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 : Josh Hewett’s Pursuit of a 600lb Deadlift

Fantastic goal.
Josh is working with Strength Coach Craig Bongelli (who we chatted with in Gymchat 246 – great discussion), specifically targetting a 600lb pull. Good stuff.



Gymchat 255 – Evolutionary Eating (The Pillars of Paleo)

What’s your current diet like? What do you eat, and why?
In Gymchat 205 we talked to the wonderful Adam Farrah about the basics of the Paleo Diet, and how it can help.
This week we’re returning to the conversation – looking at things in detail. Examining exactly how everything works, and how to tweak it in order to get what you want.
Once again we’re joined by Kettlebell and CrossFit Coach Adam Farrah, 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 Adam and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Hangout and ask it 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 : Kettlebell and CrossFit Coach Adam Farrah, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You
Topic : Evolutionary Eating (The Pillars of Paleo)
When : Apologies for the late notice; we had to adjust the date for this one. It’ll be on Friday Sep 5, 3:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone).
How : Watch the live stream, join the hangout (just add Top Form Fitness to one of your circles, and Josh’ll send out the URL when the Hangout starts), or jump in the Q&A on the Event page itself. We’ll also post the full video on the main site shortly after the Gymchat.

Coming Up : We’ve got several fantastic discussions coming up shortly – with Personal Trainer Jaime Smith, Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Palfrey and many, many others. Of course, we’re always scheduling more; if you’d like to suggest either a topic or a person that should definitely be on the show, drop us a line. Cheers.

Tip of the Week: The Power of Naming Your Workouts

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.


Here’s a simple technique which greatly increases the potential of your workouts. Kira describes the full process in the article Give Your Workout a Name!, but here’s a quick story to give you the basic idea :

A few years ago, a couple of young dudes I trained with (Muay Thai), wanted to do some extra conditioning work. I offered to take them on a run up Puke Hill on the weekends.
After a few nervous side-glances, both of them asked, “Why is it called Puke Hill?” After striking a suitably melodramatic pose, I just smiled and then walked away.
When they finally got to do the run, I noticed three distinct changes to the way they normally trained:

  • Intensity – It was the hardest I’d seen either of them train.
  • Team-work – When one of them almost gave up, the other one slowed down and ran beside his friend–helping him to complete the last set of sprints.
  • Accomplishment – After the run, neither whined or complained. In fact, despite their exhaustion, both had shit-eating grins plastered across their ugly faces.

Of course Puke Hill is just a hill. Sure it was steep, and using it for interval-sprints was quite challenging, but what hill sprints aren’t challenging? So here’s the point of my story: I believe that by simply giving the run a name, my two padawans trained harder, worked together better, and gained a greater sense of individual and shared achievement.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : Master The Kettlebell (Max Shank)

Looks great.
Max Shank‘s ‘Master The Kettlebell‘ is quite simply the book I wish I’d had when I was first experimenting with kettlebells. I’ll post up a full review shortly; in the meantime, here’s a snippet from the main page on Dragon Door :

This book is a must-have for current or aspiring RKC or HKC instructors, or anyone who needs real, practical, and POWERFUL advice for kettlebell use. The exercise descriptions, mobility information, and solid program design strategies are incredibly worthwhile. My advanced clients will love having a resource to reference when practicing new intermediate/advanced moves at home too. A great all around approach and one that I will be very proud to regularly reference and share.

Max Shank’sMaster The Kettlebell‘.


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 : Anatomy of the Turkish Get-up



Anthony DiLuglio takes a great look at the Kettlebell Turkish Get-up (my own favourite kettlebell exercise), in this series (part I here, part II above). Enjoy.


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.


Straight to the Bar Strength Calendar

Taking part in, helping out with or going to watch an upcoming strength competition?
Tell us about it.

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.