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, 2 May 2016

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 a little fitness writing and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, get in touch.


Video : Spinal Anti-Extension Strength




What it is, and how to build it.

Gymchat 278 – TBA

We’re still finalising the details for this week’s discussion. I’ll post them on the blog (and Twitter, Google+ etc) shortly.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the previous episodes of the show – (there’s an example below, and a full list here). And if you’ve got any questions or comments on the various topics discussed, we’d love to hear them. Just leave a note below the video.

Previously : In Gymchat 185 we discussed Training for Marathons & Triathlons (with Ultrarunner, airline captain and insanely competitive triathlete, Chas Melichar, joined by Personal Trainer Kirk Fontaine). 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.


NB : if you’d like to take part in a future episode – either as an interviewee, or as a guest host – just drop us a line. Love hearing how everyone else trains.

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 one of the Gymchats on this area, 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.

Checking Out : Fit Biz Magazine – The Magazine for Fitness Business Owners

This looks superb.
Fit Biz Magazine is both a physical and digital magazine, focused squarely on the ‘running a fitness business‘ side of things. Whether that’s a gym, an online offering or a regular gathering in a local park.
Created by the incredible Mark de Grasse (and if you don’t know Mark’s training approach, here’s a peek at one of his own workouts to give you an idea), it’s promising indeed. To find out more – and to grab the first issue – swing by the project’s Kickstarter page :
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fitbizmag/fit-biz-magazine-the-magazine-for-fitness-business
Fit Biz Magazine.


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 : Lumberjack Squat

Jason Kirby‘s certainly a creative trainer. From the incredible article ‘29 Things to do with a Barbell in the Corner‘, the Lumberjack Squat :

This is an exercise that can help beginners learn how to squat using their hips. It removes the large majority of compressional forces on the spine, that can be associated with back squats. The idea is to interlock your fingers as high up on the barbell as you can, and then allow the bar to rest at the bottom of your chest, or right on your sternum. You want to actually be leaning into the barbell, so as you squat your hips come into play and act as a set of brakes. Then drive your weight through your heels so you’re leaning forwards again. This is one of the exercises that I highly recommend using the 45 pound plates; if weight is not an issue. Otherwise you can always progress upwards in increments of 2.5 all the way to the 45’s.


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Nice one.


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.

Want to Guest Host a Gymchat?

I love the Gymchats – great show. Fantastic to hear how everyone trains.
To help uncover even more, I’d like to extend an invitation. For you to act as a Guest Host, and interview someone you know about their own workouts & competitions. Whether that’s a work colleague, training partner or just someone you know who likes to lift.


If you’d like to Guest Host an episode or two of the show, let me know. And if you haven’t watched any yet and would like to see what they’re all about, there’s a full list here. Cheers.

Images of Strength

Wide Plate Pinch

Wide Plate Pinch.

As you might expect, we love seeing training-related photographs. Pics of your home gym, DIY equipment, workouts, diet or competitions – it’s all fantastic.
If you’ve got an image or three that you’d love to share with a strength-focussed audience, just upload them to Flickr/Instagram/SmugMug and send us the link. Cheers.


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.

Strength Training on Instagram

It’s fair to say that we’ve checked out quite a few images over the years – on Flickr, Smugmug, and of course Google+.
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.

Powerful Peacemaker

If you’re involved in law enforcement, you doubtless understand the importance of keeping as fit, strong & healthy as possible. Can make a real difference.
Whilst there are many ways to learn the various skills and techniques required, the one I personally favour is something like the Powerful Peacemaker‘ Facebook group. To find out what it’s all about – and for access – head over to :
powerfulpeacemaker.com.
It’s a great way to learn.

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.