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 : The Pass Around



Nice one.

Gymchat 251 – Gaining Maximum Functional Muscle Mass (Bud Jeffries)

What’s the relationship between size and strength? How much muscle mass do you need to add to get seriously strong, and at what point does it actually work against you?
This week we’ll be tackling this enigmatic area with the incredible Bud Jeffries, who I first saw performing in 2006 (he was tackling a bottom-up-squat with an insane 1,000lb).


Joining Bud is 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 Bud and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Hangout and ask them directly.
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 : Performing Strongman Bud Jeffries, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You
Topic : Gaining Maximum Functional Muscle Mass
When : Wednesday Jul 2, 8:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone).
How : Watch the live stream, or join the hangout (get your questions ready), directly on the Event page. We’ll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.

Previously : In Gymchat 250 we discussed Serious Training for Ignored Populations (with Personal Trainer & Massage Therapist Bill Kociaba, joined by 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: Overhand Card Tearing

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.


Tearing cards

Completed tear.

When it comes to the various feats of performing strongmen & women, one that frequently comes to mind is the tearing of a deck of cards. In the article Overhand Card Tearing, Bikes Cut the Correct Way, Adam explains the basic technique for doing exactly that :

  1. Hold it firmly

    Hold it firmly.

    Hold the deck firmly with your weak hand (right side shown for me) with the deck firmly and horizontal to the floor.

  2. Pinch the deck

    Pinch the deck.

    Pinch the deck with the strong hand with the thumb and index finger. It’s the same grip you use to use a remote control.

  3. Pull towards your chest

    Pull towards your chest.

    Pull your strong hand (pinch side) towards your chest. The index finger splits the deck. You must pinch hard!

  4. Turn your weak hand towards the floor

    Turn your weak hand towards the floor.

    Continue to pull hand towards your chest, turn your weak hand towards the floor. The deck will rip – not twist – if you have a tight grip. The tear line will be clean.

  5. Separate the deck

    Separate the deck.

    Continue to pinch the deck hard and pull back towards your chest until you separate the deck. The line will be a clean cut right through the deck. With this method you can put the cut anywhere you want on the deck.

Tearing cards

Tearing cards.

It takes pain tolerance and hand strength with this method. Keep practicing. THERE IS NO TRICK. Rub some lip balm on your hands after you tear if the skin is raw.


I can now rip decks of bicycles in less than 3 seconds, and quarter them in a second with this grip. It makes you strong.

NB : it’s certainly possible, but by no means easy. If you enjoyed doing that and would like to take it a step further, check out Jedd’s superb Card Tearing eBook. Invaluable resource.

Checking Out : Personal Trainer Magazine

Looks great.
Although I’m not a Personal Trainer myself, I’m very much interested in the world of fitness. From both the client and business sides of things.
With that in mind, I’m certainly intrigued by John Spencer Ellis’ Personal Trainer Magazine. Available in both PDF and Kindle forms (same content, it’s just personal preference), I’ll be checking it out tonight. Review soon.
Personal Trainer Magazine.


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 Russian Kettlebell Uppercut



The Kettlebell Uppercut. Nice and simple.


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.