Strength & Fitness Newsletter

What's This?

The Strength & Fitness Newsletter is a weekly email newsletter which summarises the things added to Straight to the Bar (as well as a few gems from the archives). Absolutely free.

To add your name to the list, sign up below. You’ll receive a confirmation shortly afterward, and a newsletter every Monday (Sydney time) after that.

btw, I’d love to hear your feedback – both on the individual items and the newsletters themselves. Drop a comment below the relevant issue, or swing by Twitter ( I’m @scottbird ).




Monday, 15 Dec 2014

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 a little fitness writing and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here’s how.

Video : Different Squats for Different Roles

Was chatting about this with a friend over the weekend, and Dave explains the concept well here. The use of different squat variations to suit different applications.

Nice one.

Gymchat 268 – Bulking on a Budget (Adam Klymkiw)

How do you pack on a bit of mass without spending a lot of money? Is it realistic to do so, and to what extent?
This week we’ll be examining this area in detail; looking at what to get, when, why and how much it’s all going to cost. Tackling it is Personal Trainer Adam Klymkiw, 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 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 : Personal Trainer Adam Klymkiw, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You
Topic : Bulking on a Budget
When : Monday Dec 15, 8:00pm 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 shortly after the Gymchat.

Coming Up : We’ve got several fantastic discussions coming up shortly – with Powerlifter Bill Piche, 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: Stretching Causes Weakness

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.
This tip is from Josh Hewett‘s excellent ‘Bulletproof Your Body‘ series. The impact of stretching on both strength and injury.
Over to Josh :

Exercise physiologists have concluded that passive stretching not only has no effect on preventing injuries, but it can actually make you even more likely to get hurt. But I didn’t take their word on it… I’ve experienced the effects of passive vs. active stretching first hand. I’ve also worked with biomechanics specialists who use Applied Kinesiology muscle testing as a reproducible way to measure muscle strength and responsiveness. They demonstrated that in almost every case a passive stretch is performed the muscles will test weak after. On the other hand, active isometric exercise will improve muscle activation.

Good stuff. Note that this is only a snippet from the full piece – swing by Josh‘ blog for the entire article. A great read.

The Future of Fitness : Health & Fitness Predictions for 2015

We’ve looked at the possible future of both health & fitness many times over the years – Workout Clothing, Virtual Training Partners, various medical discoveries and of course the Gymchats. Particularly #224.

It’s time once again to peek into the near-term future. Here are just a few of the health & fitness-related things I think we’re likely to see over the next year or so.

  • Far more discussion & research surrounding the potential of ‘smart fabrics; with the idea of creating clothing (for everyday use – not just in workouts) to monitor/record/share various types of biometric data. Heart rate, glucose levels and so on.
  • Addition of various sensors and devices – both mobile and static versions, for people and buildings – to monitor ambient air quality in many areas. Real-time maps ultimately created from this information.
  • Significantly more (than in 2014) 3D-printing of prostheses, and assistive devices.
  • A number of attempts to create metamaterials (which are completely synthetic – don’t exist anywhere in nature) to solve specific medical problems.
  • Much more realtime health monitoring possible, and used in a number of small trials.
  • Growing medical use of information from commercial fitness devices (the many types of fitness wearables on the market). I suspect this information will be used in much the same way by an ever-growing number of fitness professionals.

Over to you. Do you agree or disagree with the various things listed; the items themselves or the timeframe? And is there anything you’d add to the list – anything you think we’ll probably see in 2015? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Of course, there’s a whole lot more – on these, and other aspects of health & fitness. Head over to the Futurism category and jump in the conversation.

Exercise of the Week : Weighted Chin-up

Weighted Chin

Serious weighted chins. Superb.

I love weighted chins.

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.

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.


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.