Every month, we introduce a new Guest Editor to share his or her musings on wellness, beauty, lifestyle, and beyond. This month, we invited Nike Master Trainer Max Artsis to take part.
Are you two jump squats and plank away from quitting your fitness journey? Let Max Artsis inspire you to keep pushing forward. We’ve all experienced workout ruts – even fitness professionals do, as the Nike Master Trainer tells Lively in a candid chat about his own fitness journey.
Our April Editor is full of wise nuggets, from the advice he’d give someone looking to follow in his footsteps to the inspiring mantra his bodybuilder-dad passed on to him growing up. Keep reading for our full interview with Artsis below. Plus, keep an eye out for two additional wellness blog posts from Olympian Chloe Kim’s trainer, slated to roll out later this week.
Lively: Thanks for chatting with us! How did you first become interested in fitness?
Max Artsis: My dad used to be a bodybuilder, so I have been around weights my entire life. The funny thing is that as much as he would bug me and wake me up early on the weekends to work out with him, I didn’t want to. It started to build this resentment for me in the gym, as much as I did love spending time with my dad. Of course, the joke is on me as I am a trainer now. As the years passed, I played football and tennis pretty competitively, but to be honest my strength and conditioning wasn’t great. I felt confident in my skill and ability to play those sports at a high level, but I wasn’t confident in myself as an athlete in general. So, to answer your question, I want to be the coach I never had, and help people become confident in themselves.
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L: What has been the most rewarding experience in your career so far?
MA: I’m sure that most people would think my answer would be working with Chloe Kim, Zion Wright, or training guys for the NFL Scouting Combine. While I have loved every second of those things, when I get to work with someone who hasn’t quite found their sense of self-worth, it’s a remarkable feeling to be able to have a small part in helping them find it. The person who gives to everyone around them, and works their ass off, but at the end of the day has nothing left to give. To be able to give back to them means the world to me.
L: How do you overcome a workout rut?
MA: Everyone goes through this – even coaches. You think after 12 hours in a gym, I want to be in there lifting? Nope. But my “why” is so strong that it isn’t a choice for me. It’s just habitual. Creating a habit will always win out over looking for motivation. From there, I am a big fan of working out with someone else, and I also try not to program my own workouts. Those are what works for me. But sometimes you also need to listen to your body. Take a week, reset your mindset, goals, and body, and then you should feel refreshed and ready to go!
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L: Is there a quote that inspires or motivates you?
MA: I think this industry is saturated with these, but there are definitely a few that resonate with me. Every time I would come to my dad with a thought or idea, he would always ask me, “How bad do you want it? What are you willing to give up to get it?” At the time I hated hearing that, but it’s really true. We are in a society that expects instant gratification. But the things worth having? Those people who have what you want? Nine times out of 10, they were willing to give it all up to obtain their dream. So now, I think to myself, “What are you willing to give?”
L: What advice would you give someone starting out in their fitness journey?
MA: It’s worth it. It’s so f---ing worth it. Put the blinders on. People will tell you who you should be, what you should look like, how you should train or eat. And while some of that can help, drown out the white noise because it can get overwhelming. Don’t compare yourself to me. Don’t want to be The Rock. Sure, pull from others’ expertise and learnings, but only use that as a catalyst to make yourself the best version of yourself you can be. If you focus on completing daily tasks and staying consistent, rather than focusing on the goal, I promise you will be successful. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. just keep going.