One question I get asked fairly often is what resources I think highly of or believe in myself. Both in terms of my own reading and learning materials or what products I actually use. On this page, I’ve listed products that I personally either use (in terms of some of the supplement companies I buy from), read (websites, etc.) or simply think are good enough products to highly recommend.
Mind you, such lists as these are never complete and I will be adding to this list over time/as I find new resources or simply remember old good ones that I forgot to put up here.
Briar Lane Jam: This may seem like an odd entry for this page but I know that a lot of people look for quality foods and are willing to order it from good companies. And that’s why I want to make you aware of it. Located in Massachussets, Briar lane is a producer of gourmet jams, jellies, marmalade and FUDGE. Yeah, that’s right, fudge. Plain, peanut butter and something called nut penuche, I’m talking about fudge. I had some sent to me and it was just fantastic; I love fudge. They’ve been family owned since 1932 so you know they kick it old school, using only the highest quality ingredients and the highest quality production approach. Prices are reasonable, delivery is quick and you can’t go wrong ordering from them. So when you want the best, go here for all of your homemade jam, jelly and fudge needs.
I actually don’t spend a ton of time reading other websites, I usually prefer to just go to the original research on a topic myself rather than read someone else’s interpretation of it. That said, here are a handful that I can recommend; other people in the industry who share my belief in science and evidence based information.
Examine.com: Anybody who has read anything on my site know that I believe in research and evidence based approaches to training and nutrition. Most will probably also recognize that I’m no huge fan of supplements; it’s not that I’m anti-supplement, it’s just that most of them are crap and have no good science behind them. The folks at Examine.com lead by Sol Orwell have set up an enormous database at their site Examine.com not only on supplements but on endless other topics. Check them out.
Alanaragon.com: Despite a name that sounds patently fake/like it should be in a J.R.R. Tolkien book, Alan is one of the good guys in the industry; he and I don’t agree on everything, mind you. But we probably agree on about 90%+ of everything. A coach and writer out of Southern California, his work is always excellent. His book Girth Control, while a touch on the tedious side in places, is a worthwhile read (supposedly he is working on a 2nd edition).
As well, Alan’s monthly Research Review is an excellent resource for people who like my research reviews. Every month, in addition to at least one feature article and something else, Alan review’s a number of recent scientific studies looking at their strengths, weakness and applications to the science of body recomposition. Here’s a marginally longer review of Alan’s Research Review.
Leangains.com: Training and nutrition often follows trends with somewhat of a bandwagon effect and currently one of the most popular (for good reason mind you) is that of Intermittent Fasting (IF’ing). While IF’ing can refer to a number of different approaches, with many different people having written about it, in my opinion Martin Berkhan’s Leangains approach is the best of the bunch; as is his site. Martin doesn’t update it very often but when he does, it’s always worth reading. His articles are always thorough and well researched and referenced and, even if you don’t follow an IF approach, you’ll learn something from them.
Weightology.net: While James Krieger is not really ‘new’ to the field (I’ve known him for years since the old misc.fitness.weights Usenet days), his Weightology.net website is a fairly recent addition to the Internet. Focusing on very scientifically and research based information, James updates about once a week with an article that is always worth reading. Hell, even if you never go back a second time, you should go read his article series on insulin. I’d also recommend his deconstruction of some of Gary Taubes’ sillier claims from Good Calories, Bad Calories.
Yum in Tum: Some readers may remember when the first edition of the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook contained recipes. While the book no longer contains recipes, the individual who designed them all was my friend Allie Faden. Her blog is an excellent resource for anyone looking for interesting cooking or food ideas that is tired of lots of ‘cleaned up’ real food. Highly recommended!
I’ve always liked training toys of varying kinds and have had both good and bad experiences with different companies. Here I’m going to list some of the best, either in terms of the equipment they provide, their customer service or, usually, both.
I mentioned in Methods of Endurance Training: Winter 2010/2011 Part 2 that I was doing a good bit of my training on a slideboard and mentioned Ultra-Slide and I wanted to give them another plug. Not only is their product top-notch, their customer service is beyond par.
I had an issue with mine when it arrived and the owner called me personally to get it worked out (on top of offering to send a replacement, which was not necessary). You don’t get better than that and for anyone involved in skating or who even wants a way to train lateral movements (for injury prevention or performance) I highly recommend Ultra-Slide on all counts.
Powerfirm Olympic Lifting Shoes: Powerfirm Shoes are a Canadian company (eh) that I can’t say too many good things about. We were trying to source shoes for a lifter and not only do Powerfirm go out of their way to make sure it’s sized correctly (you send in a tracing of your foot) but they will even switch them out if you get the wrong size. Since it’s important that OL shoes fit properly, having this option is truly amazing.
When we ordered a second pair from them (the first had worn out), the owner didn’t even wait for my payment to clear before sending them because I was a known quantity. If you contact Powerfirm, you are likely to get the owner responding to you. Prices are reasonable (Ol shoes are always expensive) but their shoes do run a touch wide. Lifters with a narrow foot shoud look elsewhere but folks with wide feet should look at Powerfirm for a high-quality Olympic lifting shoe.
I often get asked where I get the handful of supplements that I use, or for other resources related to nutrition, supplements, etc. so I thought that I’d list the ones that I have had not only personal experience with but good personal experience. These are all companies that I have used in the past, continue to use now, and trust to provide quality service and good products.
I’d note that I tend not to make recommendations for specific supplements or brands. First and foremost, I can’t keep up with every new product in the marketplace; second I tend to stick with more well known and longer existing companies (such as Now) for my purchases. This list is simply companies that I’ve ordered from for what little supplementation I use.
True Nutrition Around my own training, I use a couple of specific basic protein powders and I have been getting them from True Nutrition for a couple of years now. They provide amazingly quick service, extremely competitive prices on bulk protein powder, and all kinds of customization (flavoring, etc) and I can’t recommend them highly enough. In recent years, they’ve begun to provide all manners of high quality and bulk priced nutritional supplements and they are a one-stop shopping resource for all things nutrition. You can also design custom blends through them.
Vitaglo.com: Whatever supplements I can’t get from 1Fast, I invariably get from Vitaglo. While their focus isn’t so much sports nutrition, they carry pretty much everything else from a variety of brands (I get the NOW brand for most things). For people who can’t handle fish oil capsules, Vitaglo carries the excellent Carlson’s liquid fish oil (the lemon flavor is surprisingly pleasant). Free shipping on orders over $50 and relatively quick shipping, this is another company I can highly recommend.