It is a known fact that Robert E. Howard was a sports enthusiast. I was fascinated at a Howard Day in Cross Plains a couple years ago, when listening to Rusty Burke show us into Howard's yard where his garage used to be. There, Rusty explained, Howard had rigged some weight lifting equipment that he worked out with.
I guess Conan has been a source of inspiration for a lot of us. I started reading Conan when I was thirteen, and by the age of fifteen was running several miles a day. For my sixteenth birthday, I got my first 110 pound barbell/ dumbell set. Over the years, I have stuck to a regular routine of aerobics and weights, using such books as Arnold's Education of a Bodybuilder for my guides.
But I am curious what the experience of other Conan fans has been. Are there some really great sports that an average adult can take part in that develop a prowess similar to the Cimmerian and other macho pulp heroes? Should I be spending my time on fencing lessons? Or even archery? Knife throwing? Boxing? Wrestling? And what are the best sports to develop speed and coordination, as well as strength? Kung Fu? Tennis? Raquetball? Any ideas? What are some other fans' thoughts on this subject?
Conan was my inspiration for working out when i started in my teens,i stoped at 20,(i'm 33 now),I started back in august of 2005 when i was 32 2 months beore my 33rd birth day and have made great progress.
All you need is a barbell,Dumbbells ,and a weight bench.To be honest if you want true strength and develpment thats what you need,plus stay away from the gyms their a joke now as well as so called modern raining methods
As a former practioner of HapKido as well as Northern Shaolin Kung Fu,I can safely
say that the asian martial arts won't develop the kinds of abilities Conan had.
the best thing to do is study traditonal western arts,Like Boxing(not the modern sport version but pre-20th centruy pugilism,this yahoo group is very infomative
on it and the links and files have the info on them you'd need to train in it
I'd also recomend French Savate, Mu tau Pankration,Catch as catch can wrestling,
Greco-Roman Wrestling(only draw back to Greco-Roman wrestling is it has no moves below the waist),Folk style Wresting.
As to working out on weights the pre-1950's methods are better the the modern
so-called scientific methods because they used the lifts back then that built strength and muscle,the scinetic methods used now are always daying don't squat,don't deadlift,don't press behind the neck(when these are some of the mas and strength builders),instead they promote lots of useless isolation exercises and the use of varoius machines and the use of light dumbells .
heres my yahoo group dedicated to the old methods of strength training
I am inclosing in this post the book Dinosaur training I hope you all enjoy it.
LOST SECRETS OF STRENGTH AND DEVELOPMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
CHAPTER ONE: THE DINOSAUR ALTERNATIVE
CHAPTER TWO: PRODUCTIVE TRAINING
CHAPTER THREE: AN OUTLINE OF DINOSAUR TRAINING
CHAPTER FOUR: HARD WORK
CHAPTER FIVE: DINOSAUR EXERCISES
CHAPTER SIX: ABBREVIATED TRAINING
CHAPTER SEVEN: HEAVY WEIGHTS
CHAPTER EIGHT: POUNDAGE PROGRESSION
CHAPTER NINE: DEATH SETS
CHAPTER TEN: MULTIPLE SETS OF LOW REPS
CHAPTER ELEVEN: SINGLES
CHAPTER TWELVE: THICK BARS
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: GRIP WORK, PART ONE
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: GRIP WORK, PART TWO
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: LOGS, BARRELS AND HEAVY BAGS
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: POWER RACK TRAINING
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: A BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: KEEP IT SIMPLE!
CHAPTER NINETEEN: CONCENTRATE!
CHAPTER TWENTY: MORE ON THE MENTAL ASPECTS OF TRAINING
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: DO IT FOR YOURSELF
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: PERSISTENCE
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: THE IRON WILL TO SUCCEED
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: FADS, FALLACIES and PITFALLS
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: JUST DO IT!
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: NO EXCUSES.
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS
-- by William F. Hinbern, World Famous Weight Training Authority, author, collector and seller of Strongman memorabilia, books, courses, etc.
Here is the long-awaited strength training manual by Brooks Kubik ? National Bench Press Champion and popular magazine writer for the blue bloods of the strength training world. Written for those of us who are interested in STRENGTH rather than the APPEARANCE of strength, here for the first time, he details in one volume many of the most result producing methods for not only packing on the beef but for developing truly useful slabs of muscle in the grand tradition of the oldtime strongmen. If you are looking for an alternative style of training for real honest-to-goodness strength, then this is the ticket!
Somehow in our quest for size and strength we in the Iron Game have lost direction. We float aimlessly like balloons, caught and carried by any vagrant breeze or "new" training system, always changing direction, always moving and never getting anywhere. The author grabs us by the ankles, pulls us back to earth, slaps us across the face like a cold shower, and gives us a refreshing insight, a redefined approach to training for massive, brute strength. He doesn't claim to have invented anything new; rather, he has rediscovered and unearthed the training methods of the old masters, our
forefathers in methodical, progressive resistance training.
Educational, inspirational, practical, this training manual is destined to be a classic strength training textbook and will find a hallowed place in the archives of every serious strength athlete.
If you are serious like me, you will order two copies. One to set on your strength library book shelf and one to use constantly as a source of inspiration till it's dog eared!
After digesting this huge iron pill, I now await my second dose. Volume two.
~William F. Hinbern
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
The purpose of this preface is threefold. First, I want to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my credentials for writing this book. I do so not to "blow my own horn," but to offer evidence that I am not yet another of the detested and despicable race of armchair theoreticians who plague the weight training world and who multiply like the maggots they resemble. (You'll hear more about armchair "experts" throughout this book.) Second, I want to tell you why I wrote this book. Third, I want to publicly acknowledge and thank certain people who made this book a reality.
WHO I AM
I am a 38 year old weight lifter. I have been training for over 25 years. I LOVE weight training and the best that it represents, and I have always loved it. I have studied the art of weight training for most of my life. By the way, as a brief aside, that's exactly what productive weight training truly is: an ART...not a science. If anyone ever tries to sell you a book, course or exercise machine based on "scientific" weight training principles, hit him hard and quick and run like hell.
I stand 5'9" and weigh around 225 pounds. I am a former high school wrestler, and won numerous wrestling championships and awards. I lived in Illinois and Ohio when I wrestled. I placed third in the Ohio state collegiate style wrestling championships and won the Illinois state Greco-Roman style wrestling championships. I was a good wrestler in part because I trained hard with the weights. I would have been a much better wrestler if I had known then what I know now. The information in this book is of tremendous value to wrestlers, football players or anyone else who competes in combat sports. The book is about the development of FUNCTIONAL strength. If you are looking for a book for narcissistic pump artists and mirror athletes, look elsewhere.
After high school I went to college, then to law school. I now work as an attorney at a large midwestern law firm. I'm like most of the guys who will read this book: someone keenly interested in weight training, but not someone who makes his living from the field. From age 33 to age 36 I competed in drug free powerlifting and bench press competition. I lifted in two different organizations. In one, I won three national championships in the bench press, set three American records in the bench press and also set several national meet records, competing in the 198 and 220 pound classes. I also won many stale and regional titles and set numerous state and regional records. In the other organization. I won two national championships in the bench press, set over half a dozen American or national meet records, and set three world records in the 220 pound class. My best official lift was the one that won my fifth national championship: 407 pounds. Not too shabby for a middle-aged lawyer.
I also spent quite a bit of time working as an official at powerlifting and bench press meets for one organization, and was honored by being selected runner-up for "male referee of the year" on one occasion.
After winning five national championships in the bench press I decided to take a break from competition and turn to other matters?such as this hook and other writing.
Although 1 do not compete in powerlifting or bench press meets at present, I continue to train regularly and am stronger today than I was when I competed. Some of my current lifts are detailed later on: I won't bore you by repealing those numbers here. Suffice it to say that your author really does train, really does lift heavy weights on a regular basis, has written many articles covering various facets of strength training, is NOT an armchair theorizer. has demonstrated on the lifting platform that his ideas work and has proven?at the highest levels of drug free competition ? that he can hold his own with the best in the world. Your author is not a pencil neck, he is not a professional ghost writer who knows nothing about physical training and he most assuredly is not an academic babbler with no hands-on training experience.
WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
I wrote this book because 1 love strength training. I wrote this book because I hale what has happened to the Iron Game over the past thirty or forty years. Most importantly. I wrote this book because there is a wealth of training information that is almost impossible to find on the written page. The majority of weight training hooks are for bodybuilders or pseudo-bodybuilders, not men who are interested in the development of sheer, raw power and tremendous functional strength. This book is an effort to even the score in that respect.
In addition, this book is an effort to make weight training interesting once again. I am tired of seeing the same old boring ideas presented in one look-alike weight training book after another. The Iron Game has been inundated with self-styled experts who really have nothing to offer when it comes to hardcore strength training. Many of the most valuable aspects of strength training have literally been lost?buried in the sands of time, forgotten, neglected and unused. Curiously, those hidden secrets are also the very things that make weight training enjoyable?the things that change it from an activity to an adventure. This book will liven up your training. Think of it as the strength training equivalent of the KAMA SUTRA.
The purpose of this book is to give YOU?and every serious weight training enthusiast who purchases it - a gold mine of LOST IDEAS that really work. Whoever you are, and however much you know about training, this book will include some new information and new ideas for you. And for those of you who have not been involved in the Iron Game for very long, or who have not studied anything other than "modern" training methods, this book will be a revelation.
This book is mental dynamite. It will blow your current training ideas to dust. It will expand your horizons in ways you cannot now even imagine. Have you ever lifted heavy barrels? What about heavy sandbags? Ever use thick bars for your upper body training? Do you do heavy singles? What about rack work? How about bottom position squats and bench presses? Heavy grip work? Pinch grip lifting? Round back lifting? The farmer's walk? Death sets? Two finger deadlifts? Lifting an anvil? Vertical bar lifts? Lever bars? Sledgehammers? This book covers all of those topics and more - much more.
PEOPLE WHO MADE THIS BOOK POSSIBLE
There are a number of people who made this book possible. The first is my wife of 16 years, Ginnie, who never (well, almost never) complained that I loved the keyboard more than I loved her. Thanks, darling.
The second is Bill Hinbern, a TRUE gentleman, and a man who embodies all of the best the Iron Game has to offer. Bill gave me many valuable tips about the practical aspects of publishing and marketing a weight training book. He also proofed and edited the manuscript, supplied much useful information, provided the photo used for the cover drawing and wrote the introduction. Thanks, Bill.
The third is my good friend, Mike Thompson, who has urged me for several years to tackle this project and who always provided encouragement and support. Mike is one of the finest writers in the field, one of the strongest men I have ever met, and has a keener eye for training technique than anyone I know. Thanks, Mike.
The fourth is Bob Whelan. Like Mike, Bob urged me to roll up my sleeves and knock out a book, and like Mike, he was always there when I needed a word of encouragement. Bob is one of the outstanding strength coaches in the world today. Thanks, Bob.
The fifth is Greg Pickett, one of the strongest cellar dwellers in the world, a terrific fan of the Iron Game, and one of the most gracious lifters I ever saw on a powerlifting platform. Greg was the third member of my "writer's support group" as I labored to finish this project, and like the others, he kept me focused and motivated. Thanks, Greg.
The sixth is Kim Wood, Cincinnati Bengal's Strength Coach, with whom I have had many conversations about serious strength training, and who offered numerous ideas that I have incorporated into these pages. If you give heavy bags and barrels a try and are sore as the devil the next day, don't blame me, blame Kim. It was his idea. Thanks, Kim.
The seventh is Osmo Kiiha, who has supported my efforts by running excerpts from this book as articles in THE IRON MASTER and who has allowed me to advertise the book in THE IRON MASTER. Osmo is a lifter's lifter, a collector's collector and one of the most knowledgeable men in the field. Thanks, Osmo.
The eighth is Dr. Ken Leistner. For my money Dr. Leistner is one of the very best writers of all time in the Iron Game, and one of the men who has played a major role in promoting sane, sensible and productive training. Dr. Leistner gave me permission to include excerpts from his terrific newsletter, THE STEEL TIP, which ran from January, 1985 through December, 1987, and which is one of the best reference sources available on serious strength training. Dr. Leistner has inspired all of us over the years with his terrific articles in POWERLIFTING USA, MUSCULARDEVELOPMENT, IRONMAN, H.I.T. NEWSLETTER, MILO and other magazines. Thanks, Dr. Leistner.
The ninth is Dr. Randall J. Strossen, the author of SUPER SQUATS and
IRONMIND?: STRONGERMINDS, STRONGERBODIES, the editor and publisher of John McCallum's KEYS TO PROGRESS, the editor and publisher of John Brookfield's terrific book, MASTERY OF HAND STRENGTH, the editor and publisher of MILO and the owner of IRONMIND? ENTERPRISES, INC. (hereinafter "IRONMIND? ENTERPRISES") which sells some of the best and most unique training equipment available today. Dr. Strossen has been very supportive and has given me much valuable advice in connection with this project. Thanks, Dr. Strossen.
The final person I need to thank is YOU. Thanks for having the desire to improve your knowledge of strength training, thanks for having the confidence in me to purchase this book sight unseen through the mail, and thanks for having the courage, determination, tenacity and strength of mind that it will take to implement the training ideas that I have detailed. Thanks, and best wishes for your training success!
LETS GET TO WORK!
That's a long enough preface for any book. Let's get to work! Turn to chapter one!
I never worry about action, but only about inaction.
~Sir Winston Churchill
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
Society is always taken by surprise by any example of common sense.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I initially planned to make DINOSAUR TRAINING a short (60 to 80 page) manual. I figured I would photocopy the little monster, spiral bind it and give it to friends or sell it to the 20 or 30 people in the world who might be interested in the thing. Then I realized my typewritten manuscript was already over 300 pages or so, and decided I would have to turn it into an honest to goodness book.
That idea almost fell by the wayside when no book printer would quote the job at anything less than 2,000 copies - a number of copies I thought I would never sell in a lifetime of trying. After all, how many people are truly interested in things as old fashioned as heavy iron, hard work, drug free strength training, thick bars, grip work, bags, barrels, and all the rest of what lies between these covers?
Bill Hinbern, Bob Whelan, Greg Pickett and Kim Wood finally convinced me to go ahead with the project, and after a year of writing, proofing and rewriting, DINOSAUR TRAINING was offered to an unsuspecting world.
What happened then was truly astonishing. The first edition of 3,300 copies sold out in about 18 months. The book was reviewed in MILO, THE IRON MASTER, HARD TRAINING, IRONMAN and other magazines, featured on the CYBERPUMP website, and was highly rated by some of the most knowledgeable men in the Game. IRONMIND ENTERPRISES and IRON MAN began retailing it. College and NFL strength coaches read it. The language of DINOSAUR TRAINING began to crop up everywhere you looked; references to "bunnies," "maggots," and "chrome and fern land" became almost commonplace. Those who sold thick bars experienced off the chart sales, and if anyone had had the foresight to sell bags or barrels, he would have made a killing.
All of this was very gratifying, of course, but what has meant the most have been the letters from readers. The notes I treasure most - and I save them all - are often scribbled on the backs of envelopes or other unlikely pieces of stationary. They come from Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States. They share one common theme; they all say, if I may paraphrase, "Thanks for helping me recapture the CHALLENGE, EXCITEMENT and FUN of serious strength training!"
Those letters prompted two related ventures. The first is this second edition of DINOSAUR TRAINING, in revised and expanded form, offering what a number of readers requested in their letters: more training programs.
The second venture is a monthly newsletter called THE DINOSAUR FILES. I started THE FILES in August, 1997, and reader response has been tremendous. If you enjoy DINOSAUR TRAINING, you owe it to yourself to give THE FILES a try. (Order information is in the Appendix to this edition, together with other hard to find sources of valuable training information.)
Many readers have written to tell me that they made some of their best gains ever after reading DINOSAUR TRAINING and incorporating some of its ideas into their workouts. Believe me, guys, this stuff is more than ink on paper. It really works. Give it a try. The results will surprise you.
That's more than enough for one preface. Strap in and hang on for the ride of your life!
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
CHAPTER ONE: THE DINOSAUR ALTERNATIVE
The past is but the beginning of a beginning.
If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it
is still a foolish thing.
Weight training is a very simple activity. However, commercial interests, armchair theoreticians and well-intentioned but misguided "experts" have complicated things to the point where virtually no one knows how to train productively anymore. Instead of gyms filled with people taking productive, result-producing workouts, we see gyms throughout the world filled with members whose wild gyrations and frenzied flailing will not build an ounce of muscle or develop any greater level of strength than would be built by a slow game of checkers on a lazy summer day.
WHY DOESN'T ANYONE TRAIN HARD ANYMORE?
Consider the following. Properly performed barbell squats are one of the most productive exercises that anyone can do. But how many gyms are there where more than a small handful of members regularly squat hard and heavy?
Trap bar deadlifts are one of the very best exercises you can do. The trap bar - which runs less than $ 150 - permits you to train deadlifts harder, safer and much more productively than does an ordinary bar. But how many gyms have a trap bar? How many trainees even know what a trap bar is? How many who lift weights are more concerned about purchasing the latest accessories - brand name shoes, designer label shirts and shorts, "sharp" looking workout gloves and a color coordinated sweatband or baseball cap - than they are about purchasing a trap bar?
If you are interested in building world class strength and power, exercise
machines are almost always a total and complete waste of time. But how many gyms are jam-packed with "the latest" high tech training gizmos and chrome plated wonder machines? How many trainees devote virtually all of their energy (I can?t say "effort") to pushing or pulling against the padded handles of the aforementioned miracle machines?
To develop the ultimate in rugged power and brutal, ferocious strength, you need to include plenty of thick handled barbell training - upper body exercises with a bar that measures 2" to 3" in diameter. But how many gyms offer such bars? How many modern trainees have ever even seen one? Thick handled barbells used to be one of the standard tools of the trade for any strongman worthy of the name. Nowadays virtually no one who lifts weights has ever even considered the possibility of using a thick handled barbell.
Maximum muscular size and strength throughout the entire body can only be developed if you devote tons of effort and gallons of sweat to specialized grip movements - primarily those that involve lifting, carrying and holding enormous poundages with various types of grips and using handles of different shapes and thicknesses. Who do you know who trains that way? How many readers can name even a single member of their gym who regularly practices pinch grip lifting, the farmer's walk, thick bar deadlifting or reverse curls with a 3" diameter bar?
Single rep training is one of the most effective ways to develop an outstanding degree of muscular size and strength. But how many people regularly do singles? How many use a program that consists of NOTHING BUT single reps ? including warm ups?
Real results require real effort. You need to work so hard you almost pass out when you do a heavy set. You need to drive yourself to the point where, many times, you literally collapse after the set is over. You must train so hard that one heavy set can make you sore for days. You need to yell and shout and sweat and hurt when you train. But how many people train this way? How many people do you know who take a set of barbell curls and work the set until the bar literally drops out of their hands? How many people do you know who work a set of squats or deadlifts to the point where they go down and stay down - sometimes for 10 or even 20 minutes? Compare the number of people who train THAT hard to the number of people who regularly spend two hours in the gym without breaking a sweat.
Let's get even more basic. To get bigger, stronger and better conditioned, you need to add weight to the bar whenever you can. Progressive poundages are the name of the game. If you are not adding weight to the bar on a regular basis, you are kidding yourself. But how many people actually try to increase their training poundages? How many members of your gym are content to waltz their way through the same workout, with the same exercises, sets. reps and poundages, year after year after year? I once belonged to a gym where one guy used the same poundages for 12 years. He got married and divorced at least three times during that period. He changed wives more often than he changed exercise poundages. Any of you who go to commercial gyms can doubtless identify half a dozen members who suffer from the same sort of passionate devotion to their exercise poundages.
THE AMAZING ANTICS OF MODERN TRAINEES
The reason why most modern training is non-productive is simple: most people who train with weights nowadays are not interested in serious results. Most people who lift weights do so for reasons that have nothing to do with developing ferocious muscular strength and raw, terrifying power. These are the type of members the modern gyms go out of their way to attract. In fact, they are really the only type of members the modern gyms are interested in having.
Most gyms want members who will be content to play around with aerobic exercises, machine movements and light, light poundages. They cater to members who use the gym for socializing or as a pick-up bar. The LAST thing they want is someone who is interested in serious training.
The typical gym is crammed with non-essential machines, most of which are less than half as functional as if they were designed by a baboon and assembled by an orangutan. The purpose of the machines is to entice members of the public into shelling out their cash to join the establishment and reap the "benefits" of training on what the instructors (who are nothing more than glorified sales-people) tell them are the "latest" and "most scientific and high tech" machines on the market. Ninety percent of the equipment in the average gym could be melted down or sold for scrap without diminishing the value of the place one iota.
What else takes up space in the typical gym? The typical instructor?a mindless goofball who doesn't have the faintest beginning of a glimmer of a shadow of a clue about what productive training is all about. My golden retrievers, Sam and Spenser, could do a better job of training gym members than does the average instructor, manager, or gym owner.
Ask the average instructor or gym owner to demonstrate the one arm deadlift. Ask him about breathing squats. See what he knows about Olympic lifting. Check out his form in the one arm snatch. Watch him try to clean and press bodyweight. Ask him about round back lifting, Joe Hise, the 5x5 system, rack work, Herman Goerner, heavy singles, Clyde Emrich, Indian clubs, the farmer's walk, the Roman column, hip belt squats, barrel lifting, or Arthur Saxon. You'd be amazed at what the guy DOESN'T know. As a group, modern weight training instructors and gym owners are clear proof that some people use the air hoses at gas stations to inflate their heads every day.
Then you have the typical gym member - who is usually young, spoiled, pampered and far more interested in looking pretty than in training hard. In fact, the average gym member would run in terror if you tried to make him train HARD on even a single set of a single exercise. A set of breathing squats would kill him. In fact, a hard set of curls or presses would be more than he could handle. Even WATCHING hard work would make him sick. He'd toss his cookies if he saw a dinosaur train!
Put them all together and you have an institution that promotes mass insanity instead of rational weight training. The idiot machines are designed to let people PRETEND they are lifting weights. The instructors prepare workout programs that let members PRETEND they are training. And the members are perfectly content to go right along with the whole scam.
Weight training today is NOT about getting bigger and stronger. Its entire
emphasis is on developing a certain "vogue" look: people train for the sole and exclusive purpose of looking "buff", "pumped", "sculpted", "toned" and "cut". Everything they do is designed to gain peer approval. Nothing is designed to build the things that really count - the tendons, the ligaments, the skeletal structure, and the all-important but non-showy muscle groups that are the true keys to strength and power (such as the spinal erectors). Appearance is everything, function is nothing.
Modern day trainees base their training almost exclusively on public opinion. They forget that in weight training, as in everything else, public opinion is never to be trusted. Sir Robert Peel said it best: "Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy and newspaper paragraphs." Those words describe perfectly the training information available to modern trainees.
THE DINOSAUR ALTERNATIVE
Fortunately, there IS an alternative to the mixed up mess of modern weight training. I call it "the dinosaur alternative." I chose that name after a friend, whose training ideas parallel my own, referred to the two of us as "dinosaurs." He was right - that's exactly what we are. To the modern denizens of the chrome and fern pleasure palaces - to the little boys with the "buff and "sculpted" sun-tanned bodies that lack the power to squat with bodyweight for even one rep - to the arm-chair theorizers with their "modern" training systems - we are doubtless so old fashioned as to be objects of scorn and derision.
THE DINOSAUR CHALLENGE
That's perfectly fine. When all of the "modern" trainees can lie down on a flat bench and push a 400 pound barbell with a three inch bar from chest to arms length - and do it without a bench shirt, wrist wraps or drugs - then I'll worry about being old fashioned. When everyone in the chrome and fern crowd can do a strict curl with 160 pounds with that same three inch bar, then I'll think about going to chrome and fern land. When the buffers, pumpers, shapers, sculptors and toners can handle 250 pounds in the seated press with a three inch bar, 300 pounds in the two finger deadlift with a 2 1/2" bar and 500 pounds in the parallel squat (starting from the bottom, with the thighs parallel to the floor, with no super suit and no wraps), then I'll look into this "modern" training stuff. When the arm-chair brigade can walk 200 feel holding two 180 pound "steel suitcases" (one in each hand), clean and press a 220 pound sandbag or lift a 270 pound barrel to the shoulder, then I'll stop reading courses, books and magazines from the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's, and check out the latest "modern" ideas. But until then, I'm happy to be a living fossil.
MANY WAYS TO BE A DINOSAUR
The rest of this book will detail the ins and outs of dinosaur training. However, let me make one thing perfectly clear. Dinosaur training is shorthand for the type of training I prefer to do in my basement gym. It is NOT a special system of training, the latest breakthrough, or the only way to train hard, heavy, seriously and productively. Anyone who trains hard and heavy on a regular basis is doing dinosaur training as I use the term.
Suppose you choose to do heavy, high rep squats to failure followed by heavy high rep stiff legged deadlifts, followed by heavy-medium rep bench presses, followed by heavy medium rep pulldowns followed by heavy high rep shrugs - a typical program for a devotee of "high intensity training." Are you training like a dinosaur? Sure!
Suppose you do heavy power cleans for multiple sets of low reps. Are you training like a dinosaur? Sure!
Suppose you follow one of Bradley J. Steiner's basic three day a week total body training programs. Are you training like a dinosaur? Sure!
Suppose you follow the breathing squat program outlined by Dr. Strossen in SUPER SQUATS. Are you training like a dinosaur? Sure!
I use the term dinosaur training primarily to distinguish the way SERIOUS guys train from the nonsense that passes for training at most gyms and weight rooms around the world. There is no "one way" to train productively. There is no "one way" to train hard. There is no "one way" to be a dinosaur.
The way I look at it, there are dinosaurs and there is the rest of the world. If one dinosaur does heavy singles in his training and another does high rep sets with heavy poundages, that's fine. The two men have far more in common with one another than either has in common with the nattily attired, Evian water sipping yuppies at the local "spa."
The common denominator for all guys who are serious about their training is very simple: THEY TRAIN HARD! They may use different equipment, do different exercises, use different set/rep schemes and so on, but the bottom line is always the same: HARD WORK!
If you need to fit dinosaur training into a simple formula, do this: label it as ?GOOD OLD FASHIONED HARD WORK." Period.
BACK TO OUR ROOTS
Dinosaur training is basic training the way it used to be done before steroids, arm-chair theorizers and commercial interests got things off track- It is like General Patton's philosophy of war: "simple, direct and brutal." It is rugged, it is tough, and it is demanding. It also is incredibly result-producing. Dinosaur training will be very familiar to some readers, particularly those who are well versed in Iron Game history. It is not "modern" and it is not new. However, there are many aspects of dinosaur training that run the risk of being lost forever in the face of all the glitz and glamour systems publicized and followed by modern lifters. Some aspects of dinosaur training already have been lost or nearly lost, and that makes the job of pulling things back together enormously difficult. As Goethe said. "Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again."
Dinosaur training involves several inter-related principles. Fundamentally, it is a system of strength training. STRENGTH IS EVERYTHING IN DINOSAUR TRAINING. To be a dinosaur, you must literally become obsessed with the idea of adding more and more weight to the bar in every exercise you do. You must revel in the battle against heavier and heavier poundages. You must view the acquisition of raw, pulverizing power and brutal strength as your most important physical goal.
Dinosaurs believe that strength is developed by working with barbells, dumbbells, bags, beams and barrels. Forget about all of the pretty chrome plated machines at the local spa. They weren't necessary 50 years ago and they are not necessary today. More importantly, they are counterproductive.
Dinosaurs train incredibly hard. Many follow the "high intensity" training
approach espoused by Dr. Ken Leistner and others. Some follow the time-tested and time-honored breathing squat program popularized by Hise, Berry, Rader, McCallum and more recently by Dr. Strossen in SUPER SQUATS. Others use multiple sets of low reps with heavy, heavy poundages. What all dinosaurs have in common is this: they squeeze every last drop of effort out of their bodies on every heavy set they do. They work so hard that to work harder would be impossible. They drive themselves far beyond the outer limits of mere effort. Their training sessions are barbaric, brutal, and homeric.
Some dinosaurs train so heavy that they use single reps in their training. That's right - they regularly and consistently, week after week, without any "conditioning" programs, "peaking" cycles or "periodization" use weights so heavy they can only do one rep. Hardly anyone trains that way anymore because the research scientists have "conclusively established," that single reps do not build size or strength. Besides, none of the modern-day "champions" do singles! But wail a minute. Forget about the pencil neck with the slide rule, the pie-charts and the eight week study of half a dozen college freshmen. Forget about the "champion" who owes his size to a pill bottle and a hypodermic needle. Go back to our roots. Look at how guys did it before the days of steroids, science and bull crap. They did singles! There was a time - and it wasn't all that long ago, and it was well documented by contemporaneous accounts - when the biggest and strongest men in the world did lots and lots of heavy singles in their training. How can the trainee of the 90's discount a training system that - a mere 50 or 60 years ago - produced scores of drug free supermen?
Dinosaurs train without wrist wraps, elbow wraps, knee wraps, super suits or bench shirts. Why? Because this type of "support gear" is intended to REMOVE stress from the joints and muscles you are trying to exercise. Our goal as dinosaurs is to impose as much stress as possible on our bodies. The body responds to stress by growing bigger and stronger. Why sabotage your training efforts by using artificial aids that make your training EASIER when your goal should be to make your training HARDER?
Dinosaurs make their exercises more difficult - and more productive - by training with thick handled barbells and dumbbells. A dinosaur will do all of his presses, curls, bench presses and grip/wrist/forearm work with thick handled barbells or dumbbells. He will use bars that are at least two full inches in diameter, and include even thicker bars for many movements?2 1/2" or even 3" diameter bars. An advanced dinosaur will develop the ability to do CURLS with a thick handled bar that most men could not even lift off the ground.
Dinosaurs believe in plenty of specialized work for the forearms, wrist and grip. And I'm not talking about a few high rep sets of wrist curls with a weight so light my grandmother would sneer at the bar! I'm not talking about rolling a piece of newspaper into a ball and squeezing it for ten seconds (an "exercise" touted in a recent publication for toners). I'm talking about RUGGED stuff - pinch gripping, two finger deadlifts, two finger chins, one linger lifts, thick bar deadlifts, thick bar power cleans, thick bar curls, thick bar reverse curls, vertical bar lifts, one arm deadlifts. bag and barrel lifting, sledge hammer stunts, nail bending and the farmer's walk. You can recognize a dinosaur by his forearms, wrists and hands - they are thick and hard. The hands of a dinosaur bear no resemblance whatsoever to the baby-soil hands of a "toner," a "shaper" or a "pumper."
Dinosaurs use the power rack to train their squats and bench presses from the bottom position. Normally, you start a squat or bench press from the top position and lower the bar to the bottom position. A much more demanding way to perform these movements is to begin from the bottom. In the bench press, a dinosaur begins with the bar resting on pins set so it brushes against the lifter's chest. From this position, the dinosaur drives the bar up and back to arm's length overhead. In the squat, a dinosaur carefully wedges himself under the bar (which rests on pins set at parallel or slightly above) and then drives up to the standing position. It is much, much more difficult to do your squats and benches in this fashion - which is precisely why dinosaurs do them this way.
Dinosaurs like to lift heavy, awkward objects ? logs, barrels and heavy sand bags. Anvils are also great. Any big slab of stone - any enormous log - any heavy steel barrel - any heavy bag of sand or lead shot will be a dinosaur's delight. Why? Because lifting heavy, awkward objects builds muscle in ways that barbells cannot duplicate. If you don't believe this. take the strongest guy you know and see how he does at cleaning and pressing a 150 pound water filled barrel, or a 200 pound bag of sand. Ask him to shoulder a 200 pound barrel or a 250 pound bag of sand. Both of you will be astonished at how quickly and thoroughly a heavy bag or barrel can humble even a strong man.
Dinosaurs are very aggressive when they train. They battle the weights. They don't merely lift the bar. they murder it inch by inch. They view training as personal combat. "Me against the bar. No quarter asked, and none given." The rest of the world can combine their exercising with socializing, political debate, idle gossip, chit-chat, shooting the breeze, and trying to score with members of the opposite sex. Thai doesn't bother a dinosaur. Dinosaurs intuitively understand that the gym is the place for one thing and one thing only: ferocious, brutal, back-breaking, mind-numbing savage training.
Most dinosaurs train in home gyms. They are "cellar-dwellers" (or "garage gorillas") and proud of it. The idiocy of the modern gym scene is sheer torture for them. The modern mess causes them deep and unrelenting torment. They MUST stay away from the nonsense and the silliness or it will destroy them. They have to retreat to their subterranean hideaways and escape the madness of the modern muscle scene. But don't let any of that fool you. Contrary to what the gym chains would have you believe, the strongest people who train with weights are the ones who train in basic, almost primitive home training quarters. The average results of the cellar-dwellers arc so far ahead of the average results of the chrome and fern denizens that a comparison would be laughable. Don't think a dinosaur is a weakling because he trains at home ? he might very well surprise you.
Dinosaurs don't follow the crowd. Period. Little boys need peer approval. Little boys need a constant barrage of ego pumping from Madison Avenue. Little boys need constant reassurance that they are "doing it right." Modern trainees cannot do anything unless they do it with the rest of the crowd.
Dinosaurs do it with iron, sweat, blood, toil, and grim determination. It takes character, conviction, courage and strength of mind to lift heavy weights on a regular, sustained basis over a period of years. It takes the same qualities to turn your back on the type of training that everyone else does and train like a dinosaur. Dinosaurs don't NEED peer approval. If they seek any sort of approval, it is the approval they would receive from the MASTERS of the Iron Game if they were present at the dinosaur's training session: Harold Ansorge, Thomas Inch, Apollon, Arthur Saxon, John Y. Smith, Herman Goerner, Louis Cyr, Doug Hepburn, Bob Peoples, William Boone, George Hackenschmidt, Peary Rader, Joe Hise, John McCallum, John Davis, Norb Schemansky and dozens of others too numerous to mention.
Dinosaurs compete with the greats of the past. A dinosaur can tell you exactly how
HIS squat compares to that of Milo Steinborn, exactly how HIS bench press compares to that of John Davis and exactly how HIS one arm deadlift compares to that of Thomas Inch.
In short, dinosaurs have the courage - and it DOES take courage - to say "no" to all of the modern bull crap that passes for training advice in today's computerized, televised, homogenized and lobotomized society.
DARE TO JOIN US
Dinosaurs do not fit into the world of modern weight training. We are fossils - relics from a bygone era. The glitz and glitter of the modern muscle scene is not for us. The politics (on stage and off stage, board room and bed room) that control bodybuilding contests hold no interest whatsoever for us. Drug bloated "champions" do nothing for us. We turn our backs on the modern mess. We go back to an earlier era - and a better one - an age when men had honest muscles, honestly developed. We leave the rest of the world to continue its insanity. We realize that our numbers are few, that our numbers will always be few, that very few kindred spirits will ever join us and that we can never be more than an island of sanity in a sea of nonsense. We are the dinosaurs. Dare to join our ranks.
There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world:
and that is an idea whose time has come.
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.
~Sir Winston Churchill
CHAPTER TWO: PRODUCTIVE TRAINING
The knowledge of one's strength entails
a real mastery over oneself; it breeds energy and courage,
helps one over the most difficult tasks of life,
and procures contentment and true enjoyment of living.
Every person who engages in serious weight training should produce substantial increases in muscular size and strength. Weight training WORKS. It works for everyone. It works for me, it works for my training partners, it works for athletes seeking an edge in their chosen sport, it works for this year's Mr. Everything, it works for the latest powerlifting superstar and it will work for YOU.
If you lift weights in a serious manner you should EXPECT to get bigger and stronger. You should expect to achieve noticeable results quickly. You may not build 18" upper arms or develop the ability to squat 500 pounds and bench press 400 pounds overnight, but you should expect to be markedly bigger and stronger after your first year of serious training.
The problem is, most people produce little or nothing in the way of results from their training. Think about it for a second. How many people do you know who STARTED a weight training program but GAVE UP in a matter of weeks or months? How many people do you know who have trained for years without showing much in the way of results? How many people do you know who ever get beyond intermediate status? How many people who have trained for years are still hovering at a one rep max of 200 or 225 pounds in the bench press, the same poundage in the squat and only a little bit more in the deadlift (IF they squat and deadlift, which few people dare to do)?
Since the majority of people who lift weights achieve little or nothing in the way of results, people have come to believe that weight training does not work. As a variation of this theme, many people believe that weight training only works for a small percentage of "genetically gifted" individuals. Others believe that weight training only works for those who take anabolic steroids.
Anyone who tells you that weight training does not work - or that it only works for genetic supermen - or that it only works for those who take steroids - is WRONG.
WEIGHT TRAINING WORKS! IT WORKS FOR ANY ABLE-BODIED PERSON. You do not need to be some sort of genetic freak to produce results from weight training. Nor do you have to guzzle one anabolic concoction after another or pepper your butt with needle marks to assure a constant stream of chemicals coursing through your blood stream.
All you have to do is train PROPERLY. And that, my friend, brings us to the critical question of the day:
WHAT IS PROPER TRAINING?
I wish I could give you a training program and a simple set of guidelines and tell you that you had everything you needed to know to train properly. But I cannot. There is no single "best" way to train. There is no "best" program. There is no "best" set of training principles. There is no simple answer to the question of what constitutes proper training.
There are many variations of sensible, productive weight training. ALL of them build muscle and strength. ALL of them produce results. No one system of training is better than all of the other systems. However, proper training always involves common elements. These are hard work, abbreviated training programs, progression, good form, and motivation. These five elements are critical to the success of any training program you ever undertake.
Let me give a real life example of how different training philosophies can produce good results as long as the five critical elements are part of the program. Dr. Ken Leistner owns and operates THE IRON ISLAND GYM in New York City. This is one of the finest gyms in the world?possibly THE finest gym in the world. Dr. Leistner is one of the best known, most highly regarded coaches in the business. He has been VERY influential in the growth of powerlifting, working as a judge and administrator for several of the governing bodies in the sport. He is a regular contributor to POWERLIFTING USA, MILO, and many other publications. He wrote and published THE STEEL TIP for three years in the mid 80's - and many who know the Iron Game inside-out believe that THE STEEL TIP was one of the very best training publications of all time. His knowledge of the Iron Game and his insights into productive weight training literally dwarf those of other so-called "experts."
And Dr. Leistner produces RESULTS - real results in the men and women he coaches. Results like state, regional and national championships in powerlifting...state, regional, national and world records in powerlifting...team championships...men who bench 400 pounds for REPS...men who squat and deadlift 500 pounds for REPS ... athletes who win all-state, all-conference, and all-American honors.
Now here's the interesting part. There are some areas where Dr. Leistner and I are in complete agreement with regard to our respective training philosophies. We both believe in hard work. We both believe in short, brief training sessions. We both believe that food supplements are vastly over-rated. We both believe you can make excellent gains without steroids. We both believe that mental toughness is critical to a lifter's success. We both believe that thick handled barbells and dumbbells are an important aspect of a serious training program?that heavy grip work is mandatory for all serious lifters? and that you can build incredible levels of strength and development by combining weight training exercises with the lifting of heavy, awkward, hard-to-manage objects such as beams, barrels, logs, sandbags or anvils.
But our respective approaches to heavy training also differ in some respects. For many exercises, Dr. Leistner prefers doing one incredibly hard set to absolute muscular exhaustion with as much weight as possible on the bar. Thus, his lifters may do one or two warmup sets in the squat and then grind out a twenty rep "death set" with 400 pounds on the bar. The squats may be followed immediately by a set of high rep stiff legged deadlifts - say 15 or 20 reps with 330 to 350 pounds. The rest of the workout may consist of something like a single set apiece of bench presses, pulldowns, presses, shrugs, standing curls with a thick handled barbell, and a couple of heavy sets of grip work. A well-conditioned and highly motivated athlete may be able to finish the entire program in 20 to 30 minutes - after which he will lie on the floor in a pool of sweat for many, many minutes. And the lifter may very well lose his lunch halfway through the training session. (Dr. Leistner stocks his gym with strategically located "puke buckets.")
I prefer to do two or three exercises (other than grip or ab work) in any particular session, and I train each exercise for several sets of low reps. I usually do singles on all of my exercises - even the warmups. I start light and add weight on each set, working up to my top poundage for the day. I train very hard, but I don't train as hard as the guys at THE IRON ISLAND GYM. I sometimes hit the ground after a heavy set, but I usually stay down only a couple of minutes - and although keeping lunch down is sometimes a problem, I haven't had to invest in a bucket.
Does my approach work? It sure does. Lifting in the Submaster's division (ages 33-40), I have won five national championships in the bench press in drug free powerlifting organizations, have set state, regional, national and American records in the bench press, and in one organization, set several world records in the bench press.
My training partners, Bruce Bullock and Ted Solinger, have gained enormously from heavy poundage, low rep work, and heavy singles. Bruce went from 195 to 265 in three years and Ted went from 145 to 195 in about two and a half years. Before they started training under my guidance, they were barely able to handle 95 pounds in the squat for five reps and one rep in the bench press! Ted is approaching a 300 pound bench press and a 400 pound squat - weights three or four times what he used to be able to handle. Bruce has moved his squat to over 450 pounds and his 3" bar bench press (starting from the chest) is up to 325. He also has moved his deadlift from 15 timid, tentative reps with 55 pounds to a single with 585 pounds. He can shoulder a 270 pound barrel - an object THREE times as heavy as his former poundage in the squat or deadlift.
So whose training philosophy is better? Who knows? Who cares? My approach works very well for me, and Dr. Leistner's approach works very well for him. Both approaches work because they emphasize the essential elements of productive weight training: hard work, abbreviated training, progression, good form and motivation.
OTHER PRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS
Many other productive training systems have been implemented, taught and coached over the years. Peary Rader, the founder of IRON MAN magazine and its editor and publisher for 50 years, taught a remarkably productive training system based primarily on one exercise: the heavy, twenty-rep squat. John McCallum, who many regard as the best author ever in the Iron Game, advocated a similar approach for anyone who needed to pile on some serious muscle as quickly as possible. Dr. Randall J. Strossen, the editor and publisher of MILO, continues their tradition in his terrific book, SUPER SQUATS. Many who have tried the high rep squat have made incredible gains in a short period of time. The "breathing squat" system is different from my training approach, and different from Dr. Leistner's approach, but nevertheless remarkably effective.
One of the leading authors in the Iron Game for the last 30 years, Bradley J. Steiner, advocates a training approach quite similar to mine. In fact, I grew up devouring Steiner's books and articles, and in many ways regard him as the most important and influential instructor I ever had. Nevertheless, my current training ideas are not exactly the same as Steiner's ideas. And Steiner's ideas are in some respects different from those of Dr. Leistner, different from those of Rader, different from those of McCallum and different from those of Dr. Strossen. Nevertheless, Steiner's ideas WORK. This goes to show that no one system of training is the ONLY way to do it.
WHY DID I WRITE THIS BOOK?
If that's the case, then why did I write this book?
I wrote this book because the percentage of weight trainers who know how to get real results from their training is still - despite the efforts of Leistner, Rader, McCallum, Strossen, Steiner and others - ridiculously, pitifully and absurdly small. It is an uphill fight - a never ending battle - to spread the word about productive training. If this book helps only one man in the entire world to learn what productive training is all about, then writing it will have been a worthwhile endeavor.
I also wrote this book because the training system that I have developed over the years is in some respects unique and different from much of what you have seen or read about elsewhere. There are many things in this book that will be new and exciting to you - whoever you are, and however long you have been training.
I have presented my training ideas as a unified system. This is because I approach training as an integrated whole - everything fits in with everything else. Exercise selection, style of performance, form, technique, sets, reps, training pace, intensity, poundages, progression, exercise schedules, rest, recuperation - they all tie together. If I altered any of the elements of my training system, the results would be reduced significantly.
ONE MORE TIME
I do not mean to imply that my approach to training is the ONLY way to train, the BEST way to train, or that it is BETTER than other training systems. What I am offering you is ONE VARIATION OF PRODUCTIVE TRAINING - a very productive, very unique approach to sensible training, but NOT something that is packaged as "the last word," "the final solution," or "the only way to train."
What if you disagree with one of the basic elements of my training philosophy? What if, for example, you prefer to do one hard, heavy set of high rep squats instead of the multiple sets of low reps that I prefer? NO PROBLEM!
TAKE THE ELEMENTS OF MY TRAINING SYSTEM THAT APPEAL TO YOU AND INTEGRATE THEM INTO YOUR OWN TRAINING. Take sandbags, for examples, I LOVE to lift heavy sandbags, I find that sandbag lifting builds a type of rugged, total body strength that is impossible to duplicate with other equipment. Your training approach may be radically different from mine in many ways, but if you give the sandbags a try, adapting their use to your own set/rep preferences, you may find that you too love the things! If you do, then you will have gained at least one thing of value from this book - regardless of whether you disagree with 90% of the rest of its contents.
Remember, there are no secret systems, no magic answers and no one way of doing things. Strength training is an art, not a science. We are not dealing with mathematical formulas or chemical equations. We are dealing with human beings, flesh and blood, passion and prejudice, pride and emotion. What you have in this book is a tremendously productive training system. It is NOT the only way to train. No one can offer you "the only way to train." Read, absorb, think, try, experience, evaluate and DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.
Good luck, and good reading!
One cannot leap a chasm in two jumps.
~Sir Winston Churchill
CHAPTER THREE: AN OUTLINE OF DINOSAUR TRAINING
.... nobody wants to grow.
~Johann W. von Goethe
It isn't that they can't see the solution.
It is that they can't see the problem.
There are many different ways to become exceptionally strong. This book details the type of strength training that I enjoy the most and that has proven, over time, to be the most productive way for me to train. I call this system "dinosaur training." A friend, whose training ideas parallel my own, once referred to the two of us as "dinosaurs." He called us dinosaurs because our training contains many elements taken from the training programs of old time lifters and turn of the century strongmen. Neither of us has any interest in the latest fads or modern miracle systems. We prefer the old fashioned approach.
Dinosaur training is an integrated, unified system of physical training that
incorporates twelve core elements. Those twelve elements are not unique to dinosaur training. However, the particular way in which they are linked together in dinosaur training has not been presented in any articles, courses or books with which I am familiar - and believe me, over the past 30 years or so, I have seen most of what has been written about the Iron Game.
This chapter will summarize, in an abbreviated format, the twelve core elements of dinosaur training. Subsequent chapters will examine each of the twelve core elements in greater detail.
ELEMENT NO. ONE: HARD WORK
The first and most important element of dinosaur training is HARD WORK. Nothing you read in this or any other book is going to do you a bit of good unless you have the courage, determination and tenacity to train HARD. You can go to the very best gym in the world, use the best equipment available, have the most enthusiastic and supportive of training partners, hire the world's foremost training authority as your personal trainer, follow the most perfect diet ever designed, take all of the leading supplements, and use the best training program ever devised - and it won't do anything for you unless you train HARD. Conversely, you can train in your basement or garage - or train outside - with nothing more than a couple of heavy sandbags or a heavy barrel to lift, and make enormous progress - IF YOU TRAIN HARD.
Lei me give you an example of what I mean by hard work. We' It take the example from a real-life training session, on September 2S. 1995. My training partners and I did four progressively heavier singles in the bench press, using a three inch bar to make the exercise more demanding. We did all of the bench presses for singles. We did each lift in the power rack, starting with the bar resting on pins set so that the bar brushed our chests as we got into position. Why did we do the exercise in this fashion? Because starting from the bottom makes the movement much harder! I worked up to 400 pounds for my final lift.
Next, we did bench press lockouts in the power rack, again using the three inch bar. We each did five singles with a top poundage. I used 475. We had just started to work the lockouts into our program, so we were building up the weight. I had used 465 the previous week, and planned to work up to 500 or more pounds in short order. (I topped out at 565 six weeks later.)
Were any of these lifts easy? No. Was the 400 pound full range movement easy? No. Were the lockouts with 475 easy? No. Each required deep, focused concentration, grit and grim determination. Even though we were not "training to failure," as one would do with a set of multiple reps, we were working very, very hard. Each time we got under the bar it was a challenge. Each rep we made was a battle. Every time our arms reached the fully extended position with that enormous three inch bar balanced precariously across our palms, it was a victory.
But the bench work was nothing compared to what followed.
My training partners had purchased a great new toy for me to celebrate a recent birthday a 15 1/2 gallon beer keg! No, it wasn't full of beer. It was empty. We filled it with water. Used some bathroom scales to check the weight. Got it up to around 165 pounds.
To finish our workout, we took the barrel to the garage driveway in back of my house and tried some clean and presses. Now, I know what you're thinking - that a measly little 165 pound barrel wouldn?t be much of a challenge to a man who just benched 400 pounds with a three inch bar. But you're forgetting that the barrel was not completely filled. The water MOVES as you try to lift it. The barrel actually rotates in your hands as the water shirts and churns. This is NOT the same as lifting a 165 pound