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, 2 Sep 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 : Deadlifting the 78k and 64k Inch Dumbbells Together

Love it. Nice one David.

Gymchat 211 – Training Approaches (Roundtable)

Gymchat Roundtable


This week we’ll be holding the first of the Gymchat Roundtables. Group discussions featuring a number of fitness professionals and competitive athletes.
First up – Training Approaches. Why everyone does what they do, when and how. Love it.

Details –
Who : Kirk Fontaine, Josh Hewett, Matt Palfrey, Jason Paris
Topic : Training Approaches
When : Wednesday Sep 4, 9pm EST
Questions : Post them here (please add your name if you’d like us to credit you on the show)
URL : We’ll be posting this shortly – both on the blog and in the Straight to the Bar Community on Google+.
How : Here are the details. And if you’d like to join us on the hangout, just drop Kirk a line. Cheers.
See you there.

Previously : In Gymchat 209 we talked about ‘Setting Up a Home Gym‘, with Strongman Josh Hewett and Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine. Great discussion.
If you missed the broadcast, the 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: Become a Morning Person

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.

Alarm Buttons

Alarm Buttons. Photo by mnapoleon.

A study published in the American Psychological Association journal ‘Emotionsuggested that – at least anecdotally – there may be both happiness and health benefits to getting up early.
As I switched to being an early riser fairly recently (after 40+ years of being a self-confessed night owl), I’ve noticed a similar change myself. And in our conversations on Google+, Louis George helped explain exactly why :

Our evolution makes us more suited to the “lark” type behavior. The circadian rhythm is based on the pattern of day and night. Fighting it continually, with shift work and personal preferences usually ends badly.

More than behavior patterns, or being organised, I feel, the damage done to hormonal regulation by poor sleep is a bigger factor.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : AtLarge Nutrition Gold Membership

This looks great.

In the same vein as something like Amazon Prime, AtLarge Nutrition is now offering a discount on everything you buy, for a fixed fee. In this case it’s a 20% discount for only $75.
If you find yourself buying the AtLarge powders and supplements on a regular basis – and they’re highly recommended, well worth checking out – then this is a no-brainer. Definitely worth doing.
The AtLarge Nutrition Gold Membership.

Quick update on the Renaissance Fitness Supplement Kits we mentioned recently – superb idea.
As we noted, we’ll be reviewing these shortly. 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 –

New Guide : Creating a Home Gym

We received some great feedback following the Setting Up a Home Gym Gymchat (if you haven’t seen it yet, the video’s here). Cheers for that – greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A new page has been added to the ‘Guides‘ area, The Straight to the Bar Guide to Planning, Designing & Building Your Own Home Gym. Would love to hear what you think.
And thanks again, these discussions are fantastic.
Incidentally, if you’d like to take part in an upcoming Gymchat, just drop Kirk a line. You’ll find him on Google+.

Exercise of the Week : GS vs HS Kettlebell Snatch

Kettlebell Snatch

If you’ve ever pondered the difference between GS and HS kettlebell snatches, Kenneth Jay (aka The Dane of Pain) sums it up nicely :

GS snatch – Generation of only enough explosive power to get the bell overhead but not more.
HS snatch – Generation of maximal explosive power.


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.

A Daily Dose

Straight to the Bar Daily

Love this stuff? Same here. If you’re looking for a daily dose of strength-training goodness, grab the Straight to the Bar Daily.
Absolutely free.

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’ve doubtless noticed, in addition to the main site is a Community on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Wherever you are, a daily dose of strength isn’t all that far away.
To help run all of these sites, we’re on the lookout for several new Moderators. To welcome new community members, bring up new items to discuss and generally keep the conversations on track.

If you’re already spending a bit of time at any of the above sites, and would like to offer your services as a Moderator, just drop us a line below. And thanks for that, it really is appreciated.

Contact either :

Kirk Fontaine, Community Manager, Straight to the Bar

or me :
Scott Andrew Bird, Editor, Straight to the Bar

Thanks again. Look forward to hearing from you.