MAPS Prime vs. Prime Pro, What’s the Difference?

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Until a few years ago, I think I spent more time being injured, recovering from injury, and worrying about injuring myself again than I have training. That history of injury led me to consult countless books, doctors, physical therapists, and online courses over the years.

While there is a lot of useless garbage out there regarding injury treatment and prevention, you can find a few gems if you look hard enough.

That’s where the MAPS Prime and MAPS Prime Pro programs from the guys over at Mind Pump come in. They have become two indispensable weapons in my arsenal against back and joint pain as I age (I’m 50 as I write this).

While I love and use both programs regularly, not everyone needs or would use both. Some people may benefit from Prime, while Prime Pro is an ideal solution for others. Knowing the difference will help you make the right decision for you when adding one or both of these programs to your training regimen.

MAPS Prime maximizes the results you get from training sessions using a warm-up and cool-down explicitly tailored to you and your training. Prime Pro allows you to identify and address movement imbalances and range of motion issues that may be causing pain or the inability to train properly.

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In other words, MAPS Prime is used directly within your workouts to enhance their effectiveness (see my full review here). MAPS Prime Pro (see my full review here) is used outside of your workouts to help increase range of motion and stability within those ranges. Both of them will enhance the effectiveness of your training.

Who should buy MAPS Prime?

If you train with weights and are concerned about injury prevention, MAPS Prime is a must. It’s should also be a prerequisite for anyone concerned with maximizing the results they are getting from their time in the gym.

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In fact, after having used the program for as long as I have, it should be a mandatory purchase for anyone doing any of the MAPS training programs. Adding Prime to those programs is like giving each of them a bit of a turbo boost. It will make any of them noticeably more effective.

I know everyone has their own opinion on warm-ups, cool-downs, and mobility work. I also know that most people think they are doing just fine in these areas, especially if they aren’t currently experiencing any pain or obvious issues.

I’ve learned from experience that you simply don’t know what you are missing if you don’t currently have a well-thought-out and personalized warm-up, cool-down, and basic mobility practice.

In my opinion, everyone who works out or trains others should own and use MAPS Prime. To see my full review of using MAPS Prime for the last 3 years, see the article I posted here!

That opinion does not apply to MAPS Prime Pro, however.

Who should buy MAPS Prime Pro?

MAPS Prime Pro is perfect for anyone looking to combat joint pain, poor range of motion, or nagging mobility issues. It’s also a program that should be in the arsenal of any personal trainer. This program will not only bring comfort and pain relief but will also allow for more strength gains in the gym.

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When it comes to Prime Pro, my first recommendation is that you have to be committed to doing the work. And there’s a lot of work to be done! Fixing mobility, joint, and range of motion issues is hard work and time-consuming.

Prime Pro is NOT a 2-3 times per week thing like your training program might be. It is a several times a day, every day with no days off movement system. It requires hard work and dedication for months and sometimes years.

That said, if you are willing to do the work, the results will quite literally change your life for the better. But again, it’s not for everyone. To see exactly what it did for me in 2 years of use, see my full review here!

Personal Trainers and Coaches

If either of those terms is in your job title, you owe it to yourself and those you train to buy and use Prime Pro. A big part of the program is a set of diagnostic tools that are invaluable when it comes to evaluating the people you work with.

Not only will Prime Pro enhance the results your clients and athletes get from their training, but it will allow you to give them the tools they need to be better at all aspects of training in the first place.

By teaching you to identify movement issues and then address them correctly, Prime Pro will allow you to manage joint pain and mobility issues effectively. It will elevate your level of service beyond someone who simply gives out exercises and times rest periods.

People with joint pain and mobility issues

Of course, the usual caveat of seeing your doctor first applies here. But that said, following the guidance of Prime Pro has helped me more than any single physical therapist ever has (again, these are my results, and I cannot make promises as to the results you may or may not achieve).

Using Prime Pro, I have successfully addressed back, hip, and shoulder pain as well as made great strides in improving my postural issues of rounded shoulders and forward head. As someone who sits/stands at a desk most of his day, I couldn’t imagine not stopping several times a day to do the work prescribed in Prime Pro.

People with limited range of motion

It’s tough to overhead press if you can’t raise your arms over your head. It’s hard to squat if your ankles are stiff and tight. It’s darn near impossible to safely deadlift if you can’t keep a neutral back while doing it.

Does that mean you should stop doing those things? Absolutely not! It means that you need to spend some serious time addressing your limited ranges of motion so that you can do those things!

Again, please start by seeing your doctor. But once you’ve done that and have the okay, put in the work! And start today! Take it from someone who didn’t start until he was in his late 40’s. The longer you wait, the longer it’s going to take and the harder it’s going to be.


Basically, everyone who trains should own and use MAPS Prime. It will integrate well with literally any training program you might be doing, even if it isn’t one of the MAPS programs.

While MAPS Prime Pro will benefit most people, know that it will not work unless you do. It’s a program and system unto itself that requires additional daily work outside of your standard weekly training program. Specifically, trainers, coaches, and those with movement, joint, and mobility issues should strongly consider this program.

For me, I’m grateful that I own and use both. If you think you are in the same situation, the guys over at Mind Pump offer a MAPS Prime bundle where you get a nice discount for buying the two programs together. You can see that bundle offer and its current pricing here!

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Tim Steward has been training at home since he got his first weight set from Sears in junior high. Over 30 years later, Tim has helped thousands of people build home and garage gyms that they love and use regularly. He also holds CPT and Nutritionist certifications with the ISSA and is an NCCPT nationally accredited trainer. When Tim is not training or writing about home gyms, you can find him at the dog park with his two Australian cattle dogs, Anny and Beans.

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