- Gem From The Vault : The Step-up : a Real Squat Alternative?
Scott Andrew Bird | Follow @scottbird
- Looking At : May 31, 2020
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 : Doctor’s Nighttime Routine For Better Sleep (Dr Mike Varshavski)
I’m a huge fan of sleep as a recovery method. Here’s a quick look at a basic nighttime routine from the medical side of things.
Gymchat 278 – TBA
We’re still finalising the details for this week’s discussion. I’ll post them on the blog (and Twitter, Facebook 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 268 we discussed Bulking on a Budget with Personal Trainer Adam Klymkiw and Personal Trainer & Strength Athlete Josh Hewett. Great conversation.
If you missed the live stream (or just want to go over a particular point again), you’ll find 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: Constantly Fine-Tune Things
Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via Twitter, the blog; and 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 :
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.
Checking Out : OTARI (Interactive Workout Mat)
The OTARI is a Yoga mat (although it has plenty of potential uses for other aspects of training) with a strong interactive component. In addition to a screen with specific advice relating too the workout, the inbuilt AI can help to offer specific advice on form (there’s a camera built in to the mat).
A little video :
The OTARI Interactive Workout Mat.
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.
Exercises of the Week : More from the Barbarians
Just a taste of Barbarian bodyweight goodness. 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
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, audio files 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.
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 :
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.
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.
Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials
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.
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.