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 :
- Conor’s Corner : Importance of Hip and Thoracic Spine Mobility For Hockey
Reduce Injuries, Improve Skills.
- Looking At : Feb 10, 2013
Scott Andrew Bird
We’ve been discussing some very interesting techniques, products and services recently. Here are the highlights.
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.
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.
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 :
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.