Right off the bat, lets get one thing clear. I don't want you to stop body building, HIIT or playing basketball. Converting you to my way alone is "NOT" my goal. If those methods and activities are things you enjoy, I say more power to you. My hope is for you to enhance your training regimen with the "addition" of using Clubbells. I hope to help you enhance your strength and health via Coach Scott Sonnons Circular Strength Training Methods and Principles, presented by me.
Who Am I?
I'm 37, 6-foot-8 and weigh in at 225 pounds. My primary training methods are Clubbells, Kettlebells ala Pavel, ROSS, Karate, Body Flow and many aspects of the eight directions of Russian Martial Art and Combat Skill. I'm a USAF veteran with an honorable discharge and yeah, I got the good conduct medal when I left. While in Air Force I had the great opportunity to teach U.S. Marines Hand to Hand Combat. I agree with Richard Strozzi Heckler, that program needed a vast modernization and overhaul. And it got it. I wish I could learn the Marine Martial Art Program, they've mapped a good program to practical self defense, finally.
By the way, the guy who set up the old version that was used for years was Sgt. Major Patrick O'Neil, of the famous Devils Brigade - WWII. His character is featured in a damn fine war movie called The Devils Brigade, starring William Holden. Jeremy Slate plays O'Neil. And Claude Akins cries; it's golden!
I am a Korean Martial Artist. I have little interest in the history of Korea, but Japan is a different story. I lived in Japan for three years, and love the culture. Japanese swordsmanship and ancient Japanese history of any kind, and much of its modern history is a great love of mine. Culture, arts, martial arts, philosophy and Sumo to name but a few aspects, love em all.
Did I mention I'm opinionated. Well it has a limit, I'm not egotistical about my opines, and I can admit when I'm wrong. And I don't mind being corrected or a good discussion either. You should be opinionated too, what matters is that we don't be dicks about it, on the Internet or in life.
I can be found playing Ghost Recon when I have a spare moment, that is when I'm not reading, or writing, or training or teaching clients the ways of club and bell or flow, or getting quality time with my girlfriend. Who says computer nerds are all fat and out of shape. That image got an overhaul long ago. Net folks are some of the "most" informed members of our society now.
So, What Are Clubbells?
In order to really benefit from my recurring column here, you are going to have to make an equipment investment. Unless you already have. You will need two clubbells, you will need the book by Coach Scott Sonnon titled Clubbell Training for Circular Strength and I highly recommend you also get the video of the same name and subject. The video is a "must" have item. As a minimum, one club and the video will get you rolling. For the benefits, you aren't spending much. Compare that to the years of idleness on most gym memberships, (OK, add up the days) see ... a set of clubs and the supportive materials is a steal.
Club weights are deceptive. Twenty five pounds on a dumbbell is a joke. Two dimes and a nickle on a CB inspires awe. The weight is mind boggling, and it's a result of design. That design has served the health and conditioning needs of much of the ancient world for almost as long as the sword had served it. And then beyond. So my advice is start out with a ten unless you are Mike Mahler kinda strong. If you are a bit strong, you can buy the 15-pound Clubbell, a vast difference from the ten, trust me. And you can just choke up until you are tempted to lower your grip on the handle.
Seriously, we can have a great relationship right here at this site. I can inspire you, guide you and motivate you if you let me. But you will need the bare minimum purchase listed here.
Can't I Just Make Clubbell?
In a word, no. It's just not safe. I categorically only recommend the RMax.tv Clubbell. So that is my position and it's final. (It's final because it's also safe.) If you find or make an alternative to use, more power to you. I only ask that you look at old club designs, look at plate loaded, consider a hollow baseball bat filled with what ever. None of these have the safety profile of a good ole perfectly made Sonnon Clubbell.
Brought to you expertly and beautifully made by the folks at Torque Athletics. They are pure poetry in motion. Most of my training clients, upon seeing a Clubbell for the first time, are amazed at the simple beauty and design of the thing. I've seen skeptics converted on site, or shortly after I get them working with, oh just a five pounder. There is far more than meets the eye with RMax Clubbells, so you have been warned. Don't fart around, get the real deal and get ready to see some serious changes and feel some pretty awesome improvements. For the final word on clubbells and club design, see Coach Sonnons write up on the whole process.
Misunderstandings Of Clubbells ...
When you train with clubbells as a self-taught novice, or even just in the general physical preparedness (GPP) of the video (a must requirement), you might think Clubbells are only really great for focusing on grip, forearms and shoulders. And while that is not incorrect, it is a small world view of what clubbells have to offer you.
In the days to come, I hope to show you how clubs can work your body in total from head to toe, lungs and heart, to nervous system and reflexes. Remember, old time wrestlers and even current middle and far eastern wrestlers use clubs to enhance strength, health and endurance. Some of these guys and use 70 or 80-pound clubs, with nominal effort. After you've hefted a 10-pound club, start thinking about what a 70-pound club must really feel like. Makes one cringe to image the power in a body that can do such a thing.
When I train people in clubbells, the legs, hips, back, shoulders, arms and abs are all utilized and punished. Clubbells are for your whole body.
And Finally ...
Please feel free to email me and ask what questions you have. Helping you to become more able and proficient with Clubbells is the goal of my column here at Bodybuilding.com. Now let's grab some clubs and swing away!
CLUBBELL® is a registered trademark of RMAX.tv Productions, and "Clubbells" word and "Circular Strength Training" phrase are trademarks of RMAX.tv Productions.