Today we’re going to review the Squat Max MD, which I believe to be by far the best belt squat option on the market. This machine has many great features that we’ll cover in this Squat MaxMD review.
Squat MaxMD Review
Why the Squat Max MD is the Best Belt Squat Option
I want first to discuss why it is the best possible belt squat machine. With the Squat MaxMD, the weight hangs directly vertical under the athlete so that as they squat, the weights pull them directly down into the hole, just like a barbell would during a barbell squat.
That’s a big key to consider when looking into belt squat machines, as so many other belt squat machines are based on a lever. As you descend, when it’s on a lever, that weight will start pulling you forward, and you won’t be in a vertical squat anymore.
Getting pulled forward will result in your quads getting a ton of work placed on them, which is a great thing, but it will reduce the amount of work your glutes must do. And that’s been demonstrated with the Squat Max MD compared to lever systems in research studies. So, with the Squat Max MD, we will get better glute activation. And I’ll also say, when you squat on the Squat Max MD compared to other belt squats, especially lever-based systems, you’ll notice that you have to work a lot harder on your technique here than you do on those fixed machines.
Think of this as like a leg press versus a squat. The leg press doesn’t require as much technical thought in work. Squat max MD will make you think about technique just like a squat would.
The other options that you do have from a belt squat perspective if you don’t want to look at a machine, as you could set stuff up like using a dip belt and hanging weight and standing between two boxes, which I’ve done in the past and is a great way to really load your legs up.
The problem with that setup is that you’re never going to be able to load to maximal weight. So you’re going to end up doing a lot more sets of like fifteen, twenty, thirty reps, which can be fine, but I’ll tell you, standing in between two boxes with a weight hanging from your legs is sketchy. When your quads are on fire after a set of intense squats, you have to figure out how to safely get down without falling. The Squat Max MD allows you to bottom out if you hit failure, so it is a much safer setup than DIY belt squat variations.
Titan Squat Max MD Review
Some of the following pieces of my review may vary from the current Squat Max MD being sold by Titan. I got my machine directly from Squat Max MD prior to them working with Titan.
Another nice upgrade made by Titan was cushioning the box squat seat. This will make different row variations, reverse hypers, etc, so much more comfortable. I had to use a yoga mat on my box squat pad for those types of movements.
Titan has not released an incline pad (when this article was written), but the original Squat Max MD does have an adjustable incline pad. This is a wonderful feature to use for a variety of different chest-supported row variations.
They also have an optional incline pad. So this is adjustable.
The next piece of equipment to examine is the footplate. So your diameter of the hole for the Squat Max MD can be wide enough to put like your standard forty-five-pound bumper plates, or you can go twenty-five-pound plates as I do. I’m a very narrow-stance squatter. And so this hole is a little bit wider than where I would typically perform standard squats. They’ve got this nice little footplate that you can just drop into place and set it up, and now you can stand with a more narrow stand, or you can remove it if you want to load up with forty-five-pound plates or squat with a really wide stance.
The final thing to consider with this, especially if you’re in a home gym like myself, is the size of it. It is about 45 inches wide by 41 inches deep and 20 inches tall. So it does take up a good chunk of space, but as I’ve already talked about, there are so many different exercises you can do on this compared to some of the lever-based systems that really only let you belt squat
and a few other small variations. This is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment.
So, even though it takes up a lot of space in my garage gym, I get a lot of usage out of it, so it doesn’t bother me that much.
If you’re in the market for a belt squat machine, you need to consider the Squat Max MD strongly. It is by far the best belt squat machine out there!