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Reviews

 
 
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10/10 A teacher who touches his students with greatness
 
By Frank Delventhal / Hamburg, Germany

I made my RKC Lv I and last weekend my RKC Lv II both with Max. He has an x-ray vision for movement and a deep understanding for the mechanics and how that is connected to strength training. He can improve anyone who listens. For my RKC 2 it he showed me my weakness, by letting me jerk with 4kg Kettlebells. 40kg no problem, that is more my kind "comfort zone" but then I would have never got to the point of the movement. His program designs are brilliant and can be integrated in ones own training as well as being used to improve your clients. He teaches not only the "how" of a movement but also the "why" of the movement. That comes a bit close to "freedom is the insight into necessity" for movement. The Dalailama is often quoted with words of wisdom with everyday life, when Max makes a point he can do that too with one sentence in regard to movement / strength training. So just the essence and no unnecessary stuffing of phrases to make it sound more "hip" or interesting. To make it short, if you have a chance to learn from or train with Max, do it. Invest in your own skills - a currency that will never loose its value.

 
10/10 Top Notch Instructor
 
By Rob Exline / Houston TX, USA

I have had the pleasure of working with Max as my Team Leader at RKC San Diego in August 2011, assisting RKC in Houston in 2013 and 2014, and as one of the Master Insructor's at my RKC II in 2013. Each time I have learned an enormous amount of information about movement and coaching. Max has a unique ability to find the simplest and most bang for your buck drill or correction to see immediate results in better movement. He is a very talented coach with a very bright future. I look forward to working with him again in any capacity.

He is not only knowledgeable but freaky strong whether it is moving his own body weight or moving an external load. It is fun to see the new unbelievable movements that he has been practicing. Max is an old time strength guy in a modern world.

 
10/10 Thorough and simple
 
By Russell Andrews / Cartersville, US

I attended a BW workshop lead by Max and the information he covered was detailed, yet simple. His presentation has a laid back kinda feel to it, and before you know it, you have pages of notes. He also is very hands on with his teaching style. We worked. His corrections and progressions were the simple application that made his style enjoyable for me.
I also was an recent participant at a RKC cert here in Ga. Max again was thorough and simple. He explained functional corrections, progressions, programming, and applications of movement training with ease and understanding. He allowed "Us" to digest the information before proceeding. Max is very knowledgeable and approachable as a leader and a master Instructor in the RKC.

 
10/10 Isometrics; Icing on the cake!
 
By Bobby Doss / Indianapolis, In., USA

Max is an excellent instructor! He takes the sometimes complex & elusive topic of "How To Get Really Strong Using Just Your Bodyweight" & presents it in an easy to understand way.
(Especially the progressions with the Isometric work!) I have seen immediate strength improvements in my weak areas & am now stronger overall with it! (Thank You Max!!)
I highly recommend anyone wanting to get stronger & more athletic seek Max out & learn from him!!

 
10/10 K.I.S.S.
 
By Zack Henderson / Charlotte, USA

Keeping It Simple & Strong.

This sums up my experience with Mr. Shank. Max was my team leader at the RKC. He provided a wealth of knowledge and advice to our team that kept us motivated, focused, and calm.

 
10/10 RKC Instructor to the Max
 
By Kelsey Reed / Annandale, USA

Max was my RKC instructor doing my RKC certification. His coaching was concise, simple and effective. I walked away learning just as much about coaching as I did about kettle bells. His knowledge and expertise was extensive and I truly enjoyed working with him. He instantly makes one feel very comfortable and at ease (despite the tense environment) and the certification was much less stressful thanks to him.

 
10/10 Strong, yet humble
 
By Dave Clancy / Columbus, United States

i have had the opportunity to work with Max on several occasions, assisting him at an RKC certification and participating in his bodyweight workshops. For someone with the strength and knowledge that Max has, he is unbelieveably humble.

He explains things in an easy to follow manner, and doesn't get impatient when you "just don't get it." In fact, when you struggle, Max is at his best, looking for cues, stretches, movements that will help you perform your lifts.

I hope to have the chance to work with Max in the future.

 
10/10 Great Trainer, Better Person!
 
By Dwayne OConnor / Indianapolis formerly San Marcos

I have trained with NFL and NCAA Division 1 strength coaches in my younger days and never achieved the improvements I received from working out with Max. He helped me, through nutrition and strength training, to lose 70 pounds of fat while putting on 20-25 pounds of muscle. For the first time in my life, I had detail in my abs while never doing a sit-up or crunch. Max understands the human body, its movement and function. He knows how to motivate you, push you and achieve your best. After training with Max, I have been able to do feats of strength I could never do, even 20 years ago when in my athletic prime. More than his knowledge and motivation, Max is a great person. He's humble and unassuming. You will not find a better trainer on the planet! Do yourself a favor and contact Max today for a better tomorrow. Max, you are the best!

 
10/10 back from the dead
 
By Leo Gurnoe / Encinitas, California

After a life of surfing, beach volleyball, karate, squash, and racquetball I ruined my back and spent three weeks on the couch on pain killers and six weeks gimping around feeling I was all washed up. I went to two different chiropractors (one a bone cruncher and the other a physical therapist style tissue/massage guy), also a massage tech, and a acupuncturist.All to no avail. I was told I might not play squash again. On my first visit to Max I went through range of motion testing and was rated only one step above a cripple. I was expecting a typical grunt and groan workout program. Much to my suprise I have spent the last five weeks doing what Max calls myo~facial release. All the exercises are taken home for corresponding homework exercises. I am back playing high level squash and racquetball and am better than before my back injury, Max says I have a ways to go before I really feel the benefits of opening up my hips, shoulders, etc. I feel I owe Max credit for extending my sports career and tell everyone I meet my story.

 
10/10 Skater-aid
 
By BEN / Madison Wisconsin

Ten years of sprains, dislocations and broken bones had left my body in a pretty haggard state. I'd been to numerous doctors and sports medicine clinics in hopes of finding a way to lessen my day to day pain. None of them were able to do what Max helped me to do, train the pain away.
I was referred to Max after a long and particularly unsuccessful year of physical therapy for shoulder and knee injuries due to trauma from skateboarding.
Right away Max was able to identify the weaknesses in my movements (using the Functional Movement Screen) that were contributing to my chronic pain and stiffness. In two sessions he had me confidently pressing a weight over my head (more than I had lifted in a year) and squatting deep without pain in my knee.He puts a lot of emphasis on teaching perfect form which helped greatly. Max keeps training simple, efficient and above all effective. He has an eye for what will be beneficial nothing superficial.
I really liked how approachable he was as a trainer. He understood that I was skater desperately trying to get back to pursuing my passion and he tailored a program to get me thrashing again.

 
10/10 Get it done
 
By Steph / San Diego, CA

I have been training with Max for months now, and he is the best personal trainer/strength coach I've ever had. He tailors the workouts to my abilities as well as what I need to improve on and strengthen. He doesn't just make sure I keep fit, and grow stronger, he also makes sure I have good mobility and flexibility. He not only wants me to be strong and in shape now, but sans joint or mobility issues when I'm older. He knows his stuff, and keeps updated on all the latest and best ways to train. He motivates me without intimidating me, keeps things fresh, communicates well, and makes me put in the effort to get results fast.
Max is an exemplary trainer, and I love training with him!

 
10/10 results-oriented training
 
By Marcus / Del Mar, CA

I was a scrawny kid my whole life, and with Max's guidence, was able to replace the only 5% of body fat I had for 20 lbs of quality muscle. Improved speed, explosiveness, flexibility, and fixed shoulder/back problems from competitive tennis. Go get a fancy gym memberships to flirt with trainers, sample every supplement, and an excuse to try out new workout clothes while your fitness idles. Join Ambition Athletics for real results. Whether you're just starting out, or already a competitive athlete, Max will help you improve towards your goals.

 
10/10 Total Mutant......and Great Coach
 
By Franz Snideman RKC Team Leader / La Jolla, CA

Max has impressed me with his strength, athleticism, movement ability and coaching style. In the last 12 months Max and I have shared training methodologies and have had the opportunity to learn from each other. As a fitness professional for over 14 years I have met few coaches as gifted, as passionate and as capable as Max. He is light years ahead of the rest of the trainers out there. It is very RARE to find a young strength coach/trainer that is both incredbily strong and powerful and yet has the ability to help the rest of us non-mutants out there become like Max. Every time I train with Max I come away with knowledge that instantly makes me better, stronger and healthier. I highly recommend Max to anyone serious about their fitness, health, movement skills and goals. Thank you Max for being a Bad-Ass and for being humble!

 
10/10 Believe the hype!
 
By Andrew Read, RKCII, CK FMS / Melbourne, Australia

Max is that most rare of individuals - not only can he do it, at a phenomenally high level, but he can explain it and break it down so that you too can do it. It is rare to find someone so physically gifted who can communicate things so well and it is immediately clear when you speak with him that Max is not some meathead trainer. He has a great sense of humour, a quick wit and an easy personable manner - all great qualities you need in a trainer.

I was lucky enough to work alongside Max at RKCII in St. Paul in July, 2010 and can say that in a roomful of stud RKCs that he was one of the standouts.

 
10/10 Max Power
 
By Bob Lloyd / Encinitas

After working with Max for approximately 1.5 months, I was surprised at the level of flexibility and strength that I had developed. What was even more compelling was that I noticed a difference within my posture and core strength as well. Max has a unique approach to his training in that he focuses on areas that are pertinent to the individual. As a student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it becomes very apparent that flexibility and stamina are key components in developing a more well rounded game. That being the case, Max was able to greatly impact these areas for me and not only did he do it in a short period of time, but rather made it fun at the same time. The only problem that I know face is that his classes are addictive and I have found that missing a class lends itself to disappointment. If you are looking to increase your strength, flexibility and overall well being, please give Max a call. I can assure you, you will not be let down.

Thanks, Max.

 
10/10 Trust
 
By Dr. S / Del Mar

I trust Max to take care of my patients from simple training to complex rehabilitation.
I worked with him personally with great positive results for a previous back injury before sending any patients to him. I have seen and my patients have told me that he is considerate, caring, goal-oriented, and well educated in his field.

 
10/10 Assitant Instructor in San Diego
 
By Timothy Spencer RKC, NSCA - CPT / Goleta, CA. USA

Max was one of my assistant instructors during the 2009 San Diego RKC. I was glad to have him for his expertise regarding the high performance and strength side of kettlebells. He has a very relaxed attitude but his passion for them is very obvious. I felt that he was good at judging technique and a person's physical potential - both excellent qualities in an instructor!

 
10/10 Max Gets the Most Out Of You
 
By Jim / Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

Max will never let you "dial in" a workout. You will be expected to completely show up. But hey, if you are going to make an effort, you might as well be all the way in. Max has improved my strength, endurance and flexibility and, in 20 years of working out with personal trainers, is the only one who has but a significant emphasis on balance and posture--both important skills as you age. I would highly recommend Max.

 
10/10 Excellent program
 
By Curtis Hesselgrave / Encinitas, California USA

I am 62 years old, I asked Max to design a program for me that would enable me to increase strength specifically for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I also asked him to teach me the program in only 10 weeks, one session a week. This was 4 months ago. I am in the gym with Max's program 4 to 6 times a week and my strength has improved enormously. He gave me so much information and technique that I am able to vary my workout endlessly. Exactly what I was looking for. Excellent!

 
10/10 The Best Results Ever
 
By Wendy / Rancho Santa Fe, Ca

Max has taken my strength and physical form to a new level. I am a mother of three and wanted to get my body back and my strength. He has helped me achieve my goals. He is very knowledgeable. I highly recommend him. Of all the trainers I have worked with I achieved my goals with Max and very quickly.

 
10/10 The Perfect Fit
 
By Julie / Del Mar, CA

Max's instruction and expertise is a perfect fit for just about any athletic level, training style, and personality. He has that unique ability of adapting his own style to meet his clients' needs. His knowledge of body mechanics, form, and function combined with a true desire to serve his clients to the best of his ability makes him a top-notch trainer with a heart of gold. Thanks for the many years of encouragement, wisdom, education, and friendship, Max. You're the best.

 
10/10 Doesn't Accept "I Can't" for an Answer
 
By Jay / Encinitas, CA

I'm three times Max's age, and my motto has always been, "I've never been an athlete, but I can always be an athletic supporter." As I've said to Max, "My body is the pedestal that supports my brain," and my typical daily workout is finger exercises on a computer keyboard and keeping a chair warm. But despite my efforts to destroy Max's psyche, he keeps pushing me to do more. Around March or April, 2008, he asked, "What are your goals?" My cynical response was, "To get to the end of the next hour." When I balked about setting goals, he set them for me. So, when I was still struggling to dead-lift half my body weight, Max said, "You're going to dead-lift your body weight by the end of the summer." I thought to myself, "I want what you've been smoking." But by mid-summer, I was actually dead-lifting about 15 lb. more than my body weight. In mid-December, he had me alternate continuously for 15 minutes between pushups and dead-lifting about 2/3 of my body weight, and I did 90 dead-lifts and about 60 pushups. When my aging and aching joints won't respond to the moves he wants me to make, he finds alternate approaches, and the next thing I know, I'm able to do them. He is amazing, and he makes me amaze myself.

 
10/10 Awesome job!
 
By Alice Borg / Encinitas, CA USA

I have trained with Max for 2 years. He is a great instructor and pushes me to become stronger and more coordinated. He is an expert at the kettlebell and is a master at teaching great form so I don't get hurt which I truely appreciate. He can always push me just a little to reach farther than I think I can which is great. Thanks Max.

 
10/10 Wow, I never new......
 
By CaptGuy / Escondido, Ca.

I have trained with Max several times during this past year. Each and every time, I walk away, not just tired, but feeling like I just got worked...and not just a little. I never new there was such a science to this. I just thought, oh yea, lift a few weights, get on a bike for a while, jump rope a little..Oh yea, you'll be fine...well NOT!! Grab this kettlebell, swing this way and that way...OH MY GOD...I hate those things...who invented those?? You mean there's bigger one's too?? Holy c**p. BUT, if you want a workout that's a workout and not just something to get you tired, get Max to show you how it's done....next thing you know, you're stronger, got some endurance, and you'll "hate" those kettlebells too!! Max, thank you.......

 
10/10 The one & only
 
By Anne Engert / Anne, Encinitas

My work-outs with Max are always interesting & never the same, and I have FUN doing it! He finds a way to make me push myself just a little bit more each time, which has resulted in me being alot stronger & more fit. Patience is a strength for sure (I can finally do more than one pull-up now:) Max is a stickler for detail & form, and won't let you cheat your way through it. And last but not least, a master of the "Bell". Who would have thought you could get so sore from swinging a piece of metal around.......Anyways, he's a great guy and gets the job done - beautifully! Keep reaching for the stars!

 
10/10 "It doesn't matter how good you are, it how bad you want it."
 
By Ondrea Rosen / Encinitas, CA

Max is the best trainer I have ever had and is worth every penny and every minute of my time. He is encouraging, and through with all of his wonderful work. When I first started with him, I was more into kickboxing than kettle bells. Now, I can't stay away from a kettle bell for too long until I start craving to swing one. He is understanding, sensative, and will work your butt off!! I'll tell you this much, You will not leave the gym smelling like roses. He makes it fun but all at the same time challenging. He is always changing it up. You will work outside and inside. NO matter how hard it gets, he will push you to your highest limit. I am always sore after working out with Max. If you want a drill Sargent, he can be that (Though you may end up cracking up); And if you want him to be more gentle with you, he can do that too but still, he will NEVER let you get away with "half assing" everything. Max is awesome. You won't regret anything.

 
10/10 Patience is his virtue
 
By Jeri / Encinitas

I have trained with Max for a few years now. Even when I grouse about the morning's choice of exercises, Max patiently insists that I perform my best. He ensures that my form is correct and always makes me push to my limit despite my many excuses and complaints. Max is very conscientious and works around my physical limitations. I am probably as combat-ready as any nearly-54-year-old woman can be, thanks to Max. Keep playing on the right team, Max!

 
10/10 Strength in humility
 
By Jordan Vezina RKC/ 0311 / Palo Alto, CA USA!

I attended the August 2008 RKC at UCLA with Max. Prior to that I was familiar with him as the mutant who won the Elite Division of the April 2008 Tactical Strength Challenge. What struck me at the RKC wasn't the degree of strength Max was able to bring to bear, but the humbleness with which he carried himself, and his eagerness to learn. the greatest flaw a trainer can have is thinking he or she knows everything, and this is not a flaw Max has. He also (along with Joe Sarti RKC) inspired me to pick up the 32 kg. and compete in the Elite Division myself this past September, and to now train for the beast challenge.

 
10/10 Mad Max
 
By Tom / San Diego, CA

Max completely rocks as a trainer. I never fail to be sore for days. He is consistently able to awaken my college-days mentality of continually trying to one-up myself in the gym. But seriously, Max knows what I should be working on and is able to get me to push hard to do it while keeping the workouts entertaining. I highly recommend him regardless of your personal fitmness goal -- and especially if you want to get stronger.

 
10/10 The Max Factor!
 
By Cheri / San Diego, CA

Max has worked with me on weight loss, overall fitness, toning, strength, and rehab from shoulder surgery. Results? Amazing! In a remarkable period of time, I lost 60 pounds and did it in a healthy manner. I am strong and have boundless energy. With Max's help, I have maintained my weight loss for over one year now, even while I was recovering from shoulder surgery. But in addition to Max helping me reach my fitness goals, I have a lot of fun with Max. He is a true professional, skillfully guiding my workouts and making it enjoyable.

 
10/10 Master of the Game
 
By Chris Reich / Encinitas, CA

I have trained with Max Shank for one year. He is a dedicated, focused instructor who demonstrates a mastery, not only of the Russian Kettle ball, but of the methods common in personal fitness training today. Max mixes a no-nonsense attitude with a sensitivity to the client's needs and capabilities. Training is always interesting and varied. Most importantly, Max gets results. By following his training techniques, I have become bigger and stronger. I am happy to give him my highest recommendation.

 
10/10 Pushes me past my limits every time.
 
By Forrest / Solana Beach, CA

When it comes to personal trainers, Max is the real deal. He balances a keen understanding of his client's goals and beliefs about what they can do, with his vision for what it is they really can do. He gently encourages you past your own limitations with an eye toward well-balanced, healthy, sustainable results. He is hands down the best trainer I have ever worked with and he makes going to the gym fun (if not a big, sweaty mess). I highly recommend Max if you're interested in getting results.

 
10/10 Professional w/attention to details!
 
By Cora / Encinitas

Max has been a terrific trainer! He pays close attention to details - body mechanics, technique, flexibility and individual needs. He continues to make workouts a CHALLENGE and FUN! The results are great - I'm stronger & more fit - who could ask for more?

 
10/10 Awesome!
 
By Mark / Del Mar

Max got me results, period. I only trained with him for about 4 months and I was completely prepared for the physical side of college sports. He listened to me, assessed what I needed, and delivered in full. My strength and conditioning went through the roof, I never get tired anymore! Max will make you stronger and faster.

 
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