From Weightlifter to Mr. America!

Strength training is a life-long journey - and you can (and should) try many different things and have many different adventures along the way. 

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

One of the very best things about the
Iron Game is that it's a never-ending
journey - and you never have to end
up at one destination and stay there
for the rest of your life.

Case in point - Clarence Bass, a/k/a
Mr. Ripped.

Most people don't know it, but Clarence
started out as an Olympic weightlifter.

He was a good one, too.

He was one of the youngest lifters
of his generation to clean and jerk
300 pounds in official competition.

His best lifts were a military press
of 275 lbs., a snatch of 245 lbs.,
and a clean and jerk of 325 lbs.

He won city, state and regional
championships, and placed second
in the Teenage Nationals, the Junior
Nationals and the YMCA Nationals.

But by his mid-thirties, Clarence
found that his progress in Olympic
weightlifting hasd stopped. So he
decided to look for a new challenge.

He became a bodybuilder.

And he went on to win his class
in the Past 40 Mr. America contest
not once, but twice - and also to
win the title of Most Muscular Man
at the Mr. USA Past 40 contest.

He developed incredible muscularity
with a unique diet that flew in the
face of the conventional wisdom of
the era.

At the time, bodybuilders followed a
strict meat and salad diet (essentially,
a zero carb diet) to get "cut" for

Clarence ate almost no meat. He got
his protein from milk and eggs. And he
ate plenty of whole grains, beans, and
fresh vegetables. It was close to being
a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.

It worked pretty well for him.

He ended up being one of the most
muscular men in the world - and
today, 40 years later, he's still in
terrific shape.

He also - get this - went back to
his first love - Olympic weightlifting -
when he was 60!

Clarence Bass is a great example
of how the Iron Game can be - and
should be - a lifelong journey - and
how it can take you to many different
places and bring you many different
adventures throughout your entire

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Clarence Bass has written a number
of terrific training books that cover his
Iron Game journey - and his diet and
nutrition plan - as well as his training
program and workouts.

I have seven of them that I need to sell
as part of our big book and magazine
sale here at Dino Headquarters. They're
used copies, but in good condition.

If you're interested in the seven-book
set, shoot me an email. You can have
all seven for $100.00 plus s&h.

I have just one set, so it's first come,
first served.

P.S. 2. If you're looking to change
up your training, all-dumbbell and
all-bodyweight workouts are a
terrific change of pace - or you can
combine them for some really great

I specialized in heavy dumbbell training in my early 40's because I wanted to try new and different ways to train - and to tackle new challenges.

Dinosaur Dumbbell Training

Bodyweight training is a great way to change things up. You can follow an all-bodyweight program, or combine bodyweight training with weight training.

Dinosaur Bodyweight Training

P.S. 3. My other books and courses -
and links to all of my e-books on Kindle
- are right here at Dino Headquarters:

Hard-copy and PDF


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day:

"Change can keep you young - and
keep you training."

- Brooks Kubik


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

The Wrong Way to Learn Judo

World and Olympic champion John Davis hits a heavy clean and jerk while training at Muscle Beach. Davis began his training career by doing bodyweight exercises at a local park, and later progressed to basic barbell and dumbbell workouts. It must have been a good way to get started, because Davis ended up winning the World Championship at age 17 - beating not one, but two former Olympic gold medal winners!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I've been getting a number of questions
about training programs for beginners,
and it reminded me about my time in
a beginner's judo class.

This was more than 50 years ago, but
I recall parts of it very vividly. Read on,
and you'll see why.

It was a beginner's class for young boys.
Most of us were 9 or 10 years old.

The instructor was tall, strong and

He was very good at judo, but he was
very bad at teaching it.

We started with basic break-falls, and
forward and backward rolls - which made
sense - and gradually we progressed to
some simple leg sweeps and hip throws.

At some point after we learned a few
basic throws, the instructor sparred
with each of us.

The other kids formed a circle, kneeling,
to watch the action.

The problem was, the instructor didn't
hold back.

Not even when he was sparring with a
9 year old kid who had just a few short
weeks of training under his belt.

When I sparred with him, he hit me
with a leg sweep that turned me com-
pletely upside down and shot me up
into the air like a rocket.

I went up so hard and so fast that my
right foot hit him in the jaw - just like
an upside down karate kick - and he
dropped me and went backwards one
way and I went flying the other way
far across the mat.

It's a good thing I managed a proper
break-fall or I probably would have
broken my neck. I was skinny as a
twig then, and my neck measured
almost nothing at all.

I think he thought I "kicked" him on
purpose. I don't recall sparring with
him a second time, which was probably
a good thing for both of us.

I do remember him sparring with one
of the other kids, though.

He threw the kid hard, and the kid
landed wrong, and he dislocated his

Then he lay on the mat, screaming in
pain for what seemed like an eternity
before the EMT guys arrived, put him
on a stretcher, and carried him out to
the ambulance.

He was still screaming as the doors
closed behind them.

That was my last judo class.

My parents wouldn't let me go back.

And honestly - I didn't want to go back.

Like I said, the instructor was good at
judo - but bad at teaching it.

And many people are the same when
it comes to strength training and

They're good at doing it - but bad at
teaching it.

They give beginners training programs
that are too hard, too advanced and
way too demanding.

And the newbie ends up sore as heck,
and feeling like he got hit by a Mack

Usually, the newbie quits.

The RIGHT way to get started is
much different.

You begin with VERY EASY workouts,
and you slowly, gradually and pro-
gressively make them harder and
more difficult.

The beginner workouts in Chalk and
Sweat are perfect. There are 10 of
them - and they'll help any beginner
ease into training.

Because that's how you do it.

You EASE into training.

You start light and easy - and you work
up from there.

I expect that you learn judo the same
way - as opposed to the way I learned
judo - which didn't work very well.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Go here to grab your copy of Chalk
and Sweat:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses -
and links to all of my e-books on Kindle
- are right here at Dino Headquarters:

Hard-copy and PDF


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day:

"You don't tackle a black belt
on day one in judo class - and
you don't train like a lifter with
10 year's experience on day
one of your strength training

- Brooks Kubik


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

Amazingly Effective for Strength and Muscle Mass!

Staggered grip double rope pull-ups - one of my favorite upper body exercises in Dinosaur Bodyweight Training.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Last week a reader asked me about bodyweight
training, and whether you could use it to build
strength and muscle mass.

My answer probably surprised him.

"Bodyweight training is amazingly effective for
building strength and muscle mass."

And yes, those were my exact words -- and I
don't use "amazingly" very often. When I do,
I mean it.

But -- and this is important -- it has to be the
right kind of bodyweight training.

Here's an example -- and it's something I found
in the yellowed pages of a very old magazine,
buried far at the back, where it was easy to

A reader asked John Grimek about handstand

Grimek told him they were pretty good -- and
noted that at one period of his life, when he was
travelling and working as an artists's model, he
found it very difficult to do any weight training
for about two years.

What did he do instead?

Handstand pushups and tiger bends.

Freestanding. Not balanced with the feet against
the wall.

For many, many sets.

A total of 200 reps per day of each exercise.

Grimek didn't mention any pull-ups, but I bet
he was doing plenty of pull-ups at the same
time. Remember, this was the man with the
original baseball biceps.

And quite likely, he  some deep knee bends to
work his legs. Grimek liked leg work, and it's
hard to imagine him not doing something to
work his lower body.

Grimek's experience is hardly unusual. Back in
the day, quite a few bodybuilding and lifting
champions got started with handbalancing,
gymnastics, and bodyweight training. And
many of them continued to include their
favorite bodyweight exercises -- such as
pushups, pull-ups, handstand pushups or
tiger bends -- for their entire career.

I've done it myself, and I know it works.

I had a stretch of about four years where I
did nothing but bodyweight training. Lots
of advanced pushup variations -- lots of
advanced pull-up variations -- and tons
of handstand pushups.

Plus various types of deep knee bends and
hyperextensions -- and bridging and gut

How did it work?

Pretty darn well.

In my late 40's, I was bigger, thicker and more
muscular than I was when I was doing heavy
powerlifting in my 30's.

Of course, you don't have to use bodyweight
training exclusively. You can combine it with
barbell and dumbbell training, and have the
best of both worlds.

And it's easy to learn how to do it -- and how
to put it all together into effective, result-
producing workouts.

I offer a complete course in old-school body-
weight training -- along with 50 different
workouts -- in Dinosaur Bodyweight Training.

And I'll also include a  special bulletin that
tells you how to combine bodyweight
training with barbell and dumbbell work.

It's good stuff.

In fact, it's amazingly good stuff.

And remember -- I don't use that word very

Go here to grab a copy:

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

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Here's the link again:

P.S. 2. My other books and courses -- including
links to my PDF courses and Kindle e-books --
are right here:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day:

"Simple and effective beats
complicated and useless."

-- Brooks Kubik


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

Attack of the Killer Spiders!

I've been off line for a couple of days - and here's the reason why.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I've been off line for several days,
and missed most of the post Turkey
Day shopping frenzy.

But I have a good excuse.

I've been bad sick.

We think it was a spider bite - on my
right ear.

I don't remember being bit - but my
right ear swelled up like a big red
balloon on Friday night - and I had
all the symptoms of a spider bite:
fever, sweating, shivering, headache,
sore joints, and a general "got hit by
a truck" feeling.

But my right ear was the worst part
of it by far.

My right ear has always been a little
bit thick and mangled from my high
school wrestling days. It's not a true
cauliflower ear, but it's definitely been
through some battles.

But when it swelled up, it went right
into full cauliflower mode.

So what hundreds of wrestlers my size
weren't able to do over a period of six
years of junior high school and high
school wrestling, a wee little spider
did in about one second.

And he probably didn't work up a
sweat doing it.

I ended up in the urgent care center
on Saturday. The doc checked me out
and put me on some heavy duty anti-

And then I spent most of Saturday
and Sunday resting and sleeping.

Trudi has been serving me tons of
high nutrition, anti-inflammatory foods
to help the healing process - along
with plenty of anti-inflammatory green
tea with lemon juice, fresh grated
ginger, and cinnamon.

It's all helping, and I'm feeling better
today. Nowhere near 100 percent, but
better. And my ear is starting to shrink
back down to its regular size.

Anyhow, I thought I'd update you and
let you know why I've been off-line.
Of course, we're still open for business,
and you can grab any of my books and
courses right here at Dino Headquarters:

Hard-copy and PDF


I'm also selling back issues of Strength and
Health magazine from the 1930's through
the1980's. If you're interested in a particular
year, shoot me an email and let me know
what you'd like - where we'll be shipping
them - and how you prefer to pay for the

12 issue sets from the 1930's are $120 plus
shipping and handling.

12 issue sets from the 1940's forward are
$100 plus shipping and handling.

And that's the report. I hope YOU are doing
better than I am today - and I hope that
neither of us ever has another run-in with
one of those killer spiders.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik


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

My Favorite Dumbbell Training Workout

That's a 151-pound one-hand dumbbell swing - which is pretty darn good. That's the most weight I ever lifted in the one-hand dumbbell swing.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

We've been getting a ton of questions
about dumbbell training and dumbbell
workouts, so I thought I'd share my
all-time favorite dumbbell workout
with you.

I used this 20 years ago, when I was
preparing to film The Lost Art of
Dumbbell Training.

It worked pretty well. I got up to doing
the two dumbbell clean and press with
a pair of 126 pound dumbbells, a one
hand clean and push press with a 151
pound dumbbell, a one hand swing with
a 151 pound dumbbell, and a two hand
clean and push press with a pair of 131
pound thick handled dumbbells.   Those
were done at a bodyweight of 225 or
so, and I was 40 or 41 years old.

I trained three times per week, alternating
between two workouts. Workout A was
nothing but squats. I did bottom position
squats in the power rack, and either worked
up to a top single, or worked up to 5, 10 or
20 singles with a little less weight.

That was all I did in Workout A. Nothing
but squats.

Workout B was the dumbbell program. On
the one arm exercises, I would do one set
with each arm at each weight. On the two
dumbbell exercises, I would do one set at
each weight.

I trained all singles. I started light, and
worked up in 10 pound jumps to my top
weight in each exercise. Of course, the
program would work fine with doubles,
triples, fives or any other number of
low to medium reps. Or you could
start with sets of five and work up
to singles. There are many ways to
do the job.

To keep from having to spend the whole
workout changing weights, I would do one
set of all the exercises for each weight, and
then add weight and repeat the process.

As the weight increased and I maxed out
on different exercises, I would drop them
out of the rotation. Thus, at the end, with
the very heaviest weights, I would do only
the one hand swing and the one hand

I did the following exercises:

1. Two hand dumbbell clean and press
(with two dumbbells)

2. One hand dumbbell clean and press

3. One hand dumbbell swing

4. Two hand dumbbell clean and push
press (with two dumbbells)

5. One hand dumbbell clean and push

6. One hand dumbbell clean (optional)

And that was it. Five or six big exercises.

Fast, fun and furious -- and very effective.

John Grimek was a big fan of two-dumbbell alternate presses. He usually did them see-saw style.

I cover more dumbbell workouts in
Dinosaur Dumbbell Training -- in fact,
there's a total of 50 of them, along with
detailed instruction on how to perform
each exercise:

Anyhow, if you're looking for something
fun and effective, give this workout a try.
It worked great for me -- and I bet it would
work great for you, too.

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. 2. My other books and courses -
and links to all of my e-books on Kindle
- are right here at Dino Headquarters:

Hard-copy and PDF


P.S. 2. Thought for the Day: 

"Old school dumbbell training builds
serious strength
and power. Try it
and see!"

-- Brooks Kubik


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