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 Dec 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 : Underwater Kettlebell Drills


Gymchat 148 – Training for Football II

No matter which sports you enjoy, if a spot of Football is on the list you’re in for a treat. Regardless of the flavour you follow, it’s certainly a great game to play (and to watch). Highly recommended.

This week we’re continuing our ‘Training for Football‘ series (we first looked at the wonderful world of Aussie Rules almost a year ago), with an examination of the American form of the sport. How to train, when to start and how to incorporate it into your other routines. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Running Back, certified Strength and Conditioning specialist and Student of Human Kinetics Justin Andrushko. Fantastic.

Details –
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Training for Football II
When : Wed Dec 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 Long-Term Paleo. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s the transcript. Was a great one.

Tip of the Week: Contrast Bath 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 from Bill Long’s great article Road to Recovery : Contrast Baths; and explains the basic technique.

Over to Bill :

Fill two tubs, one with hot water and the other with cold water. The temperature of the tubs should be about 55F/13C for the cold and for the hot tub make it as hot as you can handle. Now get into the cold water first and flex your muscles slowly and rotate your joints in small movements as best you can in the tub. Do this for 2 minutes. Then get out of the cold tub, transfer to the hot tub and do the same as before. But for only a time period of 30 seconds. Rotate back and forth for a total of 15 minutes ending in the cold tub. If you do not have access to these big tubs you can always do this at your home.

Takes a little getting used to, but the results are well worth it. Good stuff.

Checking Out : Keyboard Athletes Guide to Pain Relief & Prevention

As a long time (28 years) ‘Keyboard Athlete‘, I’m keen to check this one out. Looks great.

Created by Master Trainer Jen Waak, the Keyboard Athletes Guide to Pain Relief & Prevention is targeted specifically towards office athletes who suffer from neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, carpal tunnel, computer eyes, and other maladies related to being focused on a screen all day. If your lifestyle is anything like mine, you know how easy it is to fall into the ‘tied to your desk‘ routine.
Although my ‘books to read‘ pile has grown to insane proportions, I suspect this one will quickly make its way to the top. Looks great.

Quick update on the superb Crush! DVD we noted a couple of weeks ago : fantastic.
I’ll post up a full review shortly, but suffice to say that Jedd ‘Napalm‘ Johnson‘s latest DVD is absolutely perfect. If you’re ready to take your gripper work seriously, grab a copy of Crush!.

Exercise of the Week : Using the Rotating Perfect Push Up Handles

I first heard about the Perfect Pushup handles via Rob, over at Former Fat Guy. Since then I’ve seen them in use a number of times for the ‘traditional‘ style of push-ups – here they are used for several variations. Good stuff.
Over to Izzy.

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.