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About Will Ruth
I’m the strength coach of the Western Washington University men’s ACRA club rowing team, assistant coach of the Bellingham HS lacrosse team, dog owner, and an occasional strongman and powerlifting competitor.
I started my website, originally StrengthCoachWill.com, in 2015 as a resource for my in-person athletes who wanted to put extra effort in outside of practice. It turned out there weren’t many people writing online about strength training for rowing in an accessible fashion. My content started getting picked up around the web and I soon started answering questions on social media with an audience expanding far beyond my own team here in Bellingham, Washington. I originally wrote my book, “Rowing Stronger: Strength Training to Maximize Your Rowing Performance,” for my co-coaches on the Western staff so they could continue team strength training in case I got hit by a bus or something. After some discussion and many edits, it was published later that year by worldwide rowing education company Rowperfect UK. In 2016, fellow rowing strength coaches and RPUK authors Blake Gourley, Joe Deleo, and I launched a podcast as a branch of RPUK’s Rowing Chat, The Strength Coach Roundtable. I never intended to become a blogger, author, podcaster, or online coach, but I’ve had a fantastic time with the opportunities I’ve gotten and the people I’ve gotten to know through my work. Your readership is why I continue to do this, so thank you for being a part of that.
I’m currently attending University of Denver’s MA in Sport Coaching program online. I love being able to apply the knowledge I learn right away in practice, and it is excellent to be able to learn from highly qualified professors from the comfort of my own home while continuing to coach my teams. I got my undergrad degree from Western Washington University (WWU) with a BS in kinesiology and a focus in sport psychology. Among other things as a student there, I played lacrosse for two years, started competing in strongman and powerlifting, and interned for a year with the varsity track and field team.
I started coaching the WWU men’s rowing team in 2013. I rowed in high school and started helping out some of my rower friends in the weight-room at WWU while I was there doing my own training, coaching other athletes, or, being a gym rat and kinesiology student, just hanging out by the iron. They appreciated it and suggested I work with the whole team. I met with the HC, made it official, and have been here since. We’re a volunteer coaching staff, so I help out on the water as necessary too. This included the entire 2016-2017 season, which was a fun, exhausting, and insightful experience.
I’ve coached high school lacrosse every spring since 2014. I love the sport and it’s fun to get to work with high schoolers and coach something completely different than rowing and lifting.
- NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
- USA-Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
- US-Rowing Level 2
- US-Lacrosse Level 3
If you’ve made it this far, you should go ahead and join my email list. I write 2-4 times a month with notifications on any new articles, videos, or podcasts here on my site, as well as notes from my coaching and school. These notes tend to not make a formal blog post, but they’re a fun way for me to process, analyze, and relate my coaching and learning and share those takeaways with other like-minded rowers, coaches, athletes, scholars. I read a lot of rowing and strength training research and often pass along things I find helpful. Many of my articles and videos are based on reader questions, so please feel free to ask my any questions you have.