Welcome to Straight to the Bar

Scott Bird. Artwork by Vince Palko.
Yes, I love the deadlift.
If you’ve just joined us, welcome. Here you’ll find everything that grunts, groans and ticks in the world of strength training. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.


Incidentally, this site’s been helping people become fitter, healthier and stronger since January 2004. If you’ve just joined us, I highly recommend subscribing to the weekly Strength & Fitness Newsletter, which contains details of new posts on the site, freshly-minted video demonstrations & tutorials, details of upcoming Gymchats and a whole lot more.

And yes, it’s absolutely free.



Quick Tip : Fast or Slow Reps?

How fast should you move the weight?


One of the areas that Josh Hewett and John Paul Catanzaro covered in Gymchat 256 - Injury Prevention & Management was the general approach to choosing rep speed based on your goals. John Paul outlines the basic idea : Good stuff.
NB : We first looked at this one in the weekly Strength & Fitness Newsletter (part of the Strength Kit). If you'd like to have it sent to you automatically (free!) each week, just add your email here.


Gymchat 257 - Muscle Activation Techniques (Eric Seifert)

How does it all work?


How do you assess - and correct - muscular imbalances? Is there any value to isometric exercises, and how do you perform them? What about active vs passive stretching - should you be doing one or the other, and when? We'll be touching on all of these areas and a whole lot more in this week's discussion. Tackling this will be Core Strength's Eric Seifert, joined by Strength Athlete & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We'd love to hear your questions and comments. If there's a particular subject you'd like Eric and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Hangout and ask it directly. And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.

Band Assistance (for Pull-Ups, Dips & Push-Ups)

Beautiful things.


This past weekend I was showing someone here how to perform Band-Assisted Pull-Ups. If you'd like to give them a try yourself - and if pull-ups are currently just out of reach, they really do help - Ross Enamait demonstrates the procedure here. Nice one.

NB : We first looked at this one in the weekly Strength & Fitness Newsletter (part of the Strength Kit). If you'd like to have it sent to you automatically (free!) each week, just add your email here.


Looking At : Sep 14, 2014

What we were talking about this week on Google+, Twitter and the Daily 'Paper'



During the past week we've discussed a number of great links; on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and so on. Here are a few of my favourites.

Video for Gymchat 256 - Injury Prevention & Management (John Paul Catanzaro)

Have you ever been unable to train due to injury? How do you minimise the risk of it happening again?


Thanks again to everyone who watched and joined in the discussion Gymchat 256 - Injury Prevention & Management [with Exercise Physiologist John Paul Catanzaro and Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett] - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video.


Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning (Zach Even-Esh)


Fantastic. I've long been a fan of Zach's approach to training (for a bit of an overview, check out Gymchat 217), and suffice to say I'm looking forward to this one. Full review shortly, in the meantime a couple of lines from the main page :
"From the minute I began reading I was completely captivated. The mixture of life lessons along with powerful workout information is what makes this book truly phenomenal and one that belongs on any strength enthusiast's book shelf." -- AJ Roberts
Zach Even-Esh's 'Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning'.

Quick Tip : Fine-Tuning Your Lifestyle

Ready to change your life?


One of the areas that Josh Hewett and Adam Farrah covered in Gymchat 255 - Pillars of Paleo was the general approach to fine-tuning your lifestyle. Though the specifics will obviously vary from person to person, Adam outlines the basic idea : Good stuff.
NB : We first looked at this one in the weekly Strength & Fitness Newsletter (part of the Strength Kit). If you'd like to have it sent to you automatically (free!) each week, just add your email here.


Gymchat 256 - Injury Prevention & Management (John Paul Catanzaro)

Have you ever been unable to train due to injury? How do you minimise the risk of it happening again?


Have you ever been unable to train (or unable to do the things you'd like to do) due to injury? How do you minimise the risk of it happening again? And if you're fortunate enough to have avoided them completely, what sorts of things can you do to ensure it stays that way? This week we'll be joined by Exercise Physiologist John Paul Catanzaro, together with Strength Athlete & Personal Trainer Josh Hewett looking closely at these and a whole lot more. Fantastic.
NB : We'd love to hear your questions and comments. If there's a particular subject you'd like John and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Hangout and ask it directly. And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.

Details -

Who : Exercise Physiologist John Paul Catanzaro, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You Topic : Injury Prevention & Management When : Wednesday Sep 10, 8:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone). How : Watch the live stream, join the hangout (just add Top Form Fitness to one of your circles, and Josh'll send out the URL when the Hangout starts), or jump in the Q&A on the Event page itself. We'll also post the full video on the main site shortly after the Gymchat.

907x5 Deadlift with Reverse Bands



George Leeman doing a little band work. Good stuff.
NB : We first looked at this one in the weekly Strength & Fitness Newsletter (part of the Strength Kit). If you'd like to have it sent to you automatically (free!) each week, just add your email here.


Looking At : Sep 7, 2014

What we were talking about this week on Google+, Twitter and the Daily 'Paper'



During the past week we've discussed a number of great links; on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and so on. Here are a few of my favourites.



Like to contribute something? I love hearing about how other people are training; if you’d like to write an article, record a video or tell us about a site you’ve discovered, get in touch.


Want More?

As you can imagine, there’s an incredible amount of material on this site. Articles, video demonstrations & tutorials, the weekly Gymchats and a whole lot more. To keep up with everything going on in the World of Strength, sign up for the weekly Strength & Fitness Newsletter.

Absolutely free.