Interview with Fitness Model Max Wettstein

Max Wettstein Interview

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started training?

My father was a pro football player for a few years & then owned a chain of gyms, coached HS football, and, produced an all-natural bodybuilding show for a few years, from when I was very young all through growing up.  He was definitely a big influence.  We would train together and he was always stronger than me up until the day he (pre-maturely) died in a recreational plane crash.  My mother also was regional vice president of a chain of health spas for women.  I grew up playing almost every sport, from BMX to football, to track.  It was just a given that I would always train, compete & be an athlete.  It was just our way of life.  I had my own weight set by the time I was in 8th grade, and there were always vitamins at the table.  Even after pole-vaulting & wrestling & college I continued to consistently train & stay in top physical condition all through navy flight school.  Not only did it improve my over all performance during flight training but it became a great way to vent stress and meditate, and clear my head.  Nowadays and all throughout my fitness modeling endeavors I’ve always held myself accountable as ATHLETE first & foremost and have always tried to place health & performance above aesthetics even though the nature of the modeling biz is inherently image weighted and necessarily vain & even narcissistic.  I’m try to employ a holistic-approach to mine & my family’s health and embody & promote a natural and realistic image that is sincerely who I am & what I’m about.


How do you stay motivated?

It’s easy for me to stay motivated to train because I make fitness fun and incorporate a lot of sports I love such as surfing & beach volleyball.  I simply truly enjoy exercising in its purest sense and it’s always been a way of life for me and part of who I am.  I thrive on staying active and being able to use my body physically.  I have some of my most powerful brainstorms while training alone in silence.  Without training & sports I would become depressed & unmotivated to perform in all the other areas of my life.

Max Wettstein Interview

What is your current workout routine?

My workout routine is anything BUT: I have no set routine, mostly because of my random work schedule as a pilot and all my family commitments as my daughter’s primary coach.  But I do have some general approaches & strategies so to speak.  I usually emphasize the sports I love over actual gym-based or solely exercise based training.  Because when I’m playing the sports I love such as surfing, skateboarding & beach-volleyball I exceed normal fatigue barriers and push my self harder because I’m having so much fun.  Sports are generally more full-body functional movements that are more useful in every day life.  But of course some standard exercises are essential for staying fit & healthy so that I can perform at my best & avoid injury.  I tend to lift weights about 2 times per week.  I’ll either hit my entire body in one hour long session, or divide it up into upper & lower body, depending on what really needs work that particular week.  I tend to begin with basic barbell exercises such as front-squats, cleans, bench & military press, and mix in some kettlebell swings and also body weight exercises such as pull-ups & push-ups.  I will finish with dumbbell work on shoulders & arms.  Perhaps some cables or resistance band at the end to maximize the pump.  I don’t really have an abs-day per say, but my abs & core are directly involved in so many of the sports I play, plus I’m constantly isometrically flexing my abs & applying ‘Abs-Awareness’ throughout the day.  I do a lot of foam-roller work and swiss ball work, to stretch, and loosen up fascia-adhesions and knots & trigger points.  I also work in some basic yoga poses while stretching, as part of my pre-game & post-game.  For ABS I do swiss-ball crunches, plank-poses, and hanging leg raises.

Max Wettstein Interview

What is your diet like?

I try to eat less refined, & more whole-food based.  I NEVER count calories but maintain a general awareness of where I stand throughout the day and tend to eat according to my needs.  I rarely go low-carb because carbohydrates truly are the body’s preferred energy source for high-intensity exercise and performance trumps fat-burning to me, most days, with all of the sports I play.  I do ensure I get adequate amounts of protein to include supplementing with whey protein powder as necessary throughout the day.  Sugar tends to be my ‘friend’ as an insulin-sensitive & glucose-tolerant active athlete, so I do get to indulge quite often in sweets, but again, it’s ‘clean’ meaning usually all-natural or Organic food choices/ingredients.  I use a LOT of herbal & vitamin supplements to include a greens powder & glutamine and a joint-blend, to make up for any veggie shortfalls in my diet and to promote alkalinity.  Also I believe the joint-formula I take helps prevent osteo-arthritis & promotes soft-tissue & joint integrity too.  I eat plenty of healthy essential fatty acids/Omega-3 fats from raw nuts & oils too.


What gives you the best results when cutting?

I don’t really have a ‘cutting phase’ – that’s more of a bodybuilder or stage competitor approach.  I pretty much am who I am all year round at 6% body fat or less, for the past 12 years.  However, if I am aware of a big photo-shoot or job a long ways out (which is rare to have much notice as a professional fitness model), than my biggest strategy to improving my leanness without losing muscle is to up my cardio training via High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), as well as replacing two meals per day with simply whey protein mixed with water…and having only cottage cheese before bed.  My favorite all-time ‘fat-burner’ to this day is still, organic black-coffee steeped with a bag of Green Tea on an empty stomach or only protein before cardio!

Max Wettstein Interview

What 3 exercises have contributed the most to building your physique?

Pull-ups, Incline Benchpress, Stiff-legged Deadlifts.  Surfing & beach volleyball for sure too!


What supplements do you use?

At various times & cycles & phases, I will use (generic): Whey protein powder, Glutamine, Greens powder, creatine, flax oil, Omega-3 EFA capsules, herbal-testosterone & prostate health supplement, DHEA, L-Arginine/NO2, Green-Tea-Extract, Bovine Colostrum, and more standard vitamins especially emphasizing Vita-C – up to 6000 mg per day!  (Of course I do NOT take all of these every day!  And, I receive most of these supplements at no cost from since I’m a consultant for them.)  It must be obvious by now I’m a big proponent of supplements (when one can afford this luxury), not only to help balance shortfalls in our diet but for the powerful healing & performing functions they cause.  Since I’m also an airline pilot and travel quite often, supplements & bars certainly help me out while on the road.

Max Wettstein Interview

What is the most common training question that people ask you?

Without a doubt, “What do you do for your ABS?”; followed by, “How do I lose the fat right here (pointing to their belly)?”   Answer: It’s a full-body & holistic approach where your genetics will also play a role.  Yes some abs exercises are helpful, but you cannot spot-reduce and full-body exercises are just as important.  You must reduce your overall subcutaneous body fat percentage to below 9% or less so that you can reveal your ABS: They’re already there, and simply need to be uncovered.  Diet will be at least 50% of the process.  Then I teach them about ‘Abs-Awareness’…


What is your greatest achievement so far?

When it comes to Fitness Modeling that would be earning the respect of my peers, appearing on the cover of Men’s Health books & mags over ten times and publishing a book on my holistic-approach to fat loss!  I’ve also inspired many other fathers my age to go out and rediscover the sports they love or even try something new, and to go out and play with their kids instead of just sitting back & watching them – be a kid again at heart!  On a personal level I have a wonderful family and a daughter who I’ve been coaching who is already a sponsored athlete at age 7, and I’m very proud to say I’ve been married for 15 years!  I also served my country as a navy pilot for 10 years and am now a Captain at JetBlue Airways: While most of my colleagues define themselves as fitness models, for me it’s simply a fun hobby 🙂

Max Wettstein Interview

What are your favorite quotes?

“Optimum health is a method of life. Focus on fitness & your ideal physique will follow.” – Max W.
“You start growing old as soon as you stop taking risks” – Laird Hamilton, Big Wave Surfer.


What are your plans for the future?

Revise & republish my Guide to Amazing ABS! book & finish my ‘Pilots’ Handbook to Health & Wellness’ book.  Keep progressing & excelling as my own athlete and setting the example for my daughter & my industry peers.  Keep making fitness fun!


Max Wettstein Gallery

My Daughter’s:

Other Links:
Max Wettstein YouTube Channel
Max Wettstein Facebook
Max Wettstein Twitter

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