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.

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 :

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’s Proven Action Plan to Develop Blazing Power, Animalistic Strength and Killer Conditioning is a distillation of Phil Ross’ training wisdom, 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.

Monday, 11 Feb 2013

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 Warmup

Ready to warm up your shoulders, elbows and wrists? Grab a pair of clubs.

Nice one.

Gymchat 197 – Stretching & Warming Up (with Conor Doherty)

Stretching and Warming Up. We all know we should be doing some, but when? How? And perhaps most important : does it actually help?
This week we’re going to discuss the various ways to get your stretch on, how to warm up and why you might want to do a little of both. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Certified Athletic Trainer Conor Doherty. Fantastic.
NB : I’m very keen to hear both Conor‘s thinking on these areas, and yours. If you’ve got questions or opinions on stretching or warming up, join us on the Hangout. Here’s how.


Details –
Who : Certified Athletic Trainer Conor Doherty, Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine and you.
Topic : Stretching & Warming Up
When : Friday Feb 15, 9pm EST
How : Google+ Hangout. If you’ve never been to one, here’s how to take part.
URL : We’ll be announcing this shortly – both on the blog and on Google+ itself.
NB : If you’re keen to fire in a question or three, be sure to get there early. In addition to Kirk and the Interviewee, only the first 8 people to join us on the Hangout (and here’s how) will be able to join in the conversation. Everyone else will be able to watch, but not ask questions.
See you there.



Previously : In Gymchat 195 we talked about ‘Fitness Over 40‘, with Corporate Trainer Kevin Redman and Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine. Great discussion.
If you missed the broadcast, the full video is available over on Kirk’s Youtube Channel. That’s also the best place to subscribe to the videos directly, and to see previous discussions.


If you’d like to suggest a future topic, or schedule an interview for one of the upcoming discussions, you can send us a message privately here, or swing by our Community site on Google+. Look forward to hearing from you.

Tip of the Week: Steel Bending Benefits – Increased Neural Strength

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 Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass‘ superb article Why Bend Steel?; and looks at just one of the great benefits of a regular dose of steel bending. Increased Neural Strength.


Over to Adam :

Adam T Glass

Adam with a reconfigured #5 Draft Horse Shoe.

First benefit is to your neural strength: Steel bending is an exceptional way to build your single unit application of tension. What I mean is this – you have to tense and load every muscle in your body, take out all “leakages”, brace everything together and direct it through you hands with a sniper’s precise angle. If you get sloppy punching on the nails ends, you will hurt yourself. You could possibly punch yourself in the face, roll your hands out of the groove, stab yourself, or any other combination of less desirable outcomes. This activity will turn your wrist to stone. Your ability to direct power will be significantly increased. This will directly carry over to any other strength-skill you currently have. The way I load up to bend a Huge Stainless Steel Bastard is exactly the same feeling as when I load up to pull a max dead, to press a 48kg bell, or to slam an axe through a log. It adds a critical power appliance to your “strength skill tool box”.

This increase in strength and power naturally will carry over to an increase in your endurance. Anyone who has bent a nail will tell you the first time they bent it was so tiring. I have watched people sweat bullets bending their first respectable nail. As time goes on you gain huge reserves of power. A personal testament to this level of power for me was October 2007 when I bent 150 60D nails in one hour using the double under (DU) grip. That represented a massive improvement from Jan 2007, when bending 10-15 nails left my hands extremely fatigued.



Good stuff.

Checking Out : Pushing the Limits!

This looks fantastic.


I’m a big fan of Al’s work, and Pushing the Limits! certainly doesn’t disappoint. I’ll post up a full review shortly; in the meantime, here’s a snippet from Jason Ferruggia’s foreword (full version here) to give you an idea of what it’s all about :

Pushing the Limits! is the book I wish I had when I first started working out. Knowing Al’s secrets and various progressions would have saved me years of wasted time, frustration and injuries. As awesome as Raising the Bar was I think Al has taken it to another level with Pushing the Limits!. The variations of The Big Three and progressions Al lays out will keep you busy for years.

Al Kavadlo‘s Pushing the Limits!. Looks superb.


Quick update on the Renaissance Fitness Supplement Kits we mentioned recently – 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 – renaissancefitnessinc.com.

Exercise of the Week : The L Chin-up



Looking for a challenge? Try a few L Chin-ups – 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.
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.