- Rated 4.5 stars
- Max Workouts
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- Value for MoneyEditor: 38%
- EffectivenessEditor: 77%
- Quality / East of UseEditor: 27%
Max Workouts Overview:
The Max Workouts program is a 90-day fitness plan created by Shin Ohtake. It is designed for fat burning and creating an athletic body using very intense workouts.
**Update for January 2017**
Although I did complete the MaxWorkouts.com program and have recommended it previously, I'm no longer an advocate of it.
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After trying multiple other workout programs you can get far more for your money elsewhere with programs that are both more effective and cheaper.
Compared to other options, Max Workouts is extremely expensive, difficult to follow and lacks a lot of content you'd want included.
It is also not suitable for beginners, for seniors or older people due to the high intensity workouts you need to do 5 days per week. I don't want to recommend any program a huge portion of the readers here simply can't complete!
I've personally switched over to Old School New Body as my own go-to program, and also the one I recommend to anyone enquiring about Max Workouts – regardless of their age.
Old School New Body is less than half the price, requires less in terms of time commitment and is also designed for people of any age, young or old, including beginners. It is particularly effective for people 35 and over, including seniors who are over 60.
I've recently updated a very comprehensive review of Old School New Body and would recommend you click here to read it.
Or feel free to check out other top workouts from Defend Your Health here.
Now that's out of the way, here are the details on Shin Ohtake's program for anyone still interested.
Who is Shin Ohtake?
Shin is a former competitive athlete who was trained by some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the world. He has since moved on to fitness training, using the fat loss knowledge he picked up to help people get lean without long cardio sessions or restrictive calorie-counting diets.
Max Workouts focuses on short and highly intense workouts as a strategy to achieve fat loss. It works, however you'll spend a lot of time training (minimum 5 days per week. There isn't actually a requirement to have a gym membership – everything in the program can be done from home but you will need to purchase dumbbells and barbells.
The key to the program really is the intensity at which you train – intensity continues to referenced throughout. You'll basically feel like you're training as a competitive athlete as this is who Shin Ohtake, the program's creator, is used to training.
Without delving too deeply into the science of Shin’s workout sessions, they are designed to put your body in a state where it is able to burn calories at an increased rate long after you’ve finished training; up to 24 hours later in many cases. Again, this is achieved by working out at super-high intensity with minimal rest periods. You'll definitely want to invest in some good quality (and comfortable) workout gear before starting the program.
There are two different types of workouts that make up the 90-day program, which we'll explain in much greater detail later on in this review. You’ll be alternative through them as you progress through the course:
1. Circuit Training Workouts using free-weights and body weight
Exercises are performed back-to-back in a circuit, with rest periods only allowed after each circuit is complete.
2. Cardio: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
These sessions involve continually switching between low and high intensity ‘intervals’ between 30 and 60 seconds in length – you can choose to either run or cycle, on a static machine or outdoors.
What’s Included with the Max Workouts Program?
There are three different versions of the program – one basic starting at $40 and different add-on's you can buy which cost over $100 in total. Unfortunately this makes the program one of the most expensive on the market.
Here’s what’s included in the basic version:
The Primary Max Workouts Guide
This starts off with an explanation of how the program works and the scientific principles it is based on. The explanation isn’t too long, but gives you only a very basic understanding of why the program is designed in the way it is – it makes logical sense though convinces you of the benefits of this training style.
The next thing the guide does is tell you how to follow workout schedule and track results week by week. Each of the 90 days are detailed, so you’ll know exactly what to do during each workout. This makes the content long at over 123 pages. The instructions are clear and tell you which exercises to do, numbers of reps and the amount of rest you should be taking at each point in the workout. Just follow the instructions.
In this guide you’ll also find high quality photographs demonstrating each of the exercises featured in the program (over 40 in total), along with detailed explanations of how to perform them correctly for the best results. If there any you’ve never seen before, you shouldn’t have any problem learning them quickly by following the guidelines.
This section is where the problems start though. As everything is lumped into one huge guide with lots of large photos it is extremely difficult on navigate back and forth through the content. You'll need to scroll back and forth through a 100+ page PDF that has no links to different sections. I found this frustrating – there's a real lack of usability and basic organization for a course that costs from $40 – over $100.
I would have loved to see some workout videos demonstrating the exercises as some of them are quite unusual. It is necessary to pay $19.99 per month extra to see these videos though.
The Lean Body Diet (included as a bonus)
Obviously any workout, fat loss or fitness plan needs to have a nutritional element to be effective. The Lean Body Diet is a 90-day nutrition plan that trys to tell you how you should be eating for fat loss. This section is light on details in my opinion – everything included is basic common knowledge. It shouldn’t really be called a ‘diet’ as it is more of just a collection of healthy eating principles inside a separate PDF. You're not going to find meal plans like you would in many other fitness and workout plans. It is a bit of a disappointment as what you eat, and don't eat, contributes to over 70% of your fat loss results.
The basis of the plan is to eat ‘real’ foods and avoid processed junk, which hinders both weight loss and overall health. There are no groundbreaking revelations in the nutrition guide as I mentioned. Ideally you’ll already be familiar with the advice in this section so you can just skim through it quickly. The guide includes detailed food lists including foods to avoid which is nice, but not much else that is actionable.
While we're talking about nutrition for fat loss… if you're looking for a program based much more on diet rather than intense working out then check out The Fat Diminisher diet which I recently went through.
Muscle Recovery Guide (included as a bonus)
This separate guide addresses an important part of any workout program: ensuring your body is able to fully recover after a session as quickly as possible, and with minimal soreness. This is a short and simple guide – the information it provides accurate and will tell you what you need to recover effectively. This minimizes the chance of injuries and feeling like you’ve ‘over-trained’, which is quite likely due to how intense this program is.
The 4-Week Bodyweight Workout Program (included as a bonus)
This separate workout guide is designed to leave you with options when you’re traveling for business, on holiday or in any other situation that leaves you unable to follow the regular workout schedule. The idea is that these quick and simple workouts can be completed literally anywhere and without equipment.
If you ever thought that bodyweight workouts were generally easy and not challenging then I’d encourage you to give some of these a go. I felt this supplement was a nice bonus to the overall program, and will no doubt come in handy when I'm short on time or in a far-away land.
The Max Workouts Schedule – What Does It Look Like?
OK, so now you know what’s actually included with the program, here’s what you can expect on a weekly basis when you begin the MaxWorkouts.com course:
3 X per week (Mon, Weds & Fri) = Circuit training sessions
2 X per week (Tues & Thurs) = High Intensity Interval Cardio
***Yes, that's 5 days per week of training!***
Circuit Training – What Is It?
The circuit workouts are made up of a whole range of compound exercises designed to work your whole body. These are performed using both your own bodyweight and also basic fitness equipment such as dumbbells and barbells. Each exercise is also presented alongside an alternative in case you can’t perform one of them for any reason.
The circuits are designed so you will perform 4-6 exercises continuously – when you’ve done this then you will have completed one single circuit. There aren’t any rest periods in-between the actual exercises themselves; you only rest for a brief period (usually 30-60 seconds) after completing a whole circuit. You then repeat your circuit 4-6 times until the whole workout is finished.
This process usually takes around 30 minutes, so your workouts are going to be short in length, but very intense and very challenging. Naturally, things get more intense and more difficult as you move through the weeks and your fitness levels increase, which they certainly will.
If you're fitness and strength levels are not already relatively high you're going to struggle a lot to complete the circuit workouts.
Each session also has optional warm-up sections at the beginning and extra abdominal work at the end, should you want to complete those. They aren’t compulsory though, and not necessary to get results. I did the extra parts an average of once for every three sessions.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Cardio – What Is It?
Twice per week you’ll be taking part in cardio sessions. This isn’t the kind of ’slow burn’ lengthy cardio you’re used to on the treadmill or static bike though – this is a lot harder.
HIIT workouts are basically structured so that you’re constantly changing the pace and intensity of whatever cardio activity you happen to be doing. In the Max Workouts program either running or cycling is recommended. Unfortunately I find cardio of all kinds boring, but it is definitely compulsory at least twice per week to complete this program.
Here is how it works:
Let’s take running as example – you could either be inside on a treadmill or outside in your local park. After a quick warm up you’ll jog at a low pace/intensity (around 30% of your maximum) for a 30 second interval, then immediately increase to a much higher pace/intensity (around 80-90% of your maximum) for another 30 second interval. You’ll then switch back to a low pace again, and repeat.
This pattern continues to repeat over and over, without rest, for anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes – low intensity for short period followed by high intensity for a short period. I found it quite mundane.
The interval timeframes will vary depending on which stage of the program you’re at. But in general they will get harder as you progress. Eventually the low intensity intervals will get shorter and the high intensity intervals will get longer.
Doing cardio this way instead of the traditional ‘long and steady’ method you see most people using at the gym is better for fat loss. However, it is very difficult to stick with and I didn't look forward to these sessions at all.
The Verdict: Does Max Workouts Actually Work?
In my experience, the answer to this question is yes but it is a massive struggle for the results you get. The time commitment is also a large factor. After completing the 90-day schedule I certainly saw fat loss – that was strictly following the rules in the program and applying some of my own nutrition knowledge not included in the guide. My fitness levels were definitely higher too. More to the point though, the program is based on actual proven principles athletes use in their training every day. This is fine if you're an athlete, but not great if you're not. It almost feels like a less organized Insanity or P90X schedule.
Max Workouts provides effective workouts that will deliver good results if you have it in you to stick with the program. The principles the program is based on are correct, and that’s really the most important thing in fitness. They just aren't for most people in my opinion though.
Max Workouts Positives & Negatives For Me
The main positive takeaways are:
– Based on proven principles used by athletes
– I did get good results after the 90 days
– No nonsense, just proven workouts. Its a shame they're not for everyone though due to the difficulty
The main negative takeaways are:
– Main PDF ebook could be organized a lot better, things are very hard to navigate
– You need to pay $19.99 per month to access workout videos and the forum. Unfortunately the forum is very quite.
– The program is not easy and a lot of people won't finish it. This is especially true for older people.
– Value for month vs. other competing programs such as Old School New Body is fairly low
– Diet and nutrition guide is not complete enough for most people in my opinion
Overall I think you certainly have better options available on the market – both in terms of price and the quality of content. My recommendation, and what I currently use myself, is this one I recently reviewed.
If you'd prefer something that's based almost all on diet, rather than workouts then have a look at this popular plan which will have you shedding fat in under a month without the need for intense training.
Before we go, here are a couple of customer testimonials from people who have purchased and did manage to complete the program:
Overall, the Max Workouts program has solid great results from previous customers but as mentioned – there are much better options available.
You'll get great results in less time, while also saving money on a much cheaper program.
Looking for other options to get in your best shape ever? We'd highly recommended checking out these programs which we've recently worked through and absolutely love:
– Review of The Venus Factor by John Barban (a great option for women)
– The Bikini Workout Plan by Shawna K (30's women only)
If you don't want to exercise we'd suggest this smoothie program from Liz Swann Miller.
Read about our other recommended high intensity programs here, if you'd like something that's as intense as Max Workouts.
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Summary: Shin Ohtake's program is famous, but we feel not the best fit for most of our readers.