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, 28 December 2009

On the Forums

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, head over to the forums :

Ready to add your own workout log or training article? Just head over to the Articles & Logs page and log in, and click ‘Post to Your Blog‘. That’s all there is to it.

NB : if you like what you see, show the authors your appreciation by voting (using the icons for Digg, StumbleUpon etc above each article). Cheers.

Video – Reverse Turkish Getup

Looking for a little variety in your kettlebell training? Throw in a Reverse TGU or two. Good stuff.

Deal of the Week – Second-hand Gym Gear

Second-hand platesThis is a great time of year for hitting the garage sales, and stocking up the home gym. Good fun.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at tips and techniques to consider when it comes to ‘reclaiming‘ some of the gear. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the following (and grab it as soon as you find it, you won’t be the only one looking) :

  • used plates, both Standard and Olympic
  • fixed weight dumbbells
  • kettlebells (a rare find, but grab them when you see them)

Things to avoid (second-hand, that is) :

  • Personally, I avoid anything that could snap or break without warning; equipment with cables or straps. I also avoid buying second-hand bars, as it’s impossible to know the age, strength, and difficult to spot subtle bends.

How about you – are you a fan of second-hand gear, and what sort?

Coming Events

Twitterchat 46 – Z-Health : Despite having first read about Z-Health more than 3 years ago (in this interview with Dr Eric Cobb), I didn’t start including the concepts into my own training until fairly recently. Pity, because it’s absolutely fantastic.
This week we’re chatting about Z-Health : what it is, and how to incorporate it into your routines. Aiding us in this is none other than Z-Health Master Trainer, Mike T Nelson. Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Z-Health
When : Wed Dec 30, 9pm EST (1am UTC)
How : include #sbgym in your tweets (here’s how)
To see when it’s on in your timezone, head over to the twitterchat calendar.
See you there.
Got an event that you’d like to add? Let me know.

Exercise of the Week : Front Plate Raise

Eye levelThis is about as simple as they come; all you’ll need is a plate.
To perform the exercise :

The movement itself really is as simple as the name suggests. Grab a plate by the sides (angled down a bit, as if driving a bus) and straighten your arms in front of you. Raise it until you’re looking through the hole, and lower it again. That’s it.