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Men’s Physique Competition Gives Men Reason to Train Harder

“No one ever trains and diets as hard as they do when they know they have to get on stage in front of crowd.” – Steve Pfiester

The-Incredible-HulkWhen people talk about bodybuilding, most people picture someone who looks a lot like the Incredible Hulk, without green skin. They picture men with bulging muscles and veins popping out everywhere, pumping serious iron while grunting like a big dumb gorilla.  If this is someone’s first impression of bodybuilding, no wonder they are terrified to go the gym.

Over the years, both gyms and bodybuilding have changed. Gyms are no longer a breeding ground for the next Mr. Olympia. Fitness centers have transitioned away from bulking up to sculpting and conditioning.

men's physiqueWhile there are still guys out there who think bigger is better, a more compact lean body is more desirable to the mainstream gym member. As the fitness industry shifted away from the old-school pumping iron days, the sport of bodybuilding also needed to change.

The National Physique Committee (NPC), as well as the IFBB Professional League created by Joe Weider and his brother Ben, recognized the growing trend and created a new division for men who wanted to look fit without extreme muscularity. The division is called Men’s Physique.

What is Men’s Physique?

mens fitness coverMen’s Physique competitors look more like what you would see on a Men’s Fitness magazine cover than Flex Muscle Magazine. Instead of wearing skimpy posing trunks, Physique competitors wear long board shorts, with more of a focus on the chest and abs. Personality and poise is also graded.

Even though this division is new, it is catching on like wildfire. Men across the nation are using Physique competitions as a tool to get in the shape of their lives, including some Vero Beach locals.

A group of men, from Max Fitness, will represent Vero Beach in the NPC Southeast Classic April 6th in Hollywood Florida. Competitors vary in age, shapes and sizes. Since Men’s Physique also offers a Masters division, men can compete in their appropriate age group including Over 30, Over 40 and Over 50 age categories.

Who Competes?

Max fitness menWho are the competitors? He may be your realtor, or your computer repairman. He may wait on your table at your favorite restaurant, or fly your plane. Most of them are just men who want to put their body to the test.

“This level of commitment, self-denial and discipline has a perfect carry over into our daily lives.  It teaches competitors to be a better parent, boss, spouse, employee, and so on,” explains Max Team Trainer, Steve Pfiester.

If someone is looking for added accountability, a Physique competition may be the answer. “No one ever trains and diets as hard as they do when they know they have to get on stage in front of crowd.” Pfiester shares from his own personal experience. “Whether you win a trophy or not, you are a winner the day you show up because you will all be in the best shape of you life. ”

Original story by Bonnie Pfiester printed in the TCPalm’s NewsWeekly in the Indian River County Press Journal. Learn more about the new Physique competition and upcoming competitions in your area at NPCnewsonline

“Before Photo” 2 months away from competition. Stay tuned for more competition news and updates.

Max fitness men

Since this is a first show for many of our competitors, we at Max Fitness wanted to make this memory last. Doing a competition shouldn’t be just about the 5 minutes on stage – if you focus on that, you are doomed for a bad experience. The stage is just the finish line – and the preparation is the real journey. We took this video of all the competitor training after hours at our Team Max “Power Hour” training event to capture the memory of the hard work and dedication, the transformation, the friendships and the passion for fitness. No matter who takes home a trophy or not, the real prize is your new and improved physique!

Monday Motivation: No Legs, No Problem

I’ve heard every excuse in the book:

“I have bad knees.” 
“My feet hurt”
“I have weak muscles”
“I suffer from sciatica”
“I have a bad case of Plantar Fasciitis”
“I have arthritis”
” I am too old”
“My body hurts”

Most people think any one of those things are a pretty good excuse to get out of “P.E. Class”, but what if you had ALL those problems? Gail Griesemer does. Born with Spina Bifida, Gail has damaged nerves and muscles that prevent her from walking, much less exercising – or so you would think.

If you come to Max Fitness on a regular basis, you’ve probably seen her rolling her wheel chair down the side walk and back, doing laps for her trainer, Jack Harris. She works out on weights to strengthen her upper body and, despite bad hips, ankles that are surgically fused together, and no feeling in her feet, she even does walking exercises to strengthen her legs. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she also takes yoga. Yep, she attends yoga classes regularly to keep her body flexible and her mind stress-free.

Gail refuses to roll over and let her body tell her what she can and cannot do. There is no one to motivate her. No one to pick her up and take her to the gym. There is no one making her do this. Gail decided she HAS to do this to be as physically fit as she possibly can. If she wants the best life possible, she knows this is what she has to do – and it’s likely, she’s not much different from you.

Whether you battle fat or bad joints, you have your own set of issues. We all do – AND, there is no one that will make you do this. YOU have to do it. YOU have to decide you are worth it. YOU have to keep showing up day after day – not because you FEEL like it, but because it’s what you MUST do to have the BEST LIFE you can have. No one can do it for you. Maybe you’ve been making excuses for a long time to help release yourself, and let yourself off the hook. Well, I’m putting you back on the hook. I’m not letting you believe that it’s too late, you’re too fat or too out of shape. I’m not going to let you say you don’t have time or can’t afford it. All your excuses are lame in comparison to people like Gail.

If you’ve been a victim of a self-inflicted pity party, STOP! Quit feeling sorry for yourself, and get off your butt and get to the gym! Remember Gail, and remember if she can do it, you can too.

Look for her story in the YourNews section of the Press Journal this week for more inspiration and motivation. Thank you Gail for letting me share your story and for inspiring everyone around you. We are so thankful for members like you who make a difference! Join Gail at Max Fitness Club to start your fitness journey today!

Slimming Leg Workout: Less May Be More

Two isn’t always better than one. Sometimes less is best – and this is most certainly true with this workout. This workout, which was released at our club 3 weeks ago, as part of our Max Method Workouts available free to members, is an effective workout that slims your thighs, tones your legs and lifts your glutes.

The secret is in the number #1. Meaning, every exercise in this workout is done on one leg. Since single leg exercises require more balance and stability, it engages muscles that typically would not get the same workout when both legs are used at one time. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Try more Max Method Workouts and Gymboss Interval timers are available for free at Max Fitness in Vero Beach. Located behind Outback on US1. CLICK HERE for a free week pass.

Max Method’s Slimming Leg Workout

Warm Up

10 Minutes of Elliptical, Treadmill or Stepper

 Leg Workout

Using the Gymboss Interval Timer, set the timer for 40 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Do 3-4 sets each (of both left and right leg) exercise in the following order, with NO rest between sets and exercises. The strength portion of this workout should only take 20 minutes for 4 sets of each.

 • One-Leg Press Leg Press or Single Leg Squat
(Unse a orange, black or red Bodylastics band, anchored high, for assistance)  Max Fitness Members: Use #20 Plate-loaded machine or #23 selectorized machine or bands (in BCx boot camp room)

 • Walking Lunges
Use 10lb-20lbs dumbbells for women and 30-40lbs for men  

 • One-Leg Leg Extension
Max Fitness Members: Use #9 Hammer Strength Leg machine

 • One-Leg Dumbbell Straight Leg Dead Lifts
Max Fitness Members: Use Dumbbells or barbells 

 • Single Leg Curl        
Max Fitness Members: Use #10 or #11 Hammer Strength Machines

Cool Down Cardio

Do 10 minutes for a cool down or do 30-45 minutes cardio for fat burning. Doing cardio after your workout will help you burn primarily body fat.

TIP: Don’t forget to repair muscle by drinking a protein shake 30-45 minutes after your workout for the best results.

More Obstacles, Less Jogging

Mud Runs = More Fun. Why America is so willing to get dirty.

Running five plus miles may seem plenty challenging to most people, but add over 25 obstacles, like mud pits, barbed wire, tires, 30-foot stacks of hay, water, 8-foot walls, 45˚ hills, 30-foot inclining and declining monkey bars, and rows of fire, and you’ve got yourself a Savage Race.

Savage Race, with the motto “more obstacles, less jogging”, is just one of many popular mud runs popping up across the country – and people are flocking to them like bears to honey. Why? Maybe it’s because many of us are still kids at heart and enjoying jumping in puddles. However, I think there is so much more to these insane challenges that keep people coming back to get dirty – and if you go, I think it will be love at first site.

With the rising popularity of more challenging workouts comes the desire to put it to the test. Over the last few years, people are trading running on flat boring pavement for muddy windy paths that make burning calories seem more like game than a workout.

Mud runs do more than just test physical strength and stamina, but they test the mind as well. Obstacles like diving in Shriveled Richard ice bath can be scarier than the highest climbing wall. And, I doubt very seriously anyone is tallying calories burned while army crawling under barbed wire.

Just a few of the Savage Obstacles

  • Back Scratcher –  series of wooden walls, hay bales, and barbed wire crawls
  • Rubbers – uphill sea of tires
  • Thor’s Grundle – ducking under walls through muddy water
  • Nutt Smasher – long wobbly balance beam course
  • 96″ Stiffie – 8 foot wall that requires a teamwork to clear
  • Swamp Trail – thick shoe sucking mud (tie shoes tight!)
  • Lumberjack Lane – heavy carry
  • Big A** Cargo Net – need I say more?
  • Davy Jone’s Locker – high jump into deep weather
  • Mach 7 – huge fast water slide
  • Barn Doors – climbing slat wall
  • Hay Stacks – 30-foot piles of hay
  • Evil Bars – long steep monkey bars on steroids
  • Colon Blow 5,000 – long dark muddy pipes
  • Incline Wall – challenging slippery 45˚ wall
  • Tire Pendulum – run through over 200 tires swinging around us
  • Flaming Savages – leap over rows of fire
  • Mud & Guts – army crawl under barbed wire

Although Sam Abbitt, Vice President of Savage Race, said anyone can skip an obstacle if they choose. He also explained that the Savage Race encourages teamwork. Some obstacles, like the 96” Stiffie 8-foot climbing wall, require someone to give you a boost. That’s one of the many reasons Sam loves their race so much. People who don’t even know each other help each other through the course and cheer each other on.

While mud runs often have live bands and venders, some of the best entertainment is off the stage and in the crowd. Since many participants make their experience even more fun by dressing up for the race, creating team themes, participants can enjoy some of the most entertaining people watching – so don’t forget your camera.

In order to help people prepare for the race, Max Fitness will be leading a 5-week Savage Training Camp starting September 17th. Even though you don’t have to do the race to participate, this training will definitely help people who let the fear of the unknown prevent them from giving this mud run a try. Savage Training Camp is also perfect for people that don’t like traditional boring exercise. Physical tasks and obstacle training makes burning calories a lot more fun – and when fitness is fun, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Don’t be left “Behind” 

Savage Race will be held at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City on October 20th. Visit for more on Max Fitness’ Savage Training Camp and the Savage Race.

Savage Training Camp at the Max:

Savage Training Camp Kick Off & Orientation:
Saturday, September 15th 9:00am
Camp Cost: $299
Registration: $50 deposit due by Sept. 13th
Training: Less weights, more obstacles & fun!

Savage Training Camp:
September 17th – October 20th
5:30am, 8:00am & 5:30pm Mon – Thu at the Max
9am Saturdays off location

Fun Pics from Max Members




Photos by Photography by Angie, the folks at Savage Racevarious Vero peeps and Max members including Vivian Walter, Kristen Schmidt, Holly Kramer, Eva Savage, Kathleen Morgan, Jason Morgan, Melissa Wolfe, Sam Lecher, Jeff Langlois, Jaimee Hartnett, Calise Munne, Susy Bryan, Wendy Gardiner, Charity Gruwell and Jason Tull. 


More Fun Details!

CLICK HERE to sign up for Savage Race and join the Max Fitness Team.
Join our Savage Team & get $5.00 with this code: DoBCx
The more people that join the team, the bigger our rebate. Savage will credit your card $5, $10 or more the bigger our team gets.

Pfiester Pfridays: Join me Behind the Scenes

A typical Friday doing not-so-typical cool things
While Steve was on the road to Boca to shoot his weekly Friday shows with one of our BCx Trainers, Cristina, for LiveExercise, I was takin’ care of business at our home office all morning, meeting all my Friday deadlines: design my weekly ad, write my blog, finalize the BCx Bikini Boot Camp program for Max Fitness, write my Honestly Bonnie column for FitStudio and finalize a few tasks for Designer Whey protein as they prepared for their new site launch.

Fiji Bound
Once I checked everything off my to do list, it was event time! While Steve was wrapping up his shows yesterday afternoon, I was heading to our local high school football field to set up for American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. This year’s theme Relay was countries, so our gym decided to be Fiji – because you have to have a great body if you go to Fiji right?!

Surviving Fiji
Since the CBS Survivor reality show did a season in Fiji, we decided to go WILD and play the Survivor part (perfect for the American Cancer Society too!). Frayed jeans, bikini top, worn tee, natural hair and a fun hat would be my “costume” for the event.

Our staff did an AMAZING job dressing up our tent with palm fronds, grass decor and tiki torches. I painted tribal faces and we whipped up some yummy tropical smoothies for donations, compliments of Designer Whey. Our members did a great job coming out to walk and support such a great cause – and Steve finally got back to town and joined us too!

Surviving another busy Friday!
Finally, I got to go home and crash with Steve, who had dinner waiting (thank goodness!). My final task for the day was to check my email and social media accounts, and that’s when I saw the good news – Designer Whey launched their new website! What a wonderful way to end a productive day! WOO HOO! As the resident fitness experts for Designer Whey, Steve and I celebrate the beginning of an exciting year with the #1 protein company in the nation!

Workout with Us
The first workout to launch on the site is called “Basic Training”  4-week workout program – not because it’s hard, but because it’s truly basic. This 3-day a week program is simple, effective and requires a minimal amount of time, space and tools. Perfect for any begginer, this program grows in intensity, and length, as you get stronger and more fit.

Our next program to come out (in a week or two) is Design Your Body. This program is a 4-week program with 5 workouts a week – a total of 17 fresh new set of circuits (called Blocks) – adaptable to workout beginners to athletes.

Get Ready!
Steve and I will be writing weekly blogs and doing bi-weekly workouts exclusively for Designer Whey, so be sure to follow them, like them and get E-news so you are the 1st to know what’s new at the all-new Designer Whey!

One Thing Missing
People often think all I do is workout for a living. With a day like today, you probably can see how working out is just as hard to squeeze in for a “fitness professional” as it is for any business person. It was one thing that did not make my to-do list yesterday. You see, we all have our “bad days”. The key to success is not beating yourself up for them and just picking up right where you left off. Yesterday was a productive day, and missing my workout was a small sacrifice for a great cause!


Boot Camp: Fear, Tears, & Victory

If you have ever thought of doing a boot camp program where you live, this is a great inside look into a “newbie’s” experience. Common fears, thoughts, feelings (both mental and physical) and the victories discovered along the way. I recently got an email from one of out new boot campers and it touched us so much, we had to share. I hope it encourages you to try something new and go outside your own comfort zone so you too can have a story to share.

Dear Bonnie, Steve & Paula:

“Boot camp is over and I’ve got all kinds of thoughts and feelings about that – mostly gratitude. I have no doubt that you’ve each received hundreds of ‘thank you’ notes from those whose lives you touched and … here’s another one!

Thank You! What an amazing ride this has been! You are each extraordinary & amazing leaders! You put the breath back in my body! You got my heart pumping again and I feel alive! Now don’t get me wrong … I give myself full credit for finding you and falling at your feet but you helped me find the strength to stand and run! Astonishing!

I have to share a few highlights from my journey:
I’ve lived in the area for about 2 years and everyone I’ve met so far either doesn’t exercise or they have a home gym of some sort so I was lucky to find you on the internet. As with most people’s stories I reached that point when I had to make a change in my life – fast. For me that day was April 9, 2011. Time was on my side because a new boot camp was scheduled to start on April 18th.

MapQuest directed me to your door and I marched in and slapped my deposit check on the counter and then quickly marched right back out before I talked myself out of it. I held my breath until the 18th.

Day 1, Orientation:
I opened your front door and it was standing room only. It seemed that everyone knew at least one other person and the whole place was loud with chatter. I suddenly felt like I was the only one who had no clue about what they were supposed to do. (I’m 5 feet tall so it’s pretty easy to get lost in a crowd.) I’ll never forget what happened next … through the sea of rear-ends and elbows this gorgeous face appeared with a smile that lit up the shadow I was standing in. Bonnie, you greeted me like a VIP!

I seriously thought there was a case of mistaken identity for a second and then I realized you really are just that cool. 

The way you spotted me in the pack and talked directly to me. You didn’t keep looking all around the room – you looked right at me until you were sure I understood what the agenda was. And then you gave me a reassuring pat on the shoulder. I felt like your personal guest and I knew I was in the right place. Thank you Bonnie!

We all crammed into the boot camp room and I met Steve and Paula for the first time. Steve immediately began shouting commands … line up, arms out … hold them up! The room was really crowded and somehow I got pushed right up to the front row – so close to Steve his breath moved my hair when he bellowed. There is actually a picture of this intense moment on the boot camp bulletin board (I’m the first one in the ‘Live United’ t-shirt & glasses). Still holding our arms up and keeping them up I felt my eyes puddle.

Yep, I shed my first tear within the very first 3 minutes of boot camp. Why? Because that was the moment I really realized the terrible shape I was in and that this was going to hurt. How did I let myself get like this?!

Day 3
Steve makes me laugh so hard my ‘sip of water’ came out of my nose! Just when I was beginning to take myself too seriously and get far too focused on the struggle – Steve cracked jokes – hilarious! It was the perfect diversion. Thank you Steve! (pictured right wearing a wig in another boot camp class)

Day 4
Paula makes me cry. Those f-ing burpees! (Please pardon my implied profanity. Sometimes there is just no better word.) This was a real breakthrough for me. I was coming in waaay last on everything and getting really frustrated. This particular time everyone was finished, taking a breather and drinking some water but I still had 10 more burpees to do – now with a full audience.

I thought my sweat hid my tears but Paula was dialed in. She stood right by me and said, “I want everyone to cry! That tells me you care! That tells me you really want this!”

Then she intuitively knew exactly how to motivate me … she announced, “These burpees are kicking her butt – but look at her form! These are perfect burpees! Good job Lis!” Suddenly I was no longer ashamed of coming in last – I was showing off! And the way she said my name – no ‘a’ just like family – really made me hear her. Thank you Paula!

Day 6, Saturday Yoga with Steve:
I’ve never watched a man get into a yoga pose and demonstrate tremendous flexibility, balance and strength while articulately explaining the how and why of the posture and throw in off-the-wall humor at the same time.

So instead of coming off like some ego maniac demonstrating an impossible act, he made a very difficult posture seem like any goof ball could try it.

And I did. And I was amazed by what I could do. Steve walked around the room helping us make corrections or adjustments and as he passed by me he put one finger on my shoulder and said, “nice job”. It was the last day of the first week and I had no strength left but that atta-girl made me want to work twice as hard. Thank you Steve!

I could barely walk that first week. I wore a baseball cap to work everyday because I could not lift the hairdryer.

I went home early from work twice and just called in sick all together that first Friday. It was the most physically challenging, painful, wonderful and rewarding week of my life! I’ve never hurt so much but been so proud of myself at the same time! I just completed week 4 but it didn’t seem like anything compared to week 1. (You told me so!)

Paula has this amazing ability to make time fly … like when we’re making a chair on the wall or holding plank … legs on fire, can’t breathe, she’ll start dancing around the room and make crazy faces at everyone which always made me laugh which forced me to breathe. Or she does lines from movies and we have to guess who it is. Or music trivia – rock & roll of course! Next thing you know 1 minute has passed or even 2!

Paula you pushed me further than I ever dreamed I could go. You showed me where I needed to improve or pick up the pace and you ALWAYS pointed out when I was good at something. You motivated each of us uniquely – like a tailored fit. By the 2nd week I realized that everyday I just wanted to make YOU proud and I ended up proud of me. Thank you Paula! I just wish you had been my algebra teacher in high school. I might have figured that stuff out too.

I also need to thank Andy at the front for always being so helpful and hospitable. He is a wonderful compliment to the work you do there – really special. Most of us could be his mother but he didn’t discriminate. Many times our squad would be running a warm up lap in the front parking lot at 5:30 AM and he’d smile and cheer us on while wiping down the front door windows. He helped me with my In-Body twice and both times he was very knowledgeable and supportive. He remembered my name on my 3rd day. 

I’ll never forget dragging in at 5:15 AM and there he was with a big smile on his face, “Good Morning Lisa.” He remembered all our names! Nice touch.

Steve and Paula – you are very different people but both of you found those critical one on one moments that helped drive me and inspire me and when it was all said and done neither of you wanted the ‘thanks’.

Both of you exuded such humility those last days and just kept pushing it back on us, “no thank YOU”, “this is what I love to do”, “You did the work”, “you’re why I get up so early”, “look at the progress you made”, “thank yourself”.

Truth be told – none of us could have made it without either of you. Thank YOU! I’m sure I speak for many people when I say – when my weight is up, my energy is low and my self esteem tanks. All of these things that each of you do everyday from that first hello – renewed my spirit. I feel like myself again. I still have a long way to go but I’m on the right track. How do you say thank you for that?!”


Lisa Evans

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