MAX Blog

Plant a Tree

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
— Greek Proverb

Slowly, but surely, we are settling into our new home. The paint is on the walls, the furniture is in place, and one-by-one, the repairs are getting checked off the list. Our "home sweet home" is soon to be complete. 

When you buy a home previously owned by others, it is common to question the fixture choices, the paint color palette, or even the kitchen layout. But, Steve and I were pleasantly surprised by something growing in our back yard. Our new home is surrounded by towering oak trees that provide shade for the entire yard and a jacaranda tree that just beckons for a tire swing to be hung from its beautiful flowering limbs. But, amid all the mature trees that majestically tower over our new home, is a small, skinny plant just beginning to grow. Why would they recently plant this tree? While questioning their motive, we noticed a few berries beginning to form. It is a mulberry tree! 

Oh, the fond memories I have of mulberry trees. Growing up, my father had what seemed like every variety of fruit in our back yard- oranges, grapefruits, loquats, starfruits, and many more. My favorite tree, however, was the mulberry. The berries were so incredibly sweet, I would eat them right off the tree until I was covered in purple. It was the perfect climbing tree. I spent many of days solving all of the world problems in that tree. Our sweet dog, Scooter, was laid to rest under that tree. I loved that tree. I miss that tree.

shade tree proverb.JPG

We don't know why the previous owners planted the new tree. There are no other new plants in the yard, everything has been there for years.  Who would plant a tree that they would never see grow?  They would never taste the sweet joy of the mulberries or watch their kids climb its widespread branches. Whatever their reason for planting the tree, all I can say is thank you. While this tree is not in their future, it is now in ours. I can't wait for Steve to taste his first mulberry, and maybe one day I will have to drag our children out of that tree to clean up for dinner. 

Sometimes, we let an uncertain future keep us from doing things. We think we are too old to start a new career, or so set in our unhealthy ways to try and change our eating habits. We figure we will not live long enough to see the benefits of recycling or global warming efforts, so why bother? But, sometimes we just have to take a chance. We can't let the fear of moving, of changing, of failing, to hold us back from doing great things. The future, whether it is ours or generations to come, depends on what we do today. 

Plant a tree. Maybe you will be blessed to see it grow and bear delicious fruit. Or maybe, you will pass that joy on to someone else. Either result leads to happiness. Take a chance. Plant a tree. 

                   OUR FIRST MULBERRY

                 OUR FIRST MULBERRY

             3 YEARS LATER, THE TREE IS                      OVERFLOWING WITH BERRIES

           3 YEARS LATER, THE TREE IS                      OVERFLOWING WITH BERRIES

           OUR DAUGHTER LOVES THEM!

         OUR DAUGHTER LOVES THEM!


For today's workout, I am bringing back one of the hardest leg workouts I have ever done- "Pumped Up." Start light on those weights and work your way up! Click here to take the challenge and transform your body! 

The BEST Way to Change Your Life

You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.
— Harriet Martineau

From the moment we awaken, we are faced with the choice of how to go about our day. Do we hit the snooze button, or do we get in our morning workout? How about breakfast- nutritious or convenient? Do we brush our teeth for the recommended two minutes (and don't forget to floss), or do we skimp on our dental routine? During our morning commute, are we "10 and 2" or distracted drivers? That only covers the early morning. How are we at work- do we give our all no matter the task? During training, do we use perfect form, push a little extra on our workouts, and work well with our teammates? How are we as a friend? A son? A mother? Do we give our BEST in absolutely EVERYTHING that we do?

I will admit that many times throughout the day, I do not. 

Sure, we all tend to place our priorities with the things we value the most. If you are up for a job promotion, you will arrive early, give 110%, and work late, as you strive for the new position. For those with fitness goals- whether it be to lose weight or win the upcoming championship- you are pushing yourselves to the limit and refusing to quit no matter how tough. I applaud this determination, perseverance, and commitment, for you know that how you perform today will ultimately effect your tomorrow. Now, the real challenge is to apply this same persistence to be the best in everything that you do! 

Nearly all that is done (or not done) today will determine our tomorrows. Forget to floss? I see a dental visit in your future. Been too busy to call a friend? You may have one less shoulder to cry on when you need it the most. Daily vending machine visits? Don't say I didn't warn you...

How tasking it all seems to give your best in everything? But, how rewarding it will be when tomorrow comes.


Strength training is essential for ALL health and fitness goals. Beyond building essential lean muscle, using weights increases bone density, prevents disease, improves blood pressure, reduces chronic pain, prevents injury, increases balance,  aids in childbearing, improves mental health, and leads to better life quality! Grab a pair of dumbbells and give this workout a try!

"Pumped Up"

  • 3 x 10 Front Squats with Pumps
  • 3 x 10 Lunges with Pumps (each side)
  • 3 x 10 Side Lunges with Pumps (each side)
  • 3 x "Failure" Sumo Squats with Pumps

View video for full workout breakdown and exercise demonstrations.

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! 

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!

 

 

 

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! 

 

 

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!

 

 

Get Up, Get Inspired, and Get to Work!

Let me begin by apologizing for not blogging lately. I know there are countless women who have beautiful pregnancies full of unicorns and rainbows. I, on the other hand, have spent the last nine months wondering why in the world anyone would ever do this twice. I will spare you all the miserable details, but I have definitely struggled. I did manage to finish some tough continuing education classes these last few months, but mainly I have put all my dreams on hold and have just been trying to get through this life one day at a time. Me and my little pity party coping through the day. Pathetic, right?

Today, however, I have a different attitude. I feel inspired. Motivated. Determined. Today is not only the first of the month, but also a Monday. As a perpetual goal-setter, a day like this is a dream come true! It is just the nudge I needed to get out of this funk and back into my chasing dreams, kicking butt, bring it on, kind of life that I used to live. As my life is drastically different nowadays, so our my goals, but that does not make them any less important. 

Join me. Write down your goals. Do not hold back. Make sure you are dreaming big, being bold, and not afraid to try something new. Throughout our lives, our goals will constantly change. But, remember, they will always be important. 

So, get up, get inspired, and get to work. 


Our latest training video is perfect for all fitness levels and abilities! The exercises are tough, but pregnancy-safe, and can be done at home or in the gym.

You GET what you GIVE!


Motivational Quotes by Walt Disney

Steve and I just returned from another wonderful weekend at Disney. When we step foot in the park, all the stresses of the world seem to melt away. Our imaginations run wild, we are carefree, fearless, and ready to make all of our dreams come true! The magic of Disney is real and it all was created by a man with a dream. 

Walt Disney was a visionary, an icon, and an inspiration to us all. Let us begin this week with the motivational words only he could provide. Here are some of my favorite quotes by Mr. Disney:

 

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

 

"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."

"The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique."

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."

"When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."


It is time to make our fitness dream come true! Give this battle ropes workout a try today. It combines both strength and cardio into one amazing fat-blasting workout! 

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"

 

 

 

Priorities

Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.
— H.L. Hunt

Priorities.

It seems as we age our priorities change. Now, our days are filled with endless hours of work- house work, school work, office work. I wonder, however, if our priorities have really changed or if we have just lost the ambition to chase our dreams.

If we really want it, we can make time for it. We make time for work because we want to pay our bills and provide for our families. We make time for school because we want to achieve a degree and pursue a career.  So why are we unable to make time for ourselves? We push our hobbies to the side leaving scrapbooks unfinished and woodworking tools untouched. We hang up our athletic dreams, forgoing our gym memberships and watching our equipment collect dust. Our travel plans consist of liking photos on Facebook and following travel enthusiasts on Instagram. Read a book, take a nap, soak in the bathtub? Who has time for that nonsense?

You do.

Priorities are our decisions. We make the list of what is important to us. Take a good look at your list and see what needs to be changed. The world will not end if the dishes wait. The kids will survive if they eat a microwavable dinner. It is okay if you do not check your office email on the weekends. Priorities. Decide what is important to you and go get it. No more excuses. Make the time.



Our latest video "Rock that Body!" is an intense, full body workout filled with new moves that are guaranteed to push you to the limit! In addition, we have modifications for both beginners and those that are pregnant. Give it a try today!

 



Dream Big

A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.
— Zadok Rabinowitz

Are your dreams big enough?

With the Powerball continuing to rise, it seems everyone has a plan for what they would do if they hit the jackpot! Quit their job, travel around the world, send their kids to an expensive college, pay off their debts, find a cure for cancer, buy a new house (or two), give it all to charity, and the list goes on and on! I love to hear the dreams and goals of others. It lets me know they are still striving for something better. It is even more fun to hear their biggest dreams, the ones that deep down they know will never happen, yet there is still this glimmer of hope in their eyes. 

 

 

I have always believed that if you could dream it, you could achieve it. Of course, winning the lottery would make our dreams happen overnight, but with continual hard work, a whole lot of dedication, and maybe even a dash of luck, anything can happen! Right? Or am I just a dreamer.

dream big.jpg

Maybe. But, I will continue to dream. I will continue to work. I will continue to reach for the stars and give everything I have got until I get there, for nothing is impossible. Keep that glimmer of hope and never let it fade away. We are hardwired for success and made to accomplish big things, do not let a little doubt dull your sparkle. Dream big, my friends, dream big. 

 


Time to pump up your workouts!

MAX Trainer, Steve, takes you through a heavy volume routine that targets your chest and triceps. Get ready to feel the burn and love every minute of it!

 

 



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 

'Tis the Season to Lose Weight!

 

Santa is hitting the gym extra hard these days to get ready for his annual milk and cookie binge... how about you? Are you prepared to beat the inevitable holiday weight gain? 'Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry. 'Tis also the season to gain a pound or two (or three). No need to stress, we have got you covered! This month, we are continuing with our "Fit for the Holidays" series full of tips and tricks to keep you slim and trim throughout the season.

 

Fit for the Holidays- Part 3 (click here)

Fit for the Holidays- Part 4 (click here)

 

Our latest workout video will leave you soaked in sweat in under 30 minutes! Give it a try today!

 

 

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!