You might remember an article I wrote a month or so back about getting into shape and learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Well, things have gone swimmingly since then. I’ve thrown a little kickboxing into the mix, and started jogging, doing a little yoga and working out with a kettlebell every day on my lunch break. (Tip: Buy one and leave it at work. You won’t have an excuse not to use it.) Anyway, I’ve lost about 26 pounds now, and I’m within two more pounds of being at my target weight. I’m a changed man, and I don’t just mean physically. I’m more energetic, confident and calm.
One of the things that has been really big for me in my quest for getting healthy is avoiding the gym. I know, it sounds strange, but the gym makes exercise a chore, kind of like being at work. Instead, I’m trying to build functional strength and have fun doing it. I know me, and I get bored way too easily. I’ve learned that as long as working out feels like playing then I’ll stick with it. Running, wrestling and flinging around steel balls is lie something you’d do on a playground. So is working out with a steel mace.
Unless you’re a big fantasy fan or gamer, you may not know what a mace is. If not, imagine a steel ball on the end of a three-plus foot steel shaft. You can swing it and build incredible momentum. Back in the old days, you’d direct that momentum at a foe’s skull. The mace was excellent for crushing a knight’s plate mail, especially. These days, people are using the mace for exercise.
The mace is a fantastic piece of workout equipment for a number of reasons: It’s versatile, easy to store and you feel like Conan the Barbarian working out with it! (Also, you can smash in the noggin of a zombie, if it comes to that.) The genius thing about the mace is that it can replace several individual weights because the further you hold you move your hand down the handle the more the resistance in the workout. Also, the lack of balance makes it hard to handle the mace without engaging your whole body in the workout: Your shoulders, back, forearms and core muscles will feel the burn after twenty minutes of swinging around the mace.
I just love the thing because much of the workout moves you can do are based on combat: Lunges, overhead strikes, swings. Suffice it to say that beyond getting fit, I have much more respect for my old Dungeons & Dragons characters! The number of times that I glibly said that I’d strike a bugbear with my footman’s mace and just tossed a twenty-sider…Wow! Real world medieval combat must have been BRUTAL.
I discovered the mace via the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (disclosure: I work for Joe now), and ordered mine from Onnit.com (Additional disclosure: Joe owns part of the company, but I have no professional affiliation or business relationship with the company and make not a cent from them or Joe regardless), but I’m pretty sure that you can get one lots of places online. If you’re trying to get into shape and love fantasy novels and gaming, then I think this is an awesome choice. I’ve heard that you can do some of the same stuff with a sledgehammer, but what’s the fun of that?
Here’s a workout video showing off the mace. Get to smashing those invisible orcs!