My MAX'S Journey. By Ben Cheniart

September last year, a good friend of mine was entering into the Max Challenge 2016. When he spoke with me about the challenge and that he had completed three prior to this, he tried his hardest to sell the Challenge idea to me to the best of his ability. I will be honest, I actually told him straight out that I don't have anywhere near enough discipline to keep up with the eating requirements and that I wasn't motivated enough to go through all that.

Fast forward to January 2017, and I was sitting with that same friend over Sushi. We got onto the Max web page via mobile, and started watching videos and the previous Top 10 transformations and something inside of me said "You know what, I got this! I can do this!" .... Honestly that's all it was to ignite a spark inside of me. Without hesitation I paid my fee, and was keen to get the party started!!!
Prior to the Max Challenge the biggest involvement I had on a physical level was my love for Obstacle Course Racing for over the past 5 years, and the previous 5 years before that I spent my working career as a young pup Personal Trainer. I have pushed myself to various limits in the past with intensity levels like never before- but at the same time I pretty much ate what I wanted from the copious amounts of pizza, to the regular beer and scotch nights. Yeah I was fit... but my body was never a representation of that from a physical perspective. I spent all my high school years as an overweight young man, and could never shift my absolute love for high carb & savoury foods!!! Breaking that cycle of being overweight all those years ago was overcoming a Depressive state that I had slipped into with the separation of a long term high school sweetheart. Overweight, lonely, and feeling sorry for myself I started to involve myself in physical exercise which was by far the best remedy for me.

Week 1 – 4: I cruised through these weeks, and felt like I was crushing it. I was so surprised that I could go cold turkey on all those things I love like processed food, alcohol, sugar, diet soft drinks, and pizza. I even surprised myself switching from Soy Cappuccinos to Long Blacks (still prefer them to this day). I swore to myself in the challenge that I would never post a progress photo on my social media till the very end, because I wanted to transform undercover. I never took my shirt off in public, and was always playing down my progress just so I could be sure that I was doing this challenge for me and me only. Let's be honest, like a Wolf I wanted the competition

Week 5 – 8: This phase had my favourite training program... I was pumped!!! But on the flip side I was starting to feel my depletion. I trained really hard because I had that eye on the Top 10. I originally started with a mindset that I had no chance for the top 10, but after my first check in that began to change and evolve. I started picturing that I was at the Melbourne Gala Dinner on stage, and that the Max Coaches were handing me a trophy... as those legs burned with every squat and I wanted to complained, I just went back and visualised that trophy and the stage. My mind was clear, and my goals were set... I was on fire, and mentally cleansed because of my effective eating plan and newly developed training and sleeping routines. One downfall was I travelled to Nelson Bay NSW for the weekend to celebrate a Wedding. I drank sparkling mineral water all night and hung out with a pregnant lady who also was the only other one person not drinking in a room of 90 people!!! Not going to lie, I coped a barrage of insults and jokes- but I just went back to that visualisation again of that stage in Melbourne and that trophy.

Week 9 – 12: In my eyes I was cruising through perfectly, until I started to play silly bugger tricks on my mind by looking at the progress of other guys in my category... I found myself in a silly state of mind where I started comparing myself to everyone and losing a little faith in how hard I actually worked. I knew it was a silly way of thinking, and I knew that it didn't really matter but I totally understand the pressure we put on ourselves to compete with others in this day and age. But I re-evaluated and spoke with my coach about it and realised that I need to stay true to my original goal and do this challenge for me and me only. On top of that I went back to those daily visualisations and I was mentally back in the game. Depleted, shredded and still keeping my body off social media I was starting to become excited to reveal my body to everyone. On this final stretch I coped all the naysay comments at work, and from others around me calling me skinny, and always having to make remarks about how clean my food was and people always trying to break me when it came to my nutrition. At this stage in the competition I was to resilient to even care about their comments and kept saying to myself "You just wait until you show everyone what you have created"... keeping up with that positive enforcement/ self-talk, and visualisations! Without publically saying it, I wanted that Top 10... that belief was with me through every session. When those muscles burned in pain.. I am in the Top 10!... when the sweat hit the treadmill... I am in that Top 10!... when everyone around me was calling me to skinny... I am in that Top 10! Those words never stopped, and kept me hungry till the end.

Final Result: Never in my life had I ever gotten a wax or a spray tan.. and that was a challenge in itself but I knew it was needed to define and contour all those shredded muscles that I had created. I was so exhausted on my photoshoot but was so proud within myself that it was finally over and now the waiting game for my result. The call came for the Top 50, and in my mind I was accepting that if it was only going to be Top 50, then that will do... then the Top 10 call came and I was so taken back. I had mentally told myself I would get there, but when I actually did it seemed so surreal. I have never achieved anything on this level before and I am proud to say that I truly believe in the Max Challenge system approach to transforming your body and mind. I am proud to represent Max as a Sponsored Athlete, and a 2017 Top 10 competition placement.