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 ).

 

cheers,

Scott

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.

Podcasts

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 :

instagram.com/officialgainsthetics.

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 :

https://twitter.com/scottbird/lists

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.

Ferocious Fitness (Phil Ross, Marty Gallagher)

Remember this? Great book. Ferocious Fitness : A Fighter’sProven Action Plan to Develop Blazing Power, Animalistic Strength and Killer Conditioning is a distillation of Phil Ross’ trainingwisdom, in the form of a superbly comprehensive book.

We took a look at the digital version recently, and you’ll be pleased to know that the paperback version is now available. Definitely worthy of a place on the fitness shelf.

Phil Ross’ Ferocious Fitness.

NB : My own ‘to read‘ list is over on Goodreads, and I’m always looking to add to it. Suggestions welcome.

Monday, 25 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 : Club Swinging Introduction

This is a fantastic video.
Mark de Grasse pointed to this lecture by the incredible Richard ‘Army‘ Maguire, held at Dan Inosanto’s school in 2010. He outlines both the history and key benefits of a dose of club training; as well as demonstrating several basic techniques. Good stuff.

NB : it’s certainly comprehensive, and runs a little over half an hour. If you’ve got a spare 30mins though, it’s well worth watching. Love it.

Gymchat 175 – Stretching

Stretching. We all feel as though we should do some, but we’re not quite sure when. Or how.
How do you get started? Before or after your workout? Is it really worth the effort?
This week we’re going to discuss the various ways to get your stretch on, when to do it and the benefits of doing so. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Great Weight Lifting‘s John Cammidge.
Join John and I for Gymchat 175 – Stretching. Fantastic.


Details –
Who Great Weight Lifting‘s John Cammidge
Topic : Stretching
When : Wed Jun 27, 9pm EDT (here’s how to find out when that is in your timezone)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Where : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113406428532094481598/posts/URxB5xGCCVW
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 John any stretching-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 : Training Around Injuries. 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: Overhand Card Tearing

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.


Tearing cards

Completed tear.

When it comes to the various feats of performing strongmen & women, one that frequently comes to mind is the tearing of a deck of cards. In the article Overhand Card Tearing, Bikes Cut the Correct Way, Adam explains the basic technique for doing exactly that :

  1. Hold it firmly

    Hold it firmly.

    Hold the deck firmly with your weak hand (right side shown for me) with the deck firmly and horizontal to the floor.

  2. Pinch the deck

    Pinch the deck.

    Pinch the deck with the strong hand with the thumb and index finger. It’s the same grip you use to use a remote control.

  3. Pull towards your chest

    Pull towards your chest.

    Pull your strong hand (pinch side) towards your chest. The index finger splits the deck. You must pinch hard!

  4. Turn your weak hand towards the floor

    Turn your weak hand towards the floor.

    Continue to pull hand towards your chest, turn your weak hand towards the floor. The deck will rip – not twist – if you have a tight grip. The tear line will be clean.

  5. Separate the deck

    Separate the deck.

    Continue to pinch the deck hard and pull back towards your chest until you separate the deck. The line will be a clean cut right through the deck. With this method you can put the cut anywhere you want on the deck.

Tearing cards

Tearing cards.

It takes pain tolerance and hand strength with this method. Keep practicing. THERE IS NO TRICK. Rub some lip balm on your hands after you tear if the skin is raw.


I can now rip decks of bicycles in less than 3 seconds, and quarter them in a second with this grip. It makes you strong.

NB : it’s certainly possible, but by no means easy. If you enjoyed doing that and would like to take it a step further, check out Jedd’s superb Card Tearing eBook. Invaluable resource.

Checking Out : Techniques for Light Indian Club Swinging (DVD)

If you watched the Army‘ Maguire video above, no doubt you’re keen to dive in and learn the essential skills behind these tools. No matter what their weight.
Although there are many instructional videos on clubs of all kinds, I’m particularly keen to check out Army’s own DVD – Techniques for Light Indian Club Swinging. Looks superb.

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 : One Hand Lift

Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass demonstrates a number of fantastic grip feats & exercises in this video, including one of my own favourites – the superbly simple One Hand Lift. Good stuff.

NB : if you’d like to have a go at this yourself, all you need is a handle, a loading pin and a stack of plates. Beautiful.


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.