The WSM didn’t even need to use a lifting strap.
Written by Roger Lockridge
Strongman athlete Martins Licis has several accolades to his credit. The 2019 World’s Strongest Man is also the 2021 Rogue Invitational winner and the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic champion. Licis is always testing his strength in different ways, and his recent trip to Gold’s Gym Venice in California included putting his grip to the test against the world famous Golden Dumbbells.
As seen at the 8:56 mark in the Youtube video posted on Licis’ channel, he managed to perform a single-arm row with one of the 150-kilogram (330-pound) dumbbells for a quick first rep, followed by two more reps after a very brief pause to re-grip the weight. Watching from behind was Licis’ mentor and renowned grip strength legend Odd Haugen. After an unspecified rest period, Licis then did a second set, getting five reps. Both sets were performed with only chalk on his hands and without the aid of a lifting strap.
Licis and his business partner, Romark Weiss, originally went to the iconic bodybuilding gym with a challenge of having members attempt to lift the legendary Thomas Inch Dumbbell to a standing position using only one hand. The legendary Inch Dumbbell weighs 77 kilograms (170 pounds) and has a handle nearly two and a half inches thick. Licis offered $100 to any person that could complete the challenging lift, and two men managed to perform that feat.
There is no official list of people that have lifted with the Golden Dumbbells, but among those that have done so on camera include 2022 Arnold Classic UK bodybuilding champion Andrew Jacked and social media personality Jake Johns (a.k.a. Big Boy), who performed a single-arm row for 10 reps with the dumbbell. However, they used straps while Licis did not.
Licis is coming off a busy 2022 season that saw him win the Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, OH in March, followed by a second-place finish to Tom Stoltman at the 2022 World’s Strongest Man contest in Sacramento, CA. Licis then took fourth place at the 2022 Rogue Invitational strongman contest in Texas. The champion at that event was Oleksii Novikov.
Licis’ 2023 plans are still to be determined. He had previously said that he would like to pursue challenging world records, and he is unsure if he will enter any major contests. His most recent contest appearance was a short notice entry in November 2022 to replace Robert Oberst as the captain of Team USA against Team UK at the 2022 Giants Live World’s Strongest Nation contest. Team UK, captained by 2017 World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall, won that competition.
Featured Image: @martinslicis on Instagram
About Roger Lockridge
Roger “Rock” Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He’s also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.