Monday, March 17, 2014

Steel Mace Training. What, Why, and How?

 Over the past decade kettlebells have enjoyed a massive resurgence in popularity. They’re in just about every single commercial gym, CrossFit box, and personal training studio. This is simply because the kettlebell is simple, compact, and allows you to perform a massive array of exercises that challenge your functional fitness. The kettlebell movements transfer well into your everyday life and athletic endeavors It’s kind of crazy that they have existed for over 100 years and are only now enjoying such a boom in the fitness world and are only recently being praised for their value in a well rounded fitness program.  After all, a good set of kettlebells are one of the best tools ever invented for well rounded functional fitness.

 I’m assuming, if you’re reading this, that you’re interested in living an active lifestyle or you already are living an active lifestyle. Which means you’re pretty interested in getting real results from your fitness program and fitness equipment. You don’t have time to waste on garbage equipment that isn’t versatile and doesn’t transfer well into your every day life. Which is probably why you’re already using kettlebells! 

 So I think if the above is true, than you have probably already wondered what other versatile, functional, and time tested pieces of fitness equipment are out there that people aren’t using to the fullest? What else can you add to your home gym to help enhance your workouts and still get the best bang for your buck? 

 Well, if I had to mention one piece of equipment that is still relatively “unknown” and incredibly useful, I would have to say The Mace (also known as a Gada). 

The Mace looks like a cannon ball on the end of a long poll. It’s a simple and basic piece of strength conditioning equipment that has been used for centuries in India by their world class wrestling elite. The famed Great Gama was one of the most notorious wrestlers of all time, undefeated in over 1000 matches, and well known for using the Mace as a staple in his conditioning regimen. Gama, along with many other Hindu wrestlers, would pair the Mace with an intense routine of bodyweight exercises such as Hindu Squats and Hindu Push Ups to push his physical conditioning to the limit. The benefits of blending your Mace training into your modern day routines can add the edge you’re looking for to reach a more well rounded and efficient form of fitness. 

 Just a few of the unique benefits that come from using a Mace include ... 

  • Increased shoulder mobility
  • Upper body focused conditioning
  • Stronger shoulders through a larger range of motion than basic pressing exercises can produce
  • Greater rib cage mobility 
  • A stronger “core” and ability to resist rotation and hyper extension of the spine 

 ... Just to name a few! In my honest opinion the Mace is an invaluable tool to add to your program and much like the kettlebell it’s a wonder that it’s only gaining some traction now. I highly suggest considering picking up a mace of your own and adding it to your own home gym. Onnit makes an excellent version in a handfull of weights and sizes. I suggest starting small, a 10lb Mace is a great start. You can learn more about the mace and see it in action by visiting the equipment section of this blog! Rest assured you’ll be finding a lot more info on Mace workouts and techniques in future posts here at Jungle Fit.

- Tim 

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