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, 25 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 : 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)

Kevin Stock

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.


Details –
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 :

Neck Harness lift

Now that’s a neck harness lift.

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.



Good stuff.

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

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.