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 :
- Gem From the Vault : The Hack Squat
Scott Andrew Bird | Follow @scottbird
- Looking At : Mar 19, 2017
Scott Andrew Bird | Follow @scottbird
What’s been going on this week? Quite a lot actually.
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 : Belt Squat Thoughts
Zach shares a few thoughts on a piece of equipment not seen often enough – a belt squat machine. Good stuff.
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 217 we discussed Underground Strength Training (with Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett and Strength Coach Zach Even-Esh). 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 : Use a Weight You Can Control
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.
This tip comes to us from the enigmatic Gerard F, and is a snippet from a series of very interesting conversations surrounding the insights of the ‘Iron Guru‘, Vince Gironda. In particular, this thread on Google+.
The full quote is :
Use a weight you can control, and control the weight you use.
This applies to a lot of things, but in this case we were talking about the bench press. Gerard noted :
At best the Bench Press is an “OK” exercise even when done correctly, but nearly everyone performs it based on the wrong concept. Using 8-12 reps its OK, but what happens is, when the reps get tough, your form goes bad, the back arches and/or your torso torques; stress goes from the chest to the triceps to the shoulder/cuff, and your strong side lifts the load that your weak side can’t handle.
Over bench pressing gives you a circle looking chest, that’s when the shoulders and tris are developed because the chest can’t handle the weight, and what happens is the shoulder and tris are targeted more than the pecs.
Very interesting. Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Checking Out : The Illumy ‘Smart Sleep Mask’
We’ve looked at a number of sleep-related devices over the years, and here’s a very interesting pairing : the deceptively simple Illumy ‘Smart Sleep Mask‘.
Particularly for travel (‘planes, trains, cars etc – anywhere you want to get some sleep while the lights are on).
The Illumy ‘Smart Sleep Mask‘.
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 : Knee Walking
Aikido fans may find this familiar. The strangely mesmerizing art of knee walking.
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
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
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.
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 :
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 :
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.
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 :
It’s a great way to learn.
Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials
We’ve looked at a lot of kettlebell exercises and variations over the years – in the form of tips%