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, 9 Jul 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 : Coming Soon – Mike ‘The Machine‘ Bruce’s World Record Attempt

If you’ve ever read articles by the incredible Mike ‘The Machine‘ Bruce (or been lucky enough to see him perform live), you may have seen this feat. It’s the one pictured at the top of this piece.
As he explains in this video, he’s getting ready to perform it one more time – setting a new world record in the process. Fantastic.

Gymchat 177 – Arm Training

Arm training can be a complex beast.

Considering the first exercise that comes to mind for many people is the humble bicep curl, it’s somewhat surprising that it’s a little tricky to encourage arms to gain size and strength in all the ‘right‘ ways. The ones that help with your own goals, whether you’re a professional Armwrestler, Powerlifter or Olympic Gymnast.
This week we’re looking at Arm Training overall. What’s involved, how it helps, and how to make sure it works for you. And if you’ve got any specific questions on your own arm training, fire them in. We’ll get through as many as we can.
Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Olympic athlete, personal trainer and nutritionist Maik Wiedenbach. Fantastic.

As a bonus, we’ll also be having a bit of a giveaway this week. Maik will be giving out 5 copies of his latest ebook, 30 Secrets for Bigger Arms shortly after the gymchat, to randomly chosen commenters. If you’d like a chance to win copy of the book, just fire in a question or comment at any point during the discussion.

Details –
Who : Olympic athlete, personal trainer and nutritionist Maik Wiedenbach
Topic : Arm Training
When : Wed Jul 11, 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 Maik any questions you like on arm training.
See you there.

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

Incidentally, we noted a number of people, products and services during the discussion. I’ve put all of these into a Google+ Circle, which I’m more than happy to share with everyone looking to keep up with the world of Fitness Devices. If you’d like a copy, just let me know.

Tip of the Week: Finding Running & Cycle Routes When Travelling

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.

When you’re travelling, how do you find a suitable running or cycle route for your training? Chas has a few ideas.

From the discussion Gymchat 176 – Fitness & Health Devices :

For bike routes and running routes,, mapmyfitness, garmin connect, and are all good sources of information for routes. With mapmyfitness, I can even download the routes into my Garmin forerunner watch and actually have it navigate along the exact same route – and in some cases, even race against the person who made the route!

Well worth checking out.

Checking Out : HardStyle Abs

Really looking forward to this.
I’ve long been a fan of Pavel Tsatsouline‘s work, and I’m certainly keen to check this one out. It’s currently next on my ‘virtual reading pile‘.

A couple of paragraphs from the main page will explain what it’s all about :

The sole goal of Hardstyle Abs is to achieve an extraordinarily strong mid-section. But not simply to swivel heads with your rippling “six-pack“. For, according to Pavel, your abs should be simultaneously weapon, armor and force generator. The six-pack is just a side effect of the coiled power with which you now operate.

Hardstyle Abs will give you impenetrable body armor–to withstand a direct hit of the greatest magnitude. Hardstyle Abs will give you the generative force to retaliate with a devastating backlash. And Hardstyle Abs will help you lift more weight than ever before–more safely.

Pavel’s HardStyle Abs. Looks great.

Quick update on Industrial Strength Grip II : last week we mentioned the imminent arrival of Volume 2 of the Industrial Strength Grip DVD. To get an idea of what it’s all about, check out the sample video here.
If you’ve ever seen Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass in action, you’ll appreciate just how powerful these techniques are. Superb.

Exercise of the Week : Box Jumps From Foam

Looking for a simple way to increase the difficulty of your box jumps? Just add a sheet of foam. Good stuff.

NB : the foam itself can be anything. I use something like this, but it can really be whatever you’ve got lying around.

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 Downloads from the Strength Kit

Returning to Heavy Training After a Break

I recently added a number of resources to the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit, and as a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you’re more than welcome to download as many of them as you like. Several great eBooks, podcasts and videos – all absolutely free.
Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
Good stuff.

NB : This is an ever-changing list. If you’d like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.