Here’s the cover of the September 1954 issue featuring Reg and the very glamorous Shirley Eaton. If you don’t immediately recognize the name, she was the gal famously painted gold from head to toe in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.
When you’re talking about the greatest bodybuilders who
ever lived, Reg Park is right at the top of everyone’s list.
Reg won the Mr. Universe contest three times (nearly a
4th) but his muscles weren’t just for show – with a
behind-the-neck press of 300 pounds and a squat of
over 600 pounds, Reg was not just one of the strongest
bodybuilders of all time but one of the strongest men
of all time too!
You would think that Reg would have
some “top secret” training methods
that helped him build such
incredible size and strength…
Actually: Reg built his
strength with nothing
more than a handful of
basic exercises and a
lot of hard work.
Still, it’s always
a good thing to
have a look at
how a Champion
What exercises does
he like to use?
…or not use?
…how many sets?
…how often does he train?
…what about the “mental” side of training?
Fortunately for us, Reg Park has, in fact, answered all these questions (and many more) in writing… Now you can learn directly from the man himself through a training course which Reg wrote way back in 1960 and which is now available in high-quality modern reprint format:
Weight Lifters & Body Builders
This basic, no-nonsense training guide cuts through all the fluff and gives you only the essentials for getting results. Strength & Bulk Training for Weight Lifters and Body Builders was originally published in 1960. The modern reprint edition is faithful to the original, is 8-1/2″ x 11″ in size, 24 pages long and contains some pictures.
Here’s what happened next:
A gym used to be a serious place for serious people, interested in building serious strength, but in modern times its safe to say that gyms have become glorified juice bars — with no shortage of chrome, ferns, and pencil-neck pseudo experts who wave around plastic dumbbells while making sure their designer headbands matched their suede lifting belts.
Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Weight training was slowly but surely being taken over by the druggers … the toners … the bros … the poseurs … the pretty boys … the pencil necks … the whiners … the pump artists …the arm-chair experts …and the mirror athletes. (no doubt you’ve seen them all, and this makes you just as sick.)
This man had enough – Enough! His name was Brooks Kubik, and what happened next started a revolution throughout the entire world of strength.
…So Brooks began to write. While Brooks had authored articles in several different publications over the years
(including Milo, Hard Gainer, Iron Master and Iron Man) the words that were now issuing forth on his type writer were somehow different than ever before.
He wrote about the training that had worked for him, how he trained in high school, how he trained in college, how he trained to win multiple National Championships in Bench Press Powerlifting meets, and how his favorite oldtime strongmen used to train…
Brooks had originally planned to type out a fifty or so page manuscript and possibly sell (though more likely give it away) to the few people out in the world he thought might be interested in it. Brooks reached fifty pages after only a few short days of writing, and there was still more material he wanted to cover — a lot more.
Fifty pages turned into a hundred, a hundred pages turned into two hundred. and it didn’t stop there. With the encouragement of several the top people in the strength world, the finished product was titled Dinosaur Training since it was covered training techniques that were almost (but not quite!) extinct.
Dinosaur Training covered the methods that the strongest men who had ever lived had utilized — sure, with traditional weights such as barbells and, but also highly unusual implements such as sandbags, kegs, rocks, anvils, sledge hammers and more. Brooks Kubik went ahead and published Dinosaur Training, releasing it on an unsuspecting world…
It was as if the ghosts of Iron Game’s past were suddenly brought back to life… men like Arthur Saxon, John Davis, Reg Park George Hackenschmidt and Steve Stanko became household names again
All of a sudden people started attacked their training with a ferocity that hadn’t been seen for many years. Calloused hands started lifting odd objects again – sand bags, kegs, rocks, anvils, anchors. Training methods such as thick handled weights, heavy partial movements and power rack work all experienced a resurgence in popularity. Suddenly it became OK to lift heavy chunks of iron and steel once again.
Less than eighteen months after it appeared, the entire first printing of Dinosaur Training sold out completely … College and NFL strength coaches began reading it and incorporating Old School training techniques into their programs … Everyone started setting up personal gyms in their basements and garages, stocking them with plenty of “old fashioned” equipment that worked better than anything else available.
This wasn’t just a local thing either; orders started flooding in from all over the globe. The strength world had come full circle… once again, people were training like they did in years past — AND building strength like they did in years past.
When it came time for the second printing, Dinosaur Training became even bigger …literally – Brooks added two additional chapters of intense training material. Today, over twenty years after its initial release, Dinosaur Training still stands as one of the all-time great strength books. You would be hard pressed to find a weight training book which has helped more people get the fire back in their belly (or get it going in the first place) when it comes to serious training.
With the treasure trove of solid training information that it contains, it is no wonder that Dinosaur Training and the Dino-Attitude has reached such great heights of popularity. Now you can read and learn from one of the best training books ever published …the book that started a Revolution.
Take a look at all the valuable training information what you will learn within its pages:
The tremendous value of basic exercises …the exercises that MUST be in your program …and which exercises to avoid at all costs (since they are nothing but a waste of your time)
The biggest reason why most of what you read about modern training is unproductive, and THREE simple things you can do turn the ship around if that’s the direction you were headed
What is the Dinosaur challenge? …are you up to it?
7 ways to “Be A Dinosaur” and how to crank the intensity of your workout up a notch or three
The ONE characteristic that all Dinosaurs have in common – find out what it is
3 steps that will make your training more productive – instantly
The #1 reason why most people give up and how you can avoid that like the plague
Think you know the “Best” program?… you’ll be surprised at Brooks’ answer to this one
Brooks Kubik’s favorite strength writers and training tips from the last 100+ years
What an outline of productive training looks like and how to put together your workouts so it’s guaranteed to work
How to train with a water filled barrel or keg, and how that training style nearly put Brooks down for the count
Why hard work is necessary, and how to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout
The 5 reasons people fail according to Dr. Ken Leistner… – probably the most valuable lesson strength training can teach you
What hard work is and is not
2 types of abbreviated training styles that you can use for big gains
The real meaning behind hard work vs. “bunny” training
What the name of the game is… and it’s not what you think
2 approaches to poundage progression, and how to make sure the gains keep coming for a long time
Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced workout routines, laid out step-by-step
Want to know the “secret” of advanced gains? – You’ll be surprised at how simple it really is
How to make progress with multiple sets of low reps
What the 5 x 5 system is, and how Reg Park, Champion strength athlete and bodybuilder, used it to build super strength fifty years ago
How to use “singles” in the most effective manner in your training
Why thick-bars “work” and how to implement them into your workout
How you can make fear work for you instead of against you
10 grip exercises and a dynamite beginners program for future grip masters
6 advanced grip exercises for monster crushing power
How to build real strength with logs, barrels and heavy bags
The many benefits of proper power-rack training
5 hard core power-rack routines
8 fads, fallacies and pitfalls of modern training and how to avoid them all
As you can see, Dinosaur Training covers a lot of ground. Of particular note are three big chapters on grip training which helps anyone lay a solid foundation.
One of the World’s Greatest Teachers
Do you remember the first time you tried to learn something for the first time? Starting out, nothing made sense and you felt like giving up. That’s how it is for a lot of people who want to start lifting weights – they get confused and don’t know what to do – and so they do the only thing they could do, they give up.
Now imagine how confident you felt when someone took the time to explain some things to you. What used to be frustrating, now makes perfect sense and now that you know exactly what to do, it’s off to the races.
That’s exactly how it is when you have Brooks as your teacher. As you turn the pages of Dinosaur Training, all of a sudden all the confusing things about strength training will make sense – you’ll know how many sets to do, you’ll know which exercises to do, you’ll know how much weight to use… and you will begin to build the strength you have always dreamed about.
Get your copy of Dinosaur Training and join the Revolution!
Strength and Health magazine always had good training articles but in the early 1960’s, a strength author by the name of John McCallum began a series entitled “Keys to Progress” …and it took off like wild fire.
It didn’t take long before trainees figured out that when they followed McCallum’s advice, they started getting results… When word got around, the first thing that everyone did when a new issue of Strength and Health arrived in the mailbox was to rip open the envelope and turn to the latest McCallum article to see what was in store that month… and McCallum certainly left no stone unturned. He covered all the important topics (keep reading to see what they were all about.)
McCallum’s articles weren’t just informative, but entertaining as well… and many of them set THE standard for how a strength article should be written. It was through these articles that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people learned how to train (and I’m among them, my story is further on down the page.)
If you happen to have all of the original issues from the 60’s and 70’s which contain all of John McCallum’s “Keys” articles, then you are one very fortunate individual… it is all but impossible to find these issues any more… and even if you could find them (which is highly unlikely) it would cost you a small fortune to get every issue.
You can skip right to the chase and order your copy right now… Other wise, keep reading to find out why “Keys” is a must have… (especially in this day and age!)
Now, you might be wondering… “So why were McCallum’s articles so popular?” …there are several reasons. One of them is his unique “style” of writing. Many of the Keys to Progress articles are more like stories and he’s got a memorable cast of characters:
Among them you’ll find the old gym owner (who bears a striking similarity to John McCallum), a guy who is trying to make the world a stronger place, one bodybuilder at a time…
Then there’s Marvin, a typical ’60s teenager looking to put on some size to impress the girls. (Marvin makes many of the same knucklehead mistakes that just about everyone has, which also puts a few more grey hairs on JM’s head, and the fact that Marvin is also dating his daughter doesn’t help)… There’s Ollie, JM’s best friend and running buddy who he likes to bounce ideas off of… and who could forget good old “Uncle Harry” who puts bodybuilders half his age to shame?
You’ll get to know these folks pretty well, in fact you’ll probably see parts of yourself in them too.
The other factor that makes John McCallum’s articles so effective is the subject matter. Unlike many of today’s strength “authors,” even if it ruffled a few feathers, McCallum was not afraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is… this solid dose of real training was certainly worth it though, an untold number of trainees finally start seeing results by following the workouts and advice in these articles.
McCallum also visited and corresponded with many of the most famous weight men of the time in order to find out the real scoop about how they trained. He learned a great deal from them and wasn’t shy about including his findings in his articles. If you want to know how many of the greats trained — how they REALLY trained — then you’ll find that type information on these pages:
McCallum understood full well that one of the “secrets” to record breaking lifts was through harnessing the power of the human mind… You’ll read tips on fractional relaxation, auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis in his three articles on Concentration (and in several other articles as well)
Building a bigger, stronger neck is important — especially if you play football — McCallum’s “Neck Specialization” article, which you can find starting on page 46, gives you seven basic exercises for filling out your collar
These points are, of course, just some of the items that I find of interest, there are many more that I didn’t mention… there’s a great deal of nutrition information and nearly every article also contains a workout of some kind so if you ever need a good one to try, you can flip to just about any page and find what you need.
One of the keys (pardon the pun) to successful training is having the right kind of information to guide you and keep you on point — with John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” articles in hand, you’ll definitely get (and stay) on the right track.
If you were around when “The Keys to Progress” first hit the scene, this will be a nice trip down memory lane (and probably also serve as a reminder of some important points that may have fallen by the wayside)… but if you’ve never read any of McCallum’s stuff before, then you’re in for a real treat… You’ll enjoy reading them, learn more than you think, and most importantly, if “The Keys to Progress” articles don’t get you fired up to train, then nothing will!
Don’t waste another single second, order your copy right now to get started!
I’ve been using the 5×5 system as my ‘base workout’ for a number of years now.
Whenever things slowed down a bit, I did one (or more) of the following variations.
1.) Reduce the frequency of the workouts. i.e. from 3 times a week to 2, or even
2 workouts one week and just 1 the following week. This was usually enough to spark
2.) Keep the weight the same on the final working 5th set, but focus on adding reps.
When able to add 2 or 3 more reps with that weight, return to 5×5 and continue
with advancing the weight on that last 5th set.
3.) Take a week off and begin a 5,4,3,2,1 rep scheme with the higher weights this
would allow. Start with 3 workouts per week. When progress slows, I would apply
one (or both) of the above strategies, or return to a straight 5×5 program and
go on from there as before.
These very simple adjustments have kept my progress steadily chugging
along. Using this method I accomplished two main goals that I had set a year ago
in hopes of achieving them by my 65th birthday. One of them was to get my working
set on deadlifts to double bodyweight (360), and my squats over 300 on my 5th set.
I managed to achieve both ahead of schedule by 6 weeks.
I know these poundages don’t mean much compared to younger
and bigger men, but having reachable goals that can be measured from
workout to workout keeps me encouraged and reaping the related benefits.
What I find especially interesting is continuing to make improvements in
performance at an age where I’m also collecting my old age pension.
Geez, whoda thought?
All the Best,
Really excellent stuff, Michael. One of the keys to successful training is to always have plenty of options. In this case, when one program goes stale, just switch to the next and keep moving forward, but clearly you are already doing that. Keep it up!
P.S. The 5×5 system is the “go to” for a number of strength champions through the years.
Reg Park, for example, used it to win the Mr. Universe title multiple times. You can read more about Reg’s training in his great course Strength and Bulk Training. You’ll also find the 5×5 program discussed in greater detail in several of Brooks Kubik’s books, including “Gray Hair and Black Iron” and “Strength, Muscle and Power.”
3-time Mr. Universe Reg Park
I happen to believe that Reg Park is the best example and single representative of what proper training with weights can do for a man. He’s got everything: huge, almost superhuman muscles, the strength of the most powerful competitive lifter, and the perfect, well-balanced physique that one sees on Greek statues in museums.
Whether or not you agree that Park is the Greatest — if you’ve seen him, then you’ve GOT to admit that he’s good, to say the very least. OK. so who cares about my opinion anyway, and what in heck does this have to do with how you can get the Herculean build you’re after?
The best physiques (and Park’s is one of ’em),
were all built by hard work on the basic, heavy duty exercises. There are NO exceptions to this statement. Even easy-gainers who (like Park) build up very easily, never get to the Hercules stage without the ultimate in effort. Park worked up to squats with 600 pounds, behind the neck presses with 300 pounds, and bench presses with 500 pounds!
Hereditary advantages or not, Park sweated blood to earn the massive excellent physique that he has. And so did every other human Superman whose muscles aren’t merely bloated, pumped-up tissue. The problem of WHAT these basic exercises are, and HOW HARD one must work on them for satisfactory, or even startling results, is one that every bodybuilder, at one time or another during his career, is confronted with. This month we’re going to solve the problem…
To begin, let’s sift through the thousands of possible exercises, and variations of exercises that confront every barbell man, and set down a principle by which the trainee can determine the BEST among them; those upon which he should be concentrating his best efforts. Here’s the principle: An exercise is worthwhile if it allows you to use very heavy weights — brings into play the BIG muscle groups — and causes lots of puffing and panting.
From the simple formula stated above, it is quite easy to see that fully eighty or ninety percent of the exercises followed by most barbell trainees do not come up to the standards required for maximum physical development. Concentration curls, Hack squats, lateral raises, thigh extensions, triceps “kickback” movements, etc., all followed slavishly by thousands of misinformed bodybuilders, are a waste of time.
My very bitter apologies to the high-pressure ad-men, and the authors of all the super Space-age courses, but their stuff is strictly form hunger. If you’ve been sucked into following any such routines, drop ’em! In all honesty, fellows, that garbage won’t do a thing for you, aside from bringing discouragement and disillusionment.
Save your time and money, and put your effort into THESE exercises:
I derive personal, private, selfish satisfaction pushing the truth about sensible barbell training, and seeing those guys who are willing to work for their goals, achieving the builds they desire. The muscle heads, the “muscle-spinners,” the drug-takers, etc, are no concern of mine. They can go their own way; I’m concerned about the rest of you.
Honest muscles, like honest men, are rare. But they can be attained, and the only way to do it is through HARD, HARD work, and an honest approach to training programs. So if you’re willing, you can get the physique you’re after; if you train as I have discussed on the Basic Movements.
There are reasons why these basic exercises are best. Let’s talk about them.
It isn’t generally understood, but the easiest way to build the small muscle groups is by exercise on the big ones! For example, it’s impossible to build a broad, powerful back, and thick pectorals, along with terrific shoulders via the heavy cleaning, pressing, rowing and bench work that I advocate, without building enormous arm size and strength. You couldn’t do it if you wanted to! Yet, aside from weight-gaining, building big arms is a giant headache for most barbell men. How simple a matter it would become if only they would forget about the ridiculous pumping, cramping and spinning-type isolation exercises, and just train hard on the basics! The big arms would come naturally.
John Grimek once had arms that taped close to 19 inches. They were so big and powerful that they didn’t look real! Grimek at the time was an Olympic weight-lifting contender, and he had trained for a long period without doing a single curl or triceps “pumper.”
His big arms got the way they did from the Heavy Lifting Training. You can do the same by working hard and heavy. And you don’t have to enter Olympic
The trapezius and neck muscles are impressive and too often neglected by many weight-trainees. But your traps will grow like crazy if you push your cleans hard, and if you get your presses up to really impressive standards
Ditto for your neck muscles. The huffing, puffing, and muscular work and exertion caused by ALL heavy work will make your neck muscles grow. Forearms – “stubborn forearms” will respond like obedient, trained seals to heavy rowing, cleaning and pressing. And just try to keep your grip on a super heavy barbell while doing a set of stiff-leg deadlifts, without forcing the forearm muscles to ache and grow beyond belief!
Heavy squatting will build heavier calves. Sounds impossible? Well, just try working your squats like you’re supposed to, and you’ll see your calves begin to grow no matter how they’ve refused to respond to toe raises.
Power cleans are fine for the calf muscles too. Incredible as this statement may sound, it’s absolutely true. The coordinated effort of leg and back movement in heavy cleaning DOES work the calves! Try it for a few months and find out for yourself.
Nobody wants to be fat around the middle. Yet, unless you’re drastically overweight, you don’t need more than one set of one abdominal exercise (done in high reps, with resistance) to keep a rock-hard, muscular mid-section. The hard work on squatting, cleaning, and ALL heavy exercises will inevitably keep you trim and hard. And make no mistake about this: you are far, far better off with a thick, powerful waist than you are with a “wasp-waist pretty body.”
A man should be BIG. He should be strong and powerful. And he can’t be if he tries to blow his biceps up to 20″ and keep his waist down to 30″. Use your head! If there are any real supermen around who have waistlines below 33″ or 34″, then they’ve got ’em only because they’re SHORT, and, the small waist is proportionate tot he rest of their husky muscles.
Training on the big exercises builds HEALTH and LASTING muscle size. These two factors are very important. Today, men like John Grimek, Reg Park, Bill Pearl, and another lesser-known Hercules, Maurice Jones of Canada, all possess builds and physical power comparable to that which they had during their prime. The reason? They built REAL MUSCLE, Sig Klein must be around seventy, yet he’s got the build of a twenty-five year old athlete. The reason? He built REAL MUSCLE. The same holds for scores of others in the weight game who got their physical development by hard, hard work with heavy weights on the best exercises.
If you’re a young man now, then you’re probably more interested in what you can look like on a posing platform, and in how fast you can get piles of muscle – but don’t, no matter how great the temptation for an “easy way out” via pumping routines or muscle drugs, follow any system of training except the good, heavy, teeth-gritting type routines that build pure, strong, big muscles.
I say this as a sincere warning against charlatans who would rob you of your money and your health – and do it gladly – to sell you on their own private “miracle systems’ or methods’. Keep clear of them, and remember, please, that you’ve got a long life ahead of you after any physique competitions you might enter or win within the next few years. You want health, well-being AND big muscles that will stay with you for the rest of your life. You will only get them if you train HARD and HEAVY!
Here’s a sample program that you can follow. It will give you every desirable physical quality. IF you work to your limit on it.
Warm up with one set of twenty prone hyperextensions. Do two progressively heavier warm up sets in the squat, using five reps in each set. Then load on weight until the bar bends, and do three sets of five reps each with this limit poundage. Push! Fight! Drive! The SQUAT is THE builder of SUPERMEN!
Go to your flat bench and do two warm up sets, as you did for your squats, of five reps each in the bench press. Then do a final 3 sets with all the weight you can properly handle. In this, and in every other exercise in the program, REST WELL BETWEEN SETS!
Now do power cleans, stiff–legged dead lifts, or barbell good mornings. Same sets., same reps and the same forced poundage attempts as in the preceding exercises. Your lower back is a vital body area. Turn it into a SUPER POWER ZONE by intensive back work!
Do heavy, bent-over barbell rowing. Two warm up sets – then three limit sets – five reps in each set you do. Reg Park (I always seem to come back to mentioning him, don’t I!) used this exercise along with the power clean in order to build the unbelievable back that he possesses.
He considers this bent-over rowing exercise the best single upper back movement a man can do.
Do some form of HEAVY pressing, If you read my stuff then you already know that I practically sneer at any shoulder exercise but the press behind the neck! But of course you can old military barbell presses, dumbbell presses, or any form of heavy seated pressing with excellent results sure to follow – IF YOU WORK HARD.
Same set-rep scheme for your pressing as for the other exercises, and a tip: Many guys have complained to me that I don’t understand (a-hem!) their difficulties when it comes to heavy pressing behind the neck. It seems that the effort of cleaning the bar up and behind their necks before each set tires their
poor little bodies out.
What to do?
Do your presses right off the squat racks! Load the bar up. Get set comfortably under it. Get a good, solid grip on the bar and set your feet firmly.
Now go to it.
Press the weight right off the racks. Then, after each set, return the bar to the squat racks. Simple? you’ll get wonderful results this way – since you’ll be saving your energy and concentration exclusively for the pressing action, and all of the work will be thrown directly on your
deltoids…so, better and bigger muscles!
End your workout with an abdominal exercise. Do any one that you happen to like. I prefer leg raises off the end of a flat bench, with iron boots on my feet, but it’s really only a personal preference, and you can work your midsection with any “ab” exercise that you happen to like. Just do one set, and run the reps at around twenty or
thirty. Here’s the routine written out:
Do that routine – or a similar one – as described in this article, and your muscles will bulge through your clothing after a year or so of training!
The watchwords are BASIC EXERCISES and HARD WORK. Remember them when you walk into the gym next time. You’ll be grateful for the rest of your life that you did.