See that amazing device up above? Yeah. That's the StairMaster Boxmaster. Here's a video of someone lighting it up.
A Look at the Device
The Stairmaster (formerly of Star Trac) BoxMaster comes with 12 individual pads to allow users to simulate most striking attacks on an opponent. It is like having a partner there holding the pads for you to hit, without actually having a person there. Each pad has enough flexibility built in to allow you to hit it with as little risk of injury as possible.
One of the cool things about the StairMaster BoxMaster is that the type of workout you can do with it is limitless. You can hit for power, work on your striking speed, focus on combos from different angles, or even mix in kicks with your combos. In addition, the height of the pads is adjustable, allowing people from heights of 5’0” to 6’10” to enjoy kickboxing workouts on the pad.
Another great thing about this thing is that it is designed with beginners and experts alike. Because the pads are designed to be as forgiving as possible, you don’t have to be an expert striker to get in a good workout and/or some padwork.
While novices will certainly enjoy the cardio and strength-building benefits of using the Star Trac BoxMaster, the device is also a fantastic piece of workout equipment for expert kickboxers. Using it is like training with a 12-handed pad holder. Being able to pound out combos from 12 different spots at every instant allows you to quickly see improvement in your striking accuracy, speed and power.
Is it Worth It?
So we know that it's expensive. But let's break down the different pricing options to see if it is worth the price.
Price Breakdown of Boxmaster With Kicking Pad and Base
The price breakdown for the Boxmaster is accurate as of November 7, 2017.
So the Boxmaster is broken down into three separate components. The first component is the main component, the tower. The tower is $2,995. This is the essential ingredient of the Boxmaster. This includes 12 perfectly positioned striking pads to work on any punch combo you can imagine. The spring system pads provide strike absorption and injury prevention. It also provides padding for knees. The adjustable tower itself is 246 pounds (111.5 kg).
Then if you want the kicking pad, it is an extra $495. The kicking pad is completed unobstructed so you can throw the low kicks from almost any angle you want.
Now you will definitely need a way to counteract the weight of the Boxmaster. A simple way to do this is to fix the tower to the floor. But if that is not feasible for you, then you need the Boxmaster base. The Boxmaster base is $1,095, which provides 284 pounds (128.82 kg) of counter weight for you to have a sturdy base to work with---so the tower doesn't move when you strike. So if you don't punch hard or can fix the tower to the floor, you do not need the base. If you watch the video above, the muay thai guy is not using the base.
Essentially, the least you would spend for the Boxmaster is $3,000 and the most you would spend is around $4,500. But the nice thing is that you can order it on Amazon with free shipping so you don't pay an arm and a leg for shipping costs.
To really make it worth the investment, you really have to use often, or have a lot of spare cash lying around. I think this piece of equipment is more suited for experienced strikers than novices. Novices will get in as much of a workout from working with a muay thai bag.
For experienced strikers, this machine offers the huge advantage of not needing a pad holder or partner to get some work in. The ability to mix up all kinds of combos is also great for the more experienced striker.
So for the experienced striker who no longer has time to pay for a membership to train everyday, this may be a good replacement to keep the rust off your striking game. If I had some money lying around, I definitely would buy it as it would give me a great workout as well as give me the option to work on power, movement, and fundamentals.
A Cheaper Option
Even though the Stairmaster BoxMaster is a nice piece of equipment that provides you with a great workout, the price of this thing is a little out of the price range for the average Joe. Although the BoxMaster will be well-received in any gym, the price puts it out of reach for most people.
If you need something similar, you should instead go with a Bas Rutten's BAS Body Action System X2 for your striking workouts. Although it is very nice and has similar features as the Boxmaster, do realize that it won't be the same.
Here's a video of the BAS Body Action System:
The Body Action System is modular so you can set the pads up in multiple positions depending on what you want to work on. It's also adjustable and mobile so you can easily fold it up and store it in your closet after your workout.
In conclusion, the Boxmaster looks like a fantastic piece of equipment. However, it is not worth it for most people. If you don't mind not being able to land hard kicks, then try out the Body Action System. But if landing kicks as hard as you can is part of your prerequisite, then nothing replaces the Boxmaster.