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, 24 Dec 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 : Mark Rippetoe on Knee Wraps

This is certainly a long video (about 14min), but very, very thorough. Fantastic.

NB : if you’re looking for more insights from Mark, swing by his site at and grab the book Starting Strength. Great read.

Gymchats Over The Holidays

For everyone who’s celebrating Christmas – as well as those who are not – this is certainly a wonderful time of year. Whether you’re surrounded by sunshine or snow, have a great time.
As for the Gymchats : there are simply so many people spending time with friends and family that we’ve decided to take a break for a couple of weeks, restarting in the new year (Jan 9th 2013). We’ll be posting the details here, on the blog, on Google+ and so on.
See you then.
In the meantime, here’s a playlist that Kirk put together recently which includes all of the Video Gymchats we’ve done up ’til now. If you missed any at all, this is a great way to see what they’re all about.

Tip of the Week: Re-Position your Thinking on Meal Composition

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, Google+, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.
This tip comes to us from Methuselah‘s great article Transitioning to a Paleo Diet; and looks at Step 4 in the transition, Re-Position your Thinking on Meal Composition.

Over to Methuselah :

You have some meat, some vegetables and some brown stuff – this was how I heard a young child describe mealtimes on a recent documentary. Clearly it depends where you are in your transition as to how much and which types of brown stuff you have with your meals. But as you start to pick off the bad guys like rice and potatoes, you need to start seeing meals as meat and vegetables only.

The challenge is then to be inventive and use variety to keep things interesting. Ever eaten a rabbit? Lamb’s hearts? Venison liver? Fresh crab? There are hundreds of types of fish. Indeed there are hundreds of varieties of vegetables too. And with the potential to throw coconut, nuts, seeds and fruit into the bargain, suddenly pasta seems a little dull – mere padding. This is how you need to think. Exciting recipes for Paleo meals abound on the internet.

Takes a little getting used to, but the results are well worth it. Good stuff.

What’s on Your Wishlist?

Throughout the year we’ve looked at a number of superb strength-training products – books, DVDs, equipment and so on. I’ve listed several favourites here.
Now it’s your turn. With the holiday season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to ask :
What’s on your own fitness wishlist?

Quick update on the Renaissance Fitness Supplement Kits we mentioned last week – superb idea.
As we noted, we’ll be reviewing these just as soon as they’re available. And if you missed the announcement, here’s a brief video to explain the basic idea :

For more information, head on over to the official site –

Exercise of the Week : Pass Throughs

Here’s a great way to warm up the shoulders – the Pass Through. Good fun.

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.

Want to Help Out?


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.