Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Here's an email with a training update
and several questions from Mike Alexander,
a hard-training, hard-charging Dino who's
keeping it real at age 52. Several of you
had similar questions, so I thought this
would be good to share with the Dino
I hope you are well. I love overhead pressing
and benching. However, as 52 year old retired
army officer, I get some serious pain from
time to time when I press. So, when it hurts
I stop weight lifting and do some body weight
I bought the "Dinosaur Bodyweight Training"
book, and Bill Hinbern's "Hand-Balancing for
Muscular Development." So, from those I went
back to the roots, so to speak, from my Army
days, knocking out those good old push-ups.
I use a variety of push-ups from Dinosaur
Bodyweight Training, including Incline
Pushups, Jowett Pushups, Gorilla Pushups,
and my favorite, Handstand pushups.
I am currently at 2 x 8 on the Handstand
Pushup, and I weigh 220 so I think I am
I have a few questions:
- When I do my regular workout I use push-ups
and pull-ups along with some dumbbell squats
and deadlifts. it feels great, do you think
this a good combination?
- I know that lifting my bodyweight isn't
the gold standard, but if I got to, say,
2 x 15 on the handstand would that be
Let me know what you think. I also walk
three miles on my non-lifting days. (I
read about that in your "Gray Hair Black
Iron" Book.) Good stuff, my old knees are
shot from jumping off tanks when I was in
the army, but I love the fast walking!
You take care, and thanks for the great
Hi Mike -- Thanks for the workout report.
It sounds like you're doing a great job,
and in particular, that you're changing
things up to work around the dings and
dents -- which is critical for any older
2 x 8 in the Handstand Pushup is very
good -- especially for a 52-year old Dino
who weighs in at 220 pounds.
With regard to your questions, a workout
based on pushups, pull-ups, dumbbell squats
and deadlifts would be excellent. All four
are good exercises, and they are perfect
(and safe) for home gym training.
I can't recall, but I think I included a
very similar workout in Dinosaur Dumbbell
Anyhow, it's a good program, and will work
well for you.
Re your second question -- if you can do
2 x 15 in the handstand pushup, that's
pretty good. The York lifters used to do
lots of handstand pushups, and most of
them did sets of 10 to 20 reps. These
were lighter lifters, so it was easier
than moving 220 pounds up and down.
Whether the 2 x 15 is equal to a gold
medal press is an open question. It
depends in part on how far down you go.
If you touch the top of your head to
the floor, that's a limited range
Handstand Pushup. If you go lower,
it's a full range movement and much
closer to a press.
If you're doing 2 x 15 in full range
Handstand Pushups, that's definitely
equal to the gold medal standard.
Thanks for sharing this. It's a good
workout, and good info for lifters of
To everyone else -- Mike has shown good
resourcefulness in working around sore
knees and shoulders. That's how you do
it. Remember, where there's a will,
there's a way!
As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make it
a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. You'll find great exercises, great
workouts and great training advice in the
books Mike used to build his current
1. Dinosaur Bodyweight Training
2. Dinosaur Dumbbell Training
3. Gray Hair and Black Iron
4. Available from Bill Hinbern -- Hand Balancing
for Muscular Development
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Everyone has dings
and dents, but Dinosaurs work around them."
-- Brooks Kubik