Hail to the Dinosaurs!
We have a ton to cover this morning,
so let's get started - beginning with an
update on The Dino Files.
1. The January Dino Files
The January Dino Files is available
in Kindle and PDF editions - AND in a
hard-copy edition printed and shipped
to you by Amazon.
We're finishing up the February issue and will
release the PDF very soon. It's going to be
another great issue - with some special new
features and upgrades that I think you're
really going to like.
2. The Complete List
We have over 20 books in the Kindle book-
store now. Here's the complete list:
3. Bench Press Alternatives for
Several readers have asked about bench
press alternatives for Dinos who train
alone, without a spotter and without
a power rack.
It's a good question because doing bench
presses without a spotter and without a
power rack is a bad idea - as in, you can
literally die under the bar if you get stuck
with a heavy weight.
And I'm not making this up. At least once a
year there's a newspaper report from some-
where about someone who got pinned under
a heavy barbell while training bench presses
on his own - and he died.
So what are the options?
One obvious possibility is the parallel
bar dip. However, I would stay away
from these. They can be very tough
on the shoulders. That's especially
true if you do them on wide dipping
bars or if you pile on plenty of extra
Having said that, I know that some of you
do dips, enjoy them, and have no problem
with them. If they work for you, then feel
free to do them, but do them the RIGHT
way. Avoid a deep stretch, and don't do
any sort of drop and bounce stuff.
Also, some Dinos do much better with
ring dips than parallel bar dips. But
again, avoid the deep stretch!
Here are some other, and in my opinion,
much better options. Of course, you
would only use ONE of these in any
particular training program:
1. Dumbbell Bench Presses
These are great, and many trainees
find that they actually work the chest
muscles harder than regular bench
Don't lower the dumbbells any further
than you would lower the barbell. A
deep stretch can hurt your shoulders.
2. Dumbbell Incline Presses
These were a favorite of many top
bodybuilders from the 1940s and 1950s.
Reg Park, Clarence Ross, Steve Reeves,
Alan Stephan and George Eiferman all
did plenty of dumbbell incline presses.
Note that you can use different angles.
Some dinos prefer a 30 degree angle,
others a 45 degree angle, and others
a 60 degree angle.
3. Dumbbell Floor Presses
Charles Smith covered these in an old
issue of Muscle Power magazine back
in the 1950s. It's a good exercise, and
with practice, you can go pretty heavy.
Resist the temptation to bounce your
upper arms and elbows off the floor
to use more weight or do more reps.
That's cheating, and it's a good way to
4. Barbell Floor Presses
Of course, you do these with plates
large enough that you can roll the bar
into the starting position and then roll
it back out when you are finished with
your set. You don't want to get stuck
under a heavy barbell.
Again, resist the temptation to bounce
the upper arms and elbows off the floor.
Some Dinos find that floor presses are
easier on their shoulders than bench
presses are -- but others (I'm one of
them) find the reverse to be true. So
start light and work up slowly until you
are sure the exercise will be okay
5. One Arm Dumbbell Bench Presses
These are a very good exercise -- and a
very tough one. It's hard to balance the
dumbbell and stay in position on the
bench. You actually get a good *core*
(I hate that word) workout when you
These are a good exercise if you have
trouble getting two dumbbells into the
starting position for the two dumbbell
6. One Arm Dumbbell Incline Press
Again, this is a good exercise if your
problem is wrestling a pair of heavy
dumbbells into the starting position
for the two dumbbell version of the
Remember to experiment with different
See Dinosaur Bodyweight training for
dozens of super-effective pushup variations,
including some killer pushups with rings:
Also, note that you can add resistance
with heavy bands or by putting a barbell
plate or a sandbag on your upper back.
Pro wrestling great Bruno Sammartino
famously did a pushup with 600-pound
wrestler Haystacks Calhoun sitting on
his upper back and shoulders. That
might be an all-time record in weighted
So there you have it: seven terrific
alternatives to the regular bench
press. Give them a try!
As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
Yours in strength,
P.S. Dinosaur Training started a strength training
revolution when I published the little monster way
in 1996 - and it's been a best seller ever since:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right
here at Dino Headquarters:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Where there's
a will, there's a way -- and where there's a
way, strength and muscle lies ahead."
-- Brooks Kubik