Let’s begin with the basic of basics. Clubs have been around for thousands of years simply because they work. Most of us are familiar with the lighter weight Indian Clubs that are swung in complex patterns which develop coordination, mobility, and speed not unlike an Olympic Fencer. Then there are the bigger clubs, the large wooden or the more popular metal clubs of 15, 20, and those over 45 pounds, originally designed to train warriors to deliver punishing power with heavy hand armaments. These will be the subject of this article.
Power is the strength you have to perform a specified exercise in an allowed amount of time. So if you are doing an AMRAP of thrusters for a 30 second time period you’d be able to determine if your power output has increased by either an increase in the number of reps performed or by using a heavier weight for the same number of reps. For example if you did max effort thrusters with 95 pounds and got 12 in 30 seconds that’s 1,140 pounds moved. Now for a few weeks you practiced thrusters and your retest your AMRAP, now you get 14 in 30 seconds -congratulations! You’ve increased your power because you just moved 1,330 pounds OR if you kept the same 12 reps BUT instead of 95 pounds you used 115 pounds, you have increased your power. Now that you have the idea of power we’ll apply it to a club workout.
POWER AND CLUBWORK
WARNING! – There is no doubt about the fact that if you follow this power program you will be buying more clubs, if you don’t have access to a complete set or an adjustable one already.
The exercises listed below can be found on YouTube demonstrated by many different instructors plus searching for them will entice you to watch more clubwork exercises. Watch. Learn. Grow.
NOTE: I usually increase only 5 pounds between the Pre-Fatigue Sets and the Work Sets. 5 pounds is a big jump in clubwork. Better to chip away smoothly than to get injured rushing progress.
The workout will be a 4 day split into 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days. We’ll focus on the upper body in this article. The exercises will be 1 hand inside mills, 1 hand front swipes, and 2 handed Gama Casts. A set is reps done on each arm, i.e; 10 reps means 10 reps right arm 10 reps left = 1 set. The sample below is from my current program;
Pre-Fatigue Sets to be done for the reps specified 1 minute rest between sets (after exercising both arms)
Exercise wt reps sets
Mills 20 10 4
Fr Swipes 20 10 4
Gama Cast 20 10 4
Work Sets 1 minute rest between sets
Mills 25 AMRAP 30 sec 4
Fr Swipes 25 AMRAP 30 sec 4
Gama Cast 25 AMRAP 30 sec 4
This is now your Base Power Program. Good form is important to reduce the chance of injury. I practice quite often on my ‘off’ days doing up to 150 reps with a much lighter weight to get the feel of an exercise. This ensures proper form when the heavier weights are used.
Once you are able to perform the above workout getting 7-8 reps for ALL 4 Work Sets, take away one Pre-Fatigue Set and add one more Work Set for the next workout. Do this until you can get a full 8 AMRAP reps for all 5 Work Sets in 30 seconds. Now reduce to 2 Pre-Fatigue Sets and go to 6 Work Sets until 8 reps is reached again, then pat yourself on the back and begin over with the Base Program. This round the Pre-Fatigue Sets will be the weight you used in the previous Work Sets but for 4 sets of 10 and the Work Sets will add 5 pounds. Look how far you’ve come!
Give these club training exercises a try in your next workout. Develop the bit of skill needed to build a solid foundation then adapt the exercise as you progress to challenge yourself. Keep it interesting and reap the benefits of solid full ROM body power, you won’t be disappointed!