Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Yesterday we talked about the
We also covered the Book Mobile.
Today, let's cover the Muscle
And pay attention -- because this
is a true story -- about one of
the original Dinosaurs.
There was a gray-haired, grizzled,
Olympic lifter named Mike Rinaldi.
He bought a copy of Dinosaur
Training way back in 1996, when
the little monster first hit an
unsuspecting world. I know, because
he sent me tons of letters and
emails telling me about his
Mike was a regular at the Go Heavy
Olympic Weightlifting Forum. He
posted under several names, one of
which was Mr. Snatchural.
It was a good name.
That was his favorite lift. The
squat snatch. And yes, he
enjoyed the work of Robert Crumb.
He even had a little cartoon
that showed Mr. Natural, barbell
in hand, performing as Mr.
And don't think he was all goofs
and giggles. He took 4th place in
the American Masters Weightlifting
Championships on year. That was in
Vineland, New Jersey in 2000. He
snatched 70 kilos, clean and jerked
90 kilos, and totaled a very
respectable 160 pounds in the
94 kilo class -- at 53 years
of age. That's pretty good.
Many years, he would have won
with that total.
But here's the great part.
Mike used to throw his bar and
his bumper plates in to the back
of his truck -- and throw in a
sheet of 4 x 8 plywood -- and
drive into the bad part of town.
He'd park the truck, set the
plywood down on the sidewalk,
load up the bar and start doing
You can just picture it.
Mike walks up to the bar, bends
over and BOOM -- hits a perfect
Stands up, holds the weight over
his head, lowers it back to the
"platform" -- and does another
Bar is overhead.
He lowers the bar, gets set, and does
And of course, he draws a crowd. Crazy
people always do.
Crazy guy approaches the bar -- BOOM.
Does a perfect squat snatch.
It looks pretty cool.
And one of the kids says, "What you
That draws a big laugh and a lot of
"How you do that?"
So he does.
The kid tries a snatch.
There's no BOOM.
There's only a lurch-slide-stagger-
sprawl-wiggle-wave-fall on your face.
"No," says Mike. "Not like that. Like
Before you know it, he's teaching the
entire neighborhood how to do squat
He gets home a couple of hours later.
Sore as hell.
Tired as hell.
But he's taught 20 or 30 kids how to
Do it every weekend and it starts to
Heck, he might have started some kid
on the road to the Olympic Gold Medal.
And he might have started several
hundred of them on the road to life
long strength and health.
And that sure as heck ought to count
We lost Mike on June 22, 2008. He was
60 years old.
But when you do something like Mike's
Muscle Mobile, the years don't matter.
You end up living forever.
As always, thanks for reading -- and I
hope this one really resonates.
If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. In 2009 I dedicated a new book to
Mike Rinaldi. That was my way of saying
GOOD JOB to Mr. Snatchural. You can
probably guess what it was:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
P.S. 3. Thought for the day. "Live your
life as each every workout might be your
last one. Some day it will be."
-- Brooks Kubik