A block weight is the term used for the cut off head of a hex or York dumbbell. Why would you want to cut up your dumbbells? Because block weights are one of the very best tools for building strong hands.

York Blob

The Blob

With the cut off head you have a large weight. The goal is to pick up this weight with a single hand. This works the pinch grip tremendously as the thumb is on one side and the other four fingers on the other.

Of course using dumbbells of different weights you can make block weights of virtually any size, suitable to most people. A world class feat of strength is to lift ‘The Blob’ a block weight made from a 100 lb. York dumbbell. The York block weights are even harder than the hex block weights of the same size due to the gradual sloping on the sides.

Besides just picking up the block weights you can do any number of moves. Tossing the weights from hand to hand, passing them around your back, curls, cleans, presses and snatches are all great moves. For these moves you’ll need a lighter block weight than one you can just lift.

In his classic book, Mastery of Hand Strength, John Brookfield wrote “Block weights = Hand Strength.” When someone as strong as John gives that kind of endorsement you ought to listen.

Watch the video below for simple tips on how to lift block weights.

Besides the normal lift you can lift block weights in a hub pinch style.

As far as I know block weights are not sold online. To make your own find used dumbbells and take a saw to them.


  1. just made my first block weight. its sorry found a 20lb db and chopped it down. looking for an 60lbs york smooth weight to grind. my hand had spasms taking a walk around the block with it in each hand… yes the 10lbs block!

    1. Author

      @Andres Reng: I suggest you check out John Brookfield’s books. I forget which one its in though. That being said just picking them up is one of the best exercises possible.

  2. thanks for the fast response, i wonder why you do not include the medicine ball in your website, what is your opinion?

  3. Pingback: My First Live Workout

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