heavy steel mace workout

Heavy Steel Mace Workout for Strength & Conditioning

September 22, 2019

After putting in work with lighter maces, the time will come when you are ready to explore heavy steel mace workouts.

If that time is now, we put together a heavy steel mace workout for strength and conditioning that we think you are going to appreciate...

heavy macebell

Before we get into the workout, let’s go over the difference between heavy maces and a lighter maces, how you can incorporate a heavy mace into your training and the benefits of doing so.

How heavy is a “Heavy” Steel Mace?

For some people, a 15lb mace might be a “heavy mace”. This is usually for smaller people/women. But to keep a happy medium, we are going to label a 20, 25 and 30 pound steel mace as a heavy mace.

30 lb steel mace

Difference between heavy steel maces and lighter steel maces

Of course, besides the weight, a heavy steel mace will have a longer handle (aka lever) and the handle will be thicker. The jump from a 15 to 20 is when the steel mace handle really changes in length and circumference. This makes heavier maces (20+ pounds) better for 360s and 10-to-2s, as a longer handle produces more momentum during the swing. Put simply, a 360 and 10-to-2 will feel much more fluid with a longer handle. The smoothness also has to do with the bell of the mace, which is bigger and heavier on a 20, 25 and 30 lb mace. What’s more, the thicker handle is going to work your grip a bit more.

Now, it’s not to say that a 10 or 15 pound mace isn’t good for swing movements, because they still work well...it’s just that a heavier mace is better.

Note: At SET FOR SET, we designed our 10 lb and 15 lb Steel Maces with a longer handle to help improve the fluidity of the swinging motions...Handle length makes a big difference.

Besides that, the maces are designed exactly the same. The applications for a lighter mace and heavier mace can differ though. So, let’s discuss that.

Heavy Mace vs Lighter Mace Applications

how to use a heavy steel mace

If you look at Gadas (the original mace developed by the Ancient Persians to prepare warriors for combat and then later used by wrestlers), they are all heavy. They do have lighter maces, but typically they are using 20LB+ Gadas. They even use Gadas as heavy as 40kg (88lbs).

Why do they use heavy maces? Well, a heavier mace is great for improving skills that directly apply to dominating in wrestling. The Great Gama used heavy maces and he was said to have been undefeated throughout his long career as a wrestler in India.

Let’s get specific here about why a heavy mace is a great implement...

Heavy Mace vs Lighter Mace Benefits

A heavy steel mace provides a range of benefits, such as rotational power, muscular endurance, strength, and brute force.

A lighter steel mace is also very beneficial, for wrestlers too, just in a different way. A light weight steel mace will increase shoulder mobility and flexibility in a safe manner, and it is very useful for warming up and preparing for heavy mace training. Moreover, a lighter mace is great for steel mace flows and endurance training. The Kushti wrestlers in India don’t do flows, this is a western application of the modernized steel mace. Furthermore, a Gada wouldn’t be ideal to flow with due to the design (long, thin bamboo/wood handle with a big concrete head). A steel mace is perfect for flowing thanks to its design, especially a lighter weight mace as you can do a lot of different switches and moves that would be not only difficult with a heavy mace, but also risky in terms of getting injured.

So, back to heavy maces. If you want to really develop incredible rotational power, muscular strength, and unrivaled core stability, a heavy mace is the way to go.

Another thing to note is that different steel mace weights are better for targeting certain muscle groups and exercises.

For example, a heavy mace is better if you want to train your legs (squat variations), and a light mace is better for most rotational exercises. On the flip side, a heavy mace is great for anti-rotation exercises.

How to incorporate a heavy mace into your steel mace training

If you’ve been using a lighter mace for some time and you’ve mastered it, we highly recommend moving up in weight. Heavy steel maces are a completely different beast.

Our typical week will include lighter mace flows and heavy mace workouts and complexes.

A 1-to-1 ratio works well. If you do 6 steel mace workouts a week, do 3 lighter mace workouts for muscular endurance and 3 heavy mace workouts for brute full body power. If you only train with maces twice a week, do 1 lighter mace workout and 1 heavy mace workout…

You get the point.

To be more specific when answering the question of "how to incorporate heavy maces into your mace training?", here is a Heavy Mace Workout so you can see what kind of workouts we do with Heavy Maces. After we go through this Heavy Mace Workout, we will provide you with some more protocols/methods.

Heavy Steel Mace Workout for Strength & Conditioning

This is a heavy steel mace workout for strength and conditioning

You will be combining 4 different workout protocols into one heavy steel mace workout.

Target: Burning Fat, Building Muscle, Muscular Endurance, and Full-Body Conditioning
Equipment: 20-30LB steel mace (men), 15-25LB steel mace (women)
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Duration: 30 minutes (not including warm up and decompression)

Warm-Up: Before you do any intense workout, you need to warm up. It will help you to start your workout strong and it reduces the chance of injury.

Follow this Dynamic Warm Up before you start the Heavy Steel Mace Workout



100 x Mace 360
100 x Mace 10-to-2
- Try to complete Part 1 with as little rest as possible. If you can, go through both the 360s and 10-to-2s with no rest.


2 Rounds of:

Exercise 1: Vertical Front Presses in Lunge Formation
Exercise 2: 360 to Offset Curl
Exercise 3: Reverse Lunge with Bayonet Strike
Exercise 4: Grave Diggers
- 30 seconds work, 20 seconds rest in-between exercises.
- After you complete all 4 exercises, rest for 30 seconds and then begin Round 2.
- Switch the targeted side for Round 2 so you hit both sides equally.


Note: We call this a flow in the video, but it is actually more of a complex series in this format.

5 Minute Flow:

Combine the following exercises into a steel mace flow.

  1. 360
  2. Switch Squat
  3. Switch Lunge
  4. Offset Overhead Presses

- Do this flow for 5 minutes non-stop. Only rest if you really have to. Push yourself.
- If done how shown in video, you will be targeting both sides equally (switching from left hand over right to right hand over left on the 360 segment of the flow).


AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) - 10 Minutes Total:

5 x Burpees
10 x Offset Bent Over Rows (5 each side)
- Do as many rounds as possible within 10 minutes, so rest only when you must.
- Finish this workout with a bang!

Rest time between each part of the workout: Take as little rest as possible. We recommend around 1-2 minutes rest between parts of the workout.

Decompression: Do a 5-10 minute decompression/cool down. Do at least one stretch for each joint complex.

This workout shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The dynamic warm up and the cool down add another 10-15 minutes. So, you can complete everything in around 45 minutes.

Workout Protocols and Formats that work well with Heavy Steel Maces:

Workout Protocols and Formats that work well with Lighter Steel Maces:

heavy mace exercises

As you can see, there is some overlapping with the applications. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you could do any of the above protocols with both heavy or lighter steel maces. We just find that some protocols are better with different mace weights. You will just have to format the sets, reps, and time differently for lighter mace workouts. For light mace workouts, the focus will be muscular endurance, so you will want to have longer working time vs rest time or simply more repetitions.

To sum it up, these are some of the best protocols/workout methods for Heavy Maces:

  • Conventional-style Training (targeting specific muscle groups)
  • 360s and 10-to-2s
  • Circuit Training
  • Complexes
  • Isometrics

25 lb steel mace

Buy a Heavy Steel Mace

Should I buy a heavy mace? The Case For a Heavier Mace by Jan Libourel (78 year old mace enthusiast)

Steel Mace Training Guide

Let us know what your favorite steel mace weight is in the comments below.

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