The present paper aims at giving some general ideas concerning the micromechanical approach of the strength of a porous material. It is shown that its determination theoretically amounts to solving a nonlinear boundary value problem defined on a representative elementary volume (REV). The principle of nonlinear homogenization is illustrated based on the case of a solid phase having a Green's strength criterion. An original refinement of the so-called secant method (based on two reference strains) is also provided. The paper also describes the main feature of the Gurson's model which implements the principle of limit analysis on a conceptual model of hollow sphere. The last part of the paper gives some ideas concerning poromechanical couplings.