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, 5 Sep 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 : Say No to Over Pressure

Very interesting indeed.

Gymchat 134 – From Diabetic to Fit

We all have different starting points.

This week we’re taking a look at training and nutrition from another angle. How to take someone with a common medical condition (Type II Diabetes) and make a number of dietary changes which not only alter the condition itself, they allow new training approaches to be explored.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Diabetes Warrior‘s Steve Cooksey. Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : From Diabetic to Fit
When : Wed Sep 7, 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 gymchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Workout Nutrition. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s the direct link. Was a great one.

Tip of the Week: Jouko Ahola Discusses Atlas Stone Technique

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, Google+, 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 by freakishly strong Jouko Ahola, explaining and demonstrating Atlas Stone lifting technique.

From the article Jouko Ahola Discusses Atlas Stone Technique :

Jouko makes two excellent points here, specifically relating to his training approach. The first is that he trains using slightly higher steps than are found in competition, and the second is that he trains with heavier stones than those he competes with. Superb.

Checking Out : The ZFO Sports Weight Vest

Looking for a challenge? Try adding a weight vest to your training.
Once again, there are many, many sales on at this time of year (with Labor Day weekend in the US) and my favourite of these is in the ‘Sports & Outdoors‘ section of Amazon. Particularly when it comes to stocking up on things that have an impact on numerous areas of my training – and a quality weight vest certainly does that.
My personal favourite is this one from Zfitness; though there are certainly plenty to choose from. If you’re looking for a simple way to increase the resistance for a number of exercises, give a quality weight vest some thought.
Fantastic thing.

Feats of StrengthQuick update on the Feats of Strength DVD : Two weeks ago we noted this incredible resource. Fantastic.
If you’re keen to incorporate some old-time strongman techniques into your own training, Feats of Strength is a perfect place to start.

Exercise of the Week : 2 Barbell Deadlift

I was introduced to this one back in 2006 by Kris Lindqvist (Toffe’s Gym,, Virtual Meets), who was considering adding some more variety to his routines. The 2 Barbell Deadlift.
The lift itself is exactly as it sounds, grab two bars, load them up and deadlift one in each hand. This is an extreme test of your stability (to say the least). Good fun.
Here’s a quick demonstration by Nick Nilsson :

Love it.

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.