Hail to the Dinosaurs!
I love training in my garage gym, and
frankly, I wouldn't train anywhere else.
It's quiet -- it's clean -- it's open
any time I want to train -- it doesn't
require any driving time -- it has
exactly the right equipment -- and
(most important of all) it has ZERO
distractions. Meaning I can train with
total concentration and complete,
I train alone, with no workout partners
and no spotters. So safety is important.
Here are some tips on training alone:
1. No barbell bench presses unless you
do them inside a power rack or with
safety bars to catch the weight if you
1A. Many years ago, while working out in
a college weight room on a Saturday afternoon
when no one else was training, I missed my
final rep on a set of bench presses and got
stuck under 315 pounds. I had to roll the
bar down my body until I could sit up and
then wrestle it off. NOT FUN! I was a mass
of rope-like bruises for several weeks.
1B. Every year, several people die when they
get pinned under a bench press bar. That's not
2. If you don't have a power rack or safety
bars, do dumbbell bench presses.
3. If you have trouble getting the dumbbells
into position for bench pressing, do one-arm
dumbbell bench presses. This allows you to use
two hands to get the dumbbell into position.
4. Another option is to do pushups instead of
bench presses. There are many excellent pushup
variations -- see Dinosaur Bodyweight Training
5. Use a power rack for heavy squats!
6. If you don't have a power rack, you might
want to try front squats. They're a great
exercise, and it's easier to dump the bar
if you get stuck.
7. Replace squats with Trap Bar deadlifts. They
work the legs and hips very effectively, and in
7A. Note: Many older Dinos use Trap Bar deadlifts
instead of squats because they find them to be
much easier on their knees, hips and lower back.
7B. Bodyweight squats are another good alternative
for those who train at home. The rope squats (one
legged and two-legged) described in Dinosaur
Bodyweight Training are excellent.
8. Learn to train HARD without missing lifts.
You do NOT have to do a slow, grinding, life or
death, gut-busting final rep in the squat to
get great results.
8A. Yes, you have to work HARD to make gains --
but there's a difference between a "maybe" rep
and performing a hard, challenging, demanding,
rep that you CAN and WILL make.
8B. Note: If you're an older lifter, you should
ALWAYS make every rep. Missing a rep or missing
a lift really takes it out of you. See Gray Hair
and Black Iron for more info on this important
9. I've never used one, but I know that many
trainees have had good luck with hip belt squats
or with Peary Rader's Magic Circle device. If you
can find one, it might work very well for you.
10. Finally, the most important tool for safe
and effective training -- whether you train at
home or at a gym -- is your brain. Train hard --
train heavy -- and really go after it -- but use
your head, and make safety a priority.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. Dinosaur Bodyweight Training has been our
number one best seller for the past five or six
months -- and with good reason. You can grab the
little monster right here:
P.S. 2. For more about home gym training, see "In
Praise of Cellar Dwellers" -- it's Chapter 14 in
Strength, Muscle and Power:
P.S. 3. Older lifters take note -- you need to pay
close attention to recovery and recuperation. Gray
Hair and Black Iron tells you how to do it:
P.S. 4. My other books and courses are right here
at Dino Headquarters:
P.S. 5. Thought for the Day: "Safety first -- followed
by chalk, sweat and plenty of hard work." -- Brooks Kubik