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, 27 Aug 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 : Tough Mudder Toronto (First Person View)

What’s a Tough Mudder event really like? Have a look.

Nice one Pete. The GoPro is perfect for things like this.

Gymchat 184 – TBA (And a New Format)

Mystery Guest

Mystery Guest.

These discussions are now more than 3 years old, beginning life as the ‘Twitterchats‘ (and held, as the name suggests, on Twitter) in Feb 2009.
Around a year ago they migrated to Google+, and were renamed ‘Gymchats‘ at that time. These have a lot of advantages – particularly the fact that there’s a permanent link to each discussion. You’ll find a complete list here.
Now, we’re getting ready to grow once more – to include a video of the interview alongside the text. They’ll still be on Google+, and you’ll be able to access them in much the same way.
We’ll be posting the full details of the change over the next few days.

I also want to mention another change that goes along with this.
If you’ve spent much time on Google+, or joined us for some of the previous Gymchats, no doubt you’ve bumped into the incredible Kirk Fontaine. In addition to being a Personal Trainer and Fitness Writer, he’s taken part in the Gymchats from both the interviewer and interviewee sides of the fence. Greatly appreciated.
Kirk’s now helping out by scheduling interviewees for future discussions. If you’re at all interested in taking part in one of the Gymchats, get in touch.

Tip of the Week: Become a Morning Person

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.

Alarm Buttons

Alarm Buttons. Photo by mnapoleon.

A recent study published in the American Psychological Association journal ‘Emotionsuggested that – at least anecdotally – there may be both happiness and health benefits to getting up early.
As I switched to being an early riser fairly recently (after 40+ years of being a self-confessed night owl), I’ve noticed a similar change myself. And in our conversations on Google+, Louis George helped explain exactly why :

Our evolution makes us more suited to the “lark” type behavior. The circadian rhythm is based on the pattern of day and night. Fighting it continually, with shift work and personal preferences usually ends badly.

More than behavior patterns, or being organised, I feel, the damage done to hormonal regulation by poor sleep is a bigger factor.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : StrongerGrip Modular Grip System (MGS)

Remember the StrongerGrip Modular Grip System (MGS) we mentioned a while ago? It’s arrived.
A little video to show you what it’s all about :
(warning : before you watch this, just be aware that you will end up wanting it)


Quick update on the superb Fixing Elbow Pain we mentioned recently. There’s a full review here, but 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 : The Plough Horse

Here’s a great sled-dragging variation – The Plough Horse.
Over to the guys at Aegis Training :

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.

Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials

Pavel Tsatsouline with Flamebell

We’ve looked at a lot of kettlebell exercises and variations over the years – in the form of tips, tutorials and demonstrations.
Where do you find them all? Right here – a complete list of Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials.

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.