Training Rods for the Metal Rod Exercises

The following is a modified extract from the manual, please see the manual for more detailed information on determining rod weight and length for training using the Metal Rod Exercises.

Material, Weight and Dimensions
A good material to use for the rods is AISI 303 stainless steel. The reason for this is that ordinary steel or iron rusts and tarnishes making the hands dirty during use. AISI 303 stainless does not rust, leaves no residue on the hands and contains no harmful elements. The stainless steel rods available through this web-site are made from AISI 303 stainless steel precision ground or drawn to a high tolerance of straightness and thickness. Very light centre markings are optional to help locate the balance point of the rod during practice. A strip of adhesive tape can also be used for this purpose. The ends are square cut and chamfered.

Diameter, mm Rod Length, m
  1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0
20 3 3.2 3.5 3.7 4 4.2 4.5 4.7 5
25 4.7 5 5.4 5.8 6.2 6.6 7 7.4 7.8
30 6.7 7.3 7.8 8.4 8.9 9.5 10.0 10.6 11.2
35 9.1 9.9 10.6 11.4 12.2 12.9 13.7 14.4 15.2
Table 1 Rod weight in kilograms (white) as a function of length (yellow) and diameter (blue)

Selecting a Rod
It is recommended that rod weights be chosen in a graduated way starting with a light weight and progressing to a heavier weight. This makes it possible to progress safely and to eventually find a weight and size of rod that is ‘ideal’ and suitable for longer term training. Using a rod that is too heavy for you can lead to injury. It is essential that you feel safe and confortable with whatever rod you are using. Table 1 shows the weights for a range of rod lengths and diameters. Stronger people with experience in weight training would tend towards the heavier rods and those with less experience towards the lighter rods. Below is a rule-of-thumb guide for determining rod weight and length.

This method for determining rod weight and length is given as a guide only, and the best approach, if possible, is to try out various rod size-weight combinations to find which feels most comfortable and gives a weight that feels right for you.

Rod Length
Beginner 60-70% Body Height
Intermediate 70-80% Body Height
Expert 80-90% Body Height
(Females should take the lower percentage, males the upper)

Rod Diameter
Little weight training experience or lifting 20-25 mm
Moderate weight training experience or physically demanding job 25-30 mm
Long-term weight training or lifting experience or physically demanding job 30-35 mm
(Females should take the lower percentage, males the upper)