Conjure an image in your mind of physical strength, and don’t be surprised if a weightlifter appears. But who is it — a young, juiced-up athlete in a shiny gym? Or a 65-year-old man, …
Conjure an image in your mind of physical strength, and don’t be surprised if a weightlifter appears. But who is it — a young, juiced-up athlete in a shiny gym? Or a 65-year-old man, barefoot in the winter, dragging a log for three miles up and down the beach?
“Age does not indicate weakness,” explained Brooks Kubik, the man in question.
“An athlete like me doesn’t compare themselves to 20- or 30-year-olds. It’s an age-adjusted basis. Using that formula, someone who runs a hundred yards at age 73 could technically beat the current world record set by someone at age 23. But that’s not widely known or accepted in the world of competitive sports.”
Last month, Kubik set the record straight on this concept by setting the records themselves — 12 of them, to be exact, at the Amateur Athletic Union International Weightlifting Championships in Las Vegas.
The contest pitted lifters against others of the same age and weight. Kubik competed in the age 65-69 master’s division, as well as the age 65-69 lifetime drug-free master’s division (for lifters who have never used anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs). He won first place in both divisions and earned a special award for “best lifter.”
Kubik also set national and world records in both categories of weightlifting: The snatch, which involves lifting the barbell in one quick motion, and the clean and jerk, where the lifter first brings the barbell to their shoulders, and then above their head.
Kubik’s victory qualified him to compete in the world championships in September. He will be 66 by then, and hopes to be lifting even more weight than he did at 65.
“Even with the inevitable age-related decline, you’re ultimately competing against yourself. That’s the beauty of weightlifting,” Kubik said.
Kubik describes his training methods as “old school.”
“I drug logs on the beach because walking barefoot in the sand strengthened my feet and ankles,” he explained. “There was also a mental toughness aspect, considering how cold it was.”
Once it got warmer and the beach got more crowded, Kubik took his training into the traditional weight room setting and found that he not only got his form back instantly (“muscle memory,” he called it), but every lift he did felt easier. The simplicity of dragging, lifting, and carrying logs had paid off.
“You don’t need lots of special equipment, personal trainers, or a fancy gym,” Kubik said. “You’ve already got everything you need.”
To Kubik, old school isn’t just about training methods. It’s about living a clean lifestyle. “The use of performance-enhancing drugs is rampant throughout the weightlifting community,” Kubik said. “I’m a huge advocate for staying clean.”
Kubik can proudly claim his lifelong abstinence from steroids. In fact, he has devoted quite a bit of his life to developing a fitness curriculum built on the foundations of all-natural, drug-free training.
He has written over 30 books and courses detailing his old school wisdom of weightlifting, powerlifting, strength training, and nutrition. These resources can be found at dinosaurtraining.com.
Kubik feels passionate about passing his knowledge along to the next generation of athletes. In his spare time, he serves as a volunteer strength coach for the East Jefferson Rivals football team.
“I hope that I inspire them,” Kubik said. “I want to show them that there are no limits. Not age, not a small town. There’s nothing they can’t do.”
For more information on the Amateur Athletic Union, visit aausports.org.