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 Stubborn Fat Solution 1.1


Looks good. As you can no doubt tell from the title, this is the updated version of Lyle McDonald's Stubborn Fat Solution. Full review shortly (I'm about to dive in to it myself), but first a few words from Lyle on the reason for the update :

In the original Stubborn Fat Solution, I briefly discussed a hormone called Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP). As I talked about, ANP represents an entirely new fat burning (lipolytic) pathway that works outside of the normal insulin/catecholamine mechanisms.

But at the time, I saw and knew of no meaningful way of manipulating or impacting the pathway and left it at that. A little while later I would find a solution and this booklet was actually started years ago; then I put it away.

Recently, in researching something else, I found that ANP appeared to be even more powerful than I had previously thought. Because in addition to stimulating fat mobilization, ANP (and the other natriuretic peptides) can also increase levels and activity of beige fat (a brown-fat like type of fat that humans actually have) along with helping to control appetite.

Lyle McDonald's Stubborn Fat Solution 1.1. 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.


Crushing Potatoes with Your Hands


The best way to mash potatoes. Nice one Chris.

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 277 - Craig Bongelli

(Strongman and Strength Coach)


Really looking forward to this one - Craig's certainly a fascinating guy. As we're still finalising the details, I'll post an update 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 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.

Details -

Who : Strongman and Strength Coach Craig Bongelli, Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett, and You Topic : Chat with Craig Bongelli When : Monday Mar 9, 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 : Mar 1, 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.

Royal Marines Fitness Manual

Time to get a whole lot fitter.


Looks good. Next up on the 'books to check out' list is the Royal Marines Fitness Manual, by former Marine Sean Lerwill. Quite simply it covers the fitness training the recruits are put through; which doubles as a training regime for anyone looking to achieve that 'whole lot fitter' status. Whether that means being able to run a marathon, lift heavy objects, or push through your own mental brick walls. Sean Lerwill's Royal Marines Fitness Manual. 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 to Wrap Your Knees (Matt Vincent and Mark Bell)

Good stuff guys.




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 : Feb 22, 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.

Globe and Blob Lifting


A quick dose of grip 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.


Revisiting : The Encyclopedia of Clubbell Training

Remember these?


Remember these? Over the weekend I was chatting to a friend of mine about club training, and the excellent Encyclopedia of Clubbell Training came up. We first looked at it a while ago now (and we'll be posting a few additional thoughts shortly); this is just a quick note to mention that it's currently on sale on the RMAX site. For a whopping 50% discount, just use the Coupon Code CBKB50 at Checkout. Good stuff.

Gymchat 276 - NLP Skills for Fitness Professionals (Jen Mulhall)

There are some valuable skills in there.


Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Certainly an interesting - if somewhat controversial - form of psychotherapy. Perhaps more widely known in communications and personal development contexts. This week we'll be looking closely at these last two areas, identifying the specific skills which are most valuable in a strength-training environment. Particularly for those on the Fitness Professional side of the fence. Tackling this one are are Personal Trainers (and Strength Athletes) Jen Mulhall and Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : No matter where you stand on a subject like this, we'd love to hear your thoughts. If there's a particular subject you'd like Jen and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Hangout and ask them 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.



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.


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.