Building muscle and strength are lifelong processes. It's a journey full of interesting history and constant exploration. To keep your body progressing, you have to find creative ways to shock your muscles. While one way of doing this is to increase your weight, your reps, your intensity, etc., another is to try new modes of exercise. Enter the popularity of odd object lifting, where the center of mass is not in a cozy little balanced position throughout the lift.
I've implemented some everyday items to use in my odd object lifting routines, and each time I am stunned at how effective these items can be. For example, using random boulders for lifting and throwing challenges multiple muscle groups, so do sand bags and kettle bells. However, nothing could have prepared me for the challenge of the mace.
I had experimented with making home made clubs, a recipe including the following:
-Galvanized steel pipe and caps, 1 1/2" around, 24" long, and filled with 7/8" gravel.
This tool was tough to work with, even at about 10 pounds, but I decided to make it more challenging by adding a five pound plate to one end. Wow. What I had actually made was closer to a mace bell, and it was a wicked weight.
So after doing some research on macebells, I decided to make one. Here's what I did:
-5' galvanized steel rod, 1" around, capped off at one end.
-2 flanges, 1"
-1 1" connector, threaded on both ends.
With this I was able to thread the flanges and connecting pipe together, and slip an olympic plate between the flanges. To keep it from rattling, I cut some exercise mat foam and wrapped it in the gaps.
My first effort, with only a five pound weight at one end (plus the weight of the flanges and pipe,) was a monster. I thought I was relatively strong, but this is an entirely different approach to resistance training.
To punish myself for my weakness, I added a 2.5 pound plate on top of the five, and I know I'll be working with this weight for a couple of weeks before my muscles can adapt to the load.
Now whenever I see people swinging around a long stick with a weighted ball at one end, I just shake my head in wonder. As with all great feats of strength, wielding a heavy macebell is definitely an impressive feat.
For more information on circular strength training using Clubbells, visit: RMax
See the macebell in action: