MAX Blog

Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 4

We are in the final stretch of our Fit & Fabulous February Challenge! For the past 21 days we created better eating habits, made physical activity a daily routine, and developed a healthy lifestyle that will last well beyond the challenge. 

I am sure there were a few of you who, for one reason or another, were unable to follow the challenge perfectly. Life sometimes has its own plans, with twists and turns and obstacles thrown in, just to keep things interesting!  But, the great thing about what we do is that health and fitness lasts far longer than these 28 days! So, if you messed up and devoured an entire box of Girl Scout cookies one weekend or you got behind on your workouts, you have not failed this challenge, you just took a step back. What you do next, however, will determine your future success!

Now is the time to recharge and push it to the finish line! No holding back. If you had a stumble or two, get back up, wipe it off, and let's get to work. You GET what you GIVE!

 

Workout #1- "Flip Your Fate"

* Grab a deck of cards and watch the video for workout instructions. You are going to love this one!

Burnout #1 is included in the above video ☺

 

Workout #2- "Strength & Sprint Circuit"

3 Rounds (4 minutes each with a full recovery after each round):

  • 5 Squat Jumps with 20 yard Sprint
  • Repeat Squats and Sprints 3 more times
  • 5 Push-ups with Left Wheelbarrow
  • 5 Push-ups with Right Wheelbarrow
  • Continue for 4 minutes

 

 

* Watch the video for exercise demonstrations and modifications. This is also a great partner workout!

*No room for sprints? Stuck inside? Try running in place or try this great stair workout

Burnout #2- "2 Minute Burnout"

* Click the link to view this awesome endurance-building Burnout!

 

Workout #3- "Core Centric"

3 Rounds:

  • 20 Rainbow Plate Presses
  • 20 Torso Twists
  • 20 V-up Reach Throughs
  • 20 Pass Throughs
  • 20 Reach Behinds (each direction)

 

 

 

* Please view the video for exercise demonstrations. If you do not have a weighted plate or medicine ball, check out our "No Equipment Necessary" videos! 

Burnout #3- "Holy Hammies"

* Click on the link for this lower body burnout that will make your legs beg for mercy!

 

Workout and Burnout #4- 

For your final workout (and Burnout) of the Challenge we would like you to check out our MAX Workouts page and pick out a workout that is perfect for you! If you need some help or would like us to make a suggestion, just comment below or contact us on any of our social media sites! We love to pick out workouts!

Active Rest Days

Remember to use your rest days wisely for best results! If your body needs a day to recover, use this day to get a massage or take a soothing bath. Otherwise, your best choice is to keep active. Go for a walk, swim some laps, or grab the kids and play a family game of hockey or football. Have some fun!

Remember to keep track of your progress and check back with us towards the end of the challenge. We have some great prizes waiting for you!

Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 3

We have reached the halfway point of our Fitness Challenge! Congratulations to all of our challenge participants for making it this far- every day is a victory!

Research suggests that it takes 21 days to make a habit. At the end of this week, each one of you will have done something far bigger than just losing weight, you will have developed a healthy habit, a routine, a lifestyle! 

Each week, we kick it up a notch. In week 1, we began our workouts and made small changes to our diets. In week 2, we added bonus workouts (burnouts) and started tracking our meals. Now, for week 3, it is time to place a priority on our nutrition. 

Any great athlete will tell you- food is fuel. You have to eat to perform, but WHAT you eat affects your performance.  While technically a calorie is a calorie, the nutrition provided by thus calorie is a huge factor in the way your body functions and looks. Two thousand calories of twinkies will not get you very far in your day before you crash and burn, while two thousand calories of lean meat, fruit, and veggies will power you through the day, assist in muscle building and recovery, and fuel your activities. 

Take a look at last week's food diary. As you were tracking your every bite, were you shocked by how much you really consumed? Those little snacks creep up on you, don't they, and what you thought was one serving of salad dressing really ends up being more like three. It all adds up. So, what's next? 

Like we have mentioned before, Steve and I follow an 80/20 rule. 80% of our diet is healthy, nutritious whole foods, while the remaining 20% is available for our favorite treats. For example, in order to indulge in some homemade cookies for dessert, my dinner would include grilled chicken drizzled with my dad's famous mushroom sauce and summer squash. 

Looking at your food diary, is there room for improvement? Maybe swap out those frozen waffles and syrup for an egg omelet and side of fruit. Still grabbing lunch on the go? Give yourself five extra minutes in the morning to pack something nutritious and delicious! Small adjustments lead to big results. So, take a close look and start tweaking your diet. You have been busting your butt with these workouts, now it is time for your body to show off all those lean muscles! Abs are made in the kitchen.

All right, here we go! This week is going to be tough, but we know you can do it!

Workout #1- "Lordy, Lordy Let's Do Forty"

  • 40 Right Side Burpees
  • 40 Right Side Curtsy Lunges
  • 40 Right Side V Crunches
  • 40 Left Side Burpees
  • 40 Left Side Curtsy Lunges
  • 40 Left Side V Crunches

 

* Please view the video for exercise demonstrations. Try to finish the workout as fast as you can, but do not compromise technique for time.

Burnout #1- "100 Leg Lift Variety Burnout"

* Click on the link to view this awesome ab workout!

 

Workout #2- "Buns of Steel"

Part 1

  • 3 x 10 (each leg) Single Leg Squats
  • 3 x 10 (each leg) Single Leg Deadlifts

Part 2

  • 3 x 20 Swimmers
  • 3 x 20 (each leg) Donkey Kicks

Part 3

  • 3 x 20 Hip Thrusts
  • 3 x 20 Hamstring Curls

* Check out the video for exercise demonstrations.

Burnout #2- "Three Way Abs"

* Click on the link and grab a partner for this ab burnout!

 

Workout #3- "Shoulder Surgery"

3- 5 Rounds:

  • 10 Plate Punches
  • 10 Bent Over Rows
  • 10 Overhead Presses
  • 10 Over Right Shoulder
  • 10 Over Left Shoulder
  • 10 Right Circles
  • 10 Left Circles
  • 10 Front Squats

* Please view the video for exercise demonstrations. If you do not have a weight plate, check out our MAX Workouts page to choose another great workout! 

Burnout #3- "Bootilicious" 

* Click on the link to view this backside-lifting workout!

 

Workout #4- "Full Body Blast"

  • 1 minute Jumping Jack Touchdowns
  • 50 Chest Press and Leg Lifts
  • 1 minute Jumping Jack Touchdowns
  • 30 Push Up and Row
  • 1 minute Jumping Jack Touchdowns
  • 50 Heel Elevated Squats
  • 1 minute Jumping Jack Touchdowns
  • 30 Skull Crushers

* View video for exercise demonstrations and no equipment modifications.

Burnout #4- "Fab Abs"

* Click link to view this ab-sculpting workout!

 

Active Rest Days

Click here and scroll down to the Day 1 Workout to see some of our suggestions for active rest activities.  

We love to hear from you! Share your progress with your MAX family by posting, liking, tweeting, and pinning on your favorite social media sites. We are right here doing the challenge along with you and are so happy you chose to join us! You GET what you GIVE!



Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 2

The Fit & Fabulous February Challenge is off to a great start! If you are new to MAX Training and/or are interested in joining the challenge, it is not too late! Just click here to see how to join and then click here to catch up. 

Congratulations to all of our Challenge participants! Many of you have updated us throughout the challenge by sharing photos of you rocking the workouts, posting your nutritious meals, and contacting us for support. Keep it up, you are 7 days closer to reaching your goals. Now, it is time to step it up a notch!   

In addition to the workouts, we are now adding our signature Burnouts to the challenge. Whether you love them or hate them, our Burnouts ensure you finish your workout with a bang! Get ready to take your training to the MAX!

As far as your diet is concerned, it is time to take a closer look at what you are consuming. For this week, we would like you track your meals. Luckily for you, there are a variety of great apps out there to make this an easier task than reading labels and measuring food. 

MyFitnessPal, Lose ItNutritionix Track, and MyNet Diary are simple calorie counting apps with massive food databases and barcode scanners to quickly and easily keep track of your food and beverage intake. Having trouble meeting your daily water intake? Try Waterlogged. There are also great meal planning apps that help you create the perfect meal plans for your goals and tastes, as well as, generate grocery shopping lists. Do you have a favorite fitness and nutrition app? Comment below and share with your MAX family!

Remember, continue to keep track of your progress. We also encourage you to share, post, pin, and tweet throughout the Challenge. We love to hear from you!

This week, try and aim to complete all four workouts. Be sure to use your active rest days to recover both physically and mentally.

Workout #1- "Kettlebell Tabata"

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds (4 minutes).

  • Around the Body
  • Lunge Pass-Throughs
  • Overhead Sit-Ups
  • Front Squats

 

 

* Please watch the video for exercise demonstrations. If you do not have a kettlebell, any dumbbell will do. Or, you can try this great Tabata workout that does not use any equipment-"Tabata Time!"

Burnout #1- "10 in 10"

* This ab burnout is sure to become one of your favorites! Click on the link to view the workout.

 

Workout #2- "Cardio Boost"

4 Rounds:

  • Half Mile Run
  • 100 Double Unders

* Check out the video for the workout and exercise modifications. This is no ordinary cardio workout- it is intense! But do not worry, it is easy to modify to your fitness ability.

Burnout #2- "Pretzel Squat"

* Get ready to feel the burn with this lower body Burnout! Click the link to view the workout.

 

Workout #3- "Chair Challenge"

Round 1

  • 1 minute Incline Plank
  • 40 Alternating Step Ups
  • 40 Right Elevated Split Squats
  • 40 Left Elevated Split Squats

Round 2

  • 1 minute Elevated Right Side Plank
  • 1 minute Elevated Left Side Plank
  • 40 Right Side Plank Leg Lifts
  • 40 Left Side Plank Leg Lifts
  • 40 Right Lateral Step Ups
  • 40 Left Lateral Step Ups

Round 3

  • 1 minute Decline Plank
  • 40 Right Single Leg Squats
  • 40 Left Single Leg Squats
  • 40 Right Single Leg Hip Thrusts
  • 40 Left Single Leg Hip Thrusts

Burnout Round

  • 40 Dips
  • 40 Sit-Ups

* View the video for exercise demonstrations and beginner modifications.

No need for an additional Burnout- we already added one into the Chair Challenge workout!

 

Workout #4- "21s"

3 Rounds:

  • 7,7,7 Bicep Curls
  • 7,7,7 Sit-Ups
  • 7,7,7 Bench Presses
  • 7,7,7 Squats

 

 

 

 

* View our video for the workout and exercise demonstrations. If you do not have access to weights, please check out our MAX Workouts page and choose a workout that is perfect for you! 

Burnout #4- "Plank Burnout" 

* A strong core is a strong body! Click the link to view this tough ab Burnout.

 

Active Rest Days

Click here and scroll down to the Day 1 Workout to see some of our suggestions for active rest activities.  

Please share your progress with your MAX family! We are right here doing the challenge along with you and are so happy you chose to join us! When things get tough, when you are tired and can not find the energy to workout, when that triple fudge brownie is calling your name, we are here and are rooting for you! You GET what you GIVE! 

 

 

Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 1

The Fit & Fabulous February Challenge is underway! 

By now, you should have written your goals, taken a "before" picture, planned a week's worth of nutritious meals, and participated in some moderate physical activity (aka "active rest"). Haven't joined the challenge yet? Click HERE

For the rest of the week, you are to perform either 3 workouts with 3 more active rests days or 4 workouts with 2 active rests days. 

Sample Workout Week Plan A:

  • Sunday- active rest
  • Monday- workout
  • Tuesday- active rest
  • Wednesday-workout
  • Thursday- active rest
  • Friday- workout
  • Saturday- active rest

Sample Workout Week Plan B:

  • Sunday- workout
  • Monday- active rest
  • Tuesday- workout
  • Wednesday- workout
  • Thursday- active rest
  • Friday- workout
  • Saturday- active rest

Workout #1- "5 Minute Mania"

Perform each set of exercises Every Minute on the Minute. For example, if it takes you 35 seconds to complete the set, use the remaining 25 seconds to rest.

Round 1- EMOM for 5 minutes

  • 5 Hand-release Push-ups
  • 10 Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Squats

Round 2- EMOM for 5 minutes

  • 5 Knuckle Push-ups
  • 10 Cross Body Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Half Squat Jumps

Round 3- EMOM for 5 minutes

  • 5 Explosive Uneven Push-ups
  • 10 Plank Tucks
  • 10 Bunny Hops

Round 4- EMOM for 5 minutes

  • 5 SEAL Push-ups
  • 10 Sit-throughs
  • 10 Sumo Squats with Calf Raises

* Watch the video for exercise demonstrations and modifications. If the exercises are too hard for you to finish in the 60 seconds, just forget the time and perform them through 5 times.

 

Workout # 2- "Superhero Strength"

  • 4 x 10 Uneven Bench Presses (alternate weights each set)
  • 3 x 10 Seated Curl and Presses
  • 3 x 12 Supermans
  • 3 x 10 Pull-ups
  • 1-10-1 Push-up Pyramid 

* Watch the video for exercise demonstrations. You will need two different pairs of dumbbell weights, a chair, and a pull-up bar. If you do not have access to this equipment, please visit our "No Equipment Necessary" videos on our MAX Workouts page, or just repeat one of the other workouts from this week.

 

 

Workout #3- "The Mailman"

* Please view video for a full description of this workout. Sprinting is tough! If you need to, just walk fast or jog, whatever your ability permits. If the weather does not cooperate, you can always do an interval workout on the treadmill or running in place (30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow). Or, you can visit our MAX Workouts page for access to over 100 workouts!

 

Workout #4- "Core & More"

Perform exercises for 3 rounds with 2 minutes rest between rounds.

  • Round 1- Perform each exercise for 1 minute
  • Round 2- Perform each exercise for 30 seconds
  • Round 3- Perform each exercise for 1 minute

Exercises:

  • Wall Sit with Torso Twists
  • Right Lunge with Wood Chops
  • Left Lunge with Wood Chops
  • Toe Touches
  • Right Elevated Hip Raise with Leg Raises
  • Left Elevated Hip Raise with Leg Raises
  • Candlesticks

* View video for exercise demonstrations. This workout is very challenging- you may have to take breaks or lower the time limits. Just keep pushing through and whatever you do, don't quit. We believe in you!

 

Active Rest Days

Click here and scroll down to the Day 1 Workout to see some of our suggestions for active rest activities.  

Please share your progress with your MAX family! Tweet how awesome you feel after the workout, post a question on Facebook for our MAX trainers, share a picture of your delicious and nutritious meal on Instagram, and be sure to pin your favorite workout on Pinterest. We want to hear from you! We are right her doing the challenge along with you and are so happy you chose to join us! You GET what you GIVE! 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Why Do You Workout?

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity
— John Fitzgerald Kennedy

There is a reason behind everything we do, whether we realize it or not.

My alarm clock reminds me every morning that I have to get up. Once I convince myself that the annoying sound disturbing my blissful sleep is not out to ruin my life, I get up and begin my day full of decisions. Choosing a quick donut for breakfast or taking the time to make eggs is a choice that will affect how I fuel my morning. Do I go to work or take a personal day and head to the beach? What do I wear? How fast do I drive? Seat belt on? Top down? Go out of my way to help out a stranger? Do a favor for a friend? 

Some decisions seem pretty straightforward. We do certain things for survival, self-improvement, security, and love. Others, take a little convincing. Maybe we know we should do it, but just can not muster the energy to get it done. Sometimes, we even do things for the wrong reason. Maybe we go to church out of obligation or we stay in an abusive relationship in hopes of brighter days ahead. Good or bad, everything we do has a reason. In the end, we have to make the conscience choice to get it done. 

The same relates to health and fitness. Everyday, you have to decide whether to workout or not. You must find value in squeezing time in your busy schedule to get your sweat on. Working out is tough. It takes motivation. So what motivates you? By acknowledging the reasons behind working out, we can remind and motivate ourselves to get it done!

 

A few years ago, my reasons for working out were shaped by the desire to win an upcoming competition. I worked out for the love of sport and the satisfaction I found in crushing PRs (personal records) and developing new skills. Nowadays, my reasons have changed. As my little miracle continues to grow inside of me, I head to the gym to benefit both the baby and me. My exercise routine has completely changed to accommodate my growing belly but I still find joy in a good, sweat-filled workout. 

 

My better half and favorite training partner, Steve, has an entirely different approach to workout motivation. His job depends on it. As a firefighter, his life and the lives of others are on the line as to whether he is capable of fulfilling his duty. 

With four knee replacements (yes, I said four!), my father has every excuse to skip out on his daily walks and trips to the gym. Yet, everyday, he chooses to ignore those pestering thoughts to ensure he lives a healthy life so can take care of his home, travel with his wife, be master of the grill, and play with his future grandchild. 

We all have our reasons. Is yours motivating enough or do you fight with yourself daily to workout? There are countless benefits to physical activity from prevention of disease, to improved body composition, to mental well-being, just to name a few. If that is not enough, how about doing it for those you love- for your spouse, your kids, your friends and family. Do it for you. Do it for them. Whatever your reason, just do it. 



 

Lacking motivation? We have the perfect workout for you! It only takes 24 minutes, requires no equipment, and works out your entire body. You GET what you GIVE!

 

 

The One Key To Success You Are Missing

Desire is the key to motivation, but it is determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal- commitment to excellence- that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
— Mario Andretti

We dream , we plan, we work, but yet somehow we always fall short of our goals? Why? The problem lies not with our desire to succeed, but in our pursuit towards success.

The first step in goal-setting is to create a goal. That is the easy part. We all can dream, long, yearn, and be consumed by the desire for success. I, myself, am a perpetual goal maker and it is very important to continually want to better yourself. But, unlike the fairy tales we grew up on, there is no genie in a lamp to grant our wishes, no fairy godmother to "bippity-boppity-boo" our dreams into reality, and no knight in shining armor to rescue us when things get tough. We have to work. Work really hard. We have to fail. Sometimes a lot. Most importantly, we have to COMMIT.

Commitment is the key to success. All the planning, the work, the hopes, the trials and errors, the sleepless nights, mean nothing if we give up. Sadly, we are a generation of quitters. We need instant gratification, quick results, with straight and easy paths to our goals. Why do you think the nutrition world sells millions in "miracle" weight loss pills and 3-day detoxes? We want it...and we want it now! 

Commitment takes relentless determination, no matter the obstacles that stand in our way. We can not be afraid to fail. In fact, we should be prepared for failure. Then, we can get back up and continue to strive for excellence!

Will it be easy? No.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Your pursuit towards success will be crowded with excuses. You will be too busy. You will have other priorities. You will be tired, distracted, maybe even scared. Your next move will be imperative. Will you quit, put it off, run away? Or will you commit to your goal? It is your choice. The key to success relies on you.

Commit.


Ready to commit to a healthier you? Here are two great workout options to get you started!

 

With equipment- "Lift Up, Slim Down"

 

 

 

 

Without equipment- "Take A Seat"

 

 

 

7 Resolutions You Should be Making This Year

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.
— G.K. Chesterton

 

3... 2... 1... Happy New Year! 

 

It is time to let go of the past and look forward to the future. The New Year brings us all a chance to start over! If you resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, earn more money this year, we promise to be with you every step of the way to help you reach your goals. However, consider making resolutions to better your soul, refresh your spirit, revitalize your way of thinking, and begin to change you from the inside out. 

 

Here are the 7 resolutions you should be making this year:

  • Believe your self-worth is more than a number. Your value is not determined by the number of followers or likes on a picture.  Always remember, Hitler had millions of followers, Jesus had 12.
  • Do not judge. It seems so simple, yet we find ourselves forming opinions, jumping to conclusions, and making fun of others. Work on keeping your thoughts positive and avoiding stereotypes. Judging someone does not define who they are, it defines who you are. 
  • Reconnect with your true loved ones. Use your phone for its original purpose- to call people. Instead of watching funny cat videos or checking your Twitter feed, use your time to call a relative or text a college friend. Even better, write a letter or a "thank you" note. When you need it the most, you will seek comfort from your loved ones, not your internet "friends." Hopefully, they will still be there.  

 

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique and wonderful in your own way. I know personally how hard that is to believe. Appreciate you, enjoy your successes, find inspiration in others, and always count your blessings.
  • Make time for you. We are plagued with stress and it is literally making us sick. Refresh and renew your mind, body, and soul. Meditate, take a bath, read a book, enjoy a glass of wine, pray, get a massage, do whatever is necessary to take care of you.
  • Do not believe everything you read or hear. With the vast amount of information that spreads across the media, it is hard to decipher what is true and what is false. In the health and fitness world alone, 2015 was a year full of misinformation- detox diets, waist "training," so-called superfoods, just to name a few. Take a moment and do a little research before you push that share button.  
  • Love. Love with all your heart, completely, unconditionally, without abandon. In the end, it is all that matters.

Join us in our New Year tradition- the countdown workout! 

"Countdown to a New Year" (view video for exercise demonstrations)

  • 100 Jumping Jacks
  • 95 High Knees Running
  • 90 Heel-to-Butt Running
  • 85 Calf Raises
  • 80 Mountain Climbers
  • 75 Torso Twists
  • 70 Lateral Obstacle Jumps
  • 65 Back Extensions
  • 60 Sit-ups
  • 55 Half Squat Jumps
  • 50 Alternating Lunges
  • 45 Heel-to-Butt Jumps
  • 40 Dips
  • 35 High Knee Skipping
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 25 V-ups
  • 20 Squats
  • 15 Tuck Jumps
  • 10 Burpees
  • 5 Inverted Burpees 

Never Stop Learning

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.
— Anonymous

It feels so good to be back!  I have been insanely busy finishing up yet another round of continuing education classes (and with top honors too!) In my final weeks of classes as I was cramming for tests, writing long papers, and losing some much needed sleep, I questioned why I was even taking these courses. Technically, I do not need them. I have a job, a prior education, and years of experience in my field. But, if I have learned one thing from my athletic career, it is that you should never stop learning for the game will never stop changing. 

Knowledge is essential to life and the way we live it. When we stop learning, we stop living. Pick up a book, visit a museum, read the paper, travel, experience, and learn. We walk around with devices that contain endless information and yet, we watch cat videos and play mindless games (Oh Candy Crush, why are you so addicting?) Do not just believe what is popular on your news feeds, take the time and research. Aim to be the best at your job, take your school studies seriously, stop and listen to those that have been there before, and soak up every bit of knowledge that is available to you. No matter if you are young or old, a beginner or master, never stop learning...


WORKOUT OF THE WEEK- "Deck of Doom"

It is time I introduced you to one of my all-time favorite workouts. This one is bound to become your favorite go-to workout, I promise! Grab a deck of cards and have some fun!

You GET what you GIVE!

 

 

"Short & Sweet" September Challenge- Week 4

We are in the final stretch of our "Short & Sweet" Challenge! For the past 21 days we created better eating habits, made physical activity a daily routine, and developed a healthy lifestyle that will last well beyond the challenge. 

Steve and I are so proud of all you have accomplished thus far, and we look forward to all the incredible things that are yet to come. Let's finish this challenge with a bang! You GET what you GIVE!

Workout #1- "Crazy Combos"

Workout #2- "Upper Body Supersets"    This workout requires weight equipment. You can always pick a "No Equipment Necessary" workout from our MAX Workouts page. 

Workout #3-  "Intervals of 4"

Workout #4- Go for a 15 run and finish with the "100 Leg Lift Variety" Burnout

Workout #5- "Ball Burpee Battle"   This workout can be done with or without a medicine ball.