Rough Strength Review: Dinosaur Training

Dinosaur Training by Brooks D. KubikDinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development by Brooks D. Kubik.

You don’t need a review of this book because you probably read it. And I don’t want this to be just another review because my serious training started after reading this book. Besides, it’s not just a book anymore, it’s bible for many lifters and tranees. And I’ll be brave enough to say that it is one of the best books ever written on strength training. This post is for all younger lifters and trainees who haven’t heard about this book or for some reason haven’t read it (what is a big mistake). Yes, it’s blast from the past but it is well worth it. Dinosaur Training has its own pluses and minuses and I want to discuss them in detail.

Why Should You Even Bother?

Believe me or not, but it IS really one of the best books on training you could ever possibly read. It’s not about bodybuilding, it’s not about ‘toning the muscle’, it’s not about gyms, it’s not about fitness etc. It’s about pure rough strength training as it is. It’s honest, it’s straight-to-your-face, it’s about strength and how to obtain it. It has right approach. It’s really hardcore (very popular word nowadays, but it really became overused by kids who know nothing about strength and true hardcoreness; squatting on bosu ball is not hardcore; grunting and screaming when working with weights less than your bodyweight is not hardcore; wearing brand new tank-top and rapper-style cap to the gym is not hardcore; hard work, sweat and dedication are hardcore). You should read this book because it’s about the true essence of strength training.

What Was Brooks Right About?

Well, just about everything. You don’t need expensive equipment or expensive gym membership to get results. You don’t need to follow crappy bodybuilding magazine programs to get results. You need to concentrate on basics. You need to make your resistance progressive. You need to squat. You need some sort of grip work (yes, you do). You don’t need machines. You should train with odd uncomfortable objects. You can build tremendous strength and physique with just a barbell. Old time strongmen knew what they were doing. Heavy weight for high reps principle works. 5 x 5 works. Training with singles works. Visualisation and concentration are very important aspects of strength training. He was right about modern attitude to training. It’s just visual. And this bothers me big time. How stupid should you be to train only for your look? Why do you need muscles that are not capable of anything? Why not get strong? Strength is the key to everything, not your look. I have nothing against training to build muscle. But I fucking hate people that are only concerned about how they look in a tank-top and can’t stop looking at themselves in mirrors. You all know them. They train just for the pump. They often use steroids because their training sucks. Don’t be one of them. That’s what I preach. That’s what Brooks preaches. That’s what Brooks was right about.

What Was Brooks Wrong About?

Despite the cult status of the book the author was wrong in several things.  Most of them are minor and don’t even worth mentioning. But the main is big. You can’t train too heavy all the time. When intensity is too high you’ll burn out in no time. I totally understand and agree with Brooks on hard work but hard work shouldn’t mean dumb work. You just can’t max out all the time. This ain’t going to happen. Your nervous system will shut down this possibility sooner rather than later. It’s our inner defensive mechanism. Train hard but train smart.

Closing Thoughts

If you haven’t read this book yet what are you waiting for? If you had then read it one more time and get nice boost of motivation. Again this is one of the best books on strength training out there. We all dinosaurs inside. Thanks for reading. Be brave to comment and share.

Play rough!


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6 thoughts on “Rough Strength Review: Dinosaur Training

  1. Xypus

    I have read it and while I agree it preaches an useful mindset and approach of basic ‘heavy lifting’ I have to say there’s a lot of annoying repetition and personal anecdata in it. Brooks tends to say the same things over and over – yes, I understand you need a thick bar and you need to lift heavy, I got it the first time, no need to get back to it on every other page. I could also go without his bragging about how hardcore he and his friends are as opposed to just about anyone else who lift.

    Also I don’t like dissing bodybuilders and ‘toners’ – if somebody doesn’t need the strength of a bear and just wants to look good it’s their business and nothing to be contemptuous about. Some people like race cars and some people like limousines, simple as that.

  2. andrew

    Hey Alex,

    Really cool article and your entire blog is one of those places on the net that gives out high quality pure info without marketing BS (and other dietary and training dogmas..). That make it special I guess.

    Anyway, I was wandering if you could use very heavy sandbags (in range of 80+ kg) to build massive and muscular body. I don’t think about bodybuilders type of body where all proportions must be perfect (as far as bodybuilding rules go). I mean more about thick, “compressed”, hard as iron muscles, preferably bigger than smaller.

    The grip is much different, and it’s harder to really focus or isolate particular muscle groups. I have tried some Zercher Squats with 55 kg and it was really devastating (I was 84 kg+ at that time). I could take a way more weight with barbel squat.

    Let’s say you want to actually build some muscle mass, not only strength, how would you go about it using just 32kg kettlebells, heavy sandbags and pull up bar? Not asking to make a workout program for me. Just curious how to go about those difficult to lift, heavy and shapeless things lol.

    For sure Zercher Squat employs more muscles than regular squat. Same thing go for other moves. Maybe sandbags are not very effective in building muscle mass?
    What’s you take on this.


    1. Alex Zinchenko Post author

      Hey, Andrew,

      Muscle mass is all about genetics and caloric surplus. It doesn’t really matter what implement you use. What you mentioned (sandbags, kettlebells and bodyweight) are actually what I call the Rough Strength Triad. You can definitely build serious muscle with those. It will take time, dedication, lots of lifting, and, of course, enough calories and protein.

      Check out these articles for more info on your question:

      Muscle Building Basics

      How to Substitute Exercises

      High-Protein Diet

      Are Calisthenics Optimal for Building Muscle?

      This should help.

      – Alex

  3. Tiago

    Hey Alex!

    First of all congrats for your amazing website.
    I am glad that we share the same mindset about training methods and equipment.

    I am really interested in reading this book and I wanted to have it, not only in digital format. I was looking for used ones on ebay and amazon but I was not succeed.

    Can you please tell where can I find it?

    Cheers form Portugal!


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