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, 23 Dec 2013

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 : Plate Rim Fingertip Curls

Nice one Daniel.

Gymchats for 2013

We’ve been fortunate enough to hold some wonderful discussions this year, on a huge range of training-related topics. Various strength sports, bodyweight work, fat loss and a whole lot more. Fantastic.
If you missed any of them – or just want to go back and check out a particular point again – you’ll be pleased to know that the videos are all recorded and stored on Youtube. Here’s the full list :

Dec 18, 2013 | Gymchat 229 – How to Prepare for a Powerlifting Competition (Josh Hewett and Ben McLaughlin)
Dec 11, 2013 | Gymchat 228 – In-Season Training for Hockey (Josh Hewett and Conor Doherty)
Dec 4, 2013 | Gymchat 227 – The Tempo Matrix (Josh Hewett and Karsten Jensen)
Nov 27, 2013 | Gymchat 226 – Advances in Strength & Power Development (Josh Hewett and Craig Bongelli)
Nov 20, 2013 | Gymchat 225 – How to Master the Inner Game (Josh Hewett and Jen Mulhall)
Nov 13, 2013 | Gymchat 224 – The Future of Fitness (Roundtable) (Josh Hewett, Chas Melichar, Chris Lutz, Karsten Jensen and Nassim Jebran)
Nov 11, 2013 | Gymchat 223 – Progressive Calisthenics (Josh Hewett and Al Kavadlo)
Nov 6, 2013 | Gymchat 222 – The Difference Between Exercise & Training (Why You Should TRAIN!) (Josh Hewett and Ryan Burgess)
Oct 30, 2013 | Gymchat 221 – The Paleo Approach to Health & Physique Transformation (Josh Hewett and Adam Farrah)
Oct 23, 2013 | Gymchat 220 – High Intensity Training : HIT (Josh Hewett and Chris Lutz)
Oct 16, 2013 | Gymchat 219 – Assessing Current Fitness Trends (Josh Hewett and Adam Klymkiw)
Oct 10, 2013 | Gymchat 218 – Alternative Approaches to Exercise Prescription (Josh Hewett and Matthew Palfrey)
Oct 9, 2013 | Gymchat 217 – Underground Strength Training (Josh Hewett and Zach Even-Esh)
Oct 8, 2013 | Gymchat 216 – Fat Loss Nutrition (Josh Hewett, Ryan Phillips and Rob Spencer)
Oct 2, 2013 | Gymchat 215 – The Health, Fitness, & Fat Loss Benefits of GARLIC (Josh Hewett and Kurtis Frank)
Sep 25, 2013 | Gymchat 214 – How to Create an Effective Supplement Stack (Josh Hewett and Paul Teixeira)
Sep 22, 2013 | Gymchat 213 (Roundtable) – How to get BIGGER and STRONGER (Josh Hewett, Suneet Sebastian, Louis Farone, Paul Marsland and Jason Paris)
Sep 19, 2013 | Gymchat 212 – How to Gain Muscle (Josh Hewett and Conor Kelly)
Sep 11, 2013 | Gymchat 211 – Training Approaches (Roundtable) (Josh Hewett, Adam Klymkiw, Jason Paris, Chris Lutz and Kurtis Frank)
Aug 14, 2013 | Gymchat 209 – Setting up a Home Gym (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Josh Hewett)
Jul 31, 2013 | Gymchat 207 – Body Transformation (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Jason Paris)
Jul 24, 2013 | Gymchat 206 – Sandbag Training (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Matt Palfrey)
Jul 17, 2013 | Gymchat 205 – Paleo Dieting (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Adam Farrah)
Jul 10, 2013 | Gymchat 204 – Training & Competing with Google Glass (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Chas Melichar)
Jul 4, 2013 | Gymchat 203 – Explaining Crossfit Principles (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Dai ‘The Moose‘ Manuel)
Jun 29, 2013 | Gymchat 202 – Intermittent Fasting (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Josh Hewett)
Jun 22, 2013 | Gymchat 201 – Hormonal Optimisation (Captain‘ Kirk Fontaine and Josh Hewett)
Mar 20, 2013 | Gymchat 200 – Beginning Powerlifting (Chadwick Haines)
Mar 8, 2013 | Gymchat 199 – Stretching & Warming Up (Conor Doherty)
Feb 27, 2013 | Gymchat 198 – The Science of Muscle Growth (Kevin Stock)
Jan 9, 2013 | Gymchat 195 – Fitness Over 40 (Kevin Redman)
NB : the links above are for the Gymchats we did in 2013. For the ones we did prior to that, check out the Complete List of Gymchats over on the main site. They’re all there.
And yes, we’ll be taking a couple of weeks off over the holidays; beginning again in early 2014. Full details shortly.

Previously : Last week we held Gymchat 229 – How to Prepare for a Powerlifting Competition (with Powerlifter Ben McLaughlin and Strongman Josh Hewett). 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.

Tip of the Week: Knee Rehabilitation Progression

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 from Josh Hewett‘s excellent ‘Bulletproof Your Body‘ series. The ‘right‘ way to fix your knees after surgery.
Over to Josh :

Good stuff. Note that this is only a snippet from the full piece – swing by Josh‘ blog for the entire article. A great read.

Checking Out : Insane In-Season Hockey Training

Looks great.
We mentioned this one briefly last week, and we’ll be posting a full review on the blog early in the new year. In the meantime though, a quick look at what it is :

In Gymchat 228 – In-Season Training for Hockey Conor Doherty outlined his approach to training for Ice Hockey, during the season itself. Very interesting discussion.
The Insane In-Season Hockey Training package is a detailed look at this area. Becoming stronger, faster and generally more powerful during the season. What to do, and when.
Full details shortly; if you’re ready to get a head start though, swing by the official site. Dive in.

Quick update on the Hip Thruster we mentioned recently – fantastic thing.
Rather than trying to explain how it works, here it is in action :

Good stuff Bret, looks great.

Exercise of the Week : Standing Band Crunch

Bands are great for this sort of exercise. The Standing Band Crunch.

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.


If you’ve been training for a while, gradually cleaning up your diet, no doubt you’ve experienced the amazing power of transformation. It’s a tremendous feeling.
If you’re ready to give someone else a hand to transform their own lives – through education, sharing equipment, financial help – take a look at the full list of organisations on the Giving page. Cheers.