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Autumn is the time of year that most people work on three things: technique drills, heavy weight training, and heavy hammers. While our annual planning model doesn’t follow that same route, I am in the middle of a training block where I am throwing just the heavy 9-kilogram (19.8-pound) hammer. In this respect, hammer throwers around the world are ahead of the other event groups. I know many shot putters that throw only the competition weight hammer, out of fear for ruining their rhythm. I know others that might dabble only with light shot puts. But it seems the majority avoid heavy shot puts. It is a similar story in other events. Despite this, it can still be difficult to find training hammers in various weights.
This post is not about rehashing why this is an important part of training (the two main reasons are: overweight implements help develop special strength and, as I pointed out again last week, training variation is critical). What it is about is how to find the best implements to train with. After nearly a decade of training in Seattle I had amassed a personal arsenal of perhaps 30 hammers with 18 different weights ranging from 2-kilogram to 16-kilogram (plus an adjustable weight hammer I inherited from Ken Shannon). Now that I have moved to Zurich I have slowly been increasing my club’s inventory with the help of Polanik. This is essential to becoming a good hammer thrower. Even if you focus on the weight throw throughout the winter(which again, I am not a fan of), it is still helpful to have a variety of weights to use so that you can work on different aspects of the throw.
Many manufacturers don’t even make odd-sized hammers. And while it has been easier to find them in recent years that is because Polanik has led the way. The leading North American retailer of Polanik equipment offers Polanik training hammers in 26 different weights. And not only is there variety, but they last too. I have yet to have a Polanik swivel break on me despite the many Indian-made hammers I’ve broken over the years. They present a good value considering their durability.
The Polanik equipment is such high quality that some of the world’s best meets use their equipment despite being sponsored by their competitors. For example, the classic Diamond League meet Weltklasse Zürich is sponsored by Nordic Sport. And while the toe board for the famous train station shot put event had a big Nordic sticker on it, upon closer inspection this year I saw it was indeed a Polanik toe board. Rather than get free equipment they elected to pay for a better quality one. I feel the same way; my club is also sponsored by Nordic and is generous in their support of my equipment needs. But I’d rather go through the effort of soliciting Polanik as a sponsor so that I can have better equipment to train with. If you’re are looking for some heavy hammers to train with this autumn and winter, take a look at Polanik.