With my warriorwoman moniker I feel it is my duty to dabble in occasional warrior arts.
Here I can be seen swinging an ancient mace (or gada) in the style of the Hindu god Hanuman.
My mace has a slightly modern twist by nature of its bright yellow rubber handle, but it does the job.
The idea of a mace is that it provides a ridiculous offset in weight distribution which accentuates the work required by wrist and forearms and the circular nature of the swinging is great for shoulder mobility. Basically it will build forearms like Popeye or I want my money back.
You can buy lovely steel maces but at £70+ I thought I could do better nipping to Homebase for a few essentials.
How to Make a DIY Mace
Here’s my video recipe for a £10 mace or gada – you’ll need to press play to see it in full glory.
You see it here with the plant pot still intact. From the very moment I tapped out a level concrete surface it started to rain, and it continued to rain solidly for a full 48hours. I had very little confidence that the concrete had set but at the same time I had waited patiently for soooo long that I just wanted to swing it anyway.
I have since removed the plastic plant pot to reveal the sort of DIY bodge job that I am famed for.
It’s not terribly pretty. I used the ballast that I’d bought to fill my sandbags with and unfortunately great big pebbly grit doesn’t make for a polished surface.
I will need to rapidly improve my strength and mace swinging skills and then hunt out a bigger plant pot for an extension. This time I will use fine sand in my cement mix and I will put a layer of mix in the base before dropping in the existing version – I don’t want to see the yellow pick axe handle peaking out the bottom.
When that’s done I will paint it and it will be a gada of beauty. I will be following the advice from mace makers extraordinaire – Bill and Steph Sorenson, who have multiple videos explaining the right way to make a concrete gada, that should last a lot longer than mine.
I have been whining about forearm pain for at least the last month and this has led me to investigate exercises that will ultimately make me more resilient. The idea is that, if I keep up the DIY mace swinging, I will soon be fit enough to audition for a mace wielding extra in the next series of Game of Thrones, or at the very least be able to pick a small paperback book up without wincing.
Let me know if you have any more suggestions for DIY strength kit.
** UPDATE – AUG 2020 **
I have since followed my own advice and built a new mace using Steph Sorenson’s guide. Its a much better implement! Key differences between my new model and the mess I presented above are:
- use proper concrete, not postcrete and don’t add any nasty rubble to the mix
- hold the post up a bit so it is embedded at least an inch from the bottom of the mould
- use a nice long pole. I’m using one that I nicked from a garden implement
Now I just need to learn how to weild it properly. Turns out it’s actually quite tricky.
You might also be interested in pretty successful DIY Indian Clubs post.