MAX Blog

The Importance of Individuality

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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

 

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Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 4

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

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

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

 

Workout #1- "Flip Your Fate"

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

Burnout #1 is included in the above video ☺

 

Workout #2- "Strength & Sprint Circuit"

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

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

 

 

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

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

Burnout #2- "2 Minute Burnout"

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

 

Workout #3- "Core Centric"

3 Rounds:

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

 

 

 

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

Burnout #3- "Holy Hammies"

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

 

Workout and Burnout #4- 

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

Active Rest Days

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

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

Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Burnout #1- "100 Leg Lift Variety Burnout"

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

 

Workout #2- "Buns of Steel"

Part 1

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

Part 2

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

Part 3

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

* Check out the video for exercise demonstrations.

Burnout #2- "Three Way Abs"

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

 

Workout #3- "Shoulder Surgery"

3- 5 Rounds:

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

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

Burnout #3- "Bootilicious" 

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

 

Workout #4- "Full Body Blast"

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

* View video for exercise demonstrations and no equipment modifications.

Burnout #4- "Fab Abs"

* Click link to view this ab-sculpting workout!

 

Active Rest Days

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

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



Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workout #1- "Kettlebell Tabata"

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

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

 

 

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

Burnout #1- "10 in 10"

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

 

Workout #2- "Cardio Boost"

4 Rounds:

  • Half Mile Run
  • 100 Double Unders

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

Burnout #2- "Pretzel Squat"

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

 

Workout #3- "Chair Challenge"

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

Burnout Round

  • 40 Dips
  • 40 Sit-Ups

* View the video for exercise demonstrations and beginner modifications.

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

 

Workout #4- "21s"

3 Rounds:

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

 

 

 

 

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

Burnout #4- "Plank Burnout" 

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

 

Active Rest Days

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

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

 

 

Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 1

The Fit & Fabulous February Challenge is underway! 

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

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

Sample Workout Week Plan A:

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

Sample Workout Week Plan B:

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

Workout #1- "5 Minute Mania"

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

Round 1- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

Round 2- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

Round 3- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

Round 4- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

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

 

Workout # 2- "Superhero Strength"

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

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

 

 

Workout #3- "The Mailman"

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

 

Workout #4- "Core & More"

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

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

Exercises:

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

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

 

Active Rest Days

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

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

Have Patience

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

Four months and eleven days. 

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

 

 

 

 

A Workout For Every "BODY"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You GET what you GIVE!


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


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!

"Short & Sweet" September Challenge- Week 4

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

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

Workout #1- "Crazy Combos"

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

Workout #3-  "Intervals of 4"

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

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

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)

 

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! 

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!


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!

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!

 

 

 

The 3 Essentials to Success

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
— Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Edison was a great inventor, an innovator, a mastermind. He was a genius. But, even a genius struggles. Even a genius fails. In fact, he failed a lot. While many of us quit in times of adversity, Edison was known to take a more positive approach, " I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won't work." 

With our New Year's Resolutions in full swing, we are surely going to run into some bumps along the way. There will be times we succumb to our late night ice cream cravings and times we would rather hit the snooze button then get in a morning workout. Edison knew there was more to his success then just his brilliant mind, it took years of hard work, the ability to stick-to-it when things did not go his way, and good old-fashioned common sense.

While our goals may not be as lofty as his, they are still important and worthwhile. So, work hard, stick-to-it, and use common sense. Soon, your light will shine too.



Here are a few ideas for your workouts this week:

No equipment? Try "Intervals of 4"

Short on time? Try "21s" 

Want a tough one? Try "Legs Feel Like Jelly" 

Fit for the Holidays- Part 4

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say....

In actuality, this is the time of year where we rush to buy last minute presents, wake up in the middle of the night wondering if we moved that stupid elf, develop writer's cramp sending out Christmas cards, spend endless hours in the kitchen, and frantically run around from school plays to doorbuster deals to office parties to family gatherings. It is exhausting! 

When it comes to putting on weight, the only thing worse than a binge of eggnog and pecan pie is stress! You have worked so hard up to this point. Squeezed in morning workouts, used portion control, increased your water intake, and passed on the office sweets. Do not let the whirlwind pace of the holidays ruin all your efforts. 

Part 4- Relax and enjoy the season

  • De-stress- Take a moment to meditate, do yoga, or sneak in a power nap to renew and energize yourself.
  • Think positive- When a negative thought creeps in, replace it with something wonderful!
  • Turn on the tube- White Christmas, Elf, It's a Wonderful Life, there is nothing like a classic holiday film to bring a smile to your face ☺ 
  • Politely decline- It is okay to say no. Remember that.
  • Pamper yourself- Get a pedicure, take a long, hot bath, read a book by the fire and just enjoy a little time for you.
  • Find your inner child- Think back to Christmas as a child- no school, building a snowman, decorating cookies, singing carols, and opening presents. Christmas wasn't work, it was a joyous time full of memories and cheer. Keep it that way.

Remember, it is okay if you do not check everything off the list, it is okay to pass off store bought cookies as your own, and it is okay if the Christmas photos with Santa turn out to be more looks of fear than of joy. Decline (yet another) party invitation and just relax this weekend. With a little more joy and a little less stress, Christmas can once again be the most wonderful time of the year!  


Tight, sore muscles are not always the results of strenuous workouts. Sometimes, stress can cause havoc to our bodies. Our recovery workouts are great for relieving tension and pain. 

"Workout Recovery"- http://youtu.be/zYFVSCsM3DY

"Massage Recovery"- http://youtu.be/VLlwy00um5w

Fit for the Holidays- Part 3

December is here! Let the parties begin! 

 

Congratulations! You fought off the candy corn and mini snickers to make it through Halloween. You stuck to one helping of Thanksgiving dinner and you worked off the pumpkin pie. Next step- surviving the Christmas party.

 

 

Part 3- The no-guilt party!

#1- Don't skip the warm up-  What you do prior to the party is just as important as the actual event. Eat a healthy breakfast packed with protein, load up on water, and squeeze in a quick workout session. 

#2- BYOG- Bring your own goodies! If your office party is stocked with store-bought cookies and canned fruit punch, skip the sheet cake and upgrade to something worth the calories. If you must indulge, bring some homemade gingerbread men or your favorite Christmas bark. Then, limit yourself to just one. 

#3- Choose wisely- Does your party's buffet rival that of Las Vegas with endless options of yummy goodness await your approving bite? Before you grab a plate and dive in, take a moment to peruse the tables. Finding what you really want avoids you piling up your plate with calories you could do without. 

#4- Satisfying small bites- If you can't decide between the variety of potato salads or choose from the vast selection of desserts, just grab some nibbles of your favorites. You can indulge without the guilt!

#5- Get chatty- Slow down your chow down by engaging in some small talk. There is more to a party than food, so get out there and mingle! 

 #6- Sip and enjoy- Christmas is a time for celebrating! But, too many alcoholic beverages not only packs on the calories, but also leads to nasty hangovers and deep regrets. Limit yourself to a drink or two. Your dignity and your waistline will thank you. 


"Strength & Sprint Circuit"

Sprinting is the ultimate exercise. Incorporating sprints into your workouts helps you lose weight, build muscle, and develop speed and power. In this workout, try to push as hard as you can for the required time, then allow yourself a complete recovery. You GET what you GIVE!

Fit for the Holidays

November is here! Bring on the colder weather, pumpkin pie, bonfires, yoga pants, hot cocoa, and holiday cheer! It is that time of year where the food is rich and the celebrations are plentiful! Sadly, it is also that time where our waistlines tend to suffer. Well, not this year, not this time! 

During my sport days, it always seemed there was a huge event scheduled right after the holidays. Go figure. I somehow had to stay in tip-top shape and even sometimes had to LOSE weight to make a lower weight class. But, this being my favorite time of the year, I refused to ever sacrifice the joys and pleasures of the season. With a few adjustments, I successfully stayed on weight while still delighting in casseroles, Christmas cookies, and pumpkin spice lattes! 

All that is good and wonderful about the holidays can surely lead to a few extra pounds. But, no worries. We have a fool proof plan to keep off the weight gain while still enjoying the indulgences of the season! In addition, you will develop a health and fitness regimen that will take you into the New Year!  Join us for the next few weeks as we get Fit for the Holidays!

Bad knees? Mobility issues? Want to do something different? Our first workout of the holiday season is a tough lower body workout without any squats or jumping!

 "Bottom Burner"

Watch the video for exercise demonstrations, as well as, beginner and advanced modifications.

Part 1- 

  • 50 Side Leg Raises
  • 25 Leg Circles (each way)
  • 50 Inner Thigh Leg Raises

Switch Sides and Repeat

Part 2-

  • 25 Glute Raises
  • 25 Diagonal Glute Raises
  • 25 Side Glute Raises

Switch Sides and Repeat

Part 3- 

  • 50 Swimmers
  • 50 Flutter Kicks

Part 4- 

  • 25 Hip Raises
  • 25 Single Leg Hip Raises (each side)

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.