Heavy club workout

Categories: Indian clubs

This article is the perfect starting point for beginners who wish to get a fantastic heavy club workout. If you have experience, review the tutorials and go straight to the workouts!

We are going to perform double handed exercises, but eventually you’ll be able to progress to single hand.

Why swing with 2 hands on the club?

Using both hands on the club is a great way to get started or even reprogram what you may have learned so far.
With 2 hands on the club, your leading (and more coordinated) hand can assist and guide the other one. When you eventually go to single handed exercises, the swings will feel as smooth on either side.

And if you want to become stronger in the shortest time, swinging with 2 hands on the club allows you to use more weight. A word of caution though, when it comes to swinging heavy (or heavier) clubs, do not solely focus on how many kg you can handle.
Make sure to give time to your body to adapt by doing many reps before increasing the weight of the club. Consolidate your gains, don’t rush!

Is it legit or made up?

what are Indian clubs?Heavy clubs were used by warriors and wrestlers in Eastern civilizations to develop strength, endurance, and agility.

Clubs vary greatly not only in shape and design, but also how they are used according to geography.

When used in pairs (think Persian meels and Indian joris) the number of exercises is limited mostly to alternating back circles. While it’s a great exercise, there is so much more to club swinging!

Swinging a single club opens up both the repertoire of exercises, and the plans of motion in which you can swing it.

Out of the 64 types of Karlakattai suttrus  (swings) in Tamil culture, only 4 are done with double clubs.
10 of those swings are done with both hand on a single club. The rest are done single handed, switching hands from side to side, as we do in our Ace of clubs program.

Starting weight for beginners

For a heavy club workout, finding the right weight is important.

Hopefully you bought a heavy club that was a reasonable weight, and not the heaviest one you could afford… Even better, maybe it was one of our adjustable clubs like the Pahlavandle TG or Gama.

For beginners, you need a weight that is light so that you do not get injured, but also heavy enough so that you get some feedback from the club.

For most people, that’s about a 3-5kg club if swinging with 2 hands on the club, or 2-3kg if swinging single handed.

I understand it may sound light to get a good workout off the bat, but after about 4-6 weeks of training 3-4 times a week, you’ll have improved:

  • Movement quality
  • Capillary density
  • Strength of ligaments and tendons

From there on, you’ll be able to safely progressively add more weight, and get some serious heavy club workout!

Heavy club workout structure and tutorials

A heavy club workout should have a warm up, a technical part where you aim to improve your skills or learn new ones, the actual workout and a cool down.

The videos below cover all of this and more!

Warm up

Make sure your training area is free of clutter, and that you have space to swing your club in all directions.

The warm up below covers pretty much all bases, with a combination of bodyweight and light club exercises to prime you for the heavy club training to come. It only take 5-6 minutes when you know the sequence.
Do it. Everytime you train. No excuses.

The warm up also a feedback tool.
Not only will you increase muscle elasticity and lubricate your joints, you will also be able to tune in your body and assess if today you’re ready to push or should take it easy instead.
Never go straight into swinging heavy clubs.

As much as possible train barefooted, and get outisde if the weather permits it.

Front circles

The magic of club swinging is in moving away from linear motions, and exploring circular motions in different planes of motion.

The front circles happen in front of the body, forcing you to rotate from side to side while controlling the heavy club, and maintaining balance over your base of support.

Master those circles first before you move on to the next heavy club training basics exercises.
And remember that circles have always 2 directions. Pretty much any club swinging exercise can be done in 2 directions: away or towards, forward or backward.

Back circles

The signature moves of light and heavy club training, and mace swinging too.

One of the key point is that you have to allow your body to rotate and shift weight from side to side. Don’t just move the club around your body, move your body around the club.

Full swings / Mills

The full swings, also called mills and other names, are a combination of a front and back circle.With light clubs, those swings are also called heart shaped swings.

It’s  fantastic move. The inner swing variation is akin to throwing a spear or an axe, or even fighting with a sword.

Full swings can be done in a few different ways, so when you’re ready for more information, give them a go. Don’t try to learn everything at once.

100 rep heavy club workout

All the instructions for this short workout are in the video. Play and train along after you have practiced all the previous tutorials in this article.

Depending on the weight of your club, you could increase the number of reps, or do several rounds of the circuit after a short break.

Adding footwork to swings

Adding layers of complexity to your club swinging will test full brain and body integration. If you want to move well and feel great, do not just add weight to your heavy club workout, add complexity!

Give the loop complex a go when you are confident doing front and back circles.
The complex will challenge your coordination and timing, and open your eyes as to how you can add complexity to an exercise.

The real magic happens when you can do level 3 for say 10 minutes straight without mistakes. You will have discovered meditation in motion at the same time!

What to do next?

Are you ready for more heavy club workouts?

Take the Indian club challenge as the next step to reinforce the basics, and increase your skills with double and single handed exercises.

The program is inspired from the physical training of Kushti wrestlers of the Indian sub-continent: swings, squats and push ups make up the main course.

Each workout session will take from 15 to 35 minutes, using our variable program protocol. In short, the training volume and exercise selection changes from session to session. It’s a fantastic way to avoid training burn out or get bored by a program.

We hope you enjoyed the article, remember to share with friends!