Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings

Monday 9th October 2017 was day 100 since I started chemotherapy to treat prostate cancer. Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings.

I have maintained my sanity by swinging the Gada, Indian Clubs, and Persian Meels on a daily basis.

Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings

I am going to celebrate this chemo milestone by swinging 100 hath (hands). One hath is counted when the Gada is swung once to the left and once to the right in 10-2 format.

Loaded with different weights

A couple of weeks ago I was making new Gadas for a workshop. I used the same mold to make the Gadas, so they all look the same, but in fact, two of them are loaded with different weights achieved by adding carefully measured amounts of shot to the concrete mix.

Chemotherapy and Hormone Treatments make you Weak

Chemotherapy and Hormone Treatments (for testosterone reduction) make you weak and tired. Over the last 100 days, I have swung a 7kg (15lb) Gada (mace) simply because I do not have the energy to swing my 10kg and 14kg Gadas.

Listening to my Body

I decided to make Gadas with small weight variations, namely an 8kg and 9kg Gadas to see if I could handle a small weight increase as I was struggling with anything heavier.

Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings

7kg, 8kg and 9kg Gada (mace)

1kg increments are small, but I have found that both the 8kg and 9kg have raised the challenge level, although there are some days that using them is not possible due to the enormous fatigue generated by the medicines.

Ladder Style Training

Having the three lighter weights of 7kg, 8kg and 9kg means that I can train ladder style as I used to do previously with the 7kg, 10kg, and 14kg before my cancer treatment started.

Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings

Make Your Own Traditional Gada (mace)

Follow this link for instructions

Shallow Breathing

One of the side effects of chemo is shallow breathing and shortness of breath, so shallow in fact that you think that you are out of breath all the time. Fatigue sets in really quickly.

Deep Breathing

Swinging the Gada forces deep breathing, which is and feels wonderful. I enjoy every breath and exhalation and come away feeling totally rejuvenated.

Fit and Healthy

When you are fit and healthy, you can get into the correct Gada breathing groove straight away.

Irregular Breathing Battle

In my situation, I have to fight for roughly the first 10 minutes, to achieve the Gada deep breathing. My body resists with aches and pains, feeling faint, and my breathing is completely irregular, sometimes almost hyperventilating.

Cadence of the Gada

The only thing that is regular is the cadence of the Gada swinging to a drum beat at 60 beats per minute.


Once I have reached the 10-minute mark of a swing, my breathing becomes deep and regular syncing beautifully with the regular swing of the Gada. All the aches and pains, plus feeling faint disappear into oblivion. The body triumphs.

Best Results

Time wise I find that I get the best results by swinging the Gada for at least 40 minutes non-stop. To sum up, 10 minutes of horror, followed by 30 minutes of near delirium.


I have always been interested in endurance which has played into my hands. This idea stems from the Pahlavans in the Akharas of Northern India, where they consider that swinging a Gada in the 8kg to 25kg range is hugely beneficial in achieving the suppleness needed for wrestling.

Growing Older

As I have grown older, presently 67yo, I have realised that there are benefits here for the ageing human body. Which means using light to moderate weights and extending the length of time.

Extended Swing Sessions

Following this train of thought, I started to extend my Gada non-stop swing sessions over the last three years. First 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and slowly up to 40 minutes and over. I have grown to love the endurance aspect as a regular challenge in my workouts.

Gada Exercises

My preferred gada exercises are the 10-2, with the occasional break away into 360’s. The main reason is that they are both the most effective in maintaining suppleness, mobility, breathing and excellent cardio.

Personal Benefit

Unbeknown to me at the time, my earlier endurance Gada sessions prepared me for self-administered cancer therapy and in particular in dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Make Your Own Traditional Gada (mace)

Follow this link for instructions

Chemotherapy Milestone 100 Days 100 Gada Swings

You may like to read the links below to learn more about the Gada (mace)
Gada Mace ladder style workout
Gada Mace the Old Faded Art
Red Energy

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Meet the Author

Paul Taras Wolkowinski

INDIAN CLUBS and how to use them. Traveling, researching and studying old books and manuals, has played a major part in my re-discovery of the Art of Indian Clubs Swinging. I practice four disciplines, Indian Clubs, Persian Meels, Gada Mace and Indian Jori Clubs. I have discovered a fascination for this form of exercise that has grown with proficiency. This website is dedicated to help you discover how to use Indian Clubs for exercise and fitness.

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