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 :
- Shopping to get in shape-or the big U
Maik looks at a simple way to get a little more out of your grocery shopping.
- Gem From the Vault : DIY: How to Build an Olympic Weightlifting Platform
Kat ‘The Mighty Kat‘ Ricker
Following the DIY Equipment discussion we held last week, there were a few questions about the construction of an olympic weightlifting platform. If you’re just putting together your own home gym, this one is well worth considering. Fantastic thing.
Over to you. I’d love to hear what you think : leave your comments on the above articles, and share them with your friends/colleagues/clients and so on.
NB : If you’d like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here’s how.
Video : The Belt Squat
I love the belt squat (and its various DIY cousins). Here’s a great demonstration of what it is, and how it differs from the simple dip belt version often substituted.
Gymchat 155 – Triathlon Training
If you enjoy a dose of sun/sand/surf, you’ll love this.
This week we’ll be looking at one of the toughest ways to physically challenge yourself, the triathlon. The nutrition, strength work and mental preparation involved.
Helping us get a handle on this gruelling trio is ultrarunner, airline captain and insanely competitive triathlete, Chas Melichar. Fantastic.
Who : Ultrarunner, airline captain and insanely competitive triathlete, Chas Melichar
Topic : Triathlon Training
When : Wed Feb 8, 9pm EDT (2am UTC)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Where : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113406428532094481598/posts/Zg9MHTvL7gD
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 Make It Yourself (DIY Equipment II). Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s
Tip of the Week: Steel Bending Benefits – Increased Neural Strength
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 ‘Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass‘ superb article Why Bend Steel?; and looks at just one of the great benefits of a regular dose of steel bending. Increased Neural Strength.
Over to Adam :
First benefit is to your neural strength: Steel bending is an exceptional way to build your single unit application of tension. What I mean is this – you have to tense and load every muscle in your body, take out all “leakages”, brace everything together and direct it through you hands with a sniper’s precise angle. If you get sloppy punching on the nails ends, you will hurt yourself. You could possibly punch yourself in the face, roll your hands out of the groove, stab yourself, or any other combination of less desirable outcomes. This activity will turn your wrist to stone. Your ability to direct power will be significantly increased. This will directly carry over to any other strength-skill you currently have. The way I load up to bend a Huge Stainless Steel Bastard is exactly the same feeling as when I load up to pull a max dead, to press a 48kg bell, or to slam an axe through a log. It adds a critical power appliance to your “strength skill tool box”.
This increase in strength and power naturally will carry over to an increase in your endurance. Anyone who has bent a nail will tell you the first time they bent it was so tiring. I have watched people sweat bullets bending their first respectable nail. As time goes on you gain huge reserves of power. A personal testament to this level of power for me was October 2007 when I bent 150 60D nails in one hour using the double under (DU) grip. That represented a massive improvement from Jan 2007, when bending 10-15 nails left my hands extremely fatigued.
Checking Out : Get Strength Lock-Jaw Collars
I’m a big fan of the Get Strength equipment in general (well made, nice and tough), and one thing I’m keen to try is their Lock-Jaw Collars. Look great.
I like this type of collar in any case (fast, and can certainly handle heavy loads); but I’m also keen to hear your thoughts. Have you used these collars before, and what were your experiences with them?
Quick update on the superb Crush! DVD we noted a few weeks ago : fantastic.
Bill‘s posted a brief review here, 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 : Log Squattin’
Love training outdoors? How about a dose of Log Squattin’. Good stuff.
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
As 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.
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
Thanks 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.