First and foremost, I would like to say, I am not a leading authority on clubbell training. After training with kettlebells for a few years, I was curious about clubbells, so I experimented with them.
Also, I may be biased because I feel kettlebells are hands down the most efficient weight training device in existence. But this question comes up very often with me. People ask me if I use clubbells, and what I think about them.
I was watching a video of kettlebell legend Mike Mahler. He addressed this same issue. To quote him roughly, he says, “clubbells are not a complete weight training system like kettlebells, dumbells or barbells. They are more specialized for grip and shoulder strength. “ I have to agree with him. When performing any clubbell exercise, the emphasis goes directly to your forearms. Ive seen beginners drop the clubbells because their grips get fried fast. You can do a lot of the same exercises you do with kettlebells with clubbells as well. Swings are an example. But because of the shape of the clubbell, your forearms get the bulk of the work load. So when it comes to working major muscle groups, I don’t believe you can achieve the same workout with clubbells as you do with kettlebells.
On the plus side, clubbells add variety to workouts. Training with them can be quite fun. I do believe golfers and baseball players could possible benefit from their use. You can also do nice flows and some rotational stuff with clubbells. I mean you have fitness gurus like John Wolf who can attest to the use of clubbells. So they must be useful.
So to sum this up, If you are looking to build strength and muscle, stick with the 3 primary tools, Kettlebells, barbells and dumbells. However, clubbells are great for specialized training. If you want to work on your grip, shoulder strength and add some fun to your training, then clubbells are great. But, they are not a complete weight training system like kettlebells.