If you have read any of my articles, you know that I am the resident unconventional tool ambassador. I came across steel club from a buddy of mine. He knew I loved all things unusual when it comes to fitness.
I feel in love much like I fell in love with the first macebell I ever picked up. They are incredibly challenging, they test your strength in different directions, and your grip strength will be challenged like nothing I have seen before.
I know I am gushing hard over this tool and it’s for a good reason. It could be a game changer for a lot of athletes. The only issue (as with many of the tools I talk about on here) there is limited access to people who are educated on them, let alone anywhere who has them to use. Those are issues that I will cover in a different article.
What Is A Steel Club?
What are these things? They look like something straight out of prehistoric times, like any minute now Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble are going to be kicking down your door looking for their hunting club back.
A steel club precisely what it looks like, a club that happens to be made of steel. They are huge in Indian physical culture and finally made their way over to this side of the world only recently in comparison. Heavier than regular Indian clubs and have an all steel construction with a ball on the end to help keep the hands on the implement.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they usually stay between 5-45lbs in weight. Many people look at those numbers and think that they will not get a good workout in with 45lbs, or that they are stronger than the 45lb club. Let me be the first to tell you, I bench 405, deadlift 755 and squats 700 and the 45lbs steel club kicked my ass so needless to say it will serve you up a nice slice of humble pie.
How Do You Use It
As I dive deeper into this tool, I will be making more and more content on how to use it that will hopefully help anyone seeking new and useful adventures in training. No one taught me how to use the tool except youtube. I know that is not the more effective and efficient way to learn how to use a new tool, but for me, I had no other option. You may feel the same way. You are eager to learn how to use the new device, but you are not even sure how to go about utilizing it. There are some fantastic resources for exercise instruction including Onnit.
So you have made up your mind you are going to pick up your first steel club. Great! That is fantastic but what weight are you going to choose? See this would be where I would tell you to buy the lightest one to work on technique and then buy more as you progress. That would be the safest piece of advice any strength coach could give you.
However, the steel club you choose is going to be directly related to your current strength and fitness levels. For men who have a decent level of strength, I would go with a 25lber. For women of the relative strength, the level should start with a 15lber. These are heavy enough to make you feel the movements being done but also not too heavy to risk injury.
Building A Strong Grip with the Steel Club
Ah to the title of this article. The steel club is one of the best tools for the creating vice-like grip strength. The nature of the club forces you to squeeze down as hard as possible at all times.
The majority of the weight of the club sits at the top of it. Which is further away from your hand than anything else. This creates a situation that is not effective for the control of the implement. What all of that means is that you need to grip the steel club far harder than you would anything else of the same weight.
The steel club is meant to be swung in a variety of different ways. The forces of gravity that are multiplied when swinging the club only serve to make it harder on your grip. The weight distribution of the steel club forces the wrist to work against leverages. This is why you are going to want to start on the smaller weights. If you find yourself having a weak grip, then go down a weight size. This is because the grip is usually the weakest link in many athletes, the steel club will change that quickly.
Conclusion of the Steel Club
The steel club is relatively new to the fitness culture in the western world. However, they have been around for centuries in other cultures. They are great training tools for full body training but named great for building bulletproof shoulders and vice-like grip strength.
They come in a variety of weights all of which may seem light, but the weight is extremely deceiving. Be slightly conservative in your selection if you decide to pick up a steel club.