Health & Strength: Light vs. Heavy Dumbbells

Health & Strength: Light vs. Heavy Dumbbells

When you read about the incredible feats of the many old time strongman – and then you study their books – you will certainly notice that many of them recommend high rep exercises with very light weights, and only in the end occasionally mention lifting the heavy weights.

Did really Sandow achieved his incredible feats of strength by lifting light dumbbells?

Orlick/Weider: Abdominal Exercises for Strength and Power (1944)

Orlick/Weider: Abdominal Exercises for Strength and Power (1944)

The following exercises are of a strenuous nature and should be performed only by those who are already quite advanced in their training. Where number of repetitions are not given, repeat exercise until you have to strain and at this point stop and rest. Do this three or four times in succession with each exercise. In this way your body will act as its own barometer telling you pretty well what you can and what you cannot do. As the abdominal muscles grow stronger you will naturally be able to do more repetitions and at no time will you be forcing yourself beyond sensible physiological limits.

George Hackenschmidt: One Hand [Dumbbell] Snatch [1908]

George Hackenschmidt: One Hand [Dumbbell] Snatch [1908]

George Hackenschmidt’s book Way to Live (1908) is one of the best old-time strength manuals out there – and I have to say, “Russian Lion” is one of my favorite old-time strongmen as well: lifter, wrestler, philosopher, true gentleman, man of integrity and honor.

Hack was a huge fan of barbell, kettlebell and dumbbell lifting, and I have use lots of his stuff in my research about the old-time strongman dumbbell training for my Hardstyle Dumbbell Lifting system.

“The Russian Lion” George Hackenschmidt [VIDEO]

“The Russian Lion” George Hackenschmidt [VIDEO]

In the golden age of professional wrestling, he was the most famous wrestler of them all. But George Hackenschmidt (1877-1968), aka “The Russian Lion,” was much more than that. A body builder, weightlifting champion, nutritionist, philosopher, and writer, he has been described by Terry Todd as “the outlier’s outlier,” and his story makes a worthy entry as Chapter 3 of the Rogue Legends Series.

Arthur “Archie” Allaire: The One Hand Military Press (1928)

Arthur “Archie” Allaire: The One Hand Military Press (1928)

It is worth noting that all… Military Press athletes are exceptionally strong in the legs and back, and although their ability in this lift might draw your attention merely to shoulder and arm strength, once glance at the physique of either will prove they are far from being of top-heavy build.

Barbell & Kettlebell Lifting at the 1913 Olympics [RARE VIDEO]

Barbell & Kettlebell Lifting at the 1913 Olympics [RARE VIDEO]

Barbell military press, continental barbell clean & jerk, barbell leg press, kettlebell snatch to waiter’s press (switching the side!), one-arm barbell snatch, one-arm barbell clean & jerk, stacked kettlebell bent press – what a great overview of some of the most popular old-time strongmen lifts!

One-Arm Dumbbell Swing Tutorial - Free Video & .pdf Manual