The Sig Klein Challenge


Face it.

Every now and then you want to try something new in the gym. A new lift, a new rep range or an entirely new style of training. The mind gets bored of monotony, something which the lifters of yore were all too acquainted with. Today’s post on the Sig Klein challenge will not only help reinvigorate your training, it’ll provide a test of your overall strength. Not bad for something new huh?

For those unfamiliar with Klein, he was one of the strongest men of the early 20th century. Known for his impeccable posing, feats of strength and no nonsense attitude toward training, Klein was respected across the lifting community. Furthermore he dedicated decades of his life as a coach in the gym of Professor Attila. Safe to say he knew a thing or two about strength.

So what was his challenge?


Simple. Take two 75lbs (35kg) dumbbells and clean and press them for twelve perfect reps.

Klein came up with this challenge when writing about the exercise in Strength and Health magazine in the 1930s. He finished the article by claiming few men across the United States could handle a pair of 75 pound dumbbells for 12 good reps. Throwing down the gauntlet over eight decades ago, few have taken Klein’s challenge.

Now if you’re unfamiliar with the exercise, it’s best to ease your way into it. Try reps of 10 on a lighter weight and slowly build your way up.

For the correct form, T-Nation have an excellent article (available here) or this Youtube video from does a good job of explaining it.


Happy lifting!

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