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Inch dumbbell

Bill Piche

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Just to pick it up off the ground with one hand (any height).

It seems the Inch is lifted by those over 6' in height.

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Well you guys are probably sick of me bringing it up.. ??? but Big Tony at 5'11"is probably the shortest person to actually deadlift it.

Josh Bigger is 5'10 1/2 "-and based on his Rolling Thunder workouts...which is way beyond what someone suggested as a good 'comparison'to the Inch- should deadlift it very easily.

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Just remembered that Tarzan Jacobs may have been the

shortest in starting position: H&S Dec 1957 referring to

Oct 17, 1957:

"Later, backstage, Jacobs lay on the floor, pulled it on to

his chest, stood up and then hoisted it overhead."

It is unconfirmed that Jane and Cheetah were witnesses. :blush

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There's a pic of Bruce White holding an Inch replica at waist height in his issue of Iron Grip. He can't be very tall @ ~150lbs. I was just wondering today how many guys <172lbs lifted an IDB off the floor.

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When most guys talk about "so-and-so" lifting the Inch, they are referring to guys at least 6 feet or taller!

Roark, how tall was Thomas Inch??  ???  He HAD to be around 5'9" or so.

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I think a better question would be, who in the modern era who has average or even small hands has lifted an Inch replica from the floor?

And less than 220 lbs.

Make it even more stringent. :)

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Attention All Newbies,

Nathan Say is having some fun with me (I hope). Inch,

in spite of the 1937 claim, did not lift the bell hundreds

of times, and in my view, never one handed it all the


He continued to confuse by saying that no one else

EVER got the bell off the foor but the best attempts

were usually by taller men (implying longer hands). On

the other hand he gave prizes for the best attempt, but

if no one got the bell off the floor, how is the best attempt judged? Best grimace, best yell? On the third hand, he acknowledged that one person had cleared the floor with

the bell.

Inch was 5'10" by most accounts.

Bruce White is THE MAN. Palm width 3.75", hand length 7.75"

but for some reason I do not have his height handy.

If you are interested in how my conclusions were reached about Inch, then see ironhistory.com and search via 'Inch101'

which has several installments with specifics, and this friday's

edition will conclude the series.

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Joe, I don't want to start the great debate again but are you saying that it is impossible that Inch lifted his 172 bell?  Assuming his bent presses were legitimate (and I have never heard anyone debate them) isn't it possible that with years of training specifically for the bell that he might be able to perform this feat?  Who is capable of bent pressing what Inch did (of any height or weight) currently?  I'm not aware of anyone.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm probably the second most skeptical guy here (next to you) but if some of his other accomplishments are legit I have to wonder if the 172 bell was within his grasp also.  :D

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Indeed Inch could have bent pressed the Inch, but that

is not the method he always described. Indeed circa 1913

it was Aston who held the bent press record, not Inch, and

I know this is not the place to get into a bunch of history so

let me refer you to this Friday's ironhistory.com, but briefly, for those who choose not to go there:

Inch frequently referred to others being required to lift the

172 in 'the same manner as I' though I have never found a

description of that manner- until decades later, when he

retroactively redefined it as one hand all the way- and he

meant push press, not bent press. But if you study his one

hand clean strength limits on REGULAR size bars, it becomes

apparent that he falls short of some of his thick bar claims.

Indeed the ONLY photo I have ever seen of him cleaning a

heavy dumbell, which purports to show how he got the 172

to the shoulder, shows him leaning back at the torso, as two hands have brought the bell to the shoulder. From there it

would, as you indicate, be actually EASY for him to bent press it.

Your reference to the 'great debate'. Anyone who disagrees

with my conclusions is certainly welcome to present those

arguments. But, and forgive me if this sounds arrogant, I have

spent hundreds of hours on this matter to reach these conclusions, and can provide chapter and verse for everything, and am unwilling to entertain people's 'opinions'

based on shallow investigation.

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Inch probably had a longer career as a professional strongman than any other man. He claims to have lifted his challenge bell hundreds of times in public over a period of years. So far not one pic has come to light of him doing anything with what at least appears to be his 172 lb. challenge dumbell. Almost certainly as Roark has concluded, he lifted the lighter version and switched over to the heavier version if he thought there was any chance of the dumbbell being lifted. It seems very strange that there are so very few pics of Inch, at least that have survived to this day.

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How about John Gallagher in 1956 , i believe he was around 5 foot 6 inches or there abouts.He also lifted the Dinnie Stones i think.This lift was with the Thomas Inch challenge  dumbell.


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There is some confusion as to whether Gallagher lifted the

middleweight challenge bell [153] or the 172. I have seen

both mentioned. Do not know his height, but whichever bell it

was, he got it to knee height before it tilted and slipped from

his grasp. That is a marvelous feat, but not a full deadlift. It

was after this that Inch introduced the notion of one hand

to the shoulder and then on to overhead.

People were encroaching on his legend, so as has been the

case with other 'legends' the basis for their legendary status

needed to be altered...

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