We’re all about finding new ways to challenge yourself here at SGPT. But you knew that already.
What you might not know about is club training, also called mace training. This modality lends itself to the millennia old method of fighting with heavy clubs and maces. And anybody that’s picked up a replica broadsword or medieval weapon of war knows that you had to be pretty damn strong to wield one, never mind fight with one in a combat setting. They didn’t get strong with pilates tapes, that’s for sure.
Many manufacturers are making clubs and maces, like Onnit for example. But we came across a US made implement that we found rather noteworthy. The ADEX Club.
This all steel weighted object is adjustable in 2.5-5 lb increments (the smaller discs are 2.5 lb) all the way up to 25lbs. This allows you to to swings, casts, rotations, cleans, and presses, namely the Pallof Press – which is great for core stability and shoulder stability. Let’s get into the review.
The club itself is all steel, and very solid. Despite it screwing apart and back together, there are tight tolerances and no noticeable play in the construction. As you can see in the pictures, the welds are both well secured and smoothed out; so you need not worry about ripping open your hands. Also, the screw that holds together the whole piece reminds me of rebar – but obviously a threaded variety. The handle in smooth with a bump at the pommel – which I would imagine translates well for people training for rotational power and torque – think golf, baseball, even judo.
It comes apart easy enough. The two dimples at the top stop the unit from unscrewing mid workout – a devastating possibility that would break walls and faces if the weights went flying on a vector. However, once you have everything lined up and screwed together, it’s a solid unit and nothing is going anywhere.
There are some great tutorials on exercises you can do with the club on the website but one of my favorite moves is a cast. It’s like a kettlebell halo but with the entire club. It strengthens and strecthes the shoulder capsule in a way not many movements can. Then of course you can do swings, a variation of a clean and press, etc.
Overall, the unit is robust, well put together, and solid, but it has some drawbacks. First, is the handle texture. In my estimation, it’s too smooth. I would have loves to see a grittier powdercoat like an Ader Kettlebell. I feel like if you picked this up without chalking up or being very sweaty – which is a given – you might lose purchase of it. Also, it fills a niche, but it’s as versatile as a kettlebell without regular practice and a good foundation, whereas a kettlebell can be used safely with minimal instruction.
All of that being said, I like the innovation and the multi-sport crossover capability. I think this could help with shoulder rehab/prehab, any sport involving a bat or club, or martial arts where you need to torque quickly – either at the core or with the wrists – like Judo or BJJ. It’s a little gimmicky, but then again so is the whole fitness realm. But some of the “gimmicks” actually work. CrossFit was a gimmick for a while, remember that?
Pros, what we like: Solid construction, innovative, portable, and can be adjusted. Also, it screws together and locks up safely.
Cons, what we don’t like: Would like to see a more aggressive texture on the handle. It’s also got a narrow niche for uses, when you could pick up a KB set for roughly the same buy in.