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.

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, 7 Oct 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 : DIY Finger Exerciser (TTK)

A home-made TTK (Titan’s Telegraph Key). Nice one Ross.
Incidentally, if you’ve never used one of these before, here’s how.


This week we’ve got not just one, but three incredible Gymchats lined up for you. If you love talking about training as much as we do, you’ll understand why.
A few details :

Gymchat 216 – Fat Loss Nutrition (with Ryan Phillips)

Fat Loss. How exactly do you go about things, and what can you expect? How do you move from the ‘physical transformation‘ to the ‘keeping it off‘ stage?
This week we’ll be covering this area in depth, with Fat Loss Expert Ryan Phillips and Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett. If you’ve got questions, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself). Details below.

Details –
Who : Fat Loss Expert Ryan Phillips and Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett
Topic : Fat Loss Nutrition
When : Monday Oct 7, 9am EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone)
How : Watch the live stream, and ask questions, directly on the Event page. We’ll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.

See you there.

Gymchat 217 – Underground Strength Training (Zach Even-Esh)

When it comes to a no-nonsense training approach, it’s fair to sat that Zach Even-Esh walks the walk. His Underground Strength Gym is filled with ropes, sleds and thick-handled equipment of all types. An incredible place.
This week we’re discussing this ‘Underground Strength‘ approach to training. Why he does what he does, what works and how to incorporate these ideas into your own training.
Joining Zach is Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett – also a huge proponent of the no-nonsense training approach. If you’ve got questions for Zach & Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself). Details below.

Details –
Who : Strength Coach Zach Even-Esh and Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett
Topic : Underground Strength Training
When : Monday Oct 9, 9pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone)
How : Watch the live stream, and ask questions, directly on the Event page. We’ll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.

Gymchat 218 – Alternative Approaches to Exercise Prescription (Matthew Palfrey)

Your exercise routine. Which elements are set in stone, and which can simply be swapped for an alternative? And how exactly do you know what that alternative could – and should – be?
Diving in to this fascinating area is Strength Coach Matthew Palfrey, together with Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett. If you’ve got questions for Matt & Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself). Details below.

Details –
Who : Strength Coach Matthew Palfrey and Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett
Topic : Alternative Approaches to Exercise Prescription
When : Monday Oct 10, 8am EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone)
How : Watch the live stream, and ask questions, directly on the Event page. We’ll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.

Previously : Last week we held Gymchat 215 – The Health, Fitness, & Fat Loss Benefits of GARLIC (with Josh Hewett and Kurtis Frank). Great discussion.
If you missed the live stream (or just want to go over a particular point again), you can watch the entire video here.

Coming Up : In upcoming Gymchats we’ll be talking to Mike ‘The Machine‘ Bruce, Al Kavadlo and many, many others. Full details shortly.
If you’d like to suggest a topic for a future discussion – or volunteer to be interviewed on the show – just drop us a line. Cheers.

Tip of the Week: Returning to Heavy Training – Inspecting the Equipment

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 is an answer to the question ‘If you’re using your old gear, how do you test things to make sure they’re still safe and working correctly?‘, directed at Vic Magary during the Heavy Training after a Break Gymchat. A great discussion.

Vic Magary

Vic Magary.

“I think the most important thing to inspect would be the J-cups where you set the bar. Also simply taking a wrench to all of the bolts of a rack to make sure they are good and tight. Depending on the type, you may want to double check the collars. I’d think the barbell and plates would be fine even after a few years as long as they were subject to normal conditions.”

Good stuff.

Re-Reading : Upgraded Chef – 12 Core Recipes to Supercharge Your Body & Brain

This is a very interesting book that we first looked at a year ago now. If you missed the discussion the first time around, here’s a quick recap :

This looks great.
I’ve been intrigued by Dave’s work for a while now (he’s at if you’d like to check it out), and am really keen to dive in to this one. The latest incarnation of the Upgraded Chef ebook.
The book outlines his own philosophy when it comes to nutrition. The reviews on Amazon describe it well; here’s a sample :

This book is meant for people who want to learn to cook with less toxins in less time and to eat a Bulletproof (or better-than-paleo) diet. It is not a self-upgrade manual; it’s a cookbook for people who want to use healthy cooking techniques to upgrade the way their body works.

Good stuff.

NB : I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one – he certainly has some interesting ideas. What do you think of Dave’s approach overall?

Quick update on the Lift the Blob package we mentioned recently – fantastic collection.

I’d love to hear how you go with it, when it comes to tackling this challenging feat you really can’t go past Lift the Blob. Superb.

Exercise of the Week : Kettlebell Deficit Deadlifts

The Diesel Crew demonstrates a couple of great ways to incorporate kettlebells in deadlift training – including Kettlebell Deficit Deadlifts with Chains. 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.

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.