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 :
- Gem From The Vault : Lifting the Inch Replica Dumbbell (part II, III, IV and V)
Jedd ‘Napalm‘ Johnson
For the guy that emailed me last night asking ‘where do I start with the Inch?‘ – right here. This is a brilliant series.
- Looking At : Apr 15, 2012
Scott Andrew Bird
We’ve been discussing some very interesting techniques, products and services recently. Here are the highlights.
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 : World Record Caber Tossing
In terms of quantity, that is. 32 at once.
Gymchat 165 – Use What’s Around You
Whether you’re just starting out, on-the-road or simply don’t have the finances available; there’s not much you can do in the way of effective strength-training without some decent equipment. Or is there?
This week we’re taking a look at the many ways to get a solid workout in, using the things that are around you. A little bit of bodyweight work, a heavy object or two and a whole lot more. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than combat athlete Andrew Nalepa. Fantastic.
Who : Combat athlete Andrew Nalepa
Topic : Use What’s Around You
When : Wed Apr 18, 9pm EDT (here’s how to find out when that is in your timezone)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Link : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113406428532094481598/posts/NbTG88BTYJD
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 Online Training. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s the transcript. Was a great one.
NB : if you’d like to add a fitness-related event (either a competition you’re taking part in, or something you’re helping to organise there), just login to the forums and add it to the calendar. Cheers.
The Hunt for Broken Links
Straight to the Bar has been around for more than 8 years now, and there are a lot of articles/videos/photos/reviews to say the least. Nearly 6,000 in fact (there’s a full list here).
Unfortunately, this number also means there’s inevitably a video that’s no longer available, or a link to a site which has just moved. Whatever it is, I’m always looking to fix it as quickly as possible.
To help me find the problems : if you spot something that isn’t quite working right – a video that’s been removed, or a link that no longer works – let me know. Leave a comment, or send me a message on Google+, Twitter or Facebook (all of the details here). As a bonus, you’ll receive a selection of strength-training goodness shortly afterward. Not to mention my eternal gratitude.
Tip of the Week: Becoming Aware of Your Transverse Abdominis
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.
There’s an awful lot more to abdominal work than exercises like the humble crunch. Everything from Louie‘s infamous ‘Stand-Up Abs‘ to the many, many varieties of the squat.
Before doing any of that, however, it helps to understand a little about the various muscles being worked. For that, it’s over to Kat ‘The Mighty Kat‘ Ricker.
For starters, from Kat’s superb article Specific Training for the Transverse Abdominis: Belt It In, here’s a quick way to learn to feel what your TA is doing :
Begin by becoming aware of this muscle. Sit upright on a bench. Have a partner face you, place both of his hands on your shoulders, and gently push you backward (gently!). Your goal is to maintain your upright position, not allowing your spine to extend/your back to arch. Your TA will kick in to achieve your goal.
Here’s a visualization to help you zero in on this muscle: imagine you are pulling your belly button into your spine. Place your hand on your belly button and try it, and you’ll realize what a dramatic difference actuating this muscle makes. Strengthen it, and you’ll have just that much enhancement to the appearance of your midsection.
Here’s something you can do while you’re driving. Whenever you hit the brake, contract your TA. The momentum of moving forward will provide tangible, manageable resistance. This is a great way to get in some TA work in daily life.
Checking Out : The Blank Slate
This looks fantastic. Anyone here tried one?
The Blank Slate.
Quick update on the superb Convict Conditioning II we mentioned last week. I’ll post up a full review shortly, but suffice to say, it’s a great read.
Exercise of the Week : Kettlebell Walk & Throw
Here’s a great way to throw your weight around – the Kettlebell Walk & Throw. Good fun.
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.