|About 22″ long and 15 pounds as shown.|
The circus dumbbell. A challenge modern strength trainees have rediscovered in recent years, and one the old time strongmen implemented regularly in their workouts.
If you aren’t familiar with the circus dumbbell, this is a long, thick (and thin) -handled dumbbell with large balls on either end. The balls have removable plugs covering holes which were used to fill them with lead shot. Resistance could be increased fractionally, and fully loaded they were serious weights. The circus dumbbell was often longer than today’s dumbbells, but shorter than a barbell.
With any luck we’ll soon have a commercial version or two to choose from, but for now one usually has to create a design and fabricate some parts. This can be costly, especially if you want an exact historical replica, so I came up with a simple, no-brainer homemade circus dumbbell anyone can make-as long as they have the parts.
You will need:
-Standard sized weight plates
-1″ x 10-12″ galvanized steel nipple
-Two 1″-3/4″ coupling reducers
-Two 3/4″x 4″galvanized steel nipples
-Two 3/4″ end caps.
(About $23 dollars without the weight plates.)
-Assemble the reducers to either end of the 10″ steel nipple.
-Screw the 3/4″ nipples to the reducer ends
-Slide on the desired amount of weight, followed by a 3/4″ end cap. Do one side at a time to prevent slippage.
A couple of notes:
-Be sure to wipe these parts down before you use them, unless you like having dirty hands.
-Adjust the size of the bars to your preference. I wanted to go thicker, but my Home Depot didn’t have the parts at the time.
So for example, for a circus dumbbell with a 2″ handle: