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Unlock Your Strength Potential: Mace and Kettlebell Training for Muscle Growth

Master Functional Fitness with Our Comprehensive 3-Week Training Cycle

email header image, blog, mace and kettlebell training for muscle growth

Transform Your Workout: Discover Mace and Kettlebell Training!

So you've seen people swinging kettlebells and maces. You're interested and maybe want to dabble, but you also don't want to go so deep that you lose all your hard earned muscle. What if I told you, I know how you can stay jacked or even gain muscle while delving into the world of functional fitness? 

Below you will find a 3-week cycle you can run using just a few basic pieces of equipment.

This program can have so many variations and so many focuses depending on how you structure it. In this article we are going to focus on building muscle and strength while learning the basics of maces and kettlebells.

The base movement of the mace is the '360' or '10-and-2'. That's where you are taking the mace over the head and to the side, letting it swing behind you, and finishing back in front. The 10-and-2 is the same but you alternate sides rather than continuing to circle in the same direction. For instructions on that hit me up or just do some Youtube searching. It takes some time, but you will get the hang of it quicker than you think. The secondary movements are less technical: The Ballistic Curl and the Uppercut. 

For kettlebells we are going to use 2 Handed Swings, 1 Handed Swings, and the Clean or Snatch. Again, Youtube is your friend here if you are unfamiliar.

THINGS YOU NEED*

*you can just go adjustable with Ironmaster products and go to town with a much smaller footprint

Here's what a week of training could look like:

Day 1 - Upper Body Focus

Optional Superset on Bench and Rows

Bench Press
Work up to a 12 Rep Max
2 Sets of 12 at 90% of your 10 Rep Max Weight

Single Arm DB Rows
Work up to a 12 Rep Max
2 Sets of 12 at 90% of your 10 Rep Max Weight

Mace 360
3-5 Sets of 10-15 Reps per Side

Mace Ballistic Curls
3-5 Sets of 10-15 Reps per Side

Day 2

Optional Supersets on Squats and Swings

Barbell or Goblet Squats
(Learn Goblet Squats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LnkzQ7paAc&list=PLz-x0Ci0-a...)
Work up to a 10 Rep Max
2 Sets of 10 at 90% of your 10 Rep Max Weight

Kettlebell Swings
(Learn KB Swings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzrsCWOb2VY&list=PLz-x0Ci0-a...)
10-15 Reps For Every Set of Squats

Leaning Bodyweight Calf Raise
3 Sets of Max Reps

Planks
3 Minutes in as Few Sets as Possible

Day 3

Optional Supersets on Press and Pull Ups

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
Work up to a 12 Rep Max
2 Sets of 12 at 90% of your 10 Rep Max Weight

Pull Ups
Assisted if needed, or Weighted if able
6-12 Reps For Every Set of Squats

Superset
Mace 10 and 2's
3-5 Sets of 10-15 Reps per Side
Mace Upper Cuts
3-5 Sets of 10-15 Reps per Side

Day 4

Deadlift or Romanian Deadlift
Work up to a 10 Rep Max
2 Sets of 10 at 90% of your 10 Rep Max Weight

Single Arm Kettlebell Swing
3-5 Sets of 10-15 Reps Per Side

Kettlebell Clean or Snatch (If you're fancy)
Watch KB Clean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM3OwYh7U5c&list=PLz-x0Ci0-a...
Watch KB Snatch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jis2y-c9F9Q&list=PLz-x0Ci0-a...
3-5 Sets of 10-15 Reps Per Side

Plank
3 Minutes in as Few Sets as Possible

This is a very minimalist yet effective way to train with maces and kettlebells while still having a focus on muscle growth. 

To periodize it I would structure it like this:

Week 1: 12 Rep Maxes Upper Body and 10 Rep Maxes Lower Body
Week 2: 10 Rep Maxes Upper Body and 8 Rep Maxes Lower Body
Week 3: 8 Rep Maxes Upper Body and 6 Rep Maxes Lower Body

Repeat the cycle 2 - 3 times before a deload week. 

If you wanted to focus on strength as your primary you could go 6's, 4's, and 2's. I would deload every 1 -2 cycles on that depending on your strength levels.

For the mace swings I would keep the rep ranges from 5 per side to 15 per side and the kettlebells from 8 to 15 reps. These implements tend to respond better to higher rep ranges than traditional lifting due to their lack of a controlled eccentric so you are going to have more gas in the tank compared to the power lifts. For the Ballistic Curls and Uppercuts you can take it however spicy you want to get.

And there you have it! Anywhere from 3-20 weeks of training depending on how you roll it. If you want to talk more shop hit me up on Instagram: @strongman_dan

Incorporating maces and kettlebells into your training routine can be a game-changer, offering unique benefits that traditional weights alone can't provide. This 3-week cycle is designed to help you build muscle, enhance your functional strength, and keep your workouts fresh and exciting. Remember, consistency is key, and with the right approach, you can achieve remarkable results. Embrace the challenge, stay committed, and watch as your strength and skills soar to new heights. Happy training!

Talk soon,

Dan

Dan swinging the 64 lb Ultimate Training Mace at Home Gym Con '24

About the Author

Image, author Daniel Mason

Dan Mason is a competitive powerlifter and strongman. He owns Premeditated Health and Performance in Lafayette Indiana and has been coaching strength sports for more than a decade. His best competition lifts are a 600lb squat, 507lb bench, and 671lb deadlift. He is currently one of the strongest mace swingers in the country winning the Vintage Strength Games in 2023 and the Online International Gada 360 Challenge. He is working to introduce unconventional strength training methods to the average gym goer and strength athletes. You can find him on Instagram or Youtube YouTube.

Watch Dan’s review of the Ultimate Training Mace below, or on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU0lPerWCVQ

Check out all of our Movement Tutorials on YouTube: 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz-x0Ci0-a849OrmxujIm...

Equipment in this program

Ironmaster has been specializing in producing the best home gym, equipment since 1978.

Check out Ironmaster.com to learn more about our full line of personal strength training equipment. Weight benches, like our legendary Super Bench Adjustable Weight Bench are the foundation of any home gym. Our customer favorite Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells and it's system of interchangeable weight plates save you both space and money with their modular, multipurpose design. Another customer favorite, the IM2000 Self Spotting Machine (Smith Machine style half rack!) is so versatile you can build your ultimate gym in your common spare rooms, garage, or basement.

Learn how to build a custom package to take advantage of our everyday discount program, where the more you bundle on qualified items, the more you save!

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