Bundle Up and Do Squats!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

If you live in the USA or Canada,
then you're probably facing some
serious winter weather right now.

We're in the middle of a major
arctic blast, and it's C-O-L-D

Heck, it's cold inside.

I'm still training out in the
garage, but I've changed things
around a bit due to the cold.

Instead of snatches and clean and
jerks, I'm doing squats and high
pulls. Squats are full back squats
in one workout, donkey to grass style,
and front squats, same style, in the
next squat session. High pulls are
snatch grip in one workout and clean
grip in the next.

Why the change?

Because it's COLD -- and that means
it's hard to get warmed up and loose
and ready to do the full lifts.

And doing full lifts in an ice-box is
just inviting injury.

So this week and next, I'm doing basic
strength exercises that don't require
as much flexibility and mobility.

The workouts go pretty fast. I start
light, add weight to the bar on each
set, work up to a heavy weight and do
5 x 3 with it.

It's called "making adjustments" -- and
it's something that many of you are doing
and will continue to do until until we
get past the current cold spell.

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 three books chock full of
great workouts for cellar-dwellers and
garage gorillas:




P.S. 2. Dino sweatshirts and hoodies are
made to order for cold weather training:



P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "When it's cold,
bundle up and do squats. When it's real cold,
do more squats." -- Brooks Kubik 

It All Started with Arthur Saxon!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

What we do at Dinosaur Training has
a direct link to Arthur Saxon - and
I'll tell you why.

Roughly 100 years ago, Arthur Saxon
brought his world famous strongman
act to the United States, touring the
country as part of a traveling

The circus did a show in Cleveland.

A farm boy from north central Ohio
went to see the show.

He saw the elephants - and the lions -
and the tigers - and the giraffes.

He saw the tumblers, the clowns and
the acrobats.

He saw the trapeze artists twist and
turn as they sailed effortlessly thru
the air.

He saw beautiful women in sequined
nothings that sent his adolescent
heart into overdrive.

Al of that was great (especially the
women) - but then he saw something
that changed his entire life.

He saw Arthur Saxon perform his
strongman act.

Saxon, as you know, held the world
record in the bent press - and in
the two hands anyhow. (And amazingly,
he still holds both records - making
them the longest0standing records in
the history of the Iron Game.)

The young man went home, saved his
pennies for a year - and ordered a
barbell from the Milo Barbell Company
in Philadelphia.

It arrived, he started to train, using
the official Milo Barbell Courses -
and before you knew it, he gained 25
pounds of muscle and tons of strength.

He was hooked.

He became a life-long barbell man.

His name was Harry Paschall. He went on
to become one of the most popular writers
in the history of physical culture.

Harry knew the champs. He trained with Sig
Klein, John Grimek and Steve Stanko.

So he knew what really worked - and he
shared that information in his books and
courses, and in his monthly "Behind the
Scenes" column in Strength and Health.

Harry hated the silly stuff - the booby
building, the pumping, the posing, the
preening and the train all day and forget
about a job and a life nonsense that so
many others espoused.

He kept things in the real world. He
advocated three times per week workouts -
hard work on the big exercises - sensible
sets and reps - and workouts that fit into
a normal lifestyle.

Fast forward to the 1960's.

A skinny kid from Brooklyn starts lifting
weights - and starts reading Harry Paschall's
books, courses and articles.

He gets great results, and before you know
it, he starts writing his own articles - and
later, his own books and courses.

His name was Bradley J. Steiner. And he was
widely viewed as one of the very best -
perhaps THE very beast - advocates of sane,
sensible training back in the 60's, 70's
and 80's.

I was born a little too late to grow up
reading Harry Paschall's articles. (Harry
died shortly after I was born.)

But I DID read Bradley J. Steiner's articles -
as well as his courses and his books - and
that's how I learned to train the right way.

Later, I discovered Harry Paschall's work -
and studied the heck out of it.

And eventually, I began writing articles of
my own - and then books of my own. They've
helped tens of thousands of people build
strength and muscle. They've probably helped

So here we are, 100 years after Harry Paschall
saw the amazing Arthur Saxon, and we're hitting
the iron and spreading the word and continuing
the grand tradition.

And that's a pretty cool thing.

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. You can learn more about Arthur Saxon
and other incredible strongmen of the past -
and how they trained - in DINOSAUR TRAINING:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Look to the
past for guidance and to the future for great
results. But lift in the present." -- Brooks

Who's Stronger?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Who's stronger?

A 20 year old who clean and jerks 300
pounds at a bodyweight of 200 pounds?

A 40 year old who does 260 pounds at
the same bodyweight?

A 50 year old who hits 240 pounds at
the same bodyweight?

A 60 year old who manages 200 pounds
at the same bodyweight weight?

Or a 70 year old who lifts 155 pounds
at a 200 pound bodyweight?

Well, the 20 year old obviously lifts
the most weight - but if you factor
age into account, who's the strongest?

In master's weightlifting, they use a
formula to determine the strongest
lifter on an age adjusted basis.

It's called the Mentzer-Malone formula.

You can find it right here under the
heading "Forms and Formulas":


To use the formula, you find the
coefficient for the lifter's age
and multiply his or her top lift.

The result gives you an age-adjusted
maximum for the lifter - which allows
you to compare the relative performance
of lifters of different ages.

So let's go back to our original

Who's stronger?

Well, the 20-year old is too young to
have an age-adjusted coefficient. So his
lift of 300 pounds rates as - 300 pounds.

The 40 year old has a coefficient of 1.136.
Multiply his 260 pound lift by 1.136 and
you get an age-adjusted result of 295.36.

The 50 year old has a coefficient of 1.243.
Do the math. 240 pounds x 1.243 = 298.32.

The 60 year old has a coefficient of 1.509.
So we get an age-adjusted result of 200
pounds x 1.509 = 301.80.

Now look at the 70 year old. His coefficient
is 1.933. So you get: 155 pounds x 1.933 =

In other words, on an age-adjusted basis,
they're all almost identical - and the 60
year old with the 200 pound clean and
jerk is the strongest!

That's pretty interesting - and it leads to
some very important ideas about effective
training for older Dinos. We'll cover 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. Older Dinos need to train a bit differently
than younger Dinos. I explain why - and I tell
you exactly what to do (and not do) - in Gray
Hair and Black Iron:


P.S. 2. You can grab my other books and courses
right here:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Up to a certain age,
the iron makes you stronger. After a certain
age, the iron makes you younger. Iron is magic
that way." -- Brooks Kubik

Dino Q and A Time!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I've been getting a ton of emails
with interesting training questions,
and I thought I'd share some of them
with you over the coming week.

The first one is from a Dino who (like
most of us) is trying to balance job,
family, and life with his training.

He's using a short, two-day per week
program, and wants to know if it' s
enough work.

Here's the question -- followed by
my response.

"My current program is a two-day-a-week
singles workout. Workout 1 consists of 3
warmup sets of 5 reps, 6 progressively
heavier singles on the clean and jerk,
and then gut, grip and neck work, which,
to be honest, I often don't have the
energy for!

Workout 2 would be the same sets and reps
but with old school DB Swings, to slightly
replicate the C&J. Trouble is, fitting
it all around a 40 hour work week in
retail isn't nice!

But my question is this. I am training
just twice a week, C&J and DB Swing singles,
usually no gut, grip or neck work due to
energy energy and time - does it sound
solid to you for a long term program?"

So that's the question. Here's my
answer . . .

I'm a big believer in abbreviated and
ultra-abbreviated workouts, and I've
had great success with them over the

That said, your current program is a
little too limited for long term

You need to work some kind of leg
exercise into the mix -- as in, squats
or front squats.

You can do squats or front squats at
the gym, after you do your clean and
jerk training. Your legs and back will
be warmed up and rarin' to go after the
c7j, so finish things off with 5 or 6
sets of squats or front squats.

Start light, and add weight on each set.
Do 5's, 3's or doubles.

That won't take very long, but it will
add enormously to your program.

Another option is to train 3x per
week. Do clean and jerk in one session --
squats or front squats in the next
session -- and DB work in the third

As for gut, grip and neck work -- do it!
But you don't have to do it all on the
same day. Do gut work after one workout,
neck workout after the next, and grip
work after the following session.

Hope that helps, and best wishes for
big gains in 2014!

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. Dumbbells are great for home gym
training, and Dinosaur Dumbbell Training
is the number one resource for old-school
dumbbell training:


P.S. 2. We also have a killer DVD on
Dino-style dumbbell training:


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Keep it
simple, but keep it complete." -- Brooks

Special Advice for Beginners!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

We always have a lot of beginners
who start training in January - and
a lot of readers who are getting
back into their training after a
long lay-off.

So I thought I'd cover a beginner's

It also doubles as a way to get
back into training after a long
(6 mos or more) lay-off.

1. Train 3x per week.

2. Use a total body workout.

3. Use barbells and dumbbells.

4. Start very light, and ease into
your workouts. Keep them short,
fast and easy.

4a. Do 8 to 12 exercises.

4b. Do one set of each exercise.

4c. Start with 5 reps for your upper
body exercises, and 10 reps for your
lower body exercises and your light
breathing pullovers after sets of
squats and deadlifts.

4d. Start with 10 reps for gut

5. Make your workouts progressive.

5a. Use single progression or
double progression (as the terms
are defined in the old York courses).

5b. Single progression means you add
ONE rep to every exercise each workout
until you have doubled the original
number of reps. For example, you do
1 x 5 in the curl in workout number
one, 1 x 6 in workout number 2, and
so on, until you get to 10 reps.

Note: For lower body exercises, you
can add TWO reps per workout until
you double the original number of

5c. Once you double the original number
of reps, you add 5 pounds to the bar
for your upper body exercises and 10
pounds to the bar for your lower body
exercises. Then drop back to the
original number of reps (5 for upper
body exercises and 10 for lower body
exercises) and build back up.

5d, Double progression means you repeat
each workout one time without adding
reps - and then add the additional rep
in the next workout. So it's 1 x 5 in
the curl in workouts 1 and 2, 1 x 6 in
the curl for workouts 3 and 4, and so

5e. Double progression is slower, but
it often builds a better foundation,
and thus, works better in the long run.

6. Stick with the basic program, doing
one set of each exercise and using your
choice of single or double progression
for the first three months of your
training. After that, you can either
try different exercises using the
same basic approach, or keep the same
exercises and start doing two sets of
each exercise. After two or three
months of two sets per exercise,
move up to three sets per exercise.

7. Here's a suggested program:

Barbell curl

Standing press (military press) with

Barbell squat (do full squats if possible;
at the least, go to parallel)

Very light breathing pullover with
two dumbbells (always use a light
weight on these - they are solely
a breathing exercise)

Barbell or two-dumbbell bench press

Note: Do pushups if you don't have a
bench - elevate your feet if you need
to make them more difficult)

Barbell bent-over rowing or pull-ups


Very light breathing pullover with
two dumbbells (see above note)

Barbell shrugs

Standing calf raises (use a calf
machine if you train at a gym; do
one legged calf raises holding a
dumbbell in one hand if you train
at home)

Bent-legged sit-ups

Lying leg raises

There you go - a tried and true program
for beginners!

Feel free to share - there are lots of
newbies out there who need to get started
the right way. (And remember, we were
all newbies once - so help them, and
pay back whoever it was who got YOU
started the right way.)

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 training advice for beginners,
grab CHALK AND SWEAT. (It also covers training
for intermediates, advanced lifters, and
Dinos who are training for maximum strength
and muscle mass):


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Be a champion -
teach someone how to train the right way."
-- Brooks Kubik

A Training Question from Oz!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

As North American readers know, we're
right in the middle of a Polar Vortex -
meaning a super blast of frigid arctic
air has departed the North Pole and
blanketed the continent, bringing
record lows and intense cold.

It's 20 degrees below zero across much
of the country - and with the windchill
factored in, it's down to 40 or 50
degrees below zero.

Here in balmy Louisville, where things
are usually pretty mild in the
winter, it's currently holding at
one degree below zero.

That's with the sun shining brightly,

And it's not counting the wind-

So imagine my reaction when I got a
training about hot weather workouts!

It's from a reader in Oz - as in,
Australia - and their seasons are
the opposite of ours. So it's winter
here, and summer Down Under.

He loves to train hard and heavy on the
basic, compound exercises - but the
weather in Australia is brutally hot
right now, and it's hard to justice
to three or four heavy exercises in
one session.

So he wonders if ultra-abbreviated
workouts would be a good idea for
someone training in (his words) "a
harsh, dry, oven-like environment."

Like I said, that's a heck of a
question to find in the in-box on a
day like today!

Anyhow, it's a good question - so
here's the answer.

Ultra-abbreviated workouts are great
for hot weather training.

One of the pioneers of ultra-
abbreviated workouts was a man named
William Boone. He worked 10 or 12 hours
a day digging water wells in Louisiana,
Texas and Arkansas - which is about as
hot a job as you can find anywhere.

After work, he would train - out in
his backyard gym.

He did ONE exercise. He trained TWO
times per week.

His one exercise was the split style
jerk, taking the bar from a set of old-
fashioned squat stands positioned on his
homemade lifting platform.

He started light, and did a series of
progressively heavier low rep sets.
Mostly triples with the lighter
weights, then doubles as the bar
got heavier, and then singles with
his top weights.

How did it work?

Well, he worked up to 420 pounds on
the jerk - back when the official World
Record in the clean and jerk was less
than 400 pounds.

That's not bad for a man who works a
hard, hot, tiring job and then goes
home and trains in his backyard.

So that's one approach to ultra-
abbreviated training. Choose one
exercise, and hit it twice a week.
Note: squats would work well. So
would deadlifts or the clean and
press -- or push press -- or jerk.

Another way to do it would be to
choose two different exercises and
hit each movement once per week.


Mon - Clean and press

Thurs - Squats or deadlifts

Or, you could train three times per
week and do a different exercise in
each session:

Mon - Squat

Wed - Press

Fri - Deadlift

Work gut, grip and neck work in as you

Ultra-abbreviated training also works
great for older trainees - for those
who work long hours at work or school
(or both) - and for those who are
trying to pack on strength and muscle
mass. Almost all of the classic weight
gaining and mass-building programs
from the 30's, 40's and 50's were
abbreviated or ultra-abbreviated

So there's your hot weather training
program - on what's not exactly a
summer day here in the USA.

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 information on ultra-
abbreviated training, grab a copy of


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Stay warm,
and do squats!" -- Brooks Kubik

Success Story No. 1 for 2014!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I have a friend who followed a strict
lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for most of
his adult life.

Lacto-ovo meaning he would eat plenty
of milk and dairy products - and an
occasional egg or two.

The dairy products were his primary
protein source, and he packed them
away like they were going out of
style. Lots of milk - and lots of

He ate lots of bread and lots of
pizza. He once said that pizza was
one of the five basic food groups.

He trained his whole life, and he
was way stronger and in better shape
than most people his age (about 50).

But all the bread and pizza was a
problem for him - and it got worse
over the years.

For one thing, he was packing way
too many Lard Lumps - and Lard Lumps
aren't good for you.

His blood sugar was high and getting

His cholesterol numbers were not
good, and getting worse by the day.

His doctor wanted to put him on

He refused.

They argued.

The doctor sent him to a specialist.

A specialist who combined a medical
degree with a world class background
in nutrition.

The specialist reviewed his history,
looked at his diet, and told him he
had to make some big changes.

As in, "RIGHT NOW!"

The specialist made my friend change
his diet completely.

He went from a carb-addict to low
carb overnight.

And he started eating meat again.

For breakfast, he had meat and
eggs. Usually bacon and eggs.

For lunch, he had a big salad and
some sort of meat.

For dinner, salad or cooked green
veggies and meat or fish.

In other words, he followed
something pretty close to the Atkins
diet. No more pizza-terian.

I saw him the other day for the
first time in months. I almost
didn't recognize him. He'd lost
over 30 pounds in just over three
months. Most of it off of his gut.

He looks great - and he told me
that he's as strong as ever. In
fact, he's stronger on some of
his exercises than he was at his
heavier weight.

I'm counting that one as the first
Dino success story of the year -
even if it started a few months

Over the coming months, many of
you will share similar success
stories. Some of you will lose
weight. Others will pack on some
major muscle mass. And others will
make big gains in strength and
power. There will be tons and tons
of PR's.

In short, 2014 is going to be a great
year for the Dinos!

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. John Grimek, Steve Stanko and the
rest of the York gang had a pretty good
diet for whacking the Lard Lumps while
maintaining strength and muscle mass. I
cover it in Gray Hair and Black Iron:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Whatever
the problem, think it through, make a plan,
and take action." -- Brooks Kubik

Dino Q and A - Day Three!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Let's get things rolling with some
more questions and answers from

Here's an interesting one from Ray:

"Hi Brooks,

I was thinking of rotating squats and
deadlifts on a month to month basis.

Jan - squats

Feb - Deadlifts


Any feedback?


Ray - That's an interesting idea. I've
never done it, but it might work well
for you. Go ahead and give it a try.

It's similar to some of the programs the
old-timers used, where they did a short
(usually one to three month) specialization
program on a particular lift. Usually it
was the squat, but sometimes it was the
deadlift, the clean and press or the
clean and jerk. It worked very well
for many trainees.

The only reservation I have is whether
it would be best to switch squats and
deads every month or whether it would
be better to do squats fro 6 to 8 weeks,
and then do deads fro 6 to 8 weeks. That
would allow you to start light and really
work your way through a progressive
training cycle on  each exercise. If
I were going to give the program a try,
that's how I would do it.

It would be interesting to hear from any
of our fellow Dinos about this sort of
program? Has anyone else alternated
squats and deads from month to month?
If you have, let me know how it worked
for you, and I'll share the results.

As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make
it a good one!

BTW - tomorrow we'll talk about a 49
year old Dino who switched from a
lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to a
meat and veggies diet similar to
my own diet. The results were pretty

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Alternating leg and back specialization
programs is a classic, old-school method of
building strength and muscle mass. You can
read all about it in CHALK AND SWEAT:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train your
legs. Train your back. Lift heavy stuff
over your head. Train hard, train smart,
train progressively. You won't believe
the results." -- Brooks Kubik

Happy New Year to the Dinos!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Just a short note to say something
very important:


I hope it's filled with lots and
lots of:

1. Squats

2. Deadlifts

3. Workouts where you stand on your
feet and lift heavy stuff

4. PR's

5. Heavy iron

6. Fun and fellowship

7. Good food

8. Even heavier iron

9. Big dreams

10. Great success

Make 2014 the best year ever!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Start the New Year off on the
right foot with the Legacy of Iron
books - they're a time machine that
takes you back to the Golden Age of
Might and Muscle:

1. Legacy of Iron (book 1 in the series)


2. Clouds of War (book 2 in the series)


3. The 1000 Pound Total (book 3 in the series)


4. York Goes to War! (book 4 in the series)


5. Barbells in the Pacific (book 5 in the series)


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


P.S. 3. "Always start the new year off on
the right foot. Lift some iron!" -- Brooks