Weightlifting for the Brain

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Before we get to today's training topic, let
me share a link to my most recent interview
on Eric Fiorillo's Motivation and Muscle Podcast
Show. Eric and I talk sets, reps and real world


Good stuff -- I think you'll enjoy it.

On the training front, there have been some
interesting studies showing that exercise is
of enormous benefit for the brain and the
nervous system as well as the muscles.

Which is something that I've been saying for
many years -- and something that the founding
fathers of physical culture all knew and
understood. George F. Jowett, for example,
often wrote about this phenomenon.

Some of the recent research shows that
regular exercise may help reduce the risk
of developing Alzheimer's. In other words,
exercise keeps your mind sharp as you grow

That's true for many reasons, and one of them
involves the mind-muscle link.

When you train with deep concentration and
intense focus, you link your muscles and your
brain -- which means you are using and
strengthening your nervous system. The
nervous system is the link between your
mind and your muscles.

Training with that kind of mental focus is the
very best way to build strength and muscle.

But it's also a very good way -- perhaps the
best way -- to keep your brain and your
nervous system healthy and strong.

And remember, the studies that show a
beneficial effect on brain health from physical
training usually involve very simple forms of
training -- often with exercise machines and
very modest resistance -- and often with
previously untrained or minimally skilled

Imagine the results of a study that looked at
brain health for older trainees who train Dino
style -- using basic, compound exercises, and
the kind of set/rep schemes I detail in Gray Hair
and Black Iron or my other books and courses.

Or imagine a study looking at brain health for
Masters' level weightlifters or powerlifters --
or any Master's age athlete.

This is one of the reasons I do so much weightlifting
now. The snatch and the clean and jerk require
tremendous focus and concentration. They are
athletic movements -- more like gymnastics with
a barbell than anything else.

And remember, when you perform a squat or
split style snatch or clean, you pull the bar UP
in a very precise and controlled movement
that involves split-second timing, total
body coordination and shifting but always
perfect balance.

And then you reverse direction --  and as the bar
continues to go UP, you pull your body DOWN
and under it.

You literally jump under the upward moving
bar -- pulling yourself DOWN by pulling on
the bar.

That's a very unusual movement. I can't think
of anything in sports where you exert maximum
force UP and then move DOWN to catch the
implement you are handling. You don't throw
and catch a shot -- or a discus -- or a hammer --
but you throw and catch a barbell.

And because it's such an unusual and complex
movement -- and happens so fast --I believe it
trains the heck out of the nervous system, the
motor pathways, and the brain -- as well as the

I can't cite you to any research on the effect
of Olympic lifting on an older trainee's brain and
nervous system, but I have to believe it's pretty
darn good.

Of course, you do NOT need to do snatches and
cleans to help exercise and strengthen your
brain and your nervous system. Any type of
Dino-style training will help.

The point is, make your training an important part
of your life -- starting now -- and keep it up for as
long as you live. It's the best thing in the world for
your body -- and the best thing in the world for
your brain.

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 how to train for lifelong
strength and health, grab a copy of Gray Hair
and Black Iron:


P.S. 2. A healthy diet is another key factor in
lifelong strength and health -- and I cover the
topic in detail in Knife, Fork, Muscle:


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


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Your mind and your body
are one. Strengthen one, and you strengthen the
other." -- Brooks Kubik


A Great New Thick Handled Barbell for Dinos!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I've been getting great feedback in response to
my earlier email asking whether you'd like to see
photos and classified ads in the new quarterly
Dinosaur Files - so THANK YOU to everyone who
shot in a reply.

If you didn't reply yet, and you have a chance
now or later on, please do so. It's very helpful
to get your thoughts and feedback.

In other news, my buddy John Wood has
released a great new thick handled barbell.

And you KNOW that I'm a big fan of training
with thick handled barbells!

Go here to take a look at the little monster:


I like it. So would King Kong. And I think
you'll like it, too -- and like what it does for
your gripping power and forearm development.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I cover thick bar training in detail in Dinosaur
Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development,
and in Strength, Muscle and Power:

a. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and


b. Strength, Muscle and Power


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


Thought for the Day: "Build your grip. You'll be
glad you did." -- Brooks Kubik


Two Questions re: the New Quarterly Dinosaur Files

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I'm finishing up the first issue of the new quarterly
Dinosaur Files -- which is looking great -- and I'm
also working on the order page for the little monster.

It's going to be BIG -- the same size as my Dinosaur
Training courses -- e.g., the Doug Hepburn Training
Course, Dinosaur Arms, the Dinosaur Military Press
and Shoulder Power Course, and the John Grimek
Training Course. So it's about two or three times
as big as the monthly Dinosaur Files -- which
means that every issue is going to be quite a
treat for you.

Sort of like having Christmas four times a year.

In the meantime, I have two questions for you.

1. Photos -- Yes or No?

When I did a monthly Dinosaur Files from 1997 to
2002, we did not use photos, although we did have
a few line drawings, including some Bosco

Those were pretty popular. Joe Weider was one of
the original subscribers, and he called me one day
and talked about how much he enjoyed the Files,
and mentioned the Bosco art work and how it
brought back good memories -- which was funny,
given Harry's scathing comments during the
infamous Hoffman-Weider feud.

When we did a monthly Dinosaur Files in 2010
and 2011, we included photos.

Some readers liked photos -- others did not. They
preferred more written material. More training
articles, etc.

So question number one is -- do you want to
see photos in the new quarterly Dinosaur Files?
If you do, would you prefer photos of old-timers,
exercise photos (as in, "how to do it" photos), or
photos of your fellow Dinosaurs? Or all three?

Shoot me an email and let me know.

2. Classified Ads -- Yes or No?

Question number two relates to classified ads.

I'm thinking about doing a new special section for
classified ads featuring things that Dinos would
find interesting -- such as training equipment,
books, courses, collectables, etc. Or info about
Dino-style gyms, podcasts, or whatever the
Dinos might like.

Peary Rader used to run a special section for
classifieds in the old Iron Man, and it was
always great fun to read through it.  It
was even more fun than flipping through
the Sears catalog to make your wish list
for Christmas.

I'm looking at an issue of IronMan from when
I was a kid. Across from a page that features
lifting results (Ken Patera won the Oregon
State Powerlifting Championships in the SHW
class with a 465 bench, 700 squat and 585
DL for a 1750 total), you see the classifieds.

They included half a dozen ads for lists of old
books, courses and magazines -- all of which
I remember sending for. Interestingly, several
of the ads are from men who later purchased
books or courses from me!

Chester Teegarden had an ad for 200 kilo
Russian Weightlifting sets. I wish I had bought
one of those.

There were ads for protein supplements. I
actually ordered a few of them. (The Russian
Weightlifting sets would have been a better
buy. The supplements all tasted terrible, and
none of them helped me gain an ounce of

For a mere 134.5 clams, I could have grabbed
a 500 pound Jackson Barbell set. Wish I had
done that, too. Would have been one of the
best investments of my life.

Carl Miller offered a specially designed lifting
belt. That also would have been a good buy.
And it's funny, because I met Carl many years
later, and he has several of my books, and I
have several of his, and we correspond old-
school style -- by letter (ink on paper).

And here's a good one:

"STEVE REEVES, large unpublished pic, plus
routine and details of exactly how he trained."

The cost of that little gem?

One clam.

Wish I had ordered it. It might have been my
ticket to fame and fortune. Mr. America, the
movies, a Swiss chateau -- the works. Just
like Steve Reeves.

Or maybe not. There was only one Steve
Reeves. Oh, well. It still would have been
worth one clam.

Anyhow, the classifieds were fun, and it might
be good to bring them back.

And that's the second question.

Classifieds -- yes or no? Let me know what you

I'll sign off for now, and wait for your replies.

Remember, the Dinosaur Files is YOUR training
magazine, so your feedback is very important.
Let me hear from you.

In the meantime, 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. The pre-publication special for my new book, Knife,
Fork, Muscle, is winding down. To reserve a copy and
the special pre-publication bonuses, go here:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "A day without
reading is a wasted day. So is a day without
training -- unless it's a rest day." --  Brooks Kubik


Life and Lifting Lessons from Paul McCartney

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

This email is coming to you a little late because we had
a late night last night -- at a Paul McCartney concert.

He was in Louisville for the first time in 50 years --
not since the Beatles' first American tour.

Playing to a packed house at our biggest downtown

We were there with guest passes. Our daughter's
boyfriend is in the music business, and he knows
a guy who is on tour with McCartney -- and so we
ended up with some complimentary tickets for
seats almost close enough to reach out and touch
the stage.

It was a belated birthday present for Trudi -- and
pretty much the best birthday present of her life.
Trudi has been a huge Beatles fan for almost her
entire life. She missed the first American tour --
so this was something she had been waiting for
for a very long time.

And so, it seemed, did the rest of the crowd. I
don't think there has been a happier, more
appreciative and more enthusiastic crowd in
the history of music.

And that brings me to some thoughts about life
and lifting -- thoughts that occured to me as I
watched a very fit, very energetic 72-year old
legend blast his way through 39 songs over the
course of a three-hour concert.

With no breaks.

That's right. It was three hours of music. With
no breaks.

They played 39 songs -- all of them big hits that
we all know and love -- and they played them
virtually non-stop for three hours -- and came
back for two multi-song encores.

And this included some high-powered vocals --
"Back in the USSR" and "Band on the Run"
and many more. Along with softer music like
"Eleanor Rigby" and "Hey, Jude."

McCartney played the piano, the guitar and the
ukelele. In one set, he played the very same
Hofner Bass that he played in 1968 when the
Beatles recorded the "Let It Be" album.  That
reminded me of Harry Paschall using the same
barbell for almost 50 years -- and lugging it
around the country as he moved from place to
place. (I wonder where that magic barbell is
today. In good hands, I hope.)

As I watched, I wondered how many 72-year
olds are still doing what they love -- and doing
it with the type of energy, exuberance and
passion -- and the excellence -- that Paul
McCartney demonstrated on stage last

He didn't have to hit it like a man in his 20's
or 30's. He could have phoned it in. He could
have stepped on stage, smiled, and let his
living legend status carry him through 60
or 90 minutes of easy tunes.

But instead, he gave it everything he had --
and he smashed it.

Knocked it right out of the ball park.

There's a line from "Chariots of Fire." It goes
something like this:

"Where does the strength come from -- the
strength to finish the race? It comes from

That's what we saw last night.

Strength from within.

It was a very important lesson -- a lesson about
what happens when you do what you love -- follow
your passion -- and keep giving 100% every day
of your life.

Most of all, it's a lesson about how to stay young.

It's an important lesson. Thanks for letting me
share it with you.

As always, have a great day. If you train today,
make it a good one.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. The right kind of diet and nutrition -- and the
right kind of training -- will keep you young and

a. For the diet and nutrition piece, grab this:


b. For the training piece, grab this:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Think young, and keep
on lifting -- but lift smart!" -- Brooks Kubik


New Shoulders In a Box (With an Important Update)

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I sent this email out earlier in the year, 
but I wanted to send it out again for two

First, I recently got an email from a
Dino who ordered the Top Squat and
the Log Bar from John Wood, and says
that they have really helped with some 
shoulder problems. (Which is something
I hear fairly often.)

Second -- I have heard through the
grapevine that the Top Squat may not
be available much longer, and if you
want one, you should take immediate

And since shoulders are important,
I thought I should dust off this email
and fire it on out to you.

So here goes . . .
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

Nutritional Insanity in the Iron Game

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Last week I answered a reader's question asking
if it was necessary to eat liver in order to build
strength and muscle.

Short answer: It's not.

That prompted a response by a Dino who's about
my age.

He remembered that "back in the day" he read that
a top bodybuilder was using a protein shake made
from raw liver and grape juice.

He ran to the store, bought some raw liver and grape
juice, took it home, mixed it up in the blender, and
poured himself a big glass of might and muscle.

Closed his eyes and thought how great it would be to
be strutting his stuff on the silver sand of fabled Muscle

Repping out with Arnold at Gold's Gym.

Copping the big titles. Mr. A, Mr. U, Mr. O,
Mr. Everything.

Getting the big paychecks for the endorsements from
the supplement companies.

And the girls.

Ah, yes.

The girls.

We all knew they loved guys with big muscles. John
McCallum told us so. Just look at Uncle Harry. He
couldn't even walk down the beach without creating
a riot.

But back to our young lifter. He hasn't made it to
Muscle Beach. He's still in his parent's kitchen.

He closed his eyes and dreamed -- then opened them
and took his first big swig of the Mighty Muscle Potion.
He chugged about half a big glass of the stuff.

Seconds later, he was puking his guts out.

Yes, that's a true story -- and yes, that's how it

And it happened to more than one poor kid.

Another top bodybuilder had a protein drink that
featured tuna fish, water and -- I forget what else.
It may have been tuna and water and nothing else,
or he may have added some dessicated liver and
perhaps some brewer's yeast.

In any case, it was pretty nasty.

I never tried it.

But I knew a guy who did.

He had the same reaction I just described -- one
big swig and he was barfing.

Then there was John Grimek.

He ate real food.

No protein shakes.

No blender bombers.

Nothing nasty.

Grimek enjoyed his meals. He liked steaks, chops and
roast chicken.

"Meat is my baby," he once said.

And he wasn't talking about raw liver mixed with grape

But amazingly, he did pretty darn well.

Even without drinking the nasty stuff.

Grimek believed that food was somehting to be enjoyed.
Not a form of torture. Not a test to see how "tough" you

He didn't even approve of over-doing it with milk -- or
with stuffing yourself -- or force-feeding. He didn't think
that sort of thing did anything other than give you a
belly-ache -- and it's hard to train with a belly-ache.

He thought it was much better to combine regular
hard training with three delicious meals every day --
featuring good, healthy foods, and lots of protein.

I don't know about you, but I think the Grimek way of
doing things makes a lot of sense.

A lot more sense than raw liver and grape juice.

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're interested in real world, no-nonsense diet
and nutrition, reserve your copy of KNIFE, FORK,


P.S. 2. For the inside story on how John Grimek trained,
grab this big course -- and learn the training secrets of
the fabled Monarch of Muscledom:


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


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Eating to build strength
and muscle should be a pleasure, not a form of
self-inflicted torture." -- Brooks Kubik


How to Get Back Into Training After a Long Lay-off

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick updates, and then we'll talk training.

1. Several of you have asked when we'll be shipping
Knife, Fork, Muscle. The final work for the manuscript
took longer than expected, which has pushed us behind
schedule -- but I will be getting the shipment soon, and
as soon as I do, we'll fill all orders immediately.

I had intended to give everyone who ordered during
the pre-publication special two bonuses, but since we
are running behind schedule, I'm going to increase
that to seven bonuses. (And I think you'll really like

I'll keep you posted on the shipping date as I have
more information.

2. We'll be putting up an order page for the first issue
of the new quarterly Dinosaur Files later in the week.
Be looking for it. (And by the way -- the first issue
looks GREAT! I'm having great workouts because
I'm so motivated after working all day on the
new Files and reading all the great articles in it.)

On the training front . . .

I rec'd an email from a longtime Dino who's been
going through a rough spot in his life -- and has
gotten out of the training habit.

In fact, he's been out of training for 5 or 6 months.

And he's been doing the couch potato thing -- too
much television, and too much lousy food.

He asked what to do to get back into his training.
Now, you may think this is an unusual question.

But it's not. I get the question more often than
you would imagine. That's because Life is -- well,
it is what it is. It can be tough sometimes. Things
can happen that make it very tough to train --
or perhaps make it impossible to train.

The loss of a loved one. A bad breakup. The loss
of a job. An illness. An injury. Money problems.
Having to work an extra job to make ends meet.
A family member's severe illness.

I know that sort of thing never happens when you
live on Muscle beach and do nothing but work on
your tan, train, eat, surf and work on your tan -- but
Muscle beach is the fantasy world, and Dinos live
in the real world -- and life can be very tough in
the real world.

So how does our Dino get back to training?

1. He makes a commitment to get started --

1a. Not tomorrow. TODAY.

2. He gives himself a very easy workout to get
back in the groove. Something so fast and easy
there's no possible excuse for missing a workout.

a. For example, train 3x per week. Each workout, do
a warm-up, then 5 x 5 in ONE primary exercise,
some gut, grip and neck work, and then go home.

b. That's 4 progressively heavier warm-up sets
and one work set -- and not too heavy on the
work set.

c. 15 minutes of training beats zero minutes of

3. He starts LIGHT so he doesn't cripple himself
with soreness, and he gives himself the treat of
making good, steady gains from week to week
as he gradually builds back up to where he was

4. He fills his mind with powerful, inspiring,
motivating thoughts and images. Any of my
books or courses -- or back issues of The
Dinosaur Files -- will help. So will any other
good books on strength training and muscle

4a. The Legacy of Iron books are super-
motivators. So is Black Iron: The John Davis
Story. And, of course, Dinosaur Training is
non-stop motivation from start to finish.

5. He cleans up his diet. For now, drop the junk
food and get back to protein and vegetables.
When Knife, Fork, Muscle is out the door, read
the little monster and follow the advice to the

5a. You'd be surprised how much a poor diet
can effect your outlook on life. There's no such
thing as comfort food. It can actually make you
depressed. Get your diet on track, start training
again, and you'll start to feel better fast.

So there you have it. A quick and easy, foolproof
plan for getting back on track after a long layoff.
Remember -- start TODAY -- and get back to 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 link to reserve your pre-publication copy
of Knife, Fork, Muscle:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Training is forever,
and that's part of what makes it so much fun."

-- Brooks Kubik