Paper, Pencil and Iron!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

When you're serious about your
training, you're in it for the
long haul.

You're focused on life-long strength
and health.

Long term gains.

Long term progress.

You need to set high, demanding and
challenging goals for yourself --
and you need to work towards them
with relentless determination.

And your workouts should reflect that.

Every workout should be part of a long
chain of workouts, strung together by
your goals and your determination to
achieve them -- and every workout
should take you one step closer to
the achievement of your goals.

That's how champions train -- and that's
how to train like a champion.

And its how to achieve your true
potential in the Iron Game.

In fact, it's the only way to achieve
your true potential.

I call it championship thinking, and
it's one of the most important keys to
strength training success.

So try this.

Grab a paper and pencil. (You know, paper
and pencil. That old fashioned stuff your
grand-parents used.)

Sit down somewhere quiet, where you won't
be disturbed, and write down the five long
term goals that are most important to you.

Next, make a note of where you stand RIGHT
NOW on the road to each of your five long
term goals.

Simple example: long term goal to squat 500
pounds, and you currently squat 350 pounds.
You have 150 pounds to go.

Now create a series of realistic sub-goals
that will get you to your long-term goal.

Using the above example, your sub goals might
be a 400 pound squat, and then a 450 pound

Next, design a workout program that will lead
to the achievement of that first sub-goal.

Include light, heavy and medium workouts.
You don't need to go heavy all the time.
Remember, every workout is part of a chain
of workouts, leading TOGETHER to great

Then implement your plan.

That's an example of long term program
planning -- and it's an example of
championship thinking.

And it's how to climb to the very top of
the Iron Mountain.

You do it with paper, pencil and iron.

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. I cover the mental aspects of strength
training in detail in Dinosaur Training and
in Dinosaur Bodyweight Training:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Paper, pencil
and iron are all you need -- but you need all
three of them." -- Brooks Kubik

The Squatting Imperative!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

All Dinos know about the importance of
the squat. It's one of the very best
exercises you can do.

It builds strength, it builds power,
and it builds muscle mass throughout
the entire body.

It strengthens your spine -- including
the upper spine.

It's a terrific conditioner.

It teaches you to fight -- to focus --
and to pour every ounce of determination
you possess into your training.

It builds character.

It triggers enormous increases in

It improves glandular function. In
other words,when you do heavy squats,
you produce more testosterone --
which is a very good thing, especially
for older trainees.

In other words, if you're serious about
your training, you MUST do squats. No way
around it.

I call that The Squatting Imperative.

But some trainees can't do squats.
Their shoulders are too banged up, and
they can't hold onto a heavy squat bar.

Don't laugh. That's me. That's why I do
front squats.

Yes, that's right. I can't do regular
back squats because I can't hold onto the

BUT -- and this is huge -- I can still
do squats!

I use the Dave Draper Top Squat. It's a
nifty little device that fits onto your
squat bar. There are handles that go to
the front. When you squat, you hold onto
the handles in front of you.

I bought my Top Squat several years ago,
and I REALLY like it.

And one day, I was talking about it with
my buddy, John Wood -- and it turns out
John had the same problem -- and guess
what --

-- the Top Squat did the trick for him!

Fast forward to September 2013.

Guess where you can grab the Dave Draper
Top Squat?

No, it's not from me. I sell books, courses
and DVD's (and shirts).

It's from John Wood.

And you can read more about it right here:

Now, I don't endorse very man products.
And I don't send you to someone else's
website unless it's someone I know -- and
unless it's a product I really like. And I
don't do it for any kind of affiliate fee
or similar payment.

I'm doing this because I really like the
Dave Draper Top Squat -- and because I
know John Wood. So this is a five star
recommendation. And I'm talking gold

Also, please note:

If you have shoulder problems and you
can't do squats, I want you to start
squatting again. I want you to work
the heck out of your squats -- just
like you used to do.

Squatting makes the world a better
place -- and we all need to do our

And that's why I endorse the Dave Draper
Top Squat.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here's the link again:

P.S. 2. Older trainees should combine the
top squat with the workouts in Gray Hair
and Black Iron -- they make a heck of a
tag team:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Squats are life."
-- Brooks Kubik

Is this Overtraining?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

A quick note before today's message:

I'll be on SuperHuman Radio today from
12:00 to 1:00 EST. Catch the show live
or listen to the download.

The SuperHuman Radio homepage is right

Hope you can join us!

On the training front, here's an email
from Rob Richley with a training question.

"Hi Brooks,

I always train before wok at 6:30am and
as I am pressed for time I prefer a 4 day
routine with only a few movements per

I`m currently doing this:

Mon - Incline DB press

Tue - Row or weighted pullup

Thursday - Press

Fri - Squat / Trap Bar Deadlift

Recently I`ve read this routine could
be bad for the shoulders because they
are actually being hit three times per
week on Mon, Tues and Thursday.

Is there any other way of structuring
it to keep it short and productive
without hitting the shoulders too


Rob -- Thanks for the email and the
question. It's similar to many emails
I get about workout frequency.

I do NOT think you're training your
shoulders too often!

The Mon and Tues workouts involve the
shoulders, but the only day where you
hit the shoulders hard with a direct
exercise is Thurs, when you do the
overhead press. That's not too much
work at all. Especially if you're
only doing one exercise per workout,
and using sensible sets and reps.

Now, if your shoulders are bothering
you, there's a problem and you need to
figure out what it is. It's not too
much training -- but it might be how
you perform your exercises, or you may
be going too heavy too often, or you may
need to change exercises a bit.

For example -- if you go heavy on the
DB incline press and lower the bells
too far to "get a stretch" - you can
hurt your shoulders. In fact, that's
not at all uncommon.

Or -- on weighted pull-ups, you might
drop too fast, twist as you pull your
body up, or stretch too much at the
bottom of the rep -- and hurt yourself.
Again, that's not uncommon.

Or -- you might find that barbell presses
are hard on your shoulders -- but push
presses are fine -- or dumbbell presses
are fine.

Anyhow, your program looks good. Don't
change it just because of something
you read on the interwebs. (Which is
a whole other discussion . . .you can't
imagine how many guys and gals get off
course because of stuff they read on
the interwebs. But we'll cover that
topic another day.)

To everyone -- 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. For more advice about building
strong, powerful shoulders -- and about
avoiding shoulder problems -- grab this:

P.S. 2. For more about shoulder wreckers
and other exercises to avoid, grab this:

P.S. 3. Thought for the day: "Do what works,
and pay no attention to anything else."
-- Brooks Kubik

The Key to Sustained Progress!

Hail to the dinosaurs!

Here's a question from Keith
Jacobson that highlights an
important issue -- several of
them, in fact.

Keith wrote:

"I've been using power rack
training to increase my bench

For the last month I've been
setting a PR in bottom position
bench every workout for a triple,
double and single, working the
movement twice a week.

Recently, I hit a 260 lb bottom
bench and since then I've had
two bench workouts where I
couldn't hit 265 and one where
I couldn't hit 260. (The 260 was
a maximal effort when I did get

I have two questions:

1. I was thinking of hitting singles
with 250 and adding a set or two
every workout, and once I got to
five singles, adding weight and
starting over. What do you think
about this?

2. Have you ever experienced a point
where you had to start making much
slower progress on a lift?

If you think this is the right
decision let me know.

Thanks in advance,
Keith Jacobson"

Keith -- Congrats on your progress --
you've done great on your power rack

Your progress follows the pattern of
many trainees when they switch to a
new workout, a new training method
or even a new exercise. They gain
in leaps and bounds at first --
and everything is GREAT -- but
then they start to slow down --
and often, those great gains turn
into very, very slow gains -- or
no more gains at all.

It happens to everyone -- and yes,
it's happened to me. Still does.
And always will. It's part of the
Iron Game.

What happens is this: you make great
progress at first because you're
doing something new and different,
and part of the progress is learning
how to do the exercise effectively.
A bottom position bench press, for
example, feels much different than
a standard bench press -- and it will
take some time to learn how to perform
it properly. During that "learning
period," the gains will be fast and

After the learning period, you need
to settle into some hard work and
extra effort to keep the gains
coming -- and you need to use a
"slow cooking" progression system.

The system you are thinking about
will work fine -- esp on bottom
position bench presses, which lend
themselves well to heavy singles.

Start with 250 x 1.

In the next workout, do 250 x 2 x 1.

In the next workout, 250 x 3 x 1.

And so on, until you are doing 250
x 5 x 1 -- and after that, add five
pounds to the bar and do 255 x 1 --
and repeat the process.

You also can use two different
progression paths. One week, do
singles. The next week, do sets of
5 -- or do 5/3/1 for your working

This is a good reason why no one
training program -- no single set/
rep system -- and no one progression
system -- will work for everyone --
or even work all the time for any
one person.

Our bodies are different, our
responses to exercise are different,
and our bodies and our responses to
exercise change over time -- so we
always have to be tinkering with
the dials to keep on going forward.

In this regard, note that some coaches
like to switch things up every three
or four weeks. Not huge changes --
you don't go from a Dino-style heavy
iron abbreviated workout to a bunny
blaster high rep low weight program
(not if you want to keep making
progress) --- but the kind of
changes we covered in this email.

Remember, when I talk about changes,
I mean sensible modifications within
the parameters of hard, heavy
training on the basic exercises.
I'm not giving you a license for
idiocy -- and if that sounds harsh,
it has to be. There is too much
idiocy out there -- and it's very
easy to fall prey to it.

Wow -- that turned out to be a long
email. But as I said at the beginning,
Keith's questions raised lots of
important issues.

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. For more detail on progression
systems, specialization workouts,
power rack training, increasing your
bench press and tons of other topics,
grab a copy of Strength, Muscle and

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Life's not
linear, but don't let it become circular."
-- Brooks Kubik

Answers to Your Training Questions!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Let's pull out the Dinosaur Mail bag and
answer some questions from Dinos.

Q. Can I combine barbell training with
kettlebell exercises?

A. Of course. Just be careful not to
overdo things.

For example . . . 

Barbell training 3x per week and 2 or 3
days of kettlebell work on your "off"
days would be overdoing for most people.
Some of the young Dinos out there might
get away with it for awhile -- but for
most readers, it would be way too much

A better approach is to follow a 3
day per week program  using Dino-style
abbreviated workouts, and replacing some
barbell exercises with kettlebell

Q. Can I do deadlifts one week and barbell
bent-over rowing the next week?

A. Sure. Several top powerlifters have
followed similar programs in the past. It
gives your back extra time to recover from
those heavy deadlift sessions.

Q. I've heard you can only digest about 30
grams of protein at any one meal, so you
should space things out and eat six or
seven meals a day. Is that true?

A. The human body didn't evolve to eat that
way. Our ancestors ate until they were full
whenever food was available. So the human
body can certainly handle big meals.

Also, if you're training hard -- meaning
lots of stand on your feet training, with
plenty of squatting, pushing and pulling --
then you'll need lots of protein AND you'll
digest it just fine.

So three meals a day will work fine.

Of course, some people prefer to eat
smaller meals more frequently -- if you
fall into that group, then go for it.

Those are just some of the many questions
that came in during the past couple of
days. I'll cover more questions from
readers in future emails. Be looking
for them!

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. Lots of readers ask about old-school
dumbbell training. Here's something to
answer your questions:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Begin with the
question, not the answer." -- Brooks Kubik

Build Strength, Muscle and Power with PPF!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

When you go to the gym --- or to
the basement or the garage, or
wherever you train -- you should
focus on PPF.

What's PPF?

Three words:




In other words, do all your reps in
every set -- including your warmup
sets -- in perfect, precise form.

Now, please note -- perfect, precise
form does NOT mean slow motion reps
or time-controlled reps or "squeeze
it and feel it" bodybuilding style
reps. I'm NOT suggesting that you
make everything look like a slow
mo concentration curl.

And I'm not talking about using baby
weights in your exercises.

I'm talking about hard, heavy training
on the basic exercises -- squats, front
squats, deadlifts, Trap Bar deadlifts,
military presses, bench presses, incline
presses, barbell bent-over rowing, pull-
ups, standing barbell curls, the farmer's
walk, grip work, etc. The heavy-duty,
compound movements that build strength
and muscle.

But I'm insisting that you do them in
perfect, precise form.

When you use perfect, precise form in
your training, you put the effort on
the EXACT muscle groups you're trying
to train with any particular exercise.
That's quality training -- and it's
the way to strengthen your body in
the specific movement pattern you use
in any given exercise.

Perfect, precise form makes you work
harder and more efficiently. You get
more down in less time -- with fewer
exercises, fewer sets and fewer reps.
There's no wasted movement, and no
wasted time.

If you watch Olympic weightlifters
train, you see a great example of
perfect, precise form. The Olympic
lifts are total body exercises
performed at lightning speed --
and in perfect, precise form. In
fact, perfect, precise form is
necessary. You can't perform the
lifts without it.

Many trainees spend endless hours
searching for the secret program
that will somehow transform them
into a mountain of strength and

But all too often, their program is
fine. The problem is, they're not
training with perfect, precise form.
They're doing sloppy reps -- lazy
reps -- unfocused reps. And as a
result, they're not getting much
in the way of results.

Anyhow, today is Monday. Start the
week right. When you train, do it
the right way: with perfect, precise

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 are more keys to strength, muscle
and power:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Anything worth
doing is worth doing right, and that goes
double when there's iron on the bar."
-- Brooks Kubik

A Dinosaur Treasure Tale!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

According to news reports, a man in
Northern Ireland named David Taylor
found a heavily tarnished, small
metal ring in a field.

He picked it up and took it home.

His wife thought it was a bull's
ring and told him to throw it away.

But he wasn't so sure.

So he got it checked out by an

Good decision.

Turns out the ring was solid silver.

More than that, it was an incredibly
rare Viking artifact. It dated back 
to sometime between 950 and 1100.

It's an honest to goodness piece
of history -- and it's a very
valuable piece of treasure.

And what was David Taylor doing when
he found the silver ring?

According to the news reports, he
was lifting stones in a field owned
by his brother-in-law.

Note the wording.

Not moving stones. Not removing stones.
Not digging stones. Not building stone

He was LIFTING stones.

That sounds an awful lot like Dinosaur
Training -- and if that's what he was
doing, it's more proof that Dino Training
always brings good results!

So keep that in mind the next time you
train. Look around the weight stack extra
closely. You never know what you might

Heck, it might even be better than a silver

It might be a gold medal.

And that would be pretty darn good.

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. It came out in 1996 and it's been
making people big and strong ever since.
If you don't already have a copy, grab
one today:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train for
strength, eat for health, and make every
day the best it can be." -- Brooks Kubik

Never Is a Long Time!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Several readers took issue with my
recent email on slow cooking and with
other emails urging you to aim for
slow but steady progress.

"It will take too long!" they say.

So they keep on doing what they're
doing (that doesn't work for them
and never has) or they jump onto
the interwebs and zoom around and
look for the latest and greatest
ultra-madness, triple insanity mega-
muscle molecular massiveness muscle
 blaster workout -- and they try that
for awhile, and that doesn't work
very well, either -- and then they
jump back onto the interwebs and
look for something even more awesome
to try.

And on and on it goes, and they spin
their wheels in the sands of time,
and someday they look back and realize
they never got anywhere.

So if you're thinking "Slow but steady
takes too long!" consider this.

"Longer is one thing. Never is something
entirely different. And longer always
beats never."

If that sounds harsh, I'm sorry -- but
I've been doing this a long, long time,
and I've gotten tons of feedback from
readers over the years, and I can tell
you this -- and it's based on feedback
from thousands of trainees:

1. Dino-style abbreviated training works.

2. Slow ans steady progression works.

3. You cannot FORCE progress. You have
to coax it.

4. If you try to force progress, you do
the crash and burn thing.

5. Crash and burn doesn't work very well.

6. You build real progress rep by rep and
pound by pound.

7. Plan to give your training the time you
need to make progress. It's not a 30 day

8. Training is a lifetime endeavor, so plan
for a lifetime of productive, effective
and enjoyable training.

9. Don't look at other guys and what they're
doing. Focus on YOU.

10. If in doubt, simplify.

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. For more detail on sensible training and
productive workouts, grab Chalk and Sweat:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "You're not
running a race. You're making slow but
steady progress to achieve a challenging
and demanding goal." -- Brooks Kubik

That Was Then, This Is Now!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

As most readers know, I wrestled
in high school. That meant long
practices, and many, many hours
on the wrestling mat. We wrestled
five or six days per week, for up
to three hours. And sometimes we
did extra running and extra weight
training on top of the wrestling
workouts. It was a tough program.

Amazingly, we thrived on it. We
grew stronger, faster, more
explosive, more skilled and
much, much better conditioned.

By the end of the season, our
practices consisted of non-stop
wrestling for 90 minutes to two
hours for the varsity guys. The
coach started us off varsity
against varsity. You wrestled
the guy one weight class up. When
you had mashed each other into a
pulp, the coach moved you to
different mats and rotated other
wrestlers against you so you
were always facing a fresh
opponent. And you did that
for up to two hours.

It was pretty amazing -- but it
worked. We got to the point where
we could wrestle pretty much anyone
into the ground. And in dual meets
and tournaments, we never got tired.
Not even in the toughest of matches
against the toughest of opponents.

So there was a time in my life when
long, high volume, daily workouts
were perfect.

But that was a long time ago. Forty
years ago. I can't train that way
today. At age 56, I need a much more
conservative approach.

My workouts generally last under an
hour, and some last only 45 minutes.

I go hard and heavy some days, and
other days I take it easy.

I plan my workouts very carefully,
and I include some easy weeks to help
recover from the heavier sessions.

I limit the number of exercises in
any one workout, and I keep the total
volume fairly low in any one workout.

I focus on the most important exercises,
and I pretty much ignore the ones that
aren't as important.

It's a different approach than the one
I followed 40 years ago, back in those
high school wrestling days, but it's
an effective one.

It's also a manageable approach. Works
well if you work for a living.

And I'm not the only one. There are
thousands of older trainees around the
world who have found that the key to
successful training as you grow older
is to take things a bit easier. Train
hard, train heavy and train serious --
but train smart. Focus on recovery and
recuperation. Do things that your body
can handle. Train your muscles -- don't
just go out and destroy them.

It's a different approach -- but for
older trainees, it's the only approach
that works.

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 the bible
of strength training and muscle building
for anyone over the age of 35:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses --
and DVD's, t-shirts, sweat shirts and
hoodies -- are right here:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train with
your brain, not your ego." -- Brooks Kubik

The Birthday Report

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I'll begin with a great big THANK
YOU to everyone who sent in some
Happy Birthday wishes by email.
You helped make it an extra
special day.

The day went according to plan:

1. Great workout in the garage,

followed by

2. Steak and salad for dinner

Now, if you think about it, that's
not too different from any other
day here at Dino Headquarters.

And it's not too different from
any day in YOUR life.

That's the beauty of the Iron Game.

You make every day special.

You either start the day or finish
the day with a workout -- and then
you enjoy some great food. (Note:
food always tastes best if you
earn it -- and in our world,
you earn your meal by having
a great workout.)

If it's a non-training day, make
it special by doing some stretching,
going for a long walk, doing
some concentration and visualization
drills, curling up with a good
book about training, or watching
a good strength training DVD.

Even if you don't train, you should
think about training. Make it a part
of your life -- a part of every single

Heck, you can even dream about it.

In fact, if you're serious about your
training, you WILL dream about it.

And that's great. It shows that your
training has become firmly embedded
in your sub-conscious.

By the way, in case you're wondering,
I did open some presents after dinner.

1. Tommy Kono knee bands

2. Lifting belt

3. Some lifting books

4. Some lifting DVD's

5. Coffee mug from daughter

The coffee mug had nothing to do with
lifting, but I like coffee in the morning.

Anyhow, it was a most excellent birthday.
Thanks again for the birthday wishes!

We'll talk sets and reps tomorrow. But
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 how I celebrated my birthday
two years ago:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "When in
doubt, lift. If in serious doubt, lift
harder and heavier." -- Brooks Kubik

Steak, Salad and Iron -- and Birthday Candles!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

It's my birthday today. I'm an
official age 56 -- as opposed to
age 56 in weightlifting years,
which is what I've been ever
since January 1.

And how, you might ask, will I
be celebrating the day?

Well, the schedule looks something
like this:

1. Send email to the Dinos.

2. Hit a hard workout in the garage,
a/k/a The Dino Dungeon.

3. Steak and salad for dinner.

3a. Large steak. Grilled rare.

That doesn't sound too terribly
different from any other workout
day -- but I'm looking forward to

Especially the workout.

Today's going to be a solid technique
today. I'll be working on the squat
style snatch -- starting with a broom-
stick, progressing to an empty bar --
and then gradually adding weight to the
bar and working up to perhaps 70 percent
of my one rep max.

I'll spend about an hour on the lifting
drills, followed by half an hour of
specialized stretching to help loosen
the joints and un-knot the tight spots.

That's how I'll earn the steak dinner.

The drilling and stretching is part of
an intensive program to develop perfect
form in the squat style snatch.

I'll combine it with specialized work on
the squat style clean and jerk (using the
split style jerk).

I've been working the lifts very hard
this year, and I've improved them
greatly -- but now it's time to take
them to the next level.

At my age, the squat style lifts are a
challenge. I should have learned them
when I was a teenager. Or at least when
was in my twenties. But, as they say,
better late than never.

And after all, 56 isn't that old. Isn't
70 the new 40?

Besides, if it were easy, why bother?

Anyhow, that's the report from Dino
headquarters. 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. Today's a great day to order a book
or course from Dino Headquarters -- and/or
a Dinosaur Training t-shirt, or hoodie --
or one of my Dino DVD's:

P.S. 2. Thought for the Day: "Stretching your
body keeps you young, but stretching your
limits keeps you younger." -- Brooks Kubik

Have You Hit Your Peak?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I got an email the other day from
a 38-year old Dino.

He's already worried about hitting
the big 4-0.

Specifically, he's worried that his
best lifting days are behind him.

I have a birthday coming up -- I'll
be 56 in real years. (I've been 56
in lifting years since January 1.)

And I thought, "Wow -- 38's just a
kid. He's got the best years of his
life in front of him."

Of course, he has to train right --
hard, heavy and serious -- and not
get side-tracked on the silly stuff --
but he ought to be having some great
workouts and making some great gains
in the next couple of years. Which
means he'll be better than ever at
age 40.

It reminds me of a time I was in the
school weight room back when I was in
law school. One of the undergraduates
was working out. He was a pretty strong
kid. Obviously serious about his

One of the other undergrads asked him --
and I kid you not, this really happened --
"What could you lift when you were
in your prime?"

"I don't know," said the other kid. "I'm
not there yet."

It was a good answer. Whatever your age,
you might want to file it away for
future reference.

Age 19 -- like those kids in the college
weight room -- don't sweat it, just train
hard (but smart) and enjoy the gains.

Age 38 -- don't sweat it, just train hard
(but smart) and enjoy the gains,.

Ag 56 -- don't sweat it, just train hard
(but smart) and enjoy the gains.

Age whatever -- same advice.

By the way, I hit an age 56 and 2013 PR
in the clean and jerk yesterday. The
train hard (but smart) stuff really

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 the ultimate guide to Train
Hard (but Smart):

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "That stuff to
knock the gray out of your hair is fine, but
regular hard training  is what keeps you
young." -- Brooks Kubik

Slow Cooking, Dino Style!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

The other day I got an email from a
reader who is in his mid-fifties.

He's going back to squats after not
having done them for a long time.

He's using 135 pounds right now,
and the bar feels heavy, and he
thinks back to the day when he
handled a whole lot more than
that -- and he gets pretty

He feels like he ought to be
repping out with 315 instead
of 135.

Heck, they're the same numbers --
a 1, a 3 and a 5 -- just arranged

And 20 years ago, that 315 was a
walk in the park.

So he feels like quitting.

Instead, he sends me an email and
asks, "What should I do?"

Well, let me offer a couple of

Number 1 -- adopt the Dino mindset,
and view the current obstacle as an

Number 2 -- Focus on the here and
now, and on getting stronger NOW,
and forget about the past.

Number 3 -- Use the present opportunity
to do some long, slow, steady gaining.

You're regaining your former strength,
so it's going to be much easier than the
first time around. But your body is older,
and doesn't recover as fast as it did 20
30 years ago -- and you need to be sure
to avoid any injuries -- so you focus on
slow cooking.

Do 5 reps with 135.

In your next workout, do 2 x 5 with 135.

In the next, do 3 x 5 with 135.

In the fourth workout, add 5 pounds -- and
do 140 x 5.

Next workout -- 140 x 2 x 5.

After that -- 140 x 3 x 5.

And in the following workout, do 145 x 5.

That simple progression -- adding sets,
and then  adding weight and dropping back
to one set -- and then adding sets
again -- will keep you gaining for
a long, long time.

When your gains finally slow down --
which may be when you're handling 225
or 250 pounds for 5 reps -- you change
to adding one rep per workout -- or
you reduce the weight increases from
5 pounds to 2 pounds -- or even one

Note that you do NOT need to do anything
extreme or heroic. You don't need to do
squats until your legs are a quivering
mass of jelly blobs -- you don's need to
do 77 assistance exercises -- you don't
need to train to failure -- and you don't
need to try to move mountains of iron.

You just need to focus on long, slow,
steady progression.

For an older lifter on the comeback
trail, that's the sensible way to do

So there you have it -- slow cooking,
Dino style. (And you probably thought
we we're going to talk about cooking
dinner. . . .)

By the way, this works for anything
and everything you do: squats, deadlifts,
presses, whatever. It's how you should
design your entire workout. Slow but
steady progression -- a long-term
approach for lifelong strength 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. For more about real world strength
training and muscle building, try these
great resources:

P.S. 2. Thought for the Day: "Slow and steady wins
the race -- and it also builds strength, muscle and
power." -- Brooks Kubik

How to Stay Out of the IUSETA Club!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I had a great workout last night.

I set two 2013 and age 56 PR's in
the snatch, using the split style
of lifting.

I had been working squat snatches
for most of the year, but switched
back to split style about a month
ago. It's much easier on my shoulders,
although it's hard on the lead knee.
(In other words, like most things
in life and lifting, it's a trade

Now, you might ask, "What's a 2013
and age 56 PR?"

It's a little something I do to help
stay motivated -- and to help avoid
the dreaded IUSETA Club.

The IUSETA Club was coined by Harry
Paschall when he was sometime in his
40's or 50's. He caught himself saying
"When I was younger, I used to lift
such and so." All his friends of the
same age did the same thing. Hence,
the "I Used to Lift Such and So
Club" -- which Harry shortened to
the IUSETA Club.

I could lift more at age 40 or 45 than
I can lift at age 56. But instead of
dwelling on what I USETA lift, I focus
on what I can lift now -- and I always
keep trying to improve my current

Thus, I keep track of my best lifts
for every training year, from Jan 1
to Dec 31. Those are my PR's for the
year. Hence, the 2013 PR.

I also track my PR's for my current
age. Hence, the age 56 PR.

And please note -- for purposes of
tracking my current age PR's, I use
the birthday system they use in Master's
weightlifting comps. Whatever age you'll
be on Dec 31 is your age for the entire
year. So even though my birthday isn't
until next week, I've been 56 since
Jan 1. (This drives Trudi crazy --
she can't understand why I say I'm
older than I really am. Hey, it's a
lifter thing.)

I also make things more interesting
(and more fun) by tracking PR's for
my top singles, PR's for doubles and
triples (which i rarely do), and PR's
for workouts where I do 5 singles with
my top weight for the day.

Last night, I worked up to 5 singles
in the snatch -- with more weight than
I've used for 5 x 1 any time this year
(or last year). So that was a 2013 and
age 56 PR.

On the final lift, I upped the weight
and hit my heaviest snatch of the year
(or of last year). So that was another
2013 and age 56 PR.

I also track my best lifts in each age
for master's weightlifting (e.g., age
55 to 59), and my best lifts at age
50 or older.

Younger lifters don't need to worry
about this kind of approach. Younger
lifters can focus on their absolute
PR's -- for singles, sets of multiple
reps, or a given number of sets for a
given number of reps per set.

But older trainees need to stay focused
on the present -- on what they can do
NOW and three months from NOW -- and
that's when keeping track of your PR's
for the current year and your current
age can really help.

And that's how to stay out of 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 the number one book on real
world, no nonsense strength training and
muscle building for older Dinos:

P.S. 2. This almost qualifies as a companion
DVD for Gray Hair and Black Iron -- we shot
it two years ago at Dino Headquarters:

P.S. 3. My other books and courses are right

P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Older is easy,
smarter is harder, stronger is hardest of
all -- but you can do it." -- Brooks Kubik

Three Feet and Fifteen Seconds!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Some people say that weightlifting
(or any kind of strength training)
is dangerous.

I disagree -- but you do need to
be careful.

Several days ago we had a storm
coming in. I had finished my
workout, but left the light on
in the garage. I didn't notice
it until I was out the door,
down the steps, across the
back yard and on the porch.

So I went turned around, walked
back to the garage, unlocked the
door, turned out the light,
locked the door again, and walked
back through the yard to the house.

Stepped onto the back porch, and
stopped -- and turned around. Not
sure why. I think I heard

And WHAM! -- just like that, a
huge branch from a neighbor's
enormous old oak tree came
hurtling down from above and
crashed into our back yard.

It was about as thick through
the middle as I am through the
chest -- and it was about ten
feet long -- and it was heavy.
Heavy enough to do some serious
damage if it fell on top of you.

And it fell right next to where
I had just been walking.

Missed me by three feet and
fifteen seconds.

The cats were on the back porch,
watching the rain come in. It
made them jump when it hit.

I have to tell you, something
like that makes you stop and

I looked at the shattered
wood, and I watched the rain,
and I thought about it for a
minute or two.

I've been answering lots of
questions about sets and reps
lately -- and about rest between
sets -- and how long a workout
should last. Guess I timed that
one just about right.

I went into the house.

Trudi was cooking dinner. It
smelled pretty good. Much better
than it would have smelled if I'd
been about fifteen seconds slower.

"How was your workout?" she asked.

"It was good," I said. "Real good."

The next time I trained was last
night. I hit an age 56 and 2013 PR
in the clean and jerk. It seemed
like the thing to do.

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. If you want to see what my workouts
look like, grab one or more of my Dinosaur
Training DVD's:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Always give
110 percent. 100 percent is good, but you
can do better." -- Brooks Kubik