Although it has been seen for decades in the circus all around the globe, the monster dumb bell event is becoming more and more popular in strongman competition at all levels, a formidable test of not only strength, but balance and technique.
There are many variations of the DB, probably the most recognisable being the Cyr DB style, with its perfectly spherical ends.
The SorS loadable DB; from day one, we have followed the loadable tube design, which allows the user to adjust the weight up and down with up to 5kg plates internally, making it as versatile as possible.
Understanding the impact forces surrounding a drop from overhead was something we initially underestimated. A DB will almost always land unevenly, imparting a violent angular force into the bell that contacts the ground. With the main structure of the bell being mounted to the inner end of the bell, rather than the impact end, this force is amplified, and a warping of the bell is imminent.
The very first bell we built allowed for none of this. 5mm wall thickness, no internal bracing, and an internally mounted end cap that was designed in the hope it would resist the side impact force of a drop. It was very hopeful indeed. The bell twisted almost instantly, and once the end cap could no longer fit internally, it was no use at all.
So an internal bracing system was added. A web of steel bars was added between the centre handle and the outer bell, to dramatically reduce the amplification of twisting force imparted into the inner plate. But just like a chain with a weak link, the problem was shifted to the next weakest area. Even at 60kg, the 5mm wall tube could not resist the drop force unprotected, and flat spots appeared a plenty.
Enter V2 - We took the design of the end caps right back to square one. Some rather radical ideas were put forward to change the force loading, including an 'upside down' bell design, and multiple braces to shift the load into the handle. But the final design ended up not looking so different to the original, but with one key difference. Our end cap now covers the OUTSIDE of the bell, and is constructed from the cover plate, as well as a 15mm thick ring of profiled steel. This structure is incredibly strong in its design, and can withstand thousands of Newtons of force (stay tuned for testing footage), transmitting the drop force directly into the far stronger handle, rather than the outer rim of the bell.
The decision to make 3 sizes of dumb bell, with appropriate start weights and capacities has allowed us to build each from material thick enough, and add suitable bracing to maximise the capacity in each. No longer are we attempting to build a DB that can weigh 25kg empty, but be loaded to 130kg!
Our smallest is constructed from light weight tube for the handle, 5mm plate and bell tube, but still with the bomb proof end caps. It's 25kg empty, and can be loaded to 55-60kg. Our heaviest starts life at 70kg, has a 50mm handle made of SOLID steel, and all other plate and tube is a minimum of 9.5mm thick. It's loadable to 140kg, and doubles as a battering ram for use in entering fortresses and castles without invitation.
Our dumb bells are also supplied with a first-of-its-kind addition of foam insert support. Now plates can be loaded, and a combination of foam inserts are sandwiched between the plates and end caps, no locking collars required. Gone are the days of 10's of kgs of plates slopping up and down after the first rep.
We know strongman is all about lifting awkward objects, but there comes a point when something is just too awkward to lift. That was our first dumb bell. With a 22.5cm long handle, it was extremely difficult to balance on the shoulder, and control any reasonable weight with the strength of ones wrist alone.
The next version was shortened to 20cm, but was still deemed too long, by none other than some of the strongest men in the world including Big Z and The Mountain. It should be noted at this point though that the mighty Dimitar was still able to achieve a new world record with the same geometry...
Our latest versions have all been standardised to 12cm, wide enough for the biggest men in the world to fit their giant claws, but only just. The forearm can now play a significant role in stabilising the bell on the shoulder.
The Mighty Mitko
Even as we speak, a DB of almost mythical proportions is being created for the undeniably best DB presser in the world, Dimitar Savatinov. We have been working closely with him to not only fine tune our current DB's, useable by anyone, but to create something never before heard of in the realm of circus dumb bells. Watch closely in the months to come...
Although constantly looking for ways to improve our dumb bells, we believe we have created the most durable, stable and usable dumb bell available anywhere. The very best in the world thinks so, and we hope you do too.