Ever since Derek Poundstone shocked the strongman world in 2009 by hitting 12 reps with the 202 circus dumbbell at the Arnold Sports Festival, it has become a staple of many strongman competitions. It’s an event that a lot of people seem to have trouble with. I've put together a visual to help sort out this event and get things going in the right direction.

Things to look for in the video:

  • Foot Position
  • Setup for the clean
  • Rack Position
  • Jerking the bell
  • Lowering the DB for efficiency

Training the DB is really straightforward. I think you can continue to train your press in the same manner that you have found effective for you. Treat your DB work as technique work. I don’t find that it beats me up all that much, and I get far more out of spending time on technique work with the DB at 80-90%. I do not get much out of DB training when I do it with the same volume that I might use for another event.

Once you perfect the technique, it’s like riding a bicycle; it can be held off on until you have a contest coming up again. I think that there is merit to learning to press the DB with both hands, however, when the show comes around you should know ahead of time what you will be doing. I find that for me this event is more conditioning than anything and that my shoulders don’t fatigue from pressing the bell. For this reason, I choose to stick with one hand for the entire duration. This helps me to get into a nice rhythm and cadence and I don’t feel rushed or flustered trying to switch hands. If you feel that you benefit from switching hands because your shoulders tire out, then you need to practice it that way. Just as always with your event work, practice how you plan to perform.