It Came From the '90s: Brooks D. Kubik's Dinosaur Training

Build Massive Arm Size and Strength with this Singles-Oriented Dinosaur Program

The great Bill Pearl demonstrates just the kind of mass that is built with classic, basic "Dinosaur-style" training.

     It really doesn't seem that long ago.  The '90s, though seemingly in a distant past for many younger lifters these days, seems as if it was just yesterday for me.
     In the late '80s, early '90s, I got serious about weight training, and I spent the first seven years of the decade, or so, performing bodybuilding workouts.
     I was a bodybuilding addict.  I tried almost every form of bodybuilding training under the sun, while also attempting a hell of a lot of different diets and supplements.  (Supplements, for the most part, didn't get "advanced" until the early '00s—when creatine came on the scene mid '90s, it was absolutely revelatory, and it relegated all other supplements to sub-par status.)  (Some of those other forms of training and dieting, I've already mentioned in other "It Came from the '90s" posts, so please pilfer through this blog if you're interested in them.)
     But in the late '90s—1997, to be precise—it all shifted for me.  I began training at a hole-in-the-wall, hardcore, chalk-slinging "lifters" gym in backwoods Mississippi, where my wife and I had just moved due to her job relocation.  (I made most of my money at the time from training others, and from writing, so it mattered not where, geographically, I lived.)  At this new gym, I had no intention of ever doing anything other than bodybuilding, but the gods of power-building, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and strongman training saw my Fate as something other than that—and from seemingly nowhere was bestowed upon me the desire—and, soon, the knowledge—to move some seriously heavy iron, with physique aesthetics soon a distant memory.
     The gym had very little other than heavy barbells and dumbbells (it had a pair of 180-pound "homemade" dumbbells that I was dead-set on benching for at least a triple), paired with more than a few lifting platforms and heavy-duty squat racks.
     The lifting gods were kind in their quick grace—a veteran lifter handed me a copy of Brooks D. Kubik's "Dinosaur Training: The Lost Secrets of Strength and Development", published just a year before in 1996, and a binder full of "Westside Barbell" articles photocopied from magazines, and printed off the internet.  (The internet was in its infancy.  I didn't even have access to the internet at the time, and, in a few months, when I finally did, everything was slow as hell—it was all "dial-up.")
     I hardly ever looked back.  Although I "played around" with bodybuilding training off-and-on, and continued to write some bodybuilding articles, I have, more or less, been a serious strength trainer ever since.  I competed in multiple powerlifting meets for the next 10 years or so, and published more articles than ever before due to my "innovative" strength articles, which were really nothing more than re-hashed stuff from old-time lifters, bodybuilders, power-builders, and strongmen.

Enter the Dinosaur
     As the years went by, I achieved the most results by using "hybrid" Westside workouts, and, eventually, Russian-style programs that I found to be hands-down the best for elite, and advanced, lifters.
     But for the first two or three years, until around 1999, I built all of my base strength and power with programs decidedly similar to, and inspired by, those found within the pages of "Dinosaur Training."  This training is the best "style" for the vast majority of beginning and intermediate lifters.  In fact, if you're not going to use Bill Starr's basic programs, then you can't go wrong using one of Kubik's basic-as-hell, but also tough-as-nails programs.
     Actually, there are quite a few programs that fit under the guise of "Dinosaur Training", but one of my favorite programs of his is the "Dinosaur Arm Training" that was first featured in the May, 1998 issue of IronMan Magazine.
     Use as written, and I can guarantee bigger, thicker, stronger, and more dense arm muscles as a result.
C.S. does some farmer's walks—one of the mainstays of all of Brooks Kubik's Dinosaur Training programs.

Dinosaur Arm Training Program
     Here is Kubik's advice, in his own words, from the pages of IronMan:
     "Unless otherwise indicated, do three progressively heavier warmup sets, followed by three work sets with your top weight.  Train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday."

Day One
Aerobic warmup x5-10 minutes
Parallel Squats  6x5
Bench Presses  6x5
Lat Pulldowns or
   Weighted Chins  6x5
Bottom-Position Close-Grip Bench Presses  6x5*
Sandbag or Thick-Bar Curls  6x5

Day Two
Aerobic warmup x5-10 minutes
Bottom-Position Close-Grip Bench Presses  5-6x1*
Thick-Bar Curls  5-6x1
Sandbag or Barbell Overhead Presses  5x failure
Sandbag or Thick-Bar Curls  5x failure
Hang from Chinning Bar  1x failure

Day Three
Aerobic warmup x5-10 minutes
Deadlifts, Stiff-Leg Deadlifts, Partial Deadlifts,    Dumbbell Deadlifts, or Power Cleans  6x5
Incline Dumbbell Presses, Flat Bench Thick-Bar    Presses, Flat Bench Dumbbell Presses, or Dips  6x5
Hammer Curls  6x5**
Bench Press Lockouts  6x5*
Farmer's Walk  1-2x failure
  or Sandbag Walk  2-3x failure
C.S. lifts over 500 pounds—and the pain shows!

*Performed with a thick-bar in a power rack.

**Preferrably using thick-handled dumbbbells.

"Dinosaur Training: The Secrets to Building Jurassic Size and Strength," by Brooks D. Kubik.  May, 1998 issue of IronMan Magazine


  1. CS-

    Since my last update I have gone back to daily squatting. I was feeling sore and didn't feel like heavy front squatting (w/belt & wraps), so I turned to Integral Strength. Bottom Position I tried bottom position front squats for the first time yesterday: WOW.

    First off, much harder but I can absolutely see the benefit in these. Also despite working up to a reasonable single they dont seem to tax my recovery as much. Long story short im throwing these in every week. Both front and back....sorry I waited so long.

    Thanks. You are by far my favorite (strength-training) writer

    Btw i feel guilty clogging up these talkbacks let me know if I should email

    1. Bottom position squats will really hit the nail in the head especially if you are planning to do "light" squats, well lol they won't really be light for BPS! I love em and I love Sloan! Thanks for the great articles all these years man!

  2. Jason,

    One of the best "side effects" of bottom-position squats seems to be the ability to recover quickly from a session. Now, I must add that one of the "catch-22s" of BPS is that they CAN be harder on your lower back, IF you have any lower back issues.

    Alternating between them and conventional squats - either front or back - seems as if it's the best option, even though, as an experiment, I once prepared for a powerlifitng meet doing nothing but BPS, and managed about a 100-pound carryover.

    Clog up the comments all you want. I get TONS of emails - personal, business, blog-related - and I'm not good at responding on a regular basis. We love the love here at Integral Strength!

  3. the important thing to note is that in most of the health and fitness advertisements you will notice there is very little that is said in terms of strength gain.
    It is also very vital in terms of being healthy.
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