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 a little fitness writing and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, get in touch.


Video : Building Strength And Mobility for Handstands




A great demonstration of several strength and mobility exercises to assist your handstand progress.

Gymchat 278 – TBA

We’re still finalising the details for this week’s discussion. I’ll post them on the blog (and Twitter, Google+ etc) shortly.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the previous episodes of the show – (there’s an example below, and a full list here). And if you’ve got any questions or comments on the various topics discussed, we’d love to hear them. Just leave a note below the video.

Previously : In Gymchat 277 we discussed Barefoot Running – (Believe the Hype!) (with Xero Shoes’ Steven Sashen, 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.


NB : if you’d like to take part in a future episode – either as an interviewee, or as a guest host – just drop us a line. Love hearing how everyone else trains.

Tip of the Week: Speedbag Punch Technique

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.


The humble speedbag is a fantastic tool. When it comes to the right way to use it, there’s no better place to discuss technique than the incredible Speed Bag Forum.
Amazing place.
This tip comes to us from SBF‘s own Alan Kahn, and looks at a couple of the basic techniques (leading up to a front + side punch combination). Good stuff.


Re-Reading : 8 Weeks to SEALFIT – A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness

Great read.
I’m a big fan of both physical and mental strength, and this book has an intriguing combination of the two. Mark Divine‘s 8 Weeks to SEALFIT.
Here’s a comment from the Amazon page to give you a taste :

Jumping into this program taught me something really important: you cannot HIDE from the work required here. I’ve been doing more traditional weight lifting and strength programs at the gym over the last many months, and while the plans and programs have gone rather well for me, in just six days of working on this program I realized that I hadn’t been giving it my all, and I’d been cutting corners. With 8 Weeks to SEALfit, if you stay committed to the work in front of you, you can’t hide. And that’s a great thing.

Good stuff. 8 Weeks to SEALFIT.


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 : Headstands With a Twist

Headstand with a twist

Headstand with a twist.

Who would have thought that childhood trick would actually help strengthen your core. Simply come up into a headstand with a straddle and spin your legs like a helicopter without falling over. This one represents what core stability is.


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.

Want to Guest Host a Gymchat?

I love the Gymchats – great show. Fantastic to hear how everyone trains.
To help uncover even more, I’d like to extend an invitation. For you to act as a Guest Host, and interview someone you know about their own workouts & competitions. Whether that’s a work colleague, training partner or just someone you know who likes to lift.


If you’d like to Guest Host an episode or two of the show, let me know. And if you haven’t watched any yet and would like to see what they’re all about, there’s a full list here. Cheers.

Images of Strength

Wide Plate Pinch

Wide Plate Pinch.

As you might expect, we love seeing training-related photographs. Pics of your home gym, DIY equipment, workouts, diet or competitions – it’s all fantastic.
If you’ve got an image or three that you’d love to share with a strength-focussed audience, just upload them to Flickr/Instagram/SmugMug and send us the link. Cheers.


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.

Strength Training on Instagram

It’s fair to say that we’ve checked out quite a few images over the years – on Flickr, Smugmug, and of course Google+.
A friend of mine just pointed me to Chris Stanciu ‘s Instagram feed, which contains a great mix of nutrition and workout images :
instagram.com/officialgainsthetics.

Powerful Peacemaker

If you’re involved in law enforcement, you doubtless understand the importance of keeping as fit, strong & healthy as possible. Can make a real difference.
Whilst there are many ways to learn the various skills and techniques required, the one I personally favour is something like the Powerful Peacemaker‘ Facebook group. To find out what it’s all about – and for access – head over to :
powerfulpeacemaker.com.
It’s a great way to learn.

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.