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.

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 :

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’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, 21 Apr 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 : ANW 6 Warmup Room Session



More Ninja Bedroom goodness.

Gymchat 245 – Feats of Strength (Grip Strength) (Jedd Johnson)

Sitting firmly at the heart of many forms of training is Grip Strength. Whether you’re a Performing Strongman, Competitive Athlete or anyone who enjoys spending a bit of time with the iron.


In this discussion we’ll be investigating two key aspects of grip work – the various feats you’ll occasionally see, and grip training in general. Tackling these is the insanely strong Jedd Johnson, joined by 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 Jedd and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Q&A (during the discussion itself).
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 : The insanely strong Jedd Johnson, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett
Topic : Feats of Strength (Grip Strength)
When : Wednesday Apr 30, 8:00pm 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 243 we discussed How to Improve Your Pull-Ups (with Strength Coach Frank DiMeo 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: A Routine for Neck-Training Beginners

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.


I love a dose of neck training. Using a neck harness, a fitness ball, bodyweight exercises and so on. There are certainly more than a few ways to do it.
This tip comes to us from last year’s Gymchat on the topic, and is a routine aimed at complete neck-training beginners who are looking to get started on this wonderful journey. Over to Andrew Nalepa.

Good news for anyone who is beginning neck training, “you” are pretty much all you need. I like Mike Bruce’s beginner program on Straight to the Bar, but another really simple beginner program is this :

Lay on your back on the floor, or on your bed, and just raise your head, curling your chin to your upper chest, as many times as you can. Then lay on your stomach, and raise your chin to the ceiling as many times as possible. Then lay on your side and curl your ear toward your shoulder as many times as you can, and then lay on your other side and do the same thing.


Many people who have never done any neck training have difficulty just laying on their back and curling just their head 20 times. It is a really simple starting point just using gravity. To progress, you could do more reps, do more sets, or start holding a book to your head as you do your repetitions.

NB : if you like the sound of this and want to further explore the wonderful world of neck training, check out the free guide here. The exercises, equipment and techniques you’ll need.

Re-reading : Pushing the Limits!

Fantastic book.


We looked at this one (both the PDF version and the paperback) a little over a year ago. If you missed it the first time around, check it out. Highly recommended.
To give you an idea of what it’s all about, here’s a brief passage from Jason Ferruggia’s foreword (full version here) :

Pushing the Limits! is the book I wish I had when I first started working out. Knowing Al’s secrets and various progressions would have saved me years of wasted time, frustration and injuries. As awesome as Raising the Bar was I think Al has taken it to another level with Pushing the Limits!. The variations of The Big Three and progressions Al lays out will keep you busy for years.

Al Kavadlo‘s Pushing the Limits!. Superb.


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 : The Power Clean and Push Jerk



The team at CrossFit Boston learns the Power Clean and Push Jerk. 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.

New Guide : The Straight to the Bar Guide to Fat Loss

We’ve received some fantastic feedback following Vic Magary‘s Gymchats on Fat Loss, cheers. Greatly appreciated.
If fat loss is one of your own fitness goals, and you haven’t yet watched the discussions, you’ll find them all here. I’ve also added several other fat loss resources we’ve noted over the years – all of them highly recommended. Dive in.


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.

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.

Images on Straight to the Bar

Finally, a quick guide to some of the incredible images we use on Straight to the Bar. It’s safe to say that there are quite a few of them, and you’ll find all the details here.