MAX Blog

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.

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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 2

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

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

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

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

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

You GET what you GIVE!


 

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


Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 1

Welcome to our Fall Fitness Challenge!

 

 

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

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

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

 

Week 1

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

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

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning Challenge

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

happiness quote.png

 

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

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

HOME

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

MIND

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

BODY

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

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



Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 2

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

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

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

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

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

You GET what you GIVE!


 

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


Fall Fitness Challenge- Week 1

Welcome to our Fall Fitness Challenge!

 

 

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

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

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

 

Week 1

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

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

 

 

 

"Short & Sweet" September Challenge- Week #2

The "Short & Sweet" September 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!   

Last week, you cleaned out your kitchen of Little Debbie snacks, sugary sodas, and more potato chip bags than you wish to admit. This week, let's replace the junk with healthy foods that are as delicious as they are nutritious! Fill your fridge with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Along with your healthier meals, we encourage you to increase your water intake. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces, so a 150 pound individual should drink at least 75 ounces of water (around 4-5 bottles of water). 

Continue to keep track of your progress and remember to check out our social media sites. We will have numerous opportunities this week for you to win prizes! You can do this! 

Workout #1- "Power Pyramid"

Workout #2- "Take a Seat" - This is a tough workout with a lot of jumping! If it seems a little too hard, check out our MAX Workouts page and choose the perfect workout for you!

Workout #3- "Shoulder Surgery" - This workout requires a weighted plate. You can use a heavy object, such as a book, or you can choose a different workout from our MAX Workouts page.

Workout #4- "Circuits Rock!"

Workout #5- Do both the "10 in 10" and "Pretzel Squat" Burnouts! 

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! 

"Short & Sweet" September Challenge- Week 1

Let the fun begin! We are so excited to have you join us for our "Short & Sweet" September Fitness Challenge. If you have not signed up yet, there is still time to receive a free gift and be entered to win additional prizes! Click here to sign up today.

Each week, we will post 5 different workouts for you to complete. You may perform them on any day and in any order throughout the week. We do our best to provide a variety of modifications for our workouts so individuals of all ages and abilities may participate in the challenge! If you require additional assistance, have a question about a workout, or just need a little support, we are here for you! We consider you a part of our MAX family and we want you to succeed!

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 this month? 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. Also, many of our challengers like to take a "before" picture. 

Next, it is time to focus on a healthier meal plan. No need to do anything crazy, just get rid of all the junk food in the kitchen. Throughout the challenge we will clean up your diet with small changes, but for now, just lose the junk! 

Last, but definitely not least, let's get our sweat on! 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 rest days 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.

Here we go! Click on the title to view the workout. Remember- You GET what you GIVE!

Workout #1- "Tabata 101"

Workout #2- "8 Minute Shred"

This workout uses a pair of dumbbells. You can do the workout without weights, repeat one of this week's workouts, or choose any of our "Short & Sweet" workouts from our MAX Workouts page!

Workout #3- Perform as many "Body Builders" as you can in 15 minutes! View this video for an exercise demonstration- "Body Builder Burnout"

Workout #4-  "Walk This Way" (beginners) or Go on a 20 minute run, bike ride, or swim (advanced) Push yourself- no pacing on this one!

Workout #5- "Quick Slim Down"

Exercise modifications are not included in this workout video. If you have any trouble with the exercises, we will be glad to come up with some substitutions. Just ask!

Have fun! Please click SHARE below and let everyone know about your challenge. The more supporters, the better! 

Our Vacation Workout/Meal Plan

So, after our latest blog on losing weight during vacation (read the blog here), there were numerous requests for our vacation workout/meal plan. A few weeks ago, we went on our annual family vacation to the beach. As requested, we kept track of the entire week to share with you. 

As far as meals were concerned, we were fortunate. By renting a condo for the week, we have access to a kitchen and grill. We rarely ever eat out, in fact, this year, we only went out for Sunday brunch. There are two grocery stores on the island that make fabulous homemade breads and desserts. Get out and check the local stores and bakeries, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find! If you are able, save money and calories by cooking your own meals.

Meal Examples from the Week:

Breakfast 

  • 1 Homemade Cinnamon Bread Slice topped with Peanut Butter, Banana and Blueberries
  • 2 Scrambled Eggs with 2 Center-cut Bacon Slices
  • 1 Blueberry Pancake with Syrup, 2 Egg Whites, and 2 Turkey Sausage Links

Snack

  • Handful of Chips and Homemade Salsa
  • Handful of Triscuits with a variety of Cheese Slices
  • Peaches and Grapes

Lunch

  • Homemade Cheese Bread with Turkey, Provolone, and Olive Oil Mayo, Pickle, and Orange Slices
  • Yogurt Parfait with Whipped Peanut Butter, Blueberries, Raspberries, and Granola
  • Grilled Chicken Caesar

Dinner

  • Grilled Chicken Breast, Sautéed Zucchini and Squash, and Fruit Salad (Strawberries, Oranges, Raspberries, Blueberries, and Red Grapes)
  • Bratwurst topped with Green Peppers and Onions and Mixed Salad
  • Filet Mignon, Baked Potato Slices, and Corn on the Cob

Dessert (we are on vacation, we must have dessert ☺)

  • Homemade Cookies (3 different kinds- my mom is awesome!)
  • Small Slice of Homemade Key Lime Pie 

We stay steadily active from paddle boarding, bike riding, playing tennis, and walking the beach. In addition, we also try to squeeze in a workout before we start our daily plans.  My brother-in-law is an Ironman triathlete (that's right, he competes in Ironmans!!!!), so his two hour runs and bike rides put us to shame, but we did get in a few good workouts of our own.

Workout Plan

Day 1- "Fat Burning Cardio"

Day 2 (it was raining, so we stayed inside for this one)- "5 Minute Mania"   

Day 3- "Stairway to Heaven"

Day 4- 2.5 mile run and "Plank Burnout"

Day 5- Rest Day

Day 6- "Water Workout"

Day 7- 2.5 mile run with 10 short sprints, 5 medium sprints, and 2 long sprints

Our biggest priority during vacation is relaxing. We may workout in the morning, but the rest of the day we lay out on the beach, read a few books, take naps, play games, fish, watch sunsets, and just enjoy our time off.  Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep us posted on your vacations- how do you stay active, what do you eat, where is your favorite place to relax? We would love to hear from you- share your photos or stories on any of our social media sites! 

Fit & Fabulous Finale!

The Fit & Fabulous Finale is here!

Congratulations! You did it- 28 days of better eating, 16 workouts, 12 additional Burnout workouts, and 12 active rest days. Now it is time to celebrate your hard work!

We know that just the accomplishment of completing the challenge is reward enough, but, we would like to take it one step further...let's bring on the prizes! 

Along with your MAX Training family, our fitness challenge sponsor, Be the Breath, believes in you and your commitment to a healthy life of awesomeness! Together, we have some great prizes for you to win.

For a chance to win one of our fabulous prizes, all we ask is that you share your challenge progress and success. You can do this by submitting your "before" and "after" pictures with a little story of your success. Remember, everyone's success story is different. Some of you will have lost weight, some of you will be loving how they look in their clothes, and some are enjoying their newfound energy! Your story is a personal experience and we want to hear about it! Share your progress, your ups and downs throughout the challenge, or even your favorite workouts, it is up to you! 

  • Go to our MAX Training Facebook page (or click here)
  • Post your pictures and success story
  • All entries are due by March 7th
  • Winners will be announced the following day

After you submit your entry, be sure to check out our sponsor at Bethebreath.com. Good luck to all of our participants and congratulations on completing the Fit & Fabulous February Challenge!



Aim High

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
— Michelangelo

Today is a big day for a few of our MAX athletes. Each one will be experiencing something big, new, and exciting for the first time. One of our athletes is competing at a higher level, one at a higher age, and three of them are participating in their first elite-level international event. Win or lose, this tournament is going to be a pinnacle point in their athletic careers. Steve and I couldn't be prouder...

Over the years, I have noticed a disturbing change in tournaments. Gone are the days of aiming high, shooting for the stars, and daring to go against the norm. No matter the sport, I notice athletes of all ages competing in levels lower than their ability. I am sure, the same is true in the workplace too. Such a disgrace. I am unable to grasp the notion that people would deliberately choose a level below their performance skills just to gain an unfair advantage. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, everyone loves to win. But where is the pride, the dignity, the satisfaction, and the honor?  

People love being at the top, no matter what the level. Why move up into management just to start at the bottom of the totem pole, when I can be the boss of the bottom floor? Why should I compete in the advanced group when I will win in the beginner group? It is like we are satisfied with mediocrity, as long as we are the best at it. 

Maybe it was just my coach or maybe things were different a decade or two ago, but my teammates and I were always encouraged to "move up." I remember the first time I fought up to the black belt division. No, I did not win, but I gained a lot of experience and no longer feared those that wore a higher belt around their waist. I remember fighting girls bigger and older than me, I remember going against boys! Sometimes I even won (though many times I did not). But the reward of the experience greatly outweighed the medal around my neck. It never occurred to me to "fight down" or "take the easy win." Why has this mentality changed?

Is winning that important? Or, are we afraid to fail? Take a cue from my brave athletes and dare to dream big! Aim high, reach for the stars, raise the bar, set a new curve, and do not stop until you reach it! 


"Quick Slim Down"

No time? No gym? This is the perfect workout for you! In a few minutes, you will work your body from head to toe. Bring on the sweat!

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
— Cavett Robert

No matter what happened in the past, the New Year gives us hope for a better tomorrow. In our excitement for the future, we put our goals and our dreams down on paper. We resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, spend time with family, get a promotion, win a championship, go back to school, start a new job, and be a better person. But, as the days go by, our dreams tend to fade and reality takes over. Not you. Not this year. This year, you will achieve your goals and live out your dreams! 

One year ago, Steve and I had a dream. In January 2014, we began MAX Training in hopes to help and inspire others to reach their fitness goals. Between our full-time jobs, my continuing education, our training, and the non-stop roller coaster we call life, there were times we were not sure we would achieve our goal. But with your continual love and support, our dream has come true and we are eternally grateful. We look forward to another fantastic year with our MAX family! 

Together, let us make resolutions we will stick to and not be afraid to ask for help when things get tough. This year will be your year, there is nothing you can not accomplish! We will be here every step of the way! 

Check out our very first blog post- "Start Today" 

The start of a New Year would not be complete without our "Countdown to a New Year" workout! Steve and I created this workout for our martial arts students when they returned from Christmas Break. It has become a tradition here at MAX. Enjoy! Remember, you GET what you GIVE!

  • 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 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

Do your best and record your time. Quality is better than quantity, so never compromise your technique to finish a drill. 

Let Your Light Shine

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
— Marianne Williamson

In the spirit of Christmas, for the well-being of yourself and of others, may your light shine. Do not dim your light in the fear of failure, do not blow it out when obstacles stand in your way. Instead, let your potential beam for the world to see and your success illuminate around you. You are created with a purpose, a talent, a gift. Let your light shine.  


To quickly build endurance, add this burnout to the end of your workout! Follow along with MAX Trainer, Rebecca.

"2 Minute Burnout"

Beginners- complete 1 round

Advanced- complete 3 rounds

Fit for the Holidays- Part 2

Let's be honest. When we think of Thanksgiving traditions we probably bypass the pilgrims, skip over the football, and go straight to the turkey! Some of us like to bake it, others prefer to fry it, some stuff it, while others don't, some of us choose the dark meat, and others like the light meat, but one thing is for certain- we ALL love to eat it! Thanksgiving dinner is a special meal full of food favorites from pumpkin pie to green bean casserole, and of course, lots of gravy! Not exactly diet-friendly. Have no fear. We have a sure-fire plan to get you through the holidays while still indulging in your favorite family traditions.

Part 2- Surviving Turkey Day

#1- Get your sweat on- Now is not the time to get lazy on your fitness routine, if anything, you should pick up the pace! Try these MAX Training workouts to keep the pounds off:

#2- 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, you body needs to be hydrated to keep things moving!

#3- 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. 

#4- 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.  

#5- 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. 

#6- 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! 

#7- 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. 

#8- 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! 

Quality Over Quantity

Quality, not quantity, is my measure.
— Douglas William Jerrold

In the last years of my sport career, I learned the importance of quality over quantity. As you get older, the "real world" takes over and it seems that there are never enough hours in the day to even begin to accomplish all that you have planned to do. I noticed my training was squeezed in between jobs, school, and wanting a social life. It was exhausting and everything suffered from it. So, I changed things up. No longer did I worry about putting in hours after hours of training, instead I concentrated on the quality of my training. Quality over quantity. 

I have always been a fan of quality over quantity. I grew up in a small church, lived in small towns, worked at a small restaurant, and went to a small college, where everyone knows your name and loves you like their own. Recently, Steve and I downsized our martial arts and training facility and now run a private gym. It was one of the greatest decisions we have ever made together. I love knowing everything about our students and being able to give them one-on-one attention. At first, it was tough. I worried about the perceived value of a small gym. Many believe that bigger is always better- they want the most machines, the largest building, and the latest equipment. But, while there are definitely some good things about quantity, I still enjoy the mom and pops place over the big, corporate franchise. 

In a world where our success is measured by the amount of  "likes" and "follows" and "subscribers" we have, it is easy to feel like a failure. Steve and I share social media pages and between the two of us, we have less "friends" than everyone we know. Pathetic, right? But, I look at our friend list and realize that we have been blessed with a great group of people who we can truly call our friends. The concept of quality over quantity can be used in so many ways. In everything that you do, make sure there is quality. Have quality friends, work for a quality employer, be a quality employee, make quality time for your family, eat quality food, and perform quality workouts. Quality over quantity. Every time.

"Every Minute"

Every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 5 minutes:

  • 2 Squat Tuck Jumps
  • 5 Squats
  • 10 Jumping Jacks

EMOM for 5 minutes:

  • 2 Diamond Push-ups
  • 5 Push-ups
  • 10 Mountain Climbers

EMOM for 5 minutes:

  • 2 Burpees
  • 5 Curtsy Lunges
  • 10 High Knees 

EMOM for 5 minutes:

  • 2 4-count Shoulder Taps
  • 5 Bird Dogs
  • 10 Plank Jacks

Watch the video for a demonstration of the workout and how to perform the exercises.

Water Weight

Probably going to offend a few people with this post, but please understand that I only wish to educate and not to displease. Today, I am going to discuss body wraps, and all things sauna-related. Sadly, I consider myself an "expert" when it comes to products that rid the body of water weight. With over 20 years of trying to "make weight," I know what works, what doesn't, and what is the fastest. I have stories, lots of stories- losing 20 pounds in two weeks, losing 10 pounds overnight, and these are nothing compared to my husband's weight loss "achievements." But trust me, I am not bragging, nor am I proud, because it was dangerous and never permanent. In fact, even quicker than I lost it, I put it back on. 

So, what convinces people in search of a weight loss solution to buy such products? Is it the before and after pictures? You should ask for an after-after picture, a once they drank some water or ate some food picture! Is it the promise to target just fat or to spot-reduce your trouble areas? Well, that is just physiologically impossible...in fact, here is some actual evidence.

When asked about body wraps and their claims to detoxify the body or shrink inches, the former president of American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Joel Schlessinger, stated they were "chicanery and hucksterism." He continued to point out that any difference that did occur was all due to water loss and would be gained back once the client has a few glasses of water. 

Other claims are the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and herbs being added to the body and used to help flush out cellulite and toxins. As you all read in my blog about detox diets, your body just does not work like that. Let your liver and kidneys do their job.

According to Dr. Mariotti, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, "Diet and exercise is the only thing that works, but, everyone is looking for a shortcut." There is no scientific evidence that wraps help shrink inches, rid the body of cellulite, or help with sags and bags of the skin. Even doctors involved with natural-healing are skeptical. Dr. Andrew Hall, a natural-healing guru, writes that body wraps will not melt away anything but your wallet. Ouch. 

As far as sauna suits, sauna belts, and sauna sessions, be careful...a nice relaxing moment in the sauna after a long day is one thing, but anything beyond that is dangerous and ineffective. Saunas (and sauna-related clothing) cause dehydration, changes in blood volume, and significant changes in oxygen supply. It also causes oxidative stress, you know, that thing we eat a lot of antioxidant food trying to prevent!

There is no correlation between fat loss and sweating. When famous celebrity trainers were interviewed about the benefits of body wraps and sauna belts, they were quoted as saying:

If sweating had anything to do with fat loss, "everyone would look like a model come summer." - Clancy

Sweating does assist your body in flushing toxins, but you do not need to buy expensive wraps or belts, "everyone has a pair of sweat pants and a sweatshirt." - Conrad

Spot reduction is a physiological impossibility. Thank your grandma's thighs or your dad's belly to where you gain and lose fat. It is all up to genetics. Society would call my body type a "pear." My thighs and tooshie are the first to get all my bad decisions, and are the last to go when I try to lose a few pounds. No amount of squats or lunges are going to change that. A nutritious diet along with exercise is the best way to lose extra pounds and inches. Stop spending your money on shortcuts. Steve and I are here to help you make long-term changes that will lead to a healthy lifestyle and lasting results!

References:

Casey, L. (2010, December 8). Trimming trends: Do body wraps really help lose inches?. Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA).

Do body wraps slim more than your wallet?: Treatments are often touted as cure alls, but do they really work. (2007, Dec 09). McClatchy - Tribune Business News.

Zinchuk, V., & Zhadzko, D. (2012). Sauna effect on blood oxygen transport and prooxidant-antioxidant balance in athletes. Sports Medicine Journal / Medicina Sportivâ8(3), 1883-1889.

Oh, the benefits of a massage! Relieving tight, sore muscles is essential for proper recovery during your training. For those of us who can not afford daily massages, a cheap, yet effective, alternative is to perform a self-massage using a lacrosse ball. Watch Maddie demonstrate a few examples of lacrosse ball massage in our video "Massage Recovery." 

Too Good to be True

For those of you that are new to the site, we are taking a few weeks to discuss the latest fitness and nutrition trends. You know the old saying, "If it is too good to be true, then it probably is." We began with Detox Diets and Juice Cleanses, and today we tackle the fitness products that promise us toned abs, sculpted thighs, and chiseled arms with very little work and no change to our diets. Oh boy...this is going to be fun!

Once again, I would like to begin by saying that I have been there. The world of marketing never ceases to amaze me! I am astonished that anyone would buy such a thing. Yet, I myself, have fallen victim to the hype. You put a celebrity on there, show me some random "scientific" study, and post a few before and after pictures and I am hooked- who do I make the check out to? But in reality, we all know better...or at least we should.

A few days ago, Steve and I were completely baffled by a commercial for the Tummy Tuck Belt. Have you seen this one? Do you secretly own this product?  The product claims to burn away belly fat in just 10 minutes without any diet or exercise. The belt is made of a space-age material and comes with a gel that ignites a fat burning chain reaction that continues to burn fat as you go about your day! It gets better! If you do the provided 2 minute ab exercises while wearing the belt, you will increase your results by double! All this for only 3 payments, no wait, they slashed the price to only 2 payments of $19.99!

I am just counting down the days for the very busy FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to pull this off the shelf. Space-age material? Try spandex and nylon. Thermal accelerating cream? Ummm....no. Two whole minutes of crunches for twice the results? This is beyond ridiculous. Your body just does not work like that. Sorry. Weight loss, fat loss, muscular gains, training adaptations- they all take time and effort.

Fitness products and their deceptive promises are everywhere, and sadly, we are buying them. A lot of them- like a multi-billion dollar industry- lot of them! From the Shake Weight, to Toning Shoes, to Electric Shock Ab Belts, to Power Balance Bracelets, we are buying them, and then selling them in our next yard sale. They just do not work. Come on, admit it, you bought a pair of Toning Shoes. We all walked around, balancing on those curved soles, hoping to tone our legs and butt without stepping on an elliptical or doing a single lunge. It's okay. You weren't the only one. Over a billion dollars of Toning Shoes were sold before the FTC forced the footwear companies to refund millions of dollars in a false-claim settlement.

Save your money. No, the Shake Weight will not give you the perfectly toned arms you desire. However, they are the perfect gag gift for your office Christmas Party! A bracelet will not give you peace and balance, but a yoga class just might. You can not spot-train your abs in 8 minutes, nor will your buns turn into steel (I tried it, doesn't work). But, a well-rounded resistance training program will do wonders! 

If it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Join a gym, watch our videos, hire a personal trainer, just don't buy another "magic" product. Healthy lifestyle changes are a process. You GET what you GIVE. 


Sometimes, we buy these ineffective products because we are too busy to make it to the gym and like the idea of a product that works in just a few minutes! We have the perfect workouts made just for busy people like you! Our Short and Sweet workouts are all under 20 minutes. While they are short on time, they are anything but short in effectiveness! View our videos here.