I write this blog post with the knowledge that I possess little mechanical ability or any type of genetics for building anything. I have great friends that harness these talents – Jim Messer (creator of the N.O.V name and friend since our days at MacArthur Junior High School) is quite the carpenter and Jason Pegg is my hired gun when I need help getting stuff done. So with that in mind, I feel highly qualified to write this piece simply because I truly believe that if I can do this, anyone can.
Before we start with the simple process, let me define the Kroc Row. Named after everyone’s favorite Polish American Powerlifter, Matt Kroczaleski, the Kroc Row has quickly become a staple exercise in many lifting circles. In its infancy this exercise was simply a single set of high rep dumbbell rows with the heaviest weight possible. Matt did this because of necessity – the dumbbells he had access weren’t heavy enough to perform the requisite “10-12” reps that is often prescribed. To combat this, he just did a ton of reps with the heaviest dumbbell available. Initially done to build his upper back for his bench press, this exercise also gave him great deadlift lockout strength as well as grip strength. Never one to stand still, Matt began training the row heavier and heavier and built his own dumbbell to accommodate his strength. With this the Kroc Row expanded into a ridiculously heavy one-arm row often done with straps. Matt has done 300lbs with this exercise and he swears by it. So the Kroc Row can now be defined as two things:
There is a 4 step process to building your own Kroc Row Dumbbell (this is for version 1, the one with straps).
If I can do it, you can do it.
Version 2- Option without straps.
Since training is my life I've since upgraded from my hand-made handle to the one you see pictured below. If you have $187 laying around the Cartoon Dumbbell handle from Spud, Inc. is for you. Spud calls them this because they can hold a ridiculous amount of weight. The handle is well knurled but you still have the option of using straps depending how crazy you want to get with reps. I believe this dumbbell handle is made by Buddy Kap and is a Texas Power Bar cut down in size. In other words, this thing is built to last.
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