Today, I bring you part 2 of the conversation between Max Wettstein (Men’s Health abs model and fitness expert) and myself.
Jamin: There are literally hundreds of ways to work your core but most people only do sit-ups and crunches, which I rarely do anymore. What is your favorite exercise to train your core?
Max: My favorite core-specific exercise is plank-variations and the Vacuum-pose (which targets the Transverse Abdominus). My core is constantly engaged to some degree during all of the sports I play though, so rarely do I have to focus on it.
The posing & flexing I’m required to do on shoot-days also really hits my abs & core hard! I also apply ‘Abs-Awareness’ all day every day!
Jamin: Nice! Ok so I’m sure everyone wants to know how a Men’s Health cover model trains his abs. Would you mind sharing one of your favorite ab workouts?
Max: I apply ‘Abs-Awareness’ throughout my life! Full-body, functional fitness & playing sports are primarily how I train my abs. Also, isometric flexing & posing during shoots & shoot-prep is next. But my favorite abs-specific exercises are plank-variations & hyper-extended crunches while laying back on a Swiss Ball. I do these until I feel the burn & to failure!
Jamin: I’m not too big on supplements, but what are your thoughts on fat burners and supplements in general? Do you ever recommend people use supplements to help get rid of stubborn belly fat?
Max: Supplements can be wonderful to help give folks a mental & physiological edge to break thru progress plateaus and some ingredients are proven to actually mobilize fat-stores, cause thermogenesis, and boost metabolism. Supplements have a place in every well-balanced weight-loss or fitness plan but ONLY once you have your fundamental, lifestyle basics such as sleep, nutrition & exercise optimally functioning!
Supplements can take a toll on the wallet and more importantly, they’re NOT regulated by the FDA so you never truly know what you’re ingesting unless you absolutely trust the company producing the product!
Jamin: People always want to go behind the scenes. So tell us, what kinds of foods would we find in the Wettstein’s kitchen?
Max: In my kitchen you will only find all-natural & even many organic food choices. I have a combination of whole-food choices & all my more refined foods are at least whole-grain options with no junk added. I’m not a vegetarian and rarely do I go ‘low-carb’. I eat a lot of raw nuts, use a lot of olive oil and I do use a lot of supplements such as whey protein powder, Greens-powder, Glutamine, sometimes creatine, and joint support.
My full eating-plan is available on my website & on YouTube. I eat up to 6 times per day! I NEVER count calories, but typically eat very clean. My diet does allow for moderate coffee & alcohol, usually red wine.
Jamin: Sounds awfully similar to my diet, well except for the greens-powder…my mom is still trying to get me to start using that lol. Ok now most people are crazy busy these days, and say that they don’t have time to eat healthy. How do you manage to eat so healthy all the time while being so busy as a pilot and working as a fitness model? Give us a few of your top nutrition tips that help you stay on track.
Max: Always pack health snacks & bring them where ever you go!! I always have health snacks with me, end of story! This is where health bars, meal –replacements, nuts, trail-mix, dried fruit, tuna, and sandwiches, all come in very handy. It takes some planning ahead, but I just always keep a lunchbox with snacks in it avail in with me.
Jamin: Now of course the question everyone probably wants to know is…what is your favorite cheat meal? Does Max Wettstein even touch “bad food”? What is your favorite spot to grub down in Encinitas dude?
Max: My favorite cheat-meal hands down, is pizza! 2nd is Bolognese sauce over pasta. But that being said, even these meals don’t have to be too unhealthy or fattening, IF they are prepared fresh with healthy ingredients & light on the cheese side! My favorite desert is anything homemade in chocolate!
Jamin: I get a ton of emails from readers who are under the impression that fitness models are all blessed with amazing genetics…and that they will never get their bodies to look like the models they see in the fitness magazines because their genetics are holding them back. While genetics do play a small role in physical development, a person’s genetics shouldn’t COMPLETELY hold them back right? Could you shed some light on this?
Max: I do think ultimately, genetics dictate whether or not somebody has modeling potential or can have a lucrative future in the fitness modeling business. There are certain skeletal & muscle proportional dimensions & ratios that are ideal for fitness modeling. *NOT everybody can be successful as a fitness model!*
That being said, plenty of people with great genetic framework simply waste it away by obscuring it with fat & by letting their muscles atrophy. Or they over build certain areas of their physique while under developing others, causing a skewed or lopsided appearance. WE ALL have our genetic limitations & potential.
The key is to take an honest look in the mirror & perhaps getting some coaching from a trained eye, and recognize your best features and how to improve your weak areas thru strategic training. Also, learning how to pose & the best poses to showcase your physique is so important! The more experienced you get the more you realize what works best for your body, and the better you get at shoot-prep as well.
Jamin: Exactly, know your strengths, and focus on your weaknesses. Ok Max…TONS of people will begin a new exercise or nutrition program with a bang but then hit the wall and quit after a few weeks or months. It’s almost as if a light switch went off and they suddenly decided that they were going to try to get into better shape…so they invest in a new fitness plan, renew their gym membership and go stock up on healthy foods.
Then after a while they get frustrated and quit. Of course mindset plays a critical role when trying to stick to the plan and lose belly fat. What is one of your best mindset tricks that keeps you focused and on the right track?
Max: There is no real trick or secret for me that keeps me on track with my consistent diet & training. This is because it’s a lifestyle for me: “Optimum health is my method of life.” I always say I’m an athlete first & foremost, and a fitness model second. I truly want to be healthy & fit so I can enjoy the quality of life I desire and continue to play the sports I love and enjoy my family.
I’m already lean & in-shape, so admittedly, maintaining my conditioning & physique is easier than initially attaining my current physique was more than 9 years ago. I’ve been doing this for so long, it has become second-nature & easy for me to do. Again, it is my lifestyle & I take pride in marketing myself as being under 6% body fat for the past 9 years!
The one advantage I do have that most others don’t is knowing the phone could ring on any given day to book me for a cover-shoot with less than a week’s notice – it’s happened! That would give anyone motivation to stay on track! On average I shoot for something at least once per week too, so that means I have to really stay dialed & consistent!
Jamin: You are the resident health and fitness advisor for Jet Blue Airways, which I thought was really cool. Could you talk about that?
Max: I’ve been the resident health & fitness advisor for over 7 years to my fellow pilots at JetBlue Airways. The management invited me to write & post articles & tips on our intranet once they discovered how involved in the fitness industry I was & how passionate I am about health & fitness.
This was actually the beginning of my writing & blogging journey which ultimately culminated with me publishing a book on my holistic-approach to fat-loss titled, ‘How Much Fat are You Carrying?’ available for sale on Amazon.com & on my other website www.DestinationHealthPlus.com and LLC I co-own. There are many occupational health hazards associated with being an airline pilot such as low-back pain, dehydration, deep-vein thrombosis, sleep-cycle disruption, toxin exposure, kidney-stones, poor-diet and many more!
When I first became an airline pilot after leaving an aviation career in the navy I was personally exposed to all of these issues head-on! I was young man and very fit during this career transition and it still took quite a toll on me! That’s what motivated me to begin researching all of these health issues, so I could help & fix myself. Then, I wanted to share the information with my fellow pilots so they could benefit. This is all going to be the premise of my next book – how to stay fit as an airline pilot!
Jamin: Max, it has been great to sit down and talk with you today buddy. We will have to do it again sometime.
Max: Thank you!
Keep training hard guys,
Max Wettstein Conversation Part 1 <–PART 1 in case you missed it
If you have questions for me or Max feel free to post them as a comment below so we can answer them for you!