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Strength Inside: Developing Better Mental Health

Can exercise and resistance training be a positive tool to help manage personal anxiety and depression? Learn what it takes to be as strong inside as you are on the outside.

With the additional stress of intense training schedules, competition-day pressure, body image dysmorphia, and the fear of injury, athletes and everyday lifters experience high levels of stress throughout their training. 

The mental health conversation has grown recently as more and more athletes open up about their own struggles with anxiety and depression. This series looks at the correlation between exercise and mental health to better understand how they impact one another.

Learn how different athletes are addressing their mental health, from wilderness workouts to positive affirmations to mental reps. Meet top athletes who are eager to share their personal struggles with anxiety and depression to help open up the discussion of how to better manage mental health.

The Idea: Into the Wilderness

Powerlifter Clay Cooper took an unusual tactic to coping with anxiety, changing the way he approached the deadlift and starting a powerful new movement.

The Lift: Finding Balance in Uneven Terrain

Packing hundreds of pounds into remote locations is no easy feat. Find out how Clay Cooper pulls off the king of lifts in some of the most beautiful and extreme locations on earth.

The Movement: How Discovery Deadlift Gained Momentum

What started as a solo adventure quickly became a social media phenomenon. Learn how Clay Cooper's outdoor approach is building a community and a movement.
Exercise can be an impactful tool to help manage anxiety and depression. For more holistic mental health resources, go to

What the Science Says About Exercise and Mental Health

Need a bit of a mental lift? Studies show resistance training can give you the boost you need to help alleviate the symptoms of some of the most common mental disorders.

Mental Strength: The Benefits of Working Out on Mental Health

Your workout provides benefits you can't see in the weight room mirror: a healthier brain, better mood, and the tools to thrive for a lifetime.

Exercise Impacts on Brain Physiology

According to research, a number of hormones are released in the brain during exercise which help modify mood and emotion states, including anxiety and depression.

The Strongest Man in the World Gets Vulnerable

Having won two world titles and spent 15 years in the Army infantry, Strongman Anthony Fuhrman can confidently say the strongest thing he's ever done is talk about his mental health.

Mental Health Takes Center Stage

Bikini competitor and IFBB pro Emily Plajer faced tragedy early in life that gave her the perspective she needed to deal with her anxiety and share her strength with others.

Changing the Future of Mental Health and Athletics

A panic attack derailed baseball player China McCarney's plans for competition. Years later, he's learned how to cope with his anxiety and is inspiring athletes around the world to do the same.

Changing Your Relationship to the Physical Effects of Pain, Anxiety, and Fear

View full MindPump episode here.

Programs To Build Strength Inside and Out

Total-Package Strength with Anthony Fuhrman

Total-Package Strength is a complete six-week course on building strength and looking and feeling amazing while you do it. World-class competitive strongman Anthony Fuhrman's program balances low-rep strength work, the perfect amount of accessory volume, and solid pumps for recovery and muscle gains.

Uplifted: Build Muscle and Strength with Meg Squats

Meg Squats' Uplifted is for anyone who wants to go down the strength rabbit hole, learn the essentials, and feel the thrill of seeing the weight on the bar go up. It can serve as an introduction to powerlifting-style training, or as an efficient way to build total-body strength, muscle, and overall fitness.

Jim Stoppani's 6-Week Shortcut to Strength

This program is your six-week journey to a bigger bench press, squat, and deadlift, but it's also your ticket to increased muscle mass, total-body strength, and overall power. Shortcut to Strength is third in Jim Stoppani's Shortcut trilogy, but it stands on its own and can help any lifter get seriously strong!