zombie survival workout

Zombie Apocalypse Workout using a Steel Mace | Survival Training

June 16, 2019

Most people are fascinated by the idea of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Imagine this…

You just woke up. It’s Friday morning. You get out of bed, your eyes are heavy, your head is a little groggy, and you grab your phone to check Instagram. You notice that you have no internet connection. Then you also notice, everything is vaguely quiet. There are no birds chirping, no cars driving by, no children chatting as they wait for the bus. You head over to the window and look outside…suddenly a jet flies by at an extremely low altitude. Just as that happens the town’s sirens start firing off. You look over and see your neighbor walking aimlessly in your driveway, so you open the window to yell to him to see if he knows what’s going on. Immediately you know something is wrong. He jerks his head around unnervingly quick, and his eyes meet yours. There's a dreary expression on his face and it is covered in what you can only assume is blood? He runs to your window, full speed, arms flailing, making a loud groaning moan “mmnnnGUUUUHHH”. Now others are emerging behind him, sprinting. He reaches your window, head smashing through it. And, that’s when you realize, I’M READY…

If you’ve been training for this day at least.

zombie workout

We are here to prepare you so you are ready for when shit hits the fan. You never know when the imminent zombie apocalypse or any other doomsday may arrive.

In any case, what we are going to teach you today will help you in all aspects of your life, living dead or not.

In this article, we are going to go over how to train to survive a zombie apocalypse. This will include:

  • What you need to know about surviving a zombie invasion.
  • How to train for a zombie apocalypse.

And, of course, our perfect Zombie Apocalypse Workout using a Steel Mace - an ancient weapon turned powerful fitness tool…aka, the perfect zombie training tool and the perfect zombie head smasher. This workout will include all the physical attributes you need to develop in case you ever have to deal with hoards of zombies.

zombie apocalypse workout

What you need to know

First and foremost, we need to know what kind of zombies we are dealing with.

Thanks to movies like World War Z, and TV shows like Walking Dead, the type of zombie we may face is up for debate.

Will it be a fast or slow zombie? Are the zombies brainless or hive-minded?

How did the zombie invasion begin? Was it a real rage virus, brain parasite, neurotoxins, neurogenesis or nanobots?

Beyond the type of zombie we will encounter, will humanity stick together or will we have a battle amongst ourselves to deal with as well?

All that said, our preparation for this unfortunate apocalyptic scenario is quite simple. No matter what we face and how much weaponry, ammo, and supplies we have, we will always need to be physically ready.

To survive a zombie invasion of any kind, you will need real-world strength, athletic conditioning, speed, and muscle endurance. Oh, and a steel mace too.

steel mace guide

5 Important Physical Attributes For Surviving A Zombie Apocalypse

Here are the aspects of training that we need to pay attention to in order to ensure we have the physical prowess capable of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

1. Speed, Cardio, & Agility - Athletic Speed & Endurance

One of the most important physical attributes we need is speed and the ability to run for long distances and for a long period of time. You never know how long it will take you to get away from a hoard of zombies or when you will find cover. Speed is key to get away from them, but so is endurance, in case they keep on coming.

Moreover, it’s not just about unidirectional speed, you need to be athletic in case you need to dodge these ugly brain-hungry monsters and jump over objects. This means you need to work on multidirectional speed and agility as well.

What’s more, you need to be able to carry things while you run fast. You don’t want to have to leave things behind unless it’s absolutely necessary.

How to train for athletic speed and cardio?

  • Sprints
  • Sprints while carrying heavy objects (such as a steel mace or kettlebell)
  • Cross-country running for cardio (skip the treadmill, we need the earth’s surface to prepare us)
  • Multidirectional speed drills: X-drill, S runs, run-shuffle-shuffle-run, carioca, hurdle sprints, backpedaling, and many other cone and agility ladder drills so you can be one step ahead of the dead.

2. Explosive Power & Strength (Real World Strength)

Not only do we need to be strong, but we need to be explosive as well. We want to be able to jump with explosion, pick up heavy supplies that we need to transport, rescue loved ones, bust open doors, and more.

This will require many different kinds of training tactics and exercises…

How to train for explosive power & strength?

  • Plyometrics. This will help us jump higher and with more agility.
  • Banded explosive exercises, such as banded sprints, banded bear crawls, banded box jumps. 
  • Loaded carries so we can carry heavy objects and people to safety.
  • Powerlifting, like squats, deadlifts, and bench press. This will give us overall strength and increase our muscle mass - having more size is always useful. This should be trained both as standard resistance training and ballistic resistance training.
  • Burpees. This is the ultimate full body conditioning exercise that will give us real world strength. It will allow you to have full control over your bodyweight.

Do different methods such as the continuous ramp method, mechanical drop sets, throws, jumps. Use bands on Olympic lifts to increase explosion.

3. Climbing

Just as jumping is important during a zombie invasion, climbing is important as well. You never know when you will need to scale a fence or a building to get over or to get inside.

How to train for climbing?
  • Pull ups. Pull ups will be essential to your climbing skills. You need the upper body strength to pull yourself up. Make sure you do pull ups using different grips, such as under/over, wide, close, and use different objects to train pull ups (not only a pull up bar), such as rope pull ups, towel pull ups, wooden beam pull ups, and more.
  • Grip and Wrist Strength. This is going to be just as important as your upper body strength because no matter how strong you are, what if your grip gives out before your back and arms do? Deadlifts and all the pull up variations will prepare you for this, but if you want to make sure you have the grip of Thor, which includes a grip on your weapon, a steel mace is without a doubt the best tool for the job. Here are 17 grip strength exercises using a steel mace.

4. Rotational Strength & Core Stability

When facing the walking dead, or worse the "sprinting dead", you need to be able to swing, and swing with force. Sometimes you must fight if you want to have a chance of surviving, running won’t always be enough. Unless you have a gun, you will be swinging some kind of heavy object, aiming at their head. Moreover, a gun is loud so a blunt object or a sword will be necessary. This will require rotational strength, but not only that, it will require core strength as you need to be strong when it comes to anti-rotation as well. When you hit something, you need to be able to resist the force that you just created. If you don’t have both components of rotational strength, you are asking for an injury, and in a post-apocalyptic world, an injury may be the end of you.

To train rotational strength, we need to focus on the transverse plane. Our two favorite tools to train the transverse plane are resistance bands and steel maces. They both are capable of training you rotationally and anti-rotationally to great effect.

How to train for rotational strength?
  1. Resistance Band woodchoppers
  2. Steel Mace tire slams
  3. Landmine Exercises
  4. Landmine Twists
  5. Pavlov Press

You can read all about training in the transverse plane here, as we’ve previously written in-depth on this. Check these links out after you finish reading everything in this zombie training guide:

*Note: the zombie apocalypse workout below includes a few steel mace rotational and anti-rotational exercises*

All in all, rotational strength is a super important physical aspect of surviving the zombie apocalypse.

5. Swimming

We can’t be sure if zombies can swim, but if everything we suspect about zombies is true, they won’t be good swimmers. Swimming may very well be your best escape plan if you are being attacked by a dead-stock of zombies. That said, swimming is very tiring, and the last thing you want to do is sink to your demise.

How to train for swimming?

This one is pretty straight forward. Work on your swimming technique, practice the two most common swims so you can not only swim at a reasonable pace, but also so you won’t get tired out quickly (and drown):

  • Freestyle swimming. This is the technique for speed.
  • Breaststroke. The breaststroke will be physically easier, so you can revert to this technique when you are tired.

A good starting point for swimming training for someone who is well-conditioned would be around 1,000 meters. This should take you about 30-40 minutes. If you are a complete beginner, learn the form first then start practicing by distance. If you know how to swim but you are pretty out of shape, aim for 500 meters. Remember, you won’t be doing this all in one shot like running, of course. Take a 10-20 second break every lap or two.

Swimming is an incredible workout. It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. It will also lean and tone you up.

zombie survival workout

A Zombie Slaughtering-Surviving-Hero Body

If you follow everything above, you will be a zombie surviving, zombie slaughtering, people saving, athletic machine.

To sum it up, the above will make you…

  • Bigger
  • Stronger
  • Leaner
  • Faster
  • More Agile
  • More Explosive

…with vigor, resilience and fortitude that will make Rick Grimes look like a zombie apocalypse amateur.

This is all real world strength at its finest. This is the true definition of functional, not the beaten down version of the word that gives functional training a gimmicky name.



Exercise 1: Single Arm 360s - 4 sets, 1 minute each set (switch hands at 30 seconds).
Exercise 2: Single Arm 10-to-2s - 4 sets, 1 minute each set.
Exercise 3: Rotational Side Swings - 4 sets, 30 seconds each set.
Exercise 4: Rotational 360s - 4 sets, 45 seconds each set.
Exercise 5: Mace 360 Burpees - 4 sets, 10 reps total.
Exercise 6: Get-ups - 4 sets, 1 minute each set (get-up on both sides evenly).
Exercise 7: Sprints - 4 sets, 100m (if you are using a treadmill, do 20-second sprints each set).
Exercise 8: Single Arm Scoop Water to Squat - 4 sets, 1 minute each set (work both sides evenly, either every other set or at the 30-second mark switch sides).
Exercise 9: Sprint with Mace - 4 sets, 100m (if you are using a treadmill, do 15-20 second sprints each set).

These exercises are going to work your speed, muscle endurance, stamina, grip strength, rotational strength, and overall real world strength. The essentials of training for a zombie apocalypse.

Note: Be sure to include other exercises that we mentioned in the 5 important physical attributes section when creating more zombie survival workouts.

Where to Buy Steel Maces?

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

steel mace

zombie workout

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