Happy Friday, everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. I’d like to welcome you to my first installment of Friday Faves. Every Friday I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite fitness- and/or nutrition-related things, from products to food to fashion to people…to so much more.
As I mentioned in a previous post, there are a ton of health and fitness sites on the web today; I usually discover a new site or blog every week. I think it’s great that so much information about fitness, nutrition, health, and well-being is available online, and that so many people get to share their stories and inspire others through their journey, including myself. Sometimes, however, too much of even a good thing, well, can be too much of a good thing.
While I considered myself to be pretty knowledgeable about nutrition before I started training, I discovered a whole different side of it once I started lifting weights and getting interested in bodybuilding. For example, I didn’t realize the importance of protein or eating the right amount of calories and macronutrients for my goals. I had just been using the default setting on My Fitness Pal to gauge my total calories, never paying attention to the breakdown of macronutrients (hence I wasn’t losing any weight).
With my new focus on building a lean and muscular body (and possibly competing in a bikini competition), I put on my reporter hat and did what any collage-educated, degree-holding journalist would do: I started Googling. Instantly I was bombarded with article after article, from site after site. I not only learned that there are numerous studies, concepts, and theories surrounding nutrition (everything from low-carb and high-carb diets to carb cycling to eating clean to eating whatever fits your macross (IIFYM)), but I also learned that some articles and sites were more helpful and reputable than others. After digging through some clutter, I found several sites to be excellent resources of information on training and nutrition as it relates to building muscle and losing fat. And today I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you.
I find myself regularly going to the five sites below for workouts, recipes, fitness & nutrition advice, and general motivation to stick to my goals and live a healthy & fit lifestyle. I am no fitness or nutrition expert (yet), but I do know how to look for quality information and sources. All of the sites below are either written by industry experts or contain research-backed information. I hope you find them to be as helpful as I have.
What are some of your favorite fitness and nutrition sites?
If I had to choose just one fitness site, this would be it. If you’re not familiar with Bodybuilding.com, it is probably THE best place to go if you’re just getting into the whole bodybuilding process. Part website, part fitness community (BodySpace), part e-commerce site, Bodybuilding.com has so much to offer. From articles on nutrition, fitness, and supplements to detailed training plans to interviews with leading professionals, fitness models, and bodybuilders to tons (and tons) of supplements and recipes, everything you need to start your fitness journey is at your fingertips. It’s your one-stop shop for information, support (through the BodySpace community), and products. You can track your goals and progress, buy your protein and supplements (they always have great deals going on), and also learn how your favorite fitness model or competitor eats and trains. As someone who was new to training for muscle growth and fat loss, I found this site to be a great starting place, and I’m constantly coming back for more information, recipes, and, of course, to order my protein!
This is the website of best-selling health and fitness author Mike Matthews. (Some of his books include “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger,” “Thinner, Leaner, Stronger,” “The Year One Challenge for Women,” and “The Shredded Chef.”) Mike offers great information about diet, training, supplementation, and living a lean and healthy lifestyle. What I love about his writing is that he always provides the research and science to support whatever topic he’s covering and gives practical, real-world advice and examples to help get the point across. Science was never my strong point, but his articles help me better understand how the human body operates in terms of nutrition and training without all the scientific jargon that can be a little overwhelming and difficult to digest. In addition to articles, you’ll find videos, podcasts, recipes, success stories, and helpful guides, like The Definitive Guide to Effective Meal Planning. It’s a really great site for motivation and information you can immediately start implementing to improve your diet, training or lifestyle.
This is the blog of natural bodybuilder and fitness author Tom Venuto. I’m currently reading—and loving!—his book, “Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle.” (I’ll be writing a book review in the future.) Tom has been in the fitness industry for more than 15 years and has worn every hat possible—personal trainer, health club manager, nutrition consultant, fitness coach, competitive bodybuilder, online publisher and freelance writer.
On his blog he writes about fat loss, bodybuilding, body transformation, nutrition, cardio, weight training, motivation, goal setting, and, one of the most important components of undergoing a transformation, psychology. Like Mike Matthews on Muscleforlife.com, Tom explains the science and research behind the topics he writes about. He’s also very active on social media (primarily Facebook) and responds to readers’ questions. In addition to his own writing, Tom also features guests posts from other fitness industry experts and professionals.
This site is all about giving you factual, no-nonsense advice on how to reach your health and fitness goals. The site was started in September 2011 by Tony, a self proclaimed fitness fanatic who competed in his first powerlifting competition at the age of 13 (you can read more about him here). I’m not sure if he holds a fitness degree or certification; he mentions he used to give personal fitness advice in the past on the contact page, so he may. Regardless, his site has over 500 articles that focus on anything and everything fitness-related, including exercises, ways to improve your diet, weight-loss tips, and fitness education—and all the information is evidenced based. The best way to sum up this down-to-earth site is probably by sharing its fitness philosophy:
“Focus on being healthy, and the weight loss will follow.”
Coach Calorie is also focused on community and very active on social media; I probably click on one of its Facebook posts every day.
Breaking Muscle is run by a team of health and fitness professionals who specialize in Olympic lifting, powerlifting, functional fitness, nutrition, yoga, and psychology…to name a few. The site also features articles written by coaches and athletes. The content focuses on the latest research, products, and equipment in the fitness and nutrition space, as well as motivational features and workouts. There is also a video section. It’s a great source of information on various forms of training and exercising, from yoga to CrossFit to MMA. They also do a good job of covering female fitness and even have a Mommy Workouts section.
Do you visit any of these sites regularly? What are some your favorite fitness and nutrition sites/blogs?