I believe you should be just fine with maple 'anything.' It's the bamboo side grain that can be kind of hard, don't worry about maple side grain. Some people may think maple end grain is too soft and prefer side.
About Machine-gunning through prep: Because he can, and it's sexy, and you know it.
I'm only half kidding... Aaron really does do more prep than anyone else I know, so I recon his on-camera speed is only slightly faster than his normal tempo. Also, if a knife doesn't perform good it won't do good at high speed, so there is 'some' merit to what he does on camera. Honestly, as a prep cook, I used to take my time a little bit, because even then I was still faster than the guys from the previous shift.
Don't wanna finish everything too fast and not get your hours! (Forget overtime at most corporate restaurants these days)
I try not to just "muscle" through ingredients with a knife, I try my best to use the knife's weight most of the time to show true cutting performance. People can man-handle knives and make them cut, but that's dangerous, ugly, and not really good practice. Getting a blade that's suited for your cutting style is a great thing IMO... when you pick the knife up, and you don't even think about it, just use it. It's so funny we put so much effort into getting something you don't want to notice while prepping. It's like, after all the work I put into an edge sometimes, to make it look right, or "factory new", you just kind of look, and go ,... "meh, it looks like it's suppose to" and all that effort goes unsung....... the story of a sharpener's life....... sometimes. I'm half kidding here too, but it is the mind-set of the average home cook of "I don't care how you get it sharp, and I don't care how sharp it is, I just want a sharp knife period, I don't care that your stupid fingers bled while grinding the crap steel on my $15 Walmart special.... and you better tell me it's going to stay sharp forever after also, or I'll throw you weird looks until you stop talking about my knives... oh, thanks by the way I guess.." (the mindset of the average person when it comes to kitchen knives) (I need another scotch also)