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, 27 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 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.

Video : The Desecrator

A quick dose of DIY equipment. Nice one Daniel.

Twitterchat 124 – Advanced Bodyweight Training

I love bodyweight training. You can do it almost anywhere, and you’ve always got the equipment with you.
This week we’re looking at some of the advanced forms of bodyweight work. Variations of common exercises, progressive training methods and additional equipment that can provide even more possibilities.

Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than We’re Working Out‘s Al Kavadlo (@alkavadlo). Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Advanced Bodyweight Training
When : Wed Jun 29, 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 Nutrition for Beginners II. 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: Choosing a Training Partner

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 the inimitable Fight Geek (@thefightgeek), and is part of his superb article Training Partners. Enjoy.

Watching this commercial got me thinking about training partners. Training partners are an essential part of most sports. They provide encouragement, friendly competition, the odd rebuke and of course–help you train the aspects of your sport you can’t train by yourself. Or that’s what they’re supposed to do. Unfortunately, sometimes training partners can prevent progress rather than foster it. So it’s important for athletes to be discerning. Over the years I’ve learned two important lessons about training partners . . .

  1. You will become like the person you train with.
    I can’t over-emphasize this point. If your training partner is a lazy, ignorant, excuse-filled, thumb-sucking, moron–you’d do better to train by yourself (unless Homer Simpson is your athletic ideal). Only a high-quality training partner can provide high-quality training. Sounds obvious, but I’ve seen more than a few athletes blow their careers (and health!) by selecting the wrong training partner. This point leads on to the next . . .
  2. To get an awesome training partner, you have to be an awesome training partner.
    For the vast majority of my ‘training life‘ I’ve had great training partners. I’m convinced one of the reasons I’ve been so ‘lucky‘ is that I’ve made it my business to work on my partners development just as much as I work on my own. I’ve always viewed training with others as a means of mutual improvement.

Checking Out : Introduction to Strongman Training DVD

This is a fantastic DVD.
Put together by none other than Jedd ‘Napalm‘ Johnson and Steve Slater (if you’ve ever made your own stones, you’ll know Steve well), the Introduction to Strongman Training DVD is an extremely comprehensive look at this incredibly versatile approach to training. Full review shortly, but to get an idea of what’s included, here’s Jedd :

As you can see, it’s a very detailed look at this fantastic form of training. Whether you’re keen to incorporate some Strongman work yourself, or are coaching others; the Introduction to Strongman Training DVD is a brilliant place to start.
Absolutely love it.

Quick update on the The Ultimate Sandbag : A couple of weeks ago we noted the incredible Ultimate Sandbag. Beautiful thing.
Whether you’re looking at it as a conditioning or strength-building tool (or both), swing by the Straight to the Bar Guide to Sandbag Training. Loads of information there, examples and ideas.
Dive in.

Exercise of the Week : The Swearing Push-up

We’ve looked at a number of push-up variations over the years (and will discuss a couple of the more advanced versions in the twitterchat), including the aptly named Swearing Push-up.
Stability ball, chains, and a few choice words.

Good fun.

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 Straight to the Bar eBooks

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.