Update: In response to requests I received from others about the spreadsheet I developed, I’m now directing people to Paul Wolkowinski’s site, academy and resources. I’ve since learned that Paul has developed templates for making heavy jori clubs and will be releasing his templates for meels soon! Paul has done extensive research on making these training tools correctly. Check out this page for the jori templates, along with other great resources from Paul. And stay tuned for the meel templates!
I recently had a pair of Persian Meels made from a “local” woodturner. “Local” because I live in Stouffville and he lives in Lindsay (1 hour drive). “DIY” because I’m not making it myself, but helped with some of the specifications (see below).
- Price was very competitive & I would save the shipping from a pleasant drive.
- It’s his first time making a set of meels and my first set.
- He’s related to a good friend of mine.
But before I go into details,
There are a lot of great articles on the origins of circular strength tools (Indian clubs, mace, gada, karlakattai, meels, etc). To learn more, I’d recommend checking out these pages for my training tips & history: Body Mind Fit, Paul Wolkowinski’s page, and Heroic Sport.
For me, I’m fascinated by meels and other circular strength tools because they fill an important gap in my own training. The rotational nature of the movements is unlike any other movement you would find in most gyms or fitness programs. And I’ve been inspired by Kelly Manzone to start building my own collection of handcrafted strength tools.
If you want to learn more about why I enjoy this ancient strength training practice or to see how I use this, feel free to connect with me on Instagram.
“DIY” is in quotations because I didn’t actually make them. I worked with a local woodturner to have these made. If you want to work with your own local craftsman to make a set of clubs or meels, the information below may help.
First, shout out to Chris Grace from Not Just Round, who wrote a detailed article on how he made a custom pair of 7 kg meels. These were the specs that my local woodturner used to create my first set of meels.
If you want a set of 7 kg meels (7 kg each!), then feel free to use the specs in Chris’ article. However, if you want something heavier or lighter, I created a mini spreadsheet with recommended adjustments to the “belly” of the club diameter. Here’s an example for the adjustments for a 5 kg meel.
The spreadsheet allows you to adjust the weight and the length of the club, and assumes the handle dimensions do not change. You should be able to see all the formulas and replicate this spreadsheet on your own. Keep in mind that there are a lot of assumptions and my calculations are not exact, but good enough for my purposes. If you have any questions about the spreadsheet, shoot me a message on Instagram.
While I had asked for a pair of 7 kg meels, I ended up with one 6 kg meel, and one 7 kg meel. This was due to a defect in the wood. This also turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The 6 kg meel is much more manageable for me. If I were to do this again, I would use the spreadsheet above and spec out a pair of 2 kg or 4 kg meels.
The photo below highlights some minor discrepancies. However, the meels swing beautifully and are beautiful works of art. Here’s a recent video showing a sample workout with the 6 kg meel.
For those worried about the weight discrepancies for his first set of meels, I’ve had a peek into his upcoming projects and they keep getting better! Also, keep in mind that other companies make these in bulk and do their best to match similar weights. So I’m pretty happy with how these turned out, given this was his first time and my first set of meels. 1st Edition Wise Roots Meels!
If you’re looking for a set of meels and live near Lindsay, Ontario, I would certainly consider Wise Roots Woodturning. If you’re not as close, I would recommend reaching out to your local woodturner, or checking out a company like Body Mind Fit or Heroic Sport.