Max Shank is a beast. He trains like a beast and he lifts the notoriously known 48kg kettlebells also known as the BEAST. Saying that this guy is strong is a major understatement.
Don’t get fooled by his brawns though, Max Shank is well educated in physical culture because he is not only about lifting heavy stuff. He knows his mobility and body weight drills too. He has a couple of high rated books that you should checkout.
Max Shank is a Master RKC meaning he is one of the head of the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Faction.
Kettlebellista: Thank you so much Max for your time and we want you to know that we were very excited when you agreed to do this interview. First question to break the ice is a typical one. What brought you to lifting Kettlebells?
Max Shank: I first got into kettlebells after doing crossfit for a while. I took a 1-day course that RKC was doing for personal trainers and bought a 16kg kettlebell. It was very different than any time of lifting I had done before.
Kettlebellista: We saw you pressing two 48 kilo bells. That is really awesome and we want you to know what is next in store for your personal training goals in terms of Kettlebell lifting?
Max Shank: Haha, thank you. In terms of kettlebell lifting there aren’t too many things I haven’t done that I want to do. My goal right now is to bottom up press the 48kg kettlebell. I’ve done the 44kg on both sides and come close with the 48 but haven’t gotten it yet.
Kettlebellista: Not only are you a Master RKC but you coach people to improve their attitude in lifting. Lifting is Physical as much as mental. At your level of coaching, do you still get clients that are impossible to work with when it comes to determination to improve?
Max Shank: Yes absolutely, you run into situations like that all the time where a person isn’t especially dedicated to the process. This is a major challenge, similar to with diet and nutrition, that has to be centered around behavior in general. Getting the training and lifting to fit in with the rest of their lifestyle and defining goals that have meaning for them is paramount.
Kettlebellista: Being Strong is not only lifting heavy weights, it is a combination of everything and it is very evident that you focus on mobility drills too. We want to ask a Master RKC for a basic advice… in your opinion, what will be the priority for an absolute beginner in lifting Kettlebells?
Max Shank: The priority for a beginner, and ANYONE who is training is going to be improving the quality of movement. This is the foundation for any type of training. You have to move well first before you can add load, speed, or repetitions.
Kettlebellista: In the Philippines, majority of the ladies are still a little scared at first in lifting weights because of the fear of getting big. For beginner coaches, what can you advice to them as a way to convince these women that lifting weights is the way to go and not “cardio”?
Max Shank: That’s a tough question, and as a coach it’s your job to educate the trainee in this case. The main fear is probably that they will turn into bodybuilders. Those ladies who do professional bodybuilding have to work extremely hard and take steroids and hormones to get that way. Make it clear that this won’t happen by accident or without those drugs. You should also explain that heavy lifting is going to support good natural hormone production that will help them drop fat which is larger than muscle pound-for-pound.
Kettlebellista: Ambition Athletics is the name of your brand of training and facitlity in Encinitis California. Can you explain the concept of Ambition Athletics?
Max Shank: The basic idea with Ambition Athletics is that we want to help everyone get a little bit better every day. No matter what level the person is. We have a wide range of memebers from age 12 to 80 and there is a way for all of them to improve at our place. Having experienced coaches to help them along the way is extremely important.
Kettlebellista: Do you believe that Kettlebell training can dramatically be enhanced by Barbell Training and vice versa? If ever what type of Barbell Training? Olympic Lifting,Powerlifts or both?
Max Shank: Great question, I like all of them depending on the person. I think that deadlifting and olympic lifts from the hang position are fairly user-friendly and a great complement to the kettlebell. I think that kettlebell swings will have some carryover to both of those as well. In my experience it is highly dependent on the goal of the athlete, but it’s nice to be able to benefit from both types of equipment.
Kettlebellista: Do you have Philippine Clients there at Ambition Athletics? If you have how are they in terms of gaining strength Ambition Athletics-style?
Max Shank: I don’t think we have any Phillipine clients–Yet!
Kettlebellista: Switching gears, what does your diet look like? We want to be Max-Shank strong too!
Max Shank: Meat, Cheese, Eggs, Ice Cream.
In all seriousness I also do some white race and sweet potatoes for starches and eat a lot of carrots and some baby spinach.
Kettleblelista: Any plans going here in the Philippines? We got kick-ass beaches too!
Max Shank: I would love to work something out, maybe you can host me for one of my new Ultimate Athleticism workshops! www.ultimateathleticism.com/workshop
For more information about Max Shank just go to www.MaxShank.com