MyStrengthBook is an online platform for powerlifters to track and analyze their training.
The team at MyStrengthBook just released some brand new features that changes the powerlifting game and how athletes train. Naturally, we wanted to check in with them and see what’s new, what’s changed, and what powerlifters can expect from the new platform.
The founders of MyStrengthBook, Mike Macdonald and Avi Silverberg, are both long-time members of the Canadian Powerlifting Union and IPF World medalists. Here’s our interview with Avi Silverberg:
Before hearing about the new features, tell us a bit about what MyStrengthBook has been up to over the past year.
The past year has been exciting and I can’t believe we’re already approaching our one-year anniversary!
We launched the first version of our platform in September 2016. This was a simple platform where users could build individual workouts and track their training data. Shortly after launching, we beefed up our analytics by developing even more ways users could interact with their training data.
As 2017 began, we were very happy with our product, our users were growing, and we were receiving some great feedback on how MyStrengthBook was helping people track and analyze their training.
But we knew we could do even more.
When Mike and I sit down and fantasize about the future of MyStrengthBook, we always think about three things:
(1) what type of product would we want to use as athletes,
(2) what would help us train more effectively and get stronger and
(3) what doesn’t exist yet or what could we improve on.
By answering these sorts of questions, and looking at what we’d already developed and heard from our users, we put together a roadmap for MyStrengthBook 2.0.
The past six months we’ve been head down, working hard to deliver a platform that provides all the tools necessary to get stronger.
Tell us about some of these upgrades and tools. What was the first thing you tackled?
First and foremost, we knew we had some design tweaks that needed to be implemented. The goal was to have users build workouts easier and quicker.
We made significant overhauls to how this process happens.
Users can now build out their sets, reps, load, and other training variables on a single screen with only a couple clicks.
We also wanted to account for the various ways people built workouts: Some people like to plan weeks of workouts in advance, others like to build workouts ‘on the go’. With our new ‘Custom Program Builder’ and Calendar features, we made it very flexible for users to build their workouts how they want.
- Custom Program Builder: This feature allows users to build an entire multi-week or multi-month training program. While building the program, users can see their progressions from week to week and adjust training variables as needed. Once the program is created, it can be saved, copied, or loaded it into the calendar to start training.
- Calendar: The new workout calendar displays all the workouts for the month on a single screen. From this page, workouts can be copied, moved, edited, or deleted. You can also click on an individual training day and get a more detailed snapshot of the training metrics.
These sound like really great features. Do you have any pre-built programs users can try out?
We realized one of the biggest challenges for powerlifters is getting access to high-quality programming. Currently, there are a few ways people get programming:
- They are self-coached and attempt to write their own program. If you don’t have the skills or knowledge this becomes a risky approach, either stalling strength gains or increasing the chance of injury.
- Some athletes use free online template, such as Sheiko, Wedler’s 5-3-1, Smolov, or others. While these can achieve good results, they’re not meant to do ‘back-to-back’ and they are often either ‘too easy’ or ‘too hard’ and don’t match the skill level of most athletes.
- The last option is to hire an online coach. There are several high-quality coaching companies and individuals these days; however, given the price tag of such services many people don’t have access to hire a one-on-one coach.
So what did we do?
We started to talk to top-level athletes and coaches who shared our vision that there should be a better way to deliver high quality programming. As we rallied these athletes and coaches behind our cause, we developed a platform where they could design exclusive programs and push them to our users on an ongoing basis.
A user can now go onto our Program Library, filter based on their personal preferences, goals, and skill level, and start immediately receiving workouts and programs that have been specifically designed with their preferences in mind. Users get access to high-quality programming from our amazing team of athletes and coaches, but without the expensive price tag.
"The best part: our athletes and coaches deliver programming ongoing so our users can follow a coach’s progression and style of workouts."
Our current team of athletes and coaches include:
- Adam Ramzy: All-time strongest male equipped powerlifter in Canada
- Blaine Sumner: Heaviest squat, bench, and total in IPF History
- Brett Gibbs: 2-Time IPF World Champion
- Bryce Krawczyk: IPF World Medalist
- Ewa Januszkiewicz: IPF World Deadlift Medalist
- JP Cauchi: IPF World Record Holder and Medalist
- Kelly Branton: 3-time IPF World Medalist
- Maria Htee: All-time strongest female classic powerlifter in Canada
- Matt Gary: USAPL Coaching Committee Chairman
- Ryan Stinn: 2017 World Games Athlete
- Stephen Cascioli: 2-Time IPF Medalist and World Record Holder
That’s cool. I’ll need to try Maria Htee’s programs. These all sound like really great strides for MyStrengthBook. Do we get to find out what’s next?
It’s still quite early in the MyStrengthBook 2.0 launch. The next few months will be focused on onboarding new users and making sure they’re having successful training outcomes by using our training metrics and programs.
A cool project that we’re working on right now is starting a podcast. We’ve already recorded three episodes and will be releasing more details shortly.
From a development standpoint, we’re going to continue listening to our users’ feedback and build MyStrengthBook into a product all powerlifters love.
We’re about 80% done building a coaching portal for online coaches. This is going to be a space where online coaches can manage their one-on-one athletes’ training by building workouts and programs, and leveraging our data tracking and analysis tools. This is something online coaches have been asking for since day one, so we can’t wait to deliver!
For more information on MyStrengthBook 2.0 click HERE.