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Sydney man is exercising his demons

Craig Taylor poses with the MABBfit in this promotional photo. The Sydney resident has launched a campaign on Kickstarter to make his fitness product a reality.
Craig Taylor poses with the MABBfit in this promotional photo. The Sydney resident has launched a campaign on Kickstarter to make his fitness product a reality.

SYDNEY, N.S. - It seems like every day some new piece of exercise equipment pops up promising to get you fitter faster, so you have to wonder what makes MABBfit different.

Well, according to inventor Craig Taylor, the answer is everything.

“Simply put, it is the real deal,” said Taylor, a Sydney resident who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of reaching $30,000 by June 10 so he can bring his product to market.

“When I say that it is the most versatile compact, total body workout system on the planet, it is actually that.”

The MABBfit is seen in this promotional photo.

Roughly the size of a skateboard and shaped like a figure-eight, at first glance the MABBfit resembles the hoverboard from “Back to the Future II.” And according to Taylor, the design, which was 10 years in the making, is just as cutting edge.

Once you unwrap the yoga mat that covers the portable 13-pound unit, he says the MABBfit can literally be used in hundreds of configurations. The base, which doubles as a stepper for aerobic exercises, contains two three-pound rings that pop out and can be used as gliders, push-up bars or weights that can be increased by attaching the included resistance bands. The yoga mat can also be worn as a vest and the resistance bands clip to it for anatomically correct squats.

Even the product’s full name — multi-dimensional, anatomical building block — is a bit of a workout (“That’s obviously a tongue twister,” he says with a laugh) for the mouth.

“Whether you’re looking into doing some strength training or you’re looking into doing some cardio or interval training or yoga, it’s got it,” says Taylor, who believes fitness is the key to overall physical and mental health.

And he speaks from experience. Born in the Caribbean to missionary parents who moved across Canada throughout his childhood, Taylor is a recovering addict who has struggled with mental illness.

In fact, he was a certified trainer before his addiction to opioids eventually landed him homeless then in jail. All the time, a crude design for a core exercise machine that he’d sketched on the back of an overdue bill was “burned in my soul,” he said.

Now drug-free for nearly seven years and 46 prototypes later, he’s determined to make his fitness dream come true.

“I don’t look at my disease as a hindrance for me — it’s changed my life and it’s made me a much better human being, so I’m happy for the cards I was dealt,” he said, noting he designed the MABBfit so other people can reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Taylor, who turns 40 later this month, says because the latest prototype is the only one in existence (a carpenter by trade, he crafted it out of Baltic birch in his woodworking shop) the Kickstarter money will pay for the molds he needs to mass-produce each MABBfit component. His plan is to then have the finished product assembled and shipped out of Cape Breton.

And in recognition of his own path to sobriety, if the campaign reaches its stretch goal of $100,000, Taylor will donate 20 MABBfit units to a local rehabilitation centre and personally implement a training program there. For every $100,000 in sales, he will continue to visit one rehabilitation centre at a time with the same 20 units and training program.

“In about the last five months, I really just said, this is my dream, it’s been my dream for over a decade, and if I’m going to live my life following my dreams, that’s who I am. I’m not going to be that person who wants to look back and regret because I didn’t go after something that I truly in my heart believed in and wanted to do. That comes with a lot of chance.”

To donate to the MABBfit campaign, and see videos of the product in action, visit (www.kickstarter.com/projects/1430241315/mabbfit-exercise-without-limits?ref=checkout_rewards_page) or visit MABBfit’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

news@cbpost.com

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