All Articles & Reviews by
Scott Andrew Bird

(10630 posts in total - only latest ones shown)

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 31) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing computer guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Stalkers may wish to track his every move via Twitter or Google+; everyone else is cordially invited to hop over to his online home. Enjoy.

NB : Like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or point us to an upcoming strongman or bodybuilding competition? Here's how.

New Straight to the Bar T-Shirt : 'Circus Strongman'

Feels great.

As long-term readers will attest, we've commissioned a number of T-Shirt designs over the years, and we've just added a new one - you can grab it here. Feels great. We're really keen to hear your thoughts (on the design, the packaging and the shirt itself); either leave a comment below or join us over on the Straight to the Bar Community on Google+. Cheers.
Note that :


Gymchat 245 - Feats of Strength (Grip Strength) (Jedd Johnson)

Fantastic.

Sitting firmly at the heart of many forms of training is Grip Strength. Whether you're a Performing Strongman, Competitive Athlete or anyone who enjoys spending a bit of time with the iron.
In this discussion we'll be investigating two key aspects of grip work - the various feats you'll occasionally see, and grip training in general. Tackling these is the insanely strong Jedd Johnson, 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 Jedd and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Q&A (during the discussion itself). 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Apr 20, 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.


Improving Your Pull-ups (Frank DiMeo)

Good stuff. I'm a huge fan the various forms of pull-ups, and the Gymchat last week was certainly an excellent exploration of the area. Nice one guys. Improving Your Pull-ups is one of the many superb resources mentioned in the discussion. This is the Kindle edition of Frank's own book on the subject, outlining a 12 week program that does exactly what the title suggests. And in no small way. Highly recommended.


Looking At : Week Ending Apr 13, 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 243 - How to Improve Your Pull Ups (Frank DiMeo)

Ready to get better? Great.

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 243 - How to Improve Your Pull Ups [with Strength Coach Frank DiMeo, joined by 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.



Gymchat 243 - How to Improve Your Pull Ups (Frank DiMeo)

Ready to get better? Great.

There are certainly many, many varieties of chin-ups and pull-ups. Fantastic exercises.
This week we're taking a detailed look at these amazing exercises, and discussing how to increase both their quality and quantity. Whether you can already knock them out by the dozen, or are gearing up for your first. Helping us tackle this one - as well as your questions (just post them on the Event page, or use the Q&A tool during the discussion itself) is Strength Coach Frank DiMeo, 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 Frank and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Q&A (during the discussion itself). 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Apr 6, 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 242 - The Role of Genetics in Aesthetics & Performance (Bill Piche)

The role of each, and to what extent each can be changed.

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 242 - The Role of Genetics in Aesthetics & Performance [with Powerlifter Bill Piche, joined by 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.


The Reversal of Sports : From 'Aspirational' to 'Pure'

There’s a change on the way.

I love sports, always have. Strength, team, motor and so on. Anything and everything. Still, there's a significant change on the way; a subtle shift in how some sporting events are viewed. Let me explain.


Gymchat 242 - The Role of Genetics in Aesthetics & Performance (Bill Piche)

When it comes to physical aesthetics and performance, how much is down to 'having good genes' and how much is simply a matter of working hard?
This week we're looking closely at the role of each, and to what extent each can change or be changed. Helping us tackle this one is Powerlifter Bill Piche, 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 Bill and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Q&A (during the discussion itself). 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 : Powerlifter Bill Piche, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett Topic : The Role of Genetics in Aesthetics & Performance When : Wednesday Apr 2, 8:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone). How : Watch the live stream, and ask questions, directly on the Event page. We'll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.


Looking At : Week Ending Mar 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.


Video for Gymchat 241 - Advanced Fat Loss : Losing the Last 10lb (Vic Magary)

The quest for fat loss perfection.

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 241 - Advanced Fat Loss : Losing the Last 10lb [with Online Fitness Coach Vic Magary, joined by 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.



Gymchat 241 - Advanced Fat Loss : Losing the Last 10lbs (Vic Magary)

The quest for fat loss perfection.

Fat loss. We outlined the basic idea in a recent Gymchat ( #231 ); what happens when progress slows down a little or stops altogether? How do you lose the last few pounds?
This week we'll be tackling this very question, detailing some of the advanced strategies that can really pay dividends in the quest for fat loss perfection. Taking things from 'very good' to 'exceptional'. Joining us is Online Fitness Coach Vic Magary, together with 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 Vic and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and leave a comment or jump in the Q&A (during the discussion itself). 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Mar 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.


Video for Gymchat 240 - Periodization (Karsten Jensen)

How and why? What's Periodization all about?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 240 - Periodization [with Strength Coach Karsten Jensen, joined by 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.



Gymchat 240 - Periodization (Karsten Jensen)

Periodization. It's quite possibly a term you've heard before, but what exactly is it? How did it start, and what's involved?
This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, answering all of the above and a whole lot more (we'll answer as many of your questions as we can - just jump in the Q&A, which'll appear during the discussion itself). Taking us through the entire process is Strength Coach Karsten Jensen, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic. NB : In addition to the questions, we'd love to hear your comments & suggestions. If there's a particular area you'd like Karsten and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat and drop us a line. 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 : Strength Coach Karsten Jensen, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett Topic : Periodization When : Wednesday Mar 19, 9:00pm EDT (the Event page shows what time that is in your local timezone). How : Watch the live stream, and ask questions, directly on the Event page. We'll also post the full video shortly after the Gymchat.
See you there.


Looking At : Week Ending Mar 16, 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 239 - How to Get HUGE! (Craig Bongelli)

Ready to pack on some serious muscle?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 239 - How to Get HUGE! [with Strongman and Strength Coach Craig Bongelli, joined by 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.


Gymchat 239 - How to Get HUGE! (Craig Bongelli)

Ready to pack on some serious muscle?

Whether it's for strength, competition or aesthetics, how do you go about packing on a serious amount of muscle mass? Is it just a matter of 'eating everything in sight' and training hard?
This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, explaining exactly how to tackle your hypertrophy goals. What's possible, how long it takes and a whole lot more. Taking us through the entire process is Strongman and Strength Coach Craig Bongelli, together with 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 Craig and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself) and jump in the Q&A. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Mar 9, 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.


Görner the Mighty

This is one of the books that Logan mentioned in the Gymchat last week - Görner the Mighty. Good stuff. Although I was lucky enough to read the original book many years ago, I'm extremely keen to dive in to this version - the 2012 reprint - as soon as possible. I suspect that things will look quite different now; after training for a number of years. Görner the Mighty.


Gymchat 238 - Fitness Business Strategies (Matt Palfrey)

How do you promote your gym? Attract new customers? Learn about what works, and what doesn't?

UPDATE (5 Mar 2014) :

Unfortunately a connectivity issue got in the way of this one, so we've rescheduled it for Monday (full details below). Apologies for that.

Scott


If you've been involved with the fitness industry for any length of time, chances are you've thought about setting up your own gym. Perhaps you've already got one. Either way - how do you promote it? Attract new customers? Learn about what works, and what doesn't?
This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, answering all of the above and a whole lot more. Joining us is Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Palfrey, together with 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 Matt and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself) and jump in the Q&A. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Mar 2, 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 237 - Old-Time Strongman Training (Logan Christopher)

Uncommon? Yes. Tremendous benefits? Yes.

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 237 - Old-Time Strongman Training [with 'Physical Culture Renaissance Man' Logan Christopher, joined by 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.



Intervention - Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer

Words of wisdom from Dan John. Fantastic. When chatting with someone this morning I realised that although I'd been fortunate enough to see the DVD version (thanks Laree!) of Dan John's Intervention seminars a couple of years ago, I'd never read the book. And believe me, it's well worth having.


Gymchat 237 - Old-Time Strongman Training (Logan Christopher)

Uncommon? Yes. Tremendous benefits? Yes.

Old-Time Strongman Training - Phonebook Tearing, Frying Pan Rolling, Kettlebell Juggling and a whole lot more. Love it. They're certainly uncommon areas: how do you train for them? What are the benefits of these approaches? What sorts of equipment is involved? This week we'll be discussing the entire field of Old-Time Strength in obsessive detail. Joining us is 'Physical Culture Renaissance Man' Logan Christopher, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
If you've got questions/comments for Logan or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Feb 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.


Video for Gymchat 236 - Programming for Strength vs Hypertrophy (Jason Paris)

One or the other, or a little of both?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 236 - Programming for Strength vs Hypertrophy [with Strength Coach Jason Paris, joined by 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.



Gymchat 236 - Programming for Strength vs Hypertrophy (Jason Paris)

One or the other, or a little of both?

How do you train to maximise strength, rather than size? You'll always achieve a certain amount of each; but how do you focus on one or the other? This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, explaining exactly how to prioritise either one - or train for a mix of the two. Tackling this is Strength Coach Jason Paris, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
If you've got questions/comments for Jason or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Feb 16, 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 235 - Supplementation for Focus & Stress Relief (Kurtis Frank)

Can you improve focus & reduce stress with nutritional supplements?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 235 - Supplementation for Focus & Stress Relief [with Examine.com's own Kurtis Frank, joined by 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.


How to Transform Your Physique

This looks great. How to Transform Your Physique is one of the many resources that Josh Hewett and Bill Piche mentioned in last week's Gymchat - Gymchat 234 : Fitness Industry Posers (Education vs Experience). Was a great discussion. We'll be posting a full review shortly, in the meantime here's a quick comment from Bill's own site to give you an idea of what this book is about :
What you'll find in this excellently composed e-book is a simplified, easy-to-understand road map guiding you in living up to what its title promises. That is, to "transform your physique". This really is an honest, no B.S. approach.
How to Transform Your Physique


Gymchat 235 - Supplementation for Focus & Stress Relief (Kurtis Frank)

Can you improve focus & reduce stress with nutritional supplements?

Is it possible to improve mental focus or reduce stress with nutritional supplements? There have been a number of claims surrounding these areas - particularly concerning both Rhodiola Rosea and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR). This week we'll be examining these two in detail; discussing exactly what works (and the research surrounding it) and what doesn't. Helping us uncover this fascinating topic is Examine.com's own Kurtis Frank, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
If you've got questions/comments for Kurtis or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Feb 9, 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 234 - Fitness Industry Posers (Bill Piche)

Looking for a great Personal Trainer?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 234 - Fitness Industry Posers [with Powerlifter Bill Piche, joined by 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.



Basic Anabolic Hypertrophy Training

Perfect. Josh Hewett's shared some fantastic information over the years - in the form of videos, articles and, well, just doing it. Good stuff. His latest offering, Basic Anabolic Hypertrophy Training, is certainly no exception. A detailed guide to putting a little more muscle on your frame; regardless of your starting point. If you're ready to put the work in, Josh is ready to help. Best of all - he's used this program with a number of clients, so you know it works. Basic Anabolic Hypertrophy Training.


Gymchat 234 - Fitness Industry Posers (Bill Piche)

Looking for a great Personal Trainer?

When you're looking for a Personal Trainer, what sorts of things do you consider, and expect to see? Is a little time 'under the bar' important, or are you more concerned with them knowing what they're talking about? This week we're tackling this area - discussing the value of education vs experience when it comes to training. How to evaluate what's on offer, and the types of things to consider when choosing someone to work with. Helping us tackle this one is Powerlifter Bill Piche, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic. If you've got questions/comments for Bill or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Feb 2, 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 233 - The Basics of Getting STRONG (Tyler Thor Jefferis)

Ready for some serious strength?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 233 - The Basics of Getting STRONG [with Powerlifter Tyler Wareham (Tyler Thor Jefferis) and Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) and 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.


Stretching Your Boundaries - Flexibility Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength

This looks fantastic. Making its way instantly to the top of my 'books to read' list is Stretching Your Boundaries - the latest offering from the inimitable Al Kavadlo. And as the name implies, Stretching Your Boundaries is Al's own thinking on the use of stretching with bodyweight training. Perfect. Full review shortly; in the meantime though, here's a quick comment from the Amazon page to give you an idea :
What is fantastic about this book is the first part - a complete manifesto about stretching and stretch safety. If you had any doubts about stretching, this part of the book is worth the money alone.
Stretching Your Boundaries. NB : the links above are for the Kindle edition; a paperback version is available over on the Dragon Door site.


Gymchat 233 - The Basics of Getting STRONG (Tyler Thor Jefferis)

Ready for some serious strength?

A deceptively simple question - how do you become seriously strong? Through competitions, equipment, training techniques - or a bit of each? This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, explaining exactly how to go from being 'about as strong as the people around me' to 'the strongest person I know'. Taking us through the entire process is Powerlifter Tyler Thor Jefferis together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic. If you've got questions/comments for Tyler or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. 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.


Looking At : Week Ending Jan 26, 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.


Defining Goals which are As Difficult as Possible

Scott Andrew Bird.
Yep, that's me.
We're currently scheduling a Gymchat Roundtable on the Measuring, Monitoring and Definition of Goals. We'll be talking about it in a strength-training context of course, but the same general approach applies to anything.
If you'd like to join everyone on the panel, just drop Josh a line. We'll take the first 10.


Video for Gymchat 232 - Self-Hypnosis [Controlled Relaxation] For Strength Gains (Jen Mulhall)

Is it possible, and what are the potential benefits?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 232 - Self-Hypnosis [Controlled Relaxation] For Strength Gains [with Personal Trainers (and Strength Athletes) Jen Mulhall and 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.



Bones of Iron - Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete

Looks great. I missed this one originally, and had actually forgotten all about it - until someone mentioned it today. Matt's fantastic gathering of articles on Olympic Weightlifting - Bones of Iron - Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete. Full review shortly; in the meantime, here's a quick comment from the Amazon page to give you an idea :
Matt Foreman is one of the truly "good guys" in Olympic Weightlifting, and his book reads just like he's sitting next to you on the platform sharing the tips that make the difference between a PR and abject failure (which he understands only too well is a thin, thin line...). Foreman's approach is pragmatic, easy to understand and conversational, making it enjoyable to read and applicable to your own training. His wit is only matched by his vast knowledge and experience and both come out in spades in this book.
Bones of Iron - Collected Articles on the Life of the Strength Athlete.


Gymchat 232 - Self-Hypnosis For Strength Gains (Jen Mulhall)

Is it possible, and what are the potential benefits?

Self-Hypnosis. Is it possible, and what are the potential benefits as far as strength gains are concerned? This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, examining the thinking behind it, and the way to make use of it in your own training. Taking us through the entire process are Personal Trainers (and Strength Athletes) Jen Mulhall and Josh Hewett. If you've got questions/comments for Jen or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself). Details below.


Looking At : Week Ending Jan 19, 2014

What we were talking about this week : on Google+, Twitter, and the '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.


Simon Carter (Onsight Photography)

Incredible images.

Say hello to Simon Carter, a professional outdoors photographer with some incredible images of rock climbing. If you've ever given climbing a go, you'll understand just how powerful these are. Fantastic.


Video for Gymchat 231 - Fat Loss 101 (Vic Magary)

Looking to get rid of some excess baggage?

Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 231 - Fat Loss 101 [with Online Fitness Coach Vic Magary and Personal Trainer 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.




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