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 : Japanese Climbing Gyms (Magnus Midtbø)




Taking the form of a vlog detailing Magnus’ trip to Tokyo, it provides a wonderful look at a Japanese climbing gym. Nice one.
Incidentally, if you just want to see the gym itself, it starts at 9:14.

Gymchat 278 – TBA

We’re still finalising the details for this week’s discussion. I’ll post them on the blog (and Twitter, Facebook 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 237 we discussed Old-Time Strongman Training with Physical Culture Renaissance ManLogan Christopher, 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’ll find 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 : Bending Steel = Increased Strength Endurance

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via Twitter, the blog; and the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.


A friend of mine asked me over the weekend why I bend things. It’s partly because it’s fun, and partly, well, I’ll let Adam explain.


There are many great reasons for bending things, as Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass notes in the article Why Bend Steel? Apart from the simple ‘because it’s downright fun‘ :

The increase in strength and power naturally will carry over to an increase in your endurance. Anyone who has bent a nail will tell you the first time they bent it was so tiring. I have watched people sweat bullets bending their first respectable nail. As time goes on you gain huge reserves of power. A personal testament to this level of power for me was October 2007 when I bent 150 60D nails in one hour using the double under (DU) grip. That represented a massive improvement from Jan 2007, when bending 10-15 nails left my hands extremely fatigued.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : Peter Attia’s Upcoming Book

Really looking forward to it.
We’ve noted both Peter’s podcast and emails in the past, so I suspect you already know roughly what to expect. Both in terms of content and style.
The book promises to be a blend of the two – a longer discussion of some fascinating topics. And yes, I’m really keen to get my hands on a copy.
In the meantime, a sampling of Peter’s writing; and a few thoughts on the book itself :
peterattiamd.com/book-update.


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 : Abdominal Isolation

Via Physical Strategies : It never ceases to amaze me just how many exercises Vince ‘the Iron Guru’ Gironda examined, tweaked and created. One of these is the Gironda Ab Squeeze (although I’m sure it also goes by many other names) and is the perfect example of how a simple change can greatly increase the effectiveness of a movement.
NB : the description is an excerpt from the book West Coast Bodybuilding Scene, a great read.


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, audio files 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.

Podcasts

I listen to an ever-changing pool of podcasts, discussing the many aspects of training and nutrition possible. Most recently :

FoundMyFitness (Dr Matthew Walker on Sleep)

Over to you. Any you’d recommend?

Strength Training on Instagram

It’s fair to say that we’ve checked out quite a few images over the years – on Flickr & Smugmug in particular.
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.

Twitter Lists

I use Twitter for a number of things, as I’m sure everyone else here does. To talk about strength training, nutrition and many other topics. Works well.
To make this a little easier – and so people can dive right in to the topics that interest them – I use Twitter’s ‘List functionality quite a bit. There’s a full list of them here :
https://twitter.com/scottbird/lists
Whatever you’re in to, it’s all there.
NB : the above lists are always being fine-tuned. If you know of someone who tweets regularly about a particular subject and should be on one of them, let me know.

Ferocious Fitness (Phil Ross, Marty Gallagher)

Remember this? Great book.
Ferocious Fitness : A Fighter’s Proven Action Plan to Develop Blazing Power, Animalistic Strength and Killer Conditioning is a distillation of Phil Ross’ training wisdom, in the form of a superbly comprehensive book.
We took a look at the digital version recently, and you’ll be pleased to know that the paperback version is now available. Definitely worthy of a place on the fitness shelf.
Phil Ross’ Ferocious Fitness.


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.

Daily Newsletters

Better Sleep Nightly

Finally, for a daily dose of tangentially-related information – check out the following. All are compiled daily, and cover the following topics :
Electric Cars in Australia (great way to help tackle air-pollution)
Leave It In The Ground (tackling air-pollution from a slightly different angle)
Better Sleep Nightly (my favourite form of recovery)
And yes, they’re absolutely free.