Indian Clubs

Inexpensively Make Your Own Fat Bat Indian Clubs and Train At Home

A few weeks ago I homemade my own Indian Clubs and over the past couple weeks have been testing them out in my workouts both at home and at Discovery Park where I hold my Synergy Kettlebell Boot Camp. Let me tell you that they definitely bring a different element to training, one that will never replace my kettlebells, but for a change up and some variety fun they are certainly good to have around. For an overall great conditioning and fitness experience you should always change up your program with new movements and progressions to those movements. Unless you are specifically training for an event or competition the varying workouts are what will keep your body challenged and changing. They'll also keep you from getting bored with what you're doing.

Ok so back on topic. The Indian Clubs are so easy to make and they're pretty inexpensive too. Commercial versions are probably easily 10-20 times the cost. I spent about $10 on each of the ones I made. Personally I don't need anything fancy or pretty when I workout. I just need it to work and function how I need it to. In comes my Fat Bat Indian Clubs (pictured below).

Finished Products

Ok so, how did I make my Fat Bats into really cool looking and workable Indian Clubs? Good question and I'm gonna tell you.

Step One

Yeah so you noticed that one bat is yellow and in the first finished Indian Club picture above there's a blue one. Why is that? Well I accidentally made both the yellow and black Fat Bat Indian Clubs a bit too heavy for me at this time. I then had to go back to Wal-Mart (yup that's my source... shhhh... don't tell anybody) and get the blue one to make it a bit more manageable so I can grow into the black and yellow ones.
Ok so the ingredients are as follows:
1. Fat Bats purchased from Wal-Mart for $4 each.
2. 1 can of Great Stuff from Wal-Mart for $3.
3. 1 bag of play sand from Home Depot for about $2.
4. 1 25lb. bag of shot purchased from Sportsman's Warehouse. I absolutely love this place.
5. 1 blue funnel, but I'm sure any color funnel will do.
6. 1 white sand scooper.
7. 1 hammer
8. 1 needle nose pliers
9. 1 screwdriver
10. 1 razor blade
11. 1 roll of duct tape
Note: I used the hammer, pliers, and screwdriver only because I don't own a drill and if you do I would recommend using it to bore the hole in the top of the bad instead of my method, but either way works.

Step Two

I grabbed the bats and burrowed a hole in the top so I can pour in the sand. Since I didn't have a drill to make things easier I got a little workout hammering and pinching the top open with the screwdriver and pliers. I used the screwdriver and hit it into the Fat Bat with the hammer. As soon as I had a few holes in the top I grabbed my pliers and peeled back the top so I had just enough room to fit the funnel spout into. Then I put a couple holes right next to the hole for air to escape when I poured in the sand and shot.

Step Three

Ok so now that you have the hole in the top here comes the easy part. Put the funnel in the top and use the white pour cup and put in the sand to a height of your choice. If you filled the entire Fat Bat with sand the weight would be approximately 20lbs. If you want a lighter bat don't fill so high and then stuff in some newspaper or old ratty shirt as filler so the sand doesn't move around too much. If you want a heavier bat you can pour in as much shot at you want. What I did with my first 2 bats was equally fill them both with sand and then equally used the bag of 25lb shot. This made them about 30lbs or so.

I didn't weigh it yet as I don't have a scale at home, but estimated by balancing the Fat Bat Indian Club with one of my closely weighing kettlebells. I didn't care about exactness in this batch, but was simply going for an equal amount of sand and shot to be tossed into each. My second version was more on manageable weight so I can successfully train with it as designed.

Step Four

Yup that's the stuff that makes it all happen. This is awesome stuff and just be careful cause it gets pretty messy. It's almost like a one time use can cause it just keeps on coming out and coming out. Don't get it on your hands because it almost instantly sticks and then clings to any and every particle of anything you touch. My hands looked like I hadn't washed them in 3 days after this project, but I swear I did. I'm kind of a germ-a-phobe so I wash them quite often.
When you're done with your Fat Bat filling leave about a 2 inch gap from the top of the hole. Spray the Great Stuff in the hole and fill any crack and crevice inside and then leave to sit for about 24 hours. They will look like the below picture when dried.

Pretty cool looking huh? Once it dries you aren't gonna be getting that out unless you drill it again. It seals so well. I wish I can put this stuff in my wife's mouth sometimes. Ha! Just kidding Lisa!! :) SERIOUSLY!!! I'm kidding!

Okaaaaaaay... SO once you've allowed it to dry overnight and have it look like this simply take a razor blade and trim off the excess so that it's flush with the top of the bat. Then clean up the top so that all Great Stuff is wiped off from the plastic. Now it's duct tape time!

Step Five

Wrap the top of the bat so that there's absolutely no way anything will pressure itself to leak out. Then wrap the handle so it's of the thickness that you like. I made mine just a little thicker than a Pro-Grade Kettlebell handle which is 32-33mm. This seems to work very well and makes the Fat Bat Indian Clubs look really cool too.

Step Six

These are the finished products and now my new toys. If you make some let me know if you have any questions and what cool workouts you come up with. I've been practicing my Fat Bat Indian Club swings, swipes, mill presses, and some other fun right alongside my Kettlebell and GPP work. The Indian Clubs are great supportive movements for pretty much any program.

And they also work great if your kid smarts off- as seen below.

Free Yourself From Classicalness In “Dieting”

I know, I know some of you really were hoping for a post on my homemade Indian clubs that I have been talking about and teasing with pics on Facebook and Twitter this past weekend. Don't worry that post is coming. For now let's have a little diet and nutrition talk and hopefully shed some light on the past, current, and probably future buzz.


I borrowed and condensed a lot of this from a conversation I had with someone a while back. The discussion was about all the diet propaganda and marketing pushes that's out there drawing people into more and more crappy diets instead of lifestyle changes. For fun we're gonna look at a list of some of the most common diets, their basic principles (why it works or at least claims to), and the sales hoopla that goes along with it. See if you spot a common trend when you read through everything.

Fit for Life
Basic Principals: LOW CALORIE Vegan diet (with high fruits, high carbs and vegetables)

Sales Hoopla — Meticulous, detailed food combining.  Natural Hygiene is the 80's buzz word! Salads and juicing galore!

Basic Principals: ANTI-CARB

Sales Hoopla: Protein is the friend, carbs are the foe and you can eat lots of pork bacon too! yummy!

South Beach Diet

Basic Principals: ANTI-CARB,

Sales Hoopla: Rice, carrots, orange juice fruit and other carbs are evil. Protein is your friend.

The Zone
Basic Principals: LOW CALORIE portion controlled meals (40,30,30)

Sales Hoopla: NO! it's not carbs, it's not protein. It's ... TA-DA! ratios and being in the ZONE! Thats the key!

Perricone Prescription
Basic Principals: LOW CARB, LOW CALORIE

Sales Hoopla: Riding on the coat tails of Atkins, with a bit of Zone, it's high glycemic carbs are the foe!

Weight Watchers
Basic Principals: CALORIE COUNTING!

Sales Hoopla: Neat-o! point values are assigned to foods, stay within your point limits and you WIN!  Yeah!

Macrobiotic Diet
Basic Principals: LOW CALORIE vegan

Sales Hoopla: meticulous attention to detail. Eat based on portions and percentages. Meditate. OHMmm!

Raw Food Diet
Basic Principals: LOW CALORIE - raw foods.

Sales Hoopla: Carbs are good. Fruit is good. Say goodbye to anything heated past 118 degrees. Cool Man!

The Warrior Diet

Sales Hoopla: NO! You've got it all wrong!  Don't eat your breakfast or lunch, eat one main meal at night. Eat foods in a certain order. Grrrr!

Now all you warriors out there don't get pissed at me. I'm not putting down the Warrior Diet, I actually think it has some noteworthy qualities.  Yes I know there are other benefits to the warrior diet as I follow my own version of Intermediate Fasting based off of the WD,  but there is still the element of sales hoopla surrounding it.  I'm just trying to make a point here that when you look across the popular diets there is a common thread with their own spin to it.

Contrary to what the Warrior Diet seems, you can't just pig-out and eat as much you want during the evening meal. If you eat 10,000 calories at night let's face it, you're going to gain fat!  There is sense of calories and carbs even though it's not actually counted per say, but the overall premise is what food, what food combinations, how much of the good stuff(colorful fruits and veggies) are you eating, and are you eating a balance of everything.

And let's not forget that exercise is the other basic principal. You can't sell swimming and weight lifting any more. There has to be a spin on exercise to make a buck too. What I'm saying here folks is you don't make any money these days just selling diet books just on the basics of eating healthy and working out. People have become sales hoopla addicts looking for the next workout craze and nutritional buzz. The magic pill is still being sought out even though the basics have worked for millenia. People just don't want to put in the time, effort, and work ethic.

The bottom line is that there IS NO MAGIC and it simply boils down to the fact that if you want to see results in order to be healthy inside and look, feel, be healthy outside then you just gotta work for it and it is ongoing. Think about this for a moment. If it was easy to get in shape and be healthy well then more people would already be there. Because it's not easy and does require daily effort is why the majority is not.

The common thread with all these diets is about calories, grains/starches, and exercise. Some people may feel better by incorporating this hoopla or that hoopla from this diet or that diet. Eating in the Zone, not eating any carbs, counting points or whatever is great if that works for you, but let's be true to ourselves it's really sticking to the basics that get results and when you don't follow the basics you don't get results.

We have to stop stressing over it and start living life the way
it should be. The bottom line is if you're eating healthy and living healthy then wonderful, but if you're not then the real question is: When Are You Gonna Start? THAT my friends is the key!

In the end it is all about one thing: the basics. It is ALL about the basics and sticking to them regardless of what you do. When I played sports, such as high school wrestling, I was able to do very well because I stuck to the basics.  Sure from time to time the special and more advanced moves came into play and sure were fun, but moreover whoever was better at performing the basics won.  The same holds true in top level sports today.

Nutrition is pretty much the same.

Exercise IS the same.  As many as there are diets proclaiming they are the best and the only way there are more fitness marketing fanatics who say the exact same about their product, service, book, or idea.  Have you seen the infomercials for the "10 Min. Trainer" or P90X, the same guy(Tony Horton) does both, and some of those others.  Nothing is new, but just some simple twists and variations of what's been around forever packaged in a glamorous marketing box.

The basics work and will always work.  Bruce Lee said it best: "I have not invented a 'new style', composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from 'this' method or 'that' method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds.

There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way."

I couldn't agree more.  Free yourself from the classical mess.  Use what works and leave that which does not.  In the end that is true in everything.

Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls Part 2

Yesterday I introduced my Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls campaign by breaking down ever so gently that we don't need these big box gyms. As mentioned, it is my goal is to liberate myself- and as many people as I can to come with me- from the four walled, stink, sweaty, meat market, closed in, machine based confines of the modern gyms. Be encouraged- do the same! Just because it's modern doesn't make it better. It simply means they are getting better and better at putting things inside the four walls that attract the public to toss more money at them. What did people do before these gyms? Actually they did a lot.

Today I demonstrate for you a couple things you can do with nature and in nature to acheive strength and conditioning. I left the running element out for obvious reasons. I doubt you'd want to watch a video of me running through woods dodging the tree stumps and weird noises from every other bush. So I spared you those moments and demo my stone and log lifts. Notice that I am not perfect, have butter fingers at times, and do drop the stone in a couple clips. This is ok as long as it doesn't drop on your big toe. The pinky toe you can do without, but watch out for the big boy. That one we still need.

In my next post, Liberate Yourself From The 4 Walls Part 3, I will be introducing some other things you can do in nature. My son Brayden guest stars in that video and helps me bring some good info for you by having a great time fitness frolicking in the woods. Stay tuned for that.


In case you missed the first part here you go:

Part 1

Liberate Yourself From The Four Walls

One of the biggest hurdles I have to overcome as a trainer is making people believe that the things that we do are not only good for them, but also possible for them to take the necessary steps to get them where they want to be. It is said that a good coach is someone who makes people do what they do not want to do so that they might become who they've always wanted to be. People seem to tightly cling to their habits like a security blankie. The thought wedge that must be driven between them, and rip that blanky right out of their tightly clenched sweaty hands, is that "force of habit isn't a good reason to do anything unless it's directly benefiting you."

I have been fortunate enough, over the years, to have had several clients who have been capable of going to the extra mile and achieve the next level. These were never easy roads and much of what they were doing before (Smith Machine, leg press, bench, curls, pec dec, 45-60 min of this or that) had to have been weened off like a kid and his blankie, but in the end what turned out was a much, much more functional, leaner, and stronger person.

I know, I know... it's hard to let go of the beloved pec deck, and the preacher curls, I know. I mean, come on, it sounds pretty cool doesn't it?! Preacher curl! Yeah! Heck yeah!! Who is this preacher and where is his church? I want to attend services immediately. Pec deck! Rock On! Get me on that thing, I want big pecs too! Ummmm.... OKAAAAY...

Then, after a few weeks the light bulb turns on and the equation becomes impossible to ignore. In a short time on the Kettlebells you have become much stronger, leaner, and better conditioned. You just feel like everything is working so much better. Going back to the unforgotten pec dec- when you think I'm not looking- becomes a hum drum experience, but you can't help it, it's force of habit. I mean, everyone else is doing it right?!  Hmmm...

Sometimes there is fresh air and I get someone begins training with me who has been doing jerks, hindu push ups, cleans, presses, sprints, and burpees. In that case I can leave the can of WD40 and not pry any blankies (aka bad habits). More often than not though, the canvas must be cleansed so that we can start fresh.

In either case of a newbie or a somewhat seasoned client there are always certain things to overcome. Exercise, strength training, cardio conditioning, kettlebell training, GPP training, etc. should never be about ego. Throw that out the door when you come in because we are all here for the same thing- to better ourselves despite what the next guy can bench or squat. That doesn't matter whatsoever.  So leave the ego and hopefully one day you'll recognize when you're all healthy, lean, and strong that yeah, this little dude with the bald head seems know what he's talking about. It's never about ego.

It's not just about the kettlebells either. They are a means to an end. I use them because, based off of everything I have ever worked with regarding fitness and training tools, they are the best tool I have found to get the job done.  Keep in mind that it is JUST tool. There are other tools such as barbells, dumbbells, sandbags, kitchen sinks, kegs, big tractor tires, Indian Clubs, Sloshpipes, ropes, chains, bands, stones, etc.  You simply must choose the right tool for the job when fitness training and I'll use them all if that'll help get my clients and you more fit.
If you wanted to drive nails into a board you wouldn't go at it with pliers.  If you did it would probably move a little bit, but would move much better with a hammer.  The same is true for other fitness movements.  You can use many tools to perform the task, movement, exercise, etc., but only one tool is the best.  I prefer the Kettlebell.  

My goal is to liberate myself- and as many people as I can to come with me- from the four walled, stink, sweaty, meat market, closed in, machine based confines of the modern gyms. Be encouraged- do the same! Just because it's modern doesn't make it better. It simply means they are getting better and better at putting things inside the four walls that attract the public to toss more money at them. What did people do before these gyms? Actually they did a lot.

I'm going to be writing more and more about how you can liberate yourself from the four walls. In the mean time watch my intro video below and look forward to my upcoming articles.

The Russian Kettlebell Fireside Chat

Most of you probably won't necessarily remember Franklin D. Roosevelt having his "Fireside Chats" during his presidency. (If you are old enough bless you because you can probably run circles around most of today's youth.) FDR did this to soften the government with which he ran and bring it on a level where it was like he was in your living room for a warm, no-pressure, comfortable chat. It was to be like if he was family or a really close friend stopping by for dinner. I want to have one of these today very briefly.

Let's have a Russian Kettlebell Style Fireside Chat. Step into my living room and let's have a little chat. I know some of you have questions and I want to provide the answers. These questions are basic, but my goal is to answer them with encouragement for you to increase your daily activity. The only way to get good at something is to practice is as much as possible. So with that said, the only way to get better at blasting fat and spiking conditioning is to practice activities that will facilitate those goals. 

So pull up a chair, have a seat, and make yourself at home- get comfortable. Have a green drink and perk your ears cause here we go...

Why Do I Use Kettlebells?

Full Answer: I use them because, based off of everything I have ever worked with regarding fitness and training tools, they are the best tool I have found to get the job done. Keep in mind that it is JUST tool. There are other tools such as barbells, dumbbells, sandbags, kitchen sinks, kegs, big tractor tires, Indian Clubs, Sloshpipes, ropes, chains, bands, stones, etc. You simply must choose the right tool for the job when fitness training.

If you wanted to drive nails into a board you wouldn't go at it with pliers. If you did it would probably move a little bit, but would move much better with a hammer. The same is true for other fitness movements. You can use many tools to perform the task, movement, exercise, etc., but only one tool is the best. I prefer the kettlebell.

A common concern for ladies is that they don't want to bulk up and think by lifting any sort of weight that they will do this.

So if you are female will lifting weight, with a focus on strength endurance, make you bulk up?

Quick answer: No.

Longer answer: It is a myth that you will bulk up. 3 things need to be in place for you to "bulk". First is to have a lot of testosterone, second is eat a lot of calories, and third is time which is dependent on the first two. Since you don't have a lot of testosterone and hopefully won't be consuming too many calories the last is not even a factor.

Do you need a gym to get in good shape?

Quick Answer: No.

Longer answer: You don't NEED a gym to get healthy and in shape. Honestly I haven't used one in a very long time for my own workouts even when I worked at one. I recommend resistance and interval training. The great thing about the Earth is that it's right out our front door. Open it, step outside, take a deep breath, soak up the sun, and begin your workout. Make it a routine. It is much, much better to exercise and be active outside among nature then within a stinky and busy four walked gym that has equipment that supplements real work. Grab a kettlebell and drive to a park with hills. That's all you need. Swing the bell, run the hills, then stretch or practice yoga. Inside of 30-60 min. your complete workout is done and you are on your way back home.

It is a great journey to get healthy and fit. Keep it interesting and fun. If you are unsure what to do then ask. Fitness Coaches like myself are always available as a resource for you. We won't bite. Ok well some of us definitely will. I'll let you know who they are later. That's a whole different type of post.

Let's leave today's chat by watching a really cool video of one of my fellow Gireviks (kettlebell practicioner) Stepf Dogman who shows how to have a great, great time Russian Kettlebell style by performing an hour set of one arm jerks with the 16kg (35lb) pro-grade bell. Notice how he is not bulky or a mass monster; however he gets a 35lb kettlebell overhead, using his entire body, over and over and over again for an entire hour which fully taxes and conditions his body. True strength does not come in big packages.

There are many elements here besides pure endurance. Much of it is mental endurance. People with A.D.D. no need for excuses. You find a way to get through it. If you don't think you can then the bell you are using isn't heavy enough and/or you aren't going fast enough.

This focuses on all aspects of the body and mind connection. That's the beauty of long timed sets. Reps matter not, but what does is the nervous system, mental toughness, and strength endurance to name a few elements where you'll grow.

Sure beats the elliptical for a boring hour. :)