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.

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 ).




DragonDoor Workshops

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.


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 :

NB : if you’d like to share your own images, just add them to one of the sites noted above and send us a link.

Strength Training on Facebook

I suspect you love talking about strength training constantly (certainly the case here), and you’re always on the lookout for places to do that. Comments on various sites, forums as well as various in-person communities.

Online, I gravitate toward both Twitter and Facebook. In addition to the SttB offerings, here’s another one you may wish to check out :

Garage Gym Reviews (Cooper Mitchell’s page)

We’ve noted a few of his videos in the past, and they’re great for diving in deep on a particular type of equipment. Nice one.

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 :

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.

Other (Daily) Newsletters You Might Like

Finally, for a daily dose of tangentially-related information – check out the following. All are compiled daily, and cover the following topics :

Aging & Longevity (living for a very, very long time)
Electric Cars in Australia (great way to help tackle air-pollution)
Better Sleep Nightly (my favourite form of recovery)

And yes, they’re absolutely free.

Bruce Lee : The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Bruce Lee & John Little)

If you’ve ever watched a Bruce Lee film and marveled at his strength, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility or muscularity, this book should take pride of place in your collection. Unlike many other writings covering everything from Lee’s training methods to nutrition, this book is based not on the recollections of people around him; but on Lee’s own notes. Brilliant.

Definitely worthy of a place on the fitness shelf.

Bruce Lee : The Art of Expressing the Human Body.

Monday, 26 Jan 2009

Video – Decline GHRs

This is a superb piece of equipment, used here to demonstrate the particularly challenging Decline GHR. Love it.

52 Blocks Knuckle Game

As the fitness arm of the not-for-profit Constellation group, the Bartendaz have been doing some great stuff over the years (here’s a sample). One of their training approaches involves the 52 Blocks combat system; loosely part of Jailhouse Rock.
If you’ve never seen 52 Blocks in action before, head over to 52 Blocks TV and swing by 52 Blocks Knuckle Game Good stuff.

Got a site, event or product you’d like to recommend? Drop us a line.

Filling one of the inner bags

Filling one of the inner bags.

This week we take a brief look at the Ultimate Sandbag.
I’ve been using the Ultimate Sandbag for a while now (here’s the original review), and it’s quickly taken a key place in my conditioning workouts. Great thing.
Two things I’ve noted over the past few weeks. First, it’s designed for a fair bit of abuse. I generally use it outdoors (apart from anything else, there’s more room) and the bag gets dragged, thrown and unceremoniously dumped on a regular basis. No problems at all.
Secondly, although I can change the weight of the bag (just by throwing in another filler bag or two), I generally don’t. It’s just not necessary for the type of workouts I do, and there are many other ways to make a sandbag exercise more/less challenging.
Overall, it’s a great thing. Highly recommended.