But Can You Move Your Body?

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I hate Max Shank.

He’s a phenomenal strength coach with a unique perspective and approach that I admire. He’s also a lovely human being. But I still hate him.

Why?  Because I’m not him.

He can do cool stuff like deadlift 315 (for reps)….on one leg. He can do handstands, backflips, L-sits, overhead press a human being, squat a metric shit-ton, and probably win a fight against Batman and/or a pack of ninjas. And he’s ripped. What a jerk!

It’s really impressive to watch the things he can do. And it’s even more impressive to watch him coach regular people to do all of the same things (except maybe the whole fighting Batman thing). Which is why I admire his work.

He just released his new resource, Ultimate Athleticism, this week. While I’ve only had the chance to peruse the first few chapters, I can tell you that Max’s approach to training is different compared to anything else you’ve ever come across. While it may seem like the things he can do are superhuman, it’s important to understand that, despite not having a gymnastics background, he taught himself how to do those things through persistence, practice, and implementing the proper progressions.

What’s more, he teaches regular people how to do all the same things….every day! He’s adamant that lifting heavy things is important. But in addition to that he feels building more overall athleticism is the key to help fill in the gaps to better performance and a better body (and one that’s less likely to break down!).

In today’s guest post he discusses a few ways to accomplish this feat. Enjoy! And be sure to check out Ultimate Athleticism HERE.

But Can You Move Your Body?

Smashing weights in the gym makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I can’t get enough of it.

Warm and Fuzzy Pic Credit: Snuggle Pup

I feel like the tides are shifting in the sense that more people are sharing that same passion for fitness.

But like everything else, it leads to extremes on both sides. This is especially true with those of us who are smashing weights.

It’s a bit silly how getting winded while walking up the stairs or not being able to squat to full depth without 300lbs on your back can somehow be a badge of honor among heavy lifters.

Some of you are probably thinking, “this guy doesn’t even lift, bro.” Here’s the deal; the pendulum has swung to far to the right. The goal hasn’t become, get stronger, or more athletic–it’s become lift more weights, or do more reps.

Before you excommunicate me from the lifters guild, just hear me out.

I’m still suggesting we all continue to hammer away at heavy deadlifts and throw ridiculous weights overhead, but let’s do just a couple things to make it more well-rounded. Let’s get more athletic for life, not just for gym movements.

So without further ado, here a couple simple things you can do to get more athletic without losing your heavy lifting gainz.


Combining yoga, dance, martial arts–whatever floats your boat–move around and improve your coordination at the same time. Throw this in at the beginning of your session and splice it in to your heavy lifts as an active rest.


Don’t just jump straight up, and don’t just sprint straight ahead. Move in a variety of directions! Jump onto things, off of them. One leg, two legs. Lateral bound, maybe even learn how to do some basic tumbling if you have anyone willing to teach you.


Upper body strength has, for whatever reason, become very one-dimensional. There are so many gymnastics, or even breakdancing movements with steady progressions starting out at a beginner level that will give you an even greater stimulus, and ultimately more gains than traditional gym movements targeting the upper body.

My two personal favorites are L Sit to Handstands, and Front Levers. If you’re confused, just go balance on your hands and climb stuff–a great substitute for overhead presses and pull-ups, respectively.

If your goal, like mine, is to be able to crush it athletically in any situation I am ever tossed into, you’re going to have to widen your spectrum of athleticism. Keep smashing heavy weights but add in some other movements to fill the gaps in your overall athleticism.

Ultimate Athleticism is on sale NOW through the end of the week. You can check it out HERE.

About the Author

Max is an author, coach, and owner of Ambition Athletics in Encinitas, CA. He also competes in a wide variety of sports ranging from Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu to Scottish Highland Games.

Max’s desire to constantly improve his knowledge and personal skills has led him to be a sought after international presenter of his unique and pragmatic blend of strength, flexibility, health, and overall athleticism.




Instagram: maxshank

Twitter: maxshank

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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