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, 8 Oct 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 : Jim Wendler – Beginner Deadlift Training

You’re never too young to start.


Gymchat 187 – Bodyweight and Suspension Training (with Pierre Johnson)

I love a dose of Bodyweight Training – when travelling, in the early mornings, and when I’m simply looking for something a little different. Needless to say, you’ve always got the necessary equipment with you.
In this week’s Gymchat we’ll be exploring this style of training, as well as some of the ‘optional extras‘ commonly used; particularly suspension trainers. Helping us do just that is none other than Pierre Johnson, together with Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine.
To give you an idea of the areas we’ll be covering, here’s a bit of video from one of Pierre’s recent workouts :



Nice one.


To take part in the Gymchat, just swing by (details below) and fire in a question or three. Note that only the first 8 people will be able to share video, so get there a little early.
See you there.
Details –
Who Pierre Johnson
Topic : Bodyweight Training
When : Wed Oct 10, 9pm EST (here’s how to find out when that is in your timezone)
How : Google+ Hangout. Follow either Kirk or Scott for details on the live feed.
See you there.

Quick update on the scheduling of the Gymchats : Last week we asked what time everyone thought we should hold these discussions, and it’s clear that there are several different lines of thought. Early mornings, after work, on the weekends.
As the answers are still coming in (on the blog, Twitter and Google+), we’ll be sticking to the regular schedule for another week. And for future discussions, well, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ideal time. When are you typically free to talk about the world of strength-training?

Tip of the Week : Finding a Personal Trainer

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.


Dollars and muscles

It’s about more than the money.

When it comes to getting a fitness professional who’s going to help you clarify and reach your goals, finding one is half the battle. Offering a couple of suggestions in that area is Total Transformation’s John Kaiser, who’s had more than a little experience himself.
Nice one. Over to John.


From the article Eliminating the Lug Nuts: How to Find a Good Trainer, a few thoughts :

Get the Digits. Step one, ask your trainer for references that you can contact. Step two, contact those references. It is amazing how many people miss step two–apparently asking for references only as a bluff. When you call the list of references, ask about their results. Where did they start and how far has he taken them? Did their hard work combined with his training know-how pay off? Has he been reliable and professional?
Good trainers get results; lug nuts only get your money.
One Size Fits All. Is the nutrition/training sheet your trainer gives you just a black and white copy–the same one he hands out to all his clients? Or does she/he give you a personalized workout and nutrition plan? You are paying for a personalized approach, so make sure you get it!
Good Trainers Personalize, Bad Trainers Xerox
Can’t we All Just get Along? There is nothing worse than putting down several hundred dollars on a personal trainer only to find that the two of you can’t get along. So pay for a few individual sessions (even if it costs a bit more). This will give you an opportunity to get to know the trainer, see how he runs his shop, and strike up a rapport. You aren’t auditioning him/her for the role of best friend, but you should expect a certain level of professionalism.
A good trainer is always professional

Good stuff.

Checking Out : Trampoline Handbook [Kindle Edition]

Trampoline Handbook

Trampoline Handbook.

This looks great.
The Trampoline Handbook is Chuck Keeney’s 1945 classic, updated slightly and converted to a Kindle-friendly format (cheers Logan). Definitely my sort of thing.


As you’ve no doubt guessed from the name, it covers – in great detail – various trampolining and gymnastic skills. From the Amazon page :

The trampoline is an integral tool in building your acrobatic abilities whether to assist in gymnastics, for competition, or just to learn how to flip and twist for yourself. Many people have used a trampoline at some point in their lives. But how many use it for more then just a little fun.
Years ago I made the mistake of neglecting to practice on a trampoline when I was trying to improve my tumbling skills. I figured I only wanted to be able to do skills without any artificial aid. What I didn’t realize was how the trampoline would help me to control my body better when I was in the air.
Even if you don’t aim to do full twisting flips and the like you can just learn a few intermediate skills on the trampoline like forward and back flips. Moves that anyone can learn.

Fantastic. Oh, and for the next couple of days, it’s absolutely free.


Quick update on the StrongerGrip Modular Grip System (MGS) we mentioned recently – absolutely fantastic.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video. Warning : you will want one.



Beautiful.

Exercise of the Week : Fat Bar Clapping Pullups

Here’s something you don’t see every day (for a very simple reason – they’re not exactly easy) – Fat Bar Clapping Pullups. Good stuff.



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.
Enjoy.

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.

Want to Help Out?

Shout!

As you might expect, at Straight to the Bar we’re always looking for new ways to share the love of strength-training with the world. Via the main site, the weekly Gymchats, this newsletter and a whole lot more.


We’ve got a new project coming up (a couple actually), and we’re looking for someone to help out with the graphics side of things. In return we offer not only our eternal admiration, but the sincere appreciation of the entire strength-training community. And, of course, the myriad connections and opportunities that go along with that.
If you’re a designer (think illustrations more than physical products) and have more than a passing fondness for the world of strength training, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.