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!

A Dream Come True

If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.
— J.M. Power

We all have dreams. We dream of the future, of achieving great things, of a world filled with peace, of hope, of love. While some dreams may be more lofty than others, each one is unique and special to us. Unfortunately, sometimes our dreams are just that...dreams.

Just closing our eyes and thinking of better days will not bring us the success we desire. Trust me, I have tried. We must open our eyes and turn our dreams into reality. Stop waiting for things to be perfect, or the timing to be right, or the finances to be there. Stop wishing for things to be easier. Stop hoping someone will do it for you. Stop dreaming and start doing! It is our responsibility to make our dreams come true! 

I am a perpetual dreamer. I am constantly thinking of the future- one year from now, 5 year plans,  where do I want to be in ten years? I am a goal-SETTER. Sadly, I am not always a goal-GETTER. Dreaming is the easy part, it is the next steps that tend to get in our way.

Together, let us make our dreams come true. Wake up, work hard, never give up, dog it day in and day out until our goals become reality. If we can dream it, we can be it. If we can think it, we can do it. I believe in us. Do you?

If your dreams involve fitness- losing weight, having a gold medal performance, completing a 5K, making the Varsity team, etc.- we have a week of workouts for you! Grab your running shoes and get ready to make your dreams come true!

 


Tips for Healthy and Active Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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!

Turkey Torture Time!

Happy Holidays! I love this time of year, but I know for some of you it can be really stressful. Especially if you are trying to lose weight, stay in shape, and just not put on those extra holiday pounds. But, I think to be successful, you do not want to deprive yourself, especially of holiday traditions!

So, to help everyone reach their goals, we started our own tradition here at MAX. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, we spent the day with family and friends, had a great time, and amazing food! Today, we are going to meet up with our MAX family and friends, have a great time, and BURN OFF that amazing food! Welcome to "Turkey Torture!" 


"Turkey Torture"

You will need a partner, a turkey (medicine ball), and a timer.

Round 1 

  • Sprint 40 yards to partner and turkey
  • Overhead throw the turkey as far as possible
  • Sprint to your thrown turkey and lunge back to start with your turkey overhead
  • Partner repeats the drill
  • Continue for 10 minutes

Round 2

  • Sit ups with overhead throw to partner
  • Continue for 90 seconds then switch with partner

Round 3

  • Begin with 1 squat and then throw the turkey behind your back to your partner
  • Partner repeats the drill
  • Next, perform 2 squats and then throw the turkey behind your back to your partner
  • Partner repeats the drill
  • Continue with 3 squats, then 4, etc.
  • Continue for 10 minutes

Round 4

  • With feet raised, begin with 2 torso twists then toss back to partner (keep feet up)
  • Next, perform 4, then 6, etc.
  • Continue for 90 seconds then switch with partner

Burnout (Round 1)

  • Partner 1- Place right foot on turkey and raise hips. Perform straight leg lifts with left leg.
  • Partner 2- Skipping
  • Switch after 2 minutes

Burnout (Round 2)

  • Partner 1- Place left foot on turkey and raise hips. Perform straight leg lifts with right leg.
  • Partner 2- Shuffling
  • Switch after 2 minutes

Last Minute

Sorry, I have been so behind on posting. I have a confession to make- I am a procrastinator. A habitual, wait to the last second, oh my word, I'll never get it done in time, procrastinator. Yep, that is me. In fact, right now, I am up to my old tricks again. I have less than two weeks to finish about a month's worth of schoolwork.

Did I tell you I was back in school? My competitive side keeps me from ever settling. When one goal is complete, I immediately begin my next adventure. So, fast forward to the present, and here I am, frantically trying to hold two jobs while being a full-time student. What was I thinking?  

Anything and everything fitness-related fascinates me. The human body is an amazing thing! The way our bodies adapt to training, how they react to various foods, what they are able to accomplish, we are capable of such incredible things. I want nothing more than to inspire and help others to reach any goal that they may dream. I want my athletes to reap the greatest benefits from sport, I want to give fitness and nutritional advice that is factual and backed by science, and I want to pass on my knowledge and experience to any and all who are willing to listen. Maybe my goals are a little far-fetched, but I am sure going to try my best to be the best!

Well, I have put off my homework long enough. I need to stay focused on the task at hand and concentrate on acing these exams. For the next week or so, I am going to be too busy to post new workout videos and fitness blogs....please don't think I am abandoning you! So, instead, I leave you with a CHALLENGE! You know you can't back down from a challenge!

Visit our MAX Workouts page for access to all of our workout videos!

Visit our MAX Workouts page for access to all of our workout videos!

For the next week, you are going to pick a daily workout by choosing from our MAX Workouts categories. Feel free to pick the workouts that are best for you. However, if you need help, I have provided an example workout plan including a variety of workouts that will have you fitting into those skinny jeans by the weekend! 

SUNDAY- Take It Outside- enjoy that fall weather and get a workout in before the big game! Try "Cardio Boost."

MONDAY- No Pain, No Gain- start your work week off with a bang! Try "21's."

TUESDAY- Warm Up,Cool Down- give your body a day to recover. Try "Massage Recovery."

WEDNESDAY- Partner Up- Get the motivation you need to get through the week by enlisting a training partner! Try "It Takes Two, Baby." 

THURSDAY- No Equipment Necessary- ditch the gym and workout anywhere! Try "Flip Your Fate." 

FRIDAY- Short and Sweet- get in a quick workout before you begin your weekend festivities! Try "Intervals of 4." 

SATURDAY- Rest and celebrate your hard work!!! 

Remember- you can always visit our MAX Workouts page for full access to all our workouts! Work hard, my MAX Training friends! I know you can do this. You GET what you GIVE! 

Don't Forget to Dance

We had to cut our much-anticipated vacation short...like really short. News came in that our Great Dane, Domino was not feeling very well. What started as an upset stomach went downhill really fast. By the end of the week, we said goodbye.

Dogs are the most pure examples of unconditional love, complete forgiveness, true companionship,  and sheer loyalty. Domino was no exception, she displayed all the perfect qualities of man's best friend. But there was something different about Domino that set her apart from the rest.  

The moment you met Domino, you heart was tugged by her big ol' tilted head and her even bigger smile. You probably met her sitting on the couch like a human. It was silly and you loved it. She is so big! Beware though, she thinks she is a lap dog and if you sat down next to her, she may just have wanted to readjust and sit on you. She didn't mean any harm, she just wanted to be near you and love you. If you got up, she would follow. Only this is when you recognize that something is very different about Domino. She has trouble walking, her legs are bowed out, and her spine is kind of crooked.

We got Domino when she was 4 or so and she already displayed the symptoms of lordosis (excessive curvature of the spine) and Wobbler's Syndrome. Wobbler's is a neurological disease that affects the spine in the neck and is supposedly very painful. Domino never showed a day of pain, though we knew she had to be experiencing it. The disease becomes progressively worse and eventually leads to partial or full paralysis. Domino, on the other hand, seemed to defy the odds and began to make the best of her disability. If the other dogs were doing it, then by golly, she was going to figure out how to join in! No obstacles could keep her from living her life to the fullest. She was a model example of perseverance. Her paws were swollen and nails completely ripped off as she dragged her back legs, her massive head drooped down for comfort, she leaned on anything (and anyone!) to keep her balance, she used her head as a "kickstand" to get up on the couch, but throughout it all she smiled...and she danced. 

Boy, did she love to dance! If it was food time, she would dance. If it was outside playtime, she would dance. If someone just came home, she would dance. It was quite the sight! We always feared she would lose her balance and throw out her frail hips- but who could deny her the opportunity to dance! We all could learn a lot from Domino...

Later on, she had bloat- a life-threatening condition where a dog's stomach flips. The ER doctor urged us to put her down. She was old, she was already disabled, she would never survive the surgery. We knew better. Domino was a fighter. And fight she did! A year later, her throat collapsed. Playtime was cut short to only a few minutes at a time or she would overheat. Could she survive another surgery? Of course. Domino loved life too much to quit now. 

The last year of her life seemed to be the best! She was always so happy. She no longer could bark but that didn't keep her from standing at the fence and "barking" at all the dogs that went by for their evening walks. She never saw her disabilities. She only saw opportunities. She was our brave girl and we loved her so. The average life span of a Great Dane is 6-8 years. One with Wobbler's is about 4. Domino was 10. 

Humans can learn a lot from a dog. We would live in a better world if we emulated the love and joy of our furry friends. We could also learn a lot from Domino. No complaining, no wishing for a better life, just living the life that we are given to the fullest! 

So in memory of Domino... smile big and don't forget to dance.

So happy!

So happy!

She loved to receive kisses as much as she loved to give them!

She loved to receive kisses as much as she loved to give them!

Her silly sleeping positions!

Her silly sleeping positions!

All smiles, all the time!

All smiles, all the time!


You are not the only one who benefits from exercise. Dogs need it too! In honor of our four-legged loved ones- grab your doggy and go for a walk, play fetch, start a game of tug-of-war, and cherish every minute of it!  

Enjoy the View


In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
— Aristotle
Austria

Austria

Italy

Italy

Switzerland

Switzerland


In ten days, we traveled from country to country, toured magnificent churches filled with gold and beautiful paintings, climbed bell towers that overlooked the cities, saw palaces and statues and monuments, hiked trail after trail, hopped from island to island, and got lost...a lot. Around every corner was something new and extraordinary that we could discover!  But, midst our busy sightseeing schedule, the greatest moments were when we just had to stop and enjoy the view. 

In those moments, time seemed to stand still. There is something so incredible about the beauty of nature, it is hard to explain, you just have to experience it. When you gaze upon God's glorious creations, the cares of the world just float away. There are no bills to pay or deadlines to meet, no relationships to fix or projects to finish, no drama, no fears, no hurt. In its breathtaking splendor, everything is okay, even if just for that moment. 

We need these moments to reflect on all things good, to renew our spirit, and refresh our mind, body, and soul.  We need these moments to remember what really matters, what it feels like to be at peace. So whenever you can, stop, and enjoy the view. 

"It Takes Two, Baby"

  • 50 Wheelbarrow Push-ups
  • 20 Lie Down/Stand Ups
  • 20 (each leg) Lunge Tuck Jumps
  • 50 Partner Push Leg Raises

       Repeat





Partner Up

A buddy will keep you honest and add a dimension of fun to your workout.
— Bill Toomey, Olympic decathlon champion

It is the final week of our March Swimsuit Season Countdown! Through a series of small changes, we are getting closer to reaching our ultimate goals!

Small change #9- Get a training partner

You need a workout buddy...that's right...NEED. It is not that you cannot do it alone, it is just your chances of success are dramatically increased when you have a training partner! There are so many positive benefits of getting a training partner. Having someone to sweat with makes working out actually fun! Your workout buddy can check your exercise technique, "spot" you on those heavier lifts, and give you a boost on that last pull-up. Want to try a new workout? Having the courage to get tangled up in a yoga swing or battle the obstacles of a mud run is a lot easier with someone by your side. Let's be honest. A little friendly competition is only going to make you push harder, show up on time, and not cheat on that last set of sit-ups. 

Today's training video is a "Partner Up" workout. So grab a buddy and start sweating!


"Partner Push-Up Challenge"

Partner 1 performs 10 push-ups of choice while Partner 2 holds push-up position.

Partner 2 then attempts the "push-up challenge."

Next, Partner 2 chooses the type of push-up.

Continue for a preset amount of rounds or until unable to complete a challenge. 

Your Gift

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
— Steve Roland Prefontaine, Olympian

One of the biggest disappointments in coaching is watching someone give less than their best. Everyone has been given a gift. Some of us are naturally athletic, others intellectual, there are the musically inclined, and those that are gifted artists. But to not use your God-given talent to the best of your ability is an absolute shame. 

I'll be honest, my artistic skills are comparable to that of a first grader. Sure, I can color in the lines, but if you asked me to draw something without providing me something to trace, be prepared to laugh. Oh, what I would give to be able to win just one round in Pictionary! But seriously, I know what I have been blessed with, now it is my responsibility to use it to my full potential. There are things that you can do that others can only dream of accomplishing! Don't be a waste of talent. It is your gift, no one else's. Use it. 


"Cardio Mix-Up"

3 Rounds:

  • 5 minutes of stairs (or until partner returns)
  • Half mile run

This is the Day

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours- it is an amazing journey- and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.
— Bob Moawad

While Sunday is technically the beginning of the week, it is Monday that tends to be the day we begin anything big! "I will start my diet on Monday." " No more smoking...beginning Monday." "On Monday, I will go to the gym." Even one of my favorite Strength and Conditioning coaches was a perpetual Monday starter. You see, even fitness professionals are prone to putting things off until Monday!

Well, guess what day it is?! 

No more excuses. No more putting things off. Clean out your fridge, lace up those running shoes, and let's begin this amazing journey together! This is the day! 

"The Mailman"

Sprint to first mailbox, walk to second, sprint to third mailbox, walk to fourth, etc.

"Three Way Abs" Burnout

  • 20 Overhead Medicine Ball Throws
  • 20 Chest Passes
  • 2, 4, 6, 8, ...20 Torso Twists

The Importance of Having a Happy Place

Don’t worry. Be happy.
— Bob Marley

Stress makes you fat. There, I said it. The dreaded "F" word. It was going to come out eventually. Stress can also make you tired, sick, depressed, anxious, shall I go on... 

Unfortunately, there is no quick, easy cure for stress. We all must find the best way to cope with our worries. Avoiding it would be nice, but highly unlikely. Doing yoga, getting a massage, having lunch with a friend, going for a run, praying, taking a walk at the beach, watching the sunrise over the mountains - all are stress relievers. All can be “happy places” we can go to breathe, relax, and replace our negative feelings with positive, calming emotions. What is important is finding what works for you. Mine is the piano.

Oh, the sweet sound of the piano. My mother is the greatest pianist the world has ever known (okay, maybe I am a little bias, but few, if any, would argue with me on this one). I spent my entire childhood listening to her play those ivory keys. Nothing mattered when the music began, it was just me, lost in the music. To this day, when things get a little tough, when I just need to get lost, I sit down to the piano. I am nowhere near as talented as her, but the music I manage to bang out has a magical effect on my stress levels. Find your happy place and go there often.

"Holyfield Circuit"

3 Rounds- 5 Minutes Each

Try to get through the circuit as many times as possible in 5 minutes!

  • Sprint 40 Yards

  • Back Pedal 40 Yards

  • 10 Tuck Jumps

  • Wheelbarrow Forward 10 Yards

  • Wheelbarrow Backward 10 Yards

  • Wheelbarrow Left 10 Yards

  • Wheelbarrow Right 10 Yards

  • 10 Explosive Push-ups

  • Carioca 40 Yards

  • Skip 40 Yards