Strength & Fitness Newsletter

Monday, 3 Apr 2017

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 : Arms-90 Hybrid Shrugs

Very interesting combination.

Gymchat 278 - TBA

We're still finalising the details for this week's discussion. I'll post them on the blog (and Twitter, Google+ 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 219 we discussed Assessing Current Fitness Trends (with Strongman & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett and Personal Trainer Adam Klymkiw). Great conversation.

If you missed the live stream (or just want to go over a particular point again), you can watch 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.

Tip of the Week : Holding the Bar in the Front Squat

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

This tip is not so much 'How to Hold the Bar in the Front Squat' (though the article shows no fewer than 10 ways to do just that), as much as a simple demonstration that there are often many ways to achieve the same result in strength training. If what you're doing isn't working (or you simply don't enjoy it), try something else.

From the article Holding the Bar in the Front Squat :

If the Mike Boyle article on T-Nation has you considering the Front Squat, you may be mindful of just how awkward it can be to hold the bar. Like Zercher Squats, they're often overlooked simply due to the difficulty.

There are several ways to hold the bar for the Front Squat. If one method doesn't feel right, or your current flexibility or injury precludes it, try one of the others. It really is a great exercise.

Good stuff.

Checking Out : Trap Bar Training (Kindle Edition)

This looks great.

Although trap work has certainly been in my own training for a number years, I've never delved deeply into the history of the Trap Bar itself. Wonderful thing.

John Wood's Trap Bar Training does exactly that. It also manages to incorporate a wealth of training advice - always a great thing. Looking forward to it.

Quick update on the Hip Thruster we mentioned recently - fantastic thing.

Rather than trying to explain how it works, here it is in action :

Good stuff Bret, looks great.

The Grip Authority

how's your grip?

If you're ready to get serious about your grip work, check out The Grip Authority. Put together by the insanely strong 'Napalm' Jedd Johnson, it's easily the best grip strength resource available. Highly recommended.


Exercise of the Week : Sam Byrd Squatting 1,050

Via Powerlifting Watch : Sam Byrd (no relation) squatting an astonishing 1,050lb at the 2007 IPA Cincinnati Pro-Am. Nice one.

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.

Want to Guest Host a Gymchat?

I love the Gymchats - great show. Fantastic to hear how everyone trains.

To help uncover even more, I'd like to extend an invitation. For you to act as a Guest Host, and interview someone you know about their own workouts & competitions. Whether that's a work colleague, training partner or just someone you know who likes to lift.

If you'd like to Guest Host an episode or two of the show, let me know. And if you haven't watched any yet and would like to see what they're all about, there's a full list here. Cheers.

Images of Strength

Wide Plate Pinch
Wide Plate Pinch.
As you might expect, we love seeing training-related photographs. Pics of your home gym, DIY equipment, workouts, diet or competitions - it's all fantastic.

If you've got an image or three that you'd love to share with a strength-focussed audience, just upload them to Flickr/Instagram/SmugMug and send us the link. Cheers.

Free Downloads from the Strength Kit

Returning to Heavy Training After a Break
I recently added a number of resources to the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit, and as a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you're more than welcome to download as many of them as you like. Several great eBooks, podcasts and videos - all absolutely free.
Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
Good stuff.
NB : This is an ever-changing list. If you'd like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.

Strength Training on Instagram

It's fair to say that we've checked out quite a few images over the years - on Flickr, Smugmug, and of course Google+.

A friend of mine just pointed me to Chris Stanciu 's Instagram feed, which contains a great mix of nutrition and workout images :

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 :

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.

Powerful Peacemaker

If you're involved in law enforcement, you doubtless understand the importance of keeping as fit, strong & healthy as possible. Can make a real difference.

Whilst there are many ways to learn the various skills and techniques required, the one I personally favour is something like the 'Powerful Peacemaker' Facebook group. To find out what it's all about - and for access - head over to :

It's a great way to learn.

Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials

Pavel Tsatsouline with Flamebell
We've looked at a lot of kettlebell exercises and variations over the years - in the form of tips%
Straight to the Bar Daily
Love this stuff? Same here. If you're looking for a daily dose of strength-training goodness, grab the Straight to the Bar Daily. Absolutely free.

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