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.

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 :

Electric Cars in Australia (great way to help tackle air-pollution)
Leave It In The Ground (tackling air-pollution from a slightly different angle)
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, 23 Jun 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 : Adam Glass’ Flag Progress, May – Jun 2014



This video says a lot about Adam Glass – incredible tenacity and experimentation. Good stuff.

Gymchat 249 – Serious Training for Ignored Populations (Bill Kociaba)

This is a fascinating area, and quite possibly one you haven’t spent much time thinking about – strength training for the blind, those in wheelchairs and anyone else with reasonably uncommon requirements.
On this week’s show we’ll be talking to Personal Trainer & Massage Therapist Bill Kociaba – who himself is completely blind. Bill teaches exercise classes via the Blind Cafe online community, runs his own gym and promotes a number of bodybuilding shows.


Joining him is 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 Bill 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 : Personal Trainer & Massage Therapist Bill Kociaba, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You
Topic : Serious Training for Ignored Populations
When : Wednesday Jun 26, 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.

Previously : In Gymchat 248 we discussed Establishing Standards for Strength & Progressions (with Personal Trainers (and Strength Athletes) Brian Tabor and 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: Training When Travelling

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.


We’ve had a number of questions over the years along the lines of ‘how do I train when travelling?‘. Mark Konen’s approach (from the article Pack Light, Train Hard) :

Suitcase

Well traveled suitcase.

I am visiting my sedentary family soon and I will not be near a gym so here is my plan:


First, there is a wide variety of bodyweight exercises I can do including push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, burpees, squats, pull-ups and jumping rope. I can fashion these as a circuit or even as a Tabata workout. So, the first thing I will pack is the Gymboss interval timer. Since I will already have my laptop with me, I could also use an online Tabata timer.

To make the bodyweight exercises even more challenging, I will bring along my jumpstretch bands; specifically the mini-bands. I can add resistance to any exercise I do and can also use it for assistance in pull-ups and range of motion (ROM) work. I also have a couple minor, nagging injuries that would benefit from some band work.

I will bring some running gear and would run in areas where I could also find some things like rocks to lift and throw. I may add in some hills and speed training. (I do use the word “speed” with a sense of humor)!

I’ll toss in a Captains of Crush Gripper. I can use that while watching sports on the tube.

OK, so far so good. But I really would like to do some heavy lifting so what can I do that is the same as what I would do at my home gym? Sandbag training! All I have to do is to take my sandbag liners of 50, 25 and 10#, empty them at home and then go buy a couple of 50# bags at a hardware store close to where I’ll be staying. Sand is cheap.

That about covers all I could possibly need to get in great workouts while out of town. Since I am going to a colder clime, it may be unlikely there will be a heavy snowfall this early in the season, but if I happen to be in a big snowstorm, you can’t beat snow shovelling! Snow shovel intervals could be interesting, challenging and fun. Come to think of it, I’ll have to look in my dad’s garage. I wonder if he has a sledgehammer? I may be able to talk my mom into steering the car while I push it down the street for time or reps!

Good stuff.

Re-Visiting : How to Make Atlas Stones

Superb.
A conversation during the week (on Strongman competitions in Australia) led to a discussion on the best way to make & train with Atlas Stones. For the answer, well, let’s just say that this DVD should be on your shopping list. Jedd Johnson / Steve Slater‘s ‘How to Make Atlas Stones‘.
Good stuff.
NB : regarding the Australian Strongman competitions, there are actually quite a few on the calendar. I’ll post up a full list shortly; if you’re running one there and would like me to spread the word, let me know. Cheers.


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 : Two Handed Vault Tutorial



Another great tutorial from UrbanCurrent – the Two-handed Vault.


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.