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One for Joe Roark

Guest woody36

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Yikes, that article is full of errors!

First, the weight of the dumbbell was listed as 182, rather than 172 (obvious to members of this board).  Second, according to Willoughby in that Mr Universe Competition "the 153-pound Inch Challenge Dumbbell no. 2 was sucessfully lifted knee high both by John Gallagher of Scotland, and Jacobus Jacobs."  So it wasn't even the 172-pound dumbbell that he lifted!  Third, the diameter was desribed as "wide as a coffee mug,"

it would have to be a pretty small mug!  So, they over stated both the weight of the bell and the width of the handle.

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Thanks for the article. By chance I had seen it the other night. Though it does contain errors, it offers confirmation

in regard to Inch's ability with the bell when it refers to

Inch being unable to lift it since the FIRST World War. This

is the first time I have seen in print what I have been sus-

pecting for the past several weeks, that is the WWI time


Inch acknowledged being unable to clean more than 170 lbs

on a regular bar before the war (so how could he clean 172

thick handled?). So it fits that he needed training to be able

to again deadlift the 172.

Of course, in my view, never was he able to one hand clean

the 172 bell.

Thanks for posting the piece, though I wish it were possible

to have an anti-Inch virus fighter installed and the many

internet errors circulating about Inch's bells deleted.

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Joe, I have a theory... and, I would like your opinion. I have used and lifted Inch and inch style handle bells finding the Inch bell of the same weight is ALWAYS harder. After speaking with Tom Linceir the maker of the "new" Apollon bell he mentioned the next one would have more weight on the outside rim thus making it harder to lift...With this in mind I feel since the Inch weight is greater at the high point of the globes crest than a plate loaded bell (which is more uniform and balanced from the handle to the edge of the plates) ,rotation factor is greater thus making them Inch bell roll out of the hand easier. Joe kinney mentioned to Brian Harvey if you taped a ruler to to ground contact area of the Inch bell thus preventing its roll, the lifting would be much easier.This also makes me wonder about the small hole in the handle of the original Inch...might that be a recptical for a special ring with a "stud" that Mr, Inch used to lock into the bell to prevent it's rotation thus rendering it easier to lift? Remember, its not the weight.... it IS the difficulty of maintaining grip that makes the Inch so hard to lift! What do ya think Joe?

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You may be right; I'm not qualified to comment on the

physics of the situation, but given your experience with

plate loaded Inch-type bars and the real thing, in my opinion

you are onto something about the rotation factor. At the

Arnold Classic the men who were unable to lift it more than

a couple inches seemed to have a problem with this very

factor- the bell wanted to roll away from the hand, probably

due also to weak thumb- in relation to the opposing four

fingers. In every case where I have seen comments from men

who have experience with both replica handles and the original

Inch or one of its replicas, the interpretation agrees with your

conclusion- the replica handles are always easier, and it seems

that mobsterone said he had to reach 220 lbs or so on the handle before he could lift the 172 Inch- almost 25% more!

When I saw the handle hole in the Inch original I was puzzled

but at the time had fallen into the trap of believing Inch's claim that the hole was for gas escape during the foundry

process. Later, it dawned on me that in order for gases to escape from one place to another a hollow passageway would

be required. This hole appears to be about a 1/4" hole by

perhaps 1/4" deep and does not lead anywhere, so any heat

or gases that escaped during the foundry process would probably have come from the surface areas rather than this very small hole.

It is the perfect size for a 'stud-ring' and I don't mean the type that Sir Snott no doubt wears...Again, the absolute,

total, thorough, complete, absence of any photograph of

Inch lifting the bell precludes us from knowing if he wore

a ring on the lifting hand, and if he did, was it a ring different than he usually wore on that hand. I once had an article

about Inch's brother George attempting to lift the bell with a

wire leading from around his neck, under his sleeve to the bell,

and have often wondered if there was some sort of stud involved with that wire- because the wire would have been

useless by itself unless it encircled the handle and fastened to


It has been years since I have been around any of the old

sphere shaped dumbells. Wonder if say, a sphere shaped bell

of 100 lbs is harder to lift than one of the modern hex-shaped bells of the same weight, or a plate loaded dumbell of 100 lbs

that revolves?

Also, I suspect that if somehow the globes could be removed from the Inch and placed on a handle that revolves, we would

have many more men succeeding with that implement- because as you say, it certainly is NOT the 172 lbs that

stops many of these strongmen.

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The moment of inertia of a spherical shell is greater than for a solid sphere of uniform density. That means that if the thing is hollow, it doesn't want to rotate because all the mass is concentrated around the outside. The Inch bells, being solid, would rotate more easily than if they weren't. Whether a plate loaded 172 would rotate more or less easily would have to be worked out. It would also depend on the diameter of the plates (eg whether they're all 5's or 35's)

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In some physics texts there is a table detailing the rotational inertia of various uniform shapes. Overcoming an object's moment of inertia is what makes dumbbell cleans harder than barbell cleans of the same weight. I have wondered recently if the Apollon's wheels replica has the same rotational inertia as the original. Accurate measurement of the physical dimensions may not be enough if there is variation in density.

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One of Tim Lincir's goals is to measure the original wheels in person. In the back of my mind, I am hoping he tries to, and succeeds in, buying the original wheels. Don't know his time frame on this but I know he wants to measure the original in person. He also wants to measure the bend in the original wheels' bar (after Davis dropped it).

We should applaud Lincir- he really cares about getting things right! And he is a collector of old weights, and probably knows more about the history of equipment development than anybody else because he has done extensive patent searches nationally and internationally.

We're fortunate he has this passion!

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