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 :
- The Road to Strong
How to you go from unfit to a competing Strongman? Davie explains.
- Welcome to Google+
Scott Andrew Bird
Over the past week or so I’ve been exploring Google‘s new social service, Google+ (thanks Adam). Absolutely fantastic.
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.
Video : Super Band Mountain Climbers
Ready for a challenge? These look great.
Twitterchat 126 – Increasing Your Vertical Jump
Let’s face it, jumping can be downright fun. Whether it’s part of a training session, your chosen sport or you just feel like being a kid – jumping is it.
This week we’ll be taking a look at the second of those three options – the sporting side of things. For professional athletes, and those of us who just enjoy an occasional game with friends. No matter how many spectators there are, we’ll be discussing the many, many ways to Increase Your Vertical Jump.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Shuttle Systems‘ Kris Aguero (@krisaguero). Fantastic.
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Increasing Your Vertical Jump
When : Wed Jul 13, 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 Supplements : Fish Oil. 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 Close is Close?
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 from Straight to the Bar‘s own Scott Andrew Bird, and asks a question you may not have given much thought to before. How close should your grip in a close-grip press actually be?
When I began training, I had many, many questions (actually, that’s still the case – they’re just different ones now). One of these concerned the width of a close-grip bench press.
How Close is Close?
A little digging brought me to the June 2003 issue of USA Powerlifting, specifically an article by Rob Wagner. He noted :
‘Let me define a narrow and wide grip. In two separate studies, researchers determined narrow grip as the distance between your acromion processes (slide your hand down your trap and the bony bump you hit is the acromion). They then applied this measurement to the hand spacing (distance between index fingers) on the bar. Wide grip was two times the narrow grip distance. Both groups of researchers found that grips that were 1.65 to 2 times their narrow grip were the most effective strength wise. The way you can determine your grip is to measure the distance between your acromion processes. Now measure the distance between your index fingers when you bench. Divide the bench distance by the acromion distance and if your number is between 1.65 and 2.00 you are in an optimal position (Clemons, J. & Aaron, C, 1997; Wagner, et. al, 1992).’
Time to do a little measuring.
Checking Out : Black Iron – The John Davis Story
This looks fantastic.
As the title states, this is a detailed account of the training and competition of US Weightlifter John Henry Davis. And at nearly 500 pages (including several great photos of Davis in action), it’s certainly comprehensive.
For a brief overview of this incredible book, here’s Super Strength‘s Bill Hinbern :
Learn exactly what it was like to train with John.
Read about his legendary battles with Steve Stanko, his World Championship showdowns, his Olympic victories, the Pan-American Games, his battles to beat the Russian champions, his National, World and Olympic records, the day he lifted the ponderous Apollon wheels.
Quick update on the Introduction to Strongman Training DVD : Two weeks ago we noted this incredible instructional video. Fantastic.
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.
Exercise of the Week : Tea Cup Shoulder Mobility Exercise
Chris pointed me to this one a couple of years ago, the superb Tea Cup Shoulder Mobility Exercise. And yes, it works extremely well.
Although it’s a fairly straightforward concept, it’s much easier to see than to explain. Here’s the incredible Steve Cotter demonstrating the movement :
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
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.