Athlete Profile: Maxx Chewning
WHO IS MAXX CHEWNING?
So, my name is Maxx Chewning. I am from the Washington D.C. area, grew up right outside of that in Virginia, and I run the Youtube channel, YouTube.com/maxxchewning, which is a fitness-based channel that also has lifestyle things around it.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIFTING?
I got into lifting when I was about 21-years-old. I am 25 right now, so I have been lifting about 4 years. My roommate actually got me into working out and into fitness. They were very much into it, and for the longest time, they’d be going to the gym and I’d be sitting on the couch, playing Call of Duty, eating sour straws, and drinking pepsi, and they’d be, “Maxx, let’s go to the gym, let’s go to the gym.” I’d be like, “No, that’s dumb. I don’t need to work out. I don’t need to do any fitness-related things.” It didn’t interest me.
And then he finally convinced us when we resigned the lease. He made it a point to say that if we all got into fitness, we would impress more girls or impress our friends with how strong we are. He wanted to lose some weight, and the gym was right around the corner from our house, so we kind of started going there. I started working out, just kind of picking up weights and putting them back down. I never really put much emphasis in it, and then I slowly started getting addicted.
I remember –usually whenever people work out for the first, maybe 90 days, they start seeing some transformations in their body. And in those first 3 months, I saw some changes, and it was nothing impressive at all, but I thought that they were- I thought that I was the Hulk. I remember I’d put a tank top on going into a Mexican restaurant and think that I was the biggest guy [chuckles] in the Mexican restaurant. I look back and it’s so ridiculous. But, so I’ve been lifting for about 4 years. My roommate got me into it. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m glad that he got me into it.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUTUBE?
Well, actually, the biggest thing that got me started into YouTube was my friend Nick Wright, who also is very large in the YouTube world. He happened to move to my area in Richmond, Virginia –just kind of a freak thing. I watched him for a long time for many years on Youtube. He moved to my area, and then I reached out to him and I was like, “Hey, we should work out together. I watch your videos.” And he was very openly welcoming into that, and we went into the gym, started working out together.
We established a friendship. He had a YouTube channel. I thought it was insane. I believe he was at about 30,000 subscribers at the time, which I thought was an astronomical number, and slowly I started seeing how he loved it, and how he had a passion for it. And he, he basically was the one that said, “Hey, you should start a YouTube channel. You have a unique personality. You’re a little stronger. You’re a smaller guy. I think there’s, definitely a market for you on the YouTube avenue.” So, I started about 2 and half years ago, and ever since then it’s just taken off. It’s become something that’s extremely one of my biggest passions in life and something that I want to continue to see grow over the next, X amount of years.
HOW HAS FITNESS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Fitness is definitely something that has changed my life for the better. It is definitely something that I am significantly glad that I got in to. I think that working out not only increases your physical appearance, obviously. You see physical progress, you really enjoy the progress that you’re making, but it also kind of changes your mentality. It makes you focused on dedication. It makes you have responsibility of whether or not you’re following nutrition, following your programming, and it’s definitely something that I’m very grateful for.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
What I like to do for fun is going to be very nerd-based things. I enjoy laying on the couch watching Netflix, I enjoy playing video games. I enjoy going to movies, eating at restaurants, all sorts of very basic things. I don’t really do anything super crazy. I used to be into off-roading, and kind of my trade of skill before I got into fitness was fabricating and working on cars and going off-roading, and that was one of my biggest passions. That’s kind of taken a backseat for now as it's something that takes a lot of my time. Right now I just kind of do just basic things -hang out with my friends, go out on the weekends, and enjoy my time, and do a lot of normal things.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BEGINNER?
The biggest piece of advice I could give someone who’s maybe just starting out, who wants to get into strength training, is to not compare yourself to other people - it’s very, very easy. I think it’s great to compare yourself in terms of you see someone with a great physique, you see someone with a great amount of strength, and you use that as motivation, you use that as someone you want to aspire to be or aspire to work towards. But a lot of the times, I feel like maybe the younger people or someone who is just getting in, will compare themselves too much.
They’ll get to a point where they look at someone’s physique, they look at someone’s strength, and they’ve been lifting for X amount of years and they’re like, “I’ve been lifting for that long,” or, “Why can’t I be as strong as this person. Why can’t I be as strong as that.” And you really have to make fitness about your own personal journey, your own personal goals and not really worry about how well someone else is doing. Just worry how much progress you’ve made. I think that’s why it’s important to track your progress and to take whether it be progress photos for your physique, or just to write down your PR’s in a time period, and then you look back 6-months from now and you’re like, “Wow, I’ve gotten a whole lot stronger.”
And it’s addicting, and it’s – make the gym fun, don’t make it a chore every single time you go in there, that you’re forcing yourself to workout. Make it something you love to do.
TELL US ABOUT "EVER FORWARD"
So, Ever Forward Apparel is something I started about a year ago, and I wanted to create a brand. I had some stuff that related directly to me, whether it be my name or a little, maybe a funny slogan. I wanted to create a brand that had a meaning, not just something that I thought up one day and be like “Hey, this would be cool on a t-shirt.” I wanted to create something that people could feel very passionate about. So I used a phrase that my father told me a long time ago. He passed away in 2005, and something that he told my sister, my brother, and my whole family was, “Ever Forward.” And it’s just constantly moving forward in your life.
I think what is so great about it is that although Ever Forward literally means moving forward in your life, everyone has kind of their own thing that Ever Forward can mean specifically to them. So, while what it means specifically to me may not be exactly what it means to someone else, everyone has something different they are moving forward from or moving forward to. So, it’s a very diverse message that is so simple and I think it’s just great, and I get so much feedback from it that people love the message. They love what it stands for; they love what it means, and it’s great. I think it’s awesome that I have put something out there that people have accepted so well.
ONE THING YOU WOULD TELL YOUR FOLLOWERS
If there’s one thing that I could say to all of my followers, all of my supporters, it is to literally never give up on what you want to do. Never give up on what you want to try. I think too many people go out there and they start their dreams, and they don’t see necessarily the immediate benefits from it or the immediate gains from it. They quit on it. Whether it be fitness, whether it be a business, whether it be you go to school, or anything. You can really do anything you want as long as you put your mind to it, and it sounds so cliché, but it’s really true.
You know, I never imaged that my life would be where it is right now if I never started making these YouTube videos, and it really has changed my life. And there’s something out there maybe that you want to do, that you’re worried that may fail, you’re worried that may not succeed, and you never know until you try. You never should go into something planning on it failing in 2 years. You should go into something saying that, “I’m going to start this, and I’m going to finish it - I’m going to see it all the way through.” You want to see things succeed, and you want to see things come out on top.