“Find the thing that sets you on fire and then use it to motivate yourself.” This notion is what resonated with 49-year-old Brian Cady from Albany, Illinois as he set his mind to compete in the 2013 MaxForm Life Challenge and lose the excess weight he’d accumulated over the past few years.

For Brian, deciding the competition was just something he was going to do became the key to making his dream come true. He realized he’d been using his age as an excuse. Self-defeating thoughts like, “I am too old to get back into shape” or “I am too old to compete with younger folks in the challenge” had been holding him back from committing to his health and fitness. That is, until his friend Mark Dann convinced him anything is possible.

Mark convinced Brian that Max Muscle supplements were great and that he could do this if he set his mind to it. That1393176888-maxresults is exactly what Brian did.

Brian worked with Max Muscle Bettendorf, Iowa franchisees Scott and Karen Herkes and quickly realized why Max Muscle products and Certified Fitness Nutrition Coaches (CFNCs) were different. “I knew the first time I walked into the store that they were different, in a good way. They really care about you as an individual,” said Brian.

Karen, who is a CFNC, helped Brian drop from 228 pounds and 27 percent body fat in December 2012 to 195 pounds and only 11 percent body fat by the end of June of 2013. To get there, Brian consumed six small meals consisting of lean protein, healthy fats and a balance of complex carbs each day. Max Muscle protein powders were especially helpful to Brian as they were convenient to use and extremely tasty. GlutaMatrix was also a key product for Brian because it really helped him repair his tired and sore muscles.

One thing Brian noted is that learning to eat six times a day instead of a couple really big meals made a huge difference in the way he felt and how much energy he had. “Big portions make you tired but by eating several smaller meals during the day, I was never really full but also never really hungry,” he said. Brian said that preparing his meals in advance on Sundays and Wednesdays helped him always have quality healthy foods readily available and helped him minimize cheating.

Brian admits that at first he did not understand the role healthy fats played in helping his body burn fat and build muscle. In fact, during his challenge Brian tried cutting fats out but Karen Herkes quickly helped him see that without healthy fats, his body was losing muscle rather than building it. As soon as he added almonds and peanut butter back into his daily routine, the lean muscle quickly came back.

Brian says having a nutrition coach made all the difference in the world. He realized healthy eating didn’t mean deprivation. In fact, he never tired of his favorite breakfast, MaxPro Cinnamon Roll, rolled oats and peanut butter, or his mid-afternoon snack, a delicious blended drink mixture of MaxPro Vanilla protein, a small baked sweet potato, a bit of pumpkin pie spice and a half cup of skim milk. Brian said, “It tasted just like pumpkin pie!”

By changing his mental focus from “I can’t because of my age” to “I will no matter what,” Brian said, “I had no doubt in my head that I was going to succeed – maybe not win– but there was no doubt in my head that I would get down in body weight to my goal. I just had to find my fire.”


Danya Johnson, 29, from Fredericksburg, Virginia had lived through the unthinkable. Still a very young man, he’d endured the traumatic pain of losing his wife unexpectedly in an accident. Grief immobilized him sending him into a deep dark space that was physically, mentally and emotionally difficult to come out of. Two years later, a chance at a dream career opportunity helped him find his way back. The journey back was as challenging as the MaxForm Life Challenge itself, but along the way Danya turned his life around for the better.

A law enforcement professional, Danya had finally reached a breaking point in October 2012. Depression, a demanding career, overwhelming grief and a crazy work schedule had left him at an all time low. When the scales topped 265 pounds and he realized every time he sat on the couch to watch television and his stomach was a table for the remote, he knew he had to get moving.

Danya worked with Corry Matthews, franchisee of the Manassas/Woodbridge Max Muscle Sports Nutrition store, and store manager Stephan Bynog for help with meal planning, preparation and proper supplementation. Hesitant to sign up for the upcoming 2013 MaxForm Life Challenge, Danya was encouraged by Corry and Stephan to commit to the challenge and use it to stay motivated with his fitness goals. In the end, Danya credits the online support he received as the key to helping him stay on track with his goals and workouts.

Max Muscle products such as Cleanse & Lean, Glutamine, CLA, EFA, BCAAs, MaxPro, Max Gourmet, FBX, FBXXX, Essential Omega, Liqui-Carn, Quadra Cuts, CNS Black, Vit-Acell, Max Complete, Emerge and Green Synergy helped his body recover and fuel for the long hard workouts. “The products provided the boost when needed, the nutrition or appetite suppression when warranted, and helped me sleep when I was restless,” Danya said.

During the MaxForm Life Challenge, Bynog guided Danya with a carefully constructed nutrition plan to meet all his nutritional needs while still allowing him to build lean muscle and reduce body fat. At the start of the challenge, Danya went from 242 pounds down to 208 pounds and reduced his body fat percentage from 18.1 percent down to 8.9 percent by following a 2,500 calorie plan (250g protein, 200g carbs and 80g fat). As the challenge neared its end, Bynog had Danya cut this back to 2,000 calories, increasing protein and reducing carbs to maximize leaning out.

When Danya began his journey and joined the challenge, only his co-workers, mom and girlfriend knew what he was doing. From December to March, Danya made progress and after going on a cruise in March he gained the confidence to share with a broader spectrum of his friends and family what he was doing and why. His friends and family were noticing differences in him physically and mentally, changes he still was struggling to see in the mirror.

As Danya grew in confidence, he realized he had many supporters. After the cruise, Danya started to see that it was possible for him to earn the body he’d always wanted and that winning this challenge was a goal worth fighting for. With a renewed sense of purpose, a body that was starting to emerge and life and its infinite possibilities, he set a new goal-to be in the top 20 of the challenge.

Increasing his efforts and focusing on clean nutrition, Danya started to see he was stronger than he ever thought he could be. Danya realized his career dreams were actually possible and that if he was willing to work for it, someday the promotion he longed for could become a reality. He realized that even though he no longer had his wife behind him pushing him he could achieve his dreams. And, with the amazing support of his friends, family and a team of 145 coworkers, he stepped up to the game and got to work. He got back to life and in doing so, overcame all the obstacles and got in the best shape he’d been in years!


Fifteen years ago, Michele Sarrecchia suffered a near-tragic car accident that sent her into emergency surgery to repair a torn subclavian artery. The day after her surgery, she had a stroke. Recuperation took weeks and outpatient physical therapy lasted more than four years. Through it all Michele decided she must not use age, ailment or disability as an excuse. Instead, she pushed herself every day toward a positive outcome.

“I had to learn to walk and talk again,” said Michele, now 55 years old. “The doctors told me that it would help my recovery to take supplements and work out every day. My trainer, Eric Gibbs, inspired me to keep working out and take care of myself. That progressed into me pushing myself enough to compete in a figure competition.”

Michele competed in her first figure competition in 2011 and won first place. She attributes her recovery and triumph to the support of her daughters, parents and cousins. Now Michele is a certified personal trainer who works to motivate others to be healthy and achieve their own goals.

“I encourage people to eat well, take supplements and work out,” said Michele. “Eat smaller meals throughout the day and up your protein. You can use meditation and hot stone massage to completely relax, recover and relieve stress.”

For nutrition and supplement guidance, Michele refers people to Kelley Spence at Max Muscle Sports Nutrition in Raleigh, North Carolina. Kelley helped Michele find the right supplements for her situation and her goals.

“Max Muscle products have helped me with losing body fat, they provide great energy and I am feeling good overall,” Michele said. “The team at Max Muscle has encouraged me to stay on track with my goals and provides check-ins and help when I need it.” MS&F

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