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, 9 Aug 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 : Gem From The Vault : Starting Your Fitness Journey – 10 Things to Consider

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 : Fasting, Aging & Longevity – Summary of Dr. David Sinclair’s Research (Thomas DeLauer)


A wonderful look at the current world of longevity research, particularly that of Dr David Sinclair.

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 250 we discussed Serious Training for Ignored Populations, with Personal Trainer & Massage Therapist Bill Kociaba and 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 : BodyFly Home (Portable Cable Machine)

Yes please. The BodyFly Home is a compact, portable cable machine – perfect for both home and travel workouts. Nice and simple. And although you can perform similar movements using bands (particularly when travelling), having access to a solid cable setup would certainly be welcome. As for the device itself, a little video :
The BodyFly Home.

Tip of the Week : Overhand Card Tearing

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.
Tearing cards
Completed tear.
When it comes to the various feats of performing strongmen & women, one that frequently comes to mind is the tearing of a deck of cards. In the article Overhand Card Tearing, Bikes Cut the Correct Way, Adam explains the basic technique for doing exactly that :
  1. Hold it firmly
    Hold it firmly.
    Hold the deck firmly with your weak hand (right side shown for me) with the deck firmly and horizontal to the floor.
  2. Pinch the deck
    Pinch the deck.
    Pinch the deck with the strong hand with the thumb and index finger. It’s the same grip you use to use a remote control.
  3. Pull towards your chest
    Pull towards your chest.
    Pull your strong hand (pinch side) towards your chest. The index finger splits the deck. You must pinch hard!
  4. Turn your weak hand towards the floor
    Turn your weak hand towards the floor.
    Continue to pull hand towards your chest, turn your weak hand towards the floor. The deck will rip – not twist – if you have a tight grip. The tear line will be clean.
  5. Separate the deck
    Separate the deck.
    Continue to pinch the deck hard and pull back towards your chest until you separate the deck. The line will be a clean cut right through the deck. With this method you can put the cut anywhere you want on the deck.
Tearing cards
Tearing cards.
It takes pain tolerance and hand strength with this method. Keep practicing. THERE IS NO TRICK. Rub some lip balm on your hands after you tear if the skin is raw.
I can now rip decks of bicycles in less than 3 seconds, and quarter them in a second with this grip. It makes you strong.
Great fun.

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 : Kipping Pull-Up Tips


The Ice Chamber blog posts some quick tips to help get you over the bar in your next pull-up session; with a little kipping. They are :
  • Initiate the pulling action with your lats, not biceps.
  • Drive your elbows towards your lats (ideally behind them) to finish.
  • Be fast on the rebound. Get your elbows less than 90 degrees asap.
  • Bring your center of mass closer to the bar by raising your knees to your chest.
Excellent.

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.

Fitness Reading For The Week

It’ll come as no surprise that we discuss a lot of fitness-related books; on this site as well as the various networks noted in the sidebar. I’m currently checking out the podcast series ‘Gutfull: What to Eat for a Happy Gut (by Joanna McMillan)‘ over on Audible. It’s a fascinating look at the current science surrounding gut health – how everything works and a detailed description of what’s going on. Wonderful. Incidentally, I’ve got an evergrowing list of ‘books to read‘, and I’m always looking to add to it. Suggestions welcome. There’s also a list of our all-time fitness suggestions over on Goodreads. Dive on in.