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, 29 Mar 2021
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 : Build a Big Back with Bands (NO WEIGHTS!) (Athlean-X)


I love this series; exploring the various ways to use bands in your training.

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 228 we discussed In-Season Training for Hockey with Personal Trainers Conor Doherty and 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.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you've seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Checking Out : Optimo (2.25″ Wing Grips)

These look great. No doubt you’ve seen/used grips before. The Optimo Grips perform the same basic function, using a slightly different form factor. A little video will show you what I mean :
Additionally, they’re nice and thick – 2.25″. A great way to ‘fatten up‘ any bar or handle. The Optimo.

Tip of the Week : Beginner Neck-Building Program

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.
This tip comes to us from the obscenely strong Mike ‘The Machine‘ Bruce, and is a snippet from his superb article Building A Neck Of Steel. Take a look.


Neck work – whether you’re a beginner, or have been training for years – doesn’t need to be that complicated. And if you’re new to the area of neck strengthening, this is a great place to start.
Over to Mike :

Neck Harness lift

Now that’s a neck harness lift.

Following is a beginner program to help get you started from Pencil Neck to Neck of Steel.

  • Neck Curls on a flat bench with weight 1-2 sets of 20-30 repetitions
  • Neck Harness work [same as above]
  • Side of Neck on a flat bench [same as above]


Do this every other day for the first month. Then you can increase the workload to every day you train. Or increase the weighted repetitions to 5 sets of 50 repetitions. Once you can attain 100 straight repetitions in the 3 exercises then it is time to increase the weight.



Good stuff.

Unlock Your Hips, Unlock Your Squat

I get a lot of questions regarding the impact of ‘unlocking your hips‘ on heavy squatting. Rick Kaselj goes into it in plenty of detail in the ‘Unlock Your Hip Flexors‘ program; and I’ve also posted a brief video below which demonstrates/explains some of the exercises.
Both (working with Ryan, and Rick’s program) are highly recommended. And as always, we love hearing your feedback – if you sample any of the above exercises or the ‘Unlock Your Hip Flexors‘ program, we’d love to hear about it.

Exercise of the Week : Dumbell Swing/Snatches




Via Conditioning Research : Waiting for your new kettlebell to arrive? Load up the dumbbell.



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.