Hail to the Dinosaurs!
One quick note, and then we'll talk
1. The October Dinosaur Files
Here's the link for the October issue of
the Dinosaur Files in PDF format:
If you're a Kindle fan, I have some great
news for you. We finished the Kindle edition
of the October Dino Files and we're loading
it onto our Amazon Kindle page right now.
It should be available very soon. I'll send a
link as soon as I have one.
The last issue of the Dinosaur Files raced
up to No. 1 in its category on Kindle, and
I'd love to see that happen with the
2. To Squat or Not to Squat (Part 3)
Meanwhile, we have tons more feedback from
Dinos. Remember, this is in response to a
question from a Dino who has unusual
challenges in doing squats, including a
stiff shoulder and lumbar rotoscoliosis.
Trap Bar deadlifts work well for him, but
he wants to squat because he knows
it's a great exercise. The question is,
is it worth the risk in his case?
Or, to put it bluntly, is the squat a "must
do" exercise for everyone?
Here's what your fellow Dinos think:
1. Train Without Pain!
I think it makes good sense to do what
works without causing unnecessary pain.
Obviously, squats will cause pain, but
there is good pain and bad pain. Good
pain results in growth and bad pain
results in injuries.
If he does well with Trap Bar and some
kind of leg press, it isn't worth risking
not being able to walk just to say, "I
2. Stick to Front Squats!
I would say I had the perfect build/
body structure for squatting and did a
ton of it and benefited from it.
However, long term and with regard to
over-all effectiveness, I believe I would
have been better off and MILES AHEAD
if I had switched EXCLUSIVELY to front
squats and cleans once I mastered the
over-all movement of basic squatting.
I think over-all and long-term safety
and productivity favor front squatting.
3. Focus On Pain-free Training
"I think he should stick with Trap Bar
deadlift and some leg presses. He has
earned the right to train pain-free and
have some fun.
At 50, after four knee surgeries,
spondylitis, and limited ROM in my
hips, I keep trying to squat and I pay
dearly for it each time for several days
For me, a squat is a squat, as I have
tried Top Squat, Hip Belt Squat, dumbbell
squat, machine squat, bodyweight squat,
band squats -- all with basically the same
result to varying degrees: PAIN.
But I can do Trap Bar deadlifts without
debilitation, and that's what I'm sticking
to, as should he.
4. A Hip Belt Note
Many readers suggested that our Dino use
the hip belt. That's a good choice for many
Dinos who need a squat alternative, but it's
a bad choice for THIS Dino due to his roto-
scoliosis. He tells me that the hip belt squat
twists his hips -- which twists his lower back --
which is a real problem for him.
He goes to the chiro, gets an adjustment, and
everything is fine -- and then he does the hip
belt squat and BOOM -- he needs another
That's another good example that what works
well for one Dino may not work as well for
5. The Trap Bar
Hands down, the majority of Dinos said to stick
to the Trap Bar deadlift as the primary lower
body movement -- and I think that's excellent
advice for this Dino (and for many older Dinos).
It's perfect for him because it doesn't put any
torque on his shoulders or hips -- and it actually
helps him keep square to the bar as he does his
John Wood sells the original Gerard Trap Bar --
made in the USA. If you're looking for a Trap
Bar, go with the original:
We have more feedback from the Dino
Nation about the question of squats, dings,
dents and work-arounds. We'll cover this in
future emails. It's an important topic - and
one you don't often see covered.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. Productive, effective and pain-free training
gets much more difficult as you grow older --
but Gray Hair and Black Iron will help you
sort things out:
P.S. 2. My Dinosaur Training e-books are
a big hit with Dinos around the world,
including these little monsters:
a. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 1.
"Exercises, Workouts and Training
b. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 2,
"How Strong Are You?"
c. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 3,
"How to Use Old-School Progression
Methods for Fast and Steady Gains in
Strength, Muscle and Power"
All of these courses are also available
in hard copy editions and in PDF format
with immediate electronic delivery. Go
here to grab them:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train to be
strong, fit, and healthy at age 50, 60, 70,
80 and beyond." -- Brooks Kubik