During WWII, it was necessary to devise new techniques for getting large groups of new soldiers into combat-ready shape FAST. One of the methods that was created was “The Strength Course” — a series of eight different types of exercises, each performed for a period of 120 seconds without stopping. Today we would probably refer to this as circuit or station training.
One of those stations was swinging the war club.
The directions were as follows:
WAR CLUB. This apparatus is a club with a handle. It should weigh about 20 pounds. It may be made from a fruit can filled with concrete and a handle of any convenient wood. Or it can be fashioned entirely from wood. This club is swung violently from right to left and left to right; from over one shoulder to down by the ground on the other side, in a chopping motion; or swung around the head, one hand at a time. Other movements, devised by the men or by the instructor may be substituted. The club should be swung continuously from the time this station is reached until the man progresses to the next station.