Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Maxercist--Is This the Ultimate Fitness Move?

The Maxercist is a kinetic chain of body weight movements linked together in a continuous flow. Much like the yogic conditioning systems, the moves are linked via the breath. All the elements of physical conditioning are developed by the Maxercist: strength, endurance, cardio, mobility, co-ordination, balance, flexibility and grace. All five pillars of human movement are represented: two level changes--one thigh-dominant and one hamstring-dominant--a push; a pull; rotation and locomotion. This chain stresses systemic fatigue as opposed to muscular fatigue. In this regard, it would be classified as inefficient. The idea is to "smoke" the system, not the muscle. In this way, the activity can be prolonged in order to increase cardio endurance and work capacity. Unless there is a significant, pre-existing imbalance in the trainee, the work and fatigue are evenly distributed throughout the body. For most, the weak link lies in the pulling muscles. What are the advantages of such an exercise? Why not just separate each movement and work more efficiently? There are several advantages. One is the pronounced cardio effect while simultaneously working the lower and upper body musculature through a full range of movement all while enhancing mobility and flexibility. How many cardio exercises can make that claim? Motor skills, balance, agility, flow and grace are also refined. I personally find the usual modes of cardio conditioning, such as the step mill, elliptical or treadmill utterly mind-numbing, but you all knew that. The Maxercist allows you to develop other athletic attributes while still reaping all the benefits of so-called cardio exercise. I originally came upon the Maxercist concept while attempting to figure out exercise combinations to simulate the stresses of a prolonged grappling or MMA fight. I have many variations of the Maxercist. It's decidedly more sophisticated than the traditional burpee, yes, even more than a burpee with an added pull-up. Each component blends into the next. The form is very important, as is full-range motor control. The temptation is to reduce range of motion in order to buy more speed--this is a mistake. Much of the benefit comes from the fullfull flexion of each component. The speed can increase, but don't cut any corners. Study the photos carefully and start out slowly. When you can do 100 reps, non-stop, you'll have acquired the stamina, strength, flexibility, agility and endurance to handle almost anything! Steve Maxwell extension and


Jason Struck , RKC said...

great idea--

congrats to Zak!

Steve Maxwell said...

Thanks, Jason.

I'm so proud of him.

Lynnet said...

This is Sun Salutation (from Yoga) with a chin-up at the end, right? I've heard from the Yoga side that Sun Salutation is all the exercise you need.

Steve Maxwell said...

Hi Lynnet, Like the article says, The Maxercist a BJJ sports-specific [i]variation[/i] on the sun salutation.

If by "from the Yoga side" you mean Western yoga studio teachers, my response is that there's a distinct lack of pulling motion in the sun salutation. While I agree that the sun salutaion is a damn good exercise, to say it is is complete is a patent mistake.

It's been my observation that typical US yoga classes are filled with flexible weaklings who couldn't do a pull-up or climb a rope to save their lives.

It's my humble goal to correct this imbalance in modern, Western-style yoga. Hey, each of us is given a task in life, right? Mine is to get the yogis off the mat and into the air.

If you do some research into the ancient, traditional yogic conditioning systems, you'll discover many pulling movements, in the form of rope and pole climbing and stunts, club and mace swinging.

These conditioning systems were not only for conditioning meditators for extended bouts of sitting, but also used for the warrior classes.

The yogis indeed knew what they were doing when it came to conditioning, but not everything made it into the Western translations. Check out The Physical Body DVDs for some fascinating footage of the ancient in action.

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Steve, thanks for the post. This one will definitely be added to the arsenal!

Robert said...

Hey Steve. Really like the flow of this but where is the locomotion pillar of this combo?


Steve Maxwell said...

Hi Robert,

It's implied! You don't see the action because of the way the snapshots are put together but the locomotion is in the jump up to the pull-up bar.

Thus in order to get the complete benefit from the Maxercist, you must use a pull-up bar high enough that you must leap up to it.

Thanks for asking so it's made clear to everyone.