Questions and Answers About the Essential Exercises

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick notes, and then we'll talk iron.

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before the big day.

2. Grab the The Nov-Dec Dino Files!

Here's the link for the PDF edition - it's a
great issue, and we've been getting terrific
feedback on it.

We also release the little monster in a
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finished and released as soon as possible.
I'll send a link when it's ready.

We release the PDF edition first, and then
the Kindle edition. The Kindle edition has
to be formatted differently, so we can't
release both at the same time.

3. Questions and Answers About the
Essential Exercises.

On the training front, let's answer some
questions from readers.

We've been talking about the Essential Exercises
this week, and I've been getting lots of feedback
from the Dino Nation.

If you missed the original email about this,
go to the Dinosaur Training Blog to read it:

So let's cover some of the more common

Q. Why didn't Bradley J. Steiner include deadlifts
as one of the Essential Exercises?

A. Steiner preferred stiff legged deadlifts. Personally,
I prefer deadlifts. I think stiff legged deadlifts are
best done with a LIGHT weight, more for stretching
and flexibility than heavy strength training. Some
men (Dr. Ken) for example, thrive on heavy stiff
legged deadlifts. I guess it depends on your body
structure as much as anything else.

Q. Why didn't Steiner include Trap Bar Deadlifts on
his list of Essential Exercises?

A. Because the Trap Bar hadn't been invented then.
If it had been available, he might well have suggested
that readers try it. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the
Trap Bar. For more info on Trap Bar training, or to
order the original Gerard Trap Bar:

Q. What about dips? Don't you think they should
be on the list?

A. I know some of you are going to hate this answer,
but Steiner preferred the bench press and the

dumbbell incline press.

So do I. Dips are a great movement for young guys,
and many do them and use added weight and really
enjoy them -- but they are very hard on the shoulder
joint. I have rec'd many letters and emails over the
years from guys who hurt their shoulders doing dips.

If you simply MUST do them, do them slow and strict,
with no bouncing, and do NOT go for a deep stretch
at the bottom. And if you're an older and heavier
Dinosaur, you may want to skip them entirely.

If you don't like bench presses or dumbbell incline
presses, try the pushup variations in Dinosaur
Bodyweight Training:

Steiner, by the way, liked pushups quite a bit.
He thought they were better than bench presses
for martial artists.

Q. Steiner's list of Essential Exercises is pretty

A. Right -- that's why I like it, and why I shared it
with you.

Q. What about Nautilus machines? I know those were
really big back in the 70's when Steiner compiled his

A. They were indeed. Steiner actually thought they
were pretty good (he liked Arthur Jones' one set to
failure ideas), but he also noted (as did Jones) that
you could get great results with nothing other than
a barbell and a set of squat stands.

Steiner was at heart a home gym guy. He trained at
home, and he always wrote training programs that
worked for a home gym trainee. Cellar dwellers and
garage gorillas usually have barbells, dumbbells,
benches, and squats stands or a power rack --
but they don't have the space or the cash for
a set of a dozen expensive Nautilus machines.

So Steiner wasn't about to call them "essential"
even though he did like them.

Those are some of the more common questions
about the essential exercises. I'll cover some others
next week.

In the meantime, and as always -- thanks for
reading and have a great day. If you train today,
make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. 1. For the best exercises for older trainees,
see Gray Hair and Black Iron:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
right here at Dino headquarters -- including
links to my Kindle e-books and the all-new
monthly Dinosaur Files with immediate
digital delivery:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Exercises are
tools. Use the best you can find." -- Brooks