MAX Blog

The Best Way to Lose Weight in the New Year

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.
— Unknown

Just like that, the year is coming to an end. Soon, we will countdown to the New Year, where fresh beginnings and big dreams await our arrival. Are you ready?

New Year quote

Before you draw up resolutions that you will quit by Valentine's Day, consider adopting a more long term solution.  No more fad diets or crazy detoxes or insane exercise practices. Success comes from a healthy LIFESTYLE, not a 21 day fix or a 3 day detox or a 7 day grind. Instead, plan for a year of nutritious choices that allows for sweet treats and a workout plan that incorporates plenty of recovery.

Not sure where to begin? We can help. By this time next year, you will not be worrying about gaining weight over the holidays or frantically dieting to fit in your little black dress. You will be prepared, educated, and healthy.  We will be here to help, support, and encourage you throughout the entire year. Join us now for your best year yet!

You GET what you GIVE!


 

Check out a few of Rebecca'a favorite stability ball exercises. Put them together for a full body workout or add a few to your regular workout routine.

 

 

 


A Season of Love

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:13

It is funny the things in life you can handle, and those that you never quite figure out how to manage. The holiday season can quickly become one of those things...

It all begins with a smile. Maybe it happens the first time you hear your favorite Christmas carol, or when the weather gets cooler, or as you pull out your ornaments full of memories. But, slowly it becomes more of a chore than a season of joy. You are desperately trying to find the perfect gift, frantically attending every party, social event, and Christmas pageant, cooking, decorating, wrapping, traveling... and somehow you still manage to never feel "ready" for Christmas. 

Last night, however, everything changed. A prescription of bed rest, forced me to take a break from all the chaos. There I was, on the couch, making yet another list of everything that needed to be done, when it suddenly hit me. Nothing on the list mattered. The room was lit by the glow of the Christmas tree, Hallmark holiday movies on the TV, the smell of evergreen filled the air, and most importantly, the people I loved most were there with me. 

If there was not a single present under the tree this year, I would still have the greatest gift of all. Love.

If the decorations were not perfect, there would be love. Whether we eat a 20 pound turkey or PB & J sandwiches, there would be love. Even if our loved ones are gone, serving oversees, unable to travel, or smiling down on us from above, there would still be love. 

Love is the reason for the season. God sent us the greatest gift of all. Now, it is up to us to continue spreading the love. Nothing else matters.

Merry Christmas... with love.  


 

 

"1000 Rep Fat Burn"

It may sound strange, but one of the best ways to relax is to get in a great workout. You are going to love this rep challenge! Take a moment and try it today!

 

 

 

Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 4

Our final week is here!

Whether you followed our holiday tips or overdid it on the turkey and stuffing, we are going to finish off this challenge with the best week yet! Now that the holiday season is in full swing, it is more important than ever to continue making healthy choices and staying physically active. Remember the 80/20 rule. A diet full of fruits and veggies can also have Christmas cookies! Just be aware of your portions. Keep getting in your daily recommended water intake and be sure to include some sort of workout everyday- even if it is just taking an evening walk to admire the neighbor's Christmas lights. Happy Holidays everyone!

How have you been doing on the workouts? Getting them all in or finding reasons to skip out? Well, no more excuses. This week's workout can be done in your pajamas without even getting out of bed! Wishes do come true.

You GET what you GIVE!

 


Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 3

The week of Thanksgiving is always a tough week to stay on track with your fitness goals. Luckily for you, we have the perfect plan to keep the weight off while still enjoying your mom's famous pumpkin pie! 

 

  • Get your sweat on- Now is not the time to get lazy on your fitness routine, if anything, you should pick up the pace! Remember to do your Home Workout Challenge at least 3-4x during the week, and an active rest activity (walking, biking, swimming) on the other days.

  • Drink up- Sorry, I am not talking about martinis, but water. Aim for half your body weight in ounces. So if you are 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 ounces or about 4 bottles of water. With all the high fat, high calorie food coming your way, your body needs to be hydrated to keep things moving!

  • Rise and shine (and eat)- Do not skip breakfast in order to cut back on calories. Doing so will only lead to pigging out later. Instead, have a nutritious breakfast that is packed with protein and includes a serving of fruits and vegetables. 

 

  • Out of sight, out of mind- Fill your Thanksgiving table with centerpieces, not food. While a beautiful bird is the highlight of the meal, it is better to keep it out of reach. If you insist on serving the food at the table, bring it to the kitchen after everyone has filled their plates. You will have to make a conscious decision to get up from the table for seconds.

  • Enjoy the company- I miss sharing the piano bench with my cousin, I miss Grandma's Swedish prayers, and I miss my family who has gone to be with the Lord. You can always eat food, but time spent with family and friends is priceless. Savor the moments. 

  • Nibble, nibble, nibble- Grandma's pecan pie, your Aunt's fudge brownies, and Mom's Christmas cookies are not to be missed! Rather than stuffing your face until you are too ill to continue, get a tiny slice or bite of each and enjoy them all without the guilt! 

  • Choose leftovers over seconds- Turkey sandwiches are the best! You don't have to finish up the casserole dish at the table. Saving some for later will keep you from overeating in one sitting and allow you to continue the food festivities later on. Or even better, send the leftovers home with your guests. 

  • Start a new tradition- Before everyone goes into a turkey coma in front of the TV, get outside for a football game of your own! If sports aren't your thing, go for a walk, try a game of corn hole, or if the weather permits, build a snowman! 

 

 

Our latest "Home Workout Challenge" takes only 20 minutes. Grab a chair and go!

 

 

Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 2

If you are new to our challenge, click HERE to get started.

This week, I want you to continue to track your meals and keep those simple grab-n-go healthy snacks in your fridge. Make sure you are reaching your recommended daily water intake. Sometimes the feeling of hunger is actually dehydration! 

In addition, it is time to take a closer look at your diet. Let me start with this- there is no perfect diet. Fad diets constantly come and go and always call for some sort of ridiculous exclusion of important foods. Many of these diets work for a little while because they require calorie restrictions, however, it is very difficult to adhere to these diets for the long haul. The best diet is the one you can stick to and enjoy. While you can not eat brownies and ice cream all day, there are some easy ways to tweak your diet without completely eliminating your favorite foods.

  • Calorie restriction3500 calories equals one pound. So, if you would like to lose weight, a moderate restriction of 500 calories per day would equate to losing one pound a week. 
  • Increase your protein intake. Most likely, you are not getting enough protein. You should aim for 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, a 150 pound person should consume anywhere from 120-150 grams of protein per day. 
  • Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your daily caloric intake should be healthy, nutritious food full of good-for-you nutrients (think lean meats and vegetables). The remaining 20% can include your favorite foods that may not be the healthiest choices (think chocolate chip cookies). By allowing for a small amount (no, you can not have the entire bag) of your guilty pleasures, you will prevent binge eating and help with diet adherence.

Now, for the fun stuff!  Our workout for this week is my new favorite workout! It only takes about 20 minutes and works you from head to toe. I have a feeling you are going to love it too. Remember to perform the workout 3-4x this week and then choose an active rest activity, such as walking or swimming, for the remaining days.

You GET what you GIVE!


 

Grab a couple towels and get ready to burn some major calories!


Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 1

Welcome to our Fall Fitness Challenge!

 

 

For the next 4 weeks, we will be working out, developing nutritious habits, and creating a healthy lifestyle that will take you into the New Year and beyond!

Our workouts can all be done at home and use common household items for equipment. This week, we start with pillows!  Each workout is designed specifically to burn calories and build muscle in fun, creative ways. In 30 minutes (or less) you will strengthen your body from head to toe!

Before you begin, be sure to check out our preparation list to ensure you get the best out of the challenge. Click here.  

 

Week 1

  • Aim to perform the "Home Workout Challenge" and bonus Burnout 3 to 4 times this week. I love variety, but this challenge gives you just one workout a week so you can master the moves and try to improve with each workout. 
  • Get 30 minutes of physical activity on the other days. A simple walk around the neighborhood is perfect. Or you can go on a bike ride, play a game of tag with the kiddos, even get around to cleaning out the garage, it does not matter what you do, just get up and get moving!  
  • Remember to track your calories and reach your recommended daily water intake. Tracking calories can be tough, but it is worth it for these next few weeks. You will be surprised how many calories are in your "healthy snacks" or how much larger your portions are than you thought. 
  • Share your success with our MAX community! Post a picture of your nutritious (and delicious) dinner, a clip of you rocking the workout, or a motivational quote that gets you through the day!

Good luck and remember....You GET what you GIVE!

 

 

 

Fall Fitness Challenge

Just as we promised, our next fitness challenge is about to begin! 

Our latest challenge was inspired last year by our crazy busy lives with a newborn. There was a small window of opportunity to squeeze in a workout- between feedings, during naptime, or when the other spouse is available to watch the baby. Not much has changed now that she is a toddler!  I know we are not the only ones who struggle to find time to workout. Thus, came the idea for our Fall Fitness Challenge. All the workouts use popular household items, can be completed in under 30 minutes, and are done in the comfort of your own home! 

The Fall Fitness Challenge officially begins next week, but we recommend you take this week to prepare and complete the following:

  • Enlist a friend (or group of friends) to join you in taking the challenge. There is strength in numbers! Having someone to motivate you and keep you on track will boost your chance of success.
  • Determine your daily water intake. The recommended amount is half your body weight in ounces. For example, a 160 pound adult should drink 80 ounces of water a day (or roughly 5 bottles of water). This does not include any additional waters needed to refuel after a workout. 
  • Get a food tracker. We use MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android, Windows) but there are tons of excellent apps available and most are free and simple to use. Tracking your food helps with portion control and cutting calories. You will be surprised how much sugar is in your seemingly "healthy" shake or how many calories are packed into your morning latte.

 

 

  • Stock up on grab and go snacks. There is a reason we reach for the potato chips or the jar of M&Ms instead of the oranges that need to be peeled or the apples that needs to be sliced- convenience. Fill your fridge with grapes, cheese sticks, pre-cut carrots, and single serve foods such as yogurt, cottage cheese, and applesauce. 
  • Take a "before" picture. Before you panic, I promise you do not have to share your photo. Visually tracking your progress is important. Sometimes the scale does not accurately represent your success, but a smaller stomach and lifted backside does!

We look forward to taking the challenge with you. Share the challenge with your friends and we will start next week!

 You GET what you GIVE!

Be Kind. Change the World.

Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world.
— A.A. Malee

Hurricane Irma, one of the largest storms in history,  ripped through the entire state of Florida, leaving a path of death and destruction in its wake. We were fortunate enough to survive the storm, however, our house did not fare as well. Flood waters flowed throughout the rooms, while a damaged roof leaked water from above. The deck was demolished, the fence laid on the ground, and debris littered the yard. As heartbreaking as it was, this story is not about our devastating loss, but about the days that followed...

After 96 hours straight of rescuing those stranded in flooded waters, Steve was given the day off from the fire station to go home and rest. Unfortunately, there was not time to rest, for water damage restoration is a time-sensitive process. He was exhausted and I was no better off. Evacuating days prior with a one year old and three dogs resulted in numerous sleepless nights. So there we stood in the middle of the damage-too tired to think and too overwhelmed to even know where to begin- when cars began to pull into the driveway. Help had arrived. 

Family, friends, even complete strangers, took time away from their own needs to tend to ours. What should have been weeks of work, took merely hours. They ripped out carpet, bagged clothing and linens, brought cleaning supplies, cut out drywall, picked up debris, and even made dinner. It was incredible, inspiring, and it was only the beginning.

Our friends made a few phone calls and by the end of the day, entire communities had pitched in to help. Someone we had never met, opened both their heart and their home to us so we could have a place to stay. While I made insurance calls, bags of laundry were distributed to people wanting to help, cars were packed with salvaged items, and later unloaded into storage. One good deed after another. We never asked for help, but that is the beauty of kindness, we never had to.

The sun began to set and Steve had to go back on shift early the next morning. It was time to call it a day. A long, emotional, and tiresome day. The drive was quiet as we tried to process it all- the house, the damage, the months to come. How could we possibly afford to start over? How could we handle all the stress? What about the baby? Just when I was about to break down, Steve broke the silence. "They say God never gives you more than you can handle."  We giggled. In our 12 years of marriage, this saying has become our mantra. It seems that God thinks we are pretty tough. Maybe it is because He knows there is still good in this fallen world, and what we can not handle on our own, He places others in our lives who will come to our aid. Little did we know, the acts of kindness would continue. 

We were met at the front door of our temporary residence with a post-it-note that simply stated, "Welcome Home." Inside, we discovered the closets were filled with our clothes, all cleaned, pressed, and hung. The refrigerator was stocked and the pantry overflowed with food, dog treats, and supplies. A borrowed crib had been set up for our daughter and toys were placed nearby. On the counter were gift cards, cash, and notes of encouragement from the neighbors. We were speechless. In that moment, there was a sense of peace that overtook all the fear. We may not know what tomorrow will bring, but we knew everything would be okay. For that day, in the midst of despair, there was kindness. 

acts of kindness quote.png

We live in a world seemingly consumed with fear and divided by hate, but there is good to be found. There are people with a genuine desire to help others, to give hope to those that struggle, and to be the good we so desperately need. These small acts of kindness are by no means small- they are life-changing. In this past month, there have been earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and just this past weekend, the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Tragedy surrounds us and our hearts are heavy. But, in all the devastation, the chaos, and the fear, there is love. Some of the greatest acts of kindness come in our darkest hours. There are those that run towards the gunfight, those that sacrifice themselves to save others, those that do what they can by donating money or supplies, and those that show up after a hurricane to help rip out water-soaked carpet. These are our everyday heroes, and for them, we are eternally grateful. 

In everything you do, be sure to do it with love. Your acts of kindness, no matter if they are great or small, can change a life and change the world. 

Monday Motivation

For all you "Monday starters," this is the ultimate Monday. The Monday above all other Mondays! If ever you were to pick a day to start fresh, today is the perfect day!

 

Not only is it Monday, but it is the first of the month. There are no more excuses. Today is the day. Get up, get dressed, and get started!

 

Whatever your goals may be, we have the plan to help you succeed. Our Spring Cleaning Challenge is going on right now and it is the ultimate plan to clean up your life, start anew, and get rid of all the "junk" that keeps you from living out your dreams! Imagine a life without all the clutter, the stress, the mess, the bad habits that hold you down. A simple life that replaces negativity with joy, develops a healthy relationship with food, and encourages value or excess. 

It is Monday. Your clutter-free life begins today.

 

Click here to join our Spring Cleaning Challenge!

Spring Cleaning Challenge

Spring is officially here! As temperatures rise and melt the last reminders of cold weather, animals awaken from their winter slumber, and new life emerges from the frozen ground. 'Tis the season to get a fresh start and rejuvenate our lives, both inside and out. 

happiness quote.png

 

While you never had to force this Florida girl to enjoy a little rest and relaxation on the beach during Spring Break, I do tend to put off another springtime essential- Spring Cleaning! It wasn't until I was older that I understood why my mother would use her few days off from teaching to organize and deep clean the house. Decluttering does more than tidy up your home, it clears your mind. Clutter is toxic, it is disorganized, unused, unfinished. Now is the time to let go and clear the way for a better you, to simplify our lives, and make room for the things that are truly important!

It is time to clear the junk, to clean up your home, mind, and body. Join us as we take on the Spring Cleaning Challenge!

HOME

The challenge takes you room by room. Try not to get distracted and clean the entire room before moving on to the next. Is it broke? Toss it. Haven't used it? Donate it. We are going to clean every nook and cranny, remove the clutter, and organize our homes, and ultimately, our lives.

MIND

As we declutter our homes, we will also clear our minds. Throughout the challenge, you will be required to take personal days. Days to remove the negative thoughts that overwhelm us, cause anxiety, and unhealthy stress. You can take a bath, read a book, meditate, watch the sunset, relax on the beach, crotchet, pray, get a massage, it is your day to do whatever makes you happy. It is imperative that you do not skip this day. You will always be busy, but on this day, the most important thing you can do is relax. 

BODY

A total clean up would not be complete without addressing our physical health. Sedentary lifestyles coupled with an unhealthy consumption of junk food are a recipe for disaster. During our challenge, we will dispose of our bad habits and adopt new routines that contribute to the betterment of our lives.

Are you ready for a fresh start? Me too. Here we go!



Have Patience

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow.
— Leo Tolstoy

Four months and eleven days. 

Patience quote.png

In some delusional dream of mine, I assumed I would be one of those supermoms who was shimmying into her favorite pair of jeans within a few weeks. Delusional was right! I did everything by the book- working out, eating healthy, breastfeeding- and sure, a good chunk of the weight came off. But, somehow in all of the books and articles and blogs I read, no one mentioned the saggy skin, pelvic pain, muscular imbalances, and general bloating that I would experience. 

So, I worked. Then, I worked harder. Finally, I was forced to step back and reevaluate my goals. Hitting some "magic" number on the scale was no longer my priority. I needed to address my body first. It had been through nearly ten months of drastic changes followed by the trauma of giving birth (no amount of preparation gets you ready for that kind of pain!) I stretched, foam rolled, took massaging baths (thank you hubby for watching the baby!) and worked toward my new, and more realistic, goals. 

Four months and eleven days later, I am proud to say, I can do a squat without any pain and zip up my jeans without having to decide whether to squish my loose skin inside or leave it hanging out on top ☺ 

Not exactly Heidi Klum walking the runway at six weeks postpartum but, I am genuinely happy with my progress. Sometimes things take time. Sometimes, they take a lot of time! This is when patience will make you or break you. There were many moments I would look in the mirror and be consumed with doubt, moments I would cry during a workout because a skill that was once easy was now seemingly impossible. Moments I was frustrated. Moments I wanted to quit. Being patient is hard! 

Patience is a virtue, Rome was not built in a day, and good things come to those who wait. Keep working toward your goal, but give it time. Your patience will pay off in the end.


 

In just 15 minutes, "Dumbbell Duos" improves strength, endurance, and core stability! Give it a try today.

 

 

 

 

What Will You Bring?

What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.
— Vern McLellan

Today marks the beginning of a new book. A blank page ready to be filled with great adventures, twists and turns, and a hero who lives happily ever after!

In reality, it takes more than pen and paper to achieve our dreams. We must go out and live them! We must put forth a valiant effort in everything that we do. We must fight our demons and climb over each obstacle that stands in our way. 

What will you bring to the New Year?

New Year Quote.jpg

I am a firm believer in goal-setting. It is important to determine your biggest dreams and desires. Write them down, shout them from your rooftop, but do not forget to put them into action. New Year's resolutions are often forgotten as quickly as they are established. It is up to you to bring your very best! Bring your hard work, your perseverance, your optimism, and your passion. Get up early, read often, take care of your mental well-being, clear your head of negativity, workout, eat healthy, and sleep well. You have the chance to be the hero of your story. Ultimately, your success depends on you and what you bring to the New Year.

 


Some of the most popular resolutions are to lose weight, adapt a more healthy lifestyle, and to begin working out. No need to join a gym or spend money on the latest fitness gadgets and weight loss diets. We are here to help with over 100 workout videos (and more to come), motivational blogs, and monthly fitness challenges. Join us this year and make all your fitness dreams come true! You GET what you GIVE!

"Countdown to a New Year" is the perfect workout to kick start your New Year's resolutions! 

 

 

Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 4

Our final week is here!

Whether you followed our holiday tips or overdid it on the turkey and stuffing, we are going to finish off this challenge with the best week yet! Now that the holiday season is in full swing, it is more important than ever to continue making healthy choices and staying physically active. Remember the 80/20 rule. A diet full of fruits and veggies can also have Christmas cookies! Just be aware of your portions. Keep getting in your daily recommended water intake and be sure to include some sort of workout everyday- even if it is just taking an evening walk to admire the neighbor's Christmas lights. Happy Holidays everyone!

How have you been doing on the workouts? Getting them all in or finding reasons to skip out? Well, no more excuses. This week's workout can be done in your pajamas without even getting out of bed! Wishes do come true.

You GET what you GIVE!

 


Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 3

The week of Thanksgiving is always a tough week to stay on track with your fitness goals. Luckily for you, we have the perfect plan to keep the weight off while still enjoying your mom's famous pumpkin pie! 

 

  • rGet your sweat on- Now is not the time to get lazy on your fitness routine, if anything, you should pick up the pace! Remember to do your Home Workout Challenge at least 3-4x during the week, and an active rest activity (walking, biking, swimming) on the other days.

  • Drink up- Sorry, I am not talking about martinis, but water. Aim for half your body weight in ounces. So if you are 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 ounces or about 4 bottles of water. With all the high fat, high calorie food coming your way, your body needs to be hydrated to keep things moving!

  • Rise and shine (and eat)- Do not skip breakfast in order to cut back on calories. Doing so will only lead to pigging out later. Instead, have a nutritious breakfast that is packed with protein and includes a serving of fruits and vegetables. 

 

  • Out of sight, out of mind- Fill your Thanksgiving table with centerpieces, not food. While a beautiful bird is the highlight of the meal, it is better to keep it out of reach. If you insist on serving the food at the table, bring it to the kitchen after everyone has filled their plates. You will have to make a conscious decision to get up from the table for seconds.

  • Enjoy the company- I miss sharing the piano bench with my cousin, I miss Grandma's Swedish prayers, and I miss my family who has gone to be with the Lord. You can always eat food, but time spent with family and friends is priceless. Savor the moments. 

  • Nibble, nibble, nibble- Grandma's pecan pie, your Aunt's fudge brownies, and Mom's Christmas cookies are not to be missed! Rather than stuffing your face until you are too ill to continue, get a tiny slice or bite of each and enjoy them all without the guilt! 

  • Choose leftovers over seconds- Turkey sandwiches are the best! You don't have to finish up the casserole dish at the table. Saving some for later will keep you from overeating in one sitting and allow you to continue the food festivities later on. Or even better, send the leftovers home with your guests. 

  • Start a new tradition- Before everyone goes into a turkey coma in front of the TV, get outside for a football game of your own! If sports aren't your thing, go for a walk, try a game of corn hole, or if the weather permits, build a snowman! 

 

 

Our latest "Home Workout Challenge" takes only 20 minutes. Grab a chair and go!

 

 

Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 2

My sincerest apologies for the late post! This past weekend, I was honored to coach with the top coaches of the country at the Peak Performance Training Camp. However, in all my excitement, I completely forgot to bring my computer. So, without further ado, let us get on with week two of our Fall Fitness Challenge!

If you are new to our challenge, click HERE to get started. This week, I want you to continue to track your meals and keep those simple grab-n-go healthy snacks in your fridge. Make sure you are reaching your recommended daily water intake. Sometimes the feeling of hunger is actually dehydration! 

In addition, it is time to take a closer look at your diet. Let me start with this- there is no perfect diet. Fad diets constantly come and go and always call for some sort of ridiculous exclusion of important foods. Many of these diets work for a little while because they require calorie restrictions, however, it is very difficult to adhere to these diets for the long haul. The best diet is the one you can stick to and enjoy. While you can not eat brownies and ice cream all day, there are some easy ways to tweak your diet without completely eliminating your favorite foods.

  • Calorie restriction3500 calories equals one pound. So, if you would like to lose weight, a moderate restriction of 500 calories per day would equate to losing one pound a week. 
  • Increase your protein intake. Most likely, you are not getting enough protein. You should aim for 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example, a 150 pound person should consume anywhere from 120-150 grams of protein per day. 
  • Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your daily caloric intake should be healthy, nutritious food full of good-for-you nutrients (think lean meats and vegetables). The remaining 20% can include your favorite foods that may not be the healthiest choices (think chocolate chip cookies). By allowing for a small amount (no, you can not have the entire bag) of your guilty pleasures, you will prevent binge eating and help with diet adherence.

Now, for the fun stuff! Our workout for this week is my new favorite workout! It only takes about 20 minutes and works you from head to toe. I have a feeling you are going to love it too. Remember to perform the workout 3-4x this week and then choose an active rest activity, such as walking or swimming, for the remaining days.

You GET what you GIVE!


 

Grab a couple towels and get ready to burn some major calories!


Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 1

Welcome to our Fall Fitness Challenge!

 

 

For the next 4 weeks, we will be working out, developing nutritious habits, and creating a healthy lifestyle that will take you into the New Year and beyond!

Our workouts can all be done at home and use common household items for equipment. This week, we start with pillows!  Each workout is designed specifically to burn calories and build muscle in fun, creative ways. In 30 minutes (or less) you will strengthen your body from head to toe!

Before you begin, be sure to check out our preparation list to ensure you get the best out of the challenge. Click here.  

 

Week 1

  • Perform the "Home Workout Challenge" and bonus Burnout 3 or 4 times this week. 
  • Get 30 minutes of physical activity on the other days (walk, bike, swim, etc.)
  • Remember to track your calories and reach your recommended daily water intake.
  • Share your success with our MAX community! Post a picture of your nutritious (and delicious) dinner, a clip of you rocking the workout, or a motivational quote that gets you through the day!

Good luck and remember....You GET what you GIVE!

 

 

 

Fall Fitness Challenge

Just as we promised, our next fitness challenge is about to begin! 

Our latest challenge was inspired by our crazy busy lives with a newborn. Nowadays, there is a small window of opportunity to squeeze in a workout- between feedings, during naptime, when the other spouse is available to watch the baby. I know we are not the only ones who struggle to find time to workout. Thus, came the idea for our Fall Fitness Challenge. All the workouts use popular household items, can be completed in under 30 minutes, and are done in the comfort of your own home! 

The Fall Fitness Challenge officially begins next week, but we recommend you take this week to prepare and complete the following:

  • Enlist a friend (or group of friends) to join you in taking the challenge. There is strength in numbers! Having someone to motivate you and keep you on track will boost your chance of success.
  • Determine your daily water intake. The recommended amount is half your body weight in ounces. For example, a 160 pound adult should drink 80 ounces of water a day (or roughly 5 bottles of water). This does not include any additional waters needed to refuel after a workout. 
  • Get a food tracker. We use MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android, Windows) but there are tons of excellent apps available and most are free and simple to use. Tracking your food helps with portion control and cutting calories. You will be surprised how much sugar is in your seemingly "healthy" shake or how many calories are packed into your morning latte.

 

 

  • Stock up on grab and go snacks. There is a reason we reach for the potato chips or the jar of M&Ms instead of the oranges that need to be peeled or the apples that needs to be sliced- convenience. Fill your fridge with grapes, cheese sticks, pre-cut carrots, and single serve foods such as yogurt, cottage cheese, and applesauce. 
  • Take a "before" picture. Before you panic, I promise you do not have to share your photo. Visually tracking your progress is important. Sometimes the scale does not accurately represent your success, but a smaller stomach and lifted backside does!

We look forward to taking the challenge with you. Share the challenge with your friends and we will start next week!

 You GET what you GIVE!

A Workout For Every "BODY"

Over the years, I have had to adapt my training to fit my current situation.

Numerous ankle injuries resulting in casts, those fashionable medical boots, and restrictive braces, made me a pro at developing workouts to adapt to my immobilized appendage.

During the summer between middle and high school, I grew five inches and only gained five pounds. I was lanky, ungraceful, and had to seemingly relearn my sport to adapt to my new body.

Fast forward to my college years where sleepless nights and pizza delivery contributed to me gaining the "Freshman 15" and then some. I was a slow, lethargic, out of shape athlete trying to get back to normalcy, only to discover I could not just jump into my normal workout routine.

However, the greatest challenge was this past year. In the last 10 months, my body has been through hell and back, stretched beyond imagination, experienced indescribable pains, and somehow created a perfect 6 lb. 10 oz. miracle. I was determined to continue my fitness regimen throughout the pregnancy and early postpartum days, but sometimes my body had other plans. While some women are completing marathons throughout their prenatal days, I was forced to stop running at 20 weeks. Agonizing pelvic pain ruled out heavy strength training and a long labor, complete with stitches, resulted in barely surviving slow walks during those first few postpartum weeks. 

Workouts are just like food, with numerous possibilities available to you. Some people thrive on white rice while others avoid grains altogether. Many enjoy their meats while others are vegetarian.  If running is not your thing, try yoga. If you are a beginner, stick to the basics. Need a challenge? Try HIIT or join a new fitness class. Experiencing pain? Work on recovery or find exercises that are pain-free.  

There is no perfect workout. The best workout is the one that can be adapted to fit your needs. So, no more excuses. Whether in a gym or outside, using equipment or not, with a training partner or riding solo, go workout! Listen to your body and find the ideal workout for you. If you need a little help, we have over 100 workout videos available on out MAX Workouts page and a fitness challenge coming soon! 

You GET what you GIVE!


Two different stages in my life and two very different workouts. Choose your favorite and give it a try today!


The Importance of Mental Toughness- Part 2

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.
— William A. Ward

The physical ability to become an Olympian takes countless hours in the gym and years of sacrifice. But beyond the training, beyond the intense workouts, beyond the seemingly impossible goals, there is a mental factor that separates the true champions from the rest. 

Matthias Steiner was a Austrian-German weightlifter who vowed more than just his unconditional love to his wife. Steiner promised her a gold medal in the Olympics. One year before the 2008 Games, his wife tragically died in a car accident. Pain and heartbreak consumed Steiner, he drastically lost weight, but he was determined to fulfill his promise.  

Coming into the 2008 Beijing Games, Steiner was not favored to win. In fact, during the final round, he was trailing behind some of the best lifters in the world. In order to win the gold, he needed to successfully lift 258 kg, nearly 30 pounds more than his personal best. He did it and captured the gold medal and the hearts of millions! Standing on the podium, he held up his gold medal along with a picture of his late wife. 

Adversity. It comes in a variety of forms and can strike at any time. It can break you down or build you up. Your choice.


 

So tough! This workout will have you questioning your physical ability to finish. Push through- we know you can do it!

 


The Importance of Mental Toughness

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
— Mahatma Gandhi

The Olympic Games have begun in Rio! For a little over two weeks, we are captivated by incredible victories, heart-warming back stories, painful defeats, and inspiring comebacks. We watch in awe as athletes run, jump, flip, and swim into our hearts. There is just something special about the Olympic Games and the athletes that have spent their entire lives preparing for this moment. We cheer with them, we cry with them, when they win, we win. No matter the final outcome, they are all champions to us. 

Beyond the obvious physical skills it takes to be an Olympian, there is a mental toughness that separates them from the rest. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Olympic stage. As an athlete, I know how quickly everything can change. You can train for countless hours a day, everyday, for years, but you can not control everything. The pressure is there. The distractions are there. Can they handle it? Some can...and some can not. This is the Olympic Games and anything can happen.

Mental toughness. If you want any chance of being successful in life, you have to possess the indomitable will to handle the obstacles that will surely come your way. For the next few weeks, we will discuss how to develop this difficult, yet imperative attribute. For today, I will just begin with this extraordinary story...

On Friday night, the Opening Ceremonies brought to light one of the prime examples of what it means to be a true Olympian. Lighting the cauldron with the ceremonial Olympic torch, was a Brazilian gentleman by the name of Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima. He is a former Olympic marathon runner who made headlines during the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens. During the grueling race, Vanderlei was leading, when out of nowhere, he was attacked by a spectator. Seven crucial seconds went by before he was able to reenter the race.

With four miles remaining, he had to somehow shake off the traumatic event and cross the finish line. His pace had been abruptly interrupted, and while he was not physically hurt, he was undoubtedly mentally damaged. He could have easily given up. No one would blame him. He was cheated, it was unfair, and it impacted his lead. Two runners surpassed him after the attack and Vanderlei entered the arena for the final lap in the third place position. But instead of tears, there was a smile. Instead of despair, there was pure joy. He won the Olympic bronze medal that day, but in his eyes, it was as good as gold. Later on, Vanderlei was awarded the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin medal for the spirit of sportsmanship. 

No excuses. No complaining. Just a model example of mental toughness and the importance of knowing how to cope through a difficult situation. Thank you, Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, you are an inspiration to us all.  


 

Looking for a workout that tests both your physical and mental toughness? Give this one a try!