Results matching “Bird”

One of the most important yet overlooked aspects of training and building athletes is the recovery phase. Many times, coaches/trainers will put all the time in the world to make a program for their athletes but fail to put recovery into the program. They seem to forget that it takes time and the proper nutrients to make any gains in their progress.

Your recovery plan should include the right nutrients in your diet and the right amount of fluids. As for the nutrients, you want to make sure you eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish a week. This ensures you get the Omega-3 into your body to help circulate the blood and take away many other benefits that this vitamin offers. If you don't like fish, you can always eat some walnuts throughout the week. Next is Vitamin A. You need this vitamin to promote proper immune function and cellular growth and development. Also needed is Vitamin C to help with strength and flexibility of your tendons and ligaments. Lastly you must drink lots of water. You should consume about a gallon of water a day to help your muscles recover and to hydrate your body from the abuse you put it through day to day. These are just a few nutrients you need to promote recovery of your muscles and immune system. There are many more to consider which could be an entire article in itself. These are the basics you need!

Now some people like to think you can not train on your day off. This is sometimes true since different body types can handle different loads. But in general, you can still train on your day "off". Things I like to do with my athletes are some high rep work with light weights or even some body weight work. How many reps? I go anywhere from 20 to 50 reps. Yes 50 reps sometimes make its way in there. Then I also like to do some conditioning work on these days since a lot of the time is focused in the gym. This can be anything from battling ropes for time to sled dragging.

Sled dragging is a fun and innovative way to get your athlete to keep training even when he thinks his body can't take any more. You can pull a sled with a rope around your hips for distance/time or you can do push/pulls were you grab the rope as if your in the bottom of the bench press position but standing and push the rope out in front of you pulling the sled closer to you. Then you take a step forward and do it all over again. Using a sled will build some serious total body strength. You can do all gym exercises with a sled! There are more exercises and explanations of this type of training in The Ultimate Sled Dragging Manual which you can find on my blog. This manual is written by Smitty & Jedd of the Diesel Crew. It really shows you how to use sled dragging to promote recovery work or a workout that you can add into your program.

There are other methods to aid in recovery as well such as foam rolling and contrast baths to rid the waste products that have moved into the area during training. To foam roll your quadriceps for example simply lay the foam on the ground and lay on top of the foam with one leg on the foam and the other off to the side. Then pull yourself forwards and backwards with your upper body. You can hit your quad at different angles to. You can also apply this to all muscles in your body. Throw in a tennis ball for those hard to reach muscles and do the same thing. If you have the equipment to take contrast baths for your whole body, great! Fill one up with hot water (as hot as you can handle) and fill the other up with cold water (shoot for 55 degrees). Sit in one tub for about one minute and thirty seconds then swap to the cold tub. While in the tub slowly contract your muscles as you would in a lifting movement. You do not have to "flex" just do the movement. Do this for about 15 min total time. You will notice a big difference in the amount of time it takes for your body to recover.

Monday, 5 Jan 2009 - Issues

Video - Twins Press

Here's one way to get your kids involved in lifting. Good stuff.

Neutral Grounds

Neutral Grounds trains people in the various arts of boxing, self defense, grappling, kickboxing, MMA and generally getting in the best shape of your life - all in the one location (hence the name). Sounds like my kind of place.

Got a site, event or product you'd like to recommend? Drop us a line.

You Want That Greek-like Physique Huh?

OK, so what I am about to reveal is not an actual secret, however many do not understand the muscle building process. Hence, to them it is still a secret. Building muscle is a relatively simple process. However, it is not a quick and easy one. There are a few important factors to keep in mind when ones focus is to pack on some serious muscle mass. In my experience many trainees fail at something that is fairly simple because they get lost in all of the details. Of course this is not rocket science, but individuals tend to treat the muscle building process as if it were so. I will break the process down into a few key concepts, that if one were to follow only these ideals and never learn anything else about muscle building, they could create a very respectable physique. Keep these tips in mind, maintain a decent level of sanity and your muscle building quest will be shortened greatly.

Proper Training is Crucial

Most fail in the training department. In fact, many are still lost after years of being in the gym. The typical trainee has been working hard for years without any appreciable size or strength gains, however they continue to do the same stuff over and over with less than stellar results. Focus on the following:
  • Frequency Matters - Most trainees will make the best gains from hitting each body part 2-3 times per week. The typical 1 body part per week splits are not optimal for the majority of the population.
  • Build Strength - Focusing on progressive overload in the 5-8 rep range is generally a good idea. This is a great way to track progress and as strength goes up you will be building muscle. Remember to keep a log book.
  • Compound Movements - Compound exercises are not the be-all, end-all solution. However, these movements are efficient and great when focusing on progressive overload. Deadlifts, squats, leg presses, over head presses, rows (many variations), and the various chest presses are all great exercises when you are building mass. They also keep you from wasting time on unnecessary isolation movements.
  • Hypertrophy Rep Totals - A total of about 80-100 reps per large body parts and about 40-50 per smaller body parts per week will be enough stimulus to spur muscle growth. One should divide the total reps by 2 to 3 depending on the weekly workout frequency.

Eat A Lot

Many people fail here as well. You have to eat if you want to grow. Muscle will not magically appear out of thin air; I don't care what that asinine muscle building Ebook tells you! Building muscle requires energy. We ingest energy in the form of calories. You must consume an excess of energy to fuel growth. A few main points:
  • Create a Surplus - This can be accomplished by eating 400-500 calories over your daily maintenance calorie range. Gaining 1 pound a week is a decent rate to shoot for. If you start gaining much more than that, you are probably adding unnecessary amounts of fat.
  • Protein - Eat at least 1x bodyweight in grams of protein. This will be enough to produce muscle gains. Excess protein is not needed when in a caloric surplus, so save your money and enjoy the other more interesting food groups.
  • Carbs + Fats - Fill in the rest of your caloric amount with these macros. Consume a minimum of 20% fat in your diet and fill in the rest with carbohydrates. As far as I am concerned, you can manipulate these macros to your own liking. I personally like my diet to be carb based, but it's really up to the individual. If you are insulin resistant, it may be smart to strategically place starchy carbs around training only (at least 100+ grams).
  • Meal Frequency - This is not an important issue as I described in my Meal Frequency Article. Just make sure to get the proper pre and post workout nutrition for recovery purposes. Frankly, I am not too concerned with however you choose to spread your food out during the day as long as you create a surplus of calories.
Scott Bird. Artwork by Vince Palko.
Yes, I love the deadlift.
In a few weeks' time, Straight to the Bar will be celebrating its fifth birthday. It's a fantastic feeling.

I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who's been reading, writing and generally sharing the strength-training passion over that time. I really couldn't have done it without you.

To celebrate, I'll be giving a few things away; ranging from grip toys to serious training ebooks (including Joe Hashey's upcoming Bull Strength manual). The full prize list will be announced shortly on Twitter (

Entry is simple.

To assist the many people who are just beginning their strength-training journey, why not share your passion for the iron. The easiest way to do this is by writing an article on your favourite training technique or a method that's been working well.

To enter the competition, simply head over to the submissions page and send in an article or two. The best of these will be published on Straight to the Bar over the coming weeks.

Choosing the winners.

The prizewinners will be chosen from the writers of the most popular pieces (a mix of their votes on Digg, number of readers and the ones you like). I'll post a full list as the articles appear.


The exact timing of the competition will appear in next week's newsletter; or you can simply search for this site's oldest post. It will end exactly 5 years from that date.

Final thought.

Thank you, sincerely. I really do appreciate all of the contributions everyone's made over the years. Thank you.

20-lb Shot Put
Much of what I have written about on Straight to the Bar about Grip training has had to do with static grip strength, especially my article series on training to lift the Inch Replica Dumbbell, and some of my pinching articles. While static grip strength training is effective, it is sometimes fun to employ some dynamic grip strength training as well.
One way that we recently trained for dynamic grip strength is by tossing a 20-lb shot. We have a few different shots. Some are smaller and lighter; we use them in pairs, rotating them for hand health purposes. However, on this day we tossed the shot around in various manners to work the forearms, hands, fingers and thumbs dynamically.

The 20-lb shot is the perfect size because it is not too large for an individual with small hands and not too small for an individual with large hands. It is a comfortable size for just about anybody.

There are several ways you can toss the shot in order to train the hands and forearms from a variety of angles. Here are a few to try.

Fingertip Tossing for Height

Fingertip Toss
With this technique, the shot is tossed straight up in the air and caught in the same hand. What I tried to concentrate on was generating as much power as possible with my finger tips. You could almost hear the shot flick off the ends of my fingers. There are not many grip strength exercises that work the ends of the fingers dynamically like this.

Fingertip Tossing for Spin

Brad was also able to produce quite a bit of power through his fingertips when he was flipping the shot as well. The difference was that he concentrated on making the shot spin very fast with each toss.

Switching Hands
Brad also began tossing the shot from one hand to another with this tight spin technique he was using. Changing hands in this manner also had another interesting benefit, stimulating the core, shoulders, and arms. I think this type of shot toss would be excellent for an upper body and core warm-up drill.

Palm Tossing for Forearm and Bicep Emphasis

Palm Tossing
Smitty also came up with several variations. First, he showed the palm toss. By keeping the shot centered in his hand, he shifted the emphasis of the movement back toward the forearm and bicep. In the image, you can see that Smitty was releasing the shot slightly above shoulder height. Shoulder flexion is important to this movement and again shows the multiple benefits of shot tossing.

The Sled - SttB Articles

DIY Sled
Tear it up.
This is a guest post from The Pound's Brendan Dart [translated by Fight Geek] - The Sled. Enjoy.
The other day I had a training epiphany! I had just finished a particularly vigorous gardening session with my girlfriend. Well, we started out gardening--it's funny how weeding almost always leads on to ploughing! High five--Sexy time! Anyway, back to the story . . . So I was spreadeagled across the back lawn with my girlfriend hovering over me with a big stick (we were playing 'squeal little pig') when I happened to notice our wheelbarrow parked alongside the back fence . . .
Just a wheelbarrow?

Then it hit me--no, not the wheelbarrow OR the stick my girlfriend was holding--my epiphany. I jumped up, took the stick off my girlfriend and spanked myself on the buttocks and yelled . . .

That's no wheelbarrow, baby--that's a sled!

Initially my girlfriend thought our kinky love-making had sent me mad--mad I say! She point-blank refused to let me ravage the wheelbarrow. It took another two hours of relentless gardening to convince her to let me have my way with the wheelbarrow.

The next day I sprung into action. Whilst the wheelbarrow had most of the parts necessary to make my hella-sled, I still needed something for it to slide on. Then I remembered my mate, Allan--he was a sandboarder (sort of like a snow-boarder--only gay). Anyway, after a little 'gentle' persuading he agreed to give me his old sandboard--for free :)


Trainers, coaches and athletes have asked how they can use their kettlebells to increase their Grip strength. The truth is, kettlebells can be used with the express purpose of building Grip strength. We showed many ways to make this work in our Advanced Kettlebell Techniques eBook series. With this article I will show how easy it is to turn just about any kettlebell you have into a piece of Grip enhancing weaponry.

Before we get into this exercise, I first want to explain that it is important to remember that Grip strength is not just about picking things up and holding them there. Grip's more than lifting the Blob or the Inch Dumbbell. There's more to it than closing heavy grippers. Grip strength is even much more than just bending nails.

Grip strength involves all of the musculature from the elbow down. This includes all of the muscles in the forearm, everything that crosses the wrist, everything that controls the thumb, everything that rotates the forearm and all of the muscles that open and close the hand.

When it comes to developing well rounded Grip strength, you must train all of the functions of the hands and the forearms in the right balance. This means including enough extensor work to balance all of the crushing, pinching and supporting you do. It means including work of the elbow flexors with the hand pronated in order to prevent the development of epicondylitis, tendon inflammation, and other forms of overuse injury. And it means you must train your wrists in a variety of angles.

When thinking of wrist training, attacking from many different angles is important. Remember, a great deal of muscles that pinch, crush, and support cross the wrist. As a result, continuity of the wrist musculature and bones is necessary in order to properly transfer strength across that joint.

Another great week here on Straight to the Bar. The highlights :
I stumbled upon sled training via an unusual route (bear with me here) . . .

So I was watching a clip from Conan the Barbarian--you know, the montage scene where wimpy-boy Conan developed into buffed-man Conan by pushing a big-arse grinding-wheel around in circles for a few years (that's such a bad-ass scene!).

Anyways, I thought to myself, that'd be a pretty cool way to improve strength in my stand-up grappling (I'm into muay thai). I'd been thinking for a while that the best way to really develop the type of 'push' strength used in stand-up grappling was to do strength exercises, um, well--standing up.

After much searching, I eventually gave up on finding the same kind of training device Conan used--Bummer! But that was when I stumbled upon some sled training online (via Straight to the Bar, actually). And not only could I train the 'pushing' used in the standup grapple, but I could also work on the pulling and rotational strength I needed too--which was WAY better than what I could've achieved with the Conan set-up alone! And thus my love affair with sled dragging began.

Initially me and the dudes I train with started our 'sled' dragging with a tractor tyre and a thick rope and worked up from there. Now we're about to DIY our finest sled yet (courtesy of a snowboard cut in half and the tray of a wheelbarrow)--but that's a story best left for another day.

UPDATE : Jedd's just released the superb 'Lift the Blob', a package focused on helping you tackle this challenging beast. If you love a little blob-work yourself - or are just curious about what/who/how - take a look at 'Lift the Blob'. Highly recommended.

I have competed in many Grip Strength competitions over the years. I have trained and competed with some of the best in the sport of Grip and I think I have collected a wide range of knowledge on the subject. I was recently asked in an interview if I though Grip Strength Training was important for athletes outside of the sport of Grip. Without a doubt, I think it is very important to dedicate time in the athlete's training routine to developing solid hand strength, but I also think that some ways are better than others. In my opinion, one of the best types of Grip training for general athletes is Pinch Grip Training.

There are many ways to train the Pinch Grip. In this article, we will look at a few of those ways. You will see videos of Pinch Grip feats and training styles and then I will discuss possible carryover to the sport of grip and other sports with each technique.

First, is a clip from the 2007 grip contest at Total Performance Sports, the Grip Assault. In this clip, I am messing around with a 56-lb Scottish Highland Games Throwing Weight.

As you can see, this is a feat that is suited best for a person with large hands. A smaller handed individual may not be able to spread their fingers far enough to get the fingertips over the edge of the weight.

If you have smaller hands, there is no reason why you still can't train in this style, though. Just find weights that are smaller in size. Block weight training is great because it forces you to lift things with an open hand. Open hand strength training makes the full length of the musculature and tendonous masses work in order to lift the weight. With open hand training, you really feel it throughout your entire hand the next day.

When I do wide pinching, like in the video above, I feel the fatigue from the fingertips to the base of the fingers, through the palm and into the wrist. The majority of my grip workouts involve thick block weight training, yet I still see continued increases in my other lifts. To me, that means there is better carry over in wider lifts than narrower lifts, especially if your training goal is excellent performance in Grip Contests, like me.

Even if Grip Competitions are not your interest, I still suggest that open hand training be a main focus in your grip protocol. If it carries over well to other grip lifts, it will carry over to other gym lifts and other sports as well.

Next, in this video, I'm pinching two 45-lb plates & lift a Half 115-lb Hex Block Weight.

I would consider the Two 45's Pinch feat to be a mid-range pinch feat for me, personally. The two 45-lb plates fit securely in my hand, just about the size of my palm.

The Half 115 Pinch is getting out of the mid-range and moving toward the wide pinch range, although not nearly as wide as the 56-lb weight pinch. Again, the half 115 is going to be much more difficult for a person with smaller hands. It is a rather narrow half 115 compared to some of the other ones I own, but for someone with sub-8-inch hands, it will seem huge.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460  


Powered by Movable Type 5.2.7