steel mace review

9 Steel Mace Training Reviews from the Steel Mace Community

June 03, 2019

We recently reached out to the steel mace community and our customers at SET FOR SET who’ve purchased our steel maces to get some testimonials and reviews on steel mace training.

steel mace testimonials

As this is a relatively new type of modality for most people, we are really interested to see how everyone’s mace training is going. 

Moreover, we know there are many people out there who are wondering "should I use a steel mace?"

So, we hope that these 9 steel mace training reviews from personal trainers, coaches, and mace enthusiasts will help you decide if steel mace training is right for you.

Update: We've added two more testimonials so there are actually 11 reviews now.

These are the questions we asked when requesting steel mace reviews:

  • What do you think about steel mace training in general?
  • How are you using your steel mace(s)? i.e. traditionally, flows/complexes, targeted exercises, physical therapy, HIIT, etc.
  • How has it changed your (and/or your client’s) performance?
  • What’s your favorite aspect of steel mace training?
  • Do you have a favorite mace exercise? If so, what is it and why?
  • Where do you use your steel mace? 
  • Who would you recommend to use steel maces?
  • What other training tools and methods do you use in tandem with steel mace training?
  • And, lastly, what do you think about SET FOR SET's Steel Maces?

steel mace reviews

Steel Mace Training Reviews

Now, let’s see what these awesome people have to say about steel mace training and our SET FOR SET steel maces.

1. Brad David

What do you think about steel mace training in general?

Maces are an excellent training tool for combining instability, coordination, and full-body synchronization that comes from flow work. I think mace training is an interesting, fun, and highly effective way to train.

How are you using your steel mace(s)? i.e. traditionally, flows/complexes, targeted exercises, physical therapy, HIIT, etc.

For myself, I have been using mace flow work to spice up the training and improve grip. The 10 lb is great for recovery days, where attention to detail and technique are important. Having only had a mace for about one month, I have already used it professionally to increase shoulder stability for tennis athletes, and helped rehab a separate shoulder injury client by working their injured arm without weight (offset 2-arm bench press, row, curl, tricep ext), and as challenging circuit / flow workout to keep my healthy clients engaged. 

How has it changed your (and/or your client’s) performance?

My clients have seen increased serving power and overall shoulder proprioception during tennis, and my injured clients are progressing faster due to the cross-education effect of training an injured limb bilaterally. My less coordinated clients have greatly improved their hand-eye coordination and total body core stability required for certain moves (barbarian squat, walking lunges with balistic curl).

What’s your favorite aspect of steel mace training?

As a former martial artist, I found the mace flow work to be very similar to a kata. The right balance of concentration, coordination, and flow make for a challenging and mentally rewarding workout. As a holistic health practitioner, I value tools that can combine strength, movement, and mental training all in one. The mace absolutely provides this. I also really enjoy the recovery aspect of it. Flowing with the mace provides a good pump and strengthens the mind-body connection in a rejuvenating way.

Do you have a favorite mace exercise? If so, what is it and why?

My favorite mace exercise so far is the bayonet strike. I love the unilateral, full-body approach, and the feeling of "sticking the landing"  by pausing for a split second with the mace held at full extension. This exercise is dynamic, rewarding, and a great challenge to the forearms. You just feel badass doing it! 

Where do you use your steel mace? 

Outdoor exercise is a major aspect of my training philosophy, and I primarily use the mace outside and among nature to help induce a flow state. 

Who would you recommend to use steel maces?

With a creative coach, maces can be used by anyone. The uneven and unstable component is invaluable for rehabilitating injuries, and the flow aspects are enjoyable and helpful for healthy and athletic clients. 

What other training tools and methods do you use in tangent with steel mace training?

I have combined mace work with kettlebell work for a great, dynamic full body workout. I have been primarily using the mace for recovery days, where the focus can be on higher reps and increasing blood flow to the tissue. 

And, lastly, what do you think about SET FOR SET Steel Maces?

Overall, I am very satisfied with the mace construction, design, and SET FOR SET's customer service. Your online and educational content is also extremely helpful and well delivered. My only criticism would be the coating of the maces do not seem to be protective at all. My particular maces (of which I have 3) will scratch and the coating will peel off with the slightest contact with a harder surface. I was expecting a tougher coating, but the maces continue to work well despite this!

Thank you guys! I am a big fan and have immediately enjoyed using the mace from the second I took it out of the box. This is not just a fad, and will be a heavily used piece of equipment in my gym to keep myself and others entertained, and to get my clients where they need to be! 

macebell testimonial

Brad David is 28 years old and he has a company called Adventure Athlete located in Athens, Georgia.

Here is a bio taken from his website: Brad David is a physical educator and strength and conditioning coach with over 7 years of experience. With a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Georgia, Brad utilizes scientifically-proven training methods to produce safe, progressive, and effective programs for any age, ability, or goal.

Website: https://www.adventureathletefit.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adventureathletefit

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adventureathletefit

2. Stuart Ward

What do you think about steel mace training?

The Steel Mace has been a great addition to my personal training tools. I've found it really complements my Kettlebell strength programs. My clients have seen great results with shoulder and upper back mobility from using the Steel Mace.  

How are you using your steel mace(s)? i.e. traditionally, flows/complexes, targeted exercises, physical therapy, HIIT, etc.

I tend to focus on the traditional 360 and 10-2 Mace swings. I'll also use some complexes using some basic strength moves with the Steel Mace for a whole body session.

How has it changed your (and/or your client’s) performance?

I’ve found the Steel Mace has been a game changer for many of my clients upper back and shoulder mobility. the 360 and 10-2 swing has also been very useful in developing whole body movement and strengthening the shoulder-hip connection.

What’s your favorite aspect of steel mace training?

The combination of flow, relaxation and strength needed to swing the Steel Mace. It can be very meditative, and why the 360 and 10-2 are becoming my favorite exercises of any modality.

Where do you use your steel mace? 

I'll always use the Steel Mace outside, barefoot. For myself and with my clients.

Who would you recommend to use steel maces?

Absolutely anyone who has an interest in developing strength and mobility. I have female clients in their 70's who use the steel mace as well as younger athletes.

What other training tools and methods do you use in tangent with steel mace training?

I'll often use Kettlebells, Persian Meels, Bulgarian bags, Steel Clubs, battle ropes and Slam Balls with the Steel Mace.  Kettlebell swings and the 10-2 Mace swing are a real perfect pair for me.

And, lastly, what do you think about SET FOR SET Steel Maces.

The Set for Set Steel Mace training guide has been really useful in developing my skills with the Steel Mace. Great exercises progressions and regressions and programs. 

steel mace training review

Stuart Ward is 40 years old and he offers personal training and group classes for Tai Chi, Pilates and the Art Of Strength. He is based in Bournemouth and and New Forest in the UK.

Nourishing Moves Website 

Nourishing Moves Facebook Page

Nourishing Moves Youtube Channel

Nourishing Moves Instagram

3. Skye Nacel

What do you think about steel mace training?

I believe strongly in the power of Steel Maces on so many levels. As a functional movement coach I have used it with everyone from physical therapy patients to grand mothers to pregnant women and it’s been transformative. In my own practice it had also given new life to the routine and become a go to modality in most of my sessions. 

How are you using your steel mace(s)? i.e. traditionally, flows/complexes, targeted exercises, physical therapy, HIIT, etc.

I work with a wide range of clientele ranging from physical therapy to mace specific classes and workshops so I vary it depending. I really like the way the tool increases awareness and mindfulness for people. You just have to focus and be aware in the moment when you are working close with metal.  

How has it changed your (and/or your client’s) performance?

It’s been pretty awesome across the board for many of my regulars. Grip strength, shoulder mobility, muscular endurance etc. one of my students is a 64 year old woman who never imagined she would use the tool and she just did 360’s with a 15 at a recent 7 am Steel Mace class I was leading. Another client worked with light maces with me right up until a week before her pregnancy. 

What’s your favorite aspect of steel mace training?

My favorite aspect of steel mace training is focus, straight up. No bs or spacing out, you are in it. 

Do you have a favorite mace exercise? If so, what is it and why?

My Favorite Steel Mace move is the 360. It truly feels and probably is, what it was built for. 

Where do you use your steel mace? 

I use steel maces in a variety of places. A physical therapy clinic, in a training studio, a yoga studio ,at peoples homes, in parks and my favorite, the ocean. 

Who would you recommend to use steel maces?

I believe the steel mace can be used by most anyone. Sometimes for people it’s just a metal bar with a ball on it, offset and that basic challenge is enough for them. 

What other training tools and methods do you use in tangent with steel mace training?

In most steel mace sessions I also use wooden dowels, homemade wooden clubs, commercial clubs, kettlebells and even fatbells. 

And, lastly, what do you think about SET FOR SET Steel Maces?

The SET FOR SET steel maces are a solid product backed by a great company!

macebell review

Skye Nacel owns Mocean365 LLC, which is a certified, licensed and insured MovNat provider specializing in skill and awareness-based human movement coaching. Their goal is to be outdoors as much as possible, so that’s where a majority of their training takes place.

“Mocean365 also offers workshops, clinics and consultations as well as MTB skills coaching so you can put skills into action and live with stoke!”

Website: https://mocean365action.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mocean3six5

4. Matt Limoges

What do you think about steel mace training in general?

Training with the steel mace is humbling. A relatively light weight is all that is needed to effectively challenge your central nervous system and often neglected small postural/stabilizing muscles. The mace excels at this by innately providing a rotational bias due to the uneven weight distribution. Conventional resistance training is predominately frontal and sagittal plane biased. With steel mace training, you are tasked with controlling this rotational bias. This means you don’t have to load up a barbell with 225, 315, or 405lbs to get a great metabolic stimulus, thereby saving your spine and joints from the compressive loads of heavy weight training. Not that there is anything wrong with lifting heavy weights. Empirical research tells us heavy weight training (i.e., loads that reach 65-95% of one-repetition maximum) is very effective at building lean muscle, improving muscular strength, power, and endurance, improve bone density, and etc… However, heavy strength training has been glamorized in western fitness culture, which has led to a lot of inflated egos and poor movement mechanics. Ditch the ego, bro, and get yourself a 10 or 15lb steel mace. Your body will thank you for the novel challenge. 

How are you using your steel mace(s)? i.e. traditionally, flows/complexes, targeted exercises, physical therapy, HIIT, etc.

I am a huge proponent of developing sustainable physical activity habits for life. And what better way to make any physical activity or movement practice sustainable than to be immersed in play.

I own a 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25lb steel mace. However, I use my 10lb steel mace 90% of the time in my personal movement practice where I simply play in flows and complexes. I use a heavier steel mace when my mind and body are ready for a greater challenge. There are more benefits than just those relating to fitness with regular steel mace work. The steel mace is the total package to health, wellness, and fitness if you know how to use it properly.

How has it changed your (and/or your client’s) performance?

I have been training with the steel mace now for 16 months and have never felt more strong, agile, conditioned, and in-tune with my body. The rotational forces the mace places on the body has made me more mindful about the way that I coordinate movement patterns, which has transferred over to other modalities of physical activity and fitness. As for my clients, I would say the biggest benefit they have received from regular steel mace training is being more confident in how they move.

What’s your favorite aspect of steel mace training?

The fact that the steel mace overlaps many facets of health, wellness, and fitness. This is the most powerful aspect of steel mace training. If you go deep down the steel mace rabbit hole, you will find that it crosses over to other aspects of life other than just fitness. Truly, a one of a kind tool. 

Do you have a favorite mace exercise? If so, what is it and why?

I don’t like to think about using the steel mace for “exercise”, but rather like to think about using the steel mace as play. When I combine different movement patterns into a larger series of movements, steel mace training becomes less like exercise and more like play for me. This is one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy steel mace training. 

Where do you use your steel mace? 

Anywhere and everywhere! I often get strange looks but I honestly don’t care. I use it in gyms, clinics, and at home. I use it outdoors on my deck, in my yard, and at parks. I always travel with at least one mace in my car.

Who would you recommend to use steel maces?

Anyone in good enough health to begin a movement practice, and for athletes of all kinds -traditional, tactical, and industrial.  

What other training tools and methods do you use in tangent with steel mace training?

Bodyweight and kettlebells are very complimentary modalities of training in adjunct with steel mace. I feel steel clubs would be a great addition as well, but I have not yet tried. However, I am very eager to get my hands on some and give them a go.

And, lastly, what do you think about SET FOR SET Steel Maces?

I have used only two brands of steel mace, SET FOR SET and Onnit. Both brands are of great quality. However, I prefer the thicker handle diameter of the Onnit steel mace. I learned SET FOR SET recently updated their mace handles so they are now wider in diameter. Can’t wait to give the new ones a try!

Matt Limoges (Coach Mads) is 34 years old and he is a coach at PYP Studio in State College, PA.

Here is a bio from Coach Mads personal website: “I have been blessed to have always found fitness engaging and apart of my life. Ergo why I pursued higher education in health, wellness, and fitness. I am currently working on my Masters degree in Exercise Physiology. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Exercise Science, and am an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, Certified Steel Mace Flow Coach, and NPTI Certified Personal Trainer, having earned my certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Steel Mace Flow, and the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI), respectively. ​ Coaching, teaching, and movement are my passions. I am here to share my experiences and knowledge to help you be the best version of you.”

Gym Website: https://www.thepypstudio.com

Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steelmace_mads

Personal Website: https://swingtheory.wixsite.com/swingtheory

5. Wyatt Gibbons

I love mace training. In a short amount of time you can get an excellent workout, whether it’s full body or targeted areas. It looks simple and in many ways it is, but many of the moves have way more complexity than meets the eye.  Plus, there’s an old-school, warrior, bad-ass feel to swinging a heavy club!

I use the mace mostly with traditional moves such as 10x2s and 360s, but always try to add a move such as a ballistic curl or my favorite, a push-press. I do flows on occasion, I LOVE banging a tire with them and lately I take a 5 pound mace with me when I walk my dog and do what I call “walk flows”, which is really just me swinging, holding (for grip strength), pressing, curling and just plain carrying my mace while I walk the hound. You’d be amazed at how heavy 5 pounds can get when you’re swinging it while walking for 20-30 minutes!

I don’t know that it has changed my performance necessarily, apart from maybe increasing my shoulder range of motion. The main thing is adding another tool to the exercise bag to stave off boredom and keep my workouts fresh and changing.

My favorite aspects are the versatility and the relative quickness of an intense mace workout. Also, they’re pretty portable as workout equipment goes.

My favorite exercise is probably 360s with a push press after every rep - great core and upper body workout and with a 20 or 30 pounder, you get fried pretty quickly. Also great for grip strength.

I use my maces in my home gym, in my backyard and I keep a 15 pounder in my office along with a 16kg kettlebell.

I would recommend a mace to anyone - from newbie to veteran gym rat. It’s an empowering device in an old-school, warrior way.

I use a wide variety of different tools including adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, fatbells, ab roller, ab straps, Rip Trainer, TRX, BOSU ball, pull up bar, sand bag, slug sand bag (one of my favorites), medicine balls, weighted vest, drag sled, heavy bag, speed bag, double end bag, jump rope, battle rope, Max Trainer, resistance bands, trap bar, etc. and often just body weight.  Anything to change things up, keep from getting stale and keep my body from getting complacent.

Set for Set maces are well made, sturdy and well-balanced. They’ll certainly outlast me!!

Wyatt Gibbons is 56 years old and he converted a room in his house into a gym and it is KICK-ASS. He states “I can do pretty much ANYTHING the space will allow and it is truly my happy place!”

6. Jeff Doornweerd

My name is Jeff Doornweerd. I’m a physical education teacher at the high school level. My fitness is usually a mix of Crossfit, weightlifting and yoga. I started using a mace in my training because it added a lot of rotational and anti-rotational work to my current routine. Many of the functional exercises in Crossfit are great at building strength/fitness but miss out on balance and fluid athletic movements. I’ve been training with a 15 lb mace for about 3 months now and am hoping to start increasing the weight to 20-30 lbs soon. Training with a mace has brought back an element of skill learning to my exercise routine that requires great focus and concentration. To put it best, it’s just fun. I don’t really feel like I’m “working out” when I’m swinging my mace. I’ve shared this with my wife and she immediately made me buy her one too. Now we can work our together in a very fun new way right at our house or on vacation. I think it’s great that our two boys see as us do this together too.

I’ve since shared this new training style with my department chair and we are interested in creating a unit for the high school students. I think there could be a lot of potential in exposing high school students to a non traditional way to exercise like mace training. You may want to see how you can get into some of the state or national PE/health conferences so that you can introduce more people to such a cool way of exercising. If this is something that you are interested in, I’d be happy to help in any way that I can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thanks for all you guys are doing to help others improve their fitness and their lives!

7. William Arvin

Steel mace training is an absolute game changer for me. It's so simple, yet all encompassing when it comes to using and moving the body. 

From using flow training where nothing is planned, to doing targeted exercises for sets and reps there's not much holding you back outside of your own imagination. But either way you do it you're going to be engaging the entire body. 

Additionally, it's an enjoyable process to learn new movements with the mace. Not only are there basic movements that nearly anyone can do but there's also increasingly complex movements that are fun to get to know and integrate into future flow sessions. 

The simplistic design of the mace allows me to bring it anywhere - throwing it into the back of a car, bringing it to a park, or just using it in my own home gym. This, paired with the fact that you can get a full body workout in less than five minutes if you wanted, makes this a phenomenal method of training for even my super busy days. But when there's more time in the day things can get even more interesting by using the heavier weights. 

I tend to flow with a mace for a single song, then rest for a song and then repeat. But with each song I will increase the weight of the mace. How high I work myself up to in weight is dependent on how I feel for that day, which is (yet another) great benefit of the mace - not only is there an almost limitless number of movements you can do, but you can even mix up the weights! 

And, what makes this all the better, is the quality of Set for Set steel mace. I've always had the mindset of "If something is working correctly, you don't even think about it.". And that's how it is with this brand of maces. They are so durable and well manufactured that I've never once questioned the quality of them. Because there's no need to! They're designed just as I'd want a steel mace to be designed, and nothing less.

William Arvin is a 25 year old personal trainer and founder of FTC Fitness.

“I live and breathe this stuff everyday, and have dedicated my professional life helping people like you become fitter, stronger, and healthier than ever. Whatever obstacles arise, I’ll help you overcome them by modifying your program or offering new solutions. In the end, know that I’m here to support you every step of the way, no matter what life throws at you.” - William Arvin

Website: https://www.ftc.fitness

8. Eddie Alvarez JR

My name is Eddie Alvarez JR. I'm 47 and I own a 7lb Set for Set mace. Love how it feels in the hands and enjoy doing  360s with it. I use to keep me conditioned throughout my body.  Highly recommend this tool for overall body conditioning.

9. Briana Martinez

I was introduced to steel maces by another trainer at the gym I just started working at. I had never seen them before but as soon as I picked one up, it was obvious what a valuable tool it could be, because of the ability to easily add an offset load to so many different traditional exercises like squats, lunges, rows, and presses. I love how you can really feel your core working just holding it in front of you. I just got one for myself to use for shoulder strengthening and I love it. I have mostly been using it to practice the exercises in the Set For Set Training Guide to build a good foundation. I'm especially excited to introduce them to one of my clients who recently told me that she wants to "be like a Viking warrior." I know they are a Persian weapon, but I think the feeling of swinging one around can really make you feel like any kind of warrior you want to be. 

Bri Martinez is a 31 year old coach at Evolve Fit Studios in Eugene, OR and she also has her own training business called Shadow Movement Coaching.

Evolve Fitness Studio: https://www.evolvefitstudios.com

Evolve Fitness Studio Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvolveFitnessStudios

**UPDATE (new testimonials)**

10. Bob "Ace of Mace" Johnson

Training with the steel mace has become my primary mode of training. I have been a personal trainer for 13 years and I feel it is the most effective method of training. I try to structure my workouts incorporating all methods. I’ll usually start with some heavy swings then move on to either targeted strength exercises or flows depending on that day’s plan and finish with some Tababta. On other days I’ll program HIIT with the mace and battle ropes, kettlebells, sandbags or steel clubs.

Since I started training with the mace about 4 years ago, I’ve noticed an increase in my overall athletic ability. I recently turned 50 and feel blessed to be completely pain free and able to drop everything and run a 5k (just this past Saturday) without any real run training. Not that I recommend anyone out there to stop running and start macing. But they complement one another. My clients frequently tell me how much better they feel and move and are always surprised by their increase in strength. From my dog groomer who can handle the biggest dogs without much effort to the recent mothers who have no problem moving about even after a difficult childbirth.

My favorite aspect of steel mace training would have to be its versatility and effectiveness. My clients are always amazed how they feel muscles they didn’t know they had after a session of mace train and how quickly they build overall functional strength.

My favorite exercise is the 360. I started macing after a shoulder injury doing an obstacle course. For about a year I struggled doing pull ups and handstand pushups. After about 5 months training with a 10lb mace I slowly built up the strength to do those exercises. I know my case was unique but I still stand by the effectiveness for strengthening the shoulder girdle, back an core as a system.

I use the mace at my studio and at home, the beach, the pool and anywhere else I can. I sometimes keep one in the car so I can pull it out at get togethers with friends and family. Yup, I’m that guy! I feel it’s my mission to get everyone macing every day!

At my studio I use the mace, clubs, kettlebells, sandbags, dumbbells, med balls and battle ropes. I’ve used barbells in the past, but I find no use for them now. It’s all about the mace!

I have ordered maces from several companies and I own a 15lb from Set for Set and I love the feel and quality. Very solid and swings nice. I also order the manual and that has taken my training to another level adding structure and progression to my training.

My only regret is that I didn’t start training with them 13 years ago!

Bob "Ace of Mace" Johnson is a personal training and owner of Outfit NJ. His studio focuses on one-on-one training & small group personal training. Bob specializes in bodyweight and suspension exercises (and steel maces!) for strength training and weight management.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Outfitnj

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/outfitnj

Twitter: https://twitter.com/outfitnj

Outfit NJ's Youtube Channel

11. Kyle Capanna (Man Bun Mace)

I touched a steel mace for the first time on February 1st, and immediately fell in love with it. I’ve used it almost every day since, and the results I’ve seen using it are remarkable. Not only aesthetically, but my functional mobility and strength have increased as well. I use a combination of functional strength and mobility movements, along with Steel Mace Flow to build dynamic, fun, and killer workouts. I love it so much I went through the certification course, and now teach Steel Mace Flow. The steel mace has changed my life in the best way possible!

Kyle Capanna is a Level 1 Certified Steel Mace Flow Instructor based in Deptford NJ. He offers classes and private steel mace lesson.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/man_bun_mace


SET FOR SET's Owner, Sam Coleman, Performing Some 360s:

 

WHERE TO BUY STEEL MACES?

7, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 pound steel maces available at SET FOR SET.

You can see over 90 reviews on our steel maces by following the link above.

steel mace

Note for those who purchased from us a while ago: We made some upgrades to our maces this past March (2019). We made our handles slightly longer and thicker, and we changed the plastic end-cap to a steel welded end-cap. Our maces are indestructible, as they should be!

20+ Steel Mace Flows & Complexes from the IG Mace Community



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