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, 20 Oct 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 Human Flag Hybrid

Looking for a challenge?


Good stuff Al.

Gymchat 260 – How to Use DROP SETS for More Gains (Bill Piche)

What exactly are drop sets, and how can you use them most effectively?
This week we’ll be taking a deep dive into the wonderful world of Drop Sets; exploring answers to the questions above and a whole lot more. Helping us get a handle on this particular technique is Powerlifter Bill Piche, together with Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett. Fantastic.


NB : We love hearing from as many people as possible. Join Bill and Josh on the Hangout, or fire in your questions via the Q&A. Full details below.
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 : Powerlifter Bill Piche, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You
Topic : How to Use DROP SETS for More Gains
When : Monday Oct 20, 8:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone).
How : Watch the live stream, join the hangout (just add Top Form Fitness to one of your circles, and Josh’ll send out the URL when the Hangout starts), or jump in the Q&A on the Event page itself. We’ll also post the full video on the main site shortly after the Gymchat.

Previously : In Gymchat 259 we discussed Chronic Pain Research (with Nutrition Researcher Kamal Patel 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 : Finding a Personal Trainer

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.


Dollars and muscles

It’s about more than the money.

When it comes to getting a fitness professional who’s going to help you clarify and reach your goals, finding one is half the battle. Offering a couple of suggestions in that area is Total Transformation’s John Kaiser, who’s had more than a little experience himself.
Nice one. Over to John.


From the article Eliminating the Lug Nuts: How to Find a Good Trainer, a few thoughts :

Get the Digits. Step one, ask your trainer for references that you can contact. Step two, contact those references. It is amazing how many people miss step two–apparently asking for references only as a bluff. When you call the list of references, ask about their results. Where did they start and how far has he taken them? Did their hard work combined with his training know-how pay off? Has he been reliable and professional?
Good trainers get results; lug nuts only get your money.
One Size Fits All. Is the nutrition/training sheet your trainer gives you just a black and white copy–the same one he hands out to all his clients? Or does she/he give you a personalized workout and nutrition plan? You are paying for a personalized approach, so make sure you get it!
Good Trainers Personalize, Bad Trainers Xerox
Can’t we All Just get Along? There is nothing worse than putting down several hundred dollars on a personal trainer only to find that the two of you can’t get along. So pay for a few individual sessions (even if it costs a bit more). This will give you an opportunity to get to know the trainer, see how he runs his shop, and strike up a rapport. You aren’t auditioning him/her for the role of best friend, but you should expect a certain level of professionalism.
A good trainer is always professional

Good stuff.

Looking Forward To : Ready to Run – Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally

Looks fantastic.
Last week we looked at my own collection of fitness-related books (and cheers for all of the suggested ones to add – much appreciated); in particular Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard. Great read.
Kelly’s new work – Ready to Run – Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally – comes out tomorrow, and sounds equally comprehensive. To give you an overall idea of the content covered in the book, and Kelly’s thinking in general, check out his latest appearance on the Bulletproof Video podcast :


Ready to Run – Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally. Fantastic.


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 : Farmers’ Lockouts



Nice and heavy. Perfect.


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.


Straight to the Bar Strength Calendar

Taking part in, helping out with or going to watch an upcoming strength competition?
Tell us about it.

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.