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 :
- Home-made Zercher/Front Squat Harness
There’s some fantastic DIY gear on the site – both on the main blog, and on the forums. Time for some heavy front-squatting.
- Foam Roller Self Massage For The Upper Back (registered forum members only)
Scott Andrew Bird
Following the ‘Myofascial Release‘ Twitterchat last week I received a few questions regarding foam rolling for the back. Here’s a great video which demonstrates a simple way to help out the upper back – right between the shoulders. Perfect.
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 : I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment beneath the article itself, and share your views with the fantastic strength-training community. Cheers.
Video : TRX Clap Push Ups
Twitterchat 118 – Nutrition for Beginners
Over the past few years I’ve gradually been refining my diet, and seeing some incredible benefits in the process.
This is the second part of the ‘Getting Started‘ discussion, taking a close look at the things we eat; and how to adjust that to our advantage. To reduce weight, improve health, accelerate recovery, reduce stress and a whole lot more.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than All Round Athlete‘s Dean Coulson (@DeanCoulson). Fantastic.
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Nutrition for Beginners
When : Wed May 18, 9pm EDT (1am UTC)
How : Include #sbgym in your tweets.
If you’ve never been to one of these twitterchats before, here’s how to join in the fun. Simple, quick to set up and free.
And 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 Myofascial Release. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s a brief summary. Was a great one.
Tip of the Week: How To Use Lifting Straps
Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, facebook, the forums, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.
This tip comes to us via Straight to the Bar‘s own Scott Andrew Bird (@scottbird). Enjoy.
Lifting straps are not exactly going to challenge your grip, but they certainly have their place.
The matter of ‘when do you use them?‘ is up to you (personally, I use them whenever I feel that the weight being lifted is more important than challenging my grip; typically on the last couple of sets of something like heavy deadlifts), but the video below will show you how. Give them a go.
NB : this post first appeared on the Straight to the Bar Forums. For more tips like these, swing by the Beginners area. Good stuff.
Looking Forward To : How a Champion is Made
This looks great.
Two weeks ago we discussed how to ‘Get Started‘ with weight training in general. And yes, it’s a great journey.
In the book How a Champion is Made, Steve Cardillo takes a close look at one particular aspect of this journey – the education of a son or nephew in the world of strength training. From the publisher’s notes on Amazon :
This is a must read for all parents who want to instill in their son the determination, leadership skills, and confidence to succeed through weight training and nutrition. Cardillo demonstrates what your son needs to do to get the most out of his workout routine while maintaining a safe training environment.
Fantastic. The book comes out in just over a months’ time – July 1st. Looking forward to it.
Quick update on the Beast Sled : A few weeks ago we noted the Beast Sled; beautiful thing.
If you haven’t ordered yours yet, swing by the The Beast Sled site and check them out. I’d love to hear what you think.
Exercise of the Week : Weighted Bench Dips
I love these. Nice and simple, and you can do them almost anywhere.
When it comes to exercising your triceps, there are loads of possibilities. Everything from the well-known pushdowns to the humble dip (and variations).
The Bench Dip falls between the two, and there are a number of variations that’ll let you give it a go regardless of your starting point (here’s a full progression). This version – the Weighted Bench Dip – comes near the end of the series, and can be as challenging as you like. And yes, it’s a great (and quick) way to work the triceps.
The video below shows the basic technique. Load up with your choice of weight (anything heavy, it doesn’t have to be weight plates), find a bench/short wall/set of stairs, and go to work. Great exercise.
Incidentally, if you’d like to get in touch regarding this or any other aspect of strength, you can send me an email here. Look forward to hearing from you.
Free eBooks from Straight to the Bar
As a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you get several great eBooks, absolutely free. Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
NB : This is an ever-changing list of books. If you’d like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.
Time for Some New Gear? Here’s What to Get, and How to Use It
Thanks to everyone who’s sent in feedback (via email, Facebook and Twitter) about the Straight to the Bar Guides – it’s greatly appreciated.
For everyone who hasn’t seen them yet, the Guides will help you decide what to get (and where), and how to train with it. There’s some great information in there.