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, 12 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 : Power Wheel Push-up Races

Love it.

Gymchat 135 – Conditioning II

I love a dose of conditioning work, especially the outdoor varieties. Sandbags, tyres, ropes and so on.

This week we’re revisiting our discussion on Conditioning (the first one was in July last year), everything from ‘what it is‘ and ‘the benefits it can bring‘ to the many, many great ways to get a dose in your own training.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than TDA Training‘s Nathan Teodoro. Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Conditioning II
When : Wed Sep 14, 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 From Diabetic to Fit. 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: Getting More Light to Speed Up Bodyclock

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 is one of the major elements in my recent transformation to early rising, the speeding up of the bodyclock by adjusting the amount of light received at different times. It’s a fantastically simple way to do things.

From the article 30 Day Challenge : Becoming a Morning Person :

Increasing Sunlight in the Morning, Reducing it in the Afternoon

Dr Michael Hastings

Dr Michael Hastings.

This idea stems directly from the Horizon documentary noted below [3], specifically the comments made by Dr Michael Hastings, Prof Debra Skene & Prof Till Roenneberg. The idea is that the amount of light your body receives at different times of day can impact the timing of your body clock.

To speed up your body clock (and spend more time awake in the mornings, less in the late evening), simply increase the amount of light you get in the mornings, and decrease the amount in the afternoon. In the mornings, go out in the sun, switch a bright light on, work outdoors if possible – whatever fits in to your current schedule. In the afternoon, stay in a slightly darkened room, wear sunglasses – again, whatever ties in to your routine.
The point is simply to increase morning light, and decrease afternoon light.
NB : to do the opposite (if you need to spend more time awake in the evenings), just reverse this. Less light in the morning, more in the afternoon and evening.

Incredibly simple, works beautifully.

Checking Out : TRX Training Courses

Become a TRX TrainerI love the TRX. Beautiful thing.
If you’re similarly enamoured and would like to train others in using this wonderful tool, this is the perfect way to get started. There are courses available for both the TRX and RIP products.

Feats of StrengthQuick update on the Feats of Strength DVD : A few 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 : The Chop Lunge (for a Short Mace or Club)

I was introduced to this one back in 2008 as a great way to put the loadable short mace to work; and it’s also superb with clubs. The Chop Lunge.
This is another one that’s easier to see than to explain. Here’s StrongerGrip‘s Ryan Pitts :

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.