Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Technology and Fitness : Keeping up to date
Written By : Scott Bird
Filed In : Articles

On the laptopThis is the 5th and final article in this month’s series on Technology and Fitness; a collaboration with Run to Win‘s Blaine MooreKeeping up to date.
No matter where you train or how long you’ve been doing it; it’s always good to be aware of how other people approach things. This can benefit both your own training and theirs, helping you to adapt as necessary in order to stay competitive (whether you’re competing against yourself or others) and providing invaluable feedback on their methods.
How do you find out what other people are doing? I’m glad you asked.

Workout diaries

Whether online or offline, workout diaries are incredibly valuable things. The owner of the diary is able to track their progress over a long period of time; other readers are able to see which techniques proved to be the most beneficial.
Online workout diaries have the simple advantage of being able to share this valuable information with a large number of people. Whether you keep a record of your workouts on a forum or blog is up to you.
NB : if you’re not currently keeping a workout diary online and would like to set one up – the feedback alone can be invaluable – head over to a community such as Training Syndicate. There are some great people on there.


Regardless of your specific area of interest, chances are there are sites covering it in detail. Here are just a few of my personal favourites :

These sites are all updated frequently, and regular visitors are always rewarded. To make the visiting process even easier, take a look at the next section (RSS).


If you only have 5 sites on your favourites list, you can just open them all up each day and see what’s there. With 10 you can probably do the same. Once you have several hundred, however, things get a little cumbersome.
A simple way to do this – with many sites, at least – is to read them via RSS. This is like sitting in your own yard reading a newspaper, rather than standing in a shop looking at magazines for 30 minutes to see what’s happening in the world. The information comes to you.
To read this newspaper, all you’ll need is a tool such as Google’s Reader (free). There are many such tools, but this is my own weapon of choice.
Whenever you come across a site you like, keep an eye out for :

  • a link to the ‘feed‘ or ‘syndication
  • an icon like this
    RSS icon
  • the word RSS

clicking on any of these links will prompt you to add the site’s ‘feed‘ to Google Reader. Confirm this, and the site will be added to your reading list. Whenever you want to see what the sites are saying, just open Google Reader – the newest items will be at the top of the page. Beautiful.
Although I love books in their usual forms (my house often looks like a public library), I also enjoy their electronic counterparts. eBooks are often the quickest, simplest and cheapest way to obtain great training information.
As with many things related to fitness, eBay is always a good source; as are the following :


These are generally regular emails from the editors of many types of sites. Here are a few of the better ones to get you started :


News arrives from a number of sources, ranging from the regular television reports to the output of social media sites such as Digg. Regardless of where it originates, this can be extremely useful information. The names of new winners and events can lead to new training techniques and personal achievements.


Of course there are other information sources which help to fill in the gaps. These may be your friends telling you about relevant videos on YouTube, a neighbour talking about their favourite gym or an interesting find on eBay. Oh, and this site, of course.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter (there's also a daily version available). A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.


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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via Twitter, Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.