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New Year's Dumbbell Challenge

Howdy, all! @jdm135’s recent workouts reminded me of a dumbbell challenge some coworkers and I undertook a few years ago. The challenge then was to clean and push press, aka ground-to-overhead, a 100-pound dumbbell once with each arm (consecutively, not simultaneously.)

I propose we have a similar, friendly challenge on or around the New Year. Entrants can go for a single, max rep or do max reps with a fixed weight. Videos are encouraged.

I plan to do max weight. At this point, there’s no way I could use the 100s, but I might prep for a few weeks so I’m not overly embarrassed :rofl: @dagill2 here’s the beginning of this enjoyable endeavor.

Mods - I wasn’t sure whether to post the challenge here or in Bigger, Stronger, Leaner. Please move it if deemed necessary.


I found the video above to be a great guide to this movement.

I’m in, and will do my best, though improving that movement isn’t exactly one of my goals at the moment and there’s only so much time at the gym! I have the 70lb for plenty of reps so I’ll see how high I can get, then probably shoot for max reps in 10 minutes or something of that nature.

Thanks @TriednTrue for starting this, @Chris_Colucci I feel like BSL would be a good spot for this don’t you?


It’s a very different task to do this with a circus dumbbell vs a ‘regular’ sized dumbbell. I would actually probably struggle more with a regular DB trying to do a very heavy weight, considering I likely wouldn’t have the proper mobility to rest the bell on my shoulder in the rack position. I actually really prefer the really big bells, as they reduce the necessary range of motion for the lift. They’re a pain to balance, but I find pressing them to be easier. Also really like a 2" thick handle, feels better on my wrist than regular size handles.

But that being said, Brian is a great resource for anything strongman related. I used to watch everything he put out, I got a lot out of his videos over my first couple years in the sport.


I never thought of that!
I for one only have access to regular dumbbells so it is what it is. But if I see one on craigslist (fat chance) I’ll try.

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Nice one man, that’s a pretty rad challenge.

Another awesome db challenge that I’ve done once was 100 alternating db get ups for time.

I used light ass db and that shit made me feel like I’d had a stroke


Is that from that 30 day kb/DB program you ran? Chalk something?

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You got it in one bud

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An update on this, I got 95lbs up a few days ago. It was dicey and IDK what will happen if I try 100… might get it on the right side. May try close to 1/1.

And @kleinhound I did an ungodly number of getups with 15lbs and felt similarly. Wife used a 5 I think and the next day felt like she had the flu!


Tried 95 again today, got the right missed the left. No way I was going to get 100.


I loved the power grunt to lock out the right arm! There’s solid science supporting power grunts’ effectiveness to finish a movement.


I absolutely wouldn’t have locked out without it.
I normally despise the obnoxious grunts from the dumbbell pec flye bro crowd, but when your 6" wrist is holding half your bodyweight overhead I think it’s forgivable!


you’re holding it wrong. You want as much of the dumbbell head contacting your body/head/neck as possible. Especially on the second one. You’ve got the dumbbell floating way outside your center of gravity. You want it to be as much in line with your center as possible. This involves moving the dumbbell in towards your head, changing your wrist angle, getting solid points of contact against your body for maximum balance/control, and shift your hips underneath it as well. All of these things will DRASTICALLY improve the lift for you.


Awesome, thanks for that feedback. Maybe I can get 100lb up if I follow that!

OK I got 100lb with the right side @TriednTrue just in time for new years!
@flipcollar I really focused on bringing the bell against the side of my head. On the left side though, my whole form is different - I tend to hold the bell differently. But from how high it got before I dropped it, I think I could get this on the left with a bit of practice. Any further tips are still appreciated!


Maybe start with left hand first as you are better with right ?

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Lol I never thought of that but it makes sense!

that video is much better than what you originally posted. Way to take the advice!

If possible, you want to jump under the dumbbell more than you are now. Try to ‘catch’ it lower, if that makes sense, meaning treat it more like a jerk than a push press. What you’re doing isn’t bad, by any means. You got most of the concepts down. If you can jump under the bell and catch it in a lower position, with your arm closer to lockout, it will likely help you avoid that final press-out.

I will admit this is easier said than done, it’s an athletic movement and may take some practice. I’m really only suggesting it because you took the first bit of advice so well!


Heck. YES!!! Weren’t you maxing 85 just a couple weeks ago and thinking 100 was months away?! I’m stoked for you! I tried @flipcollar’s tips during my DB clean and press session last night (a couple top sets of 5 with 70 pounds.) I don’t know if I’ll be able to get 100 on New Year’s, but 95 may be feasible.

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@flipcollar thanks. I could see from the videos that I wasn’t dipping low enough, and was actually impressed I had the triceps strength to press out the first one.
I will work on this and tag you mid-January!

@TriednTrue thanks, and absolutely right about the 85.
Turns out a lot of it is about confidence. And practice helps with that.
Best luck on your attempt, I’m certain you can beat me. Grab a video either way!

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