View Full Version : Integrating Clubbells into workout
11-08-2003, 09:24 AM
I am wondering how to integrate clubbells into my workout. My present resistance type workout which I do 3 times a week takes about an hour and is a pyramid consisting of Hindu Squats, Dumbell Hang Clean and Press, Pushups, Crunches, and floor Hyperextensions. It takes about an hour and totals 500 Hindu Squats, 100 Hang Clean and Press, 300 Pushups, 500 Crunches, and 150 Hyperextensions. After completing the pyramid I usually do a couple of ladders of Supine Rows. For my 64th birthday I bought myself the 3 volume set of Scott Sonnons Warrior Wellness tapes (a big improvement over the joint rotations I am presently doing) and the tape Clubbell Training for Circular Strength. I am using a couple of homemade clubbells until I can better integrate clubbell training into the workout. I do need to hold it to about an hour and want to use it as a form of endurance/aerobic training like the pyramid. I am not hoping to gain any size from working out, at my age there isnít enough growth hormone left to build any size to speak of. I would appreciate your opinions, comments, and recommendations for workouts and what size clubbells to buy.
11-11-2003, 03:34 PM
Since you've got the tape, you've got the major resource to master the basics.
I like to use my 15 pound clubbells for cross-country ski prep, and use movements that look somewhat similar to the Heavy Hands training by Dr. Len Schwartz. The key here is that I'm walking, squatting, etc., on 1-leg or 2, etc., as I might be while skiing.
I use the 15 lb CBs as surrogate ski poles and do 1-armed and 2-armed movements like I would on a x-country ski route. Just walk and "push down" and bring the CBs back to the starting position and get into a rhythm.
Then I switch to various lunges with CTO, bottoms up presses, shoulder casts, etc. I'll do these for time intervals, different rep counts, and/or for length (I have a long "green belt" behind my house), etc.
This kind of clubbell/circular strength training will definitely work endurance/aerobics/resistance/cardio.
I also have a pair of hand-made 5 lb CBs that I use w/ WW for adding resistance to JM/ROM.
Some ideas. You can find many other training regimens on the board, depending on your specific goals and interests.
11-11-2003, 04:07 PM
Your workouts are very impressive, doubly so for your age. I'd be hard pressed to keep up! As for integrating Clubbells into them, I'd just adopt the attitude of playful discovery and try things out. Reps don't mean as much in CST as quality of movement and its safe integration with breath and structure. Whatever you do in CST will quite likely lead to improvement in all the other things you do.
Regarding size, although I initially went with a pair of 15 pound Clubbells, I wish I had started with 10s. Those suckers are desceptively heavy and I ended up setting my training back considerably with an injured elbow. On the other hand, with your training background, you might find the 15s more satisfyingly whup-ass. :twisted:
Happy training to you!
11-12-2003, 06:38 AM
Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments and your help.
11-12-2003, 10:49 AM
for me, I find that rotating between different methods works nicely, especially if I remember that the same basic intent is behind all of them: to strengthen the body-mind link. To that end, experimenting with different stresses, while emphasizing the breathing-motion-alignment equation, is a way of developing an "intelligent body." For an athlete as advanced as you are (what a workout!) you must be very "connected" on that level. In that case, the best use of Clubbells is to use them to sort of "douse" for the sweet spots in your motion, using them as advanced and knuckledragging versions of Chinese Wand exercises. The heavier clubbells are a challenge to anyone this side of an elephant. Homemade implements are as old as the caveman, and of course it is possible to get stellar results. But Coach Sonnon's design is safe, solid, and specifically designed to work in conjunction with his other teachings. In my opinion, why re-invent the wheel?
11-12-2003, 06:19 PM
Steve's point about Clubbells is worth repeating:
use them to sort of "douse" for the sweet spots in your motion
Because so many of the movements are really extentions of the Warrior Wellness ROM moves, using Clubbells not only will show up your sweet spots, but also your sour ones.
Try using lighter weights (3-5 lbs) and moving very slowly (T'ai Chi slowly) and you might be amazed at what you learn about your body! Remember, CST is about quality of motion and CNS sophistication, the body-mind link, as Steve points out. And as Grandpab points out, at our age hypertrophy is a real challenge. The best we can hope for is increasing sophistication, and strength that doesn't rely on muscle alone.
11-12-2003, 06:43 PM
In a discussion with Marty Gallagher (World Master's Class Powerlifting Champion) we were revisiting his comment in his review of Clubbells, New Wine - Old Bottle (http://www.circularstrength.com/clubbellgallagher.html) that they offered "in between strength." We basically chatted at how the reverse happens to be the truth. It is linear strength (or conventional, single plane movement) which is "in between" everything which is not Circular Strength.
If one listens and learns from life's experience, then one comes to realize that rarely do things occur in only one plane, only one dimension: push or pull, lift or drop. It is most often the case that one must apply one's attributes when things go awry (otherwise there's really no reason to do so.) When movements or events deviate from the expected, if we have not created a 'safety valve' to accommodate the surprise, we are hurt, injured, lost.
We need our strength in-between the fleetingly rare moments of perfectly linear events, especially so as we continue to age. If our strength only works in these perfect moments, then really... what good is it? I know for me things rarely go perfectly planned. This is the same reason that conventional martial art training dissolves in the cauldron of a resistant, uncooperative opponent. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, my coach used to say.
The younger in age, in general, the more one seems to be concerned with how much, how many, how often... and the older, in general, the more one seems to be concerned with... how well. One of my favorite articles ever written for CST Magazine discussed just this: Performing Better: A User's Manual (http://www.circularstrengthmag.com/19/fox.html).
11-12-2003, 08:03 PM
I really appreciate the insights. I am working to get much better at the Warrior Wellness Beginner tape before I even view the Intermediate one, and have been experimenting with the homemade clubbells. In addition to trying to duplicate some of the exercises on the Clubbell tape I have tried Turkish GetUps and leverage lifts. So far the most activity has been doing swipes. I thought I would be faster but it takes me about a minute and 20 seconds to do twenty swipes (and I was using homemade 5lb clubbells). Six sets of that just about kicked my butt. I will keep experimenting and I believe this will work into a valuable new direction for working out.
11-13-2003, 02:29 AM
From the sounds of things I'd recommend starting with the 10's (those are the ones I should have started with :wink: ). And if you're looking to keep your current program (which seems quite monstrous by the way) mostly intact both in content and duration, I'd say work the Swipes and Mills on alternating days in the time that you'd normally be performing the 300 :shock: push-ups. These movements will cover everthing that you're already getting with the push-ups with the added benefit of directly targeting every other muscle of the upper body.
If you're open to a bit more flexability then perhaps, perform your exsisting program only one of your three training days/week and on the other two you could build (with the assistance of everyone here) Clubbell programs to work through your entire body from varied angles each day.
Where you currently do Hindu Squats you could swith to Clubbell Clean to shoulder park + flat foot squat one day and various Clubbell lunges the third day.
The Hang Clean and Presses could be subsitituted with Swipes one day and Clean to Order + Torch Press the next.
The Push-Ups would be nicely complimented by Armpit Cast to Flag Position one day and Shoulder Casts the next.
The Crunches and Hyper Extensions could be dropped entirely from the Clubbell sessions as every one of the Clubbell exercises will be taxing your core already.
As for sets and reps that could be all hammered out when you get the Clubbells and test your performance in each of the movements. These are just some preliminary ideas to add to the wonderful insight that has already been shared. Let me know how this finds you and if you're interested in furthering the details of any of these suggestions.
11-13-2003, 05:52 AM
Thanks for all the good info. I tried to follow Coach Szolek's advice this morning and just finished the workout. Kept the pyramid format and substituted Clubbell Clean to shoulder park + flat foot squat for the Hindu Squats (total 500), Clean to order + torch press for the Hang Clean and Press (total 300), and couldn't remember how to do the Armpit Cast, Flag Position, or Shoulder Cast so I just used Pushups (300). didn't do any crunches or hyperextensions and skipped the supine rows as well because my biceps and grip felt pretty used up at that point. The whole workout took me 64 minutes. I need to review the tape again and find out how to do the lunges and pushup substitutes. Does anyone ever mention that using the clubbells is simply more enjoyable than the usual exercises.
11-13-2003, 07:32 AM
Does anyone ever mention that using the Clubbells is simply more enjoyable than the usual exercises?
Grandpab, fun was one of the very first things that pulled me into CST. Clubbells ARE more enjoyable than the usual exercise. Check out this article from the archives: http://www.rmax.tv/articles/m551.html
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