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, 30 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’re keen to do more writing in 2014 and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here’s how.


Video : How to Heavy Bench Press Safely Without A Spotter



Nice one Jorrell.

Gymchats in 2014

We’ve got some incredible discussions lined up for 2014 – full details shortly. In this newsletter, over on Google+ and of course on Straight to the Bar.
In the meantime, check out some of the fantastic discussions we held in 2013. There’s a full list here.

Previously : In Gymchat 229 we discussed How to Prepare for a Powerlifting Competition (with Powerlifter Ben McLaughlin and Strongman Josh Hewett). Great conversation.
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: How to Fix Your Back

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 up your back.
Over to Josh :


What happens when you sit all day (at a desk, watching TV, or while driving) is that certain muscles, ie: glutes, can become lengthened and weak while other muscles compensate and become tighter to take up the slack, ie: QL (lower back) and psoas (hip flexors). This can lead to all sorts of issues including back pain. Weak abdominal muscles is also a culprit.
So what can you do to restore muscular balance and function to get rid of that pain? The progressions I follow are very similar to what I outlined in my Fix Your Knees blog post:

  1. If it’s an acute injury see a medical professional and get assessed. Rest and ice.
  2. Test your Active Range of Motion as comfort allows (avoid passive stretching).
  3. Use Isometric Exercises to activate the weak muscle groups.
  4. Once muscles start to “fire” better, you can add in some isolation exercises to target and strengthen those muscles.
  5. Progress towards compound multi-joint exercises that incorporate those muscles.

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 : Goodreads

Excellent service.
We took a look at Goodreads a little earlier in the year, for cataloguing and recommending books. On strength training, or anything else.
Chances are that when you’re defining your goals for 2014 you’re re-reading a few things (certainly the case here). Here’s a peek at what’s on my own fitness shelves; and I’m keen to add a few others to that list.
Any training-related books you’d recommend?


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 : Rack-Based Dip Variation

Weighted dip in rack

No bars? Use the rack.



No dip bars handy? Try this rack-based variation. Great idea.


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.

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.

Giving

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.