How Do Kettlebells & Clubbells Differ?

Check out some real user responses and what they think about clubbells and kettlebells. How are they different? Are they for you?
Here are some real user responses about clubbells and kettlebells. Which should you use?

Kettlebells More Versatile, Clubbells Are More Fun ...

"Kettlebells and ClubbellsTM tend to emphasize different parts of the body as you use them. The kettlebell, as used in exercises advocated by the party, works the body in more of a "ground up" fashion. The swing, snatch, clean and jerk all stress the legs, hips and back. More of a total body exercise instrument.

The clubbell works more from the hands down. When you pick them up, they are clumsy to handle; you constantly try to balance them. Now for the exercises, there are only a couple that I do right now; a double front swing (kind of looks like I am skiing), a side-to-side swing (think tick-tock), the iron cross, 1-arm pullovers (I really do not know what to call them) and single-arm circles (front and back). All of the above have one thing in common: They fry your grip! Your arms, elbow-down, are on fire. the only thing I can compare it to is rope climbing.

High-rep snatches and farmer's walks will fry your grip, but it seems to me that they emphasize more of the tendon and ligament strength. When I am doing snatches, I find that my fingers tend to hook the kettlebell handle more than actually grip it (This is probably poor form on my part that should be corrected). When I use my kettlebells for farmer's walks, afterward I find that while my hands are shot, my forearms above my wrists have definitely borne the brunt of the assault.

After you use the clubbells for swings and circles, all the little muscles in your hands are sore as well as your forearms. You have to constantly grip that thing or it will fly right out of your hand. The only place where you can adjust your grip is at the top of the swing. Also, it works the shoulder to a great degree (duh) and those muscles between your shoulder blades (don't know the name, my Gray's isn't handy).

They are both a lot of fun to use and obviously you will reap benefits from dedicated practice. While you can do lower body exercises with the clubs (e.g. pistols, front and overhead squats etc.), they really shine on upper body exercises. Personally, I think the kettlebells are the more versatile of the two, but those clubs are a whole lot of fun."

- Polemides

Clubbells Better Than Sledges, Shoulders Still Sore From Kettlebells ...

"Clubbells: another awesome alternative to the gym! I have found another key reason to never go to a gym again. So far I have been improvising my workout with the clubbell doing alternating wood-chopping and circular swings with it. Unfortunately I couldn't get the page to load that had old-timer heavy swing training info on it. The clubbell is different from kettlebells.

Since it has a bit of leverage, its 15 pounds seem like a bit more. When comparing it to a sledge, you don't need to worry about the end flying off and killing somebody. The handle is crinkle-paint coated metal which gives it a really good gripping surface.

Currently I am working on using it for active recovery from kettlebell practice sessions now. Because of the load it puts on your shoulders it should excel at this. It is a really fun alternative to KB's but I would never give them up, or vice versa. As I learn more about using it safely I will integrate it more into my KB sessions. Because of the way it can load your shoulders it should excel for."

- Chuck Fair, Kettlebell Instructor

Clubbells: No Scares, Feels Safer, Top Notch ...

"I only have one of the beasts, but I've been having a lot of fun with it. The clubbell really is pleasurable to handle and work with - the heft and balance and shaft thickness are just right. If you show it to someone and they invariably want to play with it, as opposed to a kettlebell, which scares the hell out of most people."

And it actually feels safer than a kettlebell; most people seem to instinctively understand what their limits are on a given movement and naturally choke up on the handle or limit the ROM without getting too carried away. Of course, I'm talking about swinging one clubbell; two might be a different matter altogether, taking the demands on strength, coordination and endurance to a whole new level. I plan to order a pair for real money after I see what's on the OCS video and keep the third one for friends to use.

I have no doubt that after seeing Coach Sonnon demo-ing all the ways to work out with Clubbells that I will have the same reaction as when I first the the RKC video - 'GIMMEE- GIMMEE - GIMMEE!!!" It takes a carefully-constructed program and training methodology to use these things to good advantage.

If anyone other than Coach Sonnon or Pavel Tsatsouline or maybe Coach Davies were reviving them, I would be skeptical. I wouldn't even consider committing time and energy to Clubbell swinging if RMAX wasn't coming out with instructional materials. All the material I have ordered from them so far has been top notch."

- James Boelter

Fine Tools With A Lot To Offer...

"I have met and spent time with Pavel and Scott. They are both men of fine character and exceptional physical prowess, and they are friends. So too, I consider the KBs and CBs fine tools and good friends. They both have lots to offer."

- Michael55

Grip & Physique Has Gone Up Because Of Clubbells ...

"Sledge hammers and baseball bats w/doughnuts have a different center of gravity for different effects. If you tried a clubbell you would know what I'm talking about. On the other hand I'm sure an industrious guy can make a home-made clubbell with an aluminum bat and lead shot. You would also have to change the characteristics of the grip too.

The naysayers are over simplifying this too much. My shoulder flexibility, my grip, (and vainly) my physique and my ability to do full "embrace the tree" standing meditation has gone way up because of the clubbell."

- GGliddy

Try Before You Knock It ...

"I received my 2 clubbells yesterday, and while I'm somewhat at a loss until the video arrives, I have swung them around a bit ... These are my impressions. Now, I would definitely NOT consider myself a 'strong man,' at least at this point. My kettlebells are giving me the first serious strength training of my life (I'm 50), and I've progressed in a few months from fear of the 1-pood snatch to being able to snatch the 1.5 pood about 10 times per arm on a good day.

While the clubbells are 15 pound, they sure FEEL heavier than that, obviously because of the way that the weight is balanced. It is apparent to me that they will provide me with some gruesome ballistic workouts, and increase MY strength. Perhaps those who can snatch the 2.5 pood can scoff at them - I imagine that ultimately they will issue heavier versions, especially if the 15-pound version catches on and there is a demand.

I find it interesting that, simply based on a description of the clubbell, some people totally dismiss them. Isn't that pretty comparable to kettlebells? Unless you try them yourself, or listen to the recommendation of those who have benefited by them, it's difficult to appreciate how a dumbbell shaped in just THAT way, with a handle just like THAT, work work so well.

- "droolmaster"

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