Escaping the Cave with Mace Training

Why Mace Training?

When choosing the home gym lifestyle, we tend to have lulls in training where we not only get stuck in ruts, but become our own personal Golem, refusing to leave our precious caves. My own personal reasoning for being a home gym rat stems from my upbringing in my father’s basement dojo in the Bronx. Sifu Dad taught us everything from sword fighting to yoga to weightlifting, exposing his daughters to the entire gambit of movement culture while demonstrating that you never have to leave your house. But Dad wasn’t an introvert; he perpetually sought workshops, seminars and immersion trainings to attend, choosing to be as much of a student as he was a teacher.

Day one of mace training at The Cave in Sarasota, FLThose lessons have stayed with me and impacted how I train as an adult. Despite having been raised on a variety of physical modalities including yoga, martial arts and strength training from childhood, I’ve chosen to attend seminars, trainings, certifications, and workshops internationally in an effort to continue my own personal development. Being an autodidact means if you don’t have the answer, you’d better be prepared to find it yourself. While I readily admit that my superpower is the ability to learn anything fast and well, it is a necessary experience to place oneself into the role of student and be reminded that you are not the sole authority on every subject.

What’s Mace Training?

Macelifting was an entirely new experience for which I had no idea what to expect. The premise is the swinging of a weighted object in multiple directions as a strength training practice. Now, don’t let my impressive background fool you, I am as graceful as a gazelle having a seizure and was almost terrified to walk into the course. Visions of Persian clubs flying through plate glass windows haunted me, but I continued. Upon arrival to the instructor certification for at The Cave in Sarasota, FL, the irony of the location name was not lost on my internal Golem. However after signing in and receiving my information packet, excitement crept into this tiny lifters soul because what I truly love is to learn new things. The material was easy to grasp if you have knowledge of good movement mechanics; however if you are a newbie to movement, it may need more studying. Basic movement skills are required to learn to swing a mace, but once you start swinging even a five pound implement, its easy to feel how macelifting will build strength rapidly across all planes of the body, activating even the tiniest muscles and firing up your core in ways you didn’t know existed.

For a while I’ve felt something missing from my current training practices. Yoga and weightlifting have made me strong and bendy; martial arts has made me quick and disciplined, but weaknesses

Mace training is scalable to every ability level

Vaughan Chambers, the first macefit certified adaptive athlete

and mild injuries still arose. Halfway through the course, I was convinced I had found my missing element. Mace training addresses and strengthens weaknesses in those tiny stabilizing, synergistic muscles that we constantly overlook. Swinging a weighted object also utilizes and supports skills learned from my established practices. All of my activities carried over into macelifting, making it easy to see its integration into my fitness life. From breathing and core bracing, to hip hinging, cleans, and Turkish get ups, anything you can do with a barbell or a dumbbell you can do with a mace and then some.

Arriving home, the first thing I did was figure out my budget so I can add maces to my garage gym. Reflecting on the course, I am choosing to dedicate time to perfecting my macelifting form for a twelve week program before incorporating it into my accessory training when I return to barbell lifting. In hindsight, I should have prepared myself better for the training, I didn’t have nearly enough quick calories. The staff provided snacks and water for us, but as a vegan eater, I should have planned ahead; I didn’t even bring a pen and paper with me!

Marisol Swords stepped out of her comfort zone to attend a mace training seminar at The Cave in Sarasota, FloridaMy Takeaway

If you are looking for a discipline that can be learned quickly, incorporated easily, and done just about anywhere (try that with a barbell), I highly recommend looking into mace training. Do yourself a favor and research the history of macelifting and its original intent to better understand the practice and find a local seminar to attend. Remember my fellow home gym lifters, its perfectly fine to stay in our caves, as long as we come out for fresh air and sunlight every once in a while; it helps us grow as individuals.

If you’re interested in attending a macefit seminar or any of the micro courses offered at The Cave, contact Frank Dimeo by email at: or through his social media links on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook.

You can also reach Frank by phone at: (941) 228-8341.

Check out Marisol’s views on mobility for strength by going here.

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