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.

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’sProven Action Plan to 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 : My own ‘to read‘ list is over on Goodreads, and I’m always looking to add to it. Suggestions welcome.

Monday, 14 Jun 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 : How To Win The Fight Against Aging (Aubrey de Grey on Health Theory)


Very interesting interview on the near-term future of age reversal. Curious : would love to know where everyone stands on this. Are you in the camp of ‘partial reversal, relatively soon (the next decade or so)‘; or the ‘century-or-so‘ fixed-length lifetimes people have had up ’til now?’ Get in touch via the contact page, or send me a tweet ( @scottbird ). Cheers.

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 240 we discussed Periodization, with Strength Coach Karsten Jensen, joined by 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’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 : LMNT Recharge Sample Pack (Electrolyte Drink Mix)

Looks great. The LMNT Recharge is a flavoured, powdered electrolyte drink mix. Think conventional sports drinks, but a little more targeted. Their Sample Pack looks like a great way to try them out. And if you’re wondering about the benefits of electrolyte drinks in general, Tim noted a few in his newsletter (Tim Ferriss ‘5-Bullet Friday’, which is where I first stumbled upon this particular offering) : They help to relieve headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue. Ideal for those on a low-carb diet, ketogenic diet, or using intermittent fasting. The LMNT Recharge Sample Pack.

Tip of the Week: How a Paleo Diet Can Benefit Strength Training

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.


My diet has been gradually improving for years (since I began lifting weights), becoming cleaner and more streamlined over time. This was all with the purpose of having a greater intensity in the gym, and recovering faster. Of course there are many other benefits; these are just the two that were on my radar.


In May 2009 I decided to make a transition to a new eating approach altogether, the Paleo Diet. Not only did I experience a number of incredible health benefits, the intensity and recovery aspects increased markedly. Here’s a brief look at the main benefits of the Paleo Diet, as far as strength-training is concerned.
From The Straight to the Bar Guide to the Paleo Diet :

As strength-training is a major part of my life, I was careful to ensure that the Paleo Diet integrated well with it. I’m pleased to report that it’s a great mix, and even comes with a number of benefits. These include :
Energy levels maintained : as your body isn’t being subjected to constant insulin spikes under the Paleo Diet, you’ll have a much more stable level of energy going in to the gym. This is particularly noticeable after you’ve been on the diet for a few weeks or so.
Better recovery : although it’s most notable in the form of improved sleep, you’ll find that your body’s ability to recover from your workouts is improved overall. And this is definitely a good thing.
Improved focus : one of the most surprising benefits from a switch to Paleo (in my case at least) has been an improvement in mental clarity. This change can have a very subtle effect on training; remembering exactly what happened in a prior session and just how much impact it had. Additionally, you’ll find an array of subtle benefits from it when you’re outside the gym. Love it.

Fantastic.


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 : DC’s Advanced Pull-up Variations




Just got a chance to watch the second part (video above – part I here) of the Diesel Crew‘s Advanced Pull-up Variations series. Take-home point (for me personally) – the Reach-ups. Should slot nicely into the current OAC work.



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.