How to include Indian clubs into your strength routine

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Categories: Indian clubs, strength training

We have been getting a few inquiries lately about how to combine club swinging with other strength training modalities, such as barbells and kettlebells.

Since we have different club swinging programs available (including the latest Hanuman workout volume 5), here is some practical advice.

Prioritize your training goals

What do you want to achieve? What is most important for you? A bigger deadlift? 100 reps unbroken meel swings with heavy clubs? Learning new complex exercises? Better cardio?

Have a good think about it all, and put your goals in a numeric order, with #1 being the most important one for now.
Once you have your list, time to plan for the goals you chose. For the next 8-12 weeks, focus on #1 and #2, including them in your program each time you train.
Add goals #3-5 here and there on occasion, when you feel you have time and energy.
Disregard anything over #5.
That’s it, keep at it for 8-12 weeks. After that, you may write a new list, or carry on.

Depending on how many days you can train, and how much time you have each session, you could structure your week in many ways. Here are 2 simple ways.

Option 1 | Training 3 times a week

Use the classical heavy, light, medium day approach mentionned in Bill Starr’s book ”The strong shall survive”.

Kettlebell/ barbell strength training x20-30 min. Pick 3-5 lifts.

Follow up with:
Club
swinging x10-15 minutes (Meels 101 on heavy day, light clubs on light day, Hanuman workout series on medium day)

Option 2 | Training 5 days a week

Day 1, 3: Hanuman program, using the variability table included in the program.

Day 2, 4: Strength training with barbell/ kettlebells x20-30 min followed by some of the exercises in Meels 101 for 5-10 min.

Day 5: Kettlebells/ bodyweight training x15-20 min, followed by light double club swinging x5-10 min

Is it the perfect solution or program?

Don’t overthink it too much. Get going first, and tweak the program along the way. Too many people want the perfect program, without having a perfect lifestyle to begin with. Take the first step!

How you pick exercises and rep scheme depends on your personal goals, and equipment available.
Heavy weights are lifted for a low reps (3-5), while lighter weights are lifted for higher reps (6-10 or 10-20)

One of the principles I follow most of the time is not to train to fatigue, as the old texts mention. If you have read some books by Pavel, you’ll be familiar with the concept too.

Examples of how I personally combine things

Since the lockdown, I stopped training for kettlebell marathon competition. Therefore my training does not have to be 100% focused as earlier. I want to feel good, and have energy to do the things I have to do , play with my kids and so on.

I aim to get as much movement variation as possible on a daily basis.
By that, I mean I push, pull in different directions, raise my center of gravity, rotate, move laterally and backwards, crawl on all four, make use of uneven terrain, i
nclude single leg exercises etc…

Here are 6 examples for inspiration.

Option #1

EMM circuit: Every minute on the minute. Perform the exercises, and rest the remainder of the minute. Set a time limit to the circuit, 20-30 minutes is usually plenty.

  • min 1: 20x jump rope cross over, 2x kettlebell jump squats, x1/1 one arm push up, x1 ring pull up
  • min 2: 20x full swing with thick grip club (left hand)
  • min 3: 20x jump rope cross over, 2x kettlebell jump squats, x1/1 one arm push up, x1 ring pull up
  • min 4: 20x full swing with thick grip club (left hand)
  • etc… until the time is up

Option #2

Strength circuit: use the correct weight to stay within the desired rep range.

  • Turkish get up x1/1
  • Sumo Deadlift x6
    1 arm row with thick grip x6-10/6-10
  • Single seated calf raise x12-15/12-15
  • Neurogrip push ups x6-10
  • Light clubs x1 min
  • Rest as needed, do 3-5 work sets.

Finish with ab roller, and static lunge holds

Option #3

AMRAP: As Many Rounds As Possible within a defined time limit, 20-30 minutes.

  • Push up complex
  • Meels complex
  • Kettlebell get up 

Repeat the sequence for time, resting as needed.

 

Option #4

Pavel’s ”Simple and sinister” (kettlebell swings and Turkish get ups), using a single heavy club for 5-15 min at the end

Option #5

Pavel’s ”The quick and the dead” (kettlebell swings/ snatch and explosive push ups), using 2 light clubs as active recovery between exercises.

Option #6

Contrast intervals: One hard interval followed by an easy one to provide active recovery, targeting different movement patterns.

  • Fast pace kettlebell snatch or 1 arm long cycle x4 minutes
  • Slow/ easy paced circuit with bodyweight and clubs x3 min
  • Repeat 4 times

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