When I talk about the fact I train with “Maces”, there is often a certain amount of confusion in the eyes of my audience.

“Did he really mean a Mace?”

“What does it look like?”

“What on earth do you do with a Mace?”

So let me clear up some questions – Yes, it is a Mace in that it’s a weighted globe on the end of a roughly metre long handle. Most Maces tend to weigh between 4kg to 10kg however there are some impressive custom models out there that can weigh a lot more – but they tend to be for the truly devoted.

To get beyond the next obvious concern, no you are not supposed to hit other people (or yourself) with it. There are in face a wide variety of different exercises you can do with a Mace but the fundamental techniques that define it are the 360 or the 10 to 2. These two exercises involve you swinging the mace from the front of your body, over your shoulder and down behind your back. Then as the Mace swings up the other side you pull it back over your body to return it to your start position. Think of it a little bit like the Kettlebell Halo movement – but far more potent and beneficial. I am pretty sure the Halo movement was inspired by the Mace 360 but, good as it is to do with a Kettlebell, it is just not the right tool to get the most out of the exercise.

Another thing about Mace training that many don’t realise is that this isn’t some new fad that is being churned out by the fitness industry. Instead, it’s been around for a very long time and has been used my wrestlers and warriors (most notably from India) for centuries – if not millennium. It’s been loved by them for its ability to improve shoulder and hand strength, resilience,and mobility. It’s also promotes core strength, stability and power generation (I was shocked to discover how much further I could throw a ball after starting Mace training). Most importantly it’s also a lot of fun and when you start getting the movements to flow smoothly it just feels so right to do.

As a final thought to this post I feel that much of the focus of resistance training we do in our modern world works in straight lines. Squats, Presses, Hinges and Rows are mostly about moving an object from A to B in the shortest possible distance – a straight line. There is something not only refreshing but eminently organic about a system that promotes strength through curves and circles. As I get older I am sure there is something far more long lasting and harmonious to the body with this approach.