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 : I’ve set up a new commenting system for Straight to the Bar, which makes it even easier to share your views with the world. You can log in using your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus accounts. Much simpler.

To kick things off (and to test that everything’s working correctly), I’d love it if you could share a few thoughts. If you can, please leave comments on 2 or 3 of the superb articles on the site.

Thank you. It really is appreciated.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a list of the various articles by a particular author, head over here :


Video : Broomstick Shoulder Mobility Drills

A couple of simple ways to get the shoulders ready for action. Nice one.

Twitterchat 123 – Nutrition for Beginners II

Over the past few years I’ve gradually been refining my diet, and seeing some incredible benefits in the process.
This is the second part of the ‘Nutrition for Beginners‘ discussion, taking a further look at the things we eat; and how to adjust that to our advantage. To reduce weight, improve health, accelerate recovery, reduce stress and a whole lot more.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than All Round Athlete‘s Dean Coulson (@DeanCoulson ). Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Nutrition for Beginners II
When : Wed Jun 22, 9pm EDT (1am UTC)
How : Include #sbgym in your tweets.
If you’ve never been to one of these twitterchats before, here’s how to join in the fun. Simple, quick to set up and free.
And to see when it’s on in your timezone, head over to the twitterchat calendar.
See you there.

Quick update on last week’s twitterchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Turning a Good Gym into a Great Gym. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s a brief summary. Was a great one.

Tip of the Week: Add Tennis Balls to Your Pull-ups

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, facebook, the forums, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.
This tip comes to us via David Heaton (@Alpha82), and is part of a longer conversation on twitter, facebook and email. Enjoy.

Looking for a challenge? Grab a couple of tennis balls.
Via David :

@scottbird here’s a tip for grip, Hold tennis balls in the palm of your hand while doing pullups! If you’ve never done this try it and feel it!

NB : While you’ve got the tennis balls out, there are a couple of other ways to use them in the gym. They’re great things to always have available.
Two of the most common are for soft tissue work and for direct grip training. Good fun.

Looking Forward To : Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement

This looks great; perfectly combining three of my own passions.
First – and perhaps most obvious – is a fascination with the Olympic games themselves. With only 403 days to go (there’s a countdown clock on the London 2012 site), it’s definitely time to start planning things.
Second is the historical aspect. There have been some superb sports presented at the Games over the years, both as demonstration and competion sports. Tug-of-war, Roque and many, many more. Love it.
Third is the fact that – and yes, I know this is somewhat unusual – I collect dictionaries. Odd, yes, but also fascinating.
Overall, it’s a fantastic mix. No matter which aspect of things (perhaps even all three) appeals to you, keep your eyes open for the Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. Beautiful.

Quick update on the The Ultimate Sandbag : Last week we noted the incredible Ultimate Sandbag. Beautiful thing.
Whether you’re looking at it as a conditioning or strength-building tool (or both), swing by the Straight to the Bar Guide to Sandbag Training. Loads of information there, examples and ideas.
Dive in.

Exercise of the Week : Hill Sprints on Dunes

If you’ve tried any of the forms of hill sprinting (on your own version of Puke Hill), you’ll appreciate just how challenging this can be.
Hill Sprints on Dunes.
From the article Workout locations: the beach :

Percy Cerutty hill sprint training on sandWithout getting into the intricacies of hill sprinting itself, let me just assure you that running at any speed up a sandy surface is a challenge. Running coach Percy Cerutty (pictured at left) used this training technique with great success on legendary runners John Landy and Herb Elliott. Hill sprints on sand are also enjoyed regularly by several major Rugby League teams.

Good fun.

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.

Time for Some New Gear? Here’s What to Get, and How to Use It

Straight to the Bar GuidesThanks to everyone who’s sent in feedback (via email, Facebook and Twitter) about the Straight to the Bar Guides – it’s greatly appreciated.
For everyone who hasn’t seen them yet, the Guides will help you decide what to get (and where), and how to train with it. There’s some great information in there.