London-born Max Lowery is a personal trainer and health coach who’s all about making clever lifestyle changes for a balanced life. Having been a personal trainer for four years, he had previously trained as a competitive sprinter and now has his sights set on competing in Olympic lifting…
JACK WILLS: You’re training and want to compete in Olympic lifting? Tell us more about that.
MAX LOWERY: I would like to give it a go, for me it’s all about finding new passions, trying new things and forcing yourself into new situations. I’m someone that if I’m not training, exercising, or competing, I’m much more likely to go and do negative things in life like drink too much or whatever. So having those goals and being competitive makes me a better person.
JW: So having a competitive focus gives you balance?
ML: I think I’m the kind of person that needs that rush and competition – I need it in my life for me to be an all-round person. For a number of years I didn’t have it, I stopped doing all sport and exercise and in those years I learnt a lot about myself. But it wasn’t good – I was unhealthy, I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I wasn’t eating great. So it was only through trial and error that I realised that actually, I am a very competitive person and I’m a better person if I’m competing.
JW: What sort of workout routine do you absolutely love and what do you hate?
ML: Having trained as a sprinter for quite a long time, I really don’t enjoy anything endurance-based – although having said that I enjoy hiking a lot. But long-distanced running – anything where there’s lots of reps involved – I don’t enjoy at all. I’m more of a power athlete and I’m more explosive in nature.
JW: Do you consider yourself sporty or an athlete?
ML: I like to train myself like an athlete, it’s not about just going to the gym and getting a pump on. For me, my training is periodised, I look at my rest, mobility and flexibility just as much as my training – it’s all encompassing, even down to my sleeping habits. So I do like to train myself like an athlete and I think if people were to approach their training more like an athlete rather than for aesthetics or for negative body associations, then I think people could do a lot better and their training would be sustained rather than short term.
JW: If you could be a professional athlete, what would you want to do and why?
ML: Since I trained as a sprinter, I would love to be a world class sprinter travelling all around the world, training with great coaches – I think that would be great.
JW: What do you like to do to relax and take a break?
ML: I love hiking, anything that gets me in the outdoors and with nature, in the middle of absolute nowhere is ideal for me. That and I ride motorbikes. So basically anything that allows me to explore the world I live in, whether it’s on my own two feet or on my motorbike, that’s what I love doing. For me, hiking and motorcycling through amazing locations is like meditation.
JW: What is your ultimate goal in life?
ML: My ultimate goal in life is to show people that living a balanced and healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean deprivation and restriction. All it takes is making a few small lifestyle changes over a long period of time and that can make a huge difference to your life.
JW: What is your ultimate goal in fitness?
ML: My ultimate goal in fitness is purely to be the best I can possibly be. I’m much more interested in getting a personal best than coming first in a competition. For me it’s just about competing with myself and showing myself what I’m made of.
JW: Personal training – why do you do it and what’s it like?
ML: Having done something that’s sitting at a desk and completely uninterested in, I wanted to do something that I had an interest in. So I went into being a personal trainer. It grew quite quickly and I realised that doing something you enjoy and have a passion for makes a massive difference. It’s not just about fitness and being a personal trainer, I’m trying to teach people that it’s all encompassing – it’s your sleep, alcohol habits, how you move, flexibility, it’s everything. It’s just a few clever lifestyle changes you can make, and it makes a huge difference. So I’m just trying to help people live a balanced life without ruining their lives.
JW: What is the biggest challenge you have working with individuals?
ML: There are a few challenges; I think the main challenge is that people want a quick fix. They think they need to be doing extreme things in the short term to get results, when in actual fact it’s the other way round. I think the media confuses everyone into what is healthy and what isn’t healthy. So there’s a lot of confusion around – it’s a challenge to break those down and start from scratch.
JW: What motivates you to get people in shape?
ML: For me being fit and healthy is really important. Making a difference in people’s lives and making them feel so much better, and also making them realise that it doesn’t have to be complicated is very rewarding. Having done a job where you’re not helping anyone other than the people that you work for it’s a really nice contrast to be able to help people like that on such a personal level. It’s getting other people motivated – they then inspire me with their motivation.