Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Yesterday, we were talking about hard
gainers and easy gainers -- and about
my very slow and barely steady progress
up to my early 30's.
Up to that point in time, anyone would
have taken one look and labeled me as a
hard gainer. A hard gainer who trained
regularly, but a hard gainer nonetheless.
But then, several things happened.
1. I began using abbreviated training,
as detailed in my books and courses.
(See Strength, Muscle and Power for
the exact workout.)
2. I began doing heavy singles.
3. I began doing heavy partials, support
work, and bottom position squats and bench
presses in the power rack.
4. I began doing Dino-style grip work,
and using thick-handled barbells and
As a result, all of a sudden I began
growing. I started to gain strength
and muscle mass like a snowball rolling
Over the next couple of years, my bodyweight
went from 180 to 225 pounds.
I went from a 350 or so squat to a 605
pound squat. (Powerlifting style.)
I went from a 355 touch and go bench
press to a competition lift with a dead
stop at the chest of 407 pounds -- and a
bottom position bench press (using a 3"
diameter thick bar) of 435 pounds.
At that point in time, you probably
would have labeled me as an easy gainer.
And based on the big growth spurt during
those years, you probably would have been
So I went from hard gainer for 20 years
of training to easy gainer.
How did it happen?
Well, it wasn't roidskies, because I'm
It wasn't supplements.
It wasn't magic or voodoo.
It was the combination of abbreviated
training and learning ways to train with
really heavy weights -- such as singles,
rack work, partials and support lifts.
The heavy training combined with the grip
work and the thick bar work to increase
my bone, tendon and ligament strength.
My wrists grew at least half an inch
thicker during this period.
And when your bones grow, YOU grow.
"Back in the day" the term "hard gainer"
usually applied to small-boned men --
and "easy gainers" were usually men with
BIG bones -- such as John Grimek. Harry
Paschall wrote about this back in the
early 1950's, so it's nothing new.
The point is, if you want REAL gains in
strength and muscle mass, you can't do
it by focusing on the muscles alone.
You have to do more than train your
You have to train your bones, tendons
This is why I don't like conventional
bodybuilding programs -- or pumping
programs -- or exercise machines --
or training with light weights. That
kind of training hits the muscles,
but does little or nothing for the
tendons, ligaments and bones.
So if you want to go from hard gainer
to easy gainer, target the Inner Man.
Train your tendons, ligaments and
As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make it
a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. I cover power rack training in
detail in Strength, Muscle and Power:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses - and
back issues of the Dino Files hard-copy
newsletter -- are right here:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Build your
body from the inside out. Start with your
bones." -- Brooks Kubik