Nezar Akeel came up with the idea for the MaxPro SmartConnect, a technologically advanced, lightweight piece of full-body exercise equipment, more than 20 years ago.“This idea always stuck with me,” he says. “It never went away.” In 1999, the mechanical engineer traveled frequently for his job in the automotive industry, finding it difficult to keep up with his rigorous workout schedule on the road when sub-par hotel gyms were his main option.
It was then that he began to imagine what it would take to create a piece of portable exercise equipment that could provide the workout he wanted in an exciting way. “My idea originally was to connect [the equipment to] a video game console, because I wanted to make it somewhat interactive,” he says. “If you’re punching in a video game, you don’t realize you’re exercising.”
At the time, technology hadn’t quite caught up with Akeel’s idea. Wi-Fi had been invented only a year earlier, and Bluetooth technology just a few years before that. And we were still nearly eight years away from the launch of the first iPhone and the subsequent smartphone revolution.
Akeel continued to brainstorm what this fitness solution could look like, though, and nearly two decades later his dream finally became reality. “The technology caught up to my idea at the right place and time to continue to develop it and then include the features that I really wanted to,” says Akeel, who is now manufacturing equipment for his business MaxPro Fitness overseas. He hopes of bringing production stateside — to Detroit or Pontiac — in the near future.
Those features on the Bluetooth-enabled MaxPro SmartConnect ($649) include onboard sensors that connect to a phone app. The data the app receives allows users to track their workouts, and monitor their progress — and eventually they’ll be able to compete against their friends. The app also features videos from a roster of professional coaches, who demonstrate more than 100 different exercises using the MaxPro SmartConnect. MaxPro ($529), a more basic model that doesn’t offer Bluetooth or connectivity, is also available.
Both models, which feature two 12-foot cords that can be adjusted to handle up to 150 pounds of resistance, can be mounted to a wall or door. With just the cords alone, users are able to complete suspension training, practice their breaststroke, and even get in a cardio workout.
With the addition of the MaxPro Jump Trainer Belt, they can do short sprints, sled pulls, and jump training. And adding the MaxPro ankle/wrist straps makes it possible to practice moves like pitching motions. “It’s the world’s most versatile portable fitness machine,” Akeel says. “It’s a big statement to say it’s the world’s first anything, but I personally, in all of these years, have never seen any product do what this product does.” Read the article here.