Dinosaur Training: What In The World Is It?

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
September 30, 2011

Have you ever entered the gym wondering what the heck ever happened to the good ‘ol days? The days where people used logs, kegs, anvils and sandbags to get stronger? Probably not because I doubt you were born in the 1920’s. Yet you may have wondered what Old Time Strongmen did to get stronger. The method is called Dinosaur Training.

There is a movement in the fitness industry that believes lifting specific, heavy objects that one would find on a farm or in a house, builds strength more effectively. This type of training is more of a mindset. There goal is not to look good, or be able to run an ultra-marathon. Their goal is strength, period. And by focusing only on this objective, there is some legitimacy to their claims.


Dinosaur Training Workouts:

Dinosaur Training is a great type of workout that incorporates mostly:

-Body weight exercises

-Low reps with heavy weights

-Compound exercises with barbells

-Lifting objects such as kegs, anvils, medicine balls, sandbags and many other bizarre objects someone could find around the house/farm


Dinosaur Training Advocates:

Brooks D. Kubik


Photo Credit: superstrengthtraining.com


Bob Whelan


Photo Credit: naturalstrength.com

Knee Health Score 2


Ken Leistner


Photo Credit: athleticstrengthandpower.com


John McCallum


Photo Credit: ditillo2.blogspot.com


Peary Rader


Photo Credit: ditillo2.blogspot.com


What Dinosaur Training is Not:

People that devote themselves solely to dinosaur training state that they despise the use of exercise to showcase one’s body for cosmetic purposes.

Their singular goal is this: Get Stronger!

They also don’t adhere to any type of aerobic exercise routines since this is not inline with their focus on strength. Although not the optimum approach to well balanced health, Dinosaur Training is a cool way to get you back in touch with the roots of physical fitness and physical culture. The days when Smith Machines, Stairmasters, and Ellipticals were only a pipe dream. The days when working out in your barn or in the field was the norm.

Dinosaur Training Resources:


Show/Hide Comments (3 comments)
  1. Charlie

    I think you have misunderstood Dinosaur Training. It is not about odd objects or farm implements, specifically; although you could obviously use them. If you google Brooks Kubik you will find plenty of photos of him lifting normal barbells or dumbbells – although he did give up weight training for bodyweight exercises because of shoulder injuries, I think.

    The whole point is not the implement, but the attitude. Dinosaur training is about training heavy and working on heavy and difficult lifts. This does not mean the lifts have to be world-records or earth-shattering. Brooks recognises that someone may be lifting a lot less than he does, but if they are working hard, with loads that are challenging for them and trying to improve their strength, they are a dinosaur – as opposed to people who pump out endless sets of dumbbell curls with light weights and no effort and are surprised that they aren’t improving. (Or guys who constantly bench press to build their chest but who do nothing else and couldn’t clean and press a bar if they tried.

    “Dinosaur” is an ironic name, because people who train in modern gyms will think that people who train in this way are “dinosaurs”, because they don’t use modern machines or modern training methods. I do not know, but believe, that it was Brooks Kubik who coined the name.

    Although he claims his methods are “old school” – you should be aware that the old-time lifters did not all train in the same way. Brooks does have some support from these older men and their methods, but they generally advised their students not to train too heavy, too often.
    “Training on the nerve”, or going too near max loads, can wear down the central nervous system. Eventually, the body shuts down and will not let you lift heavy.

    This is not to say that Brooks Kubik’s methods don’t work – they do, but you need to know when to back off, to let joints recover, etc. Brooks showed a dislike for lighter workouts, but used carefully they can help rehab joints and give the body time to heal and supercompensate.

    Strongman is an attempt to develop a spectator sport using weights and odd objects, partly because of the link to the old time strongmen and partly because the non-lifting public has no idea what a barbell weighs, even if you tell them it is 1100 lbs or 500 kgs, etc. They do have some idea what a fridge, motorbike or car might weigh (or in the 1970s-80s, half a dozen girls in bikinis!) I have no idea if Strongman influenced Dinosaur, or the other way.

  2. sean

    who coined the term dinosaur training? it sounds the same as strong man to me? just curious

    • admin

      Hey Sean,

      Great question. Notta clue. If you find out, let me know. 🙂


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