Let me just start by saying, I'm a HUGE fan of strongman-style, sledgehammer training.
And bashing the hell out of a tire with a giant sledgehammer really truly is my idea of fun...
And that's where the "Monster Sledgehammer" from my friend Ryan Pitts of StrongerGrip.com comes in.
This hammer is BIG and it's built to last.
What is the Monster Sledgehammer?
The Monster Sledgehammer solves a major problem I had with sledgehammer training in general...
When you're using a "normal" weight hammer (about 10 to 12 lbs), it's way too light. I fling that size of hammer around like it's nothing.
And when that normal size hammer hits the tire, it bounces up almost out of control...NOT what you're looking for, especially if there are other people around (not that you want to hit yourself either!).
The Monster Sledgehammer by itself weighs about 25 lbs, which is a nice weight.
The real beauty of this Monster hammer, however, is the fact that you can actually ADD weight to it. The head is hollow and it has a small nut you can remove, allowing you to fill the hammer head with additional birdshot.
This will get your hammer weight upwards of around 50 lbs, which is a VERY good weight (I recommend starting with the empty hammer until you get a feel for it, then add the extra shot as you build strength).
The Monster Sledgehammer is build ROCK-SOLID.
Seriously...you could actually demolish things with this hammer if you wanted to use it for activities other than training. It's a solid steel piece with a roughed handle to allow for good gripping.
One of the nice things about the Monster Sledgehammer is the option to get a half-tire along with it. This means you don't have to go out and find something yourself (and possibly cut it in half). Just take it out of the box and start bashing.
What's So Good About Sledgehammer Training?
If you're an athlete with a sport that requires a strong back as well as strong grip and forearms, such as baseball, hockey, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, MMA, tennis, or golf (among others) you're going to LOVE this piece of equipment.
Sledgehammer training is also extremely beneficial for the core...each swing you take engages the deep muscles of the core to bring the hammer down and, when you make contact with the tire, to stabilize the torso after impact.
And being honest, it's really fun to bash things.
In addition, this size of a sledgehammer, if you use it outside in front of your house, will really have your neighbors questioning your sanity and giving you a wide berth when they pass you on the sidewalk.
All kidding aside (I'm not kidding, actually), sledgehammer training is extremely good training, not only for the core, forearms and back, but for your cardiovascular system as well. It is FAR more interesting than jogging on a treadmill or sitting on a stationary bike.
If you haven't tried it before, and you enjoy this type of physical cardio, you're going to LOVE sledgehammer training.
What Could Be Improved...
As far as improvements go, there aren't many I can think of. It's a hammer, after all.
I wouldn't mind a bit deeper knurling on the handle...what's on there is good but if you're hammering in a hot environment and your hands get sweaty, some deeper knurling could help with grip.
The only other caveat I want to mention is where you set the tire to hammer on it...make sure it's set on something you don't mind scuffing up with black marks.
You'll see in the video, I've set the tire on a rug out in my driveway. The first time I tried it, I set it right on driveway itself, it started rubbing off the seal coating. I set it on the lawn, and it made divots. Once I set it on the rug, no problem.
Also, watch your ceiling height, for obvious reasons. It's why I'm doing this sledgehammering outside in my driveway.
The Monster Sledgehammer is awesome. That's it. If you love to bash things and get a great workout for your core, back and forearms, you're going to love this piece of equipment.
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