Back to His Roots

John Grimek got started in the Iron Game by training at home with a basic barbell and dumbbell set. He finished his career the very same way.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

John Grimek started his weight training
career by using his older brother's Milo
barbell set.

The barbell was an exercise bar, not an
Olympic bar. It was probably five feet
long and one inch in diameter. The iron
plates were sized to fit the one inch bar.

In other words, it was a lot like the 110
pound barbell sets that so many of us
started training on when we were kids.

But basic and simple as it was, it worked
pretty well.

Grimek gained about 70 pounds in his
first three years of training, and laid
the foundation to become the best built
man of his generation -- as well as one
of the strongest men of his era.

Even today, many believe that Grimek
was the greatest all-natural bodybuilder
of all time.

And it all started with a very basic barbell

It ended the same way.

After Grimek retired from the York Barbell
Company, he set up training quarters at
home, in his basement.

He preferred training at home because it
was quiet. He could concentrate. He wasn't
interrupted by fans and well-wishers. He
didn't have to stop and sign autographs
or answer training questions.

The squat corner at Dino Headquarters. John Grimek's basement gym probably looked a lot like this.

After all, he'd been doing that over 50
years -- and he was entitled to some
quiet, uninterrupted workouts.

He trained with an exercise barbell and
a hodge-podge collection of iron plates.

Some were York plates, some were made
by other manufacturers, and he even had
a couple of Weider plates!

He didn't care whose name was on the
plates. As long as it was iron, it did the

He used a set of old-fashioned, self-
standing squat stands. The old York

I have a set of the old York squat stands.
The same kind that John Grimek used.

They work pretty well, but with anything
over 300 pounds you need to be darn
sure you don't tip them over.

The outdoor lifting area at Dino Headquarters. You don't need anything fancy to get a great workout.

Grimek also had some dumbbells.
Plate-loading and adjustable. And
again, they were sized for exercise

He did squats and dumbbell presses,
and not much else.  They were his two
favorite exercises at this stage of his

It was pretty basic - but it was lots
of fun.

And so, after more than 50 years,
John Grimek returned to his roots.

Barbell, basement lifter.

Just like it was when he got started.

And frankly, that's a pretty good way
to do things.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here's a book that's made to
order for everyone who trains old-
school style:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses
are right here at Dino Headquarters:

Hard-copy and PDF


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day:
"A good barbell is a friend for
life." - Brooks Kubik

We have more than 25 Dinosaur Training books and courses in the Kindle bookstore - here are a couple of them - head on over and take a look at the others: