Hail to the Dinosaurs!
I published DINOSAUR TRAINING way back in 1996,
so I've been doing this for a long time now.
One of the great things about having been in the
strength and muscle business for so many years is
that readers from the early days are now fathers
and grandfathers -- which means they're starting
to teach their sons and daughters -- or grandsons
and granddaughters -- how to train.
That's pretty cool. It's a classic example of
passing the torch (or rather, the barbell) to the
next generation. And it's great to see some
youngsters who are training the right way --
Dino style -- instead of the mass market muscle
If you're starting to train your son or daughter,
grandson or granddaughter -- or any other newbie,
let me offer some tips:
1. Teach by example. You can't just tell them what
to do, you have to show them. Which means YOU have
to keep up with your training.
1A. Note: The workouts in GRAY HAIR AND BLACK IRON
are great for older lifters, but easily adaptable to
youngsters who want to train with you -- especially
the lugging and loading drills!
2. Make it fun. Dino style strength training is
hard work -- but it's FUN! What could be better
than training with dad (or granddad) and doing
stuff like lifting rocks, sandbags and barrels --
using thick handled barbells and dumbbells --
using lots of different grip blasters -- and
doing exercises like squats and deadlifts where
you can pack some serious weight on the bar
instead of doing endless sets of bunny blaster
curls like all of your friends do?
3. Make it progressive. Start light and easy, let
the kid build some confidence, and gradually let
him (or her) add reps -- and then add weight to
4. Include bodyweight training. It's perfect for
getting started on the right foot. See DINOSAUR
BODYWEIGHT TRAINING for details.
5. Combat the mass market muscle media nonsense
by setting a good example AND by pointing the
newbie to books and courses that give them good
old-fashioned, no-nonsense strength training
and muscle building instruction. If they read
the GOOD STUFF at an early age, it will make
an impression -- and they'll train the right
way for the rest of their lives.
5A. CHALK AND SWEAT is an excellent first book
for beginners. For guys who have been training for
awhile, start with DINOSAUR TRAINING.
6. Teach them about the great strongmen of the
past. It's important that they have role models
from the pre-drug era. That's one of the reasons
I cover the old-timers in my books and courses.
It's also one of the reasons I started the LEGACY
OF IRON series, and why I wrote BLACK IRON: THE
JOHN DAVIS STORY. If your son or grandson is
going to be the next John Grimek, the next Steve
Stanko, or the next John Davis, he has to begin
by knowing who they were, what they did and how
7. Teach perfect form. Get them started doing
every rep of every exercise in letter perfect
form. Don't worry about weight at first -- focus
on form. That's absolutely the most important
thing for a beginner -- and as "the Coach"
teaching your beginner to lift in perfect form
is one of your most important jobs!
I hope that helps -- and I hope that you and your
beginner have great fun training together -- and
that you both achieve outstanding success.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. All of the books and courses mentioned in
this message are available at Dinosaur Headquarters:
P.S. 2. If you order a book or course and you want
me to autograph it for you, include a note in the
Special Instructions section of the on-line order
form -- and give me the name to use when I autograph
it (Mike or Michael, Bob or Robert, etc.). There's
no charge for autographs, and it makes a book or
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Start them young, and
grow them strong!" -- Brooks Kubik