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, 10 Mar 2014

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 : Squat Battle – a Powerlifter, a Weightlifter, a Strongman and a Bodybuilder

Squatting your bodyweight – max reps in 5 minutes. Simple idea, great contest.



Gymchat 238 – Fitness Business Strategies (Matt Palfrey)

If you’ve been involved with the fitness industry for any length of time, chances are you’ve thought about setting up your own gym. Perhaps you’ve already got one.
Either way – how do you promote it? Attract new customers? Learn about what works, and what doesn’t?


This week we’ll be discussing this area in detail, answering all of the above and a whole lot more. Joining us is Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Palfrey, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We’d love to hear your questions and comments. If there’s a particular subject you’d like Matt and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself) and jump in the Q&A.
And if you’d like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the ‘share‘ button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.

UPDATE (5 Mar 2014) :

Unfortunately a connectivity issue got in the way of this one, so we’ve rescheduled it for Monday (full details below). Apologies for that.

Scott



Details –

Who : Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Palfrey, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett
Topic : Fitness Business Strategies
When : Monday Mar 10, 9:00pm 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 239 – How to Get HUGE! (Craig Bongelli)

Whether it’s for strength, competition or aesthetics, how do you go about packing on a serious amount of muscle mass? Is it just a matter of ‘eating everything in sight‘ and training hard?


This week we’ll be discussing this area in detail, explaining exactly how to tackle your hypertrophy goals. What’s possible, how long it takes and a whole lot more. Taking us through the entire process is Strongman and Strength Coach Craig Bongelli, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We’d love to hear your questions and comments. If there’s a particular subject you’d like Craig and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself) and jump in the Q&A.
And if you’d like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the ‘share‘ button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.

Details –

Who : Strongman and Strength Coach Craig Bongelli, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett
Topic : How to Get HUGE!
When : Wednesday Mar 12, 9:00pm 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.

Previously : In Gymchat 237 we discussed Old-Time Strongman Training (with Physical Culture Renaissance ManLogan Christopher and Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) 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: Use a Weight You Can Control

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 enigmatic Gerard F, and is a snippet from a series of very interesting conversations surrounding the insights of the ‘Iron Guru‘, Vince Gironda. In particular, this thread on Google+.


The full quote is :

Use a weight you can control, and control the weight you use.

This applies to a lot of things, but in this case we were talking about the bench press. Gerard noted :

At best the Bench Press is an “OK” exercise even when done correctly, but nearly everyone performs it based on the wrong concept. Using 8-12 reps its OK, but what happens is, when the reps get tough, your form goes bad, the back arches and/or your torso torques; stress goes from the chest to the triceps to the shoulder/cuff, and your strong side lifts the load that your weak side can’t handle.

Over bench pressing gives you a circle looking chest, that’s when the shoulders and tris are developed because the chest can’t handle the weight, and what happens is the shoulder and tris are targeted more than the pecs.

Very interesting. Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Re-Watching : Westside Dead Lift Secrets

Louie Simmons

Louie Simmons.

I’d almost forgotten just how good this is. Superb information.
Before you ask – why now? A DVD that’s more than a decade old?
It’s one of the first videos I watched when I began training in earnest. There’s a full review here.
I’m watching it again because I now have a decade of training under my belt, and some of the details described may be things I can only fully appreciate now. The thinking underlying the equipment used and the techniques discussed.
Westside Dead Lift Secrets. Love it.


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 : Kettlebell and Clubbell Yaw Press



Via RMAX : Scott Sonnon demonstrates two great versions of the Yaw Press. Good stuff.


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.