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, 5 May 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 : Tricep Exercise Tweaks



Interesting ideas.

Gymchat 246 – The Pursuit of a HUGE Deadlift (Craig Bongelli)

Love the deadlift. Incredible exercise.


There’s plenty of information around which explains the basics, and how you can increase your PR by a plate or two. Question is, what happens then? How do you go from ‘better than average‘ to freakishly strong?
Discussing this area in obsessive detail 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 and leave a comment or jump in the Hangout and ask them directly.
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, Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett and You
Topic : The Pursuit of a HUGE Deadlift
When : Wednesday May 7, 8:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone).
How : Watch the live stream, or join the hangout (get your questions ready), directly on the Event page. We’ll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.


See you there.

Previously : In Gymchat 245 we discussed Grip Strength (with the insanely strong Jedd Johnson 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: Constantly Fine-Tune Things

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’ve received more emails over the years on the transition to biphasic sleeping than almost anything else I’ve ever written. I can’t thank everyone enough for those, they really are appreciated. Thank you.
Most of them take the form of ‘do you think this would work…‘ and the answer is usually to try it and see. I really haven’t made any large structural changes to the original routine; however there has been a little fine-tuning. A snippet from the article Biphasic Sleep : 30 Day Summary explains the overall idea :

Nap in the Sun

Nap in the Sun.

When I started doing this, my idea was to have a 1.5 hour nap and a 3 hour main sleep period. This proved to be a little under what my body required, and I switched to a 3/4.5 hour split (3 hours by default, 4.5 on workout days). Once again this didn’t feel like quite enough, and I changed to a regular 1.5 hour nap followed by a 4.5 hour sleep (every day). This feels right.


I say this to demonstrate that making small changes can be of benefit, and I’ll continue to make them as required. As the volume of weight training increases (as it almost certainly will), as I age and as my life situation in general changes; the length of the main sleep period will change.

Good stuff.

Re-Reading : Grip Strength

Great read.
The book is based on a series of interviews that Performing Strongman Robert Spindler conducted with the incredible Tommy Heslep. I suspect there are more than a couple of gems in there.
Looking at Heslep’s own training and insights, Grip Strength shares the methods for building some insane grip strength. If you’re ready to take your grip seriously and build some brutally strong hands, this book is an ideal starting place.
To give you an idea, here’s a snippet from the book which explains what it’s all about :

This book is about grip strength. First and foremost, it focuses on the crushing grip, the kind of strength you need to close heavy duty hand grippers. It also has sections on the pinch grip, on thick bar training, on endurance grip strength and one on several grip strength feats you might want to try. (This book does not cover wrist strength or wrist strength feats.) As you will see, it covers training for any kind of strength that is classified as grip strength by the most universally accepted definition.

Additionally, it provides a fascinating insight into the life, training and career of Tommy Heslep himself. Overall it’s a great mix.
Grip Strength: How to Close Heavy Duty Hand Grippers, Lift Thick Bar Weights, and Pinch Grip Just About Anything.


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 : One-Handed Deadlifting



From the 2008 European Grip Championships, a bit of one-handed deadlifting. Good fun.


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.

In The Wild

It’s always great to see how other people train.
If you’d like to send in a photo of yourself in action (wearing one of the Straight to the Bar Shirts of course – the latest design is here), just upload it somewhere and send us a link. Cheers.