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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: Work Out To The Maxx

Ever wanted to push your body’s limits, even without a partner/spotter? Technology has finally caught up to your ambitions!

Note: I’ve received a number of questions about this post. This is neither a paid post nor an advertisement; this is merely an idea and invention I think is great, and worth bringing onto your radar as part of our Weekend Diversion series.

“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.” –R. Buckminster Fuller

If you’ve ever pushed yourself to be smarter, faster, stronger, or in some way superior to your past self, you know that practice, hard work, time and effort are the only ways to attain your goals. Have a listen to The Avett Brothers’ song, Hard Worker,

while you consider that for those of us who push our bodies physically to be stronger, that often involves many hours hard at work in the gym, training in some way, shape or form.

Image credit: Eric J. Shelton / Reporter-News.

And if you’re pushing yourself while you’re alone, you’re well aware that there are some exercises you shouldn’t do. There are some limits that simply aren’t safe to push, as your potential for injury if you work out to failure is simply… well, catastrophic.

Even if you’ve never experienced it yourself, looking at something like the image below should strike terror into your heart, as it’s a situation nobody wants to be in.

Image credit: Maxx Bench’s Kickstarter campaign, via

But it would be ideal if this limitation didn’t necessarily mean that this was simply an exercise you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) perform on your own. There are ways around it, but they’re all dissatisfying in their own ways:

  1. Get a spot: this will protect you, but it relies on others, is slow, and isn’t always possible.
  2. Get a track to guide the bar: this will protect you from getting crushed, but restricts your motion and prevents you from getting the full benefit of the exercise.
  3. Use dumbbells instead of a barbell: this is fine, but ultimately is a different exercise.
  4. Use less weight / don’t exercise to failure: this is fine, too, but robs you of the ability to push your body to its true limits.
  5. Simply “dump weights” (or roll the bar down) if you reach failure: this is the exact danger you’re trying to avoid, as even a good weight-dumper has injury potential written all over it!
Images credit: YouTube / Andreas Knudsen.

Fortunately, innovation has come to the rescue. What if, instead of having to choose any of those dissatisfying options, you could instead lower the bench with a touch of your foot, leaving the weight safely resting on the lower rack?

Image credit: Maxx Bench’s Kickstarter campaign, via

That’s exactly what the Maxx Bench does, and they’ve just completed a successful Kickstarter Campaign!

Instead of any of the above solutions, you can simply use your foot to hit the lever, releasing the hydraulics on the bench to safely lower it (and yourself) beneath the weight you couldn’t lift that one final time.

And instead of potentially hurting yourself tremendously, you’ll simply “drop” your way to safety.

Image credit: Maxx Bench’s Kickstarter campaign, via

Best of all, if you’re someone who’d like to push your body to failure with every single set, that’s now an option!

Image credit: Maxx Bench’s Kickstarter campaign, via

While it is expensive, it’s only a little more expensive than the normal, non-hydraulic equipment, and the potential for injury reduction should have everyone excited for this.

Image credit: Maxx Bench’s Kickstarter campaign, via

I’m always impressed by innovative solutions that work to solve the problem in a simple, novel fashion that also solve additional problems: like being able to adjust the height of the weight bench to suit you no matter what your arm length is.

Image credit: Maxx Bench’s Kickstarter campaign, via

I’m glad this product is becoming a reality, and I look forward to seeing it in a gym near me, soon. Hope you enjoyed it, too, and keep an eye out for Maxx Benches in real life starting next year!

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