If you haven't heard of a steel mace—a type of strength training equipment also termed a macebell—you're not alone. These long metal rods capped with a weighted ball aren't often found in your standard gym or training studio. But that doesn't mean they're something new.
What differentiates mace training from other "primal" forms of fitness, such as kettlebell or steel club training, is the mace's highly uneven distribution of weight. The long, narrow rod serves two purposes:
Variable Grip Options: The long rod makes it easy to change your grip position from exercise to exercise, altering the difficulty of each movement. For instance, moving your hands farther away from the rod's weighted ball quickly turns a beginner exercise into an advanced movement as it becomes more difficult to control the long, unevenly weighted rod.
Facilitates Movements That Engage the Core: The longer rod extends the distance between your body and the weighted ball, making it a great tool for swinging, twisting, and pressing exercises where core engagement and control are critical. Mace training is a great way to develop core strength for powerful, functional exercise.
The Benefits of Macebell Training
If you incorporate macebell training into your regular routine, you're likely to experience the following benefits.
Improved Grip Strength
Grip strength—a combination of hand, finger, and forearm strength—is an often-overlooked aspect of most fitness programs. But if you think about it, grip strength is fundamental to just about everything you do.
For instance, rock climbers can't ascend a challenging route without impressive grip strength, baseball players can't effectively swing a bat without the ability to hang onto and control the bat's trajectory, and even basic weight training exercises—pull-ups, curls, deadlifts, and rows—all require grip strength to hold onto the complimentary bar.
Because of the macebell's uneven distribution of weight, swinging it requires a strong grip. Repeated swinging, especially over the course of weeks and months, can increase your grip strength to improve this aspect of functional fitness.
Strong and Healthy Shoulders
The shoulder girdle is the least stable joint in the entire body, making it susceptible to injury. And anyone who's ever experienced shoulder pain can attest that it wreaks havoc on a workout routine. Even basic movements, such as pushups, dips, and pull-ups, become extremely difficult (or even impossible) with a shoulder injury.
How to choose the weight of Mace bell?
Steel Mace Weights
The sizes that are available are 7lb, 10lb, 15lb, 20lb, 25lbs and 30lbs. Weight can go beyond 30lbs if you get a fillable or custom traditional mace but for now, I am sticking to the standard Steel Maces. You can get yourself a Steel Mace over at:
Just note that when you first get a Steel Mace in your hand a 10 lb mace will feel much heavier because of its uneven weight distribution and the way that it is used.
Some of you might be completely new to steel mace and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steel Mace might be something that is getting you back into movement after years of a sedentary life.
If you are new to Steel Mace Training the weight I recommend to start with is 7lbs or 10lbs. Why? Well training with this tool is not like others and requires you to learn fundamentals before attempting some of the cool shit you see online.
I recommend that you find someone locally or online who can help you. Why? A coach can look at you in 3D view with a mace in your hands and will give you a better idea of where to start. But if that is not something you want to do – just stay at 7 lbs or 10 lbs and you should be fine! Injury free!
For the Athletic
If you are THOR strong that doesn’t excuse you from learning Steel Mace fundamentals and earning technique points! Just like when we first get into any other type of fitness modality we need to give our body’s time to get used to the Steel Mace.
Switching between weights
Keep in mind that you can totally have a variety of steel mace weights to alter the intensity of your training during your workout. I haven’t graduated to a 15lb as of yet! I switch between my 7lb and 10lb mace during training. But I also know that a 15lb would up my game tremendously in the future but I would rather stay humble about my position with the steel mace. I honor it and know that eventually, I will get stronger and more stable in my movements. So buy and try a few weights if you have the cash to do so!
Consider the type of Steel Mace Training
If you go on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, with time, you are going to start seeing that there are different styles of Steel Mace Training such as Traditional & Flow. Why do I ask you to go take a look? Because this should also be considered when deciding what Steel Mace weight to use!
In summary, I would say start at 10lbs if you’ve never trained with a Steel Mace before BUT where you are in fitness (newbie or athlete) and the type of training you are going to jump into will ultimately have part in making the correct decision! I hope this article was helpful.