In this article I am going to go over my personal experience with using select free standing punching bags. Specifically The Century Cardio Wavemaster and the Century XXL Wavemaster bags. I will explain why I prefer one bag over the other and for what reasons.
I have been using the much larger and heavier XXL bag for several years and I had always wanted to try the Cardio Wavemaster. I have spent several hours researching the benefits of having a bag like this so I was extremely excited to finally try this punching bag out.
Everyone has their own way of exercising and working out, even when the exercises are the same. I have my way that works for me and I strongly suggest that you take the time to figure this out for yourself to the best of your ability.
If you're interested in getting into some martial arts training, looking for a good quality bag and are not sure where to start, then I have some perspective to offer if you're considering the Wavemaster or it’s larger counterpart, the XXL.
Century Cardio Wavemaster – My Personal Review
The Century Cardio Wavemaster is a free standing punching bag that is well suited for kickboxing cardio workouts that uses a weighted base for stability.
It is a very durable and well made bag that due to its size and weight would be a great fit for women, young fighters, and anyone who’s body type would fit in a lighter weight category.
Specs and Features
- 40 inch bag with a 10.5 inch diameter and a low profile base
- High density foam wrapped in a very durable poly-based shell
- Circular and rounded base foundation (can easily roll to relocate when base is weighted)
- Adding weight is as easy as a twist and pull
- Adjustable height
- The base is about 22 inches in diameter and a little over 13 inches tall
What I Like About the Century Cardio Wavemaster
Just like most niche products the Cardio Wavemaster is not without pros and cons.
The following list includes my favorite features of the Cardio Wavemaster.
Locking Height Adjustment
The height can be adjusted from 53.5 inches to 65.5 inches which is a little under 5 and a half foot tall. Not the tallest, but can still suit people that exceed this height depending on what kind of workout they’re going for.
Easy To Move Around
The rounded circular base makes relocating the Wavemaster reasonably easier compared to many others. This rounded base allows you to roll the Wavemaster around relatively easy so that storing it out of the way is much less of a chore. This has been especially helpful when Friends would come over to workout and were easily able to roll the Wavemaster to the backyard so we could all workout however we wanted without getting in each other's way. It's an amazing outdoor punching bag.
Easier To Store In Smaller Spaces
Because of the adjustable height and mobility of the Wavemaster I have had no problems putting this away in the garage or basement.
It’s pretty compact by design with a diameter at 10.5 inches at the bag and just under 2 feet at the base. Finding a place to store this shouldn’t be a hard task. You can actually place it in the corner of any room and it still would not take up very much space. so It's great for people who are looking for a punching bag for apartments and don't want to buy a stand or who simply don't have a lot of space in their house.
I keep mine tucked away in my basement right behind the door that leads to my backyard (my house is built on a hill with its peak at the front of my house and it’s valley at the back, so my basement door opens at ground level in the backyard) and very much enjoy how convenient it is to just roll around the corner and into the yard.
Great for Aerobics and Cardio
About 3 to 5 minutes is all that is needed to get a good sweat going for anyone that is in average shape and general decent health. Any exercise correlated to kicking and punching is extremely core focused and a lot of energy is needed to engage the core muscles. I especially like using this bag for high repetition cardio kicking. Repetitive low side kicks with low impact.
This bag is a great way to implement a low impact workout that activates my core muscles. However the goal of repetitive cardio kicking is to build stamina, with little stress on the joints and core activation being a pro to using this exercise in your routine.
Great for Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA and Other Fighting Sports
Whether you need a punching bag for kickboxing, boxing, mixed martial arts or any other combat/fighting type sport, the Cardio Wavemaster has a place in your routine somewhere.
Great for Light Weight/Young Fighters and Women
Body weight that starts to exceed 180 pounds or more can make this bag a little less stable than most would like, making it ideal for smaller body types.
Sturdy Base Is Great For Punching and Kicking Practice
While the Cardio Wavemaster is lighter than other bags it can still be relatively stable enough for punching and kicking. This is especially true when your workouts are more stamina/cardio oriented.
Great Quality from a Reputable Brand
One very important thing to note about this bag is not only the quality of the bag itself but the company that actually makes it. Century (also known officially as Century Martial Arts Supply) has been making martial arts training equipment since the 1970’s. It is owned and operated by actual martial artists and have a very experienced customer support team.
In addition to their lasting reputation for good quality martial arts training equipment they also have their own research and development team. To reiterate they have been around a long time, know what they’re doing and the product of this collaboration is a good product from a reliable and credible company.
What I Don’t Like
Now there are some caveats to the Cardio Wavemaster I feel I should point out. However they would not apply to everyone. I am about 5 foot 9 inches tall. Average height and average weight mostly proportional to height. Maybe a little heavier at around 180 pounds.
Anyone that guesses my weight is almost always off by at least 15-20 pounds lighter than what I actually weigh. It seems I am a little on the heavier side and this affects how I interact with the bag. Anyone under 180-170 pounds can knock the bag around pretty good with good counterbalance with sand or water as the weight.
It’s great because I can roll it out and warm up with some cardio kicks and strikes, but that is about all someone my size can do with it. Luckily it wasn’t only for myself so I had this in mind from the beginning.
Can’t take Heavy Strikes
As I have said it really is better suited for anyone that wants to get a quick warm up or some cardio kicks and strikes. It’s relatively easy to roll out and let the kids go at it. I am glad I have it for this reason alone.
It works very well for anyone under 170 pounds. Once you get up to 180 pounds or more it is not as stable as most would like. That being said it is perfect for younger fighters and most women that weigh 175 pounds or less.
Pro Tip: For a little added stability, place it on a MMA mat and this will help to absorb enough shock for the bag to counterbalance itself more adequately with a little more fluidity.
Harder to Fill The Base
This may be a difficult task depending on how you choose to fill it and what you choose to fill it with. For most it can be a hassle.
Filling the base is something you usually only have to do once, and is done easily for someone that has had to this many times. But don’t worry, I have some tips that should make the process much easier, even for a novice.
How To Setup The Cardio Wavemaster
Another convenient thing about the Cardio Wavemaster is it does not require assembly out of the box. Which is nice, but it does require taking off the base to fill with the weight of your choice. And we will go over that too.
Should I Fill the Bag with Water or Sand?
This depends on what you want and which method you are willing to put up with. As to which one is better is entirely up to you as well because this can very much depend on personal preference.
If you have no idea where to start then don’t worry. I will go over the pros and cons of both. There is also a third option I’ll go over in case you’re feeling a little ambitious.
- Sand is heavier and stable; It is not easy to remove from the base.
- Water is lighter and less stable, but counterbalances very well; removing water is not quite as difficult as removing sand.
- GEL is a little heavier than sand usually and is the most stable weight. It counterbalances better than sand but not as well as water. Once it gets firm it can not leak out even if the base is damaged. It is Also permanent; You can not remove this without damaging the base.
Sand is heavier than water, so this obviously will give your bag a good bit more stability. However it can be quite a time consuming task to fill up your base with sand, but having the right tools can definitely make things easier.
Any sand will do, but you can buy playground sand at most any local hardware/supply store and it is not that expensive.
Make sure your sand is DRY! Trying to fill your base with wet sand or even damp sand is no fun task and will take you much longer to fill up your base than it has to. If your sand is damp, let it sit opened in a dry warm area for a few days. You can always use water in your base while you're waiting for it to dry out.
Obtain a large funnel. The bigger the better. Most hardware stores and auto parts stores will have this. Not absolutely needed, but makes the experience much easier and faster.
You simply twist and pull the bag off the base and place the funnel inside the revealed opening. Carefully pour the sand in the funnel and let the sand drain into the base, repeating until it is full or at a weight that you prefer.
Water is definitely the easiest weight to add to the base, and also easiest to remove if you needed to do so. I just use a garden hose attached to any water source. Any indoor/outdoor faucet will do of course.
Just make sure to add some bleach to the water to prevent bacteria and algae from growing inside the base. I use at least one half cup or more. For a base this size I would use a little more. More than one cup is probably overkill, but certainly wouldn't hurt.
Another option that many people do not know about, is gel. And for good reason. It is not the most convenient task. At least compared to the first 2 options. Even so this process is still not very difficult.
Using gel as a weight requires you to mix an absorbent polymer powder with water. It is mostly used for portable basketball hoop bases. Since it is still an option as a weight for any base I thought leaving this out would be a disservice.
There are several brands, and each can vary slightly in water to polymer powder ratio so make sure you get your ratios correct.
It is best to add most of the polymer powder first. About ⅔ of the proper ratio, add half the water according to what the base can hold, add the rest of polymer powder, then add the rest of the water needed to fill the base
The idea is to use the pressure from the hose to help mix the powder into the water by alternating between the water and polymer as you fill the base up. The mixture forms a firm solid gel that has the same weight as several bags of sand.
Which One Is Better?
That is up to you to decide. My personal favorite is water, because of its fluid counterbalance, and for something like the Cardio Wavemaster I would personally use the gel. And this is only because I am just a little heavy for a bag that size. I actually use all three of these methods. It just depends on what I am using them on. Hopefully this will help you to decide where to start.
Who Is This Bag for?
Who this bag is for can actually be anyone .However I would personally insist that a bag like this is better suited for young fighters or exercise enthusiasts that weigh at least 175 pounds or less.
However it can be tweaked by playing with the weight method and placing it on a yoga mat or on a softer surface for anyone that breaks that 175 pound threshold.
But if you're young and still growing, getting a bigger bag like the XXL is definitely the better option. And at the end of the day the XXL is what I prefer for more intense training.
What About Customer Reviews?
The customer reviews on this product are great because this is actually a great product. It is well made, extremely durable, and is reasonably priced. Especially since you would most likely only have to buy it once.
I have had mine for over 2 years, used it heavily and there is not one tear in the poly canvas shell.
For a product of this quality the price is very agreeable (at less than 200 dollars?). For something this durable that is clearly built to last, I can not argue the price tag. You get what you pay for, but with Century martial arts products, you definitely get a little more.
A Better Cardio Wavemaster Alternative Punching Bag - Wavemaster XXL
After my time with a few bags, including bags like Cardio Wavemaster, BOB XL, Wavemaster XXL and others from the Wavermaster lineup and even bags from other brands like the Ringside Elite, and I still prefer the heavier Wavemaster XXL. This bag just suits my needs for someone my size and who prefers a little more intense kick and strike exercises.
- It’s bigger! With over 2 times the striking area.
- 52 inches tall with an 18 inch diameter out of the box
- Adjustable height allows a total reach of 69 inches in height.
- It is actually surprisingly easy to move. Tip and roll.
- This bag can take anything you throw at. Kicks, strikes, elbows and knees with force.
Please take some of these things into consideration if you're trying to figure which bag is best for you.
I do use the Cardio Wavemaster for light cardio warm ups but when it comes to real training with real strikes and kicks I will certainly choose the XXL every time.
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