New Shoulders in a Box!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

We were talking about preserving and
protecting your shoulders last week,
and that reminded me of some things
that are awfully good for them.

They're tools that I use, and they're
tools that many Dinos use -- particularly,
many older Dinos. I've suggested them to
readers before, and whenever I do, I always
get emails a month or two later from someone
who says, "Took your advice -- and it
really helped."

But they're also important tools for younger
Dinos. If you start using them NOW, your
shoulders will be in better shape when
you're older.

So here they are:

1. The Dave Draper Top Squat

Many older trainees find it hard to
hold onto a squat bar when they do back
squats -- and some can't even get into
position to do the movement. Their
shoulders just aren't flexible enough.

So they end up doing front squats or
Trap Bar squats -- or skipping their
leg work -- or doing second and third
rate exercises like leg extensions or
leg presses.

Enter the Dave Draper Top Squat.

This is a simple device that fits onto
your barbell and allows you to hold the
bar in position with your hands out to
the front.

You're tight, solid and in complete
control -- and there's no problem
getting into proper position, even
if you have the tightest shoulders
in the world.

You can buy this direct from Dave Draper,
or order it from John Wood (who sells the
Top Squat under a license with Dave Draper).

To order from Dave Draper:

To order from John Wood:

2. Indian Clubs

Indian clubs are light (1 to 2 pound)
wooden clubs that look a little like
skinny bowling pins.

They were popular in the 1880's, 1890's
and early 1900's, and many of you my age
can recall seeing them lying around a
school gym or YMCA when you were young.

You use them to perform a variety of
shoulder exercises, using rotational
movements and moving the shoulder joints
through a wide range of motion.

They're not a strength builder. They're
a way to keep your shoulders loose,
flexible and supple.

Note that you do NOT need heavy clubs.
You want them light. One pound clubs
are plenty, and 1.5 pounders are also
good. Two pound clubs are as heavy as I
would recommend.

I started to use them on the advice of
Tommy Kono -- so you can say that this is
a Gold Medal Training Tip -- coming from
a two-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner and
six-time World Champion.

I use the clubs as a part of my regular
warm-up in every workout, and they work

How great?

Well, I'm 57, and I've had more than my
share of shoulder problems - starting with
a bad injury when I was a high school
wrestler 40 years ago.

But I can do squat snatches -- and that
requires pretty darn flexible (and strong
and health) shoulders.

And the Indian clubs have helped me do it.

I ordered my clubs from John Wood:

So there you have it. Two unique tools
to help preserve and protect your shoulders.

Grab them now. It will be like getting new
shoulders in a box.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I cover plenty of other  tips about
preserving and protecting your shoulders
in Gray Hair and Black Iron and the Dinosaur
Military Press and Shoulder Power Course:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Treat your
shoulders right. They deserve it." -- Brooks

Words of Wisdom from an Older Dino!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I thought you'd enjoy an email from
Bernie Rothman, a 75-year old Dino
who's been hitting the iron for (get

If you're an older trainee, see how
many of Bernie's comments apply to

Bernie writes:

Hi Brooks,

Some observations of a 75 year old Dino,
now 60 years under the weights.

1. Pulling power intact but pushing power
greatly reduced.

2. Heal slower.

3. Recover slower.

4. Reverse rows are worthwhile.

5. Rather be strong and not look it, than
look strong but not be it.

6. My goals are to stay mobile as long as
possible. This means leg work and stuff like
farmers walk as well as walking, get up out
of deep chairs, run across the street if
necessary, carry a suitcase up a few flights
of stairs, lift up items above the head if
necessary -- in other words be able to
perform physically in ordinary tasks as
long as possible.

7. Another goal -- not to have my belly
hanging over my belt.

8. You don't work the body as separate little
pieces and then expect all the parts to
function excellently as a unit -- this
means, you need to do compound exercises.

9. It takes longer to work out because you
have to spend more time working up to the
heavy sets -- that is, in trying not to
hurt yourself and have to do costly

10. Compete with your current weights,
not with the ones you did many years ago.

11. Try to do your exercises on your feet,
and not only will you wind up doing the
best possible exercises but you will be
doing possibly the best abdominal work
there is.

12. If you have the will, you will find a
way to work out even if it involves less
than ideal conditions.

And one bonus thought:

1. If your upper arms and shoulders and back
are strong, but your hands, grip and forearms
are weak, then what use are the muscles you
developed except for show?

Bernie Rothman"

Bernie -- thanks for sharing that. Those
are some great points for older trainees.

Heck, they're great points for trainees of
any age.

To everyone else -- I hope that gets your
day and your week off to a good start!

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 guide to effective
strength training for older Dinos:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Build your
strength, and maintain it for as long as
possible." -- Brooks Kubik

Part 3 -- Bob Hoffman's Biggest Challenge!

(Here's Part 3 in our little series
on Bob Hoffman's greatest challenge.
Remember, we're back in 19134 -- and
Bob has been working like heck for
the past year, trying to make a
300 pound clean and jerk.)

The 13th of April fell on a Friday
that year.

No, Bob Hoffman didn't try for the 300
pound lift on Friday the 13th -- but he
did take a hard workout that morning at
the York barbell Club gym.

Then he drove to New Haven, CT., where
he stayed overnight.

The next day, he drove to Gardner, Mass.,
for the New England Weightlifting

After the contest, he drove to Boston,
where he stayed until late Tuesday, and
then he drove most of the night to make
the 430 mile trip back home to York.

Bob took his 40 pound dumbbells on the
trip, and trained with them in the morning
on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

He rested on Wednesday after the long drive
home, and went to the York gym on Thursday,
April 19.

He weighed in and found that he was about 8
pounds lighter than his usual weight at that
time of 247 pounds. It was difficult to keep
his weight up when he was traveling.

Bob told the York lifters he wasn't sure
if he was strong or not after the long
trip, but he'd soon know.

He warmed up with a 150 pound snatch, and
then did 170 twice.

From there, he made a big jump to 235, for
an easy clean and jerk.

Next he did 270, and the lifters who watched
him said it went easier than ever before.

From 270, he jumped to 290, and it, too,
went up easily and quickly.

Now he was a mere 10 pounds away from his

He chalked his hands, walked to the bar,
crouched down -- and pulled it to his
chest with power to spare -- but he couldn't
hold it, and the weight went crashing back

He tried again - same result.

Tried a third time. It was the same.

So he tried to continental the weight. Got
it to his chest - held it -- but missed the

(Note: in the clean, you pull the bar from
floor to chest in one "clean" movement. In
the continental, you lift the bar in two
or more stages -- floor to thighs, thighs to
stomach, with the bar resting on the buckle
of your lifting belt - and from there, to
the chest. In competition, you have to
clean the weight, but to get 300 pounds
overhead in the gym, anything was fair

Bob repeated the continental -- and once
again missed the jerk.

On his third attempt, he again pulled the
bar to his shoulders -- and this time he
made the jerk!

He held the bar overhead, grinning from
ear to ear as the York lifters clapped and

The bad part was, no one had bet against
him. When Bob did 280 for the first time, he
won a nickel bet on the lift -- and the same
for his first lift with 285. He wore the two
nickels on his watch chain to show folks the
kind of money you can make as a professional

And that's the way things were -- way back
in 1934! Hope you enjoyed it!

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 rugged strength and outstanding
muscular development, it's hard to beat
the kind of stand on your feet lifting they
did "back in the day" -- and this course
will teach you how to train like the old-
time champions:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Rule No. 1 is
to stand on your feet and lift heavy stuff.
There are no other rules, because you
don't need them."-- Brooks Kubik  

Part Two -- Bob Hoffman's Biggest Challenge!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

(Note: If you missed last Friday's email,
we're following Bob Hoffman's struggle to
clean and jerk 300 pounds -- a challenge
he gave himself in June, 1933. You can
read about it right here at the Dinosaur
Training Blog -- in the entry right before
this one. And now, as they say -- let's get
back to the action.)

December, 1933 was an extra busy time
for Bob Hoffman -- and he stayed busy
right into the new year. He spent about
half his time on the road.

He traveled to weightlifting contests
in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and
Gardner, Massachusetts.

He attended conventions in New York,
Philadelphia, Boston and Detroit.

He spent 10 days at the New York
convention, 8 days in Philadelphia,
4 in Detroit and 5 in Boston.

When he was at home in York, he trained
in the York barbell Club gym -- and
that meant plenty of snatching, cleaning,
pressing and heavy jerks, along with
all of the barbell exercises in York
Courses 1, 2 and 3 -- presses, curls,
reverse curls, rowing, squats, deadlifts,
and repetition weightlifting exercises.

But when he traveled on extended
business trips, Hoffman's options were
much more limited.

He took a pair of dumbbells with him.

On some trips, a pair of 40-pounders.
On others, a pair of 45-pounders.

And in his hotel room, after a long
day of speeches, presentations,
committee meetings and business
conferences, Hoffman would grab
the dumbbells and get to it.

He did every exercise imaginable
with those dumbbells -- but he did
extra work on presses, alternate
dumbbell presses, the curl and press
exercise, and his favorite, two-
dumbbell upright rowing. Sometimes
he performed as many as 10 sets of
10 reps in the two-dumbbell upright

But then, disaster struck.

In February, at an out of town
conference, Hoffman was doing one-
legged squats in his hotel room --
and he slipped and severely twisted
his knee.

Fore several weeks, he had to walk up
and down stairs sideways, because his
bad knee couldn't support his weight.

Not good if you're trying to lift 300
pounds over your head!

Back at the York Barbell Club gym,
the fellows were always making bets
with one another. Usually just a
nickel (which was actually real
money back then).

If someone had bet you a nickel that
Bob Hoffman would have made that 300
pound lift, bad knee and all -- would
you have taken the bet?

Admit it -- you probably would have bet
against him. And you would have thought
it was a pretty safe bet.

But Bob kept on training, no matter what.
Kept on lugging those dumbbells around
the country. Kept on pushing toward his

Because when you set a goal for yourself,
that's what you do. You keep on going no
matter what obstacles Life throws in your

(To be continued . . .)

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 the best in old-school dumbbell
training, grab Dinosaur Dumbbell Training:

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "A goal is a
promise you make to yourself." -- Brooks