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, 8 February 2010

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 – Viking Presses with Tyres (Tires)

Here’s another great way to put heavy tyres to good use – a Viking Press or three. Good stuff.

Deal of the Week – Grrl’s Valentine’s Day Wishlist

Grrl's Valentine's Day WishlistLong-term readers may recall The Mighty Kat‘s superb Grrl’s Valentine’s Day Wishlist. With Valentine’s Day 2010 less than a week away, here’s a perfect opportunity to help the girl in your life enjoy her strength-training sessions that little bit more.
Absolutely free.

Coming Events

Twitterchat 52 – Becoming a Fitness Professional : Considering becoming a qualified trainer, coach or nutritionist? How do you go about it, what does it cost and how long does it take?
This week we’re discussing the paths to becoming a fitness professional, no matter where you live or which qualification you’re after. Helping us to navigate this fascinating world is David Sandel, better known as @AthleteCreator. Fantastic.
Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Becoming a Fitness Professional
When : Wed Feb 11, 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.


A couple of quick updates :
Last week I mentioned that I’d be posting the review of Tim Hull‘s superb Functional Correction Manual. Here it is :
Also, keen-eyed readers may have noticed that the ebook given away to all new subscribers is now Jedd Johnson‘s excellent ‘14 Things you NEED for your First Strongman Contest‘. For everyone who was already signed up, here’s your complimentary copy :

Exercise of the Week : The Backlift

Thomas Jefferson 'Stout' Jackson setting up for backlift

Thomas Jefferson ‘Stout‘ Jackson. All rights
reserved, HJ Lutcher Stark Center, University of Texas.

The Backlift isn’t seen terribly often these days, although it’s certainly a challenging test of strength. Good fun.
I first came across this lift when I saw an old photo (above) of Thomas Jefferson ‘Stout‘ Jackson performing in 1916. Warren Lincoln Travis was also well known for training the backlift.
What does it look like in action? Here’s Derek Poundstone performing the most common variation of this lift at Fortissimus 2009 :

Good stuff.