Steel Mace Training: Strength & Performance Applications to Power Lifting

Singapore Steel Mace Workshop

I just returned from Singapore where I had the opportunity to teach a Steel Mace workshop to the Power Lifters of the Strength Avenue Powerlifting Team.

Power Lifting consists of three lifts:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Bench Press
  3. Squat

Unlike some coaches out there, Head Coach Andyn Kadir is very open and receptive to concepts and ideas that have potential to improve results. He invited me to share some of the applications of the Steel Mace to the Power Lifting with him and his team.

It was an honor to have the chance to share this unconventional tool with his team and guide them through basic positioning and assessment of athletes.

The offset weight of the Steel Mace not only gives us a great visual of compensations and instability, but it also gives us the tool to correct those compensations and instability.

When used on an off day, the Steel Mace can be used to strengthen. The lighter load gives us the ability to focus and refine movement, as well as gain muscle control/endurance.

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When used on the day of training, we can prime the nervous system for action by focusing on lower volumes in a movement prep phase.Using this unconventional tool for conventional/traditional movements has significantly helped me and many of my athletes gain the strength and muscular engagement necessary to improve major lifts.In an article I wrote in April, called “Steel Mace Exercises: 3 Exercises For A Bigger Bench Press” I explore the use of the steel mace to improve the Scapular and Lat engagement necessary to support a strong Bench Press.

Other Principles can be applied to the Deadlift. Here’s an example of using the Steel Mace for Deadlift Training in the video below:

#SteelMaceMoves continues this week with the Offset Deadlift. This one is a great support movement for actual deadlifts. WHY❓ 1️⃣Because the offset weight requires stabilization across the upper and lower crosses (hip joints and upper back/shoulders) 2️⃣Because it requires engagement of more muscle groups throughout the core, shoulders and scapula. 🔹KEY POINTS🔹 1️⃣pull apart the mace to maintain level. 2️⃣retract the scapulas (pull the shoulder blades back). 3️⃣pull the belly button in and brace the abs. Try it out for 3 sets of 10 at a 8 second up and 8 second down pace. cc: @elimin8urlimits @kellsbells88 @esik831 @steelmaceexercises @coachjohnwolf #CoachRT3 #XodusFitness #XodusMoveMore #deadlift #steelmaceexercises

A video posted by Rich Thurman MA (@coach_rt3) on

When applying to the Squat, we first have to take into account the start position. Ask yourself what does the Steel Mace’s offset weight do to my base structure?

What’s going on in both the upper and lower crosses (shoulders and hips)?

Is there any torque and twisting going on at the Hips?

Once we can own our structure, we can then begin the movement. This video below is of Coach Andyn and Power Lifter Azimah as I have them practice assessing position and making adjustments on each other:

I love the Steel Mace for all of it’s potential for rooting out weaknesses. We’re only scratching the surface of the benefits of this tool.

If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve been invited back to conduct another workshop this October in Singapore.

For more information and to request pricing for a Demo and Workshop in your area, contact me at

Onnit Steel Mace

Rich Thurman

Coach Rich Thurman has over 15 years of Coaching and Personal Training experience. With a Bachelors in Physiological Science from UCLA and as a NSCA Strength & Conditioning Coach, Rich takes a scientific approach to improving your athletic performance and overall Longevity and Durability. Whether you're a competitive or casual Golfer, Adventure Racer, Fighter, Desk jockey or just generally looking to be healthier, Rich can help you. Structural Integrity and Postural Awareness are the keys to getting the results you want. Check out the services offered to find out more.