As you may have noticed, old time exercises are coming back. In the past 10 years or so, kettle bells have made their way back in to mainstream fitness. Now Indian Clubs are starting to come back. Unfortunately, there are not readily available in most sporting good or fitness stores. When I have found them, they tend to be 1-3 lbs. and cost from $50 to $100+. In my research I have found that 5-10 lbs. is more appropriate weight for men to use (after building up to it).
Wanting to try Indian clubs and not want to spend a lot of money, I made my own adjustable weight Indian clubs. These clubs are not as pretty as the wooden ones, but they work well.
Author's Note: All physical activities are accompanied by risk of injury. Improper form or weight increase the risk. These clubs weigh 2-2.5 lbs. This is a good starting weight to learn proper form. It is being smart, not a wimp!!! I bench over 300 lbs and military press over 200 lbs, and these clubs worked just fine for me to learn. Adding weight makes it really fun.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
1- 4 foot length of ¾ inch inside diameter pipe threaded on both ends
2- ¾ inch end caps
2- large washers that will slip over the pipe
Some scrap steel
About 1 ft of 1 1/4 inch ID PVC pipe (I bought a 2 ft length of scrape for $2)
*I paid about $17 for the materials at the Local Ace Hardware
You will also need weights to add.
Grinder with a grinding disc and a cutting disc
File or deburrer
Note: Use proper safety gear. You are responsible for your own safety!!
Step 2: Cutting
Measure 2 feet on the pipe and mark it. (I left the plastic cap on the pipe because it is 1/16 inch, and the kerf of my cutting wheel is 1/8 inch.) Now cut. I would have used a chop saw if I had one. A reciprocating saw (sawzall) or a hack saw would also work.
After you cut, grind and debur the cut end.
Note: I am currently looking for a cap or plug for this end.
Step 3: Welding
If the pipe is painted, grind or remove the paint about 6 inches from the threaded end. Remove caps on the ends. Measure and mark 6 inches from the threaded end. Slip the washers on. I used a magnetic triangle to hold the washers in place. Weld on the side of the washer away from the threaded end of the pipe. Make a couple of tack welds. The run the bead.
Step 4: The End Cap
I tried hand tightening the end caps, and decided that a small handle on each would help out.
Grind the top of each end cap so that they are flat. Cut two 4 inch long strip of 1/8 X ¾ inch scrap steel. Grind and file the edges so they are not sharp.
Clamp the strip to the top of the cap and weld. Note: due to the thickness of the caps, they will take a while to cool.
Step 5: Adding Spacers and Wieghts
The clubs are now almost ready for added weights. However, spacers are needed to keep the weights from sliding around.
Place the weight(s) on the club and slide it all the way to the washer. Next, screw on the end cap tightly. Now measure. One could use a set of inside/outside calipers, but I just eyeballed it. Mark the PVC pipe, and cut to length. Remove the end cap and weight. Then slide on the spacer, followed by the weigh*t. Finally, screw on the end cap.
*The weights I used are 2.5 lbs. Golds Gym kettle plates. They are a little wide, but work ok. I would rather use normal ones, but thats what I had.
Step 6: Time to Workout
Now it is time to exercise. You will need some reading material to learn the exercises. I like Sim D. Kehoe’s The Indian Club Exercise. One can buy a reprint on Amazon,
Free PDF, Text, and various other formats versions can be found at
or a Jpeg can be found at