fitness can be answered by a simple Google query.
But with all of the free information out there, how can you tell which information is good and which is bad? Frankly speaking, most of the advice on the internet regarding health and fitness is utter bunk. It’s created by people looking to make a buck off your ignorance.
That’s why in this two part article I want to go over a few websites and resources that I have found to be quite useful over the years. I’m sure you’ll note the running theme that connects them all: an endorsement of the basics.
If you were to force me to choose just one site to rely on for my fitness information I would have to chose www.rosstraining.com. A former amateur boxer and fitness enthusiast, Ross Enamait is the proprietor of the website. He now trains professional and amateur fighters for a living and runs his personal training business alongside his website.
The thing that I love about Ross is that he believes strongly in the basics. If you take some time to read the forums (and his blog in particular) you’ll notice right away that he’s not trying to sell the next “latest and greatest” training methodology. He freely admits that there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to fitness. What he preaches are the fundamentals. Things like the effectiveness of bodyweight exercise, compound movements, sensible nutrition, and the limited use of supplements. Ross continually reinforces his “low tech, high effect” style of training through various examples of men and women who have achieved incredible levels of fitness and athleticism on just the basics. Just check out his most recent blog post on world renowned Muay Thai fighter Buakaw.
If you’re tired of reading all of the gimmicky, bro-science nonsense that seems to plagues the fitness industry, I highly recommend you check out Ross’s website.
Back in the early to mid 2000’s one of the best bodybuilding forums around were the Mean Forums at Bodyrecomposition. The name sounds funny, but these forums were not for the faint of heart. Posters would routinely get mocked, ridiculed, and outright banned for their ignorance. As harsh as this treatment sounds, this actually kept the quality of information on the forums very high. I was an active member back then and I learned a lot about the finer nuances of training and nutrition. Lyle McDonald (the Grand Pooh-bah of the website and forums) was a popular and well respected authority on the science of training and nutrition. He did a magnificent job of distilling all of the peer reviewed research on exercise physiology and human nutrition into practical information that people could apply in real life.
Although I haven’t been a part of that community for a number of years, the main website is still veritable treasure trove of information on training and nutrition. Lyle has written numerous articles (as well has ebooks) on a variety of topics that I think most guys would find useful, especially those of you who are interested in the underlying science behind it all.
Martin Berkhan first made a name for himself as a poster on the aforementioned Mean Forums at Bodyrecomposition. Back then his unorthodox approach to nutrition was cause for many debates on the forums. However, his understanding of the underlying science and physiology behind his approach, coupled with his incredible results eventually cemented his reputation. Before long a litany of followers developed on the forums and the rest is history.
For those of you who don’t know, Martin Berkhan (the proprietor of Lean Gains) was one of the first proponents of intermittent fasting, a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and non-fasting. For the longest time it was believed that as a bodybuilder one had to constantly supply the body with nutrients in order to keep the body in an anabolic state. Martin discovered that this was simply not the case and that one could go several hours without food without and deleterious effects. In fact, Martin discovered that these periods of intermittent fasting improved the body’s ability to shed body fat and build muscle.
The reason why I like Martin’s site is that he has a very strong understanding of the underlying science behind his methods and very little patience for charlatans and snake oil salesmen. Much like Ross and Lyle, he also believes in the basics. If you take the time to read some of his older blog posts you will discover that he utilizes a very basic training system which relies heavily on compound movements, something that we have mentioned here before.
What these three websites have in common is their strong belief in the fundamentals. If we can get just one thing through to our readers it would be that fitness is not a complicated enterprise. It’s doesn’t take a PhD in exercise physiology to get in great shape. A man armed with just the basics and some commonsense can build himself a great physique over time.
That wraps up part 1 of this article. Be sure to check out part 2 where I discuss additional resources that you can use on your quest to a stronger and healthier body.
Here’s to staying fit!