The Blob, one head from a 100-lb Old-style York Dumbbell, is one of the most widely recognized challenge objects in all of Grip Sport.
The term “Blob” was coined by Richard Sorin, of Sorinex.com. As he related to me, he was finishing a gym install at a YMCA and the owner asked him to clear out the broken York Dumbbells that were laying all over. To do so, he bent over and picked each one of them up in a pinch grip until he came to the half 100 pounder. He couldn’t manage to lift it, so he dedicated himself to developing the grip strength to lift one with a pinch grip.
Isn’t that freaking awesome? Even though most likely NO ONE before him had ever tried to lift block weights like this, when the challenge presented itself, he took it on full team ahead. INSPIRING.
Recently, there was a challenge that was discussed that involved curling the Blob. Specifically, it involved first deadlifting the Blob and then curling it strictly with the back against the wall.
Like Richard Sorin many years before, I took this challenge on.
Now, I am no stranger to Blob Curling.
Many years ago, I had completed a very loose curl of the Blob. I stood up with it in my hand and with momentum, continued the curl up to the completed position.
However, there really is no comparison between that and a strict curl with your back against the wall. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I went after it anyway, just to see what I had in me.
Here are the clips from the first workout where I went after the Blob Curl.
Blob Curl Against the Wall Attempt
Having tried strict curling in the past, I could remember the pain I would feel when trying to move the Blob through the sticking point, so i was kind of dreading it. Here was my attempt.
This feat felt so freakin’ hard, I could barely believe it. In the video, you saw where it was moving smoothly and then all of a sudden it just shut down and I couldn’t move it any further. Although I came nowhere near completing the lift, the good things was it really didn’t hurt that bad.
As I have said before, during that period of time in 2004-2005, I suffered a couple of cases of really bad upper forearm and wrist pain due to poor training choices, too much volume, etc. So, I am wondering maybe the pain I was feeling back then was no necessarily due to trying to curl the Blob, but rather, just from the injuries I was dealing with.
Blob Curl NOT Against Wall
After having such a hard time getting any real height on the Blob with the back against the wall, I decided I would try curling it free-standing.
Although the movement of the Blob was very slow, I didn’t really experience any pain here, either. This was the confidence booster I needed. I had no proven to myself that I had the strength to perform the curl. It would now just mean tightening up the form a bit.
Second Try – Blob Curl Against Wall
A few days later, I tried the Blob Curl Against Wall on more time. This time, not only did I have the confidence from being able to curl it out away from the wall, but I also had a partner that day. J.T. Straussner, one of the best benders in the entire world, has been living only 25 minutes away for about 5 months, but we never realized how close we were until a few weeks ago. He came up and I gave the Curl another go.
During the attempt, it felt like my shoulder came off the wall. I wasn’t sure if it would count or not, so I tried it again. That is why I hit it twice.
Jon Vance commented on the video, “Dude that has got to be one of the sickest feats ever with a blob.” I don’t know about all that, but it is definitely one of the hardest things I have done with the Blob. I literally have to put in an all-out effort on every attempt I make on it.
Now, this is really only the beginning. The next progression, should I attempt it, is to be able to perform the Strict Curl with each hand. At the time of the video, I was still very tentative to put in that kind of effort with my left hand, which is the one that was experiencing the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome symptoms. I haven’t tried this since then, so I am not sure what I have at this time.
Naturally, once I can curl a Blob with each hand, then I would try an Alternating Curl with one Blob in each hand. This would be attempted first free-standing, and then eventually up against the wall.
But before any of this can happen, I need to figure out why the eccentric portion of the lift is so damn hard! Right now, as the Blob nears my thigh on the eccentric portion of the lift, I lose total control of it.
Now, of course, to get the benefit of this training, you do NOT need to use a 50-lb Blob. Instead, just use any block weight that you have and just curl it.
The great thing about this lift is that the block weight will work the fingers and thumbs thoroughly, and when you curl it like this, the wrist and forearms are hit hard too.
Plug Block Weight Curls into your next training session and let me know what you got and how they felt. Come back and leave a comment.
All the best in your training,