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 : Trap Bar Deadlifts
A brief introduction to this wonderful exercise.
- Looking At : Feb 24, 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 : 1st Griptopz Champs – Susana Ferreira
A spot of video from the first Griptopz Championships. Nice one.
Gymchat 198 – The Science of Muscle Growth (with Kevin Stock)
How do you grow muscle in the healthiest, strongest and fastest way possible? Whether that’s for strength, size & shape or simply because it makes everything you do just that little bit easier?
This week we’re going to be talking about the science of muscle growth; what to do, when and how often. Helping us tackle this one is Chemist & Personal Trainer Kevin Stock, Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine and You. Should be a great one.
NB : I’m very keen to hear both Kevin‘s thinking on these areas, and yours. If you’ve got questions or opinions on body composition and muscle growth, join us on the Hangout. Here’s how.
Who : Chemist & Personal Trainer Kevin Stock, Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine and You
Topic : The Science of Muscle Growth
When : Wednesday Feb 27, 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: Beginner Neck-Building Program
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 the obscenely strong Mike ‘The Machine‘ Bruce, and is a snippet from his superb article Building A Neck Of Steel. Take a look.
Neck work – whether you’re a beginner, or have been training for years – doesn’t need to be that complicated. And if you’re new to the area of neck strengthening, this is a great place to start.
Over to Mike :
Following is a beginner program to help get you started from Pencil Neck to Neck of Steel.
- Neck Curls on a flat bench with weight 1-2 sets of 20-30 repetitions
- Neck Harness work [same as above]
- Side of Neck on a flat bench [same as above]
Do this every other day for the first month. Then you can increase the workload to every day you train. Or increase the weighted repetitions to 5 sets of 50 repetitions. Once you can attain 100 straight repetitions in the 3 exercises then it is time to increase the weight.
Checking Out : GripTopz LeverTop
This looks fantastic.
The above video reminded me of just how many GripTopz variations there are, including the superb LeverTop. The video will give you a good idea of how it works, and a snippet from David Horne‘s rules page will give you an idea of how brutal this thing can be :
This event is a test of wrist and pronator strength.
Start by kneeling down beside the apparatus.
Grasp the handle only, with one hand, in an underhand grip with the thumb side closer to the loading pin.
You have to start the lift with your elbow tip touching the thigh top as you kneel on the floor. This keeps you from dropping the elbow too low. The lift is started with the forearm approximately parallel to the floor.
The apparatus is lifted in this style until the mark (at 6.5″ from the floor) reaches or goes above the horizontal bar placed at 16.5″, measured from the underside of the bar to the floor. This allows a 10″ lift.
At this height, the forearm still has to be parallel to the floor, and the referee will now tell you that the height is achieved. After this you will hold the weight, with the arm parallel to the floor for 2 seconds. So the referee will say “height, one, down“. Taking two seconds from the word height to the word down. This is a strict lift. If the arm doesn’t stay parallel then it is a failed lift.
Superb. The GripTopz LeverTop.
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 : Bottoms-Up Pistol
Pistols not quite challenging enough? Steve Maxwell has a simple solution – start from the bottom. 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
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.