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 Planto 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 : There’s a full list of all the equipment/books/videos we recommend over in the SttB Strength Store. Dive in.

Monday, 17 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 : Handstand Pushups on Dip Bars



Nice one.

Gymchat 240 – Periodization (Karsten Jensen)

Periodization. It’s quite possibly a term you’ve heard before, but what exactly is it? How did it start, and what’s involved?


This week we’ll be discussing this area in detail, answering all of the above and a whole lot more (we’ll answer as many of your questions as we can – just jump in the Q&A, which’ll appear during the discussion itself).
Taking us through the entire process is Strength Coach Karsten Jensen, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : In addition to the questions, we’d love to hear your comments & suggestions. If there’s a particular area you’d like Karsten and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and drop us a line.
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 : Strength Coach Karsten Jensen, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett
Topic : Periodization
When : Wednesday Mar 19, 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 239 we discussed How to Get HUGE! (with Strongman and Strength Coach Craig Bongelli 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: Buying a Power Rack – Determining the width you’ll need.

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 following a discussion I had over the weekend (I was helping a friend choose a power rack), and is a snippet from the article ‘Buyers’ Guide : the Power Rack‘. Determining the width you’ll need.


Although the width of a barbell never changes (within one type, that is – standard bars are about a foot shorter than their Olympic counterparts), the width of racks vary from brand to brand. The rack’s minimum width will depend largely on what you’re going to do with it.

Sumo squats and rack pulls will take the most room; somewhere around 40″ would be an absolute minimum, but your best bet is to measure your own squat (outside one foot to outside the other).


If you intend to bench press in the rack, or use the bench as a seat for other exercises (such as the overhead work I mentioned earlier), make sure the bench fits. If you’re buying them both at the same time, great. Test them out.

One more thing to note with the bench inside the rack – if you plan to use dumbbells from the bench, make sure there’s plenty of room to drop the dumbbells once they get heavy. Oh, and something to protect the floor (in the drop zone) is always a good idea – a couple of rubber mats will do nicely.



Good stuff.

Re-Reading : Raising the Bar

Remember this? Superb book.
Over the weekend I found myself discussing calisthenics with a friend of mine, which resulted in two things :
1. an impromptu workout
2. a re-reading of Al Kavadlo’s superb book, Raising the Bar : The Definitive Guide to Bar Calisthenics.
If you haven’t already, check it out. 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 : Bamboo Kettlebell Chaotic Presses



Chris Mason, Phil Harrington, and Justin Tooley sampling a very unusual exercise. The Bamboo Kettlebell Chaotic Press.


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.