The Mysterious Hise Shrug!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

A reader asked me how to perform the
Hise Shrug.

It was the 7,983rd time someone has
asked me that question (and yes, I keep
track of all questions from readers!).

So, with that many readers wondering
about it, I thought I'd cover it in a

The Hise Shrug was invented by -- you
guessed it -- Joseph Curtis Hise, the
man who made the big gains on the
breathing squat program "back in the
day" -- which were reported by Mark
Berry in Strength magazine --- and
which pretty much turned the lifting
world into a bunch of squat

Imagine that -- a world of squat
fanatics. Not curl fanatics. Squat
fanatics. Times have changed, haven't

Anyhow, the Hise shrug is a heavy
shrug performed with the barbell on
the upper back and shoulders, just
the same as if you were going to
perform a set of squats.

You get set, focus -- and take a huge
deep breath. Fill your lungs to the
max -- and as you do, you perform a
shoulder shrug.

In other words, it's a combination
of huge, deep breath and shoulder
shrug. The idea is to lift the bar
with a combination of lung power
and trap power.

Pause in the top position, lower slowly
and under control, pause and repeat.

Breathe out as you lower the bar.

It's a short movement on each rep --
just an inch or two. The real idea is
to work your breathing muscles against
heavy weight resistance.

You can do sets of 3 to 5 reps for super
strength -- or sets of 20 to 30 reps for
weight gaining.

One word of caution -- do these in a power
rack, with the pins set to catch the bar
at the end of the set. Hise shrugs are like
quarter squats. There's too much weight on
the bar to do them safely unless you use a
power rack.

After each set of shrugs, do a set of 15
to 30 reps in the breathing pullover with
very light weights -- no more than 20 or 25
pound dumbbells.

Hise shrugs are a GREAT exercise -- and a
great way to work the breathing muscles,
which are more or less neglected in most
training programs.

Give them a try and see what they do for you!

Yours in strength,
Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more great secrets of old-school
strength training and muscle building, grab
these classics:

Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength
and Development

Strength, Muscle and Power

Gray Hair and Black Iron

P.S. My other books and courses are right

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Breathing exercises
work best with a barbell on your shoulders."
-- Brooks Kubik

Harness the Power of Concentration!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

The powerful athlete chalks his hands, walks
across the platform, and stands silent, his
eyes closed, his brow knitted in concentration.

In his mind, he is reviewing the lift he is
about to perform.

He sees it in his mind’s eye, as plainly and
clearly as if he were watching a movie. A movie
starring a man – and a barbell.

He sees himself step forward, crouch down and
wrap his thick, strong hands around the bar.

He sees himself get set.

He sees himself drive down with his legs, pulling
the bar up and off the platform with controlled

He sees the bar move higher – sees it pass over
his knees – and watches the powerful second pull
that shoots it upward.

He catches the bar at his shoulders, stands tall,
takes a deep breath – and drives the bar off his

He pushes hard, every fiber of his being focused
on completing the lift.

The bar hits the sticking point and begins to slow
down. – and at that point, the lifter puts every-
thing he has into it – and pushes the bar HARD –
and shoves it right up and over his head.

He stands with his arms locked, the bar overhead.

It’s a picture-perfect clean and press – the classic
test of upper body strength – and a terrific
exercise for any lifter.

Watching this man, you cannot help but notice his
thick shoulders, bulging traps and massive triceps.
To many, those powerfully developed muscle groups
are the secret of his amazing strength.

But those that understand strength training and
lifting know better.

They know that the real secret of the lifter’s
strength is the power of his mind. His ability to
concentrate. To focus. To step into the moment.
To become grounded. To block out every aspect of
the external world. To reduce his entire universe
to the bar and to lifting the bar.

Make no mistake about it. In building your body,
your mind is your most powerful asset. It’s the
key to strength, muscle and power.

You don’t have to be a lifting champion to use
your mind when you train. ANYONE can do it – and
EVERYONE needs to!

When you train, do this:

1. Before every set close your eyes and visualize
what you are going to do.

2. Open your eyes, approach the bar and perform
your set exactly as you visualized it.

3. Focus on each rep – and keep your focus on your
lifting throughout the entire set.

On every set, your goal will be to apply greater
and greater concentration. You want to reach the
point where the gym could catch on fire and you’d
never even know it until you finished your set!

As always, thanks for reading – and if you train
today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Save this email, because it just gave you one
of the most important training secrets you'll ever
see. For other keys to might and muscle, grab a copy
of Dinosaur Training:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Think it, believe
it, do it." -- Brooks Kubik

Anthony Fiorito -- An American Hero!

 (Note: The following is an excerpt from the draft manuscript of book no. 6 in the Legacy of Iron series. It's set in 1944. I don't usually share sections from an unpublished manuscript, but on this Memorial Day, it seemed to be the thing to do.)

Tony Terlazzo sat at his desk in the Strength and Health building, his eyes closed, his mind a whirl of half-forgotten memories. Memories of a former teammate, friend and fellow lifter.  
Anthony Fiorito had been a member of the York Barbell Club and lifted for the York team in the 1930’s. The younger brother of five-time Senior National champion Joe Forito, Anthony had been one of the top lifters in the Middle Atlantic District. Although he never won a District championship, he set many records in the one-hand lifts, including a one-hand clean and jerk with a 165-pound barbell. That was pretty good lifting for a 123-pound lifter.
Tony Terlazzo had been there on that day in August, 1935. He still remembered the lift. 
Anthony Fiorito had moved from weightlifting to hand-balancing, and he quickly became one of the best in the country. He teamed up with another Norristown balancer named Louis D’Antonio, and they developed an outstanding two-man balancing act. They were good enough to turn professional and adopted the stage-name of “The Bartons.”  
Tony smiled. Harry Paschall’s middle name was Barton, and Harry once said he was going to copyright the name before anyone else could borrow it for stage use. That was typical Harry. But Harry had seen that one-hand clean and jerk with 165 pounds, and there was nothing Harry liked better than a fellow lifter. If the Bartons had borrowed his middle name, he never begrudged it.
The Bartons appeared at many shows and exhibitions in York. Whenever there was  a big event, such as Bob Hoffman’s Annual Birthday Party and Lifting Show, the Bartons were there. And that made Anthony Fiorito a regular part of the lifting scene for many years.
When the War descended upon them, Anthony was one of the first to enlist. And he didn’t just join the service. He volunteered for one of the toughest and most dangerous assignments of them all: the Paratroopers. He proved to be an excellent soldier, strong, smart and hard working, and he was quickly promoted to sergeant, and assigned to the position of Jumpmaster.  As Jumpmaster, he was responsible for teaching the men how to parachute. He was literally the “man in charge” on training flights.
On a gray day in late 1943, Anthony Fiorito served as Jumpmaster on a training plane that carried 24 paratroopers for their practice jumps. It should have been a routine flight – but something terrible happened. As the plane leveled off for the long glide immediately preceding the jump, it suddenly went into a spin, turning over and over as it shot to the ground. 
Sgt. Fiorito heaved open the door of the plane. There was no time to wait. They were at an extremely low altitude, not far above the trees below. He could have jumped to safety, shouting to the others to follow him, and hoping they’d be able to do so.
But he didn’t do that.
He stayed on board the doomed plane, and began pushing the men out the door one by one before they even knew what was happening. 
Instead of jumping to safety, he chose to save as many men as possible.
He pushed four men to safety before the crash.
Sgt. Fiorella and 19 other men died that day – and the lifting world lost yet another hero.
And now it fell to Tony Terlazzo to tell the story in his monthly column in Strength and Health, “Barbell Men in the Service.” A World and Olympic champion, Tony Terlazzo was the best lifter, pound for pound, in the entire world. But sometimes, the simple acting of putting words on paper took every ounce of his legendary strength. This was one of those times.
When he finished, Tony pulled the paper out of his typewriter, set it on top of a large pile of typed pages waiting to go to the printer, and closed his eyes. He remembered one of the many times he’d practiced hand-balancing with Anthony Fiorito. Anthony had tried to teach him a particularly difficult maneuver, and Tony had fallen again and again until he was stiff and sore and bruised from head to toe. 
Meanwhile, Anthony Fiorito had done the same stunt over and over – effortlessly.
“How do you do it?” Tony asked him.
“I’m not afraid of falling,” said Anthony. 
Tony stood up, pushed back his chair and walked to the window. He looked out into the night. When had it gotten so dark – and so late? How long had he been working? It was hours past dinnertime.
Once again, he heard his friend’s words.
“I’m not afraid of falling,” said Anthony.
Tony nodded. He understood. He knew why Anthony had chosen to stay on the doomed plane rather than jump to safety when he had the chance.
After a minute of silence he wiped the tears away, put on his coat, picked up his hat, turned out the light and walked down the dark hall. 

Copyright 2013 by Brooks D. Kubik and Brooks Kubik Enterprises, Inc.

A Top 10 List for Dinos!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Before we get started, here's the link
to Carl Lanore's Super Human Radio Show.
I did an interview that lasted over an
hour and 15 minutes yesterday -- and it
was GREAT!

If you missed the live broadcast, be sure
to catch the download -- it's Episode No.

On the training front, here's something
a little bit different for you.

Everyone loves top 10 lists, so let's
start the week with the top 10 giveaways
that someone doesn't know what he's talking
about when it comes to strength training:

10. Can train for three hours without
breaking a sweat.

9. So proud of his one rep deadlift with
35 pounds (not a typo) that he posted it
on the internets.

8. "Squats? No one does squats any more!"

7. "Those work much better if you stand on a
Swiss ball when you do them!"

6. "I read about it in last month's issue of
[fill in blank with any muscle comic]."

5. "We're gonna start you off with a 20 x 20
hypertrophy phase for four weeks."

4. "Power cleans? I already have a dish-washer!"

3. (Pointing to the power rack): "It's the
only safe way to do curls!"

2. "OMG, it's five minutes past the time to
take my amino acids -- I'm shrinking!"

1. "John Grimek -- who was John Grimek?"

Of course, the very BEST way to know whether
someone really does know what's he's talking
about is to look in his gym bag or on his
bookshelf. If there's a dog-eared copy of
Dinosaur Training, you know he knows the

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. Here's where to grab YOUR copy of

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the day: "You can't put
in what God left out, but squats and deadlifts
are still a pretty good idea." -- Brooks Kubik

The 5/4/3/2/1 Question

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

It's a big day today -- I'm live on Super
Human Radio with Carl Lanore at 12:00 noon
EST. Catch it live or listen to the podcast
by grabbing the download later on.

I hope to have as many Dinos as possible
tuning in for the show -- it will be a good

On the training front, let's talk some
more about sensible sets and reps -- and
about adding weight to the bar.

Several readers have asked me about how
to increase the weight from set to set
when they do 5/4/3/2/1.

"Do I start with my 5 rep max?"

"Do I work up to my max single?"

"Do I use percentages?'

So here's the answer.

Like everything else in life and lifting,
it will vary from person to person. Some
lifters are better at 5 rep sets, and some
are better are triples or doubles, and some
are better at singles.

And that may vary from exercise to exercise,
as well.

But that said, here's my general guideline.

1. Do 3 or 4 progressively heavier warm-up
sets -- 5 reps per set.

2. Do a set of 5 reps with a weight you could
use for 6 or even 7 reps if you really gutted
them out.

3. From the 5 rep working set, go up in evenly
spaced jumps to a heavy single. Not your PR,
not your all time best, not even a "maybe"
lift - but a weight you can handle for a good,
solid single in perfect form, with full focus
and total concentration.

4. Obviously, your weight jumps will vary
depending on the exercise and the weight on
the bar. If you do squats and you're working
up to 405 pounds, you'll take bigger jumps
than if you're doing presses or curls.

5. The key thing is to get a good workout,
and hit it hard, but to get all of your reps
on each set.

6. And here's a gold medal tip -- you do NOT
have to add weight to each set to show
progress. Instead, you can add weight to the
5 rep set and keep everything else the same --
and in the next workout, add weight to the 4 rep
set and keep everything the same -- and so on,
until you've upped the weight on the bar for
all 5 of your working sets.

7. You also can progress by doing extra sets.
For example, 5/4/3/2/1 can become
5/4/3/3/2/1 -- working up to 5/4/3/2/3/2/2/1/1
before you add weight.

In short, there are lots of different ways to
train with 5/4/3/2/1. They all work, and they're
all good -- and they'll all build plenty of
strength, muscle and power.

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. Gray Hair and Black Iron is must reading
for all older trainees:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "The barbell doesn't
count your reps for you. That's not it's job."
-- Brooks Kubik

The Easy Routine

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Guy asked me for an "easy routine."

"Yo, dude," he said. "I want the bi's
and tri's and the pec's and the other
stuff -- and I wanna lift 2000
pounds -- but I don't like hard
work. Help me!"

"Close your eyes," I said. "And dream
big dreams -- all about big lifts --
stupendous lifts -- incredible,
awesome, monster lifts -- without
ever giving the iron a single drop
of sweat."

"That's what I want," he said.

He closed his eyes.

I tiptoed out of the room.

Don't worry. He'll never open his

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. As always, thanks for reading
and have a great day. If you train
today, make it a good one -- and
give the iron some sweat.

P.S. 2. Hard work, properly applied,
builds strength, muscle and power.
My Dinosaur Training books and courses
tell you how to build strength and
muscle fast and effectively:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "If it were
easy, it wouldn't mean anything."
-- Brooks Kubik