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, 11 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 : Pike-Ups (with suspension trainer)

Beautifully simple.
If you’ve just got yourself a suspension trainer and would like to know what to do with it, this is a great place to start. The Pike-Up.

NB : for a much more detailed look at putting this wonderful equipment to work, check out Derek’s Suspension Training 101 ebook. Absolutely free.

Gymchat 173 – Fitness in 2030

The world will be a very different place in 2030.
No matter what your vision of the future – something from a sci-fi novel or a technologically advanced version of what we have now – there will undoubtedly be a lot of changes involved. Particularly when it comes to health & fitness.

If you’re currently a Personal Trainer (or use one), what sorts of changes would you expect to see over the next 18 years? Will the average age of your clients increase; as people live longer, healthier lives? Will you gradually move away from one-on-one coaching to working with groups and clients online?
And most importantly (particularly as various physical repairs and enhancements get closer and closer) :
Will people still want to train if they don’t have to?
There’s a lot to think about, whether you’re on the trainer or client side of the fence. Whatever you think is likely to happen – and what you’d like to see – we’d love to hear about it. Join us for Fitness in 2030. Fantastic.

Details –
Who Everyone who intends to be training in 18 years’ time
Topic : Fitness in 2030
When : Wed Jun 13, 9pm EDT (here’s how to find out when that is in your timezone)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Where :
For everyone who’s joining us for their first Gymchat, welcome. Just dive right in, and ask 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 : Combat Athletics : Getting Ready for the Fight. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s the transcript. Was a great one.

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: Optimal Rowing 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.

If you’ve ever used a rowing machine, you’ll know the feeling well. Sometimes everything just clicks, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Like anything though, a little bit of technique goes a long way. From the post Concept2 Rowing Technique, CrossFit Oldtown takes a look at the right way to tackle an indoor rowing machine :

NB : although they’re using a Concept2 in this video, the same approach applies to almost any rowing machine. Give it a shot.

Checking Out : RunTarget

Nice and simple.
I’m currently checking out a number of apps for the iPhone and iPad, and the first of those is RunTarget. Looks great.
RunTarget is a basic application that keeps track of where you are, and how fast you are running at any point in time. I’ll give it a thorough exploration over the next week or so, but my first impression is certainly positive.
If you enjoy the occasional run as part of your training, it’s well worth checking out. RunTarget.

Quick update on the superb Fixing Elbow Pain we mentioned recently. Suffice to say that if you’ve ever experienced conditions like Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow, it’s essential reading.
Love it.

Exercise of the Week : Bulgarian Split Squat

As with the rowing we mentioned earlier, when it comes to the Split Squat, a little technique goes a long way. To explain exactly how it’s done, here’s James :

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.