This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
"Hard Work, Heavy Iron, Super Strength"
HAIL TO THE DINOSAURS!
Welcome to the first issue of The Dinosaur Files, a monthly newsletter devoted to a dinosaur's favorite topic: the art and craft of no-nonsense, real world strength training.
The purpose of The Dinosaur Files is to give all readers of my book, Dinosaur Training, a monthly forum to report and discuss their experiences with different strength training techniques, to share Iron Game stories and lore, to profile their achievements, and, above all else, to stay MOTIVATED and COMMITTED to their training.
Dinosaur Training was written for two types of lifters. The first was the cellar-dweller: the guy who trains hard and heavy in his basement or his garage, either hitting the iron alone or with a couple of like-minded training partners. The other kind of guy for whom I wrote the book is the man who trains hard and heavy in a SERIOUS commercial gym (and Lord knows, there aren't too many of those left in the world!).
Each type of lifter deserves a monthly dose of serious, unvarnished, straight from the shoulder training information. And he's going to get it=right here, starting right now!
I plan to offer quite a bit of historical material, particularly in nugget form. There is an enormous amount of extremely valuable information buried in the musty pages of old books and magazines, and I want to share it with you. Believe me, there's gold in those brittle, yellowed pages.
As I receive letters from readers, I will begin to include reader feedback in some issues. So start sending some mail!
Content and format will vary from time to time. Overall, I plan to make The Dinosaur Files a smorgasbord of strength training information.
This issue includes an article of my own and articles by Bob Whelan, Greg Pickett and Mike Thompson. The opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors .. I don't edit articles and I don't rewrite them. This is the approach Perry Rader used in Iron Man, the approach Osmo Kiiha uses in The Iron Master, the approach Randy Strossen uses in Milo, the approach Ted Lambordides uses in H.T. Newsletter and the approach I intend to use in The Dinosaur Files. I
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Revolution Continues
by Brooks D. Kubik 1
Pickett on Power
by Greg Pickett
A Few Good Gyms
by "Maximum" Bob Whelan. . . . . . .. 6
Building Upper Body Power
by Mike Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 7
by Brooks D. Kubik
hope that readers and authors alike will appreciate this. And if you read something that hacks you off, send the author, not the editor, the bomb!
For now, read and enjoy. And until next month, TRAIN LIKE A DINOSAUR!
THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES! by Brooks D. Kubik
Kim Wood called me one day and said, "This dinosaur thing is becoming a god damned revolution. I mean, those guys are in the streets right now!"
"I wonder who's first in line for the guillotine," I replied.
As always, the Bengals' canny strength coach hit the nail right smack on the head. I've had dozens of calls and letters from guys who read Dinosaur Training, and they all confirm Wood's words: there REALLY IS A REVOLUTION GOING ON OUT THERE!
Serious Lifters: 12 issues (1 yr) $30 Pumpers, Shapers, Toners and Similar Dweeb Bunnies: $3000 pcr issue
Brooks D. Kubik 4101 Hycliffe Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky USA 40207
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No.1
Published by Brooks D. Kubik Brooks D. Kubik, Editor
Sam Kubik, Editorial Consultant Spencer Kubik, Research Editor
Copyright'" Brooks D. Kubik 1997 All Rights Reserved
Any unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.
There's an entire world of guys who train at home or in the most spartan and old-fashioned of commercial gyms. They train hard. They train heavy; They do squats. They do power cleans. They do deadlifts. They still remember how to do overhead presses, high pulls and bent-over rowing. They train for strength and power. Mention George Hackenschmidt, Arthur Saxon, John McCallum, George Jowett, Reg Park, Clancy Ross, Bill Pearl, Doug Hepburn, Paul Anderson, Peary Rader, William Boone, Milo Steinborn, Lou Thesz, Bruno Sammartino. Pat Casey, power snatches, breathing squats, John Grimek, Strength and Health, Your Physique, Muscle Power, Steve Stanko, Tommy Kono, Norb Schemansky, George Eifferman, Leo Robert, Kimon Voyages, Maurice Jones or John Davis, and you'll get a knowing flash of recognition. Mention "body sculpting," "toning," "shaping," "pumping" or "cosmetic bodybuilding" to one of these guys and you'll get a swift kick in the butt and an even quicker assist through the nearest door.
These are the guys who are at the center of the revolution. And yes, it definitely IS a revolution. The dinosaurs have decided to take over the world. We won't do it today, and we won't do it tomorrow, but someday, sooner than you think, we'll get the weight training world back on it's feet again.
You can join the revolution. Be a dinosaur. All it takes is some good old fashioned courage.
Let me give you a concrete example of one way to join the revolution.
This is simple. Any of you can do this.
START DOING HEAVY PARTIALS
Yep, that's right. Start doing heavy partials. If you're already doing them, keep it up.
If you used to do heavy partials, but don't do them anymore, start doing them again.
What do I mean by "heavy partials?" I mean HEAVY partial movements in the power rack: MAN MAKING MOVEMENTS like bench press lockouts, quarter squats, standing press lockouts, deadlifts from the knees or from mid-thigh, the hand and thigh lift, any sort of rack pull from any height (c.g., snatch grip pulls from the knees), limited range curls (e.g., the first four inches of the movement), midpoint squats, mid-point benches, mid-point curls, bottom position to mid-position benches. bottom position to mid-position squats or presses and the Hise shrug.
Every time you do heavy partials you strike a blow for REAL weight training. Every heavy partial is a nail in the coffin of Iron Game Idiocy. Every heavy partial will make Johnny Buffbody quiver in terror. Every heavy partial is a simple, direct statement of your intention to train like a man.
When I was a kid, lots of guys did heavy partials. They were a good training method then and they are a good training method today. But for a dinosaur, heavy partials are far more than a good power and mass building system. They are a symbol: a symbol oj the dinosaur's fight against 90 's style weight training.
If you think about it, what has happened to heavy partials is a perfect example of the decline and fall of rational weight training and the reasons behind the decline and fall
Go into any typical gym anywhere in the world, and watch what the guys are doing. The pee dec will be in great demand. There will be a line of guys waiting to use the cable cross-over unit. Lots of guys will be hanging around the dumbbell rack, waiting their tum to pump out a quick set of lateral raises or curls with a pair of chrome plated 10's or IS's. Plenty of guys will be using the cardio equipment; the
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No.1
stair machines, stationary cycles, recumbent cycles and treadmills will be the hottest items in the gym. And through it all, sleepwalking their way from station to station, will be the guys "doing the circuit" on a highly polished set of Nautilus machines or some 90's style knock-off of Nautilus machines.
There is one piece of basic equipment you probably won't even see.
If you do see it, it won't be in use. I'm talking about the power rack.
Why won't you see the power rack? Because most guys don't know what it is, or what it is for.
The power rack is designed specifically to allow a lifter to do heavy partials in any movement he cares to tackle. With the decline of heavy partials, racks fell into oblivion. If you ever even see one in a modern gym, it is called a "squat cage" and used exclusively for squatting--mostly by guys who use 135 pounds for quarter squats.
There are at least a dozen reasons why heavy partials have fallen into disrepute. Here they are, in no particular order.
PARTIALS ARE HARD WORK
Heavy partials require PLENTY of the one thing that 90's style weight trainers want to avoid: EFFORT! Heavy partials are HARD WORK! You can't fake your way through a set of heavy partials. You can't talk the bar into lifting itself. You can't go through the motions . You have to A ITA CK the bar. You have to be aggressive. You have to get physical.
Heavy partials are NOT a soft and gentle movement. The soft and gentle crowd doesn't want to have anything to do with them. Bunny rabbits don't do heavy partials.
Heavy partials make you huff and puff and gasp for air. They make you sweat. They hurt. They make you sore. They make you ache. They are NOT an easy exercise. And that's one reason why the modern crowd chooses to pretend that heavy partials don't exist, don't work, or aren't worth doing.
YOU STAND ON YOUR FEET IN THE RACK
The typical exercise enthusiast in the 90's will spend outrageous sums to buy "cross-training" shoes with "scientifically designed arch support," "computer-programmed ankle bracing" and "ergonomic" toe.cushions for maximum comfort, stability and protection when using those dangerous, old-fashioned "free weights."
But what does he do after he buys his special shoes?
He does 90 % of his workout sitting on his butt or lying on his back. Think I'm kidding? I'm not. And I can prove it. Go to any gym,
anywhere in the world, and check out the action. Look at Johnny Buffbody and. his beach boy buddies as they sweat their way through a "heavy" workout. Pay careful attention to the "exercises" they do.
For legs, the bunny blasters will do seated calf raises, calf raises on a vertical leg press machine, calf raises on a horizontal leg press machine, leg curls lying on their stomachs, leg curls lying on their sides in a modified fetal position, seated leg presses on the horizontal leg press machine, lying leg presses on the vertical leg press machine, haifa dozen sets ona seated adductor/abductor machine, and a couple of high rep sets of "reverse leg kicks" performed while kneeling on the plush foam pads of a chrome-plated glute blaster.
For chest, the bunnies favor seated pee deck work, flies, benches, declines, inclines and cable cross-overs. That's one seated exercise, four lying down exercises and one exercise where you actuaIly stand on your feet. Of course, the exercise where Johnny and his buddies stand on their feet is the one where they use 15 to 20 pounds total
resistance, but hey, you gotta start somewhere! Besides, everyone knows that WEIGHT doesn't matter. What matters is how the exercise F-E-E-L-S!
Johnny and his buddies bomb their backs by doing seated cable rows, seated pulldowns behind the neck, seated pulldowns to the chest, cross bench dumbbell pullovers, a seated pullover machine, a seated rowing machine, and one arm dumbbell rowing with the nonlifting arm and one knee braced on a bench. Sometimes they add supine dumbbell rowing, which someone told them was a good "heavy" movement to thicken the lats "without exposing the lower back to any risk of injury." That's five seated exercises, one lying on your back exercise, one lying on your face exercise and one movement where you stand on one foot but brace yourself very carefully to avoid straining your lower back.
Shoulders are next for the massive blitzers. What looks good today?
How about seated press behind neck, seated lateral raises, standing lateral raises, standing front raises, seated bent-over lateral raises and seated laterals ona shoulder machine? Well, that's TWO exercises where the guys stand on their feet! It's a start! Of course, the weights they use on these two movements would have to be weighed three or four times before you could get a reading on the scale. . .
Arms. Biceps .. Six different types of curls-two standing, three seated and one lying down on a bench. Triceps. Four movements. All of them seated or lying. Forearms. Seated wrist curls and reverse wrist curls.
Abs. Seated crunches in the crunch machine. Lying crunches with an ab blaster. Kneeling crunches using a towel attached to an overhead pulley.
Is there something wrong with this picture?
Contrast the 90's style approach to the way men used to do it 40 or 50 years ago: power cleans, standing presses, squats, barbell bentover rowing, deadlifts, Olympic lifting, heavy one arm lifting, barrel lifting, heavy sandbag work, the farmer's walk, shrugs and standing barbell curls. Exercises where you- stood on your feet.
Why don't the modern guys stand on their feet when they train?
The answer is simple. It's too much work. It's so much easier to sit down or lie down.
Of course, heavy partials involve the basic exercises where you stand on your feet. (The primary exception is bench press partials.) That's one of the big reasons why the modern guys won't do heavy partials.
YOU HAVE TO ATTACK PARTIALS!
In the old days, men were interested in building size and strength.
Nowadays, most of the guys you see are far more interested in cultivating. their "sensitiviry." . Modern guys are into their" feelings. " Being tough is old fashioned. Guys are supposed to emote. We only appreciate Clint Eastwood if he sheds a tear.
The parallel in weight training is the over-emphasis on slow motion training, where the lifter moves at a pre-determined rate of speed and F-E-E-L-S the weight all the way up and all the way down.
The "get in touch with your feelings'l.approach to weight training has all but ruined the Iron Game. The bunny rabbits LOVE it. Ninetynine percent of those who train with weights follow the soft and gentle, "feelie-weelie" approach.
Check out almost any issue of any modern muscle magazine and you'll find at least one article where the author tells you to "use light weights and FEEL the exercise. "
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No. 1
( 'fWM 6I.DCI'-S )
Sorry, but it doesn't work when you do heavy partials. You don't have time for the touchy-feely approach. Heavy partials require a different.method. They require focused aggression and coordinated power.
Heavy partials require you to pull or drive the bar as hard and viciously as possible to break it off the pins and accelerate it to the finished position.
The touchy-feely approach is designed for isolation exercises and
. machine movements. .It doesn't cut it with the heavy duty. basic compound exercises. That's one reason why guys don't do the basic exercises anymore. They'd rather sit on a bench in front of a mirror and "feel" their biceps contracting and extending ever so slowly as they curl away with their twelve pound dumbbells.
Getting in touch with your feelings is the "in" thing. Touchy-feely weight training is "in," The basic compound exercises are OUT! (So is being a man, but that's another issue.) Since heavy partials involve the basic compound exercises, they too have been BANISHED--EXCOMMUNICATED--from the modern scene.
PARTIALS WORK THE BACK
What's the one body part that most modern guys could care less
The back. Why?
Because you can't stand in front of a mirror and admire your back muscles. The showy muscles of the upper body are so much more fun to train! Pee trainingIs where it's at! (Gotta "double bump" those pecs!) Ann training is cool! (Gatta "triple lump" those bi's and tri's!) Just hit some pulldowns to pop out those upper lats and forget about any of those old-fashioned pulling exercises. If you can't see it in the mirror, you don't need to train it.
In the old days, many gyms didn't even have mirrors! When Reg Park trained, he always COVERED. any mirror .in the gym.
Mirror trainers don't do heavy back work. And the vast majority of modern weight trainers are mirror trainers.
Heavy partials, of course, are one of the best possible ways to train the back. Remember, heavy partials were developed in large part by Olympic lifters, and Olympic lifters have the strongest backs of any athletes in the world.
Bunny blasters are different. Bunny blasters live for the mirror.
Bunny blasters worry about their tan more than they worry about functional strength. So what if heavy partials pack power throughout the entire back? The bunny blasters don't have time. They need to spend every available minute preening and posturing.
YOU HAVE TO HOLD ONTO THE BAR
Go back to where we followed Johnny Buffbody and his beach boy bunny blaster brethren bombing and blitzing their way through a "heavy" workout. Did they do any exercises where they had to FIGHT to hold onto a heavy bar? Did they do any exercises that might build calluses? Did they do any exercises where you had to grab the bar and SQUEEZE?
Just as modem trainees are mesmerized by exercises that allow them to sit, kneel or lie, they are entranced by movements that allow them the luxury of not having to hold onto a barbell. It's too much work. Too demanding. Too difficult. That's why the pee deck is such a popular movement-you push against soft pads with your forearms and don't hold onto anything at all. What an exercise! You get to sit down, you can do it in front of a mirror and you don't have to worry about developing calluses!
We even have modern "experts" who teach us that gripping a barbell is DANGEROUS! They teach a soft and gentle training approach where you use exercise machines instead of weights and keep your hands open and your fingers as loose as possible while you push or pull and pretend you are a superman.
When you do heavy partials, you have to hold onto the bar. They require a good grip when you get up in weight, particularly on the pulling movements. If you can't hold onto the bar you can't pull it. That's not the sort of exercise that appeals to a bunny rabbit.
PARTIALS KILL CONVERSATION
No one talks to an athlete while he does a set of heavy partials. No athlete talks to his gym buddies or to the hotbody de jour while he does 8oo-pound quarter squats or lockouts in the standing press with 400 pounds over his bodyweight, Partials and chit-chat don't mix. Partials are serious business. Only the serious do them. The talkers, babblers . and chatterers prefer exercisesjhat don't .require concentration, intensity or focus. They don't want anything to interfere with their gab sessions.
The most popular pieces of equipment in modern gyms are the cardio and aerobic stuff: steppers, treadmills, bicycles, etc. And what do most people do when they use these machines? They watch television.
How can we make.heavy partials.more popular?
We can figure out how to do them while watching the tube. The modern crowd won't settle for anything less.
YOU USE HEAVY WEIGHTS
Modern weight training is devoted to the Gospel of the Baby Weight.
Weight trainers are taught to "pump up" their muscles by doing many sets of many reps, a system that makes it IMPOSSmLE to train heavy. Alternatively, weight trainers are taught to move in slow motion and "feel" the weight throughout the entire range of motion on each and every rep, which is another system that makes it utterly impossible to train with man-sized poundages. Yet the modern guys LOVE this sort of thing!
Why is "pumping" so popular? Why do so many guys enjoy slow motion training?
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No.1
They like these systems because they don't have to use heavy weights.
In fact, the folks who tout these training systems are quick to condemn heavy weights, teaching the gullible bunnies that heavy weights are "counter-productive," lead to "poor form, " "harm the joints," "cause injuries," and so on. If you've been training for any amount of time you can recite the stuff from memory.
The armchair experts condemn heavy weights because doing so allows their followers to salve their consciences. The fact of the matter is this: the bunny rabbits are afraid to train with heavy weights. That's why they so universally support the virtuous variations of the soft and gentle, baby weight training systems.
Do you want to make a million dollars a year, live in a great condo by the beach, chug tall cold ones and have your pick of tall hot ones? Then market a weight training system where you use five-pound "power-bells. "The bunny rabbits will gobble it up. You'll make so much money your accountant will have to hire an accountant.
Heavy partials don't fit into the modern mania for baby poundages.
Any serious lifter can go heavy on them. After you have done enough of them over the years, you can go REAL heavy on them. That's bad news for the folks who think weight training should be several degrees
. less strenuous than low intensity meditation in a softly scented room with purple floor cushions and delicate floral arrangements.
HEAVY PARTIALS ARE OLI)..FASHIONED
The true father of American weight training, Dr. Winship, developed a special platform for performing super-heavy hand and thigh lifts shortly after the Civil War. The hand and thigh lift is a CLASSIC partial movement: a compound exercise with a limited range of motion that literally activates every muscle fiber in the entire body. Winship grew so strong on this and similar movements that he never met a man who could match his training poundages.
Alan Calvert and Earle Leiderman wrote about the benefits of heavy partials way backin the 19208. George Jowett mentions them in his courses written in the 20s and 30s, and continued to sing their praises for several decades. Harry Paschall wrote about them in the 40s and 50s, giving directions on how to build a power rack out of 2x4s similar to the one that he built and used prior to World War I.
John Grimek and Bob Hoffman wrote about heavy partials in Strength and Health in.the40s ,andSOs. William Boone and Peary Rader covered them in Iron Man in the same period. Jowett once again covered their merits extensively in various Weider publications in the 40s and 50s.
In the 1950s, Weider's Muscle Power ran article after article about heavy partials. Many of these were written by the prolific Charles Smith,.amanwhodeserves recognition as .one of the best writers and most creative minds ever to grace our field. The Smith machine, which bears his name, was developed for the primary purpose of allowing home gym trainers to perform heavy partials in complete safety.
In the early 19608, the isometrics craze swept the world, and York developed and sold .heavy-duty power racks to use toperform either isometric exercises or heavy, limited range, "sectionalized" movements. Article after article sung the praises of sectionalized strength training.
In the early 60s Peary Rader wrote a gem of a course on heavy partials: The Rader Isometronic Power and Muscle Development Course. (By the way, lronmind has a limited number of the .courses available; order one today!)
That's another reason why heavy partials have fallen into disfavor.
They're too old-fashioned. They've been around too long. No one can claim them as his own invention. No one can patent them. The gym instructors can't claim heavy partials as their "special secret." The self-proclaimed experts can't scoop the world by reporting on the "new" system that "promises to triple your results in six short weeks" or any similar malarkey.
What are the three most powerful words in the bristling arsenal of the ad-men?
"New and improved ."
You can sell anything 1.'Jy labelling it as "new and improved." Put dirt in a box and offer it for sale. You won't be able to give it away. Call it "new and improved" and you'll sell enough to retire to Hawaii.
You can't label heavy partials as "new and improved." They've been around too long. You can't market them as anything other than what they are. As a result, the guys with something to sell-sand that means 90% of the people who write about weight training--tend to ignore them.
YOU CAN'T TRAIN HEAVY IN A SARDINE CAN
Heavy partials require a reasonable amount of space for the lifter.
Something on the order of one lifting platform (or similar floor space) for everyone who is training. And that means that a typical gym could accommodate only eight to ten members at one time if everyone wanted to do heavy partials.
If you own a gym, teaching squats and other basic barbell movements that require lots of floor space for each lifter is a terrific way to go broke. The way to make lots of money is to cram the place full of machines so that dozens of members can sit or lie down right next to each other and train away in perfect comfort and safety. Sort of like training in a sardine can or a pickle jar.
The next best thing is to teach lots of little isolation exercises. You can take the same amount of space needed for ONE gym member to do heavy rack pulls and fill it with FOUR gym members doing lateral raises or concentration curls. Thus, there is a STRONG economic incentive for gym owners to down-play heavy partials.
HEAVY COSTS MONEY
A similar economic consideration involves the cost of high-quality bars, plates and power racks. Most gym owners would MUCH rather have their members train with inexpensive baby weights or flimsy pieces of modern machinery than shell out the bucks for top-of-theline bars, plates and power racks. Why do you think they push such nonsense as "power aerobics]?" Free-hand training is CHEAP! No equipment or limited equipment to purchase. A set of two-pound "power bells" is probably one percent of the cost of a heavy-duty power rack, a top-of-the-line bar and 800 to 1 ,000 pounds of plates.
THE EXERCISE POLICE HAVE CONDEMNED PARTIALS If you do partials, beware the Exercise Police.
Who are the Exercise Police?
Non-lifting know-it-ails who condemn one basic exercise after another.
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No.1
Muscleless midgets who revel in revealing the "dangers" of heavy exercise.
Cry-babies who once got sore and stiff (or maybe even pulled a muscle!) on an exercise, gave up training and devoted their lives to lecturing others on the dreaded evil of "dangerous" exercises.
Make no mistake about it. The Exercise Police are in total control.
Big Brother is watching.
We need a bumper sticker: "WHEN HEAVY TRAINING IS CRIMINAL, ONLY CRIMINALS WILL TRAIN HEAVY."
And NOTHING enrages the Grand Inquisitors of Weeniedom like heavy partials.
According to the Exercise Police, heavy partials will lead to immediate disc degeneration, pulled muscles, torn tendons, sundered ligaments, broken bones, stress fractures, headaches, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, hangnails, venereal disease, warts, acne, bad breath, constipation, neurosis and anti-social tendencies.
Of course, the gym owners love to hear this stuff--it gives them an excuse not to purchase power racks.
The bunnies love this garbage--it gives them an excuse to avoid heavy training.
The arm-chair academics love this nonsense--it gives them something to write about.
Before doing heavy partials, check the law. The Exercise Police are crafty. Heavy partials may already be ILLEGAL in your state!
PARTIALS ARE HONEST EXERCISE
Bradley J. Steiner once wrote something to the effect that "honest measurements, like honest men, are almost impossible to find."
You could say the same thing about exercises.
Honest exercises are almost impossible to find. What's worse, it's almost impossible to find a modern day weight trainer who does honest exercises.
What do I mean when I refer to "honest exercises"?
I mean an exercise where you can't cheat and you can't lie about how much weight you can handle. I mean an exercise where you either lift the bar or you don't, There is no in-between.
Take the bench press, for example. The bench press is a terrific exercise, when you do it the right way--with no cheating. John Davis used to do benches the right way. He always did each rep from a dead stop at tbe chest. So did Doug Hepburn. Maybe they were two of the strongest men of their era--two of the strongest DRUG FREE lifters of all time--because they did honest exercises.
But how do most modern guys do benches?
They drop the bar as fast as possible, bounce it as hard as possible off of the chest, arch their backs, raise their hips and generally cheat as much as they possibly can.
Heavy partials are a different animal.
You can't cheat when you do heavy partials. You start each rep from a dead stop. You either lift the bar or you don't. It's as simple as that.
The typical guy who lifts weights nowadays is NOT a very tough guy. He's not strong, he's not rugged, he has a low pain threshold and he gives up way too soon and way too easy. This kind of guy HATES heavy partials! Why? Because they expose him for what he is: a wimp. He much prefers the pretty chrome-plated machines and the exotic isolation movements. When he does THOSE movements, he can at least PRETEND that he's a man! Partials won't let him pretend.
DOOM ON DWEEBSTERS
The bunny rabbits have prepared their agenda. From now until the end of time, it's BUNNY exercises, BUNNY poundages and BUNNY training procedures.
It calls for counter measures. It calls for a revolution.
Be a dinosaur. Join our fight. Train like a man. Leave the bunny training to the bunnies. Welcome to the revolution!
PICKETT ON POWER by Greg Pickett
(Editor's note: Greg Pickett is one of my best friends. The stocky lifter is a life-time drug-free powerhouse. Check out his picture on page 24 of the Ironmind catalog (Vol. 7); the chunky son-of-a-gun is doing a hub-style gripper lift with 62.S pounds. Not too shabby.
Here's a letter received from Greg after he heard about The Dinosaur Files. You will note that Greg is a great believer in heavy partials.)
I am glad that you have decided to do a newsletter. One of the appealing things about your articles is the fact that you write about how you are training now, not in years gone by. So many times, a weight training author will tell you what he lifted years ago. This is no help or motivation to a guy who is in serious training NOW. It's like the old saying, "What have you done for me lately?"
On Saturday, June 7, 1997, I had a good training session. Earlier in the day, my wife had a group of ladies over from her church. While they were still here, I decided to go down to the basement to train. This was a less than optimal condition for lifting, as I could still hear the talking and laughing upstairs. I've learned to concentrate over the years and managed to block out the noise.
Squats were done first, 140x2xl, 230xl, 320xl, 410xl, 491xl, belt was the only support gear, as usual. Partial squats in the rack followed. The sets were to the point, 60Oxl, 700xl, 805xl. The bar was pushed from a deadstop, with 600xl being done without a belt. The movement was 71h". I had my wife measure the distance from the bottom of the Buffalo Bar to lockout with me standing under the bar at lockout in my normal squat stance. I am not being a dweeb about this, I just want to know how far I'm pushing the thing.
I will stay at this partial squat height until it feels easy, perhaps a couple or months, who knows. I have a 9/16" board and I'll increase the distance by simply placing the board on the floor and standing on it. I am able, with my rack, to increase the range of motion of any lift in the rack by one inch.
Speaking of increasing the range of motion in the partial movements, I followed the partial squats with rack deadlifts from just below the knee. In the prior session, I set the bar just above the knee for partial deadlifts. The top set for the above-the-knee partials was 63Sxl. By the way, no straps, no wrist wraps, and no belt were used for the 635.
The rude awakening came with the below-the-knee partials. With these, the sets went 135xl, 22Sxl, 31Sxl, 40Sxl, SOSxl. A few inches in range of motion in the rack can mean a difference of MANY pounds. That's okay. Both heights in the rack are terrific movements for power. The SOS was the most I've ever pulled from below the knee in conventional (as opposed to sumo) style.
Three sets of leg raises, 2xlO, lx12, and overhand holds with a 2':12" bar, finished the workout.
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No.1
Three heavy movements in a row were done on this day. As I'm typing this, I'm somewhat sore, but I don't feel destroyed. Everyone has to find their own best training patterns in terms of rest between sessions and grouping of movements. I know that you train more frequently, as it fits your lifestyle, temperament, etc. I think the most important thing to do is train heavy, basic barbell and dumbbell moves. The partial moves in the rack are critical as well. My only regret is that I did not start the partials sooner.
True story. I was stopped in the hall the other day at work. A lady asked me if I lifted weights. I said yes. Then she asked me if I competed in physique contests. Politely, but firmly. I said no. Then I told her that I did not like bodybuilding and thought it was queer. I told that I used to compete in powerlifting, My point is, I used to, many years ago, defend bodybuilding contests as simply part of the iron sport. I cannot and will not do so anymore. I think bodybuilding is one of the three major things wrong with weight training today. (Editor's note: What are the other two, Greg?)
A FEW GOOD GYMS by Bob Whelan
(Editor's note: Bob Whelan is one of the most knowledgeable strength coaches in the world. The man is loaded with PRACTICAL and EFFECTIVE training advice. He's also totally committed to WAR on the dweeb bunnies. Here are Bob's thoughts on typical modern gyms--and it's an honor to print them!
Bob owns Whelan Strength Training, Suite 1, 800 7th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, (202) 638-1708. If you live in the D.C. area.or ever pass through, stop by and check it out. Bob will give you the workout of your life.)
Some of the few, proud and best gyms in the world are relatively unknown. They are usually not famous and can be found at random in the basements and garages of hardcore, drug-free "dinosaurs" all over the world. Most of these gyms only have a single olympic bar, plenty of plates, a squat rack and a flat bench. That's it! Some may have a lot more equipment than this, but many have even less. The equipment is not the element that defines a good gym. Gym atmosphere is everything. Social status, money, race, etc., are invisible in good gyms. You are not respected for "who you think you are." You are respected only for "what you do." Your effort earns respect.
Good gyms make you feel like training hard. You are comfortable there. The floors are usually cement, not carpet. The ceiling usually has exposed pipes. The paint on the walls, if there is any, is not even noticed. Good gyms are not fancy but have plenty of black iron. Here you can be yourself. Here there is brotherhood and camaraderie. You and your training partners can sweat, scream, bang weights, grunt, growl and GROW! (Editor's note: If that's not a great T-shirt slogan, I never heard one!)
There are no juice bars in good gyms. Men and women go there to train only. You don't train with your ass hanging out, or with perfume or cologne on. You don't try to pick up women there. If you want to do that, it's at another place and time. No supplement stands, saunas, whirlpools or even shower facilities are to be found. (You can do that somewhere else, too.) No sweatbands, matching outfits, spandex or lifting gloves. There are no ferns in the comer, classical music or art work on the wall. They don't sell bottled water. There are no skinny geeks with clipboards walking around telling you what
"dangerous" exercises NOT to do (they have no idea what TO DO!). Any machines to be found have no computer on them and are plate loaded. There is no chrome and no mirrors. Words like "toning" and "body sculpting" get you mugged.
There are no pictures of drug using scum bodybuilders on the walts of good gyms. They are not role models to be glorified. They belong on wanted posters, not gym walls. Pictures of the "old-timers," who did it the right way, like Jowett, Grimek, Sandow, Hackenschmidt, et al, do belong there to be respected and admired. You will only find their pictures in good gyms. People who run "fitness clubs" have never heard of any of them.
There are thousands of gyms all over the world that are crammed to the gills with every gadget and new machine known to man, but most of these gyms SUCK! People who run these "social clubs" get upset when you work too hard! They don't like sweat on the floor or on their machines. They don't have chalk. They don't want you to make any noise when you train (other than long whispering conversations between sets, which is OK).
If you are an advocate of "ground based" high intensity training (i.e., you end up on the ground or floor after a hard set), you are warned to never do that again or you will have your membership revoked! ("You are scaring the members! ") Effort is barely tolerated. As long as you go through the motions with a smile, don't sweat too much, make no noise, and take the harassing, unwanted advice of the clipboard geek "personal trainers", you will be a desired member. Most people sadly are. This is the reason why most commercial gyms make dinosaurs sick!
BUILDING UPPER BODY POWER by Mike Thompson
(Editor's note: Mike Thompson is a barrel-chested bear of a man who has personaly trained hundreds of strength training successes. Mike could break the typical arm-chair expert in two without raising a sweat, and what's more.ihe'd probably enjoy doing it! If you are looking for THE REAL THING, here it is.)
This is primarily aimed at the home training 300+ pound bench presser who is interested in greatly increasing his bench press along with a virtual immediate increase in the thickness of his arm, shoulder, chest musculature, tendons and ligaments.
Anyhow, enough of the rhetoric, into the business part of getting the poundages UP.
Firstly, let's consider two methods of performing this particular strengthening application. If, like most serious trainees you possess a power rack with the standard 2" distance between the pin-holes, the procedure is this. Get a marker pen ready then set an empty bar on pins just grazing your chest when in the bottom position.
Lock the bar out, checking and marking the height the bar reaches on the rack upright; this represents full lockout. On establishing this height, number the pin-holes up from chest level. In my case, hole one is first above chest level 2", while hold 5 is 4" short of lockout. This 4" movement is your starting point and is all that will concern this first article.
If for whatever reason you don't have a rack, there is an extremely simple method of implementing this system. You merely build the barbell up on 1" thick planks. The height of the top planks allowing you a 4" lockout. Using this setup, you simply lie on the floor under the bar and press. You can get the planks cut at any carpentry shop; just make sure they are of tough wood and of substantial enough size to prevent any accidents. The 1" planks are of the correct thickness
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. 1, No.1
l..IFIING SUSPENDED ';A~~EL-L.
to facilitate the necessary lowering of the pressing height as the training course progresses. Plywood is excellent for this purpose, 12" in width by three feet in length would safely accommodate most barbell plate setups. For extra security, you should screw two wooden strip buffers at each end of the planks you press from. This will prevent any possibility of the barbell rolling off.
Right, the loaded bar is set on the pins/planks for a 4" lockout.
How do you begin?
Let's assume you are capable of a strong but not limit press from chest level pins in the rack of 320 pounds. This being the case, I'd advise 270 pounds for the first set of five reps on 4" lockouts, followed with 290, 310, 330 and finishing on 350, all for five reps. This workout will give you the feel of the movement with controllable but significant poundage. Initially, these poundages will increase quite rapidly from workout to workout until you arrive at a TRUE working weight. You will be approaching your first ever TRUE HEAVY REPS. Be.warned, this is a TOT ALL Ydifferent ball game altogether from the training you did to reach 300 pounds.
Let me talk you through the first experience you'll likely have on this first encounter with the very stuff strongmen are spawned from.
You'll be chalking your hands for the final five reps on lockout following five minutes of gasping psyche from the fourth grinding set. This isanother.changefrom "normal" training; it's no longer a rest between sets, it's a period of cranking up the psyche concentration amperage for the ongoing barbell battle. This is a vicious form of conditioning you must accept and embrace, or never enter the realm of super poundage. Sliding under the bar you set your grip, sharp breath and begin to pusb . . . a couple of seconds and the bar slides to lockout. Reps two, three and four inexorably slow down .due to the crushing force of sheer poundage. You literally can't believe the fatiguing power of the heavy bar. Rep five ... you have to push almost "maniacally" for several seconds just to break the bar from the pins, it HOVERS for a couple of seconds, virtually mincing your muscles as they slowly grind the bar to lockout where you will forcibly discover the meaning of the old-time strongman support-type strength work.
AT THIS POINT YOU WILL REALIZE JUST WHERE B-J-G POUNDAGE TRULY IS. WHERE YOU WILL BE FORCED TO CONCENTRATE. WHERE MAXIMUM MUSCLE, TENDON, LIGAMENT AND INSERTION ... EVEN BONE GROWTH ... WILL OCCUR ... EXACTLY THE ENVIRONMENT WHERE YOU WILL LEARN TO BECOME STRONG!!!
Initially you can hit this routine every fourth day, then intuitively feel how your recuperative powers go on this format and adjust accordingly. I am currently hitting this routine Mondays and Fridays with a leg and back session on Wednesdays. Last week I blasted out ten reps with 410 from a height not too far above sticking point. Believe me, later that evening I felt as if I'd walked a couple of miles on my HANDS! Using a 3" diameter bar, I only managed three sets from a projected five because I decided to let my balls out with the 410 ... I was ground into the bench. Five HEAVY sets of a bentover rowing and four of concentrated grip work and I was cooked .. . twelve total sets!!!
My arm and shoulder girdle insertions were literally HOWLING with an ache which bit deep into the bone ... not the muscle, THE VERY BONE!!! The use of a 3" diameter bar will greatly intensify this kind of work. Indeed, the effect of the latter will be felt (and shown) from the fingers down to the pectoralis major insertions in your sternuml. But don't just take my word for this ... TRY IT!
As the workouts pile up and the poundage starts bending your bar, try dropping the reps down to threes, but I warn you to redouble your resolve ... the poundage intensity effect of lowering reps on these ponderous lockouts is MUCH greater than in full barbell moves, this is precisely what makes it so damned productive strength-wise. Your host on this newsletter, Brooks Kubik, is proficient on the ultimate with this type of lifting ... SINGLES! Brooks can crank up the kind of muscle amperage that makes you wonder if he's plugged into the National Electric Grid! BUT, HE HAS A FEW YEARS OF THIS RELENTLESS GRINDING/EXPLOSIVE WORK UNDER HIS BELT, PLUS THE VITAL TRAINING HEART AND STOMACH TO SUSTAIN SUCH WORK ... make no mistake, years is the time span I am advocating on this gruelling kind of lifting; it is not for the weak of heart!
In the next article we'll look at when and how to increase the range of lockout distance along with the effect of such changes. Above all, if you decide to plunge into this training madness, remember that yours truly is also learning and suffering from this routine and when you hit those TRUL Y HEAVY numbers which begin to threaten your training "sanity" .. , blame your Editor, not me, as he's the one who resurrected this "OLD-TIME STRQNGMAN" torturously effective lifting methodology.
JURASSIC JOTTINGS by Brooks D.Kubjk
WIMP OF THE MONTH
The wimp of the month is anyone who uses padded gloves AND big sponges to hold onto the bar so he doesn't hurt his little handsiewandsies. If you see anyone doing this, send his name to Sam and Spencer. They will put him on "the list."
THEY DON'T MAKE PLIERS LIKE THEY USED TO
One of the classic legends of grip strength involves Dan Hodge, a three-time NCAA wrestling champion in the 1950s, who then went into pro wrestling and held the world championship in the light heavyweight division for many years. Hodge was so terrific a wrestler thathe not only was undefeated throughout his entire NCAA career,
The Dinosaur Files, Vol. I, No.1
he was never even taken down in any match by any opponent. He also was a seriously TOUGH man, winning not only the NCAA title in wrestling, but Winning a national Golden Gloves title in the same year. One wonders what Hodge would have accomplished in UFC style "mixed marital arts" competition.
Hodge had a ferocious, bone-crushing grip. One of his favorite pastimes whenever he landed in a new town was to walk into a hardware store and ask to see the strongest pair of pliers they had in the store.
When they brought the pliers to him, Hodge would look them over carefully, sigh, shake his head, and say, "I'm sorry, these just won't do. They're not strong enough.!"
The owner of the store would sputter and fume and tell Hodge that these were the strongest pliers ever made.
Hodge would just stand there, listening patiently to it all, then say "They just are not strong enough for what I need. "
And the owner would go nuts trying to tell Hodge how strong the pliers were.
Finally, the owner would say, "Just what is it you want them for anyway?"
"This," said Hodge, and he would squeeze the things in one hand and break them in two.
Then he would hand the broken pliers back to the astonished store owner.
"I told you they weren't strong enough," he'd say.
Professor Cupcake is my mortal enemy. I'm sure you have heard of him. He has 27 degrees in physiology and has written more books, papers, articles and dissertations on "scientific" weight training than anyone else in the world. In his latest book, he espouses "progressive meditation" as "the ultimate training protocol of the 90s." He claims that "moderate intensity interactive cranial reflection (a/k/a "meditation") develops your sensitive side" simultaneously with your biceps. Professor Cupcake has 8 112" upper arms, has never lifted weights in his life and could not bench press his toothbrush. He will probably be awarded the Nobel prize in the near future. You will hear more about Professor Cupcake in future issues of The Dinosaur Files.
PUTTING STEROIDS INTO PERSPECTIVE
Kim Wood, the Strength Coachfor theCincinnatiBengals, made a great analogy about steroid use. He likened steroid use to visiting a prostitute.
"No one would ever admit that he has to PAY for sex," said Kim.
"And steroids are just the same. What are they, anyhow? Artificial male hormones. What do male hormones do? They make you a man. If .yougo . to a hooker, you are admitting to yourself, deep down, they you can't get laid unless you pay money for it. If you take steroids, you are admitting to yourself, deep down, that YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH OF WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MAN. That's why steroid use is always shrouded in secrecy and denial. It's hard enough to have to admit that sort of thing to yourself. It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to admit it to anyone else."
THE WRAP UP
That's it for this issue. Hope you enjoyed it. If you did, drop me a card or letter. The more I receive in the way of reader feedback, the better the newsletter will be for everyone -- so don't be shy! Put it on paper and let me hear from you. And be sure to tell your friends and training partners about The Dinosaur Files.
Until next time, train HARD, train HEAVY, and BE A DINOSAUR!
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.