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This is a review of the MaxPro portable gym.
Over the last several years, I’ve been studying home fitness equipment trends more closely. My expectation was that I’d see a lot more tech.
I have, but I don’t think it’s turned out to be the most desirable quality.
Rather, fitness companies are giving us what we really want: space. Fitness industry innovation doesn’t just mean apps, it means portability. They’re realizing that if most people want to use a pro-quality treadmill or power rack, they’ll join a gym.
The question is – is anyone doing space-friendly home equipment as well as MaxPro?
The MaxPro portable cable gym can provide up to 300 lbs. of resistance, so it’s good enough for serious lifters. But it’s so compact, it can break down into a backpack.
Beginners who find the gym intimidating can easily build strength with MaxPro. Plus, there are tech-involved aspects for those who prefer those innovations.
But there’s one thing about the MaxPro that may give some exercise junkies pause. Before I break down all of MaxPro’s specs, I’ll be sure to discuss that.
Keep reading to see if this Shaq-approved home cable gym is all it’s cracked up to be.
What is the MaxPro cable gym?
The MaxPro is a patented, portable cable gym unlike any other that’s hit the market. It weighs just 10 pounds and provides endless workouts with adjustable resistance from five to 300 pounds.
It also features SmartConnect, which can help you track progress, take live classes, and personalize your workouts.
The equipment seems designed for durability and to suit beginners and serious athletes alike. Per MaxPro’s official website:
“We’re not some stretchy rubber band tied to a door, our patented power clutch system is built with cables 15x stronger than steel by weight to withstand even the most powerful workouts.”
The MaxPro portable gym is good for plyo, strength training, HIIT, and more. I’ll tell you about that in a bit, but for now, let’s see how it really works.
How do MaxPro fitness cables work?
The MaxPro portable machine itself unfolds to be mounted to a wall or attached to a MaxPro bench. Or, you can simply place it on the floor for you to stand on to complete your workouts.
Each end of the MaxPro has easy-to-use weight adjuster dials. This will determine how much resistance your cables provide.
However, there’s something you should know about its resistance.
Concentric Training With MaxPro
MaxPro is only suitable for concentric training, not eccentric. It only offers resistance one way.
For those new to this concept, here’s the difference between concentric and eccentric.
Concentric is the contracting movement, and eccentric is the lengthening movement. Some researchers think that the words flexion (concentric) and extension (eccentric) are better, but you get the idea.
To picture these movements, a common example would be any type of curl, like a bicep curl. When you are lifting the weight, it’s concentric. When you extend your arm back down to start position, ending the rep, that’s eccentric.
Therefore, when you’re working out with MaxPro, you will only get the weighted resistance as set on your dial during the concentric movement.
Is this a dealbreaker? It would be for some, but MaxPro intentionally focuses on concentric training.
To be clear, they don’t explicitly claim concentric is better. But they are understandably invested in pushing the benefits of it.
The primary benefit, according to their site, is a reduced risk of pain and injury. They state:
“Using the MAXPRO, you will experience less DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which is basically the pain people feel in their muscles two or three days after a workout. The benefit of this is that MAXPRO users can work out more frequently and at a higher work rate for higher performance and quicker results. This is perfect when your goal is to build muscle and strength. It builds that bicep, glute, quad, abs, etc without straining. It also minimizes injury when it comes to lowering or dropping that weight.”
MaxPro also presents a study they seem to have commissioned, but promises they did not fund.
You can read the whole thing here. One result it found includes greater increases in muscle fiber diameter.
Is MaxPro fitness worth it?
I’ll tell you exactly how much MaxPro costs, and what other accessories and upgrades there are, in just a few minutes.
But suffice to say, it is expensive. Here are two potential customers who will not think the MaxPro is worth the money.
1. The Eccentric Exerciser. Remember, MaxPro is concentric only. If you’re accustomed to (and prefer) resistance on the lengthening portion of an exercise, you’ll never get it with MaxPro.
2. The New Year’s Resolution-er. Have you made a New year’s resolution to lose weight or get fit? Start with something else.
MaxPro can be beginner-friendly, but if you aren’t positive you’re going to keep it up beyond February, you could suffer buyer’s remorse.
If you already train, are interested in the benefits of concentric training, or want a home gym that won’t swallow up a whole room, it’s very worth it.
MaxPro Coaching App
The MaxPro has an accompanying app most buyers will want to use. It’s free and has a decent interface, although they still seem to be in the process of working out some bugs.
Even if you aren’t interested in the features I’m about to share, you can connect your MaxPro to your phone via Bluetooth and use the app to track your progress. From there, enter your fitness goals and get data to help you reach them.
Here’s what else you can expect from the app.
Maybe you opted for a MaxPro instead of spending your money on a personal trainer. Well, good news – MaxPro hooks you up with the expertise of some recognizable fitness faces to help you along.
Diversity is the most positive quality of the coaching feature. There are professionals who specialize in complete beginners to those who train athletes.
No matter your fitness level, what type of exercise you like to do, or even how old you are, MaxPro has taken that into account when selecting coaches.
It lets you know how serious they are about meeting MaxPro users where they are and ensuring they get the best value.
MaxPro promises a “vast” library of coach-led workouts on the app. I’m going to break down the type of exercises you’ll find there coming up, but it’s incredibly handy if you don’t know where to start.
In fact, this being the first time I ever laid eyes on a cable gym of this type, the workout library was invaluable.
It will open your eyes to new ways to use the MaxPro, and proper form to make sure you (and the device) remain in good working condition.
Join Live Classes On Social
Does working out live with a teacher motivate you? Live classes are for sure a key way to mix things up so you don’t get bored with routine.
MaxPro offers live classes you can join if you want to keep your regimen fresh and add new skills.
You can watch this 20-minute circuit training session to get a good idea of what you can expect.
Types of Workouts With MaxPro
What do you think a cable gym is capable of? In this case, it’s more versatile than many assume. Take a look at some of the exercise styles MaxPro is compatible with.
Resistance training, of course, is the most unsurprising use for your MaxPro. If you haven’t gotten into it, this is a great way to start.
According to this report, resistance training “may promote bone development, with studies showing 1% to 3% increase in bone mineral density.”
That’s excellent news for those of us with a genetic predisposition toward conditions like osteoporosis.
Furthermore, “Resistance training may be effective for reducing low back pain and easing discomfort associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia and has been shown to reverse specific aging factors in skeletal muscle.”
As we discussed, MaxPro promotes concentric exercise as a way to build more muscle with a shorter recovery time.
When we refer to strength and resistance training, the terms are often interchangeable. Many people looking to lose weight don’t like the idea of “strength training” because they think it means bulking up.
However, strength training is a key way to boost your metabolism and blast abdominal fat, among many other benefits.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is easy with MaxPro thanks to the workout library and live social classes.
According to research, HIIT might be the best training method to burn a lot of calories. I find it to be nearly unparalleled for improving circulation and getting a quick hit of mood-boosting brain chemicals as well.
Plyometric exercise is great for athletes who want to increase speed and endurance. For the rest of us, it’s a superior way to tone up.
The MaxPro workout library has a range of plyo routines that can help you pair bodyweight movements with the resistance of a cable gym to make greater gains in these areas.
For those experienced in plyometric exercise, this is the way to push through a plateau and take things to the next level.
You might be new to the idea of suspension training. It’s a great way to work small muscle groups that get overlooked by traditional exercises.
Plus, it adds more core strengthening focus to basic exercises like reverse flies and lunges.
The MaxPro is ideal for suspension training, as the device can be mounted to a door or wall.
There are a lot of pricey suspension training equipment kits on the market right now. However, they’re for suspension training only.
Something like MaxPro can introduce and support suspension training to customers and still be useful for many other types of workouts.
Being that MaxPro is a concentric training tool, you might assume that it’s not beneficial for stretching. But MaxPro is upfront about the benefits of stretching.
You’ll find stretches built into a lot of workouts they offer.
If you’ve never used a cable gym during static stretches, I recommend you try with MaxPro.
It can give you a deeper, more grounded stretch that reduces the risk of soreness even further and helps prevent injury.
When I first learned about MaxPro, I had an important question, one that I ask every time I review a product.
Do you need to purchase other products to effectively use the product being advertised?
In the case of MaxPro, no. The standard bundle comes with a good amount of accessories.
In addition to the actual MaxPro SmartConnect cable gym device, you get:
1. 3-Piece Quick Connect Long Bar. This links the handles on either side of the device to create a lifting bar.
2. Workout Handles. The set of workout handles are sturdy and substantial with a rubberized grip.
3. Ankle/Wrist Straps. These Velcro cuffs attach to the cables to help you do glute workouts. I also like them for Pilates-style routines.
4. Door Mount System. Lets you attach the MaxPro to doors and more so you can work out from different angles and heights.
5. USB Charger. To charge your device – simple.
What are the upgrade options?
Some serious weightlifters, pro trainers, and athletes recommend buying bigger bundles and add-ons. Here’s a rundown of those offerings.
Maxpro Elite Bundle
The Elite Bundle comes with everything in the standard bundle plus a backpack and the Slimline Wall Track and Foldable Bench, which we’ll cover in a sec.
It also comes with a package called the MAXOUT 4 Pack, which includes a foam roller, an exercise mat, suspension handles, and a jump trainer belt.
Maxpro Slimline Wall Track
The Slimline Wall Track can be purchased separately or in the Elite Bundle. According to the website:
“Precision engineered using high-strength extruded aluminum rails that mount directly to one wall stud. MAXPRO’s exclusive one-button up/down operation allows a smooth and quick transition from one exercise to the next in seconds.”
If you are a weightlifter, this is the one extra you’ll probably want to buy to get the most use from MaxPro. The device fits into the leg on one end of the bench so you can perform bench presses and much more.
I don’t see the MaxPro working as well (or at all) with a different bench, so consider this add-on carefully before settling for the standard bundle.
Extra MaxPro EZ Mount Door System
This is the same mounting system you’ll find in the standard bundle, you can just purchase another separately.
As MaxPro says, “Some people will buy an extra one so they can mount one on the top of the door and one to the bottom of the door and not have to change the placement.”
What are the benefits of MaxPro?
Coming up next, I’ll compare the pros and cons of MaxPro, but I really want to highlight a few benefits first. I want to speak directly to the people who will get the most value from it.
The MaxPro is good for:
People who are hesitant to get into weightlifting. The MaxPro is an excellent way to add more strength and resistance training into your workout routine.
If you’re worried that building muscle will hurt your weight loss efforts, don’t be. The MaxPro makes it easy to start small and work your way up to a leaner, stronger physique that’s primed to burn fat.
Traveling athletes. Or you’re just on the move in general. If you’re out on the road consistently, you won’t have to find a gym or struggle to measure progress.
The MaxPro is perfect for pro-quality workouts nearly anywhere, with consistently-tracked data.
People who are done visiting the gym in person. More people are choosing home workouts than ever before. However, this probably doesn’t mean they want to step down the quality of their exercise.
The MaxPro emulates much of the expensive, bulky fitness equipment you’ll find at the gym. Yet, it’s far more compact than other types of home fitness equipment.
MaxPro Pros and Cons
Now here are the pros and cons at a glance.
- Lightweight, so it’s easy to take from room to room
- Very portable, compact enough to fit in a backpack
- Good for a range of different exercise types
- Access to professional coaches
- Concentric training may reduce next-day aches
- Expensive for many, it’s an investment more than an impulse buy
- The app needs a bit more work
- Only compatible with its proprietary bench
- No resistance on the eccentric portion of movements
- Resistance dial uses numbers 1-25, doesn’t let you see precisely how many pounds of resistance it’s set at
- The cables may be jerky or jumpy at first and must be “broken in”
MaxPro Customer Reviews
Luckily, I was able to find tons of customer reviews across multiple platforms. Here are a few that caught my eye.
“The MaxPro is the best home exercise machine I’ve ever had. The fact that it is portable simply adds to its usefulness. I just recently started using the machine and it delivers a great workout. I primarily use it on the floor and with the bench but will likely expand to door mount in the future. The accompanying APP is okay, I found it a bit difficult to learn and use but over time it is becoming more useful as I learn its quirks. Overall I would highly recommend this machine to family and friends.”
“Very versatile product. Also very compact. Main machine and connections feel very solid.
Be sure to read all directions and check out online videos. “Breaking in” the product is real, glad I read ahead of time.
Overall highly recommended as a stand-alone or complement to your home gym.”
“Great product. We bought it for our camper and travels. Just wish it was total resistance, you only have resistance when it is in motion. But nothing a couple added resistance bands couldn’t help with.”
Where to buy MaxPro?
MaxPro bundles and accessories on Amazon here. I recommend buying from Amazon and reading through their reviews.
Did you ever think we’d have a full cable gym that breaks down to fit in a backpack? That’s certainly the biggest draw with MaxPro; they definitely made the impossible possible.
Even the sticking points, such as an eye-watering price tag, cables that need to be broken in, and concentric-only resistance don’t dull the shine of the amazing concept.
That said, for right now, I’d only strongly recommend MaxPro to people familiar with cable fitness. As an investment piece, it might be too risky for the complete newbie.
MaxPro is a relatively new company that seems to be stepping up its game quickly. I expect (and look forward to) seeing them refine and expand their offerings.
Would you try MaxPro? Either way, I hope this review answered all of your questions.