By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
Photo credit: Amazon
This well-balanced tool is portable enough to bring out to the gym for training. There’s enough of a grip on the mace to keep it from sliding out of your hands as you reposition to adjust the resistance level. The mace has a long training pedigree (gada mace) and is a popular tool for building general strength. The Garage Fit steel mace comes in different length and weight options for those interested in different types of exercises.
While there are lots of videos for general usage (tire slams, for example), it can be harder to find examples of more specialized exercises. Overall, the usage of the Garage Fit steel mace is largely comparable to the kettlebell. The product is a bit pricey, and athletes interested in tire slams could purchase a sledgehammer at a much cheaper cost.
he Garage Fit Steel Mace is a high-quality addition to the long list of athletic training tools for those interested in using an old-school weapon as they work out. For general conditioning, you might find just as much utility using other equipment—but the mace opens up a range of unique training options and exercises.
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You’ve probably seen action-packed movies where one of the main characters wielded a mace as they rushed into the battle. The rod with a metal ball on one end is a fearsome weapon both in film and across thousands of years of history.
The mace’s predecessor, the gada, was the preferred weapon of Hindu soldiers and the deity Hanuman. Historical warriors across the Indian subcontinent would train with the gada in conjunction with swords and bows.
The mace was also common in the Middle Ages, since it was one of the few weapons that could smash through heavy armor used in battle.
The mace was brought into the modern Western World by Jake Shannon, who adopted Indian training philosophies that were practiced by German wrestler Karl Gotch. Today, the ancient weapon is a tool growing in popularity across the MMA and fitness community due to its ability to enhance general strength and endurance.
The Garage Fit Mace is a balanced cast iron tool that comes in weights ranging from 5 to 35 pounds. As the weight increases, so do the length of the mace and size of the ball at the end.
In my opinion, the heaviest version of the mace isn’t really going to be very strenuous to lift for someone with a bit of a fitness background. This makes the Garage Fit mace effective as a general conditioning tool to boost cardiovascular performance, mobility, and general functional strength. It’s best for those interested in rapid, high intensity conditioning exercises.
Steel maces like Garage Fit’s stand apart from other weights or the kettlebell because there’s an uneven weight distribution. This makes it easier to vary exercises by gripping different parts of the tool so you can reap different benefits, including the following:
Many fitness enthusiasts ignore grip strength. In reality, it’s an essential element of performing as a high-level athlete or inside the gym. Baseball players need a good grip to quickly swing the bat. Pull-ups require a strong grip so you can hang and pull yourself up on the bar. Rock climbers need strong hands to deftly maneuver up a wall or cliff. Using the Garage Fit mace helps improve grip strength, since you will have to clench it tightly in order to swing the tool around.
The shoulders are usually susceptible to injury due to the instability of the supporting joints. A shoulder injury can greatly mess up an exercise plan and become extremely painful. Use of the Garage Fit mace can help strengthen shoulder joints and the associated connective tissue, since proper form with the mace exercises shoulders across a full range of motion. I’ve found great success in building up my shoulders with the mace by starting out with a very light weight until I nail the proper form.
I love using the Garage Fit mace to get a good workout on my core muscles. Swinging the tool across my body gets my obliques burning and forces my core to stay engaged so it can control the mace as it moves. Varying your steel mace swing pattern helps build and refine muscle while having a strong cardiovascular benefit, especially if it’s used for intense interval training.
Amazon features more than 70 reviews of the mace. Many reviews praise the mace’s affordable cost, durable construction, ease of use, and utility in general strength and conditioning.
The vast majority of the reviews are positive, but the few negative reviews criticize quality control of the mace, cosmetic defects, and other damage. Be sure to choose the best weight and length for your fitness level and size. It comes in the following combinations of length of the steel mace bell x handle diameter:
You can purchase the Garage Fit steel mace straight from Amazon, starting from $34.95 (5lbs) all the way to $99.95 (35lbs).
I’ve put the Garage Fit mace to the test, and I have enjoyed using the tool during my workouts. It’s simple, effective, and functional, and I love heading outside with the mace and enjoying the nice weather while I work out.
I have several steel maces at different weight levels for my warm-up and exercise routine. I’d recommend starting out with a lighter one at first and then making an investment in a heavier one once you get used to this mace.
It’s a great piece of equipment if you’re already pretty fit and looking to get to the next level with your flexibility, strength, and conditioning. If you’re not at this level of fitness yet, I recommend building up your strength with bodyweight exercises and kettlebells before buying one.