Strength & Fitness Newsletter

Monday, 9 Apr 2012


The Gymchats. Great discussions, every week.

This Week on Straight to the Bar

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'd like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here's how.




Video : Training for the Reverse Muscle-up (aka 'Elevator')

Over to Jim Bathurst, who's currently training for a particularly challenging movement. The Reverse Muscle-Up.

Nice one.


Gymchat 164 - Online Training II

If you're a strength coach or personal trainer, do you offer any online services as part of your training? If you're an athlete, have you ever used any; or would you like to find out a little more about them?

We first looked at this topic a little over a year ago, following a discussion on Setting Up a Strength Training Facility. No matter which side of the fence you're on (trainer or athlete), this is an ideal opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of online services.

Everything from custom program design to teleseminars and video training.

Helping us navigate this fascinating topic is Renaissance Fitness' Derek Peruo. Fantastic.


Details -

Who Renaissance Fitness' Derek Peruo
Topic : Online Training II
When : Wed Apr 11, 9pm EDT (here's how to find out when that is in your timezone)
How : Post a comment, question or reply
Link : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113406428532094481598/posts/212QTHfqoCi

If you've never been to one of these discussions before, here's how to join in the fun. Simple, quick to set up and free.

And to see when it's on in your timezone, head over to the calendar.

See you there.


Padded Lifting Straps
Altus Athletic Padded Lifting Straps. Photo via Amazon.
Quick update on last week's gymchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Belts, Wraps & Straps. Some superb ideas in there.

For those who missed out on the conversation, here's the transcript. Was a great one.


NB : if you'd like to add a fitness-related event (either a competition you're taking part in, or something you're helping to organise there), just login to the forums and add it to the calendar. Cheers.


Tip of the Week: A Routine for Neck-Training Beginners

Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, Google+, the forums, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there's always a way to improve what you're doing.


I love a dose of neck training. Using a neck harness, a fitness ball, bodyweight exercises and so on. There are certainly more than a few ways to do it.

This tip comes to us from the recent Gymchat on the topic, and is a routine aimed at complete neck-training beginners who are looking to get started on this wonderful journey. Over to Andrew Nalepa.

Good news for anyone who is beginning neck training, "you" are pretty much all you need. I like Mike Bruce's beginner program on Straight to the Bar, but another really simple beginner program is this :

Lay on your back on the floor, or on your bed, and just raise your head, curling your chin to your upper chest, as many times as you can. Then lay on your stomach, and raise your chin to the ceiling as many times as possible. Then lay on your side and curl your ear toward your shoulder as many times as you can, and then lay on your other side and do the same thing.

Many people who have never done any neck training have difficulty just laying on their back and curling just their head 20 times. It is a really simple starting point just using gravity. To progress, you could do more reps, do more sets, or start holding a book to your head as you do your repetitions.

NB : if you like the sound of this and want to further explore the wonderful world of neck training, check out the free guide here. The exercises, equipment and techniques you'll need.

Checking Out : Convict Conditioning II

Convict Conditioning, Volume 2: The Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course
Convict Conditioning, Volume 2: The Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course.
If you read the original Convict Conditioning, you know you're in for a treat. This time it's all about the Bodyweight Squat.

And as this one comprises both an instructional DVD and book, it's certainly comprehensive. To give you an idea of what's contained within, here's a snippet from the Dragon Door site :


Filmed entirely - and so appropriately - on "The Rock", Wade's Convict Conditioning Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course explodes out of the cellblock to teach you in absolute detail how to progress from the ease of a simple shoulderstand squat--to the stunning "1-in-10,000" achievement of the prison-style one-leg squat. Ten progressive steps guide you to pushup mastery.



Sounds great.


Review : MuscleTech NeuroCore


MuscleTech NeuroCore
Over on the blog this week, Derek reviewed the MuscleTech NeuroCore pre-workout supplement.

It's intense stuff.

Shoulders seen better days? Grab The Rotater. Beautiful thing.

Exercise of the Week : Bulgarian Bag - Upper Body Series

We saw a great exercise in last week's newsletter, making perfect use of the Bulgarian Bag. And while you've got the bag out, here's a great upper body routine we looked at a while back.

Good stuff.


Incidentally, if you'd like to get in touch regarding this or any other aspect of strength, you can send me an email here. Look forward to hearing from you.


Free Straight to the Bar eBooks

As a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you get several great eBooks, absolutely free. Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.

Good stuff.

NB : This is an ever-changing list of books. If you'd like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.


Time for Some New Gear? Here's What to Get, and How to Use It

Thanks to everyone who's sent in feedback (via email, Facebook and Twitter) about the Straight to the Bar Guides - it's greatly appreciated.

For everyone who hasn't seen them yet, the Guides will help you decide what to get (and where), and how to train with it. There's some great information in there.

From the Archives

If you've just joined us, take a look at these :


Spread the Word

As you can doubtless see, I love talking about training. Becoming stronger, bigger and faster; using any number of styles and techniques.


If you share this passion - and know of someone else who also enjoys a bit of time under the bar - simply forward them a copy of this newsletter. And if they’d like to receive each issue as soon as it comes out, here’s where they can enter their details :

Thank you. It really is appreciated.


And if you'd like to contribute an article, interview or anything else related to the world of strength, here's how.

Until next time,

Keep lifting

Scott