Tom Mutaffis' Super Heavy Dumbbell Rows

Posted on 19 Oct 2014 21:09


Tom Mutaffis is one of the strongmen I follow on Facebook - along with Nick Best.

He's got his own 3 day routine up on which I won't really get into; but today's share is of his heavy dumbbell row video.

In this video he is rowing 185 for a few reps. It is pretty amazing to see! Tom Mutaffi is amazingly strong and this is one hell of a dumbbell row!

I used to do my Dumbbell Rows like this: super heavy non-strict.

I am not anywhere near a strongman and far be it for me to think I could train like one. Call it anecdotal evidence or blind faith but I believe doing heavy one arm dumbbell rows even without super strict form does help my deadlift.

Here's the video:

However, I acknowledge doing Dumbbell Rows with good form means being able to generate a lot of muscle growth - which also plays a part in getting stronger. So I've tried to do the best of both worlds. The dumbbell row part of my workout involves a total of 5 sets of which 2 are really heavy ball-busting sets with little emphasis on form and mostly about satisfying my ego and the remaining 3 sets are super high rep sets (15-30 reps) done with proper form. After 3 months of doing this I can confidently say that this has really helped me pack on some size and still maintain my max on deadlifts.


Dumbbell image courtesy of


Dumbbell image courtesy of

Dumbbell rows, even with light weights and controlled form, with no momentum, can really help strengthen your mid back and are a great exercise to include in any strength training routine. You do NOT have to do them with gargantuan weights to have them be helpful.

It is certainly possible to mix lighter, high rep and controlled dumbbell rows with heavier rows that use more knees, back, etc. You could do them on different days of the week, for example.

You do need to work up to these heavy weights, and most people would be better off strengthening their back across the board before attempting any super heavy rows, as an inadvertent twist can cause a strain in your mid back area that can plague you for months, if not longer.

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