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 : Tough Mudder Toronto (First Person View)

What’s a Tough Mudder event really like? Have a look.

Nice one Pete. The GoPro is perfect for things like this.

Gymchat 184 – TBA (And a New Format)

Mystery Guest

Mystery Guest.

These discussions are now more than 3 years old, beginning life as the ‘Twitterchats‘ (and held, as the name suggests, on Twitter) in Feb 2009.
Around a year ago they migrated to Google+, and were renamed ‘Gymchats‘ at that time. These have a lot of advantages – particularly the fact that there’s a permanent link to each discussion. You’ll find a complete list here.
Now, we’re getting ready to grow once more – to include a video of the interview alongside the text. They’ll still be on Google+, and you’ll be able to access them in much the same way.
We’ll be posting the full details of the change over the next few days.

I also want to mention another change that goes along with this.
If you’ve spent much time on Google+, or joined us for some of the previous Gymchats, no doubt you’ve bumped into the incredible Kirk Fontaine. In addition to being a Personal Trainer and Fitness Writer, he’s taken part in the Gymchats from both the interviewer and interviewee sides of the fence. Greatly appreciated.
Kirk’s now helping out by scheduling interviewees for future discussions. If you’re at all interested in taking part in one of the Gymchats, get in touch.

Tip of the Week: Become a Morning Person

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.

Alarm Buttons

Alarm Buttons. Photo by mnapoleon.

A recent study published in the American Psychological Association journal ‘Emotionsuggested that – at least anecdotally – there may be both happiness and health benefits to getting up early.
As I switched to being an early riser fairly recently (after 40+ years of being a self-confessed night owl), I’ve noticed a similar change myself. And in our conversations on Google+, Louis George helped explain exactly why :

Our evolution makes us more suited to the “lark” type behavior. The circadian rhythm is based on the pattern of day and night. Fighting it continually, with shift work and personal preferences usually ends badly.

More than behavior patterns, or being organised, I feel, the damage done to hormonal regulation by poor sleep is a bigger factor.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : StrongerGrip Modular Grip System (MGS)

Remember the StrongerGrip Modular Grip System (MGS) we mentioned a while ago? It’s arrived.
A little video to show you what it’s all about :
(warning : before you watch this, just be aware that you will end up wanting it)


Quick update on the superb Fixing Elbow Pain we mentioned recently. There’s a full review here, but suffice to say that if you’ve ever experienced conditions like Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow, it’s essential reading.
Love it.

Exercise of the Week : The Plough Horse

Here’s a great sled-dragging variation – The Plough Horse.
Over to the guys at Aegis Training :

Nice one.

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

Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials

Pavel Tsatsouline with Flamebell

We’ve looked at a lot of kettlebell exercises and variations over the years – in the form of tips, tutorials and demonstrations.
Where do you find them all? Right here – a complete list of Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials.

Free Downloads from the Strength Kit

Returning to Heavy Training After a Break

I recently added a number of resources to the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit, and as a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you’re more than welcome to download as many of them as you like. Several great eBooks, podcasts and videos – all absolutely free.
Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
Good stuff.

NB : This is an ever-changing list. If you’d like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.