Brian sits down with one of the elite Peak Performers in the world, Bobby Maximus. Bobby is a former police officer turned UFC fighter and is now the General Manager and founder of Gym Jones.
- The importance of ruthless self-evaluation.
- Bobby’s story and what drives him to be elite.
- A few techniques to help you develop more positive thoughts throughout the day.
- What a bed and a cell phone charger have in common.
- And more…
PODCAST AUDIO BELOW
The smartest guy in the room is the one who realizes he’s not the smartest guy in the room. What I mean by that is you’ve got to be brave enough, you’ve got to be smart enough, you’ve got to ask for some help sometimes. When I wasn’t good at jiujitsu – and that was my weakness in the UFC – I sought out somebody to help me with jiujitsu.
Robert “Bobby Maximus” MacDonald
Cain: Hey, everybody. How are you doing? Brian Cain, your Peak Performance coach, here with the Peak Performance Podcast. Today our guest is Rob McDonald, also known at Bobby Maximus. He’s a former Canadian Mixed Martial Artist who appeared in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He appeared in The Ultimate Fighter 2, the reality TV series that aired on Spike TV, and also had numerous bouts in the UFC. McDonald now acts as the general manager and lead training director at Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah. You may have heard of Gym Jones as the gym that trained the actors for the movie 300. Bobby Maximus is an integral piece that makes Gym Jones one of the most elite hard-core gyms in the country. Maximus has also broken multiple power endurance world records.
He’ll be releasing a book through Men’s Health called The Maximus Body. It covers topics such as life psychology, nutrition, sports psychology, performance psychology, recovery practices, anti-stress, training regimen. It’s my pleasure to welcome to the Peak Performance Podcast the savage known as Bobby Maximus. Bobby, welcome to the Peak Performance Podcast.
Maximus: Brian, thank you, and thank you for all the kind words you said about me. It’s good to speak to you again.
Cain: Yeah, it’s been a while. I think the last time I saw you was about 10 years ago. You were still competing in the UFC. I was living in Vermont. You were still a police officer in Toronto. We were talking a little, doing a little work on the mental game of MMA. For our listeners here – and I’ll refer to you both as Rob and refer to you as Bobby Maximus. Is there one that you prefer?
Maximus: It’s actually funny. I actually go by Bobby now but only because it’s kind of from a marketing perspective. People don’t know the difference between Bobby Maximus and Rob McDonald. They think they’re different people at times. So as business has got bigger, I’ve had to brand myself as Bobby Maximus now.
Cain: Got it. Well, Bobby, tell us if you would – could you kind of take us on your journey from being in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and kind of getting going right when it started, getting going in The Ultimate Fighter 2 and then kind of some of your life as a police officer and some of the things you saw and did in Toronto, and kind of how you got now from that life to where you are as a new father (congratulations).
Maximus: Thank you.
Cain: And coming out as an author and having your own shoe and all these things as one of the most recognized athletes and recognized coaches in the strength and conditioning industry.
Maximus: Actually, I think it starts before the days in the UFC. My background – and I get into it a lot in my book, but there are some people that are aware of this and some people that aren’t. I was bullied a fair amount as a kid. I was never one of the popular kids. I was never an athlete. I got cut from the basketball team. I used to love the sport of basketball. I couldn’t make the football team. I was always last picked on the playground.
When I was in Grade 9, I got my collarbone broken by a group of hockey bullies essentially and I started wrestling to try and defend myself. I was god-awful. Just terrible. I lost every match my first year. My second year I won one match. I just kept working hard. There were a few coaches and a few athletes who just – I don’t even know why they believed in me, but they were there for me and supported me and I actually kind of got good at wrestling. To make a long story short, this transformation had begun and I ended up finding myself in the UFC.
It’s funny. I want to talk about you a little bit. You are one of the people who I credit as being instrumental in me ending up where I am today because of the sports psychology stuff we used to work on. I remember being a person in 2005 and 2006 (and I’m sure you remember too) that I had self-doubts. I was worried about my ability to compete in the UFC. We used to work on the green light/red light thoughts. For some of your listeners that don’t know what those are, it’s red light thoughts – and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this, but red light thoughts are the thoughts that shut you down. Thoughts like “I don’t belong here, this opponent is better than me, I haven’t trained hard enough, I’m going to lose.” Self-doubts we all go through. Green light thoughts, on the other hand, are positive self-talk thoughts like “I’m second in the world for kickboxing, I almost made the Olympics for wrestling, I work harder than anybody to propel me to victory.” I remember you giving me not only that exercise but writing five things down every morning that would make me successful. You gave me audio tapes to listen to with a bunch of inspirational stories and how other athletes dealt with issues.
I’d say that experience with you was instrumental in forming who I went on to be in the UFC, but also forming a huge basis of everything I teach in training today, which is the psychology of training is a lot more important than the actual physical being of training. Through a lot of those sayings, it helped give me the courage and the confidence in myself to quit a police job that I loved to take a risk and move down to the United States (where I really didn’t know anybody) and work for this business and try to build something up from scratch. Those exercises really helped me do that.
Cain: That’s fantastic. I think that every athlete goes through that. Every athlete has some of that self-doubt, Bobby, but you were an athlete that said, Hey, this is an issue for me in my career and I’m going to go attack it head-on and I’m going to get better. The athletes that you train now – NFL players, professional athletes, Mixed Martial Arts fighters, actors – do you see them being as opened to sports psychology as you were or are they still a bit closed off to it?
Maximus: Actually, in our environment I think they’re really open to it because they know coming in that we preach that heavily. One of the primary tenets of Gym Jones is that the mind is primary. The seminars that I teach, a lot of the seminars focus on not only sports psychology, because I think a lot of sports psychology can transfer well to the rest of your life. I know you’ve worked with a bunch of the best Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the world and baseball players and golfers and all kinds of different athletes. But the skills to be good at a sport from a psychology perspective are the same skills that it takes to be a better husband, to get that job promotion you want, to be a better person.
So a big part of our program here at the gym is using physical exercise as a tool to help make people better in every aspect of their life, and without psychology you can’t use that tool correctly. So people that come to train here, I think they’re already looking for that – mind is primary, sports psychology/life psychology/whatever you want to call it. They’re already looking for that kind of avenue and so they’re immediately opened up to it.
That said, I think there are a lot of people out there that are closed off to psychology in general and don’t understand what it could do for them. What I want to do is get that message out to as big of an audience as possible, that focusing on your brain can really help make the rest of your life a lot better.
Cain: I couldn’t agree with you more. I think in your book The Maximus Body you talk a lot about some of those specific psychological skills or mental game skills that you developed that are now helping you to be one of the most sought-after people in the performance industry. What are some of those skills that you break down in The Maximus Body that can help people listening to this podcast?
Maximus: Well, I think the first thing is a little bit of what we talked about – the green light/red light thoughts. I remember you had me do an exercise where I have to wake up every morning and write down five reasons that I’d be successful. I actually had a really good learning experience where because of your coaching I had one of the best spikes of my life. I won UFC Submission of the Night, I was successful, I was on my way. Then I dropped the ball on continuing that training because I thought my problem was fixed. What I didn’t understand was that doing three months of exercises were not going to overcome 18 years of a certain negative thought pattern. It was something that I continually had to work on.
One of the things that I talk about in the book because my last fight – or not my last fight but the fight after I won – that I stopped doing that sports psychology stuff I lost pretty bad. What lesson that taught me was that if you’re going to retrain your brain, it’s something you have to work on. The brain is a muscle like any other muscle in your body. You’ve got to work on it. You can’t just do it for a day. You can’t just do it for two days. It’s a lifelong kind of deal. You’ve got to dedicate yourself to psychology. I talk about in the book if you want to do these exercises, if you want to be successful, you need to do this stuff every single day. That’s the first part.
Another thing I talk about in the book is something that I call ruthless self-assessment or ruthless self-evaluation. You’ve got to be able to tell yourself the truth. I think a lot of us lie to ourselves because we don’t want to face the truth because it’s hard to. The most important type of work we can do – and this is something my wife taught me – is self-work. That’s the work we stay away from. So I talk about in the book having the courage to look yourself in the mirror and do an objective assessment of yourself and tell yourself the hard truths that you don’t want to hear and finding the courage to attack those truths and then start to create a new reality for yourself.
I’d say the third main tone of the book is this shit isn’t easy. You can get a lot of products for three easy payments of $9.99, you can try to take a magic pill, you can order something with your credit card, you can get some book that you’re going to read – but that book, those three easy payments at $9.99, that magic pill, they ain’t going to do the work for you. You’ve got to do the work yourself.
If you want to change (whether it be from a physical perspective or a sports psychology perspective), be prepared to put some investment into play. It’s not going to happen in three weeks. It’s not going to happen in four weeks. You’ve got to be prepared to be dedicated for a very long period of time. Dedication doesn’t take days off. You don’t get to just cheat on your diet when you want to cheat on your diet. You don’t get to skip a workout because you feel like skipping a workout. From a sports psychology standpoint, you don’t get to skip your self-work because you’re a little tired that day. If you want something, you’ve got to earn it.
Cain: I love that. I think today’s what they would refer to as often the microwave society that want everything faster, cheaper, and easier. I think sometimes people just forget that the secret to success is not a secret. It’s just a lot of hard freaking work. I think when you talk to interview people – like I get the privilege to do here, Bobby, on the podcast, people like yourself – and I ask them “What has made you successful?” often they just come back to saying “I work my ass off and I will never stop, I will not be denied.” For them to put in 18-20 hour days is just kind of something that they do without thinking about it because they’re so into what they do. What drives you to be the success that you are? What’s the motivation inside of Bobby Maximus that drives you to be the best?
Maximus: This may sound kind of cheesy, but at the end of the day I want to help people and lead by example. I’ve been really fortunate in my life. I come from a small town up north. I didn’t go to school on a sports scholarship. We talked a little bit about how I lost every match wrestling, how I wasn’t good at stuff, and honestly, if it wasn’t for a few key people in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I remember one of my trainers, named Shaw Franco. He really took an interest in me and I credit him really on reviving a fight career that I thought was lost. He never asked for a penny from me. One day I asked him how I could thank him and he said, “Just do this for other people.” That really stuck with me.
I think our goal in this life – we don’t have a lot of years here on this earth. What I want to do is leave a lasting impact on people and help as many people as possible. I am so grateful every day to live the life I live, to have the opportunity to do something I love, to have a beautiful wife who supports me in every way, to have two beautiful children. I really think that, not talking about money but talking about life experiences, I’m rich beyond belief in terms of the life that I’ve been able to live, the experiences I have, and I wish that for everybody. I wish everybody could wake up as happy as I am every day and I really want to help people.
Then the second thing is I really just want to lead by example. I think that’s the best way to teach people. I always say your actions need to be consistent with your words so I feel a responsibility to people I train. I feel a responsibility to my son. I feel a responsibility to my wife. To the people that pay to hear me speak that come to the seminars. I do feel a responsibility to work as hard as I can and practice all the things that I preach. One of the things I preach is that every day the goal is to better yourself in some capacity – emotionally, physically, spiritually. You’ve just got to work to be a better person so I strive to do that every day.
Cain: Bobby, would you talk a little bit about some of the routines that you have? Not necessarily the workouts that you’re doing physically because we’ll get a lot of that coming out of the book, and frankly, a lot of the physical workouts that you do the people listening to this podcast are not professional athletes and might not be able to do; but what they can do is they can mimic your self-growth routines, they can write down five things on a daily basis, they can get better at understanding their signal lights. What are some of the key components of your daily routine that you think anyone listening to this podcast (coach or athlete) could do to better improve their lives and their situation?
Maximus: Three what I’ll call actionable tips. Number one, the green light/red light thoughts. It doesn’t matter who you are, what sport you’re in – and I’m sure you can echo this with some of the stories you have from athletes you’ve worked with – even the best people in the world are insecure. That’s a fact. We all have our doubts. We all have our insecurities. It takes a lot of work to fix those. There used to be a point – this is what I recommend to the listener is go to Office Depot, get yourself a roll of green dots or green little stickers and put them all over your house. Put them on your fridge. Put them on your steering wheel handle. Put them on your phone. Every time you look at a green dot think of a positive thought about yourself. That kind of positive self-talk will help you be more successful.
I feel like I graduated beyond – because there was a point, Brian, where you made me put green dots over everything, that people used to make fun of me for. But on a more serious note, I used to have to do that. Now I’ve gotten into the habit from looking at green dots where I try to think green light thoughts throughout the day. I don’t need a green dot to prompt me to think about them. I constantly throughout the day go through anywhere between 10-50 green light thoughts to fix my self-image. It’s something that frankly I’m still working on at 38 years old. I’m still working on this stuff because when you have a negative self-image at times, or where you’re not confident, where you are insecure, you’ve got to work on it.
Let’s face it – things are scary. I’m honored to have a book with Men’s Health and I’m honored to have a shoe and a pre-workout supplement, but there are some insecurities that go along with that. What if these things fail? How does that affect my family? Does it make me a failure if my shoe doesn’t sell well? Does it make me a failure if my book doesn’t sell well? These are things I grapple with. So the green light thoughts, those are things that I work on. Also, the minute I think a red light thought like that, I shut that shit right down and I think of something positive.
The second thing I do is every morning I get a journal and write down five reasons you’re going to be successful. When you’re scared, when you’re worried, when you’re insecure, make sure you write those things down.
The third thing I do is it’s something called let your actions dictate your feelings, don’t let your feelings dictate your actions. That’s something where if I’m scared, I act confident. If I’m nervous, I act confident. It starts to breed confidence within myself. Those are three things that you can do every day that I think are very easy.
That last one again is fake it till you make it to a certain degree. But if you can do those three things every day, you’ll start to open up for yourself a bunch of possibilities that you may have not thought existed before. Then success starts to breed success because once you’re successful you believe yourself. You believe you have the ability to be successful. Imagine you’re the athlete that has never hit a home run in Major League Baseball and you don’t believe you can hit one. Well, the minute you hit your first one the pressure is off and you know you can hit another and then another and another and you open up yourself to another realm of possibility.
Cain: It comes back to it’s the start that stops most people, and when you let your feelings dictate your actions, often you keep waiting and you keep waiting and you keep waiting. You’re like that archer who is ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, aim, and you never freaking fire. What you have to do is you have to just fire, fire, fire, fire, and then start aiming once you get good at pulling the trigger, because you’ve got to be a person of action.
Bobby, I’m sure that every time you’ve failed at something, whether it was a new business venture, whether it was a lift, whether it was a fight in the Octagon, you didn’t look at it as in life there are winners and losers. You probably looked at it as in life there are winners and learners. Could you talk a little bit about how you have made adversity your advantage? You’ve already covered that a lot from growing up being bullied to being one of the best fighters on the planet in the UFC. Are there other ways in your life that you’ve made adversity your advantage and have learned key lessons, maybe from some failure or difficult times that have made you the success you are today?
Maximus: Yes. The smartest guy in the room is the one who realizes he’s not the smartest guy in the room. What I mean by that is you’ve got to be brave enough, you’ve got to be smart enough, you’ve got to ask for some help sometimes. When I wasn’t good at jiujitsu – and that was my weakness in the UFC – I sought out somebody to help me with jiujitsu. When I wasn’t good at sports psychology and our mutual friend Tom Murphy gave me the opportunity to meet you, I met you. I went down to Vermont. That was fundamental in making me who I am today.
When I wasn’t smart enough in physiology, I took a course. You have to take failure in stride but you can’t just sit around and complain about your failure. You’ve got to seek those out who can help you be better. That’s a super important part of the process that we all forget. We’re all flawed individuals. We’re not perfect. We all need help with certain things. It’s okay to admit that you have a weakness. It’s okay to admit that you’ve failed. And it’s okay to ask for help. A lot of times I think what holds people back is their ego or their insecurities and they’re scared to ask somebody for help.
Cain: A book that I’m currently reading right now by Ryan Holiday is called Ego Is The Enemy. Could you talk a little about how with the people that you’ve seen at the highest level of athletics or business, how sometimes they let their ego get in the way of helping them get to another level.
Maximus: Yeah, exactly. If you think Michael Jordan didn’t have a free throw coach, you’re nuts. If you think that Tom Brady doesn’t have a quarterback coach, you’re nuts. These athletes that are arguably the two greatest athletes of all time in their respective sports – how many coaches do you think Michael Jordan has had in his life? How many coaches does Tom Brady have? How many places do you think they’ve sought for help? If the best in the world are asking for help and the best in the world have coaches, why do you sitting at home think that you’re too good for a coach or that you don’t need help?
It’s the same thing with the sports psychology stuff. I’ve been made fun of for doing sports psychology before because people don’t understand it, but how many athletes today, Brian, do you think have a sports psychologist? Let’s take golf, for example. I’m going to say 99% of PGA Tour members have a sport psychologist.
Cain: It’s probably pretty close. The one thing that every Olympic athlete who was just in Rio or Sochi in the last winter games, the one thing that every Olympic athlete has, is they have a coach.
Maximus: Yep. Exactly. That’s what you need to get you better. Even if you’re the best person in the world, you need that type of coaching. That’s what really opened my eyes to it. When we were talking back in the day and I realized you’d worked with Georges St. Pierre and Butch Franklin, I’m like, okay, so here are two of the greatest fighters of all time, champions in the sport. They have a sports psychologist? Maybe I should have one too.
One of the things people don’t realize – and you might not be Tom Brady, you might not be Georges St. Pierre, you might not be Floyd Mayweather, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do the things that they do to make themselves better.
Cain: Especially from a mental game standpoint too. They might not physically be able to do what those guys can do but can they match a Georges St. Pierre’s work ethic? No question. Can they match a Georges St. Pierre’s commitment to attention to detail, to nutrition, to recovery, to sleep, to taking care of his body like a million dollar sports car? Anyone in sales and education and athletics in life can match those things. They might not be able to match the cardiovascular fitness. They might not be able to match some of the speed and power/endurance stuff that you do, but they can match you in your daily routine; they can match you in your work ethic and your grind, can’t they?
Maximus: Well, of course. And the other thing with that is what’s the downside to doing some stuff like this? If I tell you, Brian, every day you’re going to sit down and you’re going to write five reasons why your podcast is going to be the most successful podcast on the entire planet, what’s the downside of that apart from spending five quality minutes?
Cain: The only downside might be that I fall in the trap of just writing down that my podcast is going to be really good but I’m not taking action to help make it good other than just writing down how great it’s going to be.
Maximus: You’re right. You’ve got to put that into action. But it’s five minutes. You can’t afford five minutes to make yourself better?
Cain: Yeah. I agree.
Maximus: That’s what it comes down to for people. You’re not investing millions of dollars. You’re not putting your family at risk. You’re not taking a second mortgage on your house. You’re not taking time away. You’re doing some positive self-work. I don’t understand how that can be bad and I think it’s laziness that prevents people from doing these things because they are relatively easy to do. They’re free. There is no downside. There is no downside to self-work. What I tell people is – and here’s something that I’ve kind of come up with that I talk about in the book as well. Do you know how many hours there are in a week?
Maximus: 168. So let’s say I just told you, you had to work on your psychological game for two hours a week. Just two hours. That’s 1% of your week pretty much. If you can’t give me 1% of your week, you’re just not dedicated. You just don’t want it bad enough. It’s the same thing for fitness. You tell me you don’t have time to work out – not you, but these people that I work with will tell me sometimes, “I don’t have time to do this, I don’t have time to do that.” With 168 hours in a week you have got so much time to do anything that you want to do. It’s incredible.
I run through a time audit with people where if I give you 10 hours of sleep a night, that’s 70 hours a week. You’ve still got 98 hours in a week to get stuff done. Then you tell me you work 50 hours a week. That’s fine. You’ve still got 48 hours a week to get stuff done. You tell me you want to spend quality time with your family. I’m giving you 3 quality hours a day. I’m not talking where your face is buried in your Instagram or you’re watching the football game while your son hangs out on the couch with you. You’re going to talk to your family for three hours a day. You’re going to do things with them. Well, there’s another 21 hours. You’ve still got 27 hours. Where does all your time go? You know what I mean?
So I think people are lazy about it and they don’t understand the value of it, but it’s really not that much of a sacrifice to dedicate 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes a day.
Cain: Bobby, I love what you’re talking about. One of the exercises that I – I can’t remember where I went through it but it’s something I’ve done in my life for probably the last 4-5 years is, I actually map out my 168 hours for the week. I sit down on Sunday and I map out for the next seven days. Okay, here is my agenda from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed on every single day and where I’m going to get things done and where I’m going to do it.
So I know when we get off of this call at, let’s say 2:00, I know that I’ve got from 2:00-2:30 to type up show notes, to do some other things, then from 2:30-3:30 it’s a bike ride. 3:30-3:45 it’s recovery. 3:45-4:45 it’s a run. You’ve got all that mapped out in the day. And no day goes exactly how you want it to go but you have to go into the day with a plan; otherwise, you’re going to resort back to acting how you feel instead of letting your actions change your feelings, because you just get going because you’re following your plan.
Maximus: The most important thing that I just took from that story is the fact that you’re taking time to plan. That shows me you care. You are putting something in place to make your goals happen. A lot of people will just jump to the excuse of “I don’t have time, I don’t know how to do this.” You’re demonstrating that you care about accomplishing your goals.
Cain: One of my favorite books was The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. In that book The Magic of Thinking Big, which I remember listening to for months on audio as I would go for a run, is he talked about what he calls “excusitis.” One of those is time excusitis. “I don’t have enough time.” Another one would be age excusitis. “I’m not old enough” or “I’m too old” or “I don’t have the right education.” We make all these bullshit excuses that keep us from going where we want to go, but the biggest one I see is that people say “I don’t have enough time.”
Maximus: Well, I’ll tell you a funny exercise. It was a girl I trained at the gym once and she told me she didn’t have enough time to train. I asked her what was going on. She said, “Well, I’m a student and I have a part-time job.” I said, “How many hours a week do you go to school?” She said “15.” I go, “How many hours a week do you study?” She’s like, “Probably 5-10.” I said, “Okay, so you study a fair amount. How many hours do you work?” She goes “20.” I go, “You run a 40-hour week. What are you going to do when you hit the real world and you have to work a Monday-Friday 9-5? Is your life going to fall apart?” She’s like, “Well, I’m busy with other things and my family.” I said, “Here’s what I want you to do. Every time you open your phone to look at Facebook, do five burpees.” Two days and a thousand burpees later, she just called me and she said, “You’re right; I think I have enough time to train.” That was the end of that.
We all fall victim to these things where we’re I think putting our time – I just think we have poor time management and we also don’t want to accomplish our goals bad enough. If you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen.
Cain: I love that. If you’ve got a big enough reason why, you will always find a way how.
Maximus: Yeah. That’s the biggest thing. I just would rather you – I mean, Brian, if we were having a talk about fitness and you said to me “I don’t have enough time, I don’t have the equipment, I’m too old” and give me excuses, I’d honestly lose respect for you. If you said to me, “Well, being fit is not just that important to me,” I would respect you because it’s not important to everybody and that’s fine, but just call it what it is.
Cain: Yeah. Don’t lie to yourself. Be truthful with yourself and actually go after what you want, and don’t try to be somebody that you’re not and don’t try to be somebody that you don’t want to be. But if you want to have optimal health for the obvious reasons of being around on this planet longer, being able to serve other people at a higher level if that’s important to you, I think no matter what you do – it doesn’t matter if you’re a coach, it doesn’t matter if you’re working in oil and gas sales and you’re dialing a phone all day – you still have to be in a certain level of shape and exercise and move hopefully in the morning and get a sweat going so that you get that extra energy, so you get that extra little bit of focus. In your book you probably just talk about the importance of moving for everybody as a human being. Is that accurate?
Maximus: Yes. And what I tell people is it’s an investment. So if you’re unfit and you go try to put in an eight-hour day at work, even if you spend eight hours working that day you’re not putting in a solid eight hours because you’re tired, you’re stressed, you’re not efficient. You might put in five hours that day. If you spend time training, you have the psychological ability, you have the resistance to stress, you have the physical ability, you have the stamina, you have the belief in yourself to do a true eight-hour work day in a day. If that makes sense.
One of the things is by investing that hour you will get so much more – just an hour a day of training – you will get so much more out of the other 23 hours in a day you will actually save yourself time. But the first thing we want to do is we want to cut sleep, we want to cut training, we want to cut nutrition, and it doesn’t work that way. Invest just a little bit of time every day and it makes everything in your life more efficient.
Cain: I love that. We talk a lot about here on the podcast, Bobby, the fundamentals. It doesn’t matter what your field, the fundamentals – I use the acronym EMMS, how you eat, how you move, how you meditate or work on your mental game, and how you sleep. If any of those four things are off, you’re going to have a performance breakdown coming in the future. Could you talk a little bit about each of those things from eating, movement, the meditation or mindfulness you’ve talked a lot about here today already, and then the sleeping and kind of address a little bit of each of those for our listeners.
Maximus: So in terms of eating, first of all there is the only saying “you are what you eat,” but you’ve got to fill your body with adequate nutrients to make your body perform well. Think about a car. If you go buy an expensive sports car, if you go buy a really high-end automobile, you’re not going to put the worst gas possible in it. You’re not just going to fill it with diesel. You’re not just going to fill it with rubbing alcohol. You’ve got to buy a premium product to make that car run well.
Give your body the nutrients. Give your body the sustenance (if you will). Give your body the right food to run your machine. There is nothing that will make you feel worse than being completely underfed. I’m sure there are days and I’m sure there are listeners out there that have had days where they haven’t paid attention to their eating and they feel like garbage. How productive can you be when you feel like garbage?
The second thing is movement. You cannot just sit around and expect your body to work well. Your body is meant to be moved. We are physical beings and there is a physical/spiritual/psychological link. If you have a sick body, you will have a sick mind. The stronger your body is the more resistant you are to stress, the better you sleep (which I’m going to touch on in a minute), the more stamina you have. You’re able to control your heart rate better. You’re able to breathe better. Moving is the way you train all of those abilities. Do some type of exercise. It doesn’t even need to be a “hard-core epic workout.” It can be walking. It can be biking. It can be swimming. It can be playing with your children in the backyard. But you’ve got to be active; the minute we stop moving we die.
In terms of meditative stuff, you’ve got to practice your mental game. You cannot just expect yourself to wake up and be cured of all your insecurities or all your issues. The brain is a muscle and it’s something that’s got to be trained.
The other thing I talk about – and I talked about it earlier in the podcast – is if you’ve lived a certain way for 30 years of your life and had a negative thought pattern, it’s not possible to train that away in a month. It’s not possible. You may never train some of that away and it’s something you have to constantly work at.
Finally, sleep. There have been tons of studies on sleep that if you’re getting restricted sleep every night your cognitive function is down, your immune system is down, your testosterone is down, your human growth hormone is down, your cortisol is up. There are all these things that happen within your body that are negative.
I use the cell phone example. I’m sure you have a smartphone, whatever brand you have. Brian, if you plug your smartphone in every morning and you leave the house on 100% charge, is that cell phone a useful tool? I’m going to say yes. You can use Google Maps, you can check your e-mail, you can post on Instagram, you can text your friends. Let me ask you, what happens if you forget to charge your phone at night and leave the house on a 10% charge? Is that phone a useful tool all day?
Cain: I’ve just got an expensive piece of machinery I’m carrying around in my pocket that’s not doing much.
Maximus: Yes. Exactly. You can’t – in fact, at that point, you’re texting me saying, “I can’t text anymore because my phone is going to die.” Imagine that your bed is the phone charger and you are the phone. You need to go out every morning on a full charge and if you go out on a full charge, you can attack the day, you can win the day, you can be successful at anything you want to be successful at. If you go out on that 10-20% charge, I’m sorry, but you’re just not going to put yourself in a position to be successful.
Cain: Well, Bobby, I tell you I have never heard that analogy before – that your bed is your cell phone charger and if you leave your house with a battery and a cell phone at 10%, you’re not going to be able to use it very much, and if you leave your house with your body at 10% recovery, you’re not going to be very useful. If you’re not juiceful, you’re not going to be very useful and the bed is where you kind of repair the juice and bring that energy to get you ready to go. Unbelievable.
Bobby, it’s been too long since I’ve seen you, been too long since we’ve gotten together. I’m super excited to have you here as a guest on the Peak Performance Podcast. If you would talk about your shoe that is coming out, the new Maximus shoe, and where people can get it.
Maximus: Okay. So the shoe has actually been out for a little bit. You can get it at www.LaloTactical.com. I think it’s the best training shoe on the market. The best thing about the Lalo people is they’re incredible people to work with. I just don’t say that. I don’t do a lot of endorsements and I don’t get involved with a lot of people and it takes me a while to open up to people, but these are people now I consider family. Besides the product. I mean, the product is one thing, but they’re absolutely incredible people and that’s important to me.
My pre-workout supplement is going to come out in February and it’s a story very similar to the Lalo people. The people at Gnarly Nutrition (that’s where you would get the supplement), they’re wonderful people. It’s funny because the people at Gnarly and Lalo have become friends. You hear the saying “birds of a feather flock together.” Good people tend to really respect each other and those two companies are in line.
Finally, I’ve got this book coming out with Men’s Health, and the Men’s Health family has been so damned good to me to have the opportunity to write a book – and I wrote it with a gentleman who I want to give a special thanks to. His name is Michael Easter. I couldn’t have done this without him. We wrote the book together. He is my coauthor. I think we really bring out the best in each other. He is an expert in his field and he’s an editor for Men’s Health. He’s written for them for years. He’s a fitness expert. The stuff I bring, we’ve created this – I think it’s an incredible book that will change people’s lives. Not just from an exercise standpoint but it will change their lives from top to bottom, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally. I think it’s a really incredible thing. It’s called The Maximus Body.
I have this saying “be like Bobby.” Go get yourself some pre-workout, jack yourself up, put on your shoes so you can go and win the day, and then arm yourself with some knowledge from the book. You’ll be a lot more successful.
Cain: Love it. And they can pick up the book on Amazon? Where is the best place for them to get it, www.BobbyMaximus.com?
Maximus: It’s going to be Men’s Health direct. So go to www.MensHealth.com and then there are going to be all kinds of advertisements for the book. Like I said, arm yourself with the knowledge, put your shoes on and get ready to get your ass to work, and then jack yourself up with some pre-workout and attack the day.
Cain: I’m going to go get some pre-workout right now. I’m going to go run six miles, I’m going to get on my bike – because I don’t know if I told you, Bobby, but I’m doing IRONMANs now – I’m going to probably ride for two hours, then I’m going to go smash weights. When I get done, I’ll probably take some more pre-workout and I’ll take my wife to dinner all jacked up.
Maximus: Good. I like it. And don’t forget to work on your mental game either.
Cain: I already did my journal this morning. I went on a duck hunt. I took it one shot, one duck at a time, and I’m absolutely dominating the day. But getting to see your smiling face, getting to see you here on the podcast, getting to hear you, you’ve got me jacked up. I appreciate it.
Maximus: Nice. And listen, I want to thank you as well. I’ve done a lot of research. I’ve read a lot of books over the past 10 years since we’ve met. I’ve done a lot of sports psychology stuff. I’ve really tried to self-educate myself and my department. Honestly, without being exposed to it from you, I don’t know if I would have done that. So I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for pointing me in the right direction and giving me some of the tools to go and learn myself, so thank you for that.
Cain: I’m humbled. I appreciate you for saying that. Thank you. That means a lot. Well, Bobby, this is the end of the podcast, my friend. For people wanting more Bobby Maximus, they’re going to get you on Twitter, I believe, @BobbyMaximus and on Instagram @BobbyMaximus. Is that right?
Maximus: That’s correct.
Cain: And do you have your own website they can go to to get a little bit more?
Cain: That’s Project Maximus?
Maximus: Yeah, that’s project. Thanks for calling me out for my Canadian accent.
Cain: Yeah. I wasn’t sure if you said “pro jacked” as in like a jacked pro athlete, or project, but I’m pretty sure you said www.ProjectMaximus.com. Awesome.
Maximus: I’ve lived in the States for a while now but you can’t take the Canadian out of me.
Cain: No, you can’t. Well, I appreciate you, Bobby. Thank you so much.
Maximus: Thanks, my man.
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