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, 13 Jun 2011

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 : I’ve just set up a new commenting system for Straight to the Bar, which makes it even easier to share your views with the world. You can log in using your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus accounts. Much simpler.

To kick things off (and to test that everything’s working correctly), I’d love it if you could share a few thoughts. If you can, please leave comments on 2 or 3 of the superb articles on the site.

Thank you. It really is appreciated.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a list of the various articles by a particular author, head over here :


Video : Knuckle Push-Ups

One of the many superb push-up variations available. Good fun.

Twitterchat 122 – Turning a Good Gym into a Great Gym

If you’ve ever tried running your own gym (or any business, for that matter), you know what it’s like. It’s a lot of work.
This week we’re looking at the various ways to make your training facility or fitness business a lot more efficient, focused and profitable. We’ll be sharing techniques that have been used successfully by other gym owners, and I’d love to hear your own ideas. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Body by D-Rock‘s Derek Peruo (@bodybydrock). Fantastic.

NB : if you’re the owner of a training facility or fitness business, head over to the forums and add a quick summary of your services to the ‘Recommended Coaches and Trainers‘ forum. It’s free advertising, and I’ll be using that list as the basis of a couple of things following the discussion. Details shortly, but believe me, you’ll want to be on the list 🙂

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Turning a Good Gym into a Great Gym
When : Wed Jun 15, 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 Fat Loss. 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: Refeeding

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 Food & Fitness‘ Anthony Paradis (@foodnfitness), and looks at one of the many fascinating areas that came up in the most recent twitterchat – Refeeding. Enjoy.

Have you hit a weight loss plateau?
Cutting calories is necessary for fat loss but it also creates metabolic stress in the body. Stress hormones and leptin levels can become altered over time and along with a slower metabolism, weight loss can stall.

If this is you, fear not. A simple break from dieting, called a refeed, could be your ticket to results!
To “refeed” just eat 100% of your maintenance calories with higher carbohydrates. This usually equates to an extra meal and a small dessert with your current diet. After about 5-7 days of refeeding, reassess and get back on track to your target weight.

Checking Out : New-look Ultimate Sandbag

I love these things. Incredibly versatile, deceptively challenging, and extremely tough.
Although I’ve built (and still build, particularly when travelling) any number of sandbags over the years, I generally use the Ultimate Sandbags for my own training. Superbly made, and ready for everything I throw at them.
What sorts of things do I do with them? Well, a lot of the stuff on the Straight to the Bar Guide to Sandbag Training. If you’re new to sandbag work, start there. If you’ve been doing it for years, well, you know what it’s like.
Either way, when it comes to buying one for yourself, grab the best. The Ultimate Sandbag.

Quick update on the Super Human System : A few weeks ago we noted the superb Super Human seminars.
Here’s a simple way to access that same invaluable information, whenever it suits – the Super Human Membership. Love it.

Exercise of the Week : Neck Bridge Progression

I love a dose of neck work, in any form; using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells or bodyweight only. It’s all good.
Here are several variations of the humble neck bridge, showing a great progression through the process. As your neck strength grows, you might like to sample one of the more challenging versions.

Incidentally, if you want to see some example of other ways to train your neck, swing by Blast from the Past : Neck Training Methods. Dive in.

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

10 Essential Conditioning ToolsAs 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.
Good stuff.
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

Straight to the Bar GuidesThanks 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.