Old School Training, Old School Progress!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

One of the maddening aspects of modern strength
training is the idea that you can't build strength and
muscle without modern supplements, roidskies, or
whatever else someone is trying to sell you.

There was a time when things were different.

Much different.

Back in the day, a young man bought a barbell
set, read the instruction booklet that came with it,
and started training.

He followed a basic training program built around
exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses, curls,
rowing, shrugs, etc.

He probably followed the double progression
system, where he started with a light weight
and an easy number of reps, gradually upped
the reps, then added weight and dropped back
to the original rep count -- and repeated the
process over and over. It was a very simple

It was also very effective.

Just how effective?

Well, consider this.

There's a letter to the editor published in the
Success Stories section of the April 1943 issue
of Strength and Health.

It's from a young man named Byron Green, of
Glendale, California.

He started training with a 100 pound barbell set
and an 80 pound dumbbell set. After training for
a month or so, he found the 100 pound barbell
set was too light, so he machined down a pair of
flywheels to fit the barbell. That added 125 pounds
to the bar.

After five months of training, he had doubled all
of the weights used in his different exercises. He
had added ten pounds of muscle, and weighed 175
pounds -- and he could clean and jerk 200 pounds.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty
good progress for a young man who has been training
for just five months. I sure as heck couldn't clean and
jerk 200 pounds after my first five months of training.
Neither could most modern trainees.

And as Byron explained in his letter, it was all very simple
and very basic. He trained five days per week: 1 heavy
barbell day, 2 light barbell days, and 2 DB days. The
classic York program.

It was old-school all the way -- and it was very, very

And that's what we teach here at Dino Headquarters.
Old school training. It's not fancy, but it works.

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. 1. Here's a great course that covers one of the
most popular exercises among old-school lifters --
the military press:


P.S. 2. Hard training requires top quality nutrition.
I cover diet and nutrition for Dinos in Knife, Fork,


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


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Never under estimate
the power of old-school training." -- Brooks Kubik


Rest Pause Training for Strength, Muscle and Power!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

A quick note, and then we'll talk about Rest-Pause

1. My latest interview on Eric Fiorillo's Motivation and
Muscle Podcast Show is right here -- and I think
you'll enjoy it:


On the training front . . .

Everything old is new again -- and everything new is
something old.

At least, that's the way it is in strength training.

One of the new things in Olympic lifting is to do a
special kind of hypertrophy training to increase the
size and strength of the exact fast twitch muscle
fibers used in the snatch and the clean and jerk.

Here's how it works.

A lifter will train the snatch by warming up, working
up to a heavy weight, and then doing 10 - 20 heavy

The lifter will do triples, doubles and singles.

The lifter may do wave training where he works up,
drops back down, works back up, drops back down
and works back up.

The lifter trains at a fast pace. The entire sequence
of heavy snatches may take 15 or 20 minutes.

The lifter does the same thing with the clean and
jerk, and the front squat.

Those may be the only exercises in the program.

Remember, as I said, it's a special kind of program
that targets the fast twitch fibers used in lifting.

And that's the state of the art stuff for the best
in the world in 2014.

Amazingly, lifters were doing the same sort of thing
back in the 1950's -- and the 1940's -- and the 1930's.

There were even bodybuilders who trained this way,
although they used different exercises.

And plenty of garage gorillas and cellar-dwellers did
this kind of program back in the day.

They called it Rest Pause Training -- and it built
tons of real world strength and muscle.

Nowadays, everybody does 8 x 8, 10 x 10, 12 x 12
and 20 x 20 to build muscle mass. Heck, someone
is probably teaching 50 x 50. Volume training rules.

But back in the day, men built muscle mass the old-
fashioned way -- one rep at a time.

I cover Rest Pause Training in detail in Strength,
Muscle and Power -- and the program could be the
key to the best gains of your entire life:


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 maximum gains in strength, muscle and power,
you need to suppoert your training with the right kind
of diet and nutrition -- which is exactly what you'll
find in Knife, Fork, Muscle:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train old-school style
with rest-pause reps -- and build real world strength
and muscle." -- Brooks Kubik


How (Not) to Stop Your Progress Dead in It's Tracks!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick notes and then we'll talk about the number
1 progress stopper you face.

1. There's still time to reserve your copy of Knife, Fork,
Muscle during our pre-publication special:


1a. If you forgot to ask for an autograph, and you want
one, shoot me an email.

1b. I'm not sure when we'll get the books from the
printer, but I'll keep you posted via my emails -- and
we'll shoot them right out the door by pterodactyl
mail as soon as we get them.

2. Yes, we are launching a new quarterly version of the
world-famous, one and only Dinosaur Files newsletter.

I'll put an order page up next week. We're going to
do single issues rather than subscriptions. Each issue
will be BIG -- it will move from newsletter to magazine
size. Be looking for the announcement soon.

In the meantime, if you'd like BACK ISSUES -- not a
new subscription, but BACK ISSUES from 2010 and
2011, you can find them here:

For 2010 back issues (a 12 issue set):


For 2011 back issues (a 12 issue set):


Remember, these are for BACK ISSUES only, NOT for a
new subscription.

On the training front . . . let's talk about the number
one progress buster.

Yesterday I discussed the importance of concentration
when you train -- and I noted that distraction was a
physical culturist's greatest enemy.

I was talking about distraction during your workouts.
But there's another kind of distraction -- and it's a
huge problem -- and one that's getting bigger all the

It's information overload -- and it's the result of all the
different people with all the different whiz-bang training
programs, workouts, exercises, and ideas.

Now, there's nothing wrong with training information
per se -- or with reading about training or with being
on the lookout for new ideas. In fact, the availability
of good information and the free-flow of ideas is a
good thing.

But it becomes a bad thing when it leads a trainee to
start to second-guess what he's doing -- or to change
what he's doing before he's had a chance to make any
real progress from it.

Remember, it takes a while for a training program to

For most people, it goes something like this.

You start light and easy and gradually add weight and
build up the intensity of your workouts. This may last
anywhere from two to six weeks.

Eventually, you hit a point where the workouts are hard,
heavy and demanding. This is where the program will
prove its worth. It's the hard part of the training cycle
where you maker your gains.

Finally, you reach a point where your gains slow down or
come to a stop.

At that point, you switch to another workout -- once again
starting light and easy, and working up to some serious
iron and some serious effort.

Over time, this approach gives you plenty of variety,
and builds a ton of strength, muscle and power.

But you have to stick with each program long enough
to make progress.

If you change your program every time you see some-
thing new and different, you usually don't do very well.
In short, information is good -- but you need to know
how to use it -- and when to use it.

And you need to stick to a given program long enough
to get some real results.

Make a plan -- and follow through.

That's the key to success.

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 need help finding the right program for
your current level of experience, strength and
development, grab this:


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


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "A good program always
works, but it doesn't work overnight." -- Brooks Kubik


What Is a Physical Culturist's Greatest Enemy?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick updates, and then I'll answer the question
posed in the headline to today's email -- and I think
the answer will surprise you.

Anyhow, here the updates:

1. We're winding down the pre-publication special
for Knife, Fork, Muscle, but there's still time to
reserve your copy and grab the pre-publication


1a. I don't have a shipping date from the printer
yet, so I don't know when I'll be getting the
books -- but as soon as we have them, we'll
fire them right on out the door. I'll keep you
updated in my emails. They''ll definitely be
shipping soon.

2. I'm working on the first issue of the quarterly
Dinosaur Files -- and it's looking pretty good.

We'll put up an order page for the little monster
next week. Be looking for it.

And now . . . let's answer that question.

What is a physical culturist's greatest enemy?

The answer comes from Bradley J. Steiner --
who covered the topic about 40 years ago. I
remember reading this when I was a rookie,
and I've remembered Steiner's words ever

It's not what you think it is.

It's not over-training.

It's not having trouble finding a gym or scraping
together the cash to set up a good home gym.

It's not the goofy workouts the muscle mags

It's not bad advice of any sort -- or bad workouts --
or second rate exercises.

All of those things are problems, of course, and they'll
slow your gains down to a snail's pace -- but they're
not the number one enemy.

So what is it?


"Distraction is a physical culturist's greatest enemy,"
said Steiner.

Steiner always emphasized the importance of training
with deep, focused concentration.

He wanted you training inside the inner universe of
every rep.

He wanted you to train with the sdtrongest possible
mind-body link.

He believed in this so deeply and so profoundly that
he actually studied hypnosis and self-hypnosis. And
he taught self-hypnosis in his books and courses.

Steiner always emphasized "the mental aspects" of
strength training -- and so do I.

The mental aspects of training are the most important.
And amazingly, they're the most neglected.

If you want to take your training to the next level,
don't look for the latest super supplement -- or the
latest super workout -- or the latest super machine.

Instead, look inside.

That's where the strength comes from -- and where
the gains come from.

Learn to train with total focus and unwavering
concentration. Block out any and all distractions.

When you do, the results will amaze you.

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 cover the mental aspects of strength training in
these books:

a. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and


b. Dinosaur Bodyweight Training


P.S. 2. My other books and courses -- including Knife,
Fork, Muscle -- are right here:


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Strength requires unity
of mind and body, and unity of mind and body requires
total focus and unbroken concentration." -- Brooks


Dino Style Cardio for Strength and Endurance!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

When I was a kid, all the coaches
used cardio training  as a form of

They called it "running laps." When
a coach was mad at you, you ran laps. 

If he was real mad, you ran many

The freshman football coach was 
the worst. If the team lost a 
game, he made all the players 
honorary members of the Thousand
Yard Club.

The Thousand Yard Club was twenty
50 yard sprints in full football
gear, with hardly any rest between 
sprints. It was brutal. They needed
to keep plenty of puke buckets handy
on the day we did it.

If you lost another game, the coach
added two additional 50 yard sprints.

The freshman team was TERRIBLE my
year. We lost 8 games and tied one. 
By the end of the season the Thousand
Yard Club had morphed into the 1800
Yard Club.
The whole thing was self-defeating,
because that many sprints just wore
our legs out, and we were stiff and
sore and tired and slow on game day.  
It would have been a lot better to have 
made us run some sprints, and then
stopped and called it a day. Our 
recovery would have been better,
and we would have played better.

And that's the problem with cardio 
training for Iron Heads. You need 
to do enough cardio -- but not too
much. And you need to do the right
kind of cardio.

So here are some ideas:

1. Dumbbell swings, cleans and 
snatches, as described in Dinosaur
Dumbbell Training. Sets of five will
get your heart and lungs working big

2. Lugging and loading drills, as
described in Gray Hair and Black
Iron. These are great -- they're 
lots of fun, and they involve 
lugging, lifting, loading and
carrying heavy stuff -- which 
is PERFECT for Dinos. Kudos to
Dr. Ken for this idea.

3. Finishers, as described in
Strength, Muscle and Power. These
are like number two, but you go
harder and heavier.

4. PHA training, where you combine 
five or six different exercises for
different parts of the body and 
perform one set of each back to
back with no rest. Let's you use
basic barbell and dumbbell (or
kettlebell or sandbag) exercises 
for a great cardio workout. See
Gray Hair and Black Iron for
details and for routines.

5. Bodyweight training where you
do medium to high reps and focus
on conditioning. Or -- one of my
personal favorites -- supersetting
two advanced bodyweight exercises
for low to medium reps and doing
five to ten sets of each. Builds
strength, builds muscle and gives
you a great cardio workout all in

6. Death sets, as described in 
Dinosaur Training. Those 20 rep
sets of squats and deadlifts will
work your heart and lungs like
you won't believe.

As with anything else, you start 
easy and build up gradually and
more progressively to harder
training. Do NOT go out and jump
into full bore cardio training.
(That's especially important for
older trainees and for heavier 

Or -- you culd go run laps or sign
up for the Thousand Yard Club. But
trust me, that's not nearly as much

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 find the various books
mentioned in this email right here
at Dino Headquarters:

a. Dinosaur Dumbbell Training:

b. Gray Hair and Black Iron


c. Strength, Muscle and Power


d. Dinosaur Bodyweight Training


P.S. 2. Fuel your workouts with the diet and 
nutrition tips in Knife, Fork, Muscle:


P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "The air we breathe
is life itself, and so is the iron we lift."
-- Brooks Kubik

The Ever Popular Work Sets Question!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Last week I outlined a 5 x 5 workout and then covered
the question of poundage progression or weight jumps
from set to set as you moved from your first warmup
set to your work set.

And that led several readers to ask the ever popular
"How many work sets is best?" question.

"Is it better to do ONE work set on each exercise?"

"Or is it better to do TWO work sets?"

"Or are THREE work sets better?"

I refer to this question (because they're all the same
question) as "ever popular" because readers ask it
all the time.

If I had a nickel for every time someone sent me an
email and asked the "how many work sets" question,
I'd be a wealthy man.

So here's the answer.

NONE of the three options are better. They're all good --
but what works better depends on the trainee.

Now, having said that, let me note that doing two or
three work sets is very tough and very demanding.

So if you do multiple work sets, keep the number of
exercises to a minimum -- or only do the multiple
work sets on one key exercise per workout and do
the one work set option for the other exercises.

And, of course, if your training time is limited or
you're extra busy at work or school or things
are extra hectic in your life -- then do one work

Older trainees often do better on one work set
because it makes it easier to recover from your

And, of course, you can mix things up.

You can do one work set in each exercise in week
one -- and do three work sets in each exercise in
week two (using a lighter weight) -- and alternate
back and fourth from week to week.

I actually like that, because it gives you two
different lines of progression to follow -- one with
your weight for ONE work set and one with your
weight for THREE work sets.

Or you can do a program where you start with one
work set and gradually buiuld up to three work sets,
then add weight and drop back to one work set and
repeat the process. That works very well.

So that's the answer.

The rest is up to you.

In other words -- pick one of the options and carry

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. Go here to reserve your copy of my new book,
KNIFE, FORK, MUSCLE as we wind down the big
pre-publication special:


P.S. 2. I cover 5 x 5 workouts -- and many other
effective training programs -- in these books:

a. Gray Hair and Black Iron


b. Strength, Muscle and Power


c. Dinosaur Training


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


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Make a plan, and test it
in the gym. Make adjustments as necessary. It's that
simple." -- Brooks Kubik


Effective Warmups and Poundage Progression from Set to Set

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Here's a very common training question that was
waiting in the in box this morning. I get this one
all the time, so I thought it would be a good idea
to cover it in an email to the Dinos.

"Hi Brooks,

You often recommend 5 progressively heavier sets.

How big should the jumps be?

Start with 60% of top weight and add 10% with each
set or should the jumps be bigger on the first few sets
and smaller on the last few?

Robin D."

Thanks for your question, Robin.

The answer depends in part on the exercise, how heavy
your top set is, and how much warming up you need
before your top set.

For example, if you are doing curls and your top set for
the day is 120 pounds, then you might do:

80 x 5

90 x 5

100 x 5

110 x 5

120 x 5

Compare that to a set of squats or deadlifts if your top
set for the day is 400 pounds. If you started at 240 pounds
(which would be 60% of 400 pounds), you'd be starting
way too heavy.

I'd get to 400 pounds like this:

135 x 5

225 x 5

275 x 5

315 x 5

365 x 5

380 x 5

400 x 5

And yes, I know that's seven sets -- but it's important
to start light and work up gradually, and it takes time to
work up to 400 pounds in a workout. So don't worry if
you find yourself doing more than five sets.

Some related points.

1. Dangerous?

Bunny types say that heavy weights are dangerous.

That's true -- IF you don't do your warmup sets.

Which means that if you train seriously, you WILL
be serious about your warmup sets.

2. Abbreviated?

Abbreviated training refers to the number of exercises
in a given workout, and the number of workouts
per week. Don't think you have to do one or two sets
per exercise to train in an abbreviated fashion.

3. High Volume?

I don't consider the foregoing examples to be examples
of high volume training. When you calculate training
volume, you really focus on weights over 70% or 80%
of your top weight for the day. The lighter sets are vitally
necessary as part of your warmup process, but they do
not cut into your recovery very much.

4. Limit the Exercises!

You can't train this way on a laerge number of exercises.
It takes too long. So you HAVE to limit the number of
different exercises in each workout. In most cases, you
should do two or three primary exercises, followed by
gut, grip and neck work. In some cases, ONE primary
exercise is enough.

5. Repping Out Won't Work.

Finally, some trainees try to do one warmup set where they
rep out on the warmup set. This is not a good idea! Repping
out with a light weight will tire you out and make it harder
to lift heavy -- and it will NOT prepare you for the heavy

Working up to a heavy top set is a slow, deliberate process.
You can't rush 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. Go here to reserve your copy of my new book on
diet and nutrition for Dinos:


P.S. 2. For more no-nonsense training advice, grab
this little monster:


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


P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "Anything worth doing is
worth doing right." -- Brooks Kubik