While it is tempting to add weight to swings, it is critical to make appropriate gada progressions to avoid injury
The gada (mace) is a grappler’s strength tool without equal. It provides full body functional exercise while improving mobility. The problem is one of ego. Everyone wants to swing as heavy as possible. This is perhaps a western issue borne from the gym culture that encourages heavier lifts. Gada progressions allow the WarYogin to get the best from the tool in order to meet his needs.
The question I get asked most often by beginners is “how heavy should I make a gada?” The answer is always 15 lb. This doesn’t always go down well. I am often informed of their deadlift and press maxes in the hope I will change my answer. I do not. It is important to start gada progressions at a reasonably low weight to get the technique right.
The fact that the weight is at the end of a weightless lever changes the dynamic. I have been informed by those with a better understanding of physics that the velocity of the gada makes the weight increase fourfold at the bottom of the swing. It is a matter of controlling the torque created by the motion of the gada. If the technique is poor, this is not easily achieved and leads to tendon and muscle injury.
Once 100 swings with correct technique are mastered, then the gada progressions can continue with increased weight. But this should not be rushed. It is worthwhile to build up in 5 lb increments.
The WarYogin must also assess his purpose. If he is simply looking to become a gada specialist, then he can continue to build to a point that he can no longer go beyond. At this juncture, a lower rep count is acceptable. If he is a grappler, then he should not swing above 55 lb. His perfect weight is likely somewhere in the 40 lb region. The reason for this is to keep his muscle fibres and ligaments from shortening and tightening up. A wrestler must remain limber.
If you are looking to take up the gada, then WarYoga coaching could be for you.