Everything you need to know about Steel Mace Training and your Nervous System

Written by Coach Victoria Islas
ISSA Master Trainer / Founder of SMW

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Let me start by saying that almost every kind of fitness modality is going to be great for your Nervous System but Steel Mace takes that to another level and I will explain all of that within this blog post and the accompanying video. I would recommend you read this article for the finest details and to watch the video to bring this all together for you. I know people are always writing about Steel Mace for a full body workout, weight loss and muscle gains but today let’s talk about something even more awesome and important. Let’s talk about Nervous System gains!

Quick Nervous System Breakdown

I promise to make this quick and as simple as I can! The nervous system is made up of many components but is divided into the CNS (Central Nervous System) and PNS (Peripheral Nervous System). The CNS includes your brain and spinal cord and it’s what processes messages from your body and then figures out what to do with it. The PNS includes all the “wiring” (neurons) that is found outside of your brain and spinal cord. The PNS is what helps send messages from your body. The CNS and PNS work together! And then we have spinal nerves which help control muscles in the body. Trust me, if you read about it in a text book, all of this is way more complex but for the sake of sanity I am simplifying. 

Your brain, spinal cord and nerves allow you to move and in the case of this lesson – it allows you to train with a Steel Mace! It coordinates movement and processes sensory input. After this, you will probably now understand why spine health and structure is important and why the best coaches mention it often. 


Nervous System Highlights:

  • The Nervous System is comprised of the CNS and PNS. Divided into two.
  • The CNS includes your brain and spinal cord. It processes and figures out what to do.
  • The PNS is like wiring that helps send messages and is found outside your brain and spinal cord.
  • When it comes to movement or fitness in general, the nervous system coordinates movement and processes sensory input (like when you put your hands on your mace handle – the nervous system goes ah ha! She’s holding a steel mace in her hand – TOUCH).


A steel mace story

I have a client who is eager to learn Steel Mace. I love her drive but she also wanted to skip the foundations of Steel Mace which is impossible and not something you’d want to do. And let me tell you why – your nervous system needs time to understand what is happening. The Steel Mace (if you haven’t noticed) is more skill and technique than anything else out there, especially for complexes and flows. It looks easy when someone experienced is doing it in front of you – but then you grab it and it’s not so easy after all. 

But it’s not you! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Your body takes time to learn new motor programs and it’s best to learn them with a good coach because if you start Steel Mace on your own you can end up programming faulty steel mace movements and then you will have to REPROGRAM your body to learn it all over again, correctly. And you will even have to spend many weeks or even months to get out of really bad movement patterns. 

Move more, pick up a steel mace BUT make sure you move at your best with integrity and you will run at your best. We can completely program our bodies into warrior machines when we focus and train well.

What happens to our Nervous System when we use Steel Mace

Talking about all of this with you, you can see how training with the Steel Mace can have amazing benefits for your Nervous System. If coached correctly, it can program OR reprogram your dysfunctional movement and increase your performance overall. With all of the exercises and exercise combinations that turn into complexes and flows we can change our brain structure and improve/condition our entire system including our brain, spine, nerves and all the connections in between. 

When using a Steel Mace we have to focus with our mind and then bring what we see in our head out into the world through our body – that is all done through our Nervous System. With all that said, training with a Steel Mace will improve your motor control, coordination, balance and stability with a host of many other benefits beyond this article. 

And did you know that when you do any kind of exercise you could be protecting yourself from neurological disorders such as Parkinsons and Dementia and neuromuscular declines that happen as we age? I know I want to age well and be my healthiest when I get there. Why not start now?

Benefits of Steel Mace for Nervous System:

  • If coached correctly – the steel mace can program your body to be efficient or reprogram your dysfunctional movements and increase overall performance.
  • Steel Mace, with all it’s complex movement/ exercises can change your brain structure and improve/condition your nervous system and all its functions.
  • It will improve your motor control, coordination, balance and stability. 
  • It can protect you from neurological disorders and neuromuscular declines – you will age well!


What I think about it all

I think we will see more about this subject in general in the future as we grow and more research is done. I don’t believe Steel Mace is the only tool we can use to get the benefits I mention within this blog article BUT I do believe that it does have unique properties that will make our system better hard-wired and allow us to live a healthier life. There is truly nothing like a Steel Mace. Other tools that are favorites include: Steel Clubs, Wooden Clubs and Kettle Bells. So don’t just think about movement and training in the standard way – think about all the other positive benefits it can bring to you such as with your Nervous System. 

Resources to check out:
Exercise and Nervous System – Kazuhiro Imai, Hiroyuki Nakajima

Crash Course – The Nervous System #26

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