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, 28 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 : Brain-Computer Interfaces (Isaac Arthur)


This is a wonderful look at the current state and near-term potential of BCIs. For repairs, replacements or enhancements.

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 242 we discussed The Role of Genetics in Aesthetics & Performance, with Powerlifter Bill Piche, 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 : HYPERBELL (Dumbbell -> Barbell Conversion)

Interesting idea. The HYPERBELL is a combination of handles and collars to convert your dumbbells into barbells. Looks a little unusual, though I suspect it works perfectly well. Personally, I’ve already got access to a solid home gym. For travel workouts though, this is certainly an intriguing option. A little video :
The HYPERBELL.

Tip of the Week: Dynamic Thumb Training with the Titan’s Telegraph Key

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.


TTK

TTK.

I love a dose of grip work; it’s a great way to challenge yourself. It’s also a particularly fun way to train.
Still, there’s always a different way of looking at things. Here’s an excellent example of that – Jedd shows just how a piece of equipment like the TTK can be put to a slightly uncommon use. I’ll let him explain.


From the article Getting the Most out of Your TTK :

Thumb training can be broken up into at least four different types: Dynamic, Static, and Extensor, and Multi-Planar.
The focus of this article will be Dynamic thumb training with the Titan’s Telegraph Key, or TTK.

One way to mix things up a bit is to make the Range of Motion longer by adding something underneath the finger-side handle. A catalog is a perfect choice for this. This makes the hand work through a longer range of motion the muscles are not used to. The first time I did this, I was sore for several days from the new stimulus. This technique has worked great for me in my quest for lifting heavier and wider block weights.

A brief demonstration :


Love it.


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.

Exercises of the Week : Staggered Ab Training

Looking at this approach to ab training, I’m in no doubt that Christian Thibaudeau had a varied diet as a kid. I can see his mother hiding the healthy food amidst the (unfortunately) more common items on the plate. Still, it’s a very interesting approach. Staggered Ab Training.

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.