A few years ago I decided to visit a few fitness forums to give helpful advice. Unfortunately back then, there were only two types, hardcore bodybuilding forums or extremely generic health and fitness forums. My experience with forums back then was a negative one. Luckily things are looking better on the fitness front. These days, there are several that are worth your time. I have a few suggestions of my own, but would love to use this post to create a growing list of good forums. Feel free to add to my list in the comment section!
[On the Internet, you have to weed through a lot of pollution to find the good stuff. Once you find a good forum make sure and protect it and keep it from degrading into something bad.]
My Brief Experience With Forums Made Me to Start This Site
About two and a half years ago I was visiting various forums to discuss getting the lean “GQ” look. I went over to a popular bodybuilding forum and was about to make my post and I noticed a guy who attempted the same thing. He wanted to discuss how to get a physique like Brad Pitt from Fight Club. Big mistake! I think he had over 100 nasty comments and was personally attacked for wanting to be what they called a “skinny wuss” (they used slightly different terminology).
I Couldn’t Believe Some of the Stuff I Was Reading…
The comments degraded into homophobic, sexist, and racial slurs. I decided to click away from that site and visit another popular bodybuilding forum, which wasn’t as big as this monster site but still had tons of comments. Same thing over here! A guy posted a picture of Christian Bale from American Psycho and along came the attacking comments. I read another 4-5 more threads where guys wanted to get lean and a large portion of the members would go on the attack every time.
& None of These Forums Were Welcoming to Women
The funny thing about these forums is that they repel the average woman almost immediately. Most women don’t want to see profile pictures of guys flexing in their parent’s basement…this is basically the equivalent of “female repellent”. These same guys will claim that they don’t need a woman’s approval, don’t care what women think, yada…yada. Same old story of how guys justify their lack of success with women…after the fact. Pleasing the opposite sex isn’t the goal of getting fit, but people shouldn’t pretend like they don’t care at all.
I Started FBB to Discuss Advanced Tips in a Friendly Way
The irony about both of the two main bodybuilding forums I spoke about was that mixed in with the pollution were some extremely valuable tips and techniques. I decided to start a site that just talked about the advanced stuff, without all the negatives and cutting remarks. I also wanted it to be welcoming to women and beginners, etc. Heck…I didn’t even require you to get oiled up and do a “most muscular” pose in your mom’s basement! In fact, that disqualifies you from commenting…no flexing of any sort allowed…this is a pose-free zone!
The Number One Thing to Look for In a Fitness Forum
An active moderator is the #1 thing you need to look for in a fitness forum. I can’t stress this enough. The reason I don’t have a forum on this site, is that I don’t have enough time per day to moderate at the level I think would be needed. I believe any cutting or personal attacks should be immediately dealt with and any racist, sexist, or homophobic slurs would get someone permanently banned. It would kill me if I had a site that had that type of content on it!
The Ideal Fitness Forum is Medium-Sized, but Very Active
If a forum gets too big, it becomes impossible to manage…plus it loses it’s focus. A medium sized forum is good, because it is easier to build a sense of community. As long as the forum is really active it doesn’t matter how big the membership is. Now, if a moderator is exceptionally good at staying on top of things or there are several moderators…then big is fine.
So Before This Post Get’s Too Long, Here’s the Forum List…
I am going to list a few forums just to get this post rolling. I would love for people to add in their favorite forums in the comment section. Like I mentioned before, many of the best forums are small-to-medium size…so I am sure there are some amazing ones I have never heard of.
Mark’s Daily Apple – Primal Forum
Mark Sisson is a guy who simply “gets it right”. His blog is outstanding as is his forum. This one is focused on things like the paleo diet, his “Primal Blueprint”, etc. It has a strong sense of community and the members help each other.
This one gets deep into technical fitness info. If you like getting into the deep science of fitness and want to “geek out” a bit…this is where you go. It is put together by one of my favorite fitness authors, Lyle McDonald.
Strong Lifts is a blog dedicated to strength training…so is the forum. It has a lot of topics (10,000+) so I am sure that there are a few negative things mixed in there, but overall the forum is well moderated. The guy behind the site, Mehdi, lives in Belgium was very friendly when I communicated with him over email about a year ago.
Also a Start Up “Hybrid Forum” I Will Be Supporting…
A regular reader and contributor of this site, Rafi Bar-Lev, is starting a forum that looks great. My goal is to help him get this site up to critical mass. He just launched it earlier this week, so there isn’t a lot of action (yet). I will go in there once per week or so and mix it up a bit. My guess is that we can get this from the current 24 members up to 200+ in a matter of days.
I am going to chat with Rafi a bit about making links to sites that people want to promote a little easier than most forums. So people can get more readers to their blog, more Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc. This is what will help it reach “critical mass” quickly.
Note: Join Rafi’s site and make sure and introduce yourself. Rafi has extremely ambitious goals for this site, and my bet is that he will reach them. Also…comment below and list any other helpful forums. A description of the forum would be cool as well.