Strength & Fitness Newsletter

This Week on Straight to the Bar

I’m constantly amazed at just how much my training is influenced by the people on this site. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of equipment, an unusual exercise variation or just an idea of how others approach things, you’ll enjoy these :

Ready to add your own opinion, workout log or training article? Just head over to the Forums, Training Logs, or swing by the Article Submissions page. They’re fantastic ways to share your ideas.

NB : if you enjoy the articles, show the authors your appreciation by voting (using the ‘Like‘ button beneath each post). Cheers.

Video : Grappling Ball Drills

Stability balls seem to be unappreciated in a lot of gyms, but they’re incredibly versatile tools. Train Fight Win shows just a few ways to put one to use.
Good stuff.

What’s This?

A few weeks ago we noted this superb set of dumbbells (pictured). Beautiful things.

Dan Hardisky has graciously been doing a little digging, trying to track down the origin of this equipment. His current thinking is that they were originally steam engine governors (or similar objects), such as the ones shown at right.

What do you think? 19th C governor weights repurposed as training tools? If there are any steam engine historians reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Twitterchat 103 – Pinch Grip, Blobs and the U-GO Handles

I’m a huge fan of hand & forearm work in many forms, most notably in the form of grip work. Love it.

This week we’re diving in to the world of Pinch Grip Training, in any form, anywhere. Everything from blobs to the brilliant U-GO handles. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than StrongerGrip‘s Ryan Pitts (@strongergrip). Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Pinch Grip, Blobs and the U-GO Handles
When : Wed Feb 2, 9pm EDT (1am UTC)
How : Include #sbgym in your tweets.
To see when it’s on in your timezone, head over to the twitterchat calendar.
See you there.

Kevin 'Sgt Sweaty' Miller

Kevin ‘Sgt Sweaty‘ Miller.

Quick update on last week’s twitterchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Odd Object Training. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Stones, kegs, machinery – what do you like to lift?

Competition Update : 7 Years

Just a quick reminder that today’s the last day to get your competition entry in. If you haven’t yet – and honestly, it doesn’t get any simpler than this – here’s all you need to do to win a superb collection of training gear :
Hop onto twitter, and :

  1. Follow our sponsors at They share some fantastic information.
  2. Tell your friends about the contest with a quick tweet :

    Win $500 worth of fitness gear : 7 Years of Straight to the Bar ( ). Just follow @scottbird/sttbsponsors . #7yearsofSttB

That’s it.
To check out the prize list, swing by the main entry page at :
7 Years of Straight to the Bar
And thank-you. Sincerely.

Checking Out : Iron Nation

This looks great.
I’m currently catching up on a little reading; diving into my ‘books I’ve been meaning to get to‘ pile. Next up : the superb-looking Iron Nation.
For the uninitiated, just a brief roll-call will tell you everything you need to know about this book. Here are just some of the book’s contributors :

Vic Boff, Stephen Boyd, Matt Brzycki, Dick Conner, Jan Dellinger, Jim Duggan, Clyde Emrich, Fred Hahn, Bill Hinbern, Drew Israel, Osmo Kiiha, Brooks D. Kubik, Jamie Labelle, Dr. Ted Lambrinides, Tom Laputka, Kathy Leistner, Dr. Ken E. Leistner, Ken Mannie, John McKean, Stuart McRobert, Tom Metzger, Bill Pearl, Gregg Pickett, Glenn Pieschke, Steve Pulcinella, Mabel Rader, Ralph Raiola, Dick “Smitty” Smith, Jon Schultheis, Bill Starr, Bradley J. Steiner, Dr. Randall J. Strossen, Mike Thompson, Dennis B. Weis, Bob Whelan, Paul Young
As you can see, there are some great names there. Really looking forward to this one.

Exercise of the Week : Waterball Work

I first heard about this fantastic tool from Ross Enamait, in his article The Water Ball. Brilliantly simple.
Although the Waterball is not particularly heavy (it’s just a water-filled Swiss Ball), the movement of the water makes it far more challenging than it looks. Give it a go, and you’ll quickly see what I mean.
What can you do with a waterball? Think of it like a sandbag – a variety of presses, squats, carries and so on. It’s a versatile beast.
Here it is in action :

Good stuff.

Incidentally, if you’d like to get in touch regarding this or any other aspect of strength, you can send me an email here. Look forward to hearing from you.

Free eBooks from Straight to the Bar

10 Essential Conditioning ToolsAs a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you get several great eBooks, absolutely free. Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
Good stuff.
NB : This is an ever-changing list of books. If you’d like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.