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, 25 Oct 2010

This Week on Straight to the Bar

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 :

Ready to add your own opinion, workout log or training article? Just head over to the Forums, Training Logs, or swing by the Article Submissions page. They’re fantastic ways to share your ideas.

NB : if you enjoy the articles, show the authors your appreciation by voting (using the Like, Digg and Retweet icons). Cheers.

Video : Standing Odd-shaped Tyre Press

205lb of home-made fun. Love it.

Twitterchat 89 : Setting Up a Strength Training Facility

It happens to many of us at some point – a desire to create our own gym. Whether that’s a home gym, a shared training space or something a little more commercial – it’s definitely a worthy goal.
This week we’re focusing on the commercial side of things, whether that’s a roomful of machines or something a little more hardcore. Whatever form it takes, we’ll be talking about it in Setting Up a Strength Training Facility. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Body by D-Rock’s Derek Peruo (@bodybydrock). Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Setting Up a Strength Training Facility
When : Wed Oct 27, 9pm EDT (1am UTC)
How : Include #sbgym in your tweets.
To see when it’s on in your timezone, head over to the twitterchat calendar.
See you there.

Quick update on last week’s twitterchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Incorporating Fitness into a ‘Normal‘ Life. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you train at work – perhaps in your lunch break? In a local facility or a work gym?

Looking Forward To : EA Sports Active 2.0

Although this variety of fitness video game mix isn’t exactly ‘there‘ yet (I’d love to see much more emphasis on strength-training for one), I’m keen to have a good look at this offering.

Quite apart from the fact that it encourages people to move (always a great thing), it seems to be flexible in terms of defining a custom program. A question for all the strength coaches and personal trainers out there : would you see value in using something like this (if customisable) with your online clients? What sort of feedback (heartrate, times etc) would you need?
If you’re similarly keen to take a look at EA Sports Active 2.0, it’ll be released on Nov 16, 2010.

Exercise of the Week : The Floor Press

This is a great way to work on the middle of your bench press action; eliminating the ‘bounce‘ and reducing the load on the shoulders. Great exercise.
As the name suggests, this is simply a bench press performed whilst lying on the floor. This position limits the range of motion (your arms can’t move back as far, as they’re stopped by the floor), and means that the bottom of a Floor Press is actually toward the middle of a typical Bench Press. It feels quite different.
Here’s a quick video demonstration. Note that the Floor Press can be modified with the usual array of bands, chains and weight releasers; or make use of equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, clubs and hammers.

Good fun.