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 :

Over to you. I’d love to hear what you think : leave your comments on the above articles, and share them with your friends/colleagues/clients and so on.
NB : If you’d like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here’s how.


Video : Mike Saffaie’s ‘Bar Training‘.

Nice mix.


Gymchat 158 : Heavy Duty – The Mentzer Legacy

I love a spot of strength history. Many (though certainly not all) of the training approaches of past years are entirely valid today.
This week we’ll be discussing the legacy of a well-known bodybuilder that Maik looked at recentlyMike Mentzer. Which of Mentzer’s ideas are still useful, and how have they influenced your own training? Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Olympic athlete, personal trainer and nutritionist Maik Wiedenbach*.


Details –
Who : Olympic athlete, personal trainer and nutritionist Maik Wiedenbach
Topic : Heavy Duty – The Mentzer Legacy
When : Wed Feb 29, 9pm EDT (2am UTC)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Where : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113406428532094481598/posts/DwyWdW318Vq
If you’ve never been to one of these discussions 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 calendar.
See you there.
* If you’d like to learn a little more about Maik Wiedenbach and his own fitness career, there’s a great interview in the March issue of World Physique magazine. Nice one.

Quick update on last week’s gymchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Tackling the Obesity Crisis. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s the transcript. Was a great one.


NB : if you’d like to add a fitness-related event (either a competition you’re taking part in, or something you’re helping to organise there), just login to the forums and add it to the calendar. Cheers.

Tip of the Week: Use a Weight You Can Control

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, Google+, 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 the enigmatic Gerard F, and is a snippet from a series of very interesting conversations surrounding the insights of the ‘Iron Guru‘, Vince Gironda. In particular, this thread on Google+.


The full quote is :

Use a weight you can control, and control the weight you use.

This applies to a lot of things, but in this case we were talking about the bench press. Gerard noted :

At best the Bench Press is an “OK” exercise even when done correctly, but nearly everyone performs it based on the wrong concept. Using 8-12 reps its OK, but what happens is, when the reps get tough, your form goes bad, the back arches and/or your torso torques; stress goes from the chest to the triceps to the shoulder/cuff, and your strong side lifts the load that your weak side can’t handle.

Over bench pressing gives you a circle looking chest, that’s when the shoulders and tris are developed because the chest can’t handle the weight, and what happens is the shoulder and tris are targeted more than the pecs.

Very interesting. Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.


Good stuff.

Checking Out : RKC Instructor Workshop in Israel

I haven’t been to Israel for years (last time, I was using a film-based camera, if that’s any indication), and I love the Dragon Door certifications at any time. Superb.
The details are here, but it’s essentially a Kettlebell Instructor Certification. If anyone here’s planning on attending, I’d love to hear about it.
Looks fantastic.

Quick update on the superb Super Human Training Workshop (#2) we noted a couple of weeks ago. Looks fantastic.
I’ll post a full review over on the forums shortly, but in the meantime, Logan’s got all the details of who/what/when. Head over to http://superhumanworkshop.com.

Exercise of the Week : A Grip Paradox – Adding Weight to ‘Deload’ the Inch

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, this is a very interesting way to reduce the Inch replica’s rotation by adding weight.
Over to Bob.


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.