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.

Video : Sliding Shoulders

Interesting exercise – using sliders and bands.

Twitterchat 129 – The Future of Fitness II



What will the fitness industry be like in 5 years’ time? 20 years? 100 years?

This week we’re returning to our discussion on that very topic – The Future of Fitness II – talking about the things that you think are likely to happen. The role of future gyms and personal trainers; medical technologies that may have an impact; and how we might share our successes and failures. Whatever the future holds.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine (@fitnewbie). Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : The Future of Fitness II
When : Wed Aug 3, 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.

Measuring Tape

Measuring Tape

Quick update on last week’s twitterchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Measuring & Monitoring. 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: Lifting Heavier Atlas Stones

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 from Diesel Crew‘s Jim ‘Smitty‘ Smith, and shares a simple way to lift heavier Atlas Stones.

From the article Training Tip : Atlas Stones :

Hugo Girard

Canadian strongman Hugo Girard.

Here is a stone training tip guaranteed to help your athletes transition from conventional training means to non-conventional / strongman training.

You will find your athletes who have been trained primarily trained in deadlifts only, have a hard time stabilizing and adjusting to implements that are not fixed, rigid or lifting in close proximity to their own center of gravity.

The solution? Shorten the range of motion. I just finished a workout with one of my wrestlers who couldn’t budge the 160 stone off the ground (at 155 lbs bw), but he can deadlift a lot more than that.

So I lifted the stone on top of one of my tractor tires and had him perform hip extensions for sets of 6-8. This not only conditions his hips and lower back for this position, but also his biceps.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : Ryan’s PVC Clubs

I love DIY Equipment.
Remember the clubs that Ryan showed off a while ago, assembled from a handful of PVC pieces? Here’s the latest incarnation – smoothed off & painted black. Perfect.

Incidentally, if you’re ever wondering why you’d use home-made tools over store-bought ones; it isn’t just about money (though that’s often a benefit). DIY equipment is a great way to see if you like something before you grab the serious gear. It also lets you customise things a little easier – sometimes you want to test an idea or two.
Whatever the reason, DIY clubs like this are ideal.

SEALFITQuick update on the SEALFIT Training : Last week we noted this incredible training approach. Fantastic.
If you’re keen to incorporate some military fitness into your own training, SEALFIT is a perfect place to start.

Exercise of the Week : Weighted Bar Hang

For an exercise that may not seem like too much of a challenge, these can be quite brutal. They’re also a great way to finish a heavy deadlift session – Weighted Bar Hangs.

The idea is extremely simple : hang from something like a chinning bar with one hand, and hold a heavy object (a dumbbell, weight plate etc) in the other. Hold there for 30 sec or so.
An alternative method is to hang with both hands, and use a dipping belt for the weight. It just depends on what’s available at the time.
To make the exercise more/less challenging : alter the weight / duration. Remember to repeat with the other hand (unless you’re using the dip belt technique, naturally).
NB : try to remain fairly motionless during the hang. These aren’t chin-ups.

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 Straight to the Bar eBooks

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.