Which weight is good for me?
Many people who want to, or are considering to, start their journey of strength with Persian Yoga or who just wish to do Circular Strength Training with Meel ask me this question.
These questions come mostly from groups of people who are:
I also need to expand on the physical and bio-mechanical processes that are relevant to Linear Strength Training (LST) vs. Circular Strength Training (CST).
With LST I mean movements that are primarily done in a single plane of movement. These movements are One dimensional.
In LST one often stack the bones and make the joints closed packed in order to lift, or press, the weight. Just visualize a bench press!
Barbells, dumbbells, and to a large extent also kettlebells, fall into this category and are instruments used for LST. These instruments are mainly lifted from below, pressed in front or overhead, in a primarily linear fashion...of course there are variations but that is beyond the scope of this discussion.
Circular Strength Training on the other hand can be both Two and Three dimensional as movements are performed in multi-planar trajectories and the extremities can even move independent of each other in opposite plane of movements and trajectories. This is real world functional movement and the very nature of the battle ground!
Clubbells, IMHO, are sitting on the fence between LST & CST modalities and are very different, both in intent, physical and mechanical characteristics to Meel, which makes them unsuitable for long-term use in CST. I make this statement mainly because the majority of the Clubbells I've seen in circulation, and in common use, are too heavy (over 6kg each club) and can exert tremendous tensile forces on connective tissues during Torque producing circular swings. Especially for beginners! But more on this in a later blog post.
Furthermore Meel have longer lever arm compared to Indian-clubs and Clubbells, and a greater concentration of mass at the bottom due to its heavy teardrop design. All these features result in the generation of more torque during swinging which translates to more work being done with less mass. The greater leverage also requires a greater centripetal force and lends itself perfectly for softer (on the joints and connective tissue), more rhythmic, swinging and circular movements.
So the bottom line is to put the ego's obsession with large weights (bigger is better mentality) aside and acknowledge that CST with Meel is a unique experience which can't really be compared with other modalities.
I strongly recommend the 4 kg set (2 kg ea.) for those starting their CST journey and the 6 kg set (3 kg ea.) to those who are crossing over to the Meel side.
In the Zurkhaneh they start most practitioners on 4-6 kg Meel. This may appear to be 'too light' but trust me it isn't.
In Zurkhaneh it is said that the experience of each kilogram on a Meel is equivalent to 5-10 kilogram on a plate.
The 4 - 6 kg set will be great starting weights that will grow with you. It will take, on average, about 9 - 18 months to outgrow them in terms of strength and progress to heavier Meel. And even then you will find the lighter ones useful for learning new techniques...I still use my 6 kg set!
In fact I started my journey on a 3 kg set that my Zurkhaneh used for Meel bazi (Meel play & juggling). Now I'm on 20 kg set, it only took me 10 years. As I said it is a journey of strength!
I hope this gives you an indication on which weight would be suitable for you.
Feel free to comment especially if you're already using clubs and practice CST.