I spent some time being a nasty civilian after I got out of the Marines and gained some substantial weight. It turns out that the diet I had in the Marine Corps is not compatible with a healthy lifestyle if I’m not running 20 miles a week, hiking around base, starving in the field, and actively attending that awesome gym a short walk away from my barracks. I began working out on and off for the next year. Mid to late 2015 I finally got serious and have kept it up since then.
I’m always looking for new methods of working out, new equipment, new exercises, and anything else I can easily squeeze into my current routine. I found that as soon as I get bored I begin getting lazy and eventually stop working out. So when i stumbled across Onnit I was suitably impressed. They have some unique concepts, and interesting workout equipment. Ever want a kettle ball that’s a werewolf’s head? They have one. What caught my eye was the steel maces they carry. These mace’s are the same they used in 13th century Persia by elite warriors. They were used in battle, and to train the body to make it stronger. They were known as Gada maces.
I talked about getting one, but never pulled the trigger, so I got a good surprise when my wife bought me one for Valentine’s day. She spoke with some online support and suggested the ten pounder for a beginner. Maces come in 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds. The mace is well built, extremely stable, and as you could imagine extremely off balance. That off balance is a feature, not a bug. The mace is one solid steel ball at the end of a nice wide and long grip. The mace is about 36 inches overall, and the grip features a high and low textured portion for easy and safe grip.
So what is the point of the mace? Is it just to replace the sledge hammer is tire slams? Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome at that. The rounded profile makes it a bit safer, and the steel mace head isn’t departing the handle without a cutting torch. Hitting a tire is just one thing you can do with the Onnit mace. Onnit itself publishes a number of different workouts with the tool. You have traditional exercises like squats, but now they are unbalanced and cause a new form of stress on the body. Push ups allow you to place the mace under one of your hands and cause even more balance issues. This presents an entirely different challenge for your body.
There are also a wide variety of different exercises that are exclusive to the mace. There are exercises for abs, shoulders, forearms, shoulders, and near everything else you could imagine. These workouts are cardio intensive and really put you in the dirt if you give it your all. The Onnit website workouts have left me gassed over and over, and are perfect if you are looking for a rough, rapid, and constantly changing cardio workout. The body movements are dynamic and work muscles in some new and interesting ways.
I’ll admit since February I have moved on from the 10 pounder. Now it’s used for a bit of cardio and some dynamic warm ups. I feel the ten pounder is too light, and I think most moderately in shape people would agree. I’m upgrading now to a heavier 20 or even a 25 pound model soon. The ten pounder is still good for tire slams, as added weight for a run, and for row your boat ab workouts, but too light for squats, pendulum swings, and ballistic curls.
The Onnit mace is an excellent piece of training gear, and gives you an idea of what some of the greatest warriors of their time trained with. It’s well built, fun to use, and extremely durable. The Onnit mace is probably one of the better training aids I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly not a gimmick. If you are looking to breath some new life into your workouts I says give a a mace a swing.