Which part of your martial arts has been impacted the most by Max Results? This is a hard question to answer. Max is a beast, while also being the smartest man I’ve ever met, so there is nothing that Max hasn’t helped us with for martial arts, but if I had to pick one, it would be endurance. I know, its not boxing or kicking or one of the three other tips we do at the dojo, but overall, Max has impacted my endurance more that imaginable. I’m mentioning this because of the 2 mile run coming up. I’ve realized that I’ve been able to run more easily and to harder things with less effort. This has been so helpful and will be while transitioning into our jujitsu part of our test. Max has helped so much and I am so grateful that he’s spending his Saturdays making some crazy strong people.
What surprised you the most about training with Max? Most people know now, but I have been training with Max for a year or so before the Black Belt Test, but the thing I was most surprised about was how difficult it would really be. We have the whole gym to ourselves on Saturday, so Max really has more time to focus on breaking us. The one upside though is definitely how fast this test has passed. I am so surprised how Max has been killing us while time was flying by. On the topic of Max killing us, I realize how if he didn’t kill us, we wouldn’t be as strong as we are now. It is incomprehensible how different and similar the workouts are on Saturday compared to my workouts on Wednesday. We do some of the same workouts we do on Wednesday, but the difficulty is bumped up a couple noches when working out on Saturday. It truly shocks me to this day how insane Max is, and I cant wait to keep training with him for years to come.
Since training with Max, I’ve definitely seen improvements in my balance, strength, and conditioning. When I first started training at Max Results I could barely stand on the bosu ball for 10 seconds. I was able to get my physical requirement on the first and second try. I also couldn’t stand on the bongo board on the wood floor without holding onto someone or falling. Now I have completed the bongo board with no assistance! Every one of his workouts helps us with something in our black belt test, whether it be physical requirements, power, or strength, they are all helping us. One thing I love about Max’s training is that there is always something new. Max is amazing in how he thinks of all the variations you can do for exercises that will help you in your black belt test. My forms are where I see the biggest improvement as well as boxing in power. I can hold my stances longer and more powerfully. I think this is because of all the balancing workouts we do. My boxing has also gotten better because of all the weightlifting we do.
Something that surprised me was how much I improved while lifting weights and running. I’ve never lifted as heavy of weights until I started training with Max. I’ve never pushed or pulled as much weight across the room. My running has also gotten better. I have been able to run a faster mile and I’ve never run as fast on the treadmill.
Which part of your Martial arts has been affected most by your Max training? I would say my kicking has been affected most by training with Max! My balance has improved so much after training with max. The balance drills he has us doing definitely show visible results if you do the drill correctly. Not only just my balance in kicking but also when we do shield kicking I have gotten a lot more powerful from Max trainings. You can tell how much stronger I have gotten from training with Max by how much louder the sound is when I hit the kicking apparatus! These are to of the biggest improvements in my martial arts that have come from Max training but everything about my martial arts has improved from training with Max!
What surprised you most about training with Max? Something I would say that surprised me most about Max trainings is how he always finds new things for us to do but every drill has a purpose and shows results super quickly. Max does a phenomenal job of making each training new and exciting but always designed to be effective for everyone. He always makes sure to know how many people are coming and what injuries everyone has along with up coming tests so that he can specify each workout to be as effective as possible to prepare everyone for what they need! I would also say that I was surprised at how quickly I saw results from training with Max!
Out of all the skills we train at Dojo Reno my forms have been impacted the most from Max training. We do so many balance drills that focus on different parts of our body which has really impacted on how I land in stance, at the start of the test forms was my weakest skillset and now it’s one of or is my strongest skill in martial arts. This is all from Max training, even though I repeated the form and my technique got better the intensity that I hit the form didn’t change until I started training with Max because of how my endurance got better and I could hit at 100% for the whole form unlike before where I could hit it at 70% and it would decrease as the form went on. What surprised me was how different Max workouts are because they trick your muscles and work on different parts of the body on one exercise and then change it to target a different part of your body. Each time I walk into Max’s (including Mondays and Wednesdays) you are not going to do the same thing as last time. And as you train more you see improvement and how it affects that muscle’s endurance.
Which part of your martial arts has been impacted the most by Max Results Training? At the beginning of this test, I knew I was not going to get straight 10’s everytime in my QEs, and I also didn’t want to. I wanted to get progressively better each time we train for QEs and then do them. In the first 4, I have gotten increasingly better in each one, and I know that Max training has helped me so much to do that. I feel like when I do my boxing I am punching and kicking so much harder than before the test started. For kicking, there is so much balance and accuracy needed when doing it, and doing work on Tera-Cores and other balance drills have gotten me to kick higher than I ever thought I could. Forms are so fun, but to do them as close to perfect as you can get takes lots of work and strength. My forms have been the best part of this test and Max has done all that. I’m excited to see what is to come.
What surprised you the most about training with Max? I have been training with Max for about a year before the start of the test, and they were great workouts that got me really tired and sore. I thought those workouts were hard, and I thought the workouts during the test would be pretty similar. Let me tell you, I was SO wrong. I didn’t know the workouts could get even more deadly. There has not been one Max training during the test when I didn’t come in the Dojo on Saturday morning and could barely move. This may sound like it’s terrible, but I have loved every moment of it. This test has been flying by while Max is working us to be the best we can be. Max is such a great coach and I want to continue training with him for a long time because of his set ideas and how cool of a guy he is.
Max Trainings have improved me as a martial artist in all aspects of training, but I believe the facet which I have seen the most improvement is my boxing. With Max making me stronger and more reactive, my boxing has looked much better during this test. Boxing uses your arms, legs, and core to h to it the pads, defend yourself, and move around. In a Max Training, we workout all of those muscles, every part of our body gets stronger and more coordinated. Another important aspect of boxing is the decision making and reacting quickly. Max’s workouts also have improved my reaction time while boxing. One workout that I like and is very Max, is where he has a pole and a step in front of him, and I’m on a block copying wherever his pole moves on the step, but I’m jumping on the block. This workout is fun and very reactive. With Max results trainings, my boxing has changed and improved so much in the past five and a half months.
What surprises me most about training with Max are his talks and pieces of advice he gives me, as a tester and an athlete in general. I mean they’re not quite surprising but I just love hearing Max’s thoughts on things. But training wise, I know the workouts are creative and difficult but I don’t know what he’ll say during his little talks. It’s fun to listen to those conversations and to share thoughts with Max because he is so smart and knows so much about everything. He passes me great advice and knowledge while training me which I love and always so interesting. I’m very thankful for Max during this test and for how much he has helped me improve as an athlete and martial artist.
Strength, balance, and precision are all attributes that we focus on during our weekly workout sessions with Max. After training with him for 6 months straight, all of these attributes have made a huge impact. But the attribute that has impacted me the most is definitely my endurance. Since the first QE, the thing I needed to fix the most was my endurance. This was something on my first few QE grade sheets and something I felt like I needed to work on during both tests and classes. What was really cool to see was when I started to get my grade sheets back and it would read “endurance improvement.”
I’ve been training with Max for around 3 years now. During this time, I’ve gotten the chance to train in 3 black belt tests (one as an instructor) and also had privates with Kai, Stevie, and Alex. Even after training with Max for as long as I have, he still continues to surprise me with how complex and difficult his workouts can be. This time around, the thing that surprised me the most was our clear focus on cardio and prepping for the 2 mile run test. We’ve worked on cardio and running during the last 2 tests of course, but this years test focused a lot more on running. Almost every single workout session either had a running warmup, or was centered around running, or ended with running. Because we were constantly doing these workouts, which I found to be difficult, my endurance improved a lot and has positively impacted my QE scores.
My athletic career in and outside of Martial arts has had some large ups and downs. Through injury, mental stress, and adversity that has risen over the years, the support and wisdom that had been passed down to me has taught me to roll with the punches and stay persistent.
At the beginning of my junior year, I had an injury in my lower back that completely debilitated my ability to use any force from my left leg. PT was doing nothing, and my mental drive was at an all time low. After months of trial and error, my parents brought me to Max. At the time, I knew who max was, my mom had worked and trained with him and I had done workouts under his instruction during my previous tests, but I had no idea how much of an impact he would eventually have on my Martial Arts Journey. His methods of rehabilitation were unlike anything I had experienced. His uncanny ability to test my symptoms in order to come up with a diagnosis was impressive on its own, but the strategy of treating it was the most beneficial instruction in my athletic career so far. Within four weeks I was restrengthening in his gym without any pain symptoms whatsoever. It was at this stage that I realized that Max could transform me into an Athlete with the ability to preform at a high level whilst maintaining a healthy body and mind. The specificities of his training correlated directly to my sport, and this has developed me to not just become stronger and faster, but to be precise in my movements. Precision is what I train at Maxs. Precision is interlocked in martial arts, and that is why I benefit so much from Max Results.
I still feel as if I’ve just reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what I have achieved with his coaching, and I’m 100% committed to his wisdom and anything more that he has to offer me in the future.
After an 11-year effort, my 15-year old son earned his Black Belt in mixed martial arts yesterday. My wife and I are so very proud of him. In his five-month-long Black Belt exam, he showed his amazing strength, flexibility, and skill – and even more his persistence and heart.
Also, my son’s black belt reveals the biggest scientific error at loose in the world today.
It’s an error so fundamental and pervasive that it’s hard to wrap one’s head around it. Most readers will not believe it, and I’m braced for the angry comments I may get. Yet what I will say has been scientifically established for nearly a century.
But first, my son.
My wife and I began to realize something was wrong in early pre-school. Stevie could not do what other kids could do. He couldn’t throw, or catch, or kick, or climb. His hands got tired in minutes if he tried to draw; he could not hold a knife or fork. In pre-school, no one would pick him for team games at recess – kids groaned when he eventually was.
We put him into mixed martial arts figuring at least he’d be compared to his own baseline. He came under the influence of a wonderful teacher there, Michelle Clancy, who was kind and inspiring.
Right before first grade, his pediatrician referred him for an evaluation. On standardized tests, his physical skills were those of someone less than half his age. “Moderate hypotonia,” the report said. It was genetic. Yes, with difficulty he could improve but he’d never be good at anything physical.
When my son later joined the “Black Belt Club” we smiled and were supportive, but words echoed silently inside our heads like “genetic” and “never.”
When Michelle created her own “DojoReno” three and a half years ago we were among the first to sign on. He kept getting better, but Black Belt dreams still seemed remote. Put aside skills – how about the physical standards he’d need to meet? Fifty “nose kissing” push-ups? How? A timed two-mile run and push-up combination I myself could never have done? Not likely!
Enter Max McManus. A friend of Michelle’s, Max is Olympic Gold Medalist David Wise’s conditioning coach. Max agreed to work with Stevie.
I told Max the story of his diagnosis and history. He listened respectfully. “We don’t care about that,” he said, with an air of finality. “Let’s see what he can do”.
His sessions were creative, focused, long, unusual. For me, as a psychologist, I found the workouts fascinating. He’d describe a challenge then pause as if changing his mind. “Stevie, I’m not sure you can do that,” he’d say, with an almost unnoticeable twinkle in his eye. Emotion now properly engaged, Stevie would answer, “I think I can”, and he’d then give 110 percent to an exercise I’d never seen before. “This is probably too much,” Max would say. “Well, let me try.” would be the retort, as he did some bizarre combination of strength and balance that Max seemingly made up on the spot. It wasn’t just Stevie’s muscles Max was training, it was his mental engagement, excitement, and motivation.
In two weeks, Stevie was showing strength and stamina beyond anything we’d ever seen before. His adolescent growth spurt hit, and a cycle of self-confidence and barrier-busting effort set in.
Now, years later, he’s done those push-ups, made those runs, and passed that months-long set of qualifying exams. Now, years later, his speed, kicking, and punching strength are almost frightening. And as of that fine day called yesterday, our sweet little boy now grown-up has a Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts.
We are so very proud of him.
Here is the error.
Since 1931 when it was first proven in physics, we’ve known you cannot properly predict the trajectory of an individual on the basis of averages and variations within groups of individuals. It’s mathematically illegitimate, except under a few extraordinary circumstances that apply to no living things (indeed they apply to a very small list of inanimate things, like a few noble gases).
The proof is called the ergodic theorem.
Virtually all of our concepts about human abilities, tendencies, and qualities contain the ergodic error and the falsehoods that come along with it. Physical strength. Intelligence. Personality. Mental disorders. Learning disabilities. Talent. Creativity. Even the needlessly crude ways we think of genetics, or trauma, or injury, or motivation.
All statistically illegitimate.
And the vast majority of psychological scientific methods that give us such concepts: psychometrics, randomized trials, mediation, standardized testing.
Human development is idiographic first and nomothetic second. Humans are complex evolving networks, and no one thing makes sense except in context over time compared to within-person variation. Yes, your genome matters, but it plays out individually, in context, and interacting with epigenetics, developmental history, environment, behavior, and culture.
So too with every human trait.
It does us little good to simplify this complexity with concepts like “weak” or “hypotonia”; never mind “mentally ill,” “unintelligent,” and on, and on, and on, until you get tired of the clown suits we force ourselves and others to live inside.
Some babies scoot on their diapered butt for several months and then stand up and walk. Every pediatrician who is properly educated “knows” that’s abnormal.
No, it isn’t. It’s one of more than a dozen known pathways to walking.
People are individuals, not averages.
Yesterday I watched a “weak” human child, my son, earning a Black Belt. He earned it, due to his heart, his persistence, and the miracle of good coaching. Thanks, Michelle. Thanks, Max. I’ll never again use “weak” to describe a human being without also using scare quotes.
Will Stevie’s lesson help us better address mental health, intelligence, or psychological prosperity?
I cannot say for certain. We have a lot to learn.
But I’m 100 percent down with the answer Max gave. “Let’s see what we can do”.
There is never a dull moment when training with Master Sports Trainer Max McManus. For the past 19 weeks, we have all had the privilege of training with Max where we would be put through special workouts designed specifically for martial arts. We don’t just lift weights to lift weights. Everything we do has a specific purpose, which translates directly to our movements. I don’t want to spoil all of Max’s secrets, but one of the drills that he has us do is a single-leg dumbbell press on a yoga ball. This drill is designed to improve our balance, strength, power, and stamina. We are improving our balance because we have to stay on an uneven surface using only our posting leg (similar to the majority of our martial arts movements). We are improving our strength because we are pushing heavyweight. We are improving our power because he makes this drill a plyo-movement meaning that we push the dumbbell up from 0% to 100%; we cannot use any momentum. Everything is from a full stop to an explosive pop upwards. We must have the power to bring it up, but more importantly the precision to stay balancing on the ball. Lastly, we are working on our stamina because we have to be able to hold and push the heavy weights for a certain amount of reps without stopping. There are so many other brilliant drills that Max has us do. This is only one of them. Imagine a whole workout filled with so many other fun and challenging drills. It is the best time ever.
One thing I love about Max’s training is that there is always something new. There is always something that catches my attention. Just when I feel like I get good at a drill, he finds a way to advance it. Every time I walk into his gym I see someone doing a unique drill. His workouts are like nobody else’s. I’m athletic and most things come easy to me, but I can never say that when Max is training me. Sometimes he tells you to do something and you just think to yourself how am I going to do this, but since I don’t want to disappoint Max, all I can do is say yes sir, and try my absolute best. Surprisingly you will complete the drill more often than not.
When training with Max you have to have a certain mindset. You have to be able to stay focused, especially when your body and mind are fatigued. You must have the grit to stay in it and the drive to keep on improving. It’s easy to mess up one of his drills when you lose focus even for a second. One thing Max and I worked on before my jiu-jitsu tournament was learning the difference between being proactive and reactive. One day when I was having trouble doing push-ups on the bongo board, I kept on predicting how the bongo board was going to move before I started my actual set. I would do one push-up and then fall off repeatedly. I felt as if I knew how the board was going to move, which made me fall because it is never going to move the same way more than once. This is when Max highlighted the fact that I need to react to how the board moves in real-time and adjust accordingly so that I don’t fall off. This translates directly to our combatives because in a live sense we have to react to what is going on; we have to move like water and go with the flow. This mental challenge of always needing to stay locked in, and the constant need to re-adjust develop us into better and more athletic martial artists. Another thing that makes Max’s training so special is his dynamic gravity drills. This is when our center of balance is always changing. This makes it so that we can never get used to the movement. You have to stay focused and make all of these micro-adjustments so that you don’t fall off. It’s like doing 12 sets of 1 rep rather than 1 set of 12 reps. You have to always be ready to react to the movement and adjust your body accordingly without giving up. There is so much thought that goes into his intricate workouts. All of these athletic movements reward us with a higher rate of improvement compared to someone doing a normal drill.
Training with Max is the best. His training gives me confidence because I always feel like I have the edge. I know that I have the best training me. Max is like Yoda; if we ever have a question, then he has an answer. In the past 3 years of training with Max, I have improved so much. I will always remember being terrified of going to Max without Ben and Amanda for the first time, I will always remember our jumping competitions, and I will always remember our little inside jokes. All the talks about the magic water in the back or the secret formula or starting up new businesses are the best. I am so fortunate to have Mr. Max as my strength and conditioning coach and as my friend. I would not be the skilled martial artist I am today without him.