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 : TACFIT Medicine Ball PDS System

Looks great.


Looks great. The TACFIT Medicine Ball PDS (Proximal-Distal Sequencing) System is a comprehensive approach to medicine ball work; focusing on reducing injuries. It does this via a number of books & tutorial videos, which illustrate planned workouts as well as defining the underlying philosophy. Full review shortly. The TACFIT Medicine Ball PDS System.

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.


OBB Power Handles

Very interesting idea.


I was talking to someone about these this morning - very interesting idea. Brian Schwab's approach to the 'tight shoulders' problem.
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 30, 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.

Looking Forward To : Garage Gym Bible (William Smith)

Looks great.


Looks great. Although it doesn't arrive for a while yet (Oct 27), the title makes it pretty clear what it's all about - setting up a 'Garage Gym'. Still, it's a book we'll be checking out in a couple of months' time. In the meantime, you're more than welcome to pre-order it directly from the Amazon page : William Smith's Garage Gym Bible : The Expert Guide to Creating The Ideal Home Gym.

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.


Dumbbell Tricep Extensions against Mini Bands

Very interesting combination.



Very 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 : Aug 23, 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.

Re-Reading : Jim Stoppani's Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength (2nd Edition)

Great book.


Great book. We first looked at this one a while ago, and a conversation on the weekend had me pulling it from the shelves once again. The 2nd Edition of Jim Stoppani's Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength. The title gives you a general idea, and a couple of brief comments will help fill in the gaps :
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.

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.


Invention Factory - How Will Mind Overcome Matter?

Very interesting series.



Very interesting series.
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 16, 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 : Muscle - Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder (Samuel Wilson Fussell)

Looks like an interesting read.


Looks like an interesting read. Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder is Samuel Wilson Fussell's experience of 1980s bodybuilding. Although my own copy was a chance find in a charity shop here, Amazon has a 2015 paperback version.
And as the Amazon page notes :
Alternately funny and fascinating, Muscle is the true story of one man's obsession with the pursuit of perfection. With insight, wit, and refreshing candor, Fussell ushers readers into the wild world of juicers and gym rats who sacrifice their lives, minds, bodies, and souls to their dreams of glory in Southern California's so-called iron mecca.
Keen to dive into it.

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.




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.