Squatmax-MD: The Future of Belt Squat Machines

Robust, versatile, scientifically-backed squat machine

Ah, the Squatmax-MD Belt Squat. In the realm of physical fitness, this is a piece of machinery that is a testament to both innovation and function. The mere sight of it is imposing, yet inviting. A paradox of steel, full of possibilities.

Upon encountering this machine, the first thing you notice is its imposing presence, a monolith in matte black, a tribute to robust engineering. Weighing in at around 260 lbs with all of its add-ons, it's a testament to the strength you hope to build using it.

The Squatmax-MD is a different beast, a standalone marvel in the universe of belt squats. Its uniqueness lies in the design, taking a nod from the original belt squat platform of Louie Simmons and bringing it into the 21st century. This machine doesn't just aim to compete; it aims to replicate the back squat as closely as possible, which is quite a challenge.

And let me tell you, it's not all talk; it delivers. The design of this machine is grounded in the results of a scientific study, which found that there were no significant differences in muscle group activity between the Squatmax-MD and a traditional barbell back squat. That's a claim not many machines can make.

The Squatmax-MD is built like a tank, with 1/8″ steel platform that doesn't yield under pressure, creating a sturdy foundation for your workout. The platform dimensions are well-thought-out, catering to a variety of exercises without making the machine too cumbersome. The adjustable heights of the platform, from 18″ to 24″, offer a great degree of customization.

The design is not just about sturdiness and durability but also about ingenious solutions to practical problems. The rod that protrudes through the platform prevents the weights from hitting the cutout in the floor – a simple yet effective idea.

However, the machine is not without its challenges. Loading and unloading the plates can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you're swapping weights with a training partner. Perhaps a future version could address this minor inconvenience.

Another unique feature is its versatility. Attach it to a rack, and your range of possible exercises expands. Pin pulls, squats, weighted pull-ups, and dips all become possible with this machine.

Now, as for the belt that accompanies the machine, while it's a nice inclusion, it doesn't match up to the quality of the Spud Inc. Belt. But that's a minor quibble.

In the end, the Squatmax-MD is a solid piece of equipment that delivers on its promise. It's not for everyone, certainly. The setup and the weight swapping can be tedious. But if squatting is your main focus and you're okay with the extra setup time, I don't think there's another belt squat machine on the market that can match it.

So, would I recommend it? Absolutely. If you're serious about your squats and want a machine that's built to last, then the Squatmax-MD is well worth your consideration. It's a unique piece of machinery that combines strength, innovation, and function in a way that few other machines can match.


  1. Innovative Design: The Squatmax-MD is designed to closely mimic a traditional back squat, which is a significant advantage over other belt squat machines.
  2. Sturdy and Robust: The machine is made with a 1/8″ steel platform that ensures it can withstand heavy usage without flexing or warping. Its weight and robust build make it a reliable and durable piece of equipment.
  3. Versatility: It offers a range of potential exercises, especially when attached to a rack. This expands the usage of the Squatmax-MD beyond squats to exercises such as pin pulls, weighted pull-ups, and dips.
  4. Adjustability: The platform height can be adjusted to accommodate different exercises and individual preferences, adding to its flexibility and usability.
  5. Scientifically Proven: The machine's design and effectiveness are backed by a scientific study, lending credibility to its claims.


  1. Price: At $1,704, the Squatmax-MD is not cheap. This price may be a barrier for individuals or smaller gyms with a limited budget.
  2. Setup Time: The Squatmax-MD is noted to take longer to set up compared to other cable-based systems, which could be a deterrent for those looking for a quick and easy setup.
  3. Weight Changing Process: Changing weights, especially when sharing the machine with a partner who lifts different weights, can be tedious and time-consuming due to the stacking of plates.
  4. Size and Weight: Although it's designed to be sturdy, the Squatmax-MD is a large and heavy piece of equipment. It may not be suitable for smaller spaces, and moving it around could be a challenge.
  5. Included Belt Quality: While it's a nice addition, the included belt doesn't quite match the quality of some aftermarket options like the Spud Inc. Belt.

In conclusion, the Squatmax-MD is a premium piece of equipment that is well-designed, durable, and versatile. It's an excellent choice for individuals or gyms focusing on strength training and looking for a belt squat machine that closely mimics a traditional back squat. However, its high price, setup time, and some usability issues may be potential drawbacks for some users.

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