It's Here -- Legacy of Iron 5!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Let’s start the day – and the week – off on the right foot for Legacy of Iron fans.

Volume 5 in the Legacy of Iron series is printed and ready to go.

I have boxes and boxes of the little monster all over the living room and the sun-room, a/k/a The Dinosaur Shipping Dept.

So head on over and grab your copy right now – and remember, if you want an autographed copy, be sure to ask for this in the “Special Instructions” section of the order form.

And please note – if you have NOT been reading the Legacy of Iron series, you’re going to want to start with Volume 1 and move forward from there. You can grab all five volumes at a special reduced price (and save on shipping as well). See the bottom of the information page for further info about the five volume special package.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here it is – Legacy of Iron 5: Barbells in the Pacific:

10 Keys to Strength Training Success!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Here are ten keys to strength training success. See how many of them you apply in your own training!

1. When you start a new program, break into it easily. You don’t need to go full steam from day one. Build up gradually.

1a. The same applies if you add a new exercise to your program.

2. Be consistent. Never miss a workout. Every time you miss a workout you take two steps backward.

3. Emphasize heavy leg and back training. Leg and back training is the key to strength, power and muscle.

4. When I say to “train heavy,” I obviously mean to train heavy for your current level of development. That may mean 100 pounds in the squat for one lifter, 200 pounds for another lifter, and 300 pounds for a third lifter. For some lifters, it may mean 400 or 500 pounds.

5. Add weight to the bar whenever possible. The name of the game is progressive weight training.

6. When you add weight to the bar, add small amounts. Over time, the small increases add up to BIG GAINS.

7. Most trainees do too many exercises, too many sets, and too many reps – and they train too often. It isn’t until they streamline their workouts and focus on QUALITY TRAINING that they finally begin to make gains.

7a. Quality Training is Tommy Kono’s term for what I call abbreviated training. He won two Olympic gold medals and one silver medal with Quality Training.

7b. Quality Training means you choose a small number of productive exercises, train them hard, and then stop for the day.

8. Norb Schemansky won medals in FOUR different Olympics (1948, 1952, 1960 and 1964) – an amazing competition record. He once said, “If you can’t get it done in 45 minutes, it ain’t gonna happen.”

9. Divided workouts are great. A divided workout lets you focus your efforts on one, two or three exercises in each workout, and give them your all.

9a. REST one or two days between workouts, even if you are using a divided workout program.

9b. Your muscles grow when you are resting, not when you are training.

10. For many trainees, ultra-abbreviated training programs are the key to success.

There you have it – ten keys to strength training success! Read, them, remember them, and apply them!

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day – and a great weekend. If you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more information on no-nonsense, effective strength training and muscle building, head over to the Dinosaur Bookstore and take a look at our books, courses and DVD’s – as well as the Dinosaur Files newsletter:

The February Dinosaur Files!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Working on the Feb issue of The Dinosaur Files newsletter. It’s going to be a great issue, but I need more reader feedback and photos of Dinos lifting heavy stuff and having some serious kick-you-know-what Dino workouts.

Don’t be shy -- send them in!

Yours in strength,


P.S. For more info on the Dino Files newsletter, read this:

Didjya Know? (Iron Game Trivia)

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

My buddy Bill Hinbern sometimes does articles and email messages titled “Didjya Know” – and they’re always fun. So, with a tip of the hat to Bill Hinbern, and a suggestion that you head over to the Superstrengthbooks website and check out what he has to offer, let’s try a little “Didjya Know?”

Didjya know:

1. That John Davis military pressed 170 pounds the first time he ever touched a barbell?

2. That Reg Park hated to train in a gym with mirrors on the wall, and would actually cover the mirrors with towels or sheets when he trained?

3. That weight training actually makes you SMARTER? (Several teams of scientists just published some research studies on this one. Of course, those of us who are smart enough to lift weights already KNEW it – right?)

4. That the Russian strongman, Alexander Zass, who toured Europe as “The Amazing Sampson,” was a spy for the British government? His strongman act provided the perfect cover for a secret agent.

5. That Chinese villagers trained with homemade barbells fashioned of stone disks. Photos appear in George Jowett’s classic book, The Key to Might and Muscle.

6. That Herman Goerner picked up four kettlebells, two in each hand, for a total weight of 441 pounds – and then sprinted around the training hall in Leipzig -- a distance of 78 feet? Performed on August 5, 1934.

7. That the famous old-time bare-knuckle boxer, John L. Sullivan, was a close friend of the French-Canadian strongman, Louis Cyr?

8. That Bob Hoffman wrote “How to be Strong, healthy and Happy” in exactly ten days? (Or did he – it’s 494 pages, and that’s awfully fast typing!)

9. That the other day a 650-pound grand piano appeared overnight on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay (in Miami) – and the authorities are wondering how it got there? (You can google for photos of the piano.) (Note: we have some readers in Miami, so I have a good guess about who lugged the piano out there.)

10. That the great Jack LaLanne, champion of endurance feats, was a sickly youth with severe asthma? Physical training and a proper diet made him a superman!

That’s all for now – let me know if you enjoyed these, and if so, we’ll do more of them from time to time!

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day. If you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. My new book, Chalk and Sweat, gives detailed training programs for beginners, intermediates, advanced trainees, and trainees who want to build maximum muscle mass and strength by specializing on heavy leg and back training. You can grab your copy right here:

Needed -- Photos and Feedback from Dinosaurs!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I’m working on the February issue of the Dinosaur Files newsletter, and as always, need:

a. Workout photos

b. Home gym photos

c. Photos of cool pieces of Dino-style equipment

d. Feedback on the last issue of The Files

If you’re a newbie and you’re not sure what The Dinosaur Files are, it’s a monthly hard-copy newsletter – 20 pages per issue – delivered by snail mail. It’s 100% Dino and 100% serious lifting – and frankly, I think it’s the best monthly publication out there for serious lifters.

Thanks for reading, and remember -- send photos and feedback!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I should mention that we have back issues of the Dino Files from May thru January, so if you sub, we’ll start your subscription as of the May 2010 issue and send the first 9 issues in one package – and then send Feb, March and April as those issues come out. That way, everyone will be on the same renewal date and everyone will have a complete set of all of the issues for year number one.

A Very Interesting Workout!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I saw an interesting workout on the Go Heavy Olympic Lifting Discussion Board. It was posted by Ron Millard, a 73 year old lifter who just won the 94 kilo class in the age 70 – 74 division at the American Masters Open. I wanted to share it with you because it’s got some very intriguing possibilities, especially for older lifters.

It certainly works well for Ron. He posted a 50 kilo (110 pound snatch) and a 75 kilo (165 pound) clean and jerk – which is excellent lifting for a 73 year old.

Ron uses this program during the week before competition. It’s not intended as a strength-building program. It’s more of a speed, technique, maintenance and conditioning program. Ron uses it to cut weight for contests. He can cut two to four pounds in one week without losing strength and without dieting – and he feels rested, revved up and rarin’ to go on contest day.

Ron bases the program on his one rep max. So, for example, 60% means 60% of his current top lift for one rep.

The Program (3x per week)

1. Lots of stretching and warm-ups

2. Snatch 50% x 2 x 10 reps, 60 % x 2 x 8 reps, 65% x 2 x 6 reps

3. Clean and jerk – same sets, reps and percentages, but do one jerk per set (after completing all of the cleans).

Ron takes fairly long rests between sets, and completes the entire program in about one hour.

This is similar to some of the programs in Gray Hair and Black Iron – and for those of you who know how to perform Olympic lifts, it’s a pretty good conditioning program for any lifter, at any age. And for older lifters, it’s a VERY good program. Remember, after a certain age, training your heart is a heck of a lot more important than training your biceps.

If you don’t know how to perform Olympic lifts, or if you don’t care to perform them, try standing presses and your choice of squats or deadlifts. Another good combo would be the dumbbell clean and press combined with squats or deadlifts.

Also, note that you could alternate the conditioning workout with heavier sessions where you work on building strength and power – again, as detailed in Gray Hair and Black Iron.

As always, thanks for reading – and have a great day! If you train today, make it a good one.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I wrote Gray Hair and Black Iron for older lifters – age 35 and up – but it’s great for younger lifters as well. Many chapters, over 50 detailed workouts, much information, diet and nutrition advice, and much more. Good stuff! Many readers say it’s their favorite strength training book. If you don’t already have a copy, I strongly urge you to grab one now!

Jack LaLanne -- A Modest Superman!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I’m working on a new book (big surprise, eh? – it seems that I’m always working on a new book). Over the weekend I was researching some lifting action in the late 1930’s.

I picked up a copy of an old magazine called The Bodybuilder, which was edited by the legendary George F. Jowett.

In the issue for March – April 1937, I spotted the following. It’s on page 35, in a “News and Notes” article by Lew Dick:

“Jack LaLanne, Berkeley, Calif., sent in his picture and asked Mr. Jowett to criticize his physique.

“Criticize,” says ye editor. “I can only admire it. Run him in the Magnificent Manhood series.”

[The Magnificent Manhood series was a sort of “man of the Month” Photo display – featuring two full-page black and white photos each month. They ran Jack LaLanne’s photo alongside one of Eugene Sandow – so he was in some pretty fast company!]

So there he is, boys. It is a splendid body. His measurements are: Height, 5 ft. 7 ½ ins; weight, 178 lbs.; biceps, 16 ½ ins.; chest, 48 ½ ins.; neck, 17 ins.; waist, 28 ½ ins.; thighs, 23 ½ ins.; calves, 15 ½ ins. His body is perfectly streamlined. Don’t you think so? We do.”

I was struck by the modest nature of LaLanne’s request – asking George F. Jowett to “criticize” his physique! – and I was going to share this with you in any event. But given Jack LaLanne’s passing, I thought I’d go ahead and share the story today.

Jack LaLannne – a Physical Culture legend – and a MODEST man!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Old time physical culture was about more than merely building strength and muscle. It was about building character, as well. Character is important. It’s something I wrote about in Dinosaur Training, and it’s something you see in everything I write – including the Legacy of Iron series, and my novel of ancient Rome, Horatius. Jack LaLanne was a man with character – and we need more like him!

A Sad Day for the Iron Game

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

We have some sad news today for the Iron Game.

Fitness legend Jack LaLanne has passed away at the age of 96.

Here’s a link to an NPR broadcast covering Jack LaLanne’s amazing life and remarkable feats of strength and endurance:

Let’s join together and say a prayer for Jack LaLanne – and let’s all say THANK YOU to Jack for everything he had done for the Iron Game, for the strength and health lifestyle, and for Physical Culture!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Thanks for reading, and be sure to hit the iron extra hard the next time you train – and dedicate your workout to Jack LaLanne!

How to Train for Strength and Power

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Nearly 40 years I was on a wrestling mat in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the opening period of a freestyle match.

My opponent and I were on our feet, locked up, working for an opening. I had my right hand on the back of his neck and my left hand on his upper arm right above the elbow. He had the same grip on me.

I pulled down on his neck and he pulled back – and then bulled forward.

As he did, I pulled him close, twisted to the side and hit a powerful hip throw combined with a hard leg sweep. For a fraction of a second I was balanced on my left leg, with my right leg sweeping backward, shooting him high into the air.

He went up five feet in the air, his body turned from vertical to horizontal in the blink of an eye – and then he hit the mat, flat on his back, with me landing on top for an instant pin.

Yesterday’s post about Henry Whittenberg’s training program for wrestling got me to thinking about that throw.

It was a perfect example of the kind of total body strength and explosive power you need for championship wrestling – or for martial arts – or for football – or any combat sport.

How do you build that kind of strength and power?

You do it the way Henry Whittenberg did – and remember, he won a Gold Medal in freestyle wrestling at the Olympics. You can’t do better than that!

1. Use barbells and dumbbells for the majority of your strength and power training. They give you the biggest bang for your buck.

1a. Pull-ups, push-ups and rope climbing are great for wrestlers. Most coaches have their wrestlers do plenty of bodyweight exercises before and after their mat work.

2. Stand on your feet for 90 percent of your training. Note that Henry Whittenberg did standing presses, not seated presses – squats, not leg presses – and barbell bent-over rowing, not lat machine pulldowns.

3. Use basic, compound exercises. Squats, presses, deadlifts, rowing, etc. They worked for Henry Whittenberg, and they’ll work for you.

3a. If you know how to do power cleans, power snatches, push presses and jerks, then work them into your program.

4. Train your legs, hips and lower back. That’s where your power comes from. Do NOT fall into the common trap of working your upper body and ignoring your lower body. Think about that hip throw and leg sweep. Perfect move – instant pin – and I sure as heck didn’t do it with arm strength.

4a. Wrestling is all about coordinated effort and total body power. So train that way. Forget about the isolation movements and bodybuilding stuff.

4b. Heavy curls are a strength movement, not an isolation movement. If you’ve ever done HEAVY curls, you understand what I mean.

5. Note that Whittenberg trained three primary exercises and one of them was – that’s right – squats! He knew the importance of leg, hip and lower back strength!

6. A little bit of strength training goes a LONG way – and leaves you plenty of time for mat work and drilling. How many times do you have to drill a move in practice before you can make it work in a match? The answer is – MANY TIMES!

7. Train your neck. That hip toss started when I pulled my opponent’s head down and forward. If his neck had been stronger, it wouldn’t have been as easy.

8. Train your grip. Note that the throw started when I had my hands on my opponent – and yes, I was holding him tight. When a good wrestler grabs you, you KNOW you’ve been grabbed.

8a. Thick bar work is great for the grip – so are heavy-duty grippers like these:

8b. Strong thumbs! Do plenty of pinch grip work!

9. You can’t be strong and powerful if you run out of gas – so do plenty of cardio work, and plenty of mat work. You need to be able to go full-speed for the entire match.

10. Sandbags, sandbags, sandbags – they offer endless possibilities for wrestlers.

If you missed it, take a look at yesterday’s post with Henry Whittenberg’s complete (and very effective) training program. It’s posted on the Dinosaur Training Blog, so scroll down for it after you finish this post.)

And of course, take a look at my various training books and training courses at the Dinosaur bookstore. They cover effective strength and power training in detail:

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day and a great weekend. And if you train today, do it Dino style: hard, heavy and serious.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Never, ever wrestle a guy who trains this way – unless YOU train the very same way! For more information, grab a copy of Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development:

A Gold Medal Training Program

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

In an earlier message I mentioned Henry Whittenberg’s weight training program. Whittenberg won the Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling in 1948 and the silver medal in 1952. At one time, he had a winning streak of over 300 matches. He is considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

His secret?

Weight training.

Nothing fancy. Just basic stuff – with heavy poundages. (As in 180 pounds for 3 x 10 in the military press – at a bodyweight of 191 pounds.)

Here’ his program:

1. Clean and press, light weight for warm-up, 1 x 10

2. Military press 3 x 10

3. Squat 3 x 10 – 15

4. Light breathing pullovers after each set of squats 1 x 10

5. Barbell bent-over rowing 3 x 10


Note: optional means optional. These are extras, to work in if time and energy permit.

6. Wrestler’s bridge with weight on chest 1 x 10

Note: If you’re not a wrestler, feel free to use a head-strap for your neck work.

7. Sit-up with weight 1 x 15

8. Barbell curl 2 x 10

9. Bench press 2 x 10

10. Rope skipping or running, and then wrestling practice

Note: You might also do some grip work. Thick bar holds or thick bar pull-ups would work well. So would some serious work with heavy-duty grippers like these:

As always, thanks for reading and have a great day. If you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. We’ve had a number of good programs for wrestlers, football players and martial artists in the Dinosaur Files newsletter. Subscribe now, and I’ll start your subscription as of May, 2010 and send you the back issues so you don’t miss anything. There’s great material in every issue!

Worked Then -- Works Now!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Several days ago I sent you an email where I mentioned the four books on weight lifting and weight training – the ONLY four books – in the local public library when I was a kid.

They were:

1. Weight Training for Athletes, by Bob Hoffman.

2. Weight Training in Athletics, by James A. Murray and Dr. Peter Karpovich

3. Bodybuilding and Self-Defense, by Myles McCallum (no relation to John McCallum, who wrote the “Keys to progress” series for Strength and Health magazine)

4. The Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, by John Jesse (A great book that is still available from my buddy Bill Hinbern at the Superstrength Books website.)

In response, one of our readers – who happens to be almost exactly my age – sent in the following message:

“OMG! Guess what tattered, scotch taped treasures are on my bookshelf. Numbers 1,2,3! Along with two paperbacks from I wanna say ARCO books, Weight Training and Weight Lifting by George Kirksey, and the other on basic bodybuilding.

I got bit by the bug at 15 in 1972 when I got tired of being 135 pounds at 5 -11. I was able to find these materials in the public library and then ordered copies in the mail and STILL have 'em.

The Henry Wittenberg routine in Murray and Karpovich and their basic plan for football is what I started with, along with the little booklet that came with my Montgomery Ward vinyl and cement 110 pound barbell!

[Note – I had the same barbell set, and the same booklet – or close to. Mine came from Sears. We all did. Brooks]

Wound up a modest athletic success within a year despite the disapproval of the coaches who preached the dreaded condition of being "muscle bound." One coach drove the point home by telling us to observe the locked biceps/forearms in "greasers" (you know, Fonzie types) who acquired the malady from the isometric effect of prying off hubcaps they were stealing!

Anyway these old books are like the Rosetta Stone of training

Worked then, works now!

Glenn P.

Glenn – Thanks for your feedback. I can just picture the coach warning his athletes about the dreaded “greaser” biceps and forearms. I guess he never figured all that grip strength would ever come in handy on the football field or the wrestling mat!

The Henry Wittenberg program was a good one – after all, he was an Olympic Gold medal winner and possibly the greatest wrestler of his generation. Whittenberg trained with the USA weightlifting team at the Olympics, and the lifters were amazed at how strong he was. 3 x 10 in the military press with 180 isn’t half bad for a 191 pound wrestler! I’ll send it out to everyone in a separate email a little later in the day, so be looking for it.

As Glenn put it so very well: WORKED THEN -- WORKS NOW!

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day. If you train today, make it a good one – and work on building those dreaded greaser biceps and forearms!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I really wish I had the following when I was a kid -- they would have given me a goldmine of training information:

1. Chalk and Sweat: Dinosaur Training Workouts for Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Lifters – the brand new book from Dino Headquarters, and already a huge hit with Dinos around the world:

2. The Dinosaur Files newsletter – 20 pages, hard copy, mailed to you monthly, with great photos and full of terrific training articles. Sub now, and ask me to start your subscription as of May 2010 so that you don’t miss an issue of this great newsletter:

3. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development – the book that started the Dinosaur Revolution – the book they call “the bible of strength training”:

4. Strength, Muscle and Power – a great new book from Dinosaur Headquarters – it’s an encyclopedia of strength training and muscle building secrets – with dozens of hard-hitting, no nonsense training programs for cellar-dwellers and garage gorillas of all ages:

5. Gray Hair and Black Iron: Secrets of Successful Strength Training for Older Lifters – the first book ever written about serious strength training for older lifters – featuring more than 50 workouts specially designed for older lifters:

6. History’s Strongest Men and How They trained – Vol 1: Doug Hepburn. A big 32 page training course covering the life and lifting – and the training programs – of the Canadian Hercules, Doug Hepburn:

New Dino Gains 42 Pounds of Muscle!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I thought you’d enjoy starting the day with some feedback from one of our many hard-charging Dinos – along with a training question and my answer to it:

“Hi Brooks,

Firstly, I wanted to thank you for writing such inspirational material. I pretty much started training after stumbling across Dinosaur Training, and I have never looked back! My bodyweight has increased from 123 lbs to 165 lbs, and I can outdeadlift guys double my size at the gym!

My question is based on the deadlift, which remains my favorite exercise.

I made huge strength gains last year, increasing from 242 lbs up to 352 lbs but I seem to have hit a plateau. I was on the 5 x 5 for the majority of the year, but as the weight went up, I had to perform more warm-up sets and only one or two sets at my working weight. Would you recommend trying multiple sets of singles / doubles or would you suggest something else?

James Ralph

P.S. I LOVE the "Massifier” workout in Chalk and Sweat!”

Hi James – Thanks for your feedback, and congratulations on your training and your excellent progress over the past year. You’re doing really well. Gaining 42 pounds of muscle and upping your deadlift by over 100 pounds in one year is GREAT!

On your deadlifts, you did the right thing by adding more warm-up sets and dropping from 3 x5 work sets to 2 x 5 work sets and then 1 x 5 work set as you got stronger and added more weight to the bar. That’s exactly the way to do it: 3 work sets at first, then two work sets, and then one work set.

At your current level of development, try your choice of ONE of the following to keep the gains coming:

1. Work up to your top set for 5 reps, and then add weight and do 1 x 3, and then add weight and do a single.

2. Start doing Trap Bar deadlifts and alternate Trap Bar deads and regular deads in different workouts.

3. Work up to your top weight for 5 reps, and then do 3 x 5 or 3 x 3 deadlifts from the knees or Trap Bar deadlifts from the knees.

4. Work up to your top weight for 5 reps, then add weight and do 1 x 3, then add weight and do 3 x 2 or 3 x 1.

5. Drop back to a weight you can handle for 3 sets of 5 reps as your working weight, and go through the 3 x 5, then 2 x 5, and then 1 x 5 process all over again – using a 6 week cycle where you stay at each set/rep level for two weeks. The goal is to finish with a new PR for 1 x 5.

Also note that you may want to add an extra rest day (or two) to help recovery and recuperation.

Keep me posted on your training and your progress!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more information on how to build strength, muscle and power, head over to the Dinosaur Training bookstore:

The Skinny Kid in the Library

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

When I was a kid, I would go to the public library and plop myself down in the sports section and look for books about weight training.

The library had exactly FOUR of them:

1. Weight Training for Athletes, by Bob Hoffman.

2. Weight Training in Athletics, by James A. Murray and Dr. Peter Karpovich

3. Bodybuilding and Self-Defense, by Myles McCallum (no relation to John McCallum, who wrote the “Keys to progress” series for Strength and Health magazine)

4. The Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, by John Jesse.

That was it.

If you went to a bookstore, you fared WORSE. You’d be lucky to find a single book about weight training or weightlifting.

If you went to a health food store, as they called them back then, you might find books about diet and nutrition, the miracle of wheat germ oil, the power of protein, or the joy of the soybean -- but you didn’t find any books about getting down and dirty with a barbell.

It was really frustrating. Here I was, desperately interested in what I would later learn to call the Iron Game – and looking everywhere for books about it – and I could hardly find anything at all.

Later, I discovered the muscle magazines of the era – Strength and Health, Muscular Development, Iron Man, Muscle Builder and Power, Mr. America, and Muscle Training Illustrated – and those gave me plenty of information.

Some of it was good, some was okay, some was bad, and some was downright terrible.

Correction – MUCH of it was downright terrible.

The only way to figure out what worked was to pick up your barbell and give it a try.

It was good old-fashioned trial and error.

That’s what I did, and it’s what pretty much all of us did.

We tried everything. You name it, we did it. Bombing, blasting, blitzing, super-sets, tri-sets, drop sets, isometrics, isometronics, bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, Nautilus training, fast reps, slow reps, forced reps, quality training, peak contraction, giant sets, PHA, breathing squats, pre-exhaustion, split routines and double split programs.

And eventually, we found what works.

If you’re my age, you probably remember that process of trial and error.

If you’re younger, you have it made. All you have to do is to try the stuff that worked for the older guys when we were your age.

I’ll give you a hint: the stuff that works involves basic, compound exercises – hard work – abbreviated training – and above all else, always trying to add weight to the bar. Progression is the name of the game. For more details, see Dinosaur Training, Chalk and Sweat and my other books. They’re the books I wish I had had when I was a skinny kid with big glasses prowling the library stacks and looking for books about how to get bigger and stronger.

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day. If you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Dinosaur Training. Strength, Muscle and Power. Chalk and Sweat. Gray Hair and Black Iron. My Doug Hepburn training course. The Dinosaur Files newsletter. They’ll teach you how to build strength and muscle – and you can find them right here:

News, Updates and Questions for Dinosaurs!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Let’s do some news, updates, and questions today – and on the questions, please let me have your feedback! It always helps to hear from you.

1. The Dinosaur Files newsletter.

If you subscribe to the Dinosaur Files newsletter, let me have some feedback on the January issue!

If you don’t subscribe, please think about doing so – the Dinosaur Files are GREAT, and getting a big 20 page newsletter in the mail every month is lots of fun – and it really helps to keep you motivated for serious training.

For more about The Dinosaur Files newsletter, go here:

Also – we’re always looking for good photos to run in the Dino Files – so send them on in!

2. E-Books

I’m a thoroughly old-fashioned guy, and I like BOOKS. The kind you hold in your hand, read, savor and enjoy. And I know that many of you feel the same way.

But I know that some of you prefer e-books.

So please shoot me an email and let me know if you’re interested in e-books, and if so, what type of reader you use for your e-books.

And when you reply, let me know if there’s any distinction for you between “how to train” books such as Dinosaur Training, Gray Hair and Black Iron, Chalk and Sweat and Strength, Muscle and Power and my novels, such as the Legacy of Iron books and Horatius. I would suspect that some of you might prefer hard copies of training books (to study, underline and annotate) and e-book versions of the novels.

3. Audio Books

Same question for audio books. If that’s something that interests you, let me know.

And again, if you see a distinction between training books vs. novels in audio format, let me know.

4. The Harry Paschal Memorial Fund

Update – we raised several thousand dollars for harry paschall’s marker, and I have purchased what ought to be a very nice looking one. It will be a large black stone, with Harry’s name and dates on it, along with one of his favorite Bosco cartoons, and the words “WEIGHTLIFTER, AUTHOR AND ARTIST.”

It should be finished and in place in April. I’ll send a photo to everyone who contributed to the Memorial Fund.

5. Legacy of Iron 5

As noted the other day, Legacy of Iron 5 – Barbells in the Pacific, is at the printer. It should be ready sometime around January 25 or 26. I’ll put up an order page for you next week.

That wraps it up for now. If you have a chance, please let me have your thoughts on the above topics – especially the idea of e-books and audio books. If enough of you are interested, we’ll explore the possibility of doing them.

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great day – and if you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here’s the link to Chalk and Sweat – they’re flying out the door faster than a pterodactyl in a hurricane:

Step Into the Time Machine!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Several years ago I began doing something new and different – something that no one had ever done before. I began writing a series of novels about weightlifting and bodybuilding in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

The books focus on the York Barbell Company and the York champions of the 1930’s and 1940’s. They combine fictional characters with real people, such as Jihn Grimek, Steve Stanko, John Davis, Harry Paschall, Bob Hoffman, Sig Klein, Warren Lincoln Travis, John Terpak, Gord Venables and Gracie Bard. The characters attend actual lifting meets, bodybuilding competitions and exhibitions, so the books give you all of the history, color and drama of the era. So far, I’ve written and published four books in the series – and no. 5 will be coming out in about two weeks.

The first four books in the Legacy of Iron series are titled:

1. Legacy of Iron

2. Legacy of Iron 2 – Clouds of War

3. Legacy of Iron 3 -- The 1,000 Pound Total

4. Legacy of Iron 4 – York Goes to War!

“Legacy of Iron” is set in 1938 – 1940, and tells the story of Jim Miller, a young man who desperately needs to build some strength and muscle. A lifter named Jack Ryan takes him under his wing, trains him, and takes him to York where he meets all of the great champs of the era – Bob Hoffman, John Grimek, Steve Stanko, Gord Venables, Tony Terlazzo, John Davis, Harry Paschall, Gracie Bard and others. It’s a fast-paced, exciting story, and covers a number of actual lifting contests and exhibitions.

“Legacy of Iron 2 – Clouds of War” takes the action into the spring of 1940. It covers the six-week period from the 1940 Junior Nationals to the 1940 Senior Nationals and the Mr. America contest (won by John Grimek, who also lifted in the Senior Nationals and placed third in the Heavyweight class).

“Legacy of Iron 3 – The 1,000 Pound Total” continues the story. It covers the 1940 – 1941 period, and details the battle between Steve Stanko and John Davis to total 1,000 or more pounds in official competition. It’s one of the great stories in the history of the Iron Game, and I feel honored and humbled to be able to present it in narrative form.

“Legacy of Iron 4 – York Goes to War!” opens on a secluded beach in Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941 (the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). From there it blazes into action from York to Washington to Pearl Harbor to San Diego – covers the 1942 Senior Nationals and Mr. America contest -- and culminates in a life and death struggle on a remote island in the South Pacific. It’s fast-paced, exciting, non-stop action – and like all of the books in the series, it gives you a vivid sense of being there, right in the thick of the action.

“Legacy of Iron 5 – Barbells in the Pacific” will continue to cover the War years, and the struggle to preserve the entire Free World against the military dictatorships allied against them. It also covers the 1943 Senior Nationals and Mr. America contest.

In the Legacy of Iron series, I try to convey a sense of what the York Barbell Company, Strength and Health, and the York champions meant to young men and boys (and many girls and women) around the world in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. They cover a time period when “the greatest generation” had some of the greatest bodybuilders and lifters we’ve ever seen. It’s a generation of men and women who deserve to be remembered forever.

I know that many readers are only interested in books and courses about “how to train” – and that’s fine – but even if you “don’t read novels,” you might want to give these very unique and very special books a chance. They’ll teach you plenty about Iron Game history – and about how the Golden Age champions trained, what they ate, how they thought and what they believed. They’re the closest thing to a time machine that can take you right back to 1939 and let you sit down and talk training with John Grimek and Steve Stanko – and that’s pretty hard to beat!

But more than that, these are novels that will motivate and inspire you – just the same as your favorite sports movies motivate and inspire you. Do you remember how you felt after watching Rocky, Chariots of Fire, The Natural, Rudy, or Cinderella Man? If you’re like me, you probably felt like hitting the iron and setting half a dozen personal records. That’s how you’ll feel after you read each book in the Legacy of Iron series.

As I’ve said before, I can’t make movies for you – but I can write books that are going to give you the very same sort of motivation and inspiration. And remember – once you learn how to train and get into the training habit, the most important thing to do is to stay motivated and inspired. It’s what keeps you going for the long haul.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day – and if you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. To learn more about the Legacy of Iron series – or to order one or more of the books in the series – go here:

NOTE: see the order pages for Legacy of Iron 3 and 4 for information about a discount if you order 3 or 4 books in the series.

Take a Tour of the Dino Dungeon!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I thought I’d start the day by giving you a tour of the Dino Dungeon.

But before I tell you about where I train, I want you to remember that:

1. Over the years I’ve done a wide-variety of different things in my training, but right now I do pretty much nothing but Olympic lifting.

2. You don’t need very much equipment for Olympic lifting.

3. Less is more and simple is better.

So let’s start the tour.

We’ll begin by going out to the garage.

Wait here for a minute while I open the door – flip the switch – and turn on the single overhead bulb that illuminates the place.

Okay – watch your step – and come on in.

The first thing you’ll see is my lifting platform. It’s where I spend all my training time. It’s my own little six foot by eight foot world.

The platform is made out of three layers of ¾ inch plywood over ¾ inch heavy rubber mats. There’s an extra length of ¾ rubber mat along each side of the platform, where the plates hit.

I use bumper plates, so I can drop the bar if need be, but I rarely do. It’s easier on the bar, the plates and the platform.

So far, the platform is holding up pretty well. It’s eight or nine years old and still going strong.

An Eleiko barbell lay on the platform. I always unload the bar and lay it on the platform after I’ve finished lifting.

The bumper plates were lined up along the south and east walls of the garage. I have Eleiko, Ivanko and York bumpers. A little over 600 pounds of bumpers.

The York bumpers were super cheap. I got two 20-kilo and two 15-kilo plates from a local equipment company that had been keeping them in the back of the store for several years. The price had dropped and dropped, but no one bought them.

“Are those for sale?” I asked.

“Yeah, but no one wants them,” said the kid who worked at the place.

“Why not?”

“I dunno,” he replied. “I think they’re too thick and too heavy. Everyone wants selectorized equipment, anyway.”

“I’ll give you fifty bucks for all four of the plates.”

“No way! The list price is ten times that.”

“Yeah, but you’ve had them for years now, and no one has bought them. I’m the only guy in town who wants them. And fifty is better than nothing.”

We negotiated, and I may have paid a bit more for them. The closer was when I said I’d carry them out to the car by myself. The kid brightened, we shook hands, and I scored the plates.

I also have a set of high quality freestanding squat stands. I move them onto the platform when I do squats or presses/push presses/jerks from the stands. When I’m finished, I move them off the platform and over to the sides.

At the other side of the garage, Trudi has a hyperextension bench. I keep a box of chalk on top of it. It’s literally a cardboard box. I taped the bottom to keep the chalk from leaking.

On the back wall, there’s a small wooden shelf with a CD player and my “Rocky Balboa” CD. On the wall above the shelf are photos of Steve Stanko, John Davis, John Grimek, Doug Hepburn and the cover to Legacy of Iron.

There are several tons (literally) of other equipment – iron plates, dumbbells, power rack, steel suitcases, chains, etc.) in a storage area to the side of the garage. Things I’ve used before, and things I’ll doubtless use again.

But for right now, I like to keep things simple. Barbell, platform and squat stands is simple. It feels good. And it gives me all I need for some really terrific workouts.

Anyhow, that’s what things look like in the Dino Dungeon. Thanks for taking the tour!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Getting bigger, stronger and better conditioned doesn’t require fancy equipment. It’s knowing how to make the most of your equipment -- and my books, courses and newsletters will teach you how to do precisely that! You can find them right here:

Abbreviated Strength Training for Judo!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

For many years I’ve been urging trainees to follow sane, sensible abbreviated workouts. Today we’re going to talk about abbreviated workouts for guys who combine weight training with martial arts training.

We’ll start with a letter from one of our many Dinos who lifts weights and practices judo.

“My name is Lee Hayward, 27, from the Lake District in the north of England. I am a big fan of your books and writings on hard, heavy, abbreviated training.

I currently train in Judo 2 times a week, on Mondays and Friday in a town near to me. As you will know from your Greco-roman wrestling days, judo is very demanding and hard on the body. I like to weight train 2-3 times a week as well. My strength training is basic and simple, but that’s how I like it

I do one squat exercise, one pushing exercise, one pulling exercise, and finish with grip and gut work. The push being Bench Press or Overhead press and the pull being, Bentover Row, Trap Bar Shrugs or Barbell Curls or Reverse Curls. My grip work is one exercise picked from: Farmers walk with barrels filled with sand, Handgrippers, Thick barbell holds, Thick Chin Bar Holds or maybe Sandbag carry. Gut work means Sit-ups, Leg raises or Plank. I train 5 x 5 or 5/4/3/2/1 in all exercises, and if I’m feeling good on that day I sometimes do an extra three sets of doubles or triples as well.

My schedule is this:

Mon -- Judo

Tues -- off

Weds -- Weight Training

Thurs -- off

Fri -- Judo

Sat -- Weight Training

Sun -- off

Mon -- Judo

Tues -- Weight Training

Weds -- off

Thurs -- Weight Training (deadlift day)

Fri -- Judo

Sat -- off

Sun -- Weight Training

Then repeat back to the top again.

So I train with weights two times a week and then the next week three times. I squat heavy every workout; sometime s 5 x 5 and other times 1 x 20 breathing squats.

Do you think this is too much, too little or about right? I do feel well rested and fully recovered every time I lift, and I am getting stronger.

Lee Hayward

Hi Lee –I think you answered your own question. If you feel well rested and well recovered every time you hit the iron, and you are getting stronger, then your program is working for you. Stick to it!

You are doing all of the right things: abbreviated training, basic compound exercises, and sticking to the stuff that really counts: squats, pulls and pushes. And you’re allowing enough rest days to permit you to make good gains.

You have a sensible, well-balanced, well-designed program. Do not be swayed from it. Just keep on doing what you are doing, and over time, you’ll really surprise yourself.

As you get stronger, your weight workouts will cut into your recovery ability more. At that point, you might try a system where you alternate light, medium and heavy workouts – or you might try some simple cycling systems, such as the ones detailed in Gray Hair and Black Iron.

Also, include some neck work. Two or three sets of 10 to 15 reps with a headstrap is good.

Keep me posted on your training and your results!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more abbreviated workouts for BIG gains in strength, muscle and power, check out the following:

1. Chalk and Sweat: Dinosaur Training Workouts for Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Lifters – the brand new book from Dino Headquarters, and already a huge hit with Dinos around the world:

2. The Dinosaur Files newsletter – 20 pages, hard copy, mailed to you monthly, with great photos and full of terrific training articles. Sub now, and ask me to start your subscription as of May 2010 so that you don’t miss an issue of this great newsletter:

3. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development – the book that started the Dinosaur Revolution – the book they call “the bible of strength training”:

4. Strength, Muscle and Power – a great new book from Dinosaur Headquarters – it’s an encyclopedia of strength training and muscle building secrets – with dozens of hard-hitting, no nonsense training programs for cellar-dwellers and garage gorillas of all ages:

5. Gray Hair and Black Iron: Secrets of Successful Strength Training for Older Lifters – the first book ever written about serious strength training for older lifters – featuring more than 50 workouts specially designed for older lifters:

6. History’s Strongest Men and How They trained – Vol 1: Doug Hepburn. A big 32 page training course covering the life and lifting – and the training programs – of the Canadian Hercules, Doug Hepburn:

More Feedback from Dinos!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

As promised, here’s more feedback from your fellow Dinosaurs!

1. Good News for Martial Artists!

First, a belated Happy New Year to you and yours. Using your great information and training expertise I devised a program that consist of 2 days Martial Arts, 2 of Cardio, and 2 of Weights using the programs you advocate.

Anyone into Martial Arts or real world self-defense training would do themselves well to heed your advice and follow your training principles. They won't go wrong.

Your published works are an outstanding addition to combat athletes who need the proper strength training principles that are proven and have been tested by you.

John Jacobs

John – Thanks for your feedback. I’ve heard this many, many times since Dinosaur Training came out way back in 1996. And it should come as no surprise. Remember, the key to martial arts and self-defense training is to practice your technique – to build a decent level of cardio fitness and condition – and to do some basic strength training 2 or 3 times a week. The abbreviated programs I’ve been teaching for years will work well for you – and give you plenty of time to practice technique!


2. More Praise for the Legacy of Iron Series!

I got volumes 3 and 4 of the Legacy of Iron series for Christmas. They were great! I can't wait for number 5!

Steve Lofe

Steve – Thanks for the kind words about the Legacy of Iron books. You’re in luck, because no. 5 in the series is coming out later in the month!


3. “The Books Have Arrived!”

The books have arrived! I got all four of the Legacy of Iron series yesterday. What great covers! The books looked great. I am so excited to start the series.

Chalk and Sweat was also in the mix, along with the Bags, Barrels and Beyond DVD! My son and I started watching it yesterday. We didn't watch a lot, but his eyes went wide and jaw dropped when he watched you lift the big anvil. It was so cool. I am so getting one. I can't wait.

I looked through Chalk and Sweat. You really hit the mark! All of those workouts will fill out my schedule for some time. Most likely a couple of years. Thanks for everything.

Daniel Sparks

Daniel – Thanks for your feedback. I can just picture your son watching the Bags, barrels and Beyond DVD. It sounds like he’s a future Olympic Champion. Keep me posted on your training and your progress, and let me know how you like the Legacy of Iron books!

To everyone – as always, thanks for reading, and if you train today, do it Dino-style: hard, heavy and serious.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Chalk and Sweat is our bestseller for the month – and based on the feedback from your fellow Dinos you can see why! You an grab your copy right here at Dinosaur Headquarters:

P.S. 2 Save on shipping by grabbing two or more products whenever you place an order with us. For the Legacy of Iron books and everything else at the Dino store, go here:

How to Build Herculean Super Strength the Old School Way!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I did an hour-long interview of Super Human Radio yesterday.

We covered a wide variety of people and topics:

My new book -- Chalk and Sweat

How to Build Herculean Super Strength

Leg Specialization

Back Specialization

Breathing Squats
Henry "Milo" Steinborn

Mark Berry

Peary Rader

John Grimek

Joe Hise

Louis Abele

John Davis

The Apollon Wheels

Old School Strength Training

Poundage Progression

Microloads -- and how to make your own
mini-plates for micro-loading

And much more.

The interview was recorded in the Super Human Radio studio -- which just happens to be right here in Louisville, Kentucky, and it was 60 minutes of high energy and high octane discussion. Good stuff!

You can listen to the entire broadcast right here -- at no charge -- absolutely free:

Thanks for reading -- and thanks for listening to the interview!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Be sure to rate the interview and post your comments and feedback on the Super Human radio website!

The Dinos Roar -- Friday Feedback!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

First of all – be sure to listen to my radio interview today on Super Human Radio – at 1:00 Eastern Standard Time. We’ll go for about an hour, and it will be a good one.

If you miss the live broadcast, you can download it later on from Super Human Radio. And there’s no charge for this service – it’s a freebie. Consider it a Public Service Announcement for Dinos.

Since you’ll be hearing from me later today on radio, let’s hear from some of your fellow Dinosaurs right now. Yesterday we covered some questions from readers – today, we’re going to go over some reader feedback. I have ten of these to share with you, covering a variety of topics. I’ll do five in this message, and five in another message later in the day.

1. Keep It Simple!

Brooks, it seems counter-intuitive, but the more experienced and advanced I became, the simpler my training got. When I was a beginner, I grossly overtrained. When I gained intermediate status, I got tougher. When I finally became advanced, I had many years under my belt and trained like I should have when a beginner. Go figure. Basically, I was "successful" at the Iron Game despite myself. While not a "MR." or a record-holder, I consider myself a winner simply on account of a 40-plus "career" with the weights. I can't imagine not having done it. Best always. Paul Murray

2. Chalk and Sweat

Just received Chalk and Sweat yesterday, very excited about the leg and back specialization programs! Just started a breathing squat program after Christmas -- I thought it was tough till I saw John Grimek's squat routine! Looking forward to giving it a shot in the near future. Thanks for another great read! -- Brodie Sears

3. Grimek, Norberg and Legacy of Iron

Great stuff as always. Probably my favorite part of the first three Legacy of Iron books is the impromptu challenge in the barbell curl and press with Karl Norberg and John Grimek -- absolutely astounding drug free lifting from both men. For someone who didn't like curls he was a hell of a curler! BTW -- I make no apology for this teaser; anyone who loves lifting should buy the series. -- Chris Young

4. Long Term and Short Term Goals

I thought of something cool the other day, something that is probably no revelation for you. But, "knuckling down," as you put it in this e-mail, is so much easier with short-term goals. They're just as important as long-term goals. The short term ones should not be underestimated – in fact, they cannot be stressed enough.

I once had a mentor tell me that the human condition cannot be underestimated. For, if you try to fight it, in any way whatsoever, you will fail. You have to learn how to work with the human condition when you want to accomplish something; use it to your advantage. Well, likewise with weightlifting, people as a whole tend towards immediate gratification. Not generally a good thing. But you can let that little animal out of its cage to hit your short-term goals.

Long-term goals, as we know, need to be broken into short-term goals. Sure, it is physically possible to just go at it; visualizing that 300 lbs OH press (one of my personal ones) when you're at only maybe half that poundage. But why? When you can look at that VERY appetizing 15 or 20 pound jump? You can have that much sooner! I'm at 170 or 180 with 5 reps in good form at this time. I know that I can work like heck and scream ahead to 200 lbs x 5 in perfect form in a much shorter period of time! This way, I'm not agonizing over the years that it will take to get to 300 lbs (even for one rep in good form). I can utilize my natural tendency to want something right now. Well, 3 months goes by in no time flat, and surely I can visualize pummeling the iron for just a few months.

And I know that as soon as I get there, I'll have permission from myself to start thinking about 225, the BIG TWO PLATES on each side!

Keep Slaying Iron,
Robert Locke

5. Welcoming the New Year – Dino Style!

Hey Brooks, quick update from the Dino Fort here in Miami. Did some Max testing today to start off the New Year with a Mini-Meet here at the apartment. Totaled 1108 tonight:

Front Squat - 335 PR

Deadlift - 515 (Previous best is 555 but I ran out of weights in the living room!)

Press - 258 PR

A solid start to the New Year. I’m looking forward to working on a 600 lb DL, 375-plus FS, and 275 Press. Also, nailing form on my quick lifts so I can attempt to come close to Jack and Stanko's numbers! (A man can dream, can't he?)

PS. I can’t put down the Legacy of Iron books, awesome reads. Having lived there, being a York College alumni and still owning a home there, I feel great pride when reading about the rich iron history of which York is incomparable and world renowned for. Can’ wait for no. 5 in the series!

Stay Strong!


Note to everyone:

That takes care of our first five messages from fellow Dinosaurs – be looking for more of them in my next email blast.

In the meantime, and as always – thanks for reading, and if you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. As you can see, your fellow Dinos are enjoying the heck out of Chalk and Sweat and the Legacy of Iron books. You can join them by grabbing copies of the little Dino-monsters right here:

For Chalk and Sweat:

For the Legacy of Iron books and everything else at the Dino store:

Another Dinosaur Training Radio Interview!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Here’s the link to my first interview (back in October) on Super Human Radio – which turned out to be one of the most popular interviews ever on SHR.

I’m doing a second interview tomorrow (Jan.7) – at 1:00 Eastern time. Please listen to it – and if you miss the live broadcast, you can go back and download it from the Super Human Radio website later in the day or over the weekend.

It’s going to be a good one – so please join us! And be sure to rate the show and give us some feedback after you listen!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here’s a hint of one of the things we’re going to be talking about:

P.S. 2 Please spread the word – let’s have a massive response to this one! It’s going to help spread the Dino Word around the world.

Did Grimek Do Curls? (And Other Questions)

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I am getting buried in questions from readers, so I thought I’d cover some of them in an email. When one or two (or ten) people have the same question, others usually do, as well.

1. Do we ship to the UK?

Q. I am interested in purchasing a book from your website and was wondering if you ship outside of the US to the UK? -- Ash

A, We ship anywhere – including Outer Congolia. The on-line order system automatically gives you the correct rate for international shipping once you input your shipping address.

2. Snatches and Cleans from Blocks

Q. You have mentioned doing snatches off of blocks lately. What is the advantage over doing hang snatches? Seems to me they would be rather awkward have never done them but have done many hang cleans and snatches. Funny how sets of more than 3 reps are counter productive sets when oly lifting. Hard to hold form for more than 3 reps. -- Keith

A. I do most of my pulling from the platform, but wanted to try some pulls, snatches and cleans from blocks just for a change of pace and to see how they feel. They’re supposed to be good for speed and explosiveness. Consider it an experiment, with yours truly as the test subject.

As for reps – you’re right. Three is about as high as I go on any OL moves. Speed, form and technique are critical.

3. Combining Progression Methods

Q. I want to tell you how pleased I am with your book Chalk and Sweat. I had flu-like symptoms over the holidays and ended my current cycle. Needless to say, I made great gains. Thank you for your help and inspirational emails and books.

I took a week layoff and cycled back my poundages between 10-20% and have settled on program no. 21 in Chalk and Sweat. This is similar to what I was doing, but I still need to focus on the basics and getting my poundages up. The program calls for 3 x 5 work sets but I also like progressing by adding reps/sets. Once the weights push me and I’m in new poundage territory again would it be appropriate to combine progression methods rather than straight single progression with 3 x 5? For example, drop to 3 x 3 and add reps until I get back to 3 x 5, or add weight, drop to 1 x 5 and build back up to 3 x 5. Maybe experiment with different methods for different exercises? – Kevin

A. Kevin – Glad to hear you are enjoying Chalk and Sweat, and making good progress in your training. By all means, feel free to try different progression methods. The name of the game is PROGRESSIVE strength training – your job is to determine the progression methods that work best for YOU. That’s one reason I cover so many different progression methods in my various books and courses, and in the Dinosaur Files newsletter.

4. Neck Exercises

Q. Brooks, what neck exercises would you recommend incorporating into your program so as to build a Dino neck? -- Murray

A. Try neck extensions with a heavy-duty head-strap for the back of the neck. 3 x 10 -1 5 reps.

For the front of the neck, lie on a bench, place a folded towel on your forehead, and then place a barbell plate on your forehead – be sure to hold it in place with your hands! -- and then perform front neck extensions. Again, 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Add some heavy shrugs as well. Two or three sets of five to fifteen reps – or five sets of five to eight reps.

Start light and learn the movements – condition the muscles – and then add weight slowly and steadily. You can get incredibly sore if you jump into heavy neck work.

5. I read that John Grimek hardly ever did curls, and that he did not care for them! True? – Ben

Yes and no. As a young man, Grimek did an all-around course of exercises that included plenty of the basic exercises, including curls. Later on, Grimek did more lifting training, but he and Steve Stanko enjoyed doing the two-dumbbell curl and press. (With heavy weights – as in, up to 80, 90 or 100 pounders). I write about this in the Legacy of Iron books.

On occasion, Grimek would go on an arm specialization program that included plenty of curls. And he was a STRONG curler – as in, 185 or 190 for reps, which he used backstage at the Mr. Universe contest as a warm-up before going on stage.

But later on, he was trying to set a World record in the one-arm dumbbell swing (250 pounds) and hurt his arm. After that, he stopped doing curls and trained his biceps with close grip pull-downs and 45 degree pulley rowing.

At one point in his life – perhaps the 60’s or 70’s, Grimek told Bill Hinbern, “I hate curls – I don’t want to ever do another one of them.”

So, did Grimek do curls? Yes and no – depending on the stage of his career, his goals and his age. Much like most of us who have been training for 30, 40 or 50 years. Our exercises and workouts change over time. Nothing wrong with that!

As always, thanks for reading – and if you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. If you’ve not already grabbed a copy of Chalk and Sweat, do it now – it will DEFINITELY kick your training into high gear for 2011:

P.S. 2 Grab two or three books at once – or a book and a Dinosaur Training hoodie – and save on shipping:

Important News and Updates for Dinosaurs!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I thought today would be a good day for news and updates. There’s a lot to report.

1. Tommy Kono

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Olympic Silver Medalist, eight-time World Champion, and World and Olympic record holder, Tommy Kono, had a knee replacement operation on January 3.

Tommy is 81 years old, but looks many years younger – and is still very active in the Iron Game. He recently released a terrific new book – Championship Weightlifting – which I have reviewed in The Dinosaur Files newsletter (it got top marks!) and which many of you have ordered. He also was elected to serve on the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors, a position he has held in the past. With a new knee, there will be no stopping him.

If you’d like to send Tommy Kono a get-well card, his address is:

Tommy Kono
P.O. Box 2192
Aiea Hawaii 96701

If you prefer to send Tommy an email, send it to me here at Dino Headquarters, and I will print it out, collect them all, and forward them to Tommy.

2. Championship Weightlifting

You can order this great book by sending a check or money order payable to Tommy Kono to the above address. For orders shipped to addresses in the USA, the price is $50.00, which includes shipping and handling).

For orders shipped to addresses outside the USA, the price is $58.95 (which also includes shipping and handling).

IMPORTANT! Ask Tommy to autograph your book for you. If you ask, he’ll be glad to do so – and that’s a gold medal autograph!

3. The Dino Files newsletter

The January issue of The Dinosaur Files was printed yesterday. Some of the issues have already been mailed, and the rest will be mailed today. So if you subscribe to The Dinosaur Files, be looking for your issue very soon.

And yes, it’s another great issue – chock full of hard-hitting training info, dino-style workouts, Iron Game history and massive motivation.

Be sure to shoot me an email when your issue arrives, and let me know how you like it!

4. Dinosaur Training on Super Human Radio

Back in October, I was interviewed on Super Human Radio, and it ended up being one of their most popular interviews ever. If you missed the interview, you can listen to hit right here:

I’m going to be interviewed again on Friday at 1:00 Eastern Standard Time. We’ll cover Chalk and Sweat and talk workouts. Tune in if you can – and if not, be sure to listen to it later on.

5. Another Thumbs Up for Dinosaur Training!

Denis Reno gave Dinosaur Training, the Dinosaur Files and my other books are great review in the latest issue of his Weightlifter’s Newsletter. He even called me PROLIFIC because of all the new books and the 8 issues of The Dinosaur Files that came out last year. Denis has been publishing the Weightlifter’s Newsletter since 1969 and is up to issue no. 340, so if anyone is prolific, it’s Denis Reno.

6. Include the Bar!

One of our readers emailed in response to yesterday’s post and asked if you include the weight of the bar when computing poundage goals and lifting standards. The answer is – absolutely yes!

7. 300/400/500 and Trap Bar

Another reader asked if using a Trap Bar for deadlifts would change the 300/400/500 poundage goals – i.e., a 300 pound bench press, 400 pound squat and 500 pound deadlift. The answer is – no, shoot for those numbers regardless of whether you use a straight bar or a Trap bar for your deads.

8. Which Program to Follow?

Readers are giving great feedback for Chalk and Sweat. Many of you are writing to say, “The only problem is trying to decide which program to follow first!”

The answer is -- pick one of the programs that is appropriate for your current strength level (which we covered yesterday) – and then gear up, knuckle down and start doing it. They’re all good programs, and they’ll all give you great results if you work hard at them.

9. History’s Strongest Men

Many of you are asking when vol. 2 of History’s Strongest Men will be coming out, and who will be featured. Well, you’re in luck – that’s one of the projects I’m working on this month, so the little monster will be ready pretty soon. As for who it is – just wait a little longer, and you’ll see. But I can tell you this: he’s a powerhouse!

10. Good News for Legacy of Iron fans!

Volume 5 in the Legacy of Iron series is at the printer – and that means that it’s going to be ready in the not too distant future. I don’t have a production schedule yet, but it should be no more than four or five weeks. Volume 5 will cover 1942 and 1943, and it features more great action as our lifting champions scatter across the globe in the battle against the Axis powers.

The first copy of volume 5 is going to go to Tommy Kono – who is a big fan of the series. He can read it while he’s rehabbing that knee.

The Wrap-Up

That does it for now. As always, thanks for reading, and if you train today, do it Dino-style – hard, heavy and serious.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. You can grab a copy of Chalk and Sweat – or a subscription to the Dinosaur Files newsletter – or any of my other books or courses – right here at Dino Central:

Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced Lifter -- Which Are You?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

If you missed yesterday’s email message, Happy New Year!

It’s 2011 – another year made to order for great workouts, great lifting and great results.

In that regard, I’ve been receiving tons of training questions from readers. Here’s one of the most common questions over the past couple of weeks.

“Your new book, Chalk and Sweat, has training programs for beginners, intermediates and advanced lifters. How do I know which category I fall into?”


If you’ve never trained before, or you used to train but you haven’t done so for a long time, you’re a beginner.

If you’ve been working out, but not using basic, compound exercises like squats, deadlifts and presses, then you’re a beginner as far as the workouts in Chalk and Sweat are concerned.

Chalk and Sweat has ten different training programs for beginners. They feature different exercises and different types of equipment, and some are more difficult than others. A true beginner – no training at all – should start on one of the easier programs and follow it for 4 to 6 weeks in order to get started. Then he can try one of the other programs for 4 to 6 weeks.

If a beginner worked his way through 4 or 5 of the beginner programs, training progressively and adding weight to the bar on a regular basis, he’d be ready for one of the ten intermediate schedules in the book.

If you’re not sure where to start, and you’re not very experienced in training, then follow one of the beginner programs. It’s much better to start out light and easy and progress from there than to jump into a program that is too advanced and too strenuous and do the crash and burn thing.

As I’ve said many times, strength training is a life-long pursuit. You’re in it for the long haul. It doesn’t matter where you start – what matters is where you finish. And the best way to finish strong is to begin at the right place – with a program that is fun, interesting and progressive – NOT a program that knocks you flat on your you know what. THAT kind of program is for later on, when you’re more experienced.


An intermediate is someone who can move respectable weight in PERFECT FORM for SETS AND REPS in the basic compound exercises.

Something like this – in strict form, performed as part of your regular workouts:

1. Squat 2-3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with bodyweight

2. Deadlift 2 -3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with 20 pounds over bodyweight

3. Standing (Military) press 2 -3 sets of 5 reps with 60 percent of bodyweight

4. Bench press 2 -3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with 80 percent of bodyweight

5. Barbell bent-over row 2 – 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with 70 percent of bodyweight

In addition, an intermediate is someone who has been training regularly and progressively for a period of at least three months, and who can handle three hard weekly workouts of 45 to 75 minutes without undue fatigue. In other words, an intermediate is in good lifting condition.

The above numbers are not exact because there are many individual factors that come into play here. These are ballpark numbers. General guidelines. Rules of thumb.


An advanced lifter can do the following in strict style as part of his regular workouts:

1. Squat 2 - 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with bodyweight plus 50 to 75 pounds

2. Deadlift 2 – 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with bodyweight plus 100 pounds

3. Standing (Military) press 2 – 3 sets of 5 reps with 80 percent of bodyweight

4. Bench press 2 – 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with bodyweight plus 20 pounds

5. Barbell bent-over row 2 – 3 sets of 5 to 8 reps with 90 percent of bodyweight

In addition, an advanced lifter will have at least one year of regular, progressive training under his belt, and will be in excellent condition for lifting. This is a MINIMUM, and for many of you, it’s going to be more like two or three years before you reach advanced status.

And once again, the above numbers are ballpark – so treat them as general guidelines.

Note that you may find it easy to reach intermediate or advanced status in some exercises, and more difficult in others. This is the result of past training and individual differences. Some people are naturally stronger in certain exercises.

That should help decide where you are now – beginner, intermediate or advanced – and it should help give you some training goals for the coming year. I want all beginners to move up to intermediate status in 2011 – and all intermediates to move up to advanced status.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day – and if you train today, make it a good one! Remember, you achieve success from one good workout after another.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Dinosaur Training books and courses – and the Dinosaur Files monthly newsletter -- will take you to the top of the iron mountain in 2011:

1. Chalk and Sweat: Dinosaur Training Workouts for Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Lifters – the brand new book from Dino Headquarters, and already a huge hit with Dinos around the world:

2. The Dinosaur Files newsletter – 20 pages, hard copy, mailed to you monthly, with great photos and full of terrific training articles. Sub now, and ask me to start your subscription as of May 2010 so that you don’t miss an issue of this great newsletter:

3. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development – the book that started the Dinosaur Revolution – the book they call “the bible of strength training”:

4. Strength, Muscle and Power – a great new book from Dinosaur Headquarters – it’s an encyclopedia of strength training and muscle building secrets – with dozens of hard-hitting, no nonsense training programs for cellar-dwellers and garage gorillas of all ages:

5. Gray Hair and Black Iron: Secrets of Successful Strength Training for Older Lifters – the first book ever written about serious strength training for older lifters – featuring more than 50 workouts specially designed for older lifters:

6. History’s Strongest Men and How They trained – Vol 1: Doug Hepburn. A big 32 page training course covering the life and lifting – and the training programs – of the Canadian Hercules, Doug Hepburn:

Seven Keys to Great Workouts in 2011!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

To start things off – Happy New Year!

For just about everyone else, the New Year officially started on January 1 – but for me, it started on January 2.

That was the day I had my first workout of 2011.

That’s always the real beginning of the New Year – the first workout. At least, that’s how I count the start of the New Year. And if you’re reading this message, it’s probably how you count things as well.

It was a pretty good one, too. I slipped into my workout gear, headed out to the garage, and did about ten minutes of warm-up drills.

After that, it was power snatches for triples – push presses for triples -- and front squats for triples, followed by some gut, grip and neck work.

The next workout will be power cleans, split jerks and back squats – for triples – followed by gut, grip and neck work.

Nothing fancy, but it’s fun and it’s effective. It keeps me strong and it keeps me young.

As we move forward into the year, I’m going to do several things to make my training more progressive. These are things that anyone can do with any training program, so you might want to give them a try.

1. Add sets.

Last night, I did a series of progressively heavier sets, followed by one top set on each exercise. Gradually, I’ll move from one top set to two top sets – and then to three top sets.

2. Add exercises.

Over time, I’ll work in snatch grip high pulls and clean grip high pulls. Then I’ll work in snatch grip high pulls from boxes, and clean grip high pulls from boxes – as well as power snatches from boxes and power cleans from boxes.

Note that I may change from two basic workouts to three or four basic workouts when I add exercises. In other words, I may change from Workout A and Workout B to Workout A, Workout B, Workout C and Workout D.

3. Add weight.

As noted above, I’ll move from one set with my top weight to two sets, and then to three sets. After that, I’ll add weight, drop back to one top set, and build back up.

Note that you can do something similar by adding reps. For example, you can gradually work from three reps to four reps with a given weight – and to five reps – and then add weight.

4. Train faster

Last night’s workout took exactly one hour. One way to make my training more progressive will be to work a little faster. When I can do the same workout in 50 minutes, I’m training more efficiently, and with greater intensity. And if I can do more sets and more exercises in that same one-hour period, then I’m really starting to improve. So as I add sets, exercises, and weight, my goal is to keep everything within one hour of hard, heavy, concentrated training.

4a. Note that I am NOT talking about doing “bodybuilding” style workouts when I’m talking about training faster. I’m talking about Dino-style stuff like power snatches, power cleans, push presses, front squats, back squats, etc. Low reps, heavy weight and multiple sets. Tommy Kono used to get terrific workouts in an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes back in the 1950’s – and he trained HARD and HEAVY. That’s what I’m talking about.

4b. To help accomplish no. 4, I’m going to work in some simple cardio 2x or 3x per week with the goal of improving my overall condition. Training your heart and lungs so that you are both strong AND well conditioned is a good way to help you train faster when you’re hitting the iron.

5. Faster and better reps

Since I do power snatches, power cleans and other exercises that require fast and precise movements, one of the best ways to make my workouts more progressive is to strive to perform each rep in letter perfect form – and as fast as possible – and then to try to use better and better form and to move faster and faster.

For exercises like squats or front squats, you don’t move as fast – but you certainly should aim for perfect form on each rep.

One great goal for 2011 is to perform every rep for the entire year in perfect form. (Think about what a difference that one simple thing would make in your training.)

5a. For older lifters, part of faster and better reps is to do enough flexibility work to maintain good mobility and a full range of movement in all of your joints.

6. Concentration

I’m going to concentrate on each and every rep I perform in 2011 – and I’m going to work to improve my powers of concentration from workout to workout. This is nothing new – I’ve been doing it for many years – but it always helps to go back and work on “the basics” – and intense mental focus and deep concentration is one of the basics.

7. Visualization

I’m going to use visualization regularly before, during and after my workouts – and on off days. Again, this is something I’ve been doing for a long time – but it’s always good to reinforce your visualization techniques.

So that’s how my 2011 got started – and that’s what’s going to be happening out in the garage over the next 12 months. I expect that something very similar is going to be happening in your training world – and when it does, 2011 is going to be a GREAT year for you.

As always, thanks for reading – and if you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For other training ideas for 2011 – and for some GREAT Dino-style workouts for beginners, intermediates and advanced lifters – or for advanced lifters who want to build maximum possible strength and muscle mass – grab a copy of my new book, Chalk and Sweat:

P.S. 2 For Dinosaur Training, Gray Hair and Black Iron, Strength, Muscle and Power, Dinosaur Files subscriptions and other great products for serious lifters, go here: