Strength & Fitness Newsletter

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’re keen to do more writing in 2014 and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here’s how.


Video : ANW 6 Warmup Room Session



More Ninja Bedroom goodness.

Gymchat 245 – Feats of Strength (Grip Strength) (Jedd Johnson)

Sitting firmly at the heart of many forms of training is Grip Strength. Whether you’re a Performing Strongman, Competitive Athlete or anyone who enjoys spending a bit of time with the iron.


In this discussion we’ll be investigating two key aspects of grip work – the various feats you’ll occasionally see, and grip training in general. Tackling these is the insanely strong Jedd Johnson, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We’d love to hear your questions and comments. If there’s a particular subject you’d like Jedd and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Q&A (during the discussion itself).
And if you’d like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the ‘share‘ button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.

Details –

Who : The insanely strong Jedd Johnson, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett
Topic : Feats of Strength (Grip Strength)
When : Wednesday Apr 30, 8:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone).
How : Watch the live stream, and ask questions, directly on the Event page. We’ll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.


See you there.

Previously : In Gymchat 243 we discussed How to Improve Your Pull-Ups (with Strength Coach Frank DiMeo and Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett). Great conversation.
If you missed the live stream (or just want to go over a particular point again), you can watch the entire video here.

Tip of the Week: A Routine for Neck-Training Beginners

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via Twitter, Google+, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.


I love a dose of neck training. Using a neck harness, a fitness ball, bodyweight exercises and so on. There are certainly more than a few ways to do it.
This tip comes to us from last year’s Gymchat on the topic, and is a routine aimed at complete neck-training beginners who are looking to get started on this wonderful journey. Over to Andrew Nalepa.

Good news for anyone who is beginning neck training, “you” are pretty much all you need. I like Mike Bruce’s beginner program on Straight to the Bar, but another really simple beginner program is this :

Lay on your back on the floor, or on your bed, and just raise your head, curling your chin to your upper chest, as many times as you can. Then lay on your stomach, and raise your chin to the ceiling as many times as possible. Then lay on your side and curl your ear toward your shoulder as many times as you can, and then lay on your other side and do the same thing.


Many people who have never done any neck training have difficulty just laying on their back and curling just their head 20 times. It is a really simple starting point just using gravity. To progress, you could do more reps, do more sets, or start holding a book to your head as you do your repetitions.

NB : if you like the sound of this and want to further explore the wonderful world of neck training, check out the free guide here. The exercises, equipment and techniques you’ll need.

Re-reading : Pushing the Limits!

Fantastic book.


We looked at this one (both the PDF version and the paperback) a little over a year ago. If you missed it the first time around, check it out. Highly recommended.
To give you an idea of what it’s all about, here’s a brief passage from Jason Ferruggia’s foreword (full version here) :

Pushing the Limits! is the book I wish I had when I first started working out. Knowing Al’s secrets and various progressions would have saved me years of wasted time, frustration and injuries. As awesome as Raising the Bar was I think Al has taken it to another level with Pushing the Limits!. The variations of The Big Three and progressions Al lays out will keep you busy for years.

Al Kavadlo‘s Pushing the Limits!. Superb.


Quick update on the Hip Thruster we mentioned recently – fantastic thing.
Rather than trying to explain how it works, here it is in action :

Good stuff Bret, looks great.

Exercise of the Week : The Power Clean and Push Jerk



The team at CrossFit Boston learns the Power Clean and Push Jerk. Good stuff.


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.

New Guide : The Straight to the Bar Guide to Fat Loss

We’ve received some fantastic feedback following Vic Magary‘s Gymchats on Fat Loss, cheers. Greatly appreciated.
If fat loss is one of your own fitness goals, and you haven’t yet watched the discussions, you’ll find them all here. I’ve also added several other fat loss resources we’ve noted over the years – all of them highly recommended. Dive in.


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.
Enjoy.

A Daily Dose

Straight to the Bar Daily

Love this stuff? Same here. If you’re looking for a daily dose of strength-training goodness, grab the Straight to the Bar Daily.
Absolutely free.

Giving

If you’ve been training for a while, gradually cleaning up your diet, no doubt you’ve experienced the amazing power of transformation. It’s a tremendous feeling.
If you’re ready to give someone else a hand to transform their own lives – through education, sharing equipment, financial help – take a look at the full list of organisations on the Giving page. Cheers.

Images on Straight to the Bar

Finally, a quick guide to some of the incredible images we use on Straight to the Bar. It’s safe to say that there are quite a few of them, and you’ll find all the details here.