MAX Blog

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 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workout #1- "Kettlebell Tabata"

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

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

 

 

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

Burnout #1- "10 in 10"

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

 

Workout #2- "Cardio Boost"

4 Rounds:

  • Half Mile Run
  • 100 Double Unders

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

Burnout #2- "Pretzel Squat"

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

 

Workout #3- "Chair Challenge"

Round 1

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

Round 2

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

Round 3

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

Burnout Round

  • 40 Dips
  • 40 Sit-Ups

* View the video for exercise demonstrations and beginner modifications.

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

 

Workout #4- "21s"

3 Rounds:

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

 

 

 

 

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

Burnout #4- "Plank Burnout" 

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

 

Active Rest Days

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

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

 

 

Fit & Fabulous Challenge- Week 1

The Fit & Fabulous February Challenge is underway! 

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

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

Sample Workout Week Plan A:

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

Sample Workout Week Plan B:

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

Workout #1- "5 Minute Mania"

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

Round 1- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

Round 2- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

Round 3- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

Round 4- EMOM for 5 minutes

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

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

 

Workout # 2- "Superhero Strength"

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

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

 

 

Workout #3- "The Mailman"

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

 

Workout #4- "Core & More"

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

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

Exercises:

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

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

 

Active Rest Days

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

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

The Importance of Mental Toughness

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
— Mahatma Gandhi

The Olympic Games have begun in Rio! For a little over two weeks, we are captivated by incredible victories, heart-warming back stories, painful defeats, and inspiring comebacks. We watch in awe as athletes run, jump, flip, and swim into our hearts. There is just something special about the Olympic Games and the athletes that have spent their entire lives preparing for this moment. We cheer with them, we cry with them, when they win, we win. No matter the final outcome, they are all champions to us. 

Beyond the obvious physical skills it takes to be an Olympian, there is a mental toughness that separates them from the rest. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Olympic stage. As an athlete, I know how quickly everything can change. You can train for countless hours a day, everyday, for years, but you can not control everything. The pressure is there. The distractions are there. Can they handle it? Some can...and some can not. This is the Olympic Games and anything can happen.

Mental toughness. If you want any chance of being successful in life, you have to possess the indomitable will to handle the obstacles that will surely come your way. For the next few weeks, we will discuss how to develop this difficult, yet imperative attribute. For today, I will just begin with this extraordinary story...

On Friday night, the Opening Ceremonies brought to light one of the prime examples of what it means to be a true Olympian. Lighting the cauldron with the ceremonial Olympic torch, was a Brazilian gentleman by the name of Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima. He is a former Olympic marathon runner who made headlines during the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens. During the grueling race, Vanderlei was leading, when out of nowhere, he was attacked by a spectator. Seven crucial seconds went by before he was able to reenter the race.

With four miles remaining, he had to somehow shake off the traumatic event and cross the finish line. His pace had been abruptly interrupted, and while he was not physically hurt, he was undoubtedly mentally damaged. He could have easily given up. No one would blame him. He was cheated, it was unfair, and it impacted his lead. Two runners surpassed him after the attack and Vanderlei entered the arena for the final lap in the third place position. But instead of tears, there was a smile. Instead of despair, there was pure joy. He won the Olympic bronze medal that day, but in his eyes, it was as good as gold. Later on, Vanderlei was awarded the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin medal for the spirit of sportsmanship. 

No excuses. No complaining. Just a model example of mental toughness and the importance of knowing how to cope through a difficult situation. Thank you, Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, you are an inspiration to us all.  


 

Looking for a workout that tests both your physical and mental toughness? Give this one a try!

 

 

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!

 


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! 

Welcome to the Team!

When Steve and I discussed the concept of MAX Training, we wanted to develop a program and support system capable of assisting all fitness abilities and desired goals. We knew that was a tall order to fill, but we were determined to meet the needs of anyone willing to give us a chance. 

Fast forward a year. We are so proud of our growing MAX family and are ready to add to our "staff" to better serve our fellow fitness enthusiasts! You have seen her in many of our videos and now, we would like to formally introduce to you Maddie, also known as "The Champ."

Just last week, Maddie qualified at the US National Taekwondo Championships to participate in the US National Team Trials later on this year. Her work ethic is unmatched. When she is not training, she is helping out at the gym, teaching classes, or studying to maintain her honor roll grades in school. Did I mention she was only 17?

Do not be fooled by her young age. What she lacks in years, she makes up in experience. Maddie has a stack of journals filled with workouts, food diaries, and motivational works, she is a diligent goal setter, an incredible role model, and an all-around awesome chick! 

Beyond her fitness inspiration, we have asked Maddie to join our team to help reach out to our teenage demographic. She will give us the inside view of what it is like to be a competitive athlete and to live in a teenage world dominated by selfies, tweets, and Photoshop filters.

Welcome aboard, Maddie! Together, we will continue to promote healthy living, fighting the fat, and having some fun along the way!


For those of you who are just joining us, we have been taking advantage of the summer weather and taking our workouts outside. Check out Maddie in our latest outdoor workout "Beach Body Builder."  

World's Greatest Dad

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad.
— Proverb

My heart is heavy as I sit here at the gate waiting to board a plane to Boston.  My best friend, Dennis, lives there, and a few days ago he lost his dad. I know what he is going through, for sadly, I have been there. Nine years ago, I lost my dad. The first person to get on a plane and come see me was Dennis. To be honest, I do not remember the words he said or the things we did when he came to visit, I just remember how I felt knowing that he was there to comfort and support me during this tragic time in my life. I only hope I can do the same.

I still miss my dad each and every day, but, his memories fill my heart with joy. He taught me how to love. He taught me that God came first. He taught me how to be a gentleman and the importance of chivalry. He was tough on me when I needed it and understanding when I am sure I did not deserve it. There were times when he could have given up on me, but he never did. He gave and he gave and he gave...

There is a huge difference between a father and a dad. Mine was not only a dad, he was the World's Greatest Dad!

It is time for me to board the plane now. Keep Dennis and his family in your prayers this Father's Day. To all the World's Greatest Dads out there- to those we are blessed to still be with, and to those who watch over us from above as we await the day to see them again- Happy Father's Day. 


Get outside and enjoy some time with your loved ones. Last week, we began taking our training outside! Check out our first post about it here. This week, we have added a NEW park workout and also included some of our favorite outdoor workouts for you to try:

"Fitness at the Park"

"Bench Body Blast"

"Cardio Boost"

Take It Outside!

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

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

Start off your outdoor summer workouts with these family favorites!


Be Done With It

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Why You Should Be Interval Training

If the thought of pounding the pavement for an hour is about as pleasing to you as doing your taxes, we have great news for you! Interval training, such as HIIT or Tabata has been proven time and time again as a better method for fat loss than long duration cardio. Studies show that just 15 minutes of performing sprints with full recovery in between has a greater benefit on your metabolism than 60 minutes of jogging. In addition, interval training increases your VO2 max, improves cardiovascular, ATP, and CP systems, and increases stamina, strength, and explosiveness!

Elite athletes have been using these training methods for years, but recently, interval training has hit the mainstream fitness world. Unfortunately with popularity comes a lot of misinformation and unhealthy practices. Elite athletes are highly skilled and are prepared for high intensity programs. Athletes are also supervised by trained coaches and educated staff members. With that being said, interval training CAN and SHOULD be used by everyone (after doctor approval, of course!)  Education is the key to success, so before you jump into the next HIIT program you see on the internet, let me inform you how to best incorporate interval training into your fitness routine.

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, consist of alternating bouts of hard effort exercise with periods of recovery. Studies show an ideal ratio is 1:3, meaning the rest/recovery interval should be three times longer than the intervals of hard effort. Many programs out there switch this ratio around leading to overtraining and improper muscle recovery! Do your body a favor and avoid these uneducated programs!

Tabata, named after Dr. Izumi Tabata from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, consists of 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes. This method is the shortest in duration and the highest in intensity of interval training programs. Tabata is whole different beast when it comes to interval training. It throws the ideal hard effort/recovery ratio out the window! Many have be known to call it high-INSANITY training. Research suggests it would take up to five times the amount of moderate cardio to match the calories burned in a 4 minute Tabata! Due to the lack of recovery in this method, you should work your way up to this program. Try less taxing exercises, such as squats rather than squat jumps, or increase the recovery time until your body adapts. 

For optimal results:

  • Include HIIT or Tabata training in your workout regimen NO MORE than 2-3x a week and NEVER on consecutive days.
  • ALWAYS begin with a warm-up and end with a cool-down.
  • The intervals of high intensity should be around 2-4 minutes and the entire workout should be under 20 minutes.
  • ALWAYS keep proper form. NEVER sacrifice quality for quantity! If you notice your form slipping, increase your recovery time or decrease your intervals of hard effort.
  • HAVE FUN with your training and mix it up. Interval training is highly adaptable and can be performed using basic exercises (squats, push-ups, etc.), sprinting, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, sparring a punching bag, etc.

Follow these simple suggestions and enjoy the numerous health benefits of this time-efficient approach to exercise! You GET what you GIVE!

References:

Freese, E. C., Acitelli, R. M., Gist, N. H., Cureton, K. J., Evans, E. M., & O'Connor, P. J. (2014). Effect of Six Weeks of Sprint Interval Training on Mood and Perceived Health in Women at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome. Journal Of Sport & Exercise Psychology36(6), 610-618.

Herodek, K., Simonović, C., Pavlović, V., & Stanković, R. (2014). High Intensity Interval Training. Activities In Physical Education & Sport4(2), 205-207.

Tabata Training Proves Effective. (2013). IDEA Fitness Journal10(8), 15.

 


Try some of our favorite interval training workouts this week!

"Kettlebell Tabata"

"The Mailman"

"Tabata Time!"

High intensity training calls for some major rest and recovery for your muscles! Say bye-bye to sore muscles with these tried and true methods.

"Workout Recovery"

"Massage Recovery"

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."


When In Rome...

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

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

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


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

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!

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! 

Win or Lose

What looks like a loss may be the very event which is subsequently responsible for helping to produce the major achievement of your life.
— Srully Blotnick

Over the weekend, we had an important tournament, a tournament my athlete needed to win. However, despite all of her preparation and hard work, she just did not win. How I hurt for her because I know how she is feeling. That sinking feeling, deep in your stomach. You feel so lost, so confused. You worked so hard, everything in your life revolved around this event, only to have it all disappear. I have been there....probably more times than I want to admit.  

Athletes are not the only ones who go through defeat. Losses happen to us all, and sometimes, no matter how much we want it and how hard we work for it, we just do not succeed. Know this- you are not alone. It is not the loss that determines your failure but how you handle your loss. When I look back, I realize some of my greatest moments followed my most devastating defeats!

So to those who experience a loss, do not bring home the gold, are defeated, I can only offer these few words of comfort- keep trying, never give up, your time will come! Make this your pinnacle moment to strive to achieve something even greater! Remember this feeling when things get tough and the journey seems impossible. Win or lose, your effort is never in vain. Keep pushing on....something amazing awaits.

Find a hill, a mountain, or even a bridge and get ready to torch some major calories! Watch the video for a full demonstration of this awesome workout. 

"Uphill Insanity"

You will need 7 landmarks spaced about 20 yards apart. We used light posts, but telephone poles, mailboxes, or even trees work great.

  • Sprint to the 7th farthest landmark
  • Sprint to the 6th farthest landmark
  • Backpedal to the 5th
  • Backpedal to the 4th
  • Lunge to the 3rd
  • Duck walk to the 2nd
  • Bunny hop to the 1st

Walk or jog back to start after each one.

Know your ABC's

i love lucy.jpg

One of my favorite episodes of I Love Lucy is when Lucy does a TV commercial for Vitameatavegamin. The health tonic contained vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals, and would transform you from tired, run-down, and pooped out, to happy and peppy in no time! Of course, the commercial quickly turns out to be a disaster for Lucy, but it is interesting to know that even 60 years ago, a well-balanced diet was the answer to your health problems.

I can't say it enough- there is no secret to nutrition. The same food groups recommended today were encouraged to your parents and their parents and so on. The layout of the food pyramid may change over time, but the importance of a well-balanced diet is still the main focus in health and nutrition.   

However, in pursuit of meeting our daily recommendations, we tend to reach for a bottle instead of a grocery bag. Our desire to supplement our nutrition is apparent in the overwhelming abundance of vitamin options in the pharmacy aisles. Entire aisles are dedicated to vitamins ranging from multi, prenatal, kids, senior citizens, men, women, and seemingly every letter in the alphabet! To top it off, they are incredibly expensive. Are taking vitamin supplements really necessary?

Americans alone spend about 23 billion dollars each year on vitamin and mineral supplements. While I applaud those who are health-conscious enough to take their daily vitamins, I can not help but wonder what the motive is behind the purchase. Did your doctor recommend you take them? Are you deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral? Or, were you persuaded to purchase supplements by a commercial, print ad, or diet book? If following a well-balanced diet, the average person does not need to take supplements. In fact, the additional vitamin consumption can be dangerous. An excess of vitamins, especially fat-soluble vitamins, can be toxic and lead to serious illnesses such as vomiting, swelling of bones, kidney damage, and birth defects. An excess intake of certain minerals can lead to high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Don't get me wrong, vitamins and minerals are essential! They aid the body in metabolizing energy, tissue building, fluid balance, carrying oxygen, and reducing oxidative stress. Some individuals may even require additional vitamins and minerals. For example, women in child-bearing years tend to be deficient in iron, and athletes with rigorous training demands may need to increase their mineral consumption to counter sweat loss. I, in particular am guilty of skipping an important source of nutrition- fish. I do not like the taste of seafood and therefore must get my omega-3 from additional sources. You should try your best to avoid gaps in your diet and get your daily recommendations by enjoying a variety of foods from the five food groups.  

Supplements are usually not necessary. They can hurt your health and your wallet. Even with all the talk of disease prevention, a recent study showed that vitamin supplementation did not affect an individual's risk of getting cancer or heart disease. Also, beyond popular belief, extra supplementation does not increase athletic performance.

Stop using supplements to counteract a poor diet. Bottom line-examine your diet, make changes, and get your nutrients from food. 

Ready for an awesome workout?! Get outside this holiday weekend and try our "Parking Lot Plyos." This is definitely a workout that will take your training to the MAX! 

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!  

Believe

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.
— Jesse Jackson

Confidence. It seems some people are born with it, some prepare for years to get it, some work incredibly hard to achieve it, and sadly, some never have it. But, one thing is certain-without it, you are already defeated before you even begin.

I am sure we have all personally experienced what a lack of confidence can do. Admit it, sometimes we even deserved it. We knew deep down inside, we were not fully prepared, we had not given it our all. However, there are times when we have given 110% and have put in the work, yet we lack the belief in ourselves. This belief is what sets people apart.

Confidence is a game changer. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything! When doubt creeps in, kick it out! Remember, you have put in the time and effort to succeed. Steve and I are here to encourage you every step of the way. We know you can do it! Now, it is up to you.

BELIEVE that you can...and you will. 

Today's workout, "Follow the Leader," requires the whole family to get involved! 

Please watch the video for full workout instructions.

Have Fun

Today is the day. I am experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. Some nervous, some excited, but strangely, all different emotions than I have ever experienced. 

About a month ago, I shared with you my decision to "come out of retirement" just for this one tournament. I am still not sure why I am doing it, but there is no turning back now. By the end of this day, I will be halfway around the world preparing to battle it out for gold! 

Unlike the past twenty or so years of my sport career, I have a completely different outlook on this tournament. This time, there is no pressure. No expectations. Just me, having fun, doing what I love. 

So often, we forget why we started and how we felt before all the "pressure." Whether it is sports, jobs, or relationships, we need to look back and remember what really matters. Remember why you enjoyed playing sports or why you chose your profession. Remember why you fell in love with that special someone or why you went back to college.

No pressure. Have fun and enjoy. Again.

With the weather warming up, we are revisiting one of our favorite "Take It Outside" training videos. So, put on that sunblock and get your recommended daily dose of Vitamin D!