Mr. Gallacher fully deadlifted the Inch Dumbbell THREE times that night and was awarded the Special Plaque by Thomas Inch himself. As you should well know, the famous Thomas Inch Dumbbell weighs 172 pounds and has a 2-3/8th inch diameter thick handle making it a tremendous grip challenge for anyone who attempts to lift it. This challenge weight defied thousands of athletes until Mr. Gallacher came along. As luck would have it, Mr. Gallacher called my office a few years back and I got a chance to speak with him at length about the special training which allowed him to lift The Inch Dumbbell.
At that time there was a man known as James Walter Kennedy who was athletically inclined and developed. He was an oarsman and general athlete, leaning, however, more toward the strong man. He was about 6 feet tall and weighed around 190 pounds, had jet black curly hair and mustache and at a time was a special officer at The Globe Museum at 298-300 Bowery, New York City.
Kennedy took a notion that he could lift this 1000 pound dumbbell with his hands and he began to train with a big whiskey cask, not using whiskey in it, but water, sand and rock as he gained strength. In other words, he used the Milo Bar Bell system of gradually increasing weight as he improved in his strength.
The first time he tried lifting the 1000 pound weight he failed but some time later he succeeded. His style was to straddle the weight and have one hand in front of his body grasping the weight and the other hand grasping it in the rear of his body, this position being known as the Hands Alone Lift. His body was erect with the exception that the knees were bent about 2 or 3 inches.”
– Warren Lincoln TravisMy 40 years with the World’s Strongest Men
Since the original Inch Challenge Dumbbell is now sitting in my living room in Cincinnati, I recently, decided to commission a series of smaller bells which would not only keep that tradition alive but also better help in bridging the gap while training with the 172-pound Inch bell.
These dumbbells were cast in a far off land and brought to the U.S. at great personal expense. They are currently the only bells of this sort on U.S. soil. The two larger ones weigh 53 kg (116.6 pounds) and the two smaller bells in the back weight 40 kg (88 pounds). I wanted to get a pair of each size for farmer’s walk training.
You’ll be seeing more of these bells soon…