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, 13 Sep 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 :
  • Mehdi Hadim (Stronglifts)Gem From The Vault : How to Make Your Own Bumper Plates on a Budget
    Mehdi Hadim (Stronglifts) |
    How? Like this.


  • Scott Andrew BirdLooking At : Sep 12, 2021
    Scott Andrew Bird |
    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 : Apple vs Fitbit vs Garmin – The Battle For Your Fitness (Slidebean)


    Fascinating look at the history of these three devices, and how they’ve gradually become more and more focused on fitness tracking.

    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 257 we discussed Muscle Activation Techniques, with Core Strength‘s Eric Seifert, joined by Strength Athlete & Personal Trainer 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.

    Checking Out : Sleepout (Portable Blackout Curtain)

    Nice and simple. The Sleepout is a portable blackout curtain, to quickly block the light from any window; no matter where you are. I’m already a big fan of sleep (it’s easily my favourite form of recovery), and am certainly keen to try this one out. Particularly once I start travelling again. In the meantime, a spot of video to show you what’s on offer :
    The Sleepout.

    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.

    Tip of the Week : Training for Unusual Feats

    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.
    When Jeff Wilson was training for the Soda Can Crush (video below), he quickly realised that his usual training approach wouldn’t work. For one thing, you can’t progressively crush a can of soda. In the article Unusual Goals Require Unusual Measures, he explains exactly how to tackle something like this. Here’s a snippet to give you the basic idea :

    I knew that without actually being able to accomplish the feat that my training would have to take a drastic turn from what I had become accustomed to over the years. The seemingly supplemental exercises of my workouts would now become my core movements.

    I scoured my repertoire (as well as the training logs of top gripsters world-wide) for hand, wrist and grip exercises to find those that closely mimicked the movement I would use for the crush – and I came to the conclusion that the final crush of an unbraced bend was strikingly similar. With some alterations to my particular style of bending I knew I could get huge carryover to the soda crush. I upped my bending frequency a bit and focused on generating as much power as possible through the final crush down as I could with each piece of steel I attempted. During my bending sessions I used high volume, isometrics and pre-kinking steel that was a little out of my league, but I didn’t want to bend too often because going too overboard with unbraced bending can potentially set you up for some pretty nasty injuries. I knew that I also needed movements that I could safely perform on a very regular basis that would have big carry over to the can crush, while having very little risk of injury in order to accomplish my goal in a timely manner.

    And the feat itself? Over to Jeff :
    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 : Conditioning and Agility Drills for Football


    Looking for more ideas for your conditioning work? Check out this clip from Sports-Drills.com.

    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 : Breathe: A Life in Flow (Rickson Gracie, Peter Maguire)

    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 book ‘ Breathe: A Life in Flow (Rickson Gracie, Peter Maguire)‘. Rickson Gracie’s wonderful autobiography – detailing life both in and out of the ‘ring‘. Definitely recommended. 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.