Kemme Fitness

Complete Resources for a Functional Fitness Lifestyle

Why you should buy, or better yet make, your very own Clubbells for exercising

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Clubbells (AKA Indian Clubs).
WHAT IS A CLUBBELL?
If you don’t know what they are, essentially they are a weighted baseball bat. They are believed to have originated out of ancient Persia and are an excellent piece of Functional Fitness equipment. Like Kettlebells, they are not cheap. However, I have instructions in the free ebook, The Low Cost Gym, to make your very own for incredibly little cash.
 

clubbbells 003a

The pic above shows my arsenal. As you can see, I simply used cheap, toddler plastic bats. Total cost for all 8 is a whopping $45!   They are filled with either cement or cement and sand. I sprayed painted the weights on each, which range from 6 pounds until 14.5 pounds.
 
WHY CLUBBELLS?
I can actually answer this one quickly. Exercising with Clubbells is low-impact, core-centered, and tri-planar.
 
Low-impact because, if you use them right, they do not put a lot of stress on your body, while developing neural-muscular connections, range of motion, endurance, and strength. Core-centered because the vast majority of movements done with Clubbells activates your core muscles to help you maintain stability while swinging weight off center. Finally, they are tri-planar, meaning you are moving your body in all three planes (coronal, horizontal, and sagittal).
 
I had found two guys who have great video demonstrations of Clubbell exercises, so I didn’t have to film myself doing any.  Check out the links below for the videos of the exercises I use here at Kemme Fitness.
 
Alternating Shield Cast
Barbarian Press
Barbarian Squat
Front Circle
Front Pendulum
Front Swing Hand Switch
Inside Pendulum
Lunge Walk
Mill (short for windmill)
Mill (another version)
Outside Pendulum
Rear Lunge Pendulum
Side Lunge Pendulum
Side Semi
Side Swing
Swipe
Torch Press
Turkish Get-up
Two Handed Press
 
In fact, Clubbells are one of the four pieces of equipment needed for the free 12-week program, K-Element. That is a great place to test out your new toys!
 
Let us know if you have ever tried a Clubbell. What did you think? Do you own one? Have you made one yourself? What is your favorite Clubbell exercise? Or how about your favorite workout?
 
 
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12 Comments»

  Aaron wrote @

Hey Pete:

I was out and around with the kids yesterday and hit both Home Depot and Target for clubbell supplies. I paid about $10 each for the bats (2) and $4 for the concrete mix and 5 gallon bucket. I could have found the bats cheaper, but I did not want to drive all over comparing prices.

When I am done, I might leave some concrete in the bucket for upright rows.

Interestingly, one of the bats I picked up has a screw-on cap at the barrel end. It came with a ball, which can be stored inside the bat – hence the cap. That removable cap will make it super easy to fill with concrete. It is also made of clear plastic, which will help with the filling.

I told the guy at Home Depot what I was up to, and he was totally impressed. He does CrossFit, and had not thought about making his own equipment.

Three questions:

1. Once the mix is in the bat, do you let it harden with the concrete in the barrel end so that, when you are holding it by the handle, the concrete is up?

2. How long does the mix usually take to harden?

3. What weights would you recommend? I am thinking one should be 10 lbs, but I am not sure whether to go lighter or heavier for the other.

A slosh tube is next!

Thanks,
Aaron

  Kemme Fitness wrote @

Aaron,

How exciting. I have the fat end down for drying and the handle ends up with little or no cement depending on your weight. I was at first concerned the handle would be weak and bend without cement in it, but have had no problems with that. It does take longer to dry since the moisture has to work its way up to the skinny handle area. You end up with an inch or two of water on top. After 2 full days I tip it and make sure the cement stays solid. If so, I tip enough to drain off the water at the top and am done.

I love my 13.5 and 14.5 pounders, but don’t do Mills with those, as they are a little too heavy for some movements. My wife started with 6 pounder and moved up to 7. A 10 pounder is probably the best all around for you and so I’d go with that.

You are going to love it!! Plus, if you get your slosh tube, then K-Element is in your future! You’ll hate me for sure 🙂

  Aaron wrote @

So, I made two clubbells on Monday. One came in at 10 and the other at 11. Unfortunately, I got impatient and used the 10-pounder yesterday. Broke it at the handle and had to throw the whole thing away. Right in the middle of a good workout too. I was doing the first clubbell workout you posted in the DIY guide. I am letting the 11-pounder sit for a few days. It is only open at the small end, so it will take a lot longer to set up.

Anyway, I really like the screw-top bat I got from Target, so I am going to get another this weekend and try again. This time with a piece of rebar through the length of the bat. There is a construction site across the street from my office, so I will go over later and ask for a scrap. The screw on top at the big end of the bat makes it so easy to load the concrete. It will also make it very easy to pound the in the rebar. This time, I am going to be more patient.

Have you ever broken a clubbell?

  Kemme Fitness wrote @

I have broken a macebell and many medicine balls, but not a clubbell forntunately. What a shame, but I can’t blame you for being impatient! Just think, when you get your slosh tube, you will have 12 full weeks of workouts ready!

You got me wanting to break them out this weekend. I haven’t done K-Element since last fall (stupid Michigan weather)!.

  Aaron wrote @

I do see another trip to Home Depot in my near future.

The weather here in Chicago has been insanely nice. I just got back from a nice 6 miler along the lakefront.

With regard to making a slosh tube, I read your directions for figuring out the amount of water. Couldn’t you just step on a scale and add water until you hit a target weight? What is an appropriate weight for a 10′ tube anyway?

  Kemme Fitness wrote @

That is actually a great third idea I never thought of. My two slosh tubes that are 3″ end up at 25 and 26 pounds. You might as well shoot for that and call it a day. Where were you 2 years ago?!

  Aaron wrote @

One last question: 8′ or 10′ for the slosh tube? Your page says get a 10 foot pipe. Then, I see Jason in all his barefoot glory on YouTube with what looks like a 10-footer, but it says it is 8 (Apparently, the camera adds two feet). Other videos from your page show folks with 8 and 10. I imagine with an 8, you would fill it 3/4 of the way. 10′ is probably the standard length. Easy enough to cut.

Also, I would think you could drill a small hole in the exact middle (or 3/4) of the tube. Then fill it until water starts to drip out. Then seal the hole with Shoe Goo and tape and then cap it per usual.

Thanks!

  Kemme Fitness wrote @

A forth option to fill the tube! Nice!

Anyway, I have a few that are shorter like 7 feet to get a lower weight, but 10 footers are definitely the way to go. Jason’s is 10 – at least the one he first made that we used to use. The benefit of the longer pipe is when the water all shoots down to that end that much farther from your body, the more muscles you need to recruit to stablize.

  Aaron wrote @

Slosh tube done! Took under an hour, including shopping for the parts and getting them home. Total cost was about $44.

After capping one end, I drilled a hole in the side right at the 5 foot mark and filled it until water dribbled out. It took a little less than 2 gallons (I used a gallon milk jug so that I could keep track). I shoved a small stick in to fill the hole and then covered it with a glob of Shoe Goo. Oddly, as I was installing the 2nd end cap, water leaked out the sealed hole. Somehow, adding the cap increased the pressure. Weird. Anyway, I am letting it sit overnight before I try using it.

Just in moving the tube to set it down to cure, I got an idea of how crazy it is going to be to work out with.

My slosh tube is called “The Governor.”

Walking Dead reference.

Thanks for the advice!!

  Kemme Fitness wrote @

I am surprised your Slosh Tube cost that much. I spent around $30 when I made mine. Although I have been told it is cost prohibitive in parts of Europe and so I guess it just depends on where you live. I hope the Shoe Goo idea works for you. Let us know if that takes.

I love the name!

[…] My friend Aaron, the inspiration behind the Aaron Robert’s workout just commented on a recent post about creating his very own Clubbell and Slosh Tube. I don’t want to speak for him, but it is […]

[…] you core muscles to stablize. Clubbells are also very excellent tools to help work your core.  Check out this post for more on them. If you have both, then we have a great 12 week program for you called K-Element. […]


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