Sadik Hadzovic’s 10,000 DB Shoulder Press Challenge

Late last year, Team GAT athlete Sadik Hadzovic stopped by the Muscle & Strength Headquarters.

After checking out the HQ and giving us multiple training and nutrition tips, he challenged our very own, Brett Kahn to the 10,000lb shoulder press challenge.

Now, this challenge isn’t for the faint of heart.

It takes guts, endurance, and extreme strategics to even finish the challenge, let alone come out victorious against your training partner.

Why is this challenge so difficult? Because it’s one move for one body part. As Sadik himself describes it, “It’s shoulder press until you die.”

For this challenge, the total is calculated by the amount of weight of the dumbbells you use. For example, if you select 100lb dumbbells, you’d have to do 10 sets of 10 repetitions to accomplish the 10,000lb tonnage of this challenge.

Neck and Neck in the Early Stages

When the two start out, their plan of action is to start light to warm up and work their way up to as heavy as they can go.

Related: Muscle & Strength Ultimate Bodyweight Challenge

They each grab the 40lb dumbbells and crank out 20 reps for a total of 800lbs. Even though they’re using this weight to get warmed up, the totals still count towards their 10,000lb goal.

Afterwards, they grab the 55lb dumbbells and each perform 15 reps to put them at 1,625lbs in the early beginnings of this challenge.

Sadik doesn’t recommend this challenge for anyone who is currently on contest prep. The total amount of volume could potentially lead to an increased risk of injury. However, if you’re in the offseason and you’re feeding yourself appropriately, it’s always fun to put those calories to work and push yourself to your limits.

The two perform an additional set using 55lb dumbbells for 15 reps bringing each of their totals to 2,450lbs.

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Going Heavier and Brett Taking the Early Lead

On the ensuing set, the two go heavier by grabbing the 70lb dumbbells. Both of the athletes crank out 10 reps and bring their totals to 3,150 lbs.

Brett brings up an excellent point as the two take on heavier weight. Appropriately spotting your partner during this challenge is essential to avoiding injury and getting through the challenge. Some people like a heavy spot and others like a light spot.

On set 5, Sadik and Brett begin to feel the fatigue setting in. Still they move up in weight and use the 80lb dumbbells during the next couple of sets. Brett capitalizes on the opportunity to take the early lead by cranking out 8 reps to Sadik’s 7. While Sadik sits at 3,790lbs on the challenge, Brett moves up to 3,950lbs.

After each nail 7 reps in the 6th set, Brett’s lead remains comfortable at 4,510lbs to 4,350lbs.

Pyramiding Down During Mid Challenge

After a few heavy sets at 80lbs and now nearly half way through the challenge, Sadik and Brett decide to start moving down in weight. They move back down to the 70lb dumbbells and begin set 7. Brett extends his lead by being able to knock out 10 reps to Sadik’s 7 bringing the lead to 5,210lbs to 4,840lbs.

After 7 sets, Sadik says he’s at the point where he might consider giving up, but he’s come this far and decides to keep pushing through. They move down in weight once more for their 8th set, each grabbing 60lb dumbbells.

Sadik uses this round to make up some ground, as he cranks out 12 solid reps to Brett’s 8. Brett still holds a narrow lead going into the final stretch of things as their respective totals sit at 5,560lbs for Sadik and 5,690lbs for Brett.

Sadik tired while doing the 10k pound shoulder press challenge

The Final Stretch and Sadik’s comeback

For the remainder of the workout, the two stick with the 60lb dumbbells. Sadik uses the strategy of keeping one rep left in the tank.

In set 9, Sadik takes control of the lead for the first time in the challenge after dominating 15 reps to Brett’s 12. Sadik’s lead, while narrow (6,460lbs vs 6,410lbs), gives him the momentum leading into the home stretch.

The very next set, Sadik increases his lead by out-repping Brett 10 reps to 9. Sadik is the first to reach the 7k mark and leads Brett 7,060lbs to 6,950lbs after 10 sets. The two enter the intense last few sets, each striving to cross the finish line first. For this reason, they implement the burnout strategy, hitting every single rep they possibly can.

In set 11, Sadik kicks things off by shoulder pressing the 60lb dumbbells for an impressive 21 reps bringing his total to 8,320lbs. Meanwhile, Brett hits 19 reps bringing his total up to 8,080lbs. However, Sadik now being firmly in control, never looks back.

Sadik starts off set 12 by tallying up 8 more reps and bringing his total to 8,800lbs pressed. Brett, on the other hand, tries to narrow the gap a bit by accomplishing 10 reps in the final minutes of the competition, and brings his total up to 8,680lbs.

With some solid tunes now on the playlist, the intensity picks up drastically heading into set 13. Sadik also takes a commanding lead in the challenge by enduring and performing 10 reps to Brett’s 6.

Related: The Toughest Fitness Challenge Most Lifters Can’t Complete

Sitting at 9,400lbs pressed, all Sadik has to do now is hit 10 more reps to defeat the 10,000lb challenge. Meanwhile, Brett sits at 9,040lbs and needs 16 total reps to hit the targeted mark. Sadik gathers some power and motivation from all the Muscle & Strength employees watching on and dominates his final set.

In set 14, Sadik hits all 10 of his reps to beat the 10,000lb challenge!

In the same set, Brett subtracts 10 reps from his remaining 16. And in set 15, he tackles the remaining 6 to beat the 10,000lb challenge!

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While the 10,000lb challenge is indeed a challenge and you want to beat your workout partner, bodybuilding is very much an individualized sport. Just being able to conquer the challenge is something to be proud of.

As Sadik mentions, it takes a lot to get through this challenge. You have to be mentally tough, you need to have good music on the radio, and you need an excellent partner to be there to not only spot you, but challenge you to get through it.

What do you think? Are you going to take on the 10,000lb challenge on your next shoulder day? If you do, be sure to drop your totals (reps and sets) in the comments section below!

Good luck!

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