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, 26 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 : Single Arm Ring Push-Up

Love your ring training, and looking for a challenge? Try the Single Arm Ring Push-Up. Good fun.

Gymchat 137 – Grip, Clubs & Health

I’m a huge fan of hand and forearm strengthening. Serious grip training, and all kinds of leverage work.
This week we’re taking a look at this superb partnership, particularly when it comes to using equipment such as clubs. Beautiful things.

Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than StrongerGrip‘s Ryan Pitts. Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Grip, Clubs & Health
When : Wed Sep 28, 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 Heavy Training after a Break. 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: Everyone Should Compete, At Some Level

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 an answer to the question ‘Do you think everyone should compete, at some level?‘, directed at Nathan Teodoro during the Conditioning II Gymchat. A very interesting response.

From Gymchat 135 – Conditioning II :

Nathan Teodoro

Nathan Teodoro.

I do, and here’s why. When I was kickboxing, I was training for a big fight, and was doing about 2-4 hours of training per day, including all the basics, bag work, sparring, and so on. Because of the goal, my volume and intensity increased, and the additional sparring gave me ridiculous timing and distance. I could react so fast I didn’t realize what I did until after it happened.
At that time, I had a roommate renting a room from me, and he was a decent taekwondo guy. We were getting ready to go out to meet some people at a club and he was feeling a little cocky and pretended to spar, and threw a kick toward me. I still have no recollection of doing ANYTHING, but he was looking up at me from the floor and holding his jaw. He didn’t look happy at all. We went out but he didn’t talk to me for a day or two. I had no idea what I did, but that’s what competition does – it forces you past plateaus. That’s why I think that competitive martial arts produce the best results, to be blunt.

Good stuff.

Re-reading : Never Let Go (Kindle Edition)

Never Let GoI love this book.
As an avid reader, I really don’t care about the format that a book comes in. Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks, audiobooks – they’re all good.
Still, I’ve been reading quite a few of them lately via the Kindle app on the iPad. For books where the precise placement of images is not exactly critical, this combination is ideal.

Fitting the bill perfectly is the book I’m currently re-reading : Dan John’s Never Let Go. I stumbled across this one whilst browsing the Kindle Store, and another reading was definitely on the cards. It’s a fantastic book.
Taking the form of a collection of Dan John’s essays, Never Let Go shares his philosophy of life and lifting in a superb way. From the product description on Amazon :

You’ll learn…How to get stronger, faster and leaner; Simple steps to great conditioning; What it takes to compete at high-level athletics; Dan John’s top training tips; Effective workouts to carry you through your training seasons; Variations of the classic 5×5 workout; Sample kettlebell and barbell workout combinations; Outdoor cardiovascular training options for athletes; And much more…

As you can see, it’s comprehensive. If you love Dan John’s take on the world (and admire his ability to keep getting stronger without injury), check out Never Let Go. Brilliant.

StrongerGrip Loadable Club SetQuick update on the StrongerGrip Loadable Club Set we noted a while ago : I had a great discussion recently on club workouts for beginners. Great way to train.
When it came to the equipment part of the discussion, we both agreed on the loadable clubs from StrongerGrip. 3lb empty and around 8lb loaded up. Beautiful things.

Exercise of the Week : Knee Walking

I first came across this exercise (formally) in 2007, and it’s as strangely mesmerizing now as it was then. ‘Suwari Waza‘, or ‘Knee Walking‘.
For an explanation of how and why it’s performed, here’s Tom Cohen.

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.