How to Avoid the Bugbear of Overtraining

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

In his prime, Arthur Saxon was widely
regarded as the strongest man in the

His bent press of 370 pounds and two-
hands anyhow of 448 pounds surpassed
the efforts of all other strongmen -- and
the bent press remains a world record to
this very day -- making it one of the
longest-lasting records in all of sports.

Yet as strong as he was, Saxon was well
aware of the phenomenon of overtraining --
or burning out -- or, as he put, "going

He called it "the bugbear of training."

In his book, The Development of Physical
Power, Saxon wrote:

"To go on when stale is to invite over-
training. I have known even nervous
exhaustion to attend the misdirected
efforts of the athlete who persists in
hard training when he feels himself
going to pieces through overwork."

Saxon also wrote:

"To try to work like a machine, knowing
that ever at one's side stands the bugbear
of training, ready to weaken one's resources
through overwork, and bring about a break-
down, is the height of folly."

I had a good friend who read all the old-
school books and courses -- and was very
familiar with Saxon's writing. But he, too,
like so many others, fell prey to the
bugbear of training.

And it didn't happen just once. It happened
to him over and over.

He would go on a new program and make
great progress for about six weeks -- and
then he would crash and burn, and end up
severely over-trained, sore, tired and unable
to recover from his workouts.

He would rest, recover, regain his strength,
and try again -- with exactly the same result.

And he was NOT a beginner, NOT a small-boned
ectomorph, and NOT a "hardgainer." He was a
thick-boned mesomorph with perfect leverage
for heavy lifting. If anyone could make regular
and steady gains, it should have been him. But
it wasn't.

Over the years, I've received thousands of letters
and emails from trainees who experienced the
same sort of thing. They'd try a new program,
make great progress -- and then crash headfirst
into a brick wall.

For many trainees, this becomes a pattern that
lasts for their entire training career.

And that's hugely unfortunate -- and unnecessary.

There are simple strategies that allow a trainee
at any level of development -- from beginner to
intermediate to advanced -- to make regular and
steady progress without hitting those seemingly
impossible sticking points.

And that's what we cover in vol. 3 in my new
series of Dinosaur Training courses:

Old-school progression systems that allow a
trainee to make steady progress while avoiding
the bugbear of training.

It CAN be done. You just need to know how to
do it.

As with all of the courses in the series, the new
course will be available in your choice of hard-
copy or Kindle e-book.

We're going to launch the pre-publication
special at 9:00 tomorrow. Be looking for 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. If you missed the first two courses in the
series, here they are:

a. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 1.

"Exercises, Workouts and Training

Kindle e-book:


b. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 2,
"How Strong Are You?"

Kindle e-book:


P.S. 2. My other books and courses -- and DVD's --
and links to my other Dino Training e-books --
are right here:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Slow and steady
beats crash and burn every single time."
-- Brooks Kubik


Train Hard, Eat Well, Enjoy the Weekend!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I hope you're having a great weekend.

It's been pretty good here at Dino

We had our granddaughters over on Sat
night, which is always an adventure. They
had us outnumbered two to two, but we
managed to survive until their mom came
over and picked them up.

I managed to sneak in a hard workout
yesterday afternon before they arrived,
and followed it up with a great dinner.

My legs are sore today, but that's all part
of the fun of training hard and heavy. And
it entitles me to more great meals today.

We took the girls to the park, and saw a
fitness boot camp in action. It wasn't
Dino, but it was pretty good for that
sort of thing. It looked like everyone
was having fun and working up a good
sweat, and that's a heck of a lot better
than being a weekend coach potato.

The bootcamp even used some sandbags,
although they were small ones.

I wondered if they had any idea that
the old guy pushing his granddaughters
on the swingset was one of the people
who helped put sandbag training on
the map -- and that he got the idea
from an NFL strength coach named
Kim Wood -- and that it dated back to
the old-time strongmen and wrestlers
over 100 years ago -- including Arthur
Saxon and his 300-pound Challenge
Sack that no one else could lift.

Or that George Hackenschmidt trained
for wrestling matches well over 100
years ago by getting down on his
hands and knees, and having a
couple of very strong helpers place
a 600 pound (not a typo, that's SIX
HUNDRED) sandbag on his back so
he could practice resisting a heavy
opponent in a match.

I probably should tell them. They might
move up to heavier sandbags in the
next bootcamp!

Anyhow, I hope it's been a good weekend
for you. If you train today or tomorrow,
train hard, and follow it up with some
great food. Pay attention to recovery
and recuperation. Have fun, and spend
some time with your favorite people.

And remember to synchronize your
watches for 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday
morning -- we're going to launch vol. 3
in our series of new Dinosaur Training
Courses, and I think you're really going
to like it.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik


How to Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

It's Memorial Day weekend here in the
USA, and I hope everyone is having a
great weekend.

We started the day with a quick trip to
our favorite farmers' market, where we
grabbed a week's worth of organic beef
and pork, eggs and fresh veggies.

We try to eat locally grown foods from
farmers and growers who have small
operations that allow them to produce
organic food that they can sell for a
reasonable price -- reasonable meaning
we can afford it. I'm not into the upscale
"organic" food that requires a second
mortgage just to buy a bag of groceries.

You'd be surprised at how delicious fresh
food from local farmers and growers can
taste -- and how nutritious it is -- and how
much better you feel when you stop eating
the chemicals in conventional foods from
the big box supermarkets.

You'd also be surprised at how little it costs
to do your shopping -- or as much of it
as possible -- at the local farmers'

Healthy food becomes very affordable
when you cut out the middleman and
deal directly with the local farmers and

In Knife, Fork, Muscle, I give an example
of a typical fast food meal for a family of
four compared to a farmers' market meal
with organic meat, whole grains, and fresh
veggies and fruit from the farmers' market.

I used the current prices from my most
recent trip to the market, and priced it
to the penny.

And guess what?

The farmers' market meal with organic
meat and fresh veggies was CHEAPER
(by far!) than the fast food meal.

And that's a bit of an eye-opener. We
expect it to be the other way around.

So the question becomes -- where do
find a good farmers' market?

Here in Louisville, we're lucky. We have
a thriving local foods movement, and a
number of good farmers' markets. We can
pick and choose.

But if you do your homework, you can
probably find a good farmers' market
in your neck of the woods.

Here's a link that should help:

I checked, and our market is on there --
and I bet YOUR market is on there,
as well. Take a look and see.

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. Be sure to mark your calendar
for 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Wednesday.
We'll be launching vol. 3 in my series of
"Dinosaur Training Secrets" courses --
and I think you're really going to like it.
Synchronize your watches!


Coming Soon -- Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 3!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

I wanted to give you a special heads up on
something new and exciting for the Dino

Synchronize your watches and get set to take

1. The time is 9:00 in the morning (Eastern
Standard Time).

2. The day is Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

3. The place is wherever you are when you
receive my email message on Wednesday

We're going to be releasing course no. 3 in my
new series of Dinosaur Training courses. Most of
you already have course no. 1 and course no. 2
in the series, and based on your emails and your
reviews on our Amazon Kindle pages, you're
loving them.

And I think you're going to feel the same about
course no. 3 in the series.

I like writing the courses in this series because they
allow me to focus on some very important issues
that will make a huge difference in your training --
and in the results you get from your training.

They also allow me to pull together everything
I've learned during my almost 50 years in the
Iron Game -- and to give you my latest thoughts,
new discoveries, changes in my thinking, and the
reasons for those changes.

Course No. 3 covers a critical topic for all serious
trainees: progression systems that allow you to
make fast and steady progress without burning
out, going stale, over-training or hitting a plateau
or a sticking point that seems to hold you up

It's a topic that readers around the world ask me
about literally ALL THE TIME. Heck, as I was
working on the course yesterday afternoon I
received an email from a reader who had followed
the WRONG kind of progression system and
worked himself into a severe case of over-training
in just a few short weeks. He said this happened
over and over, and he didn't know what to do to
stop it.

I'll share his email tomorrow. Many of you --
perhaps most of you -- will identify with him.

He reminds me of ME many years ago -- before
I learned some of the things I'm going to share
in the new course.

Interestingly, I had just finished a chapter that
gave him the exact answer he needed -- an answer
that came from (get this) an UNPUBLISHED book
written around 1940 by one of the greatest Iron
Game authors of all time.

It's something that I didn't learn about until
very recently -- but it's something that may
be one of the most important and most
beneficial pieces of information that I ever

It's solid gold from the old Iron Mines -- and
it's exactly what our reader needs to do to
get back on track and to start making fast
and steady gains -- and to avoid what no
less an authority than the legendary Arthur
Saxon called "the bugbear of training." (He
was referring to the phenomenon of "going
stale" -- or as we call it, "burning out" or

And that's just one chapter. There's a whole
lot more.

The course gives you a variety of old-school
progression systems for fast and steady gains
in strength and muscular development.

It covers the best and most effective systems for
beginners -- and then offers a variety of different
progression systems for intermediates and advanced

It gives you concrete examples ands step by step
instruction, plenty of actual workouts, and enough
different approaches so that everyone who reads
it will be able to fashion his or her very best
PERSONALIZED progression program.

That's important, because we're all different, and
we all have different goals, needs and training
preferences -- and our bodies are different and
respond differently to our training. A one-size-
fits-all approach doesn't work. That's why I'm
giving you a variety of options -- so you can
choose the one best suited to YOU and to
YOUR needs.

As you can see, I'm very excited about the
new course -- and I think it's going to be one
of our most popular courses.

So, as I said at the beginning, synchronize
your watches -- and be ready to take action
at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

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. As with courses no. 1 and no. 2 in the
series, the new course will be avilable in your
choice of hard-copy or Kindle e-book.


Assistance Exercises -- When and How Many?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Let me open with some birthday wishes to
one of our Dinos -- and then we'll talk about
about assistance exercises.

Today is Bill Kociaba's birthday. Happy
birthday, Bill!

Bill has a great little website where he posts
some killer podcasts. I've been a guest on
several of his podcasts, and I really enjoyed
them. You will, too. Bill knows the Iron Game
inside out, and he has a very natural, very
relaxed interview style.

To celebrate his birthday, Bill posted a long
interview with bodybuilding legend, Bill Pearl.
You can find it right here:

In other podcast news, I'll be on Physical Culture
Radio today -- at 12:00 EST. Catch the show live
or listen to the download at your convenience:

 We have a great show planned for today, and I
think you'll really enjoy it.

Assistance Exercises -- When and How Many?

On the training front, I received lots of questions in
response to yesterday's email. Most of them were
about assistance exercises for the press -- and I
realized that some readers thought they were
supposed to do all seven of the exercises that
I listed in my email.

And that means I wasn't very clear -- and I
created some unnecessary confusion. So let
me clear things up right now.

Many Dinos don't need any sort of assistance
exercise for the press. All they need to do is to
train hard on the press.

As you get stronger, and your gains slow down, you
can add ONE assistance exercise. Use different
assistance exercises in different training cycles.
Don't try to do all of them in one program.

As for WHEN you do them -- I prefer to do them
after my presses. That's what virtually all of the
champions did their assistance exercises.

For your sets, reps and workouts, grab a copy of The
Dinosaur Military Press and Shoulder Power Course:


Kindle e-book:

Let me close by reminding you of two things.

One is the Norb Schemansky story.

A young trainee asks Schemansky how to improve
his press.

Schemansky glares at him in surprise -- and
then shouts:

"Press, you idiot!"

In other words, NO assistance exercises.

BUT -- and this is important -- Harry Paschall reported
that Schemansky improved his press big time by doing
heavy dumbbell presses.

In other words, ONE assistance exercise.

Hope that clears up the confusion!

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'm doing a detailed series of new courses
covering different aspects of old-school, Dino-style
strength training. We've released two of them so
far, and they're available in your choice of hard-
copy or Kindle e-book:

a. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 1.
"Exercises, Workouts and Training

Kindle e-book:


b. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 2,
"How Strong Are You?"

Kindle e-book:


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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Choose your exercises
wisely, and train them hard and heavy." -- Brooks


The 7 Best Assistance Exercises for the Press

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Three quick notes, and then we'll cover
assistance exercises for the military press.

1. Legacy of Iron

Is available as a Kindle e-book. The e-book
edition has a new introduction that tells the
story of how the book got written -- and how
it almost NEVER got written. It's available as
part of the free on-line preview, so be sure
to check it out:

If you're an Amazon customer, and you read
Legacy of Iron in the hard copy edition, please
post a review. They really help us.

2. Physical Culture Radio

I'll be on Physical Culture Radio at 12:00 noon
tomorrow. We're going to announce something
new and exciting, so be sure to be listening for

3. The Iron League

I'm getting great reports from Dinos who have
joined John Wood's Iron League. They're loving
the strength archive -- which is crammed full of
great material, with more being added all the
time. Go here to join the Iron League:

And now, let's talk training!

The 7 Best Assistance Exercises for the Military

The military press is a majestic lift.

The lifter tightens his belt, chalks his hand and
approaches the bar.

He stands over it, eyes closed, concentrating

He opens his eyes, gets into position, sets
himself, and cleans the bar to his chest.

He stands tall and straight -- and then drives
the bar off his shoulders. There's no leg kick,
no hip thrust, no body drive and no back bend.
It's nothing but arm and shoulder power.

He hits the sticking point and drives twice as
hard as before. It's man against iron, and for
a second, no one knows who will win.

He pushes through -- and suddenly, the bar is
up and over his head. He holds it high, arms
locked, every muscle straining, as the crowd
goes wild.

Good lift!

And it's not just a magnificent lift. It's a
terrific muscle builder.

Back in the day,  John Grimek was the best built
man in the entire world -- and one of the best
pressers in the world. He owed much of his upper
body, arm and shoulder development to the
military press. He set American and unofficial
World records in the press -- and you can see
why when you look at his photos. He had
cannonballs on top of his shoulders.

He also had triceps that looked like they
were carved from solid marble -- or that
he had borrowed them from a bronze

Grimek had a favorite assistance exercise for the
military press. So did most other lifters. Here are
the seven top assistance exercises for the press:

1. The Seated Military Press

A favorite exercise of John Grimek. Nuff said.

Do them strict. That's the whole point of the
seated press.

2. The Two Dumbbell Press

All of the York lifters liked heavy dumbbell pressing.
Frank Spellman thought dummbbell presses were
the best way to bring up the press. He won the
Olympic gold medal in 1948, so that's gold medal

See Dinosaur Dumbbell Training and my Dinosaur
Dumbbell Training DVD for detailed instruction and
tons of useful training tips on dumbbell work:

3. The Incline press

This came into vogue in the 50's, and helped many
top lifters improve their press.

I used to do lots of pressing on an 80 degree
incline, and built some serious shoulder strength
doing it. I did the exercise in the power rack, and
set the pins so I could start from the bottom
position. I worked up to 320 pounds, which is
a lot of iron.

4. The Two Dumbbell Alternate Press

Also known as the see-saw press. Another John
Grimek favorite. He learned the exercise from
Sig Klein.

5. Handstand pushups

A favorite of many top pressers, including Sig
Klein, who set a professional World record in
the press, and Tony Terlazzo, who won the
Olympic gold medal in 1936. Even the big
men did them -- Paul Anderson and Doug
Hepburn both did plenty of handstand

See Dinosaur Bodyweight Training for tips
and progressions on handstand pushups:

6. Overhead lockouts in the power rack

The secret weapon of the York champions,
including John Grimek and John Davis. The
latter won six World championships and two
Olympic gold medals. See my power rack
training DVD for more ideas about how to
do heavy rack work for pressing power.

7. The bench press

John Davis, Doug Hepburn and Paul Anderson
all used the bench press to build strength and
power for the military press. Once again, nuff

Of course, you have to do strict benches to
have any carry-over to the military press. No
bench bounces!

You now have seven terrific assistance exercises
to help build a world class military press. Have
fun with them -- and set some PR's in the press!

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 about building a world
class military press, see The Dinosaur Training
Military Press and Shoulder Power Course. It's
available in your choice of hard-copy or e-book:


Kindle e-book

P.S. My other books and courses are right
here at Dino Headquarters -- along with links
to all of our Kindle e-books:

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "When you train,
train like a champion. Give every workout
your very best." -- Brooks Kubik


A Physical Culturist's Greatest Enemy!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

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

1. Legacy of Iron

First -- we just released Legacy of Iron as a
Kindle e-book. If you missed the hard-copy
edition, go here to grab it:

By the way, I added a special introduction that
tells how the book got written -- or rather, how
it almost NEVER got written. That's available
as part of the free preview at the Kindle page,
so head on over and read it. It's pretty

The preview gives you the first couple of
chapters. I defy you to read chapter one and
not want to keep on reading. Head on over and
see for yourself.

And please post a review after you read Legacy
of Iron -- or if you've already read it in the hard-
copy edition. The reviews really help us.

2. The Iron League

Second, John Wood's Iron League is smashing
it. Head on over and sign up now:

We've been getting some great feedback from
Dinos who've joined the Iron League -- and
remember, right now, you're just seeing the
tip of the iceberg. It's an ongoing project with
great new material being added to the strength
archive all the time.

The Physical Culturist's No. 1 Enemy

On the training front, let's talk about the
physical culturist's no. 1 enemy.

What's the biggest problem most trainees face
in their workouts?

What's the most common cause of bad workouts,
slow progress or no progress?

If someone goes to the gym regularly, and does
the right exercises for the right sets and reps --
but DOESN"T make gains, what's the reason?

It's not the muscle magazine answer: "Take more

It's not "Get on the juice."

For older trainees, it's not, "You need HRT."

It's not sets and reps, and it's not needing some
super program from Bulgaria, Russia or Outer

In almost all cases, it's a very simple thing --
and something that's very easy to fix.

The trainee is forgetting to CONCENTRATE
when he trains.

He's allowing himself to be distracted.

Distracted by mirrors, music, other trainees,
tv or radio shows, conversations, background
noise, or things in his life that he can't stop
think about.

Make no mistake about it:  DISTRACTION is a
physical culturist's greatest enemy.

When you train, you need to give your training
total and complete attention. You need to focus
on every rep. You need to link your body and
your mind to the point where you feel each
individual muscle fiber contracting as you
squat, push and pull.

You need to shut out the rest of the world
and dive deep into what Bill Pearl aptly calls
"the inner universe."

Here's an example of what I mean.

I was training out in the garage yesterday. A
storm was coming in. I was training with the
garage door open, so I could see the sky and
the weather -- but I didn't really notice.

I was doing the clean and jerk, and I was filming
the workout so I could check my form after each
lift and make any necessary corrections.

On the next to last lift, the video camera jumped
up and down on its tripod and the lights flickered
and went out for a second right as I completed
the clean and prepared for the jerk.

Apparently, the storm had hit at that very

Here's the thing. I didn't notice it until I watched it
on the video. I was concentrating on my lifting, and
I never noticed the lights going out.

That's how you have to train -- by giving your
workout your complete, undivided focus.

By the way, I borrowed the title of this post from
Bradley J. Steiner. He said the very same thing
about 30 or 40 years ago. I was pretty young when
I read it, but it made an impression on me. It was
good advice then, and it's good advice now.

To summarize, if you want the secret of big
gains, here it is:

When you train, CONCENTRATE!

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

And be sure to head over and read that Legacy
of Iron introduction on the Kindle page:

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. I cover concentartion and visualization drills
in Dinosaur Training and Dinosaur Bodyweight

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

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Mindpower builds
body power." -- Brooks Kubik