Friday, June 13, 2008

Some Excellent Home-Made Clubs

Hey gang,

I've got a great, money-saving tip for you: a couple weeks ago, when I was visiting Joe Egan's karate academy in NH, I discovered a way to create a very worthy, and utilitarian, set of clubs. Joe (the consummate do-it-yourself-er) and I took a trip to the local sporting goods store in search of large plastic Whiffle Ball bats.

I had in mind to get the oversized, red, Fred Flintstone model, sold at most KMarts and other variety stores, but we couldn't find any.

At the local Models, we encountered the ultimate Whiffle Ball bat cum club. They have the MLB logo, and are a hollow, clear plastic, with three Whiffle balls stored inside. Much to my delight, the top of the bat screws offmaking for easy fillin'! This is a huge advantage over the red bats, which required glue and duct tape to recap.

A quick dash to Home Depot for some Quikrete and we were on a mad tear to see how fast we could make a pair of serviceable Indian-style clubs for some down-home, backyard, barbecue-eatin' club swingin'!

We mixed the Quikrete, following the instructions, right in its own container. We unscrewed the top of the bats and ladled in the concrete in using one of the kids' little plastic sand shovels. The bats were a little longer than a standard Clubbell and weighed in, when filled, at 9.7 lbs. This is a perfect weight for most men starting out.
With dry sand they were lighter--a little more than 5 lbs. With a little imagination I think you can get them over 15 lbs., using lead shot (get it at a gun store)...or have it do double-duty as a piggy bank and fill with coins. Another option is screws and bolts. You guys know what to do. If you use something other than Quikrete, I recommend using shredded cloth or some other filling to take up any extra space. In my experience, many people would love to practice club-swinging but simply don't have the budget for the Clubbells and this is a very serviceable alternative.

I personally use Clubbells and consider them one of the most finely crafted implements out there. I have neither chair nor couch, or even house, but I do like my training equipment. I did work out with these clubs I made for Joe, as you can see, and they were great, and no trouble leaving them outside in the weather.


Don't know if you've tried this (I would imagine you probably have). Joe and I were in the Kettlebell class tonight here in Bow NH. and I had the idea to try a 2 KB alternating version of your circular clean. works both on the inside circle and the outside circle. very wax on/wax off kind off feel I did Two 30 sec intervals as part of tonights workout it hurt.... A lot always happy to pass on the pain, try this if you haven't.

A: The Ol' Coach has tried it--we think alike! Thanks, Tyler!

Q: I'd like to see [you] come up with another 300 KB Challenge with different exercise combinations. Adding crush curls and more chest emphasis would be great. It would also be interesting if the DVD had an option to perform an additional 50 - 100 reps for those who wanted an added challenge.

A: Stop with the chest stuff already. What are you, a bodybuilder? Think movement, not muscle...think strength-endurance.

If you want to get to my age--still injury-free and competing--think upper back and rear shoulder... and less chest. If you want an added challenge, attempt the workout while wearing a 20# weight vest. Perhaps start with 10#. I prefer the soft, Ironwear vest.

Yours in Strength & Health!

P.S. The Edison NJ Gladiator seminar, with Zach Even-Esh, is almost full. Come join us and see why Men's Journal named me one of the nation's top 100 trainers! Click here.


Andy said...


Your creativity and enthusiasm is inspiring.

william said...

A little tweak.

The new home brew clubbell was just a little light. I'm not a fan of heavy CBs, or I should say I was, but I kept getting bite by them, but 10lbs is just a little too light. I sild a 5lb iron dumbell into each one and refilled it, I'd guess not much more then 1lb of sand was lost from each, making each one close to 15lbs now. Each one cost maybe $15-20 or so now.



Steve Maxwell said...

Thanks, Bill! That's a great idea. A DB is brilliant. I want to try one with lead shot...or pennies.

Peter said...

FYI, a recent YouTube video shows how to make one from Home Depot parts, all metal, screws together, ~ 10 lbs when done, ~$30: