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, 4 Jun 2012

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 :

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 : Shane Hamman – World Record Squatting from 1994

I love seeing stuff like this.
Although better known more recently as an Olympic Weightlifter, Shane Hamman began his strength sport career as a Powerlifter. Here he is in 1994, enjoying a little squatting. Nice one.

Gymchat 172 – Combat Athletics : Getting Ready for the Fight

If you’re involved in any form of combat, you’ll be well aware that your training differs somewhat from bodybuilders, casual gymgoers and the vast majority of other athletes.
This week we’re going to discuss what these differences are, and – if you’re a combat athlete – how to train in a way that’s going to help you win fights; not simply look as though you should. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Grapplefit‘s Barry Gibson.
Join us for Gymchat 172 – Combat Athletics : Getting Ready for the Fight. Fantastic.

Details –
Who Grapplefit‘s Barry Gibson
Topic : Combat Athletics : Getting Ready for the Fight
When : Wed Jun 6, 9pm EDT (here’s how to find out when that is in your timezone)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Where :
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.
For everyone who’s joining us for their first Gymchat, welcome. Just dive right in, and ask Barry any training-related questions you like.
See you there.

Quick update on last week’s gymchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion : Online Training III. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s the transcript. Was a great one.

NB : Derek‘s just launched a consulting service, helping various trainers to set up their own online offerings. If you’d like to take advantage of this invaluable assistance (it really does speed things up), get in touch with him over at Good stuff.

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: It’s Never Too Late to Start

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.

We’ll be discussing this in a lot more detail in an upcoming Gymchat (and if you’d like to be involved, let me know); the idea of starting your strength-training well into your senior years. We’ve looked at a number of older athletes over the years (for an idea of how many there are, just take a glance at the ‘still got it‘ tag on the blog), and this quote sums up my thinking perfectly.

From the post ‘Exercise in Healthy Older Adults‘ :

Age is not a contraindication to exercise, which can usually be initiated safely in older persons.

In short, it’s never too late to start.

Checking Out : Supersize Your Strength

This looks great.
I love reading books from people who have ‘walked the walk‘, and Andy Bolton‘s certainly done that. Supersize Your Strength is simply a 16 week training program helping you to replicate that tremendous strength in your own training.
Perhaps unsurprisingly (especially if you’ve read any of his other work), it’s very much a ‘back to basics‘ approach. A blend of common sense, and thoroughly tested techniques that have produced some incredible results over the years.
If you’re ready to become seriously strong, check out Andy Bolton‘s Supersize Your Strength.

Quick update on the superb RMAX Fathers Day Specials we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Whether you’re buying gear for yourself or for your father (or a bit of both), you’ll love the things they’ve got discounted. Clubbells, instructional DVDs and a whole lot more.
Dive in.

Exercise of the Week : Macebell Pendulum Shove

If you’ve just got yourself a Mace (or been lucky enough to receive one from someone else), here’s a superbly simple exercise to add to your arsenal. The Macebell Pendulum Shove.
Over to the Wolf Brigade‘s Greg Walsh :

Nice one.

Incidentally, if you’d like to get in touch regarding this or any other aspect of strength, you can contact me 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.
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.