Hail to the Dinosaurs!
If you're a regular reader, you know about
Famous old school bodybuilder from England.
Three time Mr. Universe. Two hundred and
thirty-five pounds of muscle. Played Hercules
in the movies -- and looked more like Hercules
than Hercules did. Far and away, the most
massive, muscular man of his era.
Strong, too -- he squatted 600 pounds back
when the top heavyweight lifters didn't
handle very much more than that -- handled
300 pounds in the press behind neck (some
say for reps!) -- set a British record in the
dumbbell press -- and was the second man in
history (behind Doug Hepburn) to bench press
So I ask the question:
Did Reg Park do cardio?
And like many things in life, the answer is
"Yes -- and No!"
If you're talking about endless hours on a
treadmill, 20 miles a week of jogging, daily
spinning classes, jazzercize, jumpercize,
power aerobics or cardio theater, the answer
is "NO, he did NOT!"
But if you count hard, heavy workouts where
you train fast and furious with heavy weights,
then the answer is "YES, he DID!"
A gym owner named ray Beck once observed Park
during a workout. He wrote about it in Peary
Rader's old Iron Man. He said, "Nobody, but
nobody, works out as fast and furiously . . .
as Reg Park."
Beck also noted that Park trained with intense
concentration, ferocious determination, and
performed all of his reps in the smoothest
possible form. He was a stickler for details,
and he squeezed everything possible out of
every set. He worked FAST, stopping only long
enough to catch his breath in-between sets
and exercises. He practiced forced breathing
in-between sets. And he used HEAVY weights --
and focused on STRENGTH exercises (squats,
bench presses, high pulls, power cleans,
Make no mistake about it. Heavy strength
training can give your heart and lungs a
terrific workout. All you need to do is
work hard, heavy and fast!
Of course, you might not be able to train
hard, heavy and fast right away, especially
if you've been resting for long periods in-
between sets and exercises. Build up to it
gradually. Start timing yourself, and work
on reducing your rest times slowly and
progressively -- so that you gradually
reduce your workout time.
If you gradually cut a 60 minute workout to
45 minutes -- while doing the same exercises,
sets and reps, and using the same weights --
then you're going to increase your strength
and development -- AND whip yourself into
terrific condition -- WITHOUT doing cardio!
Now, of course -- if you WANT to do cardio
as well, that's fine. But I know that many
iron-heads simply will NOT do cardio -- and
I known you need to do SOMETHING to get your
heart and lungs pumping -- so why not try the
fast and furious approach?
After all, it worked pretty darn well for Reg
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. For more ideas on Dino-style cardio training
(a/k/a cardio training for iron-heads), take a
1. The "finishers" described in STRENGTH, MUSCLE
2. The sandbag drills and other work with heavy,
awkward objects featured in DINOSAUR TRAINING: LOST
SECRETS OF STRENGTH AND DEVELOPMENT -- as well as
the chapter on "Death Sets":
3. The cardio training ideas in GRAY HAIR AND BLACK
IRON (which gives you a TON of different things
4. The leg specialization programs in CHALK AND
5. The training programs in DINOSAUR BODYWEIGHT
TRAINING (especially the conditioning workouts at
the end of the book):
6. And last but not least -- the Dinosaur Files
newsletter, which has had a number of great articles
on cardio training for iron-heads. For back issues
from May 2010 through April 2011, go here:
And for the current sub year, running from May
2011 through April 2012, go here (I'll send May 2011
through January 2012 in one shipment, and then send
the other issues (Feb, March and April month by
month to complete your 12-issue subscription):
P.S. 2. Thought for the Day: "If you're a Dino, sweating to
the oldies means doing squats and deadlifts." -- Brooks