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.



The Future of Fitness : Health & Fitness Predictions for 2015

Time once again to peek into the near-term future.


We've looked at the possible future of both health & fitness many times over the years - Workout Clothing, Virtual Training Partners, various medical discoveries and of course the Gymchats. Particularly #224.
It's time once again to peek into the near-term future. Here are just a few of the health & fitness-related things I think we're likely to see over the next year or so. Over to you. Do you agree or disagree with the various things listed; the items themselves or the timeframe? And is there anything you'd add to the list - anything you think we'll probably see in 2015? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Of course, there's a whole lot more - on these, and other aspects of health & fitness. Head over to the 'Futurism' category and jump in the conversation.

Looking At : Dec 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.

Gymchat 268 - Bulking on a Budget (Adam Klymkiw)

Get big without breaking the bank.


How do you pack on a bit of mass without spending a lot of money? Is it realistic to do so, and to what extent? This week we'll be examining this area in detail; looking at what to get, when, why and how much it's all going to cost. Tackling it is Personal Trainer Adam Klymkiw, joined by Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We'd love to hear your questions and comments. If there's a particular subject you'd like Adam 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 : Personal Trainer Adam Klymkiw, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You Topic : Bulking on a Budget When : Monday Dec 15, 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 shortly after the Gymchat.

Periodization Training for Sports (3rd Edition)


This looks great. Although it's not out until early in the new year (Jan 15), the third edition of Tudor Bompa/Carlo Buzzichelli's Periodization Training for Sports promises to be a fantastic read. From the Amazon page :
In this new edition of Periodization Training for Sports, Bompa teams with strength and conditioning expert Carlo Buzzichelli to demonstrate how to use periodized workouts to peak at optimal times by manipulating strength training variables through six training phases (anatomical adaptation, hypertrophy, maximum strength, conversion to specific strength, maintenance, and tapering) and integrating them with energy system training and nutrition strategies. Coaches and athletes in 35 sports have at their fingertips a proven program that is sure to produce the best results. No more guessing about preseason conditioning, in-season workloads, or rest and recovery periods; now it's simply a matter of identifying and implementing the information in this book.
Tudor Bompa/Carlo Buzzichelli's Periodization Training for Sports.

Looking At : Dec 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.

Gymchat 267 - Carving out a Niche in the Strength Equipment Business (Eric Chessen)

Got an idea for a piece of equipment? What's next?


Whether you're on the 'fitness enthusiast' or 'fitness professional' side of the fence (or perhaps a little of both), chances are you've had an idea at some point for a new piece of equipment. Or perhaps a change to an existing one. This week we'll be discussing the various ways to go from 'wouldn't it be good if...' to having your own line of fitness equipment. Where do you start? How do you get the word out? Who do you ask for help? Helping us tackle this one is Exercise Physiologist Eric Chessen, joined by Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete 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.

Details -

Who : Exercise Physiologist Eric Chessen, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You Topic : Carving out a Niche in the Strength Equipment Business When : Monday Dec 8, 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 shortly after the Gymchat.

Looking At : Nov 30, 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.

Gymchat 266 - Art of Reciprocity: Give More to Get More from Clients, Colleagues, & Yourself (Sincere Hogan)

Give more, get more.


I first read about this concept in the writings of Robert Cialdini (highly recommended), and I have to say that it works extremely well. This week we'll be discussing what it is, and the many ways to use it in a fitness context. Whether you're on the Regular Gymgoer or Fitness Professional side of the fence. Helping us tackle this one is New Warrior Training Systems' Sincere Hogan, joined by Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We'd love to hear your questions and comments. If there's a particular subject you'd like Sincere 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 : New Warrior Training Systems' Sincere Hogan, Personal Trainer and Strength Athlete Josh Hewett, and You Topic : Art of Reciprocity: Give More to Get More from Clients, Colleagues, & Yourself When : Monday Dec 1, 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 shortly after the Gymchat.

Personalised Settings in the Gym

Just the way you like it.


Imagine this scenario :
You swipe your card on the way into the gym, and various things are configured to the way you like them. The music's the type you like, and only for you (basic music players & headphones are freely available at the main desk). The air temperature in the area is roughly what you like. As is the water temperature & pressure when you're having a shower after your workout.

All of these things - and a whole lot more - are automatically set according to your preferences, and can easily be overridden if you're seeking something different that day. Same workout, with a much more personalised feeling.
What do you think - is this something you'd like; and in the gym only, or in other areas - around your own home perhaps?

Looking At : Nov 23, 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.

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