About StrongLifts and Mehdi

Who is Stronglifts?

I’m Mehdi – I created Stronglifts in 2007. I’ve written everything on this website, and in the daily email strength tips. I’m the guy in all the pictures and videos on this website.

I made Stronglifts because I was fed up with all the bad information, snake oil and fake results. Getting strong isn’t hard. It’s mostly a matter of lifting consistently. But there’s big money in making it complex. Some want you to think you need to buy all kinds of things to get results. You don’t.

Stronglifts is what I wish I had access to when I started lifting weights in 1999. Knowing what I know today would have saved me a lot of time, effort, money, frustration, and pain. I can’t go back in time. But I can help you not make the same mistakes. That’s my goal.

In 2011 I also created the Stronglifts app with my team. We work remotely from Europe, America, and Asia. They code, design, translate, etc. I talk to Stronglifters daily, write, and plan new features.

Who is Mehdi?

I’m just a regular guy from Belgium. I was born in 1981 and started lifting weights in August 1999. I’m 41 and have been lifting for 22 years. I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids. My mother tongue is French. I’m also fluent in Dutch and English.

I used to be the nerdy guy who never did sports. My interests were videogames and computers (I studied mathematics and computer science). I was never big and strong. I was under-weight with skinny arms and legs. But I had a belly from eating fries and drinking beer.

One day my friends did amwrestling. I lost to all of them. Then I lost to a girl. When they did pushups, I couldn’t do a single rep. But that girl could. I had never thought about strength before. But that day I was ashamed of being so weak. I decided to figure out how to get stronger.

I started doing daily pushups. In 1999 I joined the gym. I trained like a bodybuilder for several years until they kicked me out. Then I built a home gym and began to train for strength. I got bigger and stronger. My belly disappeared. I got six pack abs. My confidence went through the roof.

My friends noticed the transformation. Before I was the skinny, unathletic weakling. I couldn’t get any girl (not even an ugly one). Now I was the “gym rat” – lifting hard, every week, no matter what. I had become disciplined and focused. Girls gave me more attention.

Friends asked for advice. Can I train with you? Can you make me a training program? Can you show me how to do this exercise? I never charged anything. My friend told me to start a website. I thought it was a stupid idea. But I couldn’t get it out of my head.

In May 2007 I created Stronglifts. I published a free guide about the 5×5 workout. I didn’t invent this training program. But Stronglifters found my guide helpful. They called it “Stronglifts 5×5“. Soon it felt like the whole internet was doing this workout. It was crazy…

  • +128 million people have visited this website since 2007
  • the Stronglifts workout videos count +4.5 million views on youtube
  • millions of people have downloaded the Stronglifts app for iPhone/Android
  • the app counts over 200,000 5-star reviews worldwide, with a 4.9 rating
  • hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to my daily newsletter

I never expected that. So many Stronglifters have sent me thank-you emails over the years. I’ve learned that they love how I’ve made lifting weights simple and easy here. Plus the advice works.

I still lift weights. Every week. My girlfriend too. I do powerlifting now. I’ve done a few competitions in drug-tested federations. When I’m not lifting or working on Stronglifts, I read. A lot.

Why should I trust you?

People trust me because I’ve helped them get stronger. They tried what I wrote. They used my app. They saw that many of the things I said turned out to be true. And so they concluded I was worth trusting. A lot of people find me through their friend’s recommendations.

But you shouldn’t blindly trust me. You should be skeptical. I’m skeptical. That’s why I’ve put everything for free on this website. Try my tips for a few weeks. Download my app for free. Check how your body responds. Then decide if I’m worth trusting.

I’ve written over 200,000 words about lifting weights and getting stronger on this website. That’s almost 3 books. Here’s how I’ve gathered this information:

1) 22 years of lifting experience. I’ve been lifting weights since 1999. I’ve logged thousands of hours of lifting. I’ve trained like a bodybuilder and powerlifter. I’ve competed. I’ve gone from a skinny 60kg with a belly to a muscular 85kg with abs. I’ve cut weight for competitions. I’ve trained in my 20s, 30s, now 40s. I’ve trained in commercial gyms in several continents. I’ve built a home gym twice. I’ve done the popular programs, exercises, and diets. I’ve hurt anything you can hurt. You may think you have a unique situation. But I’ve probably been there myself.

2) 14 years of professional coaching. I coach professionally since 2007. I was one of the first to offer online coaching. I’ve coached people all over the world remotely. People have travelled to my home gym for coaching. I coached at Stronglifts events in the USA, UK, and Australia. I’ve done hundreds of form checks. I’ve written tons of training programs. I’ve helped guys lose weight while getting stronger. I’ve helped guys stronger than me to get even stronger. My oldest client ever was 69y old. I’ve coached my girlfriend for years. The point: I’ve worked with many people *different* from me. Maybe I haven’t been in your situation. But I’ve probably helped someone like you.

3) Thousands of interactions. I’ve been talking with Stronglifters every day since 2007. I’ve replied to 91,239 emails (no exaggeration). People have told me what they do. What they struggle with. What works and doesn’t. How they use my app. They told me things I had never thought of. They made me realize I had more things to cover. They gave me ideas. People often say this website feels like I’m reading their mind. It’s because I have – through thousands of interactions. The app wouldn’t have a 4.9 rating if I hadn’t spent so much time talking to Stronglifters. I’ve thought about everything because I’ve interacted with a ton of people.

4) 20+ years of research. I’ve logged thousands of hours of research. First because I wanted to get stronger and change my body. Then in 2007 I created this website and quit my job. That freed 40 hours a week. I spent all my time lifting, reading about it, and trying what I learned. Add the people I coached. The thousands of interactions. The millions of workouts logged in my app. Consider all the information that has come my way. That’s a ton of study material over 20 years. More than what Personal Trainers do to get certified. Then think about the work required to organize all that knowledge. I was a good student at school, but always had it easy. Creating this website and app is the hardest thing I’ve done. It’s given me a professional education.

5) Mike Tuchscherer has been my coach since 2011. He won gold at the 2009 World Games. He Deadlifted +800lb and totaled +2000lb. He has coached world champions like Brett Gibbs. Mike is the smartest guy in powerlifter. This industry is full of genetic freaks who never struggled. They don’t understand how to make people stronger. Mike is talented. But he also understands how to get stronger. He thought a lot about it. That makes him unique. Mike has been a great mentor to me over the years. He’s been a big influence in the way I approach training and coaching. I owe him much of my strength gains, and consider him a friend.

Who is Stronglifts for?

Stronglifters use free weight compound exercises. Most of our training consists of the big lifts like the Squat, Deadlift, and Bench. Some stick to close variations because they can’t do the main lifts and don’t compete. We also do some dumbbell, machine and isolation to assist the main lifts.

Stronglifters want to get stronger. They don’t just want to look big. They actually want to be able to LIFT BIG. I’ve been weak and strong. Strong is better. Plus training for strength is objective. If the weight on the bar increases, then what you’re doing works. This cuts through the fitness BS.

Stronglifters like to build muscle too. We’re in the gym every week. We prefer to look like we lift. Plus, bigger muscles have more potential for strength. So we like more muscle. But we don’t chase low body fat levels with restrictive diets and time consuming cardio. We like to eat.

Stronglifters train intelligently. Some people are lucky to win the genetic lottery. They do great on “shut up and lift” programs. Some people do overthink it, and could use some of that. But we like to have some logic and structure for our training.

Stronglifts also works for women. It’s a myth that girls should train differently than guys. To get stronger you need to train the same way that guys do. My girlfriend trains like I do, which includes HEAVY Squats and Deadlifts. You won’t turn bulky or grow a mustache.

Thank you for visiting.

-Mehdi