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 : Body Fat Testing Using Hydrostatic Weighing




Great demonstration of the hydrostatic method – by far the most accurate approach.

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 185 we discussed Training for Marathons & Triathlons (with Ultrarunner, airline captain and insanely competitive triathlete, Chas Melichar, joined by Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine). 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: Becoming Aware of Your Transverse Abdominis

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.


There’s an awful lot more to abdominal work than exercises like the humble crunch. Everything from Louie‘s infamous ‘Stand-Up Abs‘ to the many, many varieties of the squat.
Before doing any of that, however, it helps to understand a little about the various muscles being worked. For that, it’s over to Kat ‘The Mighty Kat‘ Ricker.
For starters, from Kat’s superb article Specific Training for the Transverse Abdominis: Belt It In, here’s a quick way to learn to feel what your TA is doing :

Tara Scotti

Tara Scotti.

Begin by becoming aware of this muscle. Sit upright on a bench. Have a partner face you, place both of his hands on your shoulders, and gently push you backward (gently!). Your goal is to maintain your upright position, not allowing your spine to extend/your back to arch. Your TA will kick in to achieve your goal.



Good stuff.

Checking Out : CrossCore® Hardcore

This looks great.
CrossCore® Hardcore by Marty Gallagher and Dr Chris Hardy is a wonderful introduction to suspension training, showing how to get the most from this remarkable tool. It’s an ideal way to train when you’re travelling, or when you simply don’t have access to machines and free weights.
NB : The suspension trainer used in the book is the CrossCore System. If you’ve already got something similar, use that. If not, you can grab the CrossCore System here :
http://www.dragondoor.com/cc001
Great thing.


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 : Bodyweight Finger Roll




This bodyweight finger roll is a very interesting exercise – definitely one to add to the grip-training arsenal. Anyone else tried it?


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.