The Top 15 Online Fitness Resources


Crossfit popularity has exploded over the last year.  Dozens of affiliates seem to be opening on a monthly basis and the community is expanding faster than a sub 2 minute Fran.  But it’s no surprise - Crossfit runs under an “open source” mantra and provides a seriously massive wealth of information.  Every day, along with a new WOD (or workout of the day), some sort of video is also provided, usually detailing specifics of various movements or exercises.  Dig beyond the daily WODs and into the message boards and find more exercise and nutrition information directly from the community of trainers and subject matter experts.

Additionally, Crossfit offers a subscription based membership to access their archive of journals.  For a mere $25 yearly fee, you have access to all the back issues and all new articles and videos, in their entirety.  The information in the journals is extremely rich and often worthy of  scientific publication.

Even if you’re not interested in Crossfit or have issues with the program, the content of the website is truly unmatched and is definitely a place to frequent on a regular basis.


Forget what the target and synergist muscles are in a squat?  Need a target weight calculator or need to learn about fitness assessments?  What about a sample cycling mesocycle or information on glycogen?  Fortunately there exists a comprehensive exercise and nutrition website to help answer these questions -  Exrx, of course, stands for “exercise prescription” and the site clearly is capable of offering one. is absolutely packed with information about exercises, anatomy, nutrition, supplements, tools and calculators, and the list goes on and on… A most useful part of the website is the weight training section, which covers the anatomical and kinetic elements of practically every exercise out there and variations thereof.

While the site is maybe low on the glitz and glam side of things, it’s truly an indispensable resource, especially for trainers or other fitness professionals.


If one of your goals with regards to fitness is body composition changes, then may be an invaluable resource for you.  The site features loads of diet and muscle building information.  At first glance, it’s easy to pick off as a site for meatheads, but the underlying content in the “Super Site” area is incredibly comprehensive and full of great info. also offers a very popular social networking sub-site, called BodySpace.  With over 280,000 members (at the time of this writing), BodySpace dominates other sites that offer similar material and networking features.


For determining how many grams of protein and carbs are in a particular food item, or trying to analyze a recipe for the number of calories, there really isn’t a better (or easier) way than using


Fitness really begins to meet social networking on  Sure, there are other sites that offer similar features, but SparkPeople is 100% free and has a significantly larger membership than most of the others.

SparkPeople features nutrition, fitness and goal tracking abilities as well as a massive library of fitness and nutrition information.


I have yet to find another resource online that is as complete as for flexibility training.  Launched by Jon Call in 2002, TricksTutorials was built to showcase and provide lessons for individuals interested in the art of “tricking” - a sport consisting primarily of acrobatics (think back tucks and spinning roundhouses).

A large portion of the site is devoted to Flexibility.  In this portion of the site, Jon lays out foundational information and training methods for increasing flexibility - an often overlooked part of a well rounded fitness program.  He includes information on both dynamic and static stretching for practically every muscle out there.  Definitely a great resource to bookmark.


Founded by Ross Enamait, is dedicated to innovations in high performance conditioning and functional strength training.  The website contains loads of bodyweight movements and exercises, designed to help athletes or individuals in whatever they do.

Ross has collected numerous articles and video clips over the years and has made them available on his site.  He also regularly contributes to his blog, discussing various aspects of fitness and athletics.


Machines should be used by beginners and Women should not lift weights - two huge myths that Mistress Krista beats to a pulp as she discusses how lifting weights are so extremely beneficial to all and should not be feared.

The blog posts on are top notch and filled with fantastic information.  Although the site is great for both sexes, many of the articles on are geared towards women and exercise.  From working out while pregnant to the “truth about breasts and exercise”, if you’re a woman and looking to lift some weight, is a great resource.

9. Straight to the Bar

Predominatly showcasing videos of huge lifts or crazy exercises and feats of strength, there is likely no other Fitness related blog on the interweb with more articles posted per day than on Straight to the Bar.  But among all the freakish strength, Straight to the Bar also features some great articles.


Think “Fitness YouTube”. provides a huge library of fitness related videos.  If you’re a personal trainer looking to mix things up for a client or you’re interested in finding a new exercise to try out to change things up for yourself, you’re likely to find something here.

12. Crossfit BrandX Forums

There’s a reason why Crossfit appears numerous times on this list. It’s efficient, it works, and so many people just can’t get enough of it. However, for every one person who works the WOD daily, there’s at least one more who would like to get into Crossfit, but is hesitant to jump right in full bore. Enter Crossfit Brand X.

Crossfit Brand X was a streetfighting school, turned krav maga school, turned Crossfit affiliate. Somehow, along the way, they also adopted a forum on their website where they religiously began posting scaled Crossfit workouts.

In the Crossfit WOD section of the forum, a member (usually Garddawd) posts several versions of the main website workout, each with less weight, less distance and less required fitness. This is done to help introduce new Crossfitters to the game, or to simply allow a greater range of people to take part in the workout. This, of course, attracts a large group of people and as such, gives rise to loads of other posts asking questions or showcasing some new skills.


It’s hard to look past the giant muscle-heads and bikini clad fitness models on T-Nation (Testosterone Nation), but it has become a very popular bodybuilding website and deservedly so. While it’s hard to scroll down on any page on the site without seeing something PG and NSFW, the site does have its share of good tips and articles.

Important to note, many of the writers on T-Nation are particularly critical of some methods of training like Crossfit. However, one should make sure to get a balance of all sides of the fitness World and T-Nation manages to fit in well there.

Diet, supplements, strength training, body transformation - it’s all there… and then some.


When first visiting, it’s obvious that they love the kettlebell. In fact, DragonDoor sponsors kettlebell certifications. But there’s no crime in that. Kettlebells have become super hot in the last year or so as they provide an endless amount of exercises and movements and have helped so many people acquire strength, rehabilitate injuries and lose weight.

Beyond the kettlebell action of, you’ll also find a large number of articles about body weight training, conditioning and martial arts.


Last, but not least, is I first came across several years ago. Since then, the site has accumulated a wealth of articles about all areas of health and fitness.

Of the more interesting and useful parts of the site are the forum and social networking area. Within these pages you can find virtually any fitness or exercise information you’re looking for.

WOD Timer v0.1

Interval training is huge. It’s a fantastic way to increase the efficiency of a workout and develop increased cardiorespiratory ability and work on metabolic conditioning.

Unfortunately, intervals can be somewhat difficult to time. This is especially the case when you don’t have someone dedicated to be the official “time keeper” for a workout.

In programs such as Crossfit, for example, a workout like the infamous “Fight Gone Bad” requires numerous rounds of numerous sets of intervals. Using a wrist watch or normal digital timer is not necessarily an effective way to time the workout, even when someone is the designated timer.

I figured that having some sort of automated timer would be super nice to have. So I decided to experiment a bit and came up with the WOD Timer.

This is my first Adobe Flex app, so despite the seeming simplicity of the concept, creating this thing admittedly took a while. At the moment it’s in “beta”, but the feature list includes:

  • Standard timer
  • Countdown timer
  • Setup and execute intervals
  • Audio notifications of interval and countdown events
  • Pause timer by any key press
  • Simple, intuitive interface

I’m looking at future enhancements to include things like,

  • Background music streaming (possible support for XSPF)
  • WOD presets (for programming such as Crossfit)
  • Full-screen support

Some feedback on what you would think would be good features for a WOD timer would be appreciated. Let me know in the comments!

WOD Timer - The Interval Timer - Main Menu

Sports and Fitness Website Finalists for Mashable Open Web Awards

Mashable’s Open Web Awards is nearing an end.  The finalists were announced earlier this month and voting will continue until December 14th when the winners are crowned.  Of the 25+ categories, there is a dedicated category for Sports and Fitness related sites.  The 3 finalists include FitFiend and Gyminee, which are both health and fitness social networking sites.  Both are also relatively new on the scene - in fact, FitFiend is still in Beta.

FitFiend describes itself as a “social network devoted to health, fitness, and athletics. It is a community that connects FitPros and FitFiends.”  The site allows users to track workouts and connect with other people (be them fit pros or “fiends” - which I assume is someone totally obsessed with fitness… hrmmmm).   One feature that FitFiend seems to promote, and which seems to be helping the community site, is the whole pro to client connection.  It’s the Linked-In of the fitness world, perhaps moreso than the MySpace…

Gyminee, on the other hand, seems to be a bit more mature of a website, probably due to it’s relatively longer existence.  Gyminee offers much of the same as FitFiend but also includes food tracking, challenges, detailed workout programs, iPhone support and a PRO version, among other things.  From a design perspective, Gyminee is stunning, in comparison to FitFiend.  Again - this is likely a result of the maturity of the application.

However, the Open Web Awards are nary complete and it’s ultimately up to the community (and circle of influence that the site owners have) which site will be the victor.  Regardless of which site wins, both have gained immensly from simply being finalists for the competition and their membership has likely increased as a direct result.

The Sinclair Total Calculator

I recently came across the Sinclair total from Crossfit Mobile’s website - they’re hosting a weight lifting comp in June. The Sinclair Total is a number that represents one’s Olympic total (total weight lifted for the snatch and clean and jerk, combined) in a calculated form that can be compared easily to others’ totals, taking into account the lifers’ weight differences.

Generally the heavier one’s body weight, the heavier they can lift. Therefore, as it would be unfair to pit a 400lb behemoth against a scrawny 125lber, weight lifting meets usually have multiple weight classes. In order to correctly compare the ratio of weight lifted to lifters’ weights across all classes, and thus be able to more appropriately rank all lifters, the International Weightlifting Organization uses the Sinclair Total, which is the true total multiplied by a coefficient for a given bodyweight.

After learning about the Sinclair Total, I quickly went to the calculator to attempt to calculate my own SC. It’s a fairly straight forward calculation, but may require some scientific calculator wizzardry so I thought it was appropriate to create a little Sinclair Total calculator in javascript. Behold…

Fitness Toolbox - 60+ Fitness Related Links

Mashable, the world’s largest social networking blog, has a list of 60+ health and fitness site links.  Some of them I’ve reviewed in on The Fit Blog, but there are others there too that might be worth a look.

Check  out the list here.

My New Nike+ IPod

 The other day I went out for lunch with a friend and he completely convinced me to get a Nike+ Ipod for my running. Today I got it. I don’t know why I hadn’t purchased this $39CAD device ages ago. It is seriously awesome. Read on to find out about my first experience with it.

Keeping on the Heels when Squatting

In my last article, I covered how low you should go when squatting. Another common squatting issue is with weight distribution and balance. In order to be completely effective, the squat must be completed with the weight primarily on the heels. Unfortunately, for many people, their weight is generally forward, on their toes. Keeping the heels firmly on the ground helps with alignment and when driving through the lift in this manner, force can more efficiently be exerted than when the heels are lifted and weight is forward.

Learning to keep weight on the heels may not be as easy as one would think. This can be due to a multitude of reasons from habit to lack of flexibility. Fortunately, once again, crossfit comes to the rescue. Greg Glassman has written a great article called, “Two Training Aids”. The article describes two “homebrew” pieces of equipment that can be made fairly easily, including a simple heel-to-floor tester that helps a squatter keep their weight on their heels. It’s an interesting read and if you’re looking to improve your squat, this tool may definitely help your form.

Random Circuit Workout Generator

Hrmmm… what should I do for my workout today? As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I like to mix it up at the gym. I rarely do the same routine more than a couple of times a month.

To assist in the mixing, I’ve created this “Random Circuit Workout Generator”. Click the button and it suggests 4 exercises to group together in a circuit style workout. It’s simple and it may make suggestions that aren’t too good, but sometimes it puts together what could be a pretty good circuit.

I think some useful additions to this “tool” might be:

  • Include categories of circuit types - bodyweight, barbell, dumbbell, machine
  • Allow choice for number of exercises for circuit
  • Classify exercises with muscle groups so that the same muscle group isn’t repeated

Body Mass Index Calculator

The Body Mass Index is a calculated number, based on the ratio of weight and height, that identifies a person’s body type within a range between being underweight and obese. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered optimal weight. Persons with a BMI of less than 18.5 are considered underweight and similarly, persons with a BMI greater than 25 are considered overweight. Individuals with a BMI greater than 30 are in the obese category. Since the 1980s, the number of obese individuals, particularly in North America, has been climbing at an alarming rate.

BMI is often criticized because it does not take into account variables such as bone and muscle mass. Individuals with high muscle mass may be perfectly lean but continue to possess high BMI calculations. The accuracy of the BMI is obviously debatable, but the measurement continues to more or less be regarded as the defacto standard for statistical weight to height ratios. A better measurement for determining “fatness” or “thinness” may be to accurately measure body fat percentage for an individual. However, accurately measuring this is, in general, difficult and requires specialized equipment.

Calculate your own BMI using the tool below:

Social Networking - Fitness Style

In the last couple of years, social networking sites have risen in Internet popularity faster than any other website type. First came MySpace and more recently, Facebook, which keeps getting a larger and larger community. Literally hundreds of other social networking sites exist. Wikipedia has a good sample of what’s out there. These sites allow users to post items about themselves, keep running commentaries (blogs), hook up with other people, hook up with their people, post pictures, videos and a whole whack of other things.

What’s neat about social networking is that it has the potential to put people in touch with other similar, like minded individuals. It creates a community and sometimes sub-communities and groups, allowing people to share and learn from others. Taking Facebook to a more focused audience, a growing number of social networking sites are targeting specific interests and activities. And fortunately, fitness and social networking seem to go hand in hand.

Below is a list of a bunch of social networking style fitness sites. Some of them are smaller sites that have just started up, while others have been around for a while and have been doing the social networking thing whether they knew it or not. By combining things like nutrition and exercise tracking, personal blogs, goal setting and tracking, groups, photo and video sharing and forum style posting, these sites could be truly useful tools for individuals interested in diet, fitness and health, or who are interested in losing some weight or changing their physique. By taking advantage of what social networking has to offer, the fitness-minded now have some new tools to help track their progress, meet new people and, probably most importantly, help stay motivated.

BodySpace A community driven site by This site has a lot of members, boasting over 87,000 user profiles as of this writing. Good progress tracking. Blogging, photo and video sharing and forums also offered. Has a humungous library of articles on
Sparkpeople Another site that has been around for a while. Features personalized pages and blogs, meal plans and recipes. Tools for calculating calories and tracking exercise and weight. A wealth of nutrition and exercise information and articles.
traineo A new site on the block. Offers similar features to the rest - personalized page, goal and diet tracking, community. Also features a unique concept of having “motivators” to help keep you on track.
My Fit Tribe My Fit Tribe calls itslef “an island of fun, fitness and friends”. Although the whole tropical island theme is a little strange, the site has a nice layout and some good articles. Blogs, video workouts, exercises, groups, forums, photo sharing.
Wellsphere Another newer site. Personalization, groups, trainer support, goal tracking, health club listings, event searching.
Fitlink Beyond the usual fare of social networking features, fitlink also has integration with google maps for mapping (and sharing) running routes. Also has a fairly usable “workout generator”. Personalization, goal tracking, groups, photos. Small, but growing community.
gimme20 Fitness and progress tracking, workout builder, personalization, blogs, forums and groups. Small, but growing community.
Shapefit Fittracker From the fairly extensive fitness website Shapefit comes FitTracker. With a large existing readership, this fledgling offspring community site is rapidly growing. Has all the usuals - personalization, groups, photos, goal tracking, workout generator, etc. Like BodySpace, has a very large number of articles on its parent site.

More Wii Fitness

Recently, I blogged about the Nintendo Wii and Wii Sports and how that’s changing the lives of some individuals as they use the motion sensing game, combined with a healthy diet to lose weight. Last week, Nintendo announced at the 2007 Electronics and Entertainment Expo a new product called Wii Fit. This latest game may not even be considered a game for some, as it is more a workout video on steroids than the traditional shoot-em-up. Over the last couple of years, the big N has been shifting focus slightly, and while continuing to produce the Mario and Metroid games that so many gamers adore, Nintendo has been putting out a few nice products in the “casual gamer” genre. Initially with their “Brain Training” game for the DS and more recently with “Wii Sports” and “Big Brain Academy” for the Wii. “Wii Sports” has been garnered with praise because of its ability to be enjoyed by people of all ages while getting them off the couch and actually getting the heart rate up. “Wii Fit” takes this to the next level by introducing a “pressure sensitive balance board” into the mix. The board looks much like a scale and also like a scale, measures weight. However, it measures the distribution of weight across the board and can guage how much a person standing on it is leaning in any direction. This allows for what seems to be an interesting experience. Take a look at the Wii Fit trailer below.

Wii Weight Loss

Back in November, this neat toy came out - you may have heard of it - the Nintento Wii. In the Americas it came bundled with a game called Wii Sports. Using the unique Wii controller, the game allowed players to participate in bouts of tennis, bowling, golf and boxing using gestures that mimicked the real life action. Generally, video gaming means sitting on your butt, with the game controller, feet up and a bag of cheesies at the ready. The advent of the Wii has given a breath of fresh air to video game “laziness” as players no longer necessarily sit on their behind and can now get right into the action and actually work up a sweat in the process.

Some bright minded individuals actually put the Wii to the weight loss test and are using it as part of their plan to shed some bulge and attempt to get lean. Take Mickey DeLorenzo, for example, who in December 2006 decided to pick up the Wii controller and see how well it could be used as a fitness tool in his Wii sports experiment. Mickey lost an astounding 2% body fat, getting him to a “fitness” level according to the American Council on Exercise.

Another gamer on the Wii weight loss plan is J.R. Cook, who wants to lose 80 lbs! J.R. is documenting his quest on his blog and has made some amazing progress, losing on average 10 lbs per month over the last 4 months. Personal Trainer Guide

I was just searching around the net and I cam across the “ Personal Trainer Program“. This is a free site that contains a great deal of information about setting up a program to help you meet your fitness goals, whether building muscle, losing weight, sexual health, aging gracefully or just generaly staying fit. It can be read in HTML form or downloaded as a PDF or MS Word document.

The program involves the same or similar diet and exercise routines that can be found in a bazillion other places, but has presented the info here in a very easy to read way and combines the whole kitten caboodle into a single concise source. The guide also includes handy calculators and videos to help you modify various elements to suite yourself. There are also great links to other sites and pages with related information that isn’t covered in the guide itself.

For individuals who are looking for free assistance to help them get to where they want to be, I definitely recommend taking a look. Especially if you’re looking to develop a good program and you’re just starting out. To get to the site, just follow this link.

Google Maps Pedometer

The Google Maps Pedometer is a great use of the Google Maps API. It allows you to calculate the distance of your run or map out a nice local route for some 5k practice. Enter your starting point in the “Jump to” text box, click “start recording” and begin double clicking on the map from there.