Barefoot Fitness

Clash of the Titans

Horseshoe bending - Adam T. Glass

Want a Bad Ass Grip? Enter The Clash Of The Titans Feats of Strength Challenge

By: Adam T. Glass

Most people who ask for me for a grip training post ask for an introductory kind of article. You know, something not too extreme so their readers can get try out some new stuff.

Craig didn't do that. He said he wanted something that will make him better at crushing people's heads. That is my kind of request.

My name is Adam Glass. I am a competitive grip athlete and strongman. There is likely something wrong with me, as I am completely obsessed with hand, wrist, and grip strength. I train my grip almost every single day, and every month it is a bit scarier.

Adam T. Glass 495 Single Hand Deadlift
Adam deadlifting 495 pounds with one hand.

Today I am sharing a new challenge we are running at my gym, Movement Minneapolis. It's really simple: Get a thick handled dumbbell, something over two inches in diameter. Load some weight on it. Try to snatch it. Load more weight, try to clean it. Load even more on then deadlift it. Sounds pretty simple? Yup.

I am sure a lot of you have done all three of these movements with dumbbells in the past, but have you ever tried with a thick handled bell? It's a different beast all together. Ballistic lifts with a dumbbell can get pretty technical in execution. With a thick bar they become very simple: Hold on for dear life and pray you reach the end point.

I know a lot of people reading this page are doing far more interesting work than pushing pencils in a cubicle, so don't sweat the equipment limitations if you're living in the middle of nowhere surrounded by explodey things. For this challenge all types of thick handled bells are welcome, to include Fatgripz, TylerGrips, Ironbull t250's, Grip4orce, and Manus grips. Don't have a bell, but you have an artillery shell? Yeah that's fucking awesome, do that.

Video: Adam T. Glass vs. Matt Brouse Clash of the Titans Challenge

Do the challenge and then post up your numbers. You can email, Facebook, or tweet them to me. I will put you on the wall of awesome.

Adam T. Glass 20 Kilo Plate Curl
Another way to get on the wall of awesome. Pinch a 20 kilo plate and curl it.

Challenge Format:

Using a thick handled dumbbell of 2” diameter or greater try out the following lifts:

Dumbbell Snatch - The weight is on the floor. You will grab it with one hand and lift it in an uninterrupted motion to an overhead position. Once the weight is overhead fix it for a moment, then return it to the floor anyhow.

Dumbbell Clean -  The weight starts on the floor. Grasp it with one hand and bring it to the shoulder in one motion. The weight must be paused at the top to demonstrate control then lowered to the floor anyhow. Additionally, you may press it. I am recording presses with max weight.

Dumbbell Deadlift: Max weight. Weight is one the floor. Grasp it with one hand, and lift it to a height of at least above the knees.

Deadlift Test: A 2 minute test for maximum reps with a given weight. My personal best is 33 reps with a fixed weight Thomas Inch replica weighing 173 lbs with a 2.45 inch diameter handle. I am confident no one at my my weight (218 lbs) can beat that right now, but I will get 35 next time I try. Prove I'm wrong if you can.

Entries will be open for the summer. You can test and retest as often as you want. Videos are preferred but I understand that is not always an option. If you do a video on YouTube please tag it “Adam Glass Dumbbell Challenge” so I can easily find it.

Back to Craig's request – if you build up your strength to easily snatch, clean, and lift heavy thick handled weights you will develop some scary paw strength. I know there is already a ton of grip equipment on the market; nothing has truly passed up the benefits of using fat handled weights for quick lifts.

The key part is the thumb's involvement, and the active squeezing the palm may employ. Wrapping your hand around the standard 1 & 1/8 diameter dumbbell handle really doesn't do much for the grip, unless you are lifting extremely heavy. With a larger diameter, even moderate poundage will feel heavy.

I look forward to seeing your name on the list. I don't care if you have the weakest fish hands in the world, give it a shot. I don't care what you can or can't do now; I care about what you will be doing tomorrow based on your actions right now.



Adam is a world record holder in Grip Sport and All-Around Weight Lifting who trains hot moms and soon to be bad asses out of Movement Minneapolis in the Twin Cities. His top three hobbies are “Lifting things up and putting them back on the floor” “Eating grilled animals” and “Teaching people to pick stuff up and put it back down” and if you are ready he will teach you right now how to start kicking ass with grip training. Visit and check out his training blog at



April 23, 2012 by craig weller Post a Comment
It was tagged with Adam T. Glass, clash of the titans, feats of strength challenge, grip strength, industrialstrengthgrip, and

Comments for This Entry

  1. Do pinky finger pull-ups count?

    Posted on 01:29PM on April 23, 2012 [permalink]

  2. This is awesome. I can't wait to try this.

    Posted on 01:31PM on April 23, 2012 [permalink]

  3. I've been looking for an excuse to buy fat gripz...

    Posted on 01:34PM on April 23, 2012 [permalink]

  4. Awesome.

    Posted on 02:25PM on April 23, 2012 [permalink]

  5. Try it out, send me your vids and I will put it up on the site. We have some great numbers up right now and I would love to see more added this week

    Posted on 12:42PM on April 24, 2012 [permalink]

  6. Grip4orce is my choice of weapon. They make you work...also have jacked my thumb strength.
    Grip4orce stiff I would use if you only have legit strong crushing strength. Other wise grab a towel and train away.

    Posted on 02:41PM on April 25, 2012 [permalink]

  7. Awesome! How did you survive it without breaking a bone?

    Posted on 11:13PM on August 27, 2012 [permalink]

Comments are closed for this post.