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Macebells have a lot of workout potential but similar to their shape, the weight recommendations are somewhat unusual compared to most fitness equipment.
The main reason steel mace recommendations may seem low is that their weight is multiplied in terms of challenge due to the long handles. Even if you lift dumbbells that are more than twice as heavy, you likely want to stick to the recommendations.
Most people want to start with a macebell weight of 10 pounds (4.5 kg). Strong men can start with one model heavier than that (usually 15 pounds = 6.8 kg).
Women who are not that strong (yet) can start with one weight level lower (usually 7 pounds = 3.2 kg).
As you get stronger, more skilled, and into harder exercises, you can consider heavier macebells.
Available macebell weights
The recommendations are definitely not the only ones available. One of the benefits of macebells is that they come in different weights and sizes. Some of the other options that are typically available include:
- 5 pounds = 2.27 kg
- 7 pounds = 3.18 kg
- 10 pounds = 4.54 kg
- 15 pounds = 6.8 kg
- 20 pounds = 9.07 kg
- 25 pounds = 11.34 kg
- 30 pounds = 13.61 kg
While these are more than hard enough for most people, there are also outliers like the Synergee Steel Mace that are a “regular” design but are available in a weight up to 40 pounds (18.14 kg).
There is also a steel mace with a more unusual design called the Slater Slammer. This is a huge adjustable macebell that starts at 25 pounds (11.34 kg) and can be loaded up to 50+ pounds (22.68+ kg).
Macebells vs other free weights
A benefit of macebells is that you need less weight to get in a challenging workout. Even if you can shoulder press 40 pounds in dumbbells, chances are you will not be able to do steel mace 360s with the same weight.
The main reason for this is the unusual dimensions of macebells. For example, the 10-pound model of Synergee is 37.5″ (95.25 cm) long. The mace head of 3.6″ (9.14 cm) diameter contains a lot of the weight.
By holding the end of the handle which is many inches/centimeters away, the same weight becomes a lot more challenging. The closer you hold the steel mace to the head, the more it will feel like its “normal” weight.
This is why steel workout clubs (these are generally shorter) will feel easier than longer steel workout maces of the same weight.
On top of the dimensions, steel mace workouts involve a lot of swinging which again makes them feel more challenging than typical free weight exercises with the same number of pounds and kilograms.
Lastly, while macebell exercises can help you build muscle, they are more aimed toward mobility and stabilizing muscles. These movements are typically done in higher repetitions ranges, not one repetition maximums.
Similar to other weights, when in doubt, you want to start light with steel workout maces and build up from there as you get stronger.
General macebell weight recommendations
Taking the above things, typical macebell exercises, and average strengths into account, there are some general weight recommendations you can start with.
Macebells of 10 pounds (4.5 kg) will be the right challenge to start with for most people.
Strong men who are experienced with resistance training can consider one level heavier which is typically 15 pounds (6.8 kg).
One level lighter, typically 7 pounds (3.18 kg), can be a good place to start for women who are not that strong yet.
As you build up strength, endurance, and skill, you can move up to higher weights. Additionally, you could consider investing in a second, heavier, steel mace if you do a lot of exercises that focus on the stronger leg muscles.
When to move up in weight
When to move up in macebell weight depends on your personal situation and training goals but there are some general recommendations.
For exercises focused on shoulder mobility, you want to be able to do 50+ repetitions of the movement with good technique before going to a higher weight.
In exercises that are more focused on improving muscle strength, for example lunge variations, you can go one weight higher if you are able to about 12-15+ repetitions (for lunges on one leg).
That being said, exercises of the second type will be less common in macebell workouts. When in doubt, make sure you can do a lot of repetitions of a movement before moving up in weight.