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.



Checking Out : Rings of Power (Mike Gillette)

An ideal starting point.


This looks superb. Mike Gillette's 'Rings of Power' explains the various ways to use - progressively - this incredible tool. With clear emphases on both strength and rehabilitation, it's an ideal starting point for many. Particularly the 'over 40' (of which I'm a proud member) crowd. For a glimpse into the world of 'Rings of Power', a brief quote from the review page :
If you care about getting strong, staying strong, and remaining injury free, Rings of Power is essential reading. I incorporated rings into my own training program a couple of years ago and am glad I did. At 45 years old, I am able to continue my strength pursuits unhindered by the joint and tendon injuries that plague many in the over-40 athletic community. - Dr Chris Hardy
Mike Gillette's 'Rings of Power'. Perfect.
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. And if you're looking for other training-related books I recommend, check out the complete lists on Goodreads.


How to Set Up Bands and Chains

The basic technique.



Although he's demonstrating their use with the bench press, the same basic idea applies to any lift at all.
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 : Jul 26, 2015

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.

Checking Out : STRONGER! Bodyweight Workout Series 2


Remember the bodyweight training videos Lachlan Walker & Tyson Edwards put together a couple of years ago? Their latest offering - STRONGER! Bodyweight Workout Series 2 - will soon be hitting the virtual shelves, and they've got a Kickstarter campaign to help explain what it's all about : Sounds great. STRONGER! Bodyweight Workout Series 2.

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.


Weighted Jumping Squats



Interesting combination.

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 : Jul 19, 2015

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.

Checking Out : Swede Burns' '5th Set for Powerlifting'


This looks great - Cory Swede Burns' '5th Set for Powerlifting'. A customised training course designed for anyone who likes to lift heavy. For a peek into Cory's mindset, and the general thinking behind '5th Set' :
Cory Swede Burns' '5th Set for Powerlifting'.

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.


Improving Ankle Mobility

Good stuff.



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.


How They Got Started : Benjamin Andrews

How the enigmatic Benjamin Andrews began.


The enigmatic Benjamin Andrews
The enigmatic Benjamin Andrews.
I love hearing everyones' fitness backgrounds, it's always fascinating to hear how someone got started. Here's how Benjamin Andrews began his own training journey. Scott

I was that kid who was really fat in high school, and started hitting the gym hard after graduation. Since then, I've finished my first BA and somewhere along the way I've lost 30lb, and turned most of my mass from fat to muscle. I've been doing dedicated weight training in the gym for about a year and a half now, having just recently recovered from a bad case of Crossfit blues. Currently I'm training to compete in my first Strongman contest next summer, and I'm pushing myself hard to reach my goals before I do so.

My training approaches are almost entirely self-taught. Youtube and the internet community are both great places to learn techniques and get tips from the pros. I've been tinkering with my own routine for about 9 months, and I've settled into a rotation that fits my needs and my body's abilities. I train a mixture of powerlifting and bodybuilding, mainly anything I can lift in the gym, and I devote one day out of my Eight Day cycle to training for strongman events, either using equipment my tiny gym has, or any lifts I can simulate using gym equipment. I'm working on some implement of my own at home, and hope to have my first lifting log carved soon.

Beyond that, I try to listen to my body when training. If I finish my squat sets on leg day, and my arms feel like they need to be hit, I'll do a few exercises for the arms and call it a day. If I'm not feeling my training, I'll probably call it a day, or change up my routine to something more suited to my energy levels. I think listening to your body, and learning what it needs, and when it needs a push, and when it doesn't, is the most important part of training.

Cheers Ben, appreciated.

Looking At : Jul 12, 2015

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've got a strength-related competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar. And if you'd love to be on one of the weekly Gymchats - get in touch. Look forward to hearing from you.


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