Designing a Dumbbell for One Lift

by Roger LaPointe

Roger LaPointe "in video action" performing a dumbbell swing.

I’ve got this really cool customer who used to be a Marine Sniper Instructor Trainer. Talk about a specialist. He had me make him a custom barbell a couple of years ago. He was very specific about what he wanted. Now, he had been buying from me for a while and I have a pretty good idea about how he trains and what he trains for today. It is not his previous job, after all, he is retired from the military. On the other hand, I know he appreciates using the right tool for the job.

I have been specializing my training around a single lift over the last year. You may have seen some of the articles and videos I’ve done on the One Hand Dumbbell Swing. As I have been doing this training, I have also been studying the literature on the lift. Some of this information is over a hundred years old. I like that old information. When I can find a tip that allows me to tweak what I am doing that little bit, it makes me feel like Indiana Jones. The archeologist in me feels like those long dead coaches are talking to me. It’s cool.

YouTube Video for the One Hand Dumbbell Swing:

So, I am going to give you guys a list of parts/tools that will help you experiment. Think of it as an engineer’s proto – typing tool. Once you have these parts, if you want to talk to me about some of the other pieces that I play with, most of which are NOT on the web site. Then you can pick up a phone and call, but here is the starting line.

  • Long Dumbbell Bar
  • Allen Collars (I have bunches of these.)
  • Heavy Duty (3/4 Pound) Wrenchless Screw Collars(Great for quick changes.)
  • Shot Loading Dumbbell

You also need a selection of Plates. Get some larger ones, like 35 Pounders. Also get a variety of thicknesses: pancake vs. contoured with the lip. You may also want some other bar lengths. All of these variables are fun to play with. You don’t want to get hung up on what the other guys are doing, for example: experiment with back loading your dumbbell and tipping your dumbbells.

Enjoy, Roger LaPointe
“Today is a good day to lift.”