Charles R Poliquin

March 5, 1961 – September 26, 2018

Sensei smile
Charles R Poliquin was recognized as one of the World’s most accomplished strength coaches who attributed his success to the quest for the “magical training program”. His drive to find the Holy Grail of strength training began as a child when he heard his calling in the library instead of the church. Here is his story.

Early Years

« I was raised a French-Canadian Catholic, which meant that I had to go to church every Sunday, or… I would burn in hell, according to the Catholic shame/guilt dogma. But at age 14, I decided that I had heard enough of the boring parochial stories and I walked straight past the church to the library where I first heard my calling to learn kinesiology, the study of the body in motion. I was hypnotized by the first article I read about joint dysfunction.« My karate sensei had already introduced me to strength training, so I looked up exercise articles as well. Soon I had read everything written in French. I barely spoke English so every Sunday, English-French dictionary in hand, instead of going to church, I read every weight training, kinesiology, nutrition book I could. I actually learned to say “Does pronation increase brachialis recruitment?” before I learned how to say “Where is the bathroom?” in English. Soon after earning a graduate degree in exercise physiology came and I began coaching athletes full time for their strength training programs

Looking for the Magical Program

« In 1982, still in search for the “magical program”, I figured that success leaves clues, so I began to look at patterns amongst successful coaches. My quest took me to Germany, the former Soviet Union, Finland, and the US as I searched for the leaders in training who were producing top athletes. I believed that someone had come up with the “magical program”, I just had to find it. Without my naive belief I would not have accomplished all that I have.« The biggest mistake in believing there was a magical training program that worked for everybody, all the time, and forever got me to be successful in strength coaching.« Inspired by Bruce Lee’s advice to: Use what is useful, reject what is not, I have incorporated years of research and experience to create the elite Strength Sensei education training program so my students can save time, money and energy in their training endeavors.»


Charles’ quest lead him to produce hundreds of medals, wins, and personal bests for many elite athletes in over 23 different sports including athletes from summer and winter Olympics, the NHL, and NFL. He is known worldwide for producing faster and stronger athletes. As the creator of Poliquin Performance Center, Charles spent years teaching coaches worldwide a better way of getting results with their clients. Then as Strength Sensei he shared his acquired knowledge and wisdom with the emerging leaders in the strength and conditioning field. After decades of disciplined research and training he refined his craft to educate the dedicated few who wanted to maximize their learning so they could bring their results back to their athletes. Charles also dedicated his time to educating strength coaches from around the world so they can produce world class athletes.

From Our Students, Athletes, Coaches, And Leaders


DwightPhillips“I was faster and stronger than ever after my program with Mr. Poliquin. I enter the 2004 season as a contender to win the Olympics in the long jump. My very first meet I set a personal best of 8.47 meters. I set another personal best at the Olympics with a jump of 8.59 meters.I attribute a lot of my success to coach Poliquin developing a perfect training regime that lead to me peaking at the Olympic Games. I’m forever in debt.”

Dwight Phillips
2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion in Long Jump

Adam Nelson“Charles has given me a new outlook at what I have been doing. Training directly from him has improved my overall strength and overall performance. He is one of the key factors that has made me the most metaled shot putter in history.”

Adam Nelson
Olympic Gold Medalist Athens 2004,World Champion Shot Put, 2006

Bryan Rolston“After 5 years In the National Hockey League I knew I had to work harder and smarter in the off season. I needed to get stronger, not only for performance, but injury prevention. That’s when I was referred to Charles R. Poliquin “Strength Sensei”. I was assessed for muscular imbalances and began training the proper way. I went on to play for 12 more NHL seasons, and played the best hockey of my career. Charles not only made a tremendous impact in my career, but the best strength coaches in hockey today are direct descendants of Charles R. Poliquin.”

Brian Rolston
1995 Stanley Cup Champion, 1996 World Championships Bronze Medal, 2002 Silver Medalist, 3 Time Olympian, 1256 NHL Games

Nick Mitchell“At the time of writing this UP is about to open it’s fifth gym in our fourth country, all in five years of operation. There are many reasons for our success, but the bottom line is that we have an unwavering focus on maximising the results of our personal training clients.One man stands out as the guide, mentor and inspiration for the way we structure the workout programs that have helped us to be one of the most recognisable names in global personal training. That man is Charles R. Poliquin.I first attended one of his courses in 2007 and it’s no understatement to say that what he taught me was a revelation. It enabled all my previous twenty years of training experience to just “click” into place and I understood so much more about the innate complexities and overarching simplicity of putting together an effective training program.If you haven’t taken the time to listen to Charles R. Poliquin talk training then I promise you that if you are a professional trainer you are missing out.This is the man who taught most of us about how to look at all the variables of training stimulus, that there’s no such thing as the perfect routine, and who has published more gut busting, highly effective workouts than arguably any coach alive.As busy as I am, every time Charles talks training you will find me in the front row avidly taking notes”

Nick Mitchell
Owner and founder of Ultimate Performance

Al MacInnis“I have under Charles’s guidance for the last four years, under which I have been selected to two Olympic teams and won the Norris Trophy for best defenseman in the league. Charles’s training system emphasizes quality, not quantity of training. His methods give me the endurance to play over 30 minutes a game when needed, and the power to have the strongest slap-shot in the N.H.L. year after year.”

Al MacInnis
Olympic Gold medalist 2002, winner of the Norris and Conn Smythe Trophies

Keith Tkachuk

“Charles has developed diets and training regimens that were specific to my needs. Within four months I was in the best shape of my life for the 11 years I have in the National Hockey League. It has definitely added step to my game”

Keith Tkachuk
Three time member of the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team, 2 time 50 goal scorer. Olympic Silver medalist


Chris Pronger“Training under Charles was a career changing move. Besides increasing my strength and my flexibility he has improved dramatically my speed and endurance. This all lead to reaching my goal of being the best defenseman in the National Hockey League”

Chris Pronger

Three times member of the Canadian Olympic Ice Hockey Team, first winner of both Norris and Hart trophies since Bobby Orr in 1972. Triple Gold Club Member (winner of an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup)

Gary Roberts
“After two failed attempts at returning to play in the NHL, I hired the services of Charles R. Poliquin to obtain the strength and conditioning levels required to protect me from further injury so I could return to play the game. Not only was I able to recover from my injury, but my level of play reached new heights. He extended my career 11 years.”

Gary Roberts
Toronto Maple Leafs

Marty“Of the past 50 courses I have done over half have been with Charles.

From Metabolic Analytics to The Advanced Program Design Charles is able to help you understand the applications of individualisation to each of your clients. This has been fundamental to getting our clients the results they want.
There is no one size fits all. Knowing who to give what and to what extent is key.”

Marty Williams
Shredded Strength Institute

“Throughout my 21 years in the Industry; the courses I have taken under the mentorship of Strength Sensei Charles R. Poliquin have always been the most valuable in furthering my knowledge and practical application in training and nutrition. The methodologies taught by Charles always achieve great results and following his principles has enabled me to write periodised programs and nutritional plans that are individualised to my clients in the athletic and competitive field with fantastic success.

Each Seminar is uniquely different and participants not only sit in on detailed lectures but also must train and apply the principles and technique themselves. Every Coach who undertakes an Internship or Seminar with Charles R. Poliquin WILL walk away a better Coach, which is why we also encourage all staff at the Shredded Strength Institute who want to stay on the top of their game to attend his Seminars yearly.”

Kelly Martinovich
Co-Director- Shredded Strength Institute

“When I was cutting my teeth in the iron game I eagerly await for the new issues of Flex, Muscular Development, Ironman, Muscle and Fitness, and just about any other magazine related to bodybuilding and lifting weights each month. It was during that time that I came across articles by Charles and was intrigued by his methods and approach to strength, hypertrophy, and athletic performance.I infused many of his methodologies into my training and reaped the rewards in the way of more growth, strength, and knowledge of tried and proven training principles.Fast forward some 20 years and now I am fortunate to call Charles not only my mentor, but a close friend. Charles is in possession of more information and training knowledge than anyone I personally know in the field, and is my “go to” source when I need questions to be answered”

Paul Carter
Founder of Lift-Run-Bang, IFBB Pro trainer, strength coach

“I was fortunate enough to get introduced to Charles early in my pro career, back in the early ’90s. Since our first meeting I was impressed with his exceptional knowledge in every aspect of training, sports nutrition and supplementation. His original and innovative methods of training got me interested and I applied it with great success in my programs and later in training routines of many of my pro athletes I was preparing for the biggest bodybuilding contest in the world- Mr.Olympia.If there is one advice I can give to anyone interested to bring their physique as well as performance to another level: listen very carefully everything this man has to say, include it in your routine and I promise you’ll never regret it.”

Milos Sarcev
IFBB pro champion, Contest Preparation and Physique Transformation Specialist

“Charles has been around along time. I swear he farts dust he is so old, but he is still here and still kicking ass because he continues to learn and grow as a coach, and he also hasn’t forgotten all the basics that got him here, in a quest to look different and unique.If you get the chance to attend one of his seminars then do it. You will be happy you did!”
John Meadows
Mountain Dog Diet Founder/Creator

Dr. Bob Rakowski
Robert A. Rakowski, DC, CCN, DACBN, DIBAK is a Chiropractor, Kinesiologist, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Biological Terrain Instructor, and the clinic director of the Natural Medicine Center in Houston Texas. In addition to running a busy practice, Dr. Rakowski has lectured internationally for over 20 years on various topics in Natural and Lifestyle Medicine.
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Dr. Bob Rakowski’s Experience at our 16-17th April 2015 Fundamentals of Program Design at Minneapolis, MN