MAX Blog

The Importance of Individuality

The importance of individuality.png

No two snowflakes are exactly alike. Each is beautiful and unique in its own way. Snowflakes do, however, share a common goal- to reach the ground. Due to the laws of nature, each snowflake begins its journey the same. However, along the way, the individual snowflakes encounter different experiences. Some snowflakes will fall blissfully to the ground. Others will run into each other and join forces. Some will be faced with blizzard storms and many will dissipate before they ever reach their goal. 

We, like snowflakes, are all different. Even when we share the same goal, our paths will be unique. Some of us are self-motivators, others need a little outside help. Some are blessed with resources, others need to be creative. Some can persevere through the tough times, others will quit.

Your journey is special to you and it is your responsibility to do your best along the way. Do not worry if your coworker is losing weight faster than you.  Likewise, be wary of flaunting your success to others who are struggling. Do not give up if you do not make the team this year, for some of the greatest athletes did not peak until they were older. Some can quit smoking cold turkey, others require support. Your path to success is individual to you, and only you.

Life is unpredictable. When setting a goal, you are bound to encounter something unexpected- an obstacle, a delay, a blessing, an opportunity. Whether good or bad, there are just some things that are out of your control. One thing, however, is always up to you. One thing will always be your decision.

Your character.

Choose humility in successful times, courage when fear sets in, thankfulness in favorable outcomes, confidence when challenges arise, and perseverance when every inch of you wants to quit. Do not conform to what is popular, do not succumb to the negativity, this world needs beautiful, extraordinary individuals.

Many of us will share a goal, but our methods, results, and most importantly, our actions are special to us. Remember, you are amazing, full of talents and gifts that are uniquely yours. You are a child of God and are fearfully and wonderfully made. Reach deep inside and become the best version of you. Your snowy destination awaits, little snowflake. Go get it.


In preparation for the upcoming US Open Taekwondo Championships, we designed this workout for a few of our athletes. Even if you are not a fighter, you are going to love this workout! It hurts so good! 

To stay focused on our workouts and not the clock, we use this small, inexpensive, multi-use timer.

"Warrior Workout"

Round 1

  • 5 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio

  • Tabata Burpees (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 4 minutes total)

Round 2

  • 5 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio

  • Tabata Grasshopers

Round 3

  • 5 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio

  • Tabata Jumping Jack Combos

Round 4

  • 5 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio

  • Tabata Hollow Rocks

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

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 Challenge Begins!

Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch- what make you go beyond the norm.
— Cicely Tyson

Our Fit & Fabulous February Challenge has officially begun! Today, you begin your 28-day commitment to a healthier you. Be sure to join below to be entered into our prize drawings and receive updates throughout the challenge.

Name *
Name

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all the excitement to reach our goals, we tend to just jump right in. But if I have learned one thing from my past failures, it is that success is a continual cycle of preparation, action, and evaluation. So, before we lace up our running shoes, it is time to set some goals.

A goal is only a dream until you write it down on paper! Grab a journal, or if you prefer, I am sure there is some cool goal-setting app out there, and jot down your goals for this challenge. What do you want to accomplish in these 28 days? Remember your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). In your journal, you will also track your progress. To help with this, you may want to include your start weight, waist measurements, pant size, blood pressure, etc. 

Next, take your "before" picture. You can decide later whether you would like to share the photo and earn some prizes! For now, just keep it as reference of your progress. Trust me, you will want it at the end of the challenge. 

Alright, now for the real important stuff- FOOD! From an athletic perspective, I can ensure you that working out all day is not going to get you the results you desire. Food is a huge component in athletic performance, weight loss, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While a perfect diet is ideal, the chances of you sticking to it are slim to noneOver the years, I have tweaked my diet until I found one that can fulfill my performance needs while still satisfying my desired tastes and overwhelming sweet tooth. Finding your perfect balance takes time. So, for this first week, let's just make some small changes that will lead to big results!

  • Get off to a good start. A healthy breakfast will set the tone for the rest of your day.
  • Include a fruit and/or vegetable and lean protein serving in each meal.
  • Use small plates. This one is tried and true. It is the easiest way to control your portions without all the measuring.
  • Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be whole, nutritious food, while 20% is leftover for your eating pleasure.
  • Water, water, and more water. The goal is half your body weight in ounces (180 pound person should consume 90 ounces of water or about 6 bottles of water) plus one bottle for every workout.
  • Make your own meals. This one is going to take some planning, but will make a huge difference! Consider this, the spaghetti and meatball dinner at Olive Garden is over 1000 calories (not including the breadsticks and salad) while the homemade version is easily half that amount.
  • Finally, plan out your week. A little preparation keeps you from an impromptu (and diet-blowing) visit to the drive-thru window.

For those of you with weight loss as a goal for this challenge, trimming just 500 calories a day leads to one pound loss each week. Start by making the above small changes and then keep checking back throughout the challenge for more great tips, meal suggestions, and sample diet plans.

>

Last, but definitely not least, let's talk fitness! Bear with me,  I know this is a lot to cover for one day, but preparation is key! For this week, Steve and I have carefully chosen a week's worth of workouts for you that complement one another and appeal to all different fitness interests. The weekly plan includes 2 or 3 active rest days (depending on your preference) which will aid in proper recovery and ultimately better results. While most of our workouts can be done with no equipment and in the comfort of your living room, we will include workouts with weights, medicine balls, jumps ropes, etc. If you do not own or have access to this equipment, we will always include a no equipment version or make another workout suggestion.

Well, that basically covers it! Now it is time for you to take a picture, make your goals, plan your meals, go grocery shopping, and get ready to rock this challenge! You GET what you GIVE!


Workout- Day 1

You have a lot of planning and preparing to do today, so for our first workout, we are going to participate in what I like to call "active rest." Being that this is your first day, you may want to be more "active" than "rest." As the challenge progresses, you may need to use these days to stretch, rehabilitate, and rest your muscles. 

Active rest activities include going for a walk, enjoying a bike ride, taking the family ice skating, or swimming some leisurely laps in the pool. If weather has you cooped up inside, try some housework (you know cleaning those baseboards is no easy task), going up and down your basement stairs, or a favorite among couples- a little bedroom nookie (yes, that counts!) The whole idea is to stay active and not spend your rest day vegging on the couch. 

Enjoy your first day of the challenge, and get ready, because tomorrow's workout is a tough one!

 

 

 

Fit & Fabulous February!

We are excited to announce our first challenge of the year- The Fit & Fabulous February Challenge! 

Challenges are the perfect way to kick start your fitness goals. Together, we will support, encourage, and motivate one another to do our very best, never quit, and make it to the very end. So, don't quit those resolutions just yet. The Fit & Fabulous February Challenge includes 28 days of calorie-blasting workouts, weight loss tips, and great prizes! Are you ready?

Here's how it works...

  • Join the Fit & Fabulous February Challenge here and on Facebook (Not sure if we are Facebook buddies? Click here to follow us) 
  •  Perform the challenge requirements. Don't worry, we have workouts for all ability levels.
  • For those of you willing to share your results with your MAX family, we have some great prizes for you! Just take a "Before" picture prior to beginning the challenge and note your goals- weight loss, fit in your new jeans, improve athletic performance, get stronger, better balance, etc. Then, following completion of the challenge, take an "After" picture and note your amazing results! 
Name *
Name

 

It is that simple! Get ready for a better version of you! The challenge starts February 1st, so join today.

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!

 

 

Monday Motivation

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Click here to join our Spring Cleaning Challenge!

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!

 

 

Fit & Fabulous February Challenge is back!

 

Whether you are in full swing with your New Year's Resolutions or you have already given up, we are here to get you FIT and FABULOUS this month!

By popular demand, we have brought back our fitness challenge and we are excited to see and hear your results! You are just a click away from your best body ever! 

 

 

Fit & Fabulous February Challenge- The Challenge Begins (click here first)

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4



Challenge Finale!

Congratulations! You all are awesome and do not forget it!

You committed to something, worked towards a goal, tried your best, gave your all, pushed through the obstacles, and came out a winner! We are so proud of all of our challenge participants. Now, the REAL challenge begins...

While the challenge may be over, it is not time to give up and go back to your previous routine. We are still here for you, still posting videos, still listening to you, and still going to do everything possible to ensure you reach your every goals! Many of our challenge participants found the accountability of "checking in" with us each week helped them stay committed and motivated to workout. We also have provided additional workout plans for those that have asked. Just let us know what you need and we will do our very best to help.

We leave you today with this new challenge- to keep up with your daily workouts and nutritional meal plans. Consistency is key. Remember, you can visit our MAX Workouts page (click here) or our YouTube channel (click here) at anytime for tons of workouts to fit all fitness levels and abilities. Even a simple daily walk provides tremendous health benefits. As far as your meal plans, remember the 80/20 rule. Aim for at least 80% of your meal choices to be whole, nutritious foods, while leaving the remaining 20% for treats. This simple formula keeps you on track without depriving you of your guilty pleasures!

Thanks again for joining our challenge and keep an eye out for our annual tips and tricks for surviving the holidays! You GET what you GIVE!

Thank You

What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation?
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

As the kids are heading back to school, let us take a moment to remember the impact teachers and coaches have on our lives. My eighth grade language arts teacher helped develop my writing skills and encouraged me to share my stories, my high school calculus teacher was tough and made sure I learned how to find the answer myself, my taekwondo coach was by far one of the most influential persons in my life and helped me reach above and beyond my wildest imagination, my youth pastor inspired me to live my life for the Lord, my strength & conditioning coach encouraged me to continue my education in sports, and my basketball coach taught me the importance of teamwork. Who had the biggest influence on you?

Throughout the year, take the time to say "thank you" to those that help raise our children. A simple note of gratitude, an encouraging email, or a small gift goes a long way. Raising our own children is tough enough, can you imagine teaching those that are not your own? Nowadays, you hear more about what teachers and coaches do wrong, how it was their fault the child did not turn in his homework, how they do not teach it correctly, or how the child did not hear the rules (although every other kid did). Teachers and coaches surpass their normal duties to inspire our children to learn, to encourage them through the tough times, to motivate them to reach for the stars! They do all of this despite the constant scrutiny they are under, despite the long hours spent after the final bell rings, and despite being grossly underpaid. There is one thing we can do- we can show our appreciation. Take the time and thank a teacher. Take a moment and hug a coach. Let them know they are loved.


One of my favorite coaches, Steve, is here to show us this week's workout! This full-body exercise was a staple during his military training. Add them to the end of your training or try to complete 50 for a quick head-to-toe workout! You GET what you GIVE!!

"Body Builder Burnout" (click link to view exercise demonstration)

 

How to Lose Weight on Vacation

Vacations are a wonderful thing. We use them to relax, to explore new places, to visit family and friends, and to entertain the kids. Vacations are for making memories, not gaining weight. Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

A few years ago (okay, more like 7), I received an invitation to my 10 year class reunion. I was bummed to see it was to be held just days after we returned from a two week cruise. Two weeks of unlimited trips to the buffet were not going to fare well on our waistlines. But, who wants to spend their vacation worrying about their weight? Not me, that is for sure. Luckily, this was not my first rodeo. I had spent the majority of my life with some tournament or another occurring right after vacation, so I was prepared for the challenge. With just a few tweaks to our vacation routine, Steve and I not only maintained our weight, but lost weight (1 pound for me, 3 for Steve). The best part- we enjoyed every minute of our cruise...and every bite too!

Here are a few tips to keep the weight off during vacation:

  • Pack healthy snacks. Long travel days can lead to mindless munching. Steer clear of airport or convenient store options by packing nutritious snacks instead. Trail mix, fruit, or granola bars are easy to grab on the go.
  • Walk everywhere. Beyond the calorie-burning benefits, walking is one of the best ways to see the sights! Plus, no cab fares, locating bus stops, or figuring out subway routes! 
  • Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and work those glutes! Unless we are carrying luggage, Steve and I always take the stairs. It is a little tough at first, but by the end of the trip you will be racing to the top!
  • Avoid fast food. Take advantage of the local cuisine and explore new flavors. Find fresh markets or ask the locals for their favorite places to dine, then sit down and savor every bite!
  • Fill your day with fun, physical activities. Hike through the mountains, kayak down the river, bike ride around the city, run the local parks, swim with the kids, or join a game of beach volleyball, just get active!  How incredible would it be to run beside Niagara Falls, climb to the top of the Mayan ruins, or take the family skiing down the slopes of Colorado? Now, those are memories!

 

  • Pack a lunch. A few years ago, we discovered you could bring your own food into Disney World. What a huge difference it made on both our wallets and our waistlines! When we were ready for a break, we found a beautiful spot and had a little picnic in the middle of the park! This is also a perfect plan for daytime excursions where food may be hard to find, such as long hikes in the mountains or exploring National parks. 
  • Workout in the morning. Cruise ships, hotels, and resorts are now catering to the fitness world with state of the art equipment, group classes, running trails, personal trainers, or even daytime passes to a nearby gym.  Check out our MAX Workouts page for tons of workouts you can do in your hotel room, fitness center, park, beach, anywhere! 
  • Relax. Stress can wreck havoc on your body that all the exercise in the world can not fix. Never forget why you are on vacation- to relax and rejuvenate! Lay out by the pool, meditate, soak in the tub, sip on some wine, and enjoy your stress-free vacation!

Have a tip of your own? Please share! Post in the comments below or on any of our social media sites. We would love to hear from you!

Take It Outside!

School is out and the sun is shining! It is time to take your training outside! Here at MAX we believe that ANYONE, can workout ANYWHERE, with ANYTHING! The world is your gym with endless possibilities! 

From the park, to the beach, an outdoor bench, or even an empty parking lot, we have a workout for you to try. Mix up your training regimen and have some fun! Bonus- you can get the whole family involved AND get your daily requirement of vitamin D! For the next few weeks we will be sharing some of our favorite outdoor workouts. Keep checking back with us for new workouts, or head over to our MAX Workouts page and click on the "Take It Outside" category. Now, get outside and go workout!

Start off your outdoor summer workouts with these family favorites!


How to Be a Great Leader

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
— John Quincy Adams

Bud, my coach of nearly twenty years, stopped by the gym last night.  Besides being a phenomenal coach with countless success stories, Bud was a mentor and an inspiration to all of his athletes. I could go on and on about how many awards we won and National teams we made, but the proof of his coaching skills lies in the values he instilled and the family atmosphere he created.

Whether you were coached by him for weeks, years, or decades,  you loved Bud. I posted a photo of his visit to the gym on Facebook and before I could log off, the comments from former students started rolling in: "I love Bud!" "It is so nice to reunite with with old friends that were like family!" "Truly the kindest most genuine person I have ever met!" "Miss you all!" "This brings back so many amazing memories!" "So sad I missed it. Missed you guys!" "XOXO" "He was so awesome!""By far my favorite person!" As the comments kept coming in, the love that he had for his athletes is so apparent. 

There is so much more to becoming a successful coach, leader, boss, or manager than giving orders and creating deadlines. If you win the highest award but no one likes you, have you really won? If you have the largest company with the littlest respect, are you truly great? Leadership is not an entitlement, it is a blessing. If you are in a position of leadership, do not take it lightly. You have the opportunity to inspire others, to give them hope and aspiration to become more, to dream big, to feel loved, and to want to give their very best. Lead them. Inspire them. Make a difference. 


Our latest workout is Short & Sweet! You can easily do this workout in the comfort of your home. In only 20 minutes, you will slim and tone your entire body while torching some major calories! Enjoy!


Be Done With It

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

This past weekend was something else...I can not even put it into words. It seemed our athletes just could not catch a break! There was cheating, injuries, unfair calls, and horrible displays of bad sportsmanship. At the end of the day, Steve and I just sat there....dumbfounded. It was as though we were stuck in some strange, never-ending dream. 

But, just like every day has done since the beginning of time, it did end and a new one began. 

This quote by Emerson is one of my favorites. These words are written above the exit of the Olympic Training Center. I can not tell you how many times I looked up at those words as I was leaving a tough competition or a less than stellar practice. I knew that once I walked out those doors, the past was behind me, I had to let it go and move on.

Why do we dwell on things we can not change? We let the hurt and pain consume us. The past is right where it needs to be- in the past. When things are not going your way and the rain keeps pouring down, remember to just finish the day and BE DONE WITH IT. Tomorrow is a new day. 


Springtime is here! Get outside and get your workout on!

Strength and conditioning is an essential part of an athlete's training. This workout "Strength, Power, Speed!" works to develop some of the most crucial components in sport. It is also a great fat burning workout!!

Tips for Healthy and Active Kids

If you tell kids to exercise, they don’t see it as fun. They see video games as fun. The idea is to use an activity kids find enjoyable to motivate them to exercise.
— George Graham

More than one third of our children are overweight or obese. If that isn't frightening enough, this number is steadily rising. What is going on? First, take away gym class, since that does not seem to be as important as test preparation in our schools. Next, forget recess, for that went bye-bye a long time ago. Of course, no more bike riding to your friend's house after school, because there is not a safe street left for that nonsense. Finally, add in super realistic video games and marathon TV watching with Netflix, and good luck trying to get your kid to go outside and play. 

Did you know the American Heart Association recommends that children participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity EVERY day. That is nearly three times greater than the adult recommendation! How do we convince our youth to stay active when we ourselves struggle to get to the gym? Here our a few tips to get them off the couch and outside playing: 

  • Set a limit to sedentary time (watching television, playing on the computer, video games, or on the phone).
  • Physical activity should be fun and exciting! What sounds more fun- running around the track or playing a game of tag?
  • Get their friends involved. Gather up the neighborhood kids and help ref a game of flag football or kickball.
  • Parents need to be role models for healthy, active lifestyles. Kids are great imitators! 
  • Sign them up for sports! Becoming part of a team provides numerous physical and mental benefits, plus you get to be their #1 fan! It is a win-win!
  • Make physical activity a family affair. Head to the beach, to the park, go ice skating, or to a trampoline park. Get out there and have some fun! 

Got a few tips of your own? How about a family activity you love to do together? We would love for you to share! Just comment below or post your idea to any of our social sites!

Below are a couple of workouts the whole family can do together! You GET what you GIVE!


What happens when you head out of town and give your MAX athletes an assignment? You get a ton of new, awesome workouts! Kids are so creative! One of our students came up with this fun workout that can be done anywhere and does not require any fitness equipment. Grab one of the kids (or any partner will do) and try "The Dice Workout."

Heading to the park for some Spring Break fun? Let the kids be in charge with this fun, family workout called "Follow the Leader."


Finish What You Start!

You get credit for what you finish, not what you start.
— Unknown

I have ideas, lots of ideas...and some of them are actually kinda good! I stay up all night coming up with these grand plans, I write them down, draw them out, think about them night and day, and then eventually something happens and I have to put it on a shelf, or even worse, watch someone else live out my dream. 

I am definitely a starter, but not always a finisher.

For example, about ten years ago, I came up with a household product. I pitched my invention idea to a company. To my surprise, they loved it! Next thing I know, we are discussing names and developing prototypes. Then, "stuff" just happened. Steve and I were planning a wedding, money got tight, and there was a death in the family. I never got around to finishing the product and two years later, I saw my idea on TV. I was crushed.

Was I upset? Of course, but mainly because I knew it was my own doing. This wasn't the first time I didn't follow through with my plan and it sure would not be the last.

Fast forward to the present and I am diligently working on my next big plan! However, this time will be different. I will finish what I've started! Obstacles will most certainly come my way, but I am prepared this time. I will not give up on my dream.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. Well, I have learned a lot these past few years and have come up with some foolproof ideas to help me finish what I start.

  • Only pursue ideas you are passionate about- your life is busy enough already
  • Be sure you have the resources to complete your idea
  • Prepare a detailed plan and budget your time to follow it
  • Keep track of your progress and reward yourself along the way
  • Periodically, reevaluate your idea and be sure it is still worth your time and effort
  • Commit to your idea
  • When things get tough, remind yourself of why you started
  • Be sure to enjoy the process

I will keep you posted on my progress and good luck to all of you and your adventures to come! I have faith in your abilities to finish what you start!


Today's workout is double the fun!

"Double Trouble"

10 rounds:

  • 5 Double Squat Med Ball Throws
  • 20 Double Unders
  • 10 Double Kicks

* Click the link and view the video for exercise demonstrations and modifications.

 


Find Your Inner Strength

Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.
— Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor

In our recent travels to Italy, Becca and I toured the ancient ruins of Rome. So much history lied in those crumbling walls, history that would change the world! The conquering emperors, the religious influences, the brilliant artists, philosophers, architecture...it was an incredible tour that ended at the magnificent Colosseum! 

I must admit it, I am a Roman history nerd, especially when it comes to the gladiators! What it must have been like to fight for your life, for your freedom, for glory and honor! How does one become victorious, overcoming unspeakable adversities, debilitating injuries, wild beasts, and possible death? 

As an athlete, and one that works with athletes, I have found that it isn't always the strongest, the fastest, or the most talented athlete that wins. What sets the winner apart from the others? Look past the countless hours of training and beyond the sweat and tears. Look deep inside and you will find the answer- inner strength. It pushes you past your comfort zone, picks you up when you fall down, fights off the negativity, and tells you to keep going when you want nothing more than to quit! 

You have the power to accomplish anything! You are a winner, a champion, a gladiator! Dig deep and find your inner strength.


This week, I challenge you to push yourself a little bit farther, try a little bit harder, go a little bit longer. Your additional efforts will not go unnoticed, resulting in both physical and mental improvements! Visit our MAX Workouts page and get started today. You GET what you GIVE!

When In Rome...

We are in Rome, Italy for the week, walking in the streets where Caesar walked, standing where the Gladiators fought to the death, and saying a prayer surrounded by Michelangelo's magnificent works of art! So much history and beauty in one city, we can only hope to squeeze it all in during our stay. 

I know many people forgo their workout regimen while traveling, but I am the opposite. I use my workouts as a way to experience my surroundings. How many can say they hiked in the gorgeous Swiss mountains or ran on the Great Wall of China?! Plus, by getting in my sweat sessions, I do not bring home a few extra pounds with my souvenirs!

This morning, Steve and I joined many of the locals and ran the magnificent Spanish Steps. You know what they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!"  Maybe tomorrow we will train like the Gladiators...you never know what adventures your travels may bring!


Check out our latest training video from the Spanish Steps in Rome! This is the ULTIMATE stair workout, including some of my favorite stair and bleacher drills. Watch the video and get ready to burn some major calories!

Are You Preparing?

Success depends on previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
— Confucius

There is a promotion opportunity coming up for Steve at work. When I asked him if he was going to start studying for it, he looked me straight in the eyes and assuredly stated, "I am always studying." 

Made me think....what if we were all like Steve? What if we were always preparing, always studying? Oh, how our lives would be different! No more desperate diets to fit into our bathing suits by the summer, no more cramming all night before finals, no more rushing to finish our to-do lists. We would turn our resolutions into lifestyles! 

What are your future goals, desires, dreams? Lose weight? Earn a promotion? Win an upcoming event? Our future success depends on our past preparations. Noah's story would be a lot different if he waited for the rain to begin building the ark...

Are you preparing?

A short box is a highly effective workout tool that is also inexpensive! Win-Win! Watch our latest training video for a great sport-specific warm-up, perfect for athletes of all sorts. This warm-up can also be made into a quick, fat-burning, calorie-blasting workout when repeated. Enjoy!