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, 22 Aug 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.

Video : Horseshoe Hearted in Phonebook Pages

If last week’s discussion on Horseshoe Bending got you fired up and ready to give it a shot, check this out. Hearting a shoe in paper ‘wraps‘. Superb.

Gymchat 132 : How to Find a Personal Trainer

I love these discussions. They started back in February 2009 as a way to share, debate and learn a wealth of training-related information. In that time we’ve heard numerous ideas, tips and suggestions; and been pointed to some fascinating sites, apps, podcasts, books and equipment.
Thanks to everyone who’s taken part – it really is appreciated.
Still, it always frustrated me a little that there’s no easy way to point people to previous discussions. Unless you were there at the time, there wasn’t a lot you could do.
Accordingly, we’ll be moving these conversations to a platform that makes this sort of thing nice and painless : Google+.
Google+ (or just G+) offers a lot of advantages, both for the people who are there and those that can’t make it at the time. Specifically :

  • Each post on G+ has a permalink, so you can point people to previous discussions. This is just the same as any other URL, so you’ll be able to share it in the usual ways.
  • The questions/answers can be as long as you like – no more 140 character restriction. It’s still a good idea to keep them reasonably brief (so people can read and absorb them in time), but you’re not limited at all.
  • Posts and comments can be edited if necessary. If you spot a glaring mistake somewhere (in one of your own points), you can go back and fix it.

And seeing as we’re moving to Google, a new name is in order. I’ll be running with ‘Gymchats‘, as it isn’t too much of a change and makes the subject matter pretty clear. The topics themselves will be exactly the same.
Incidentally, if you haven’t used Google+ before and would like an invitation, I have a few left. Otherwise, swing by my profile and add me to one of your circles.
The discussion itself : How to Find a Personal Trainer

Time to take your training up a notch.

No matter what your training goals are, chances are you’ve considered the possibilities of having your own Personal Trainer. Someone to help design a program and to keep you on track.
This week we’re discussing exactly how to find one, the many benefits they bring and the types of things to consider. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine (@fitnewbie). Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : How to Find a Personal Trainer
When : Wed Aug 24, 9pm EDT (1am UTC)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
If you’ve never been to one of these discussions 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 calendar.
See you there.


Quick update on last week’s twitterchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Horseshoe Bending. 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: Rope Climbing Technique – The Cinch and Pinch

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 in the form of a video from CrossFit Oldtown, and shares one of the most popular techniques for climbing a rope.

From the article Rope Climbing Technique : The Cinch and Pinch :

Good stuff.

Looking Forward To : Feats of Strength

Feats of StrengthNow this is my kind of training.
If you’ve ever considered learning some of the strength feats that performing Strongmen have long been known for, this is an ideal place to start. Bending steel, tearing phonebooks, breaking chains and so on. The good stuff.
Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher both demonstrate each one, along with various tips and techniques that’ll make this a serious part of your training. To get an idea, check out the video.
Whether you’re planning to be a professional strongman (or woman) or not, learning these skills will help you to become insanely strong. Beautiful.

SEALFITQuick update on the SEALFIT Training : A few weeks ago we noted this incredible training approach. Fantastic.
If you’re keen to incorporate some military fitness into your own training, SEALFIT is a perfect place to start.

Exercise of the Week : The Tire (or Tyre) Squat

Tyre Squat

Tyre Squat.

I love working out will all kinds of equipment – whether it was meant for the gym or not.
In the best traditions of the ‘use what you’ve got‘ philosophy, here’s Big Ed with an impromptu Tyre Squat session. Nice one.

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.