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 :
Like your grip work? You’ll love this. Great idea.
- Psychological Training in the Gym : Training Space
When to turn on the intensity, and how to use it effectively.
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 : The TRX Spider Man
Twitterchat 128 – Measuring & Monitoring
No matter what your goals are, it’s essential to have an idea of your starting point; as well as keeping an eye on your progress along the way.
This week we’ll be discussing the various ways to measure particular aspects of your own health & fitness, and techniques for monitoring their changes over time. Your bodyfat, levels of various vitamins, the number of calories you need and a whole lot more.
Whatever your goals are, we’d love to hear how you stay on track. Join us for Measuring & Monitoring. Fantastic.
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Measuring & Monitoring
When : Wed Jul 27, 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 How Do You … 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: Making your own Fat Bars
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 shares one of the many ways to thicken up your own bars and handles.
The benefits of thick bars are well known; increasing the grip component of many an exercise.
And although it’d doubtless be fun to rush out and buy a load of thick bars and handles for your workouts; that’s not always possible or even desirable. Here’s a simple way to fatten up the bars and handles you’ve already got. Even the fixed-weight dumbbells.
From the article Fattening Up the Chin-up Bar :
The chin-up bar that forms part of the rack – as much as I love it – was just too thin. At a diameter of around 2.5cm/1″, it was one of the thinnest bars I use.
Fattening it up a little was a relatively simple (and cheap) process, involving nothing more complex than a length of pipe insulation (just rubber tubing), some super glue and a little cloth tape. If you’ve never used the tape, think of duct tape with fibres embedded to strengthen it a bit.
The final bar is now a little under 5cm/2″ in diameter (not quite as large as I’d like, but much better than it was), and presents just a little more of a grip challenge.
Checking Out : SEALFIT
I love the SEALFIT approach.
If you’ve ever thought about incorporating aspects of military fitness training (both the group and individual components) into your own workouts, consider SEALFIT. Camps, seminars, online coaching; wherever you are, there’s a way to get involved.
Quick update on the Introduction to Strongman Training DVD : A few 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 : Band Sprints
I love these – Band Sprints. Perfect for interval training.
The idea is simple (as you’ll see in the video below) : attach one end of the band to something heavy, such as a rack, bench or a pole that isn’t going anywhere.
Step inside the band, and sprint away from the rack/bench/pole. After a few steps (or when a wall stops you going any further), allow the band to bring you back to the start. Repeat.
That’s it. There are several ways to vary this (such as jumping sideways instead of sprinting), depending on your goal. Good fun.
A brief video demonstration :
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.