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How to Build Power through Club Training

What is Club Training?

Club Training has been used for thousands of years by warriors to develop power for the battlefield. Could this simple tool do the same to help you enhance your body?

What is Club Training?

Let’s begin with the basic of basics. Club Training has been around for thousands of years simply because it works. Most of us are familiar with the lighter weight Indian Clubs that are swung in complex patterns which develop coordination, mobility, and speed not unlike an Olympic Fencer.

Then there are the bigger clubs; the large wooden ones or the more popular metal clubs of 15 to 45 pounds, originally designed to train warriors to deliver punishing power with heavy hand armaments. Heavy Club Training will be the subject of this article.

What is Power Development?

Club Training for Power Development

To me, power is the strength that you have to perform a specified exercise in a specific amount of time. So, if you are doing an AMRAP of Thrusters for a 30 second time periods, you’d be able to determine if your power output has increased if you see an increase in the number of reps performed or if you used a heavier weight for the same number of reps.

For example, if you did max effort Thrusters with 95 pounds and got 12 in 30 seconds, that’s 1,140 pounds moved. If you practiced Thrusters for a few weeks and your retest your AMRAP and you get 14 in 30 seconds -congratulations! You’ve increased your power because you just moved 1,330 pounds, OR if you kept the same 12 reps BUT instead of 95 pounds you used 115 pounds, you have increased your power.

Now that you have the idea of power we’ll apply it to Club Training.

Power Club Training Workout Plan

Club Training Workout Plan

WARNING! – There is no doubt about the fact that if you follow this power program you will be buying more clubs, if you don’t have access to a complete set or an adjustable one already. 
 The exercises listed below can be found on YouTube demonstrated by many different instructors plus searching for them will entice you to watch more clubwork exercises. Watch. Learn. Grow.

I usually increase only 5 pounds between the Pre-Fatigue Sets and the Work Sets. 5 pounds is a big jump in clubwork. Better to chip away smoothly than to get injured rushing progress.

The workout plan will be a 4 day split into 2 upper body days and 2 lower body days. For the upper body days the exercises will be 1-Hand Inside Mills, 1-Hand Front Swipes, and 2-Handed Gamma Casts. A set is reps done on each arm (i.e. 1 set of 10 means 10 reps right arm and 10 reps left arm). The sample below is from my current program:

Pre-Fatigue Sets: 1 minute rest between sets.

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
1-Hand Inside Mills 30 10 4
Front Swipes 30 10 4
Gamma Casts 30 10 4

Work Sets: 1 minute rest between sets.

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
1-Hand Inside Mills 35 30sec AMRAP 4
Front Swipes 35 30sec AMRAP 4
Gamma Casts 35 30sec AMRAP 4

This is now your Base Power Program. Good form is important to reduce the chance of injury. I practice quite often on my ‘off’ days doing up to 150 reps with a lighter weight to get the feel of an exercise. This ensures proper form when the heavier weights are used.

Once you are able to perform the above workout getting 7-8 reps for ALL 4 Work Sets, take away one Pre-Fatigue Set and add one more Work Set for the next workout. Do this until you can get a full 8 AMRAP reps for all 5 Work Sets in 30 seconds. Now reduce to 2 Pre-Fatigue Sets and go to 6 Work Sets until 8 reps is reached again, then pat yourself on the back and begin over with the Base Program. This round the Pre-Fatigue Sets will be the weight you used in the previous Work Sets but for 4 sets of 10 and the Work Sets will add 5 pounds. Look how far you’ve come!