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.



How To Squat


Over to the incredible Alan Thrall.

Looking At : Aug 17, 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 253 - Improving Recovery & Performance (Sincere Hogan)

Maximize your time with the iron.


Thanks again to everyone who watched and joined in the discussion Gymchat 253 - Improving Recovery & Performance [with New Warrior Training Systems' Sincere Hogan 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.



Jim Stoppani's Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength (2nd Edition)


Looks good. Although it's not out for a while yet (Oct 12), I'm keen to check out the 2nd Edition of Jim Stoppani's Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength. I'll certainly be posting a review shortly after it becomes available; in the meantime, a couple of brief comments from the first edition of the book :
Readers will appreciate the combination of plain facts and expert advice. Anyone looking to build muscle mass will appreciate this thorough, no-nonsense guide to proper strength-training technique.
The book is very well written, and provides a complete, precise set of tables throughout the chapters that allow the novice or advanced bodybuilder or strength athlete to start using proven exercises/techniques to improve their appearance and/or performance. The "Rating" matrices of Time/Length/Difficulty/Results alone were, for me, worth the price of the book.
Jim Stoppani's Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength. Good stuff.

Gymchat 253 - Improving Recovery & Performance (Sincere Hogan)

Maximize your time with the iron.


No matter what your training goals are, chances are that at some point you've thought about recovery. What to do - and when - in order to spend as much quality time as possible around the iron. This week we'll be exploring those various recovery options. The things to do before/during/after training, and between the workouts themselves. Adjusting sleep, oxygen intake, temperature and so on. Helping us get a handle on everything 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 : Improving Recovery & Performance When : Wednesday Aug 13, 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.

Shoulder Training Tips? Intensity!


Over to the incredible George Leeman.

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 : Aug 10, 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.

How They Got Started : Braiden Stevenson

It's always fascinating to hear how someone began their training. Over to Braiden.


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


Gymchat 253 - TBA

Full details shortly.


Mystery Guest
Mystery Guest.
As Josh is currently on-the-road (his Instagram feed will give you an idea of what he's getting up to), we're rescheduling the next couple of discussions. New details 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.

Punch Drumming - Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' (aka 'The Can Can')

What exactly is 'Punch Drumming'? Watch.


Over to the incredible Alan Khan.
Incidentally, there are an incredible number of speedbag techniques employed here. To learn more about them, swing by his other videos on Straight to the Bar; and head over to the Speedbag Forums. Fantastic place.
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.




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.