Friday, 20 July 2012

Wild Physique Unleashed: Brooks Kubik Dino Mind Part 2

By Coach Cj Swaby

Brooks Kubik & Dino Dumbell Training

Less than two weeks to go now. This week, training consisted of deadliest, power cleans, sprints, log lifts, and getting set for some car/ truck harness pulls at the weekend.

 Amongst all this  I managed to digest the second part of the interview with the legend, Brooks Kubik on cultivating Peak Mental State.  Check it out.

BK:.... I was very confidant that I would catch up to them on my second attempt, and that I would win the championship on my third attempt. (That’s the success habit and how it works for you.)

I sat there in-between my attempts, ignoring the others in the warm-up room and concentrating on each of my attempts. I visualized the winning lift over and over.

In the end, it happened just as I visualized it. The guys ahead of me missed their second and third attempts, and I made mine. I ended up winning by a good margin, setting a new National meet record, and hitting a new PR – and it felt light!

That was perhaps the best memory from my lifting days. It was one of those moments when everything clicked for me. My mind and body were in perfect synch.

 Cj: Your landmark book Dinosaur Training, had dedicated chapters to mental performance and cultivating the correct habits for a Dino (and if you haven't read this book and you’re serious about practical, no-BS strength training, you need to). Which other books would you recommend to help enhance peak mental performance for training?

BK:  From other writers, I like Peak Performance by Charles Garfield and Tommy Kono’s books, Weightlifting, Olympic Style and Championship Weightlifting. The latter is particularly good. Tommy Kono is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and six-time World champion, and he’s written a book that deals with the mental aspects of weightlifting in great detail. How could you not want to read that book?

The Four-Minute Mile by Sir Roger Bannister is another good book about the mental side of sport. 

Really, what you need to do is study the lives of great athletes. You’ll find that the mental side of things is the common thread.

Bradley J. Steiner’s books and articles are great – but they’re hard to come by.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is a must read. So is anything and everything by O.S. Marden. I like one of his old books so much – it’s called An Iron Will, which is a great title – that I recorded it on CD.

Turning to my own books, I’ve covered the mental side of things in Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development, and in Strength, Muscle and Power. 

Dinosaur Bodyweight Training has some extremely valuable information about how to develop your powers of concentration and how to fully integrate your mind and your body. The information works for anyone, and for any type of training. It’s not limited to bodyweight training.  

I’ve also branched out and gone beyond the “how to do it” books. In 2011 I wrote and published a huger (almost 500 page) biography of John Davis. John Davis was a poor African-American kid from Brooklyn. Never knew his father. Raised by his mother. Not much hope of ever amounting to anything at all. But he became the youngest World weightlifting champion in lifting history (after only two years of training!) – and went on to win a total of Six World championships and Two Olympic gold medals. He was undefeated in international competition from 1938 through 1953, and in his prime, he was the greatest weightlifter in the entire world.

I wrote a biography about John Davis – telling the story in dramatic narrative form, using a series of flashbacks over the final ten days of the champion’s life – because I wanted to give readers an in-depth perspective on the mind of a champion.

John Davis was so mentally strong that he would lie down on a cot backstage at the World or Olympic championships, and fall asleep. When it was his turn to lift, the coach would wake him up – and he’d stand up, yawn, and then TRANSFORM into an unbeatable lifting machine.

And then he’d go back to sleep until it was time to lift again.

The man was simply amazing – and EVERYONE who lifts weights should know his story. The more you know about the champions, the more likely the odds that you, too, will be a champion one day.

I’ve also written six novels. Five of them are part of a series covering weightlifting and bodybuilding in the United States from the late 1930’s onward. They’re historical novels, meaning that they take real people and real events and work in fictional characters to keep the story going.

I wrote the novels in part because it gives the reader a chance to see how men like John Grimek, Steve Stanko, John Davis, Tony Terlazzo and other old-time champions handled themselves in day to day living. They were all highly successful lifters, of course – but they were also highly successful in other aspects of their lives. They took that success habit I talk about and applied it every minute of the day.

I have the older characters, real and fictional, serve as mentors for the younger guys in the book – which, by the way, is the way it was. And the way it should be. So you see the young guys encountering seemingly insurmountable problems, and the older guys show them how to work through them – and then, later, you see the younger guys smashing through even more difficult obstacles on their own. The novel is the perfect platform to get this across.

I wrotre another novel that deals with mental and physical strength, but not in the setting of the Iron Game. It’s called Horatius, and it tells the story of the Roman warrior who, with two other soldiers, held a narrow bridge across the Tiber River against an army of 100,000 – and saved the city of Rome. It’s a true story, and a great example of the power of the human spirit.

You’ll note that I write about heroes and heroism – about champions and about championship performance. There’s a reason for that. To be the best you can possibly be, you need to flood your mind with positive images and positive thoughts. The right kind of reading is a great way to do that.

CS: Brooks, for you what are the key steps of developing an "Iron Mind"

BK: There are seven.

1. Learn to concentrate.

2. Learn to visualize.

3. Develop the success habit.

4. Cultivate a positive attitude. Be optimistic. Believe in yourself.

5. Study the topic of mind-power.

6. Study the lives of those who have achieved greatness. Look for the common threads. When you find them, apply them to your own life.

7. Finally, never give up. Don’t even think about it.

CS: Is there anything that I've missed out that you would like to say on the mind and body connection?

BK: Those were great questions and we’ve covered a lot of ground. The only thing to add is this – working to develop the mental side of things is the single best thing you can do to become a champion. The single best thing. The most important.

In other words, you need to do it.

CS: Thank you for your time Brooks. It was a pleasure to coach along side you at our London workshop, as you and your book inspired me all those years back to start lifting heavy. Do you have any up coming workshops or courses that people may be interested in?

BK: I don’t have anything scheduled at the moment because I’ve been busy working on a new book. But folks should check the Dinosaur Training Blog at and also go to my website at and sign up for my daily emails. That will give them plenty of regular tips and updates, and let them know about upcoming workshops and seminars. (I’m also on Facebook, and that’s another way to stay up to date.)

But here’s a thought. Last week I did an audio seminar with Carl Lanore of SuperHuman Radio where I covered the mental aspects of strength training in detail for 60 minutes. It turned out to be a terrific program – one of those peak performance things where everything flowed and it all tied together perfectly (which is hard to do in a live program).

The good news is, Carl recorded it – and he’s going to be offering it on CD. So if you missed the live show, you can catch it on CD.

I don’t think Carl has a sales page up yet, but go to and look for it – or shoot an email to me or to Carl Lanore and ask about the CD for “Dinosaur Mindpower: Seven Keys to Concentration.” 

I also did a four-week audio seminar on Dinosaur training. We were supposed to go for an hour each time, but always ran over, so it ended up being more like seven hours of material. The last session covered the mental side of things in detail. It’s a great resource, and if you missed the live program, you can find it right here:

CS: Awesome! Look forward to Coaching alongside with you soon.

BK: Thanks, Cj, and I look forward to it as well. It was great working with you, Mike Mahler and Sabina Skala – and the participants at the seminar were a great group of serious, hard-core coaches, trainers and athletes. It was an honor to be a part of it, and I’m looking forward to more seminars in the Future.

**If you missed part 1 of Wild Physique Unleashed: Dino Mind do check it out. Simply click HERE.***

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