Ambition Athletics Client TestimonialsI started training February 2011 after battling painful nerve degeneration since 2008. I was afraid I was beyond help. It was first diagnosed as sciatica, then three discs in my back were discovered to be bulging, however it still did not explain the peripheral nerve pain and lost of function I was experiencing down my left leg. I was on many pain medication prescriptions, had seen physical therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists but nothing seemed to reverse the slow degeneration of my nerve function or decrease my extreme levels of daily pain. Max was confident he could help me, so I put my trust in him and committed to the process.

I practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and having to stop training was a low point; every week I would ask Max if I could go back. I ended up having to stay off the mat for 9 months. The first day back was scary. I was finally off all pain medication and feeling great but petrified of screwing that up by being thrown funny. The biggest compliment I get is how strong I am. My jiu-jitsu is getting better because my body is at near peak performance. I can actually do techniques I’ve never attempted before because of my back/leg nerve injury. I’m excited that I’m getting better at jiu-jitsu and am thrilled to be training again. I recently received my purple belt.

Thank you Max, Mike, and Brian. Your hard work and encouragement on my behalf has given me my life back.

Ambition Athletics Client TestimonialsI cannot express how exceptional Max is as a teacher. Max is assertive, never aggressive, open to all questions and differences posed by each individual. He is without a doubt one of the best instructors I have encountered. Max is a master at cutting through the unnecessary and setting each student up for success.
In the workshop he is not performing before us as an audience of consumer clients; he is addressing us as individual persons with integrity and potential for physical, intellectual, and spiritual development. Here is a man of uncommon natural physical endowments combined with an uncanny intuitive grasp of what is at the heart of all meaningful human intercourse telling us that we matter to him, and asking us to stand up and be counted as individuals who do matter. Anything less than my best effort will be an affront to this remarkable trainer and his desire for this workshop to make us all better, including himself. Max Shank has some access to ancient energies that graced martial arts in times past, and he has an uncommon aptitude for bequeathing that access to his apprentices.

By now you probably have surmised that I hold Max Shank in the highest possible regard. You may, however, wonder why I have gone around my elbow to get to my thumb in advising you of the nature and degree of my respect for this hen’s teeth rare trainer who has the innate genius and desire to combine the strengths of both a gifted athlete and the benevolent sage in one personality. I use the term sage advisedly because Max is only twenty-six years old, but has a knowledge base and wisdom well beyond his age. I am aware his human odyssey lies before him in which he will have to choose himself into being over against cultural giants who want to devour him as fuel for their own tunnel-vision appetites, sirens of fame and fortune that promise to dash his bountiful potential if he can’t coerce those closest to him to tie him to the mast, lotus eating supporters and groupies who can make him forget who he is and what is calling him home by expecting him to walk on water and pressuring him to conform to a humanity that requires him to settle for being less than he is in the name of market and profit. But, for now, Max has himself under control, in touch both with his humanity and ancient energies that make for a balanced personality and a distinctive, exceptional manner of training. He seems to be aware of his own strengths and weaknesses, and how to harmonize them with the personalities of his workshop participants in order to accomplish the desired, and often remarkable, results. To praise a trainer of this caliber with sound bytes, regardless of their effusive nature, would be faint praise indeed. I am not a betting man, nor do I have a family farm to wager, but I will bet all the money I brung with me that if you attend one of his workshops you will agree, plus you will be a better kettlebell practitioner, a better trainer, and a better person in the bargain.

Ambition Athletics Client TestimonialsThe Ambition Athletics team has changed my life! The familia, Max, Mike, Kandice, Holly, Brian, and Felicia have all been instrumental in my journey. Joining Ambition Athletics was the best decision I have made in a very long time. Since I started, I feel so much better in my own skin. All of my friends & family have noticed the changes in my body for the better. I have more self-confidence and I am amazed at how much I have improved in just 2 months. Now I can't imagine not going at least 3 times a week. Their classes are small, so you get a lot of individual attention as if you have your very own personal trainer. They really watch your form so you are safe and give encouragement at each step of improvement. I can't believe how strong I have gotten & as a result of this I believe in myself, which hasn't always been the case. This has not only been amazing for me physically but I feel better mentally and spiritually. I have been armed with great facts about nutrition since I started talking to them and my whole lifestyle has improved. Plus, class is not only challenging and good for me but it's also fun! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the Ambition Athletics team, you have seriously changed my life!

After a life of surfing, beach volleyball, karate, squash, and racquetball I ruined my back and spent three weeks on the couch on pain killers and six weeks gimping around feeling I was all washed up. I went to two different chiropractors (one a bone cruncher and the other a physical therapist style tissue/massage guy), also a massage tech, and a acupuncturist.All to no avail. I was told I might not play squash again. On my first visit to Max I went through range of motion testing and was rated only one step above a cripple. I was expecting a typical grunt and groan workout program. Much to my suprise I have spent the last five weeks doing what Max calls myo~facial release. All the exercises are taken home for corresponding homework exercises. I am back playing high level squash and racquetball and am better than before my back injury, Max says I have a ways to go before I really feel the benefits of opening up my hips, shoulders, etc. I feel I owe Max credit for extending my sports career and tell everyone I meet my story.
I have trained with NFL and NCAA Division 1 strength coaches in my younger days and never achieved the improvements I received from working out with Max. He helped me, through nutrition and strength training, to lose 70 pounds of fat while putting on 20-25 pounds of muscle. For the first time in my life, I had detail in my abs while never doing a sit-up or crunch. Max understands the human body, its movement and function. He knows how to motivate you, push you and achieve your best. After training with Max, I have been able to do feats of strength I could never do, even 20 years ago when in my athletic prime. More than his knowledge and motivation, Max is a great person. Hes humble and unassuming. You will not find a better trainer on the planet! Do yourself a favor and contact Max today for a better tomorrow. Max, you are the best!
I have been training with Mike Baltren for close to 5 years. I follow him wherever he goes-hes that good! Mike looks for biomechanical weaknesses and works to strengthen those areas. The strength and flexibility I have gained as a result of correctly using kettlebells, free weights, medicine balls etc. shows in the ease of doing everyday chores and in all of my outdoor activities and has kept my once week lower back pain free. Mike modifies any exercise to my fitness level, which allows me to progress without getting injured. He pays very close attention to correct technique. The main reason I think Mike is such a great trainer is that he makes my workout hard enough so that I continue to get physically stronger and challenging enough so I feel like I cant do another repbut the second I walk out the door Im thinking tomorrow Im going to do one more! Its addicting!If you want to set and reach your goals, gain strength and flexibility-without getting injured, call Mike or Max at Ambition Athletics. Hope to see you there.
I started working with Max and Mike a couple of months ago when it became apparent that I needed help to overhaul my training regimen. The last couple of competitive seasons for me have been cut short by a series of nagging injuries, which cut into my training, which in turn left me out of shape and more injury prone. The detail oriented training at Ambition Athletics broke this cycle, went right to the cause of many of my problems, and I felt the results almost on a weekly basis. Am an winning competitions again and getting ready for Nationals in Oregon in April but more importantly, I am feeling strong and pain free while getting ready for it. Can definitely recommend this place.
Max has impressed me with his strength, athleticism, movement ability and coaching style. In the last 12 months Max and I have shared training methodologies and have had the opportunity to learn from each other. As a fitness professional for over 14 years I have met few coaches as gifted, as passionate and as capable as Max. He is light years ahead of the rest of the trainers out there. It is very RARE to find a young strength coach/trainer that is both incredbily strong and powerful and yet has the ability to help the rest of us non-mutants out there become like Max. Every time I train with Max I come away with knowledge that instantly makes me better, stronger and healthier. I highly recommend Max to anyone serious about their fitness, health, movement skills and goals. Thank you Max for being a Bad-Ass and for being humble!

These guys are great! I had the good fortune to work with Max & Mike while visiting San Diego, and I cannot recommend them enough. Highly knowledgeable, great communication skills, extremely professional, and truly inspiring to say the least. If you live, work, or visit Encinitas, do yourself a favor and train with these guys!

Max has worked with me on weight loss, overall fitness, toning, strength, and rehab from shoulder surgery. Results? Amazing! In a remarkable period of time, I lost 60 pounds and did it in a healthy manner. I am strong and have boundless energy. With Maxs help, I have maintained my weight loss for over one year now, even while I was recovering from shoulder surgery. But in addition to Max helping me reach my fitness goals, I have a lot of fun with Max. He is a true professional, skillfully guiding my workouts and making it enjoyable.

Maxs instruction and expertise is a perfect fit for just about any athletic level, training style, and personality. He has that unique ability of adapting his own style to meet his clients needs. His knowledge of body mechanics, form, and function combined with a true desire to serve his clients to the best of his ability makes him a top-notch trainer with a heart of gold. Thanks for the many years of encouragement, wisdom, education, and friendship, Max. Youre the best.

Max has taken my strength and physical form to a new level. I am a mother of three and wanted to get my body back and my strength. He has helped me achieve my goals. He is very knowledgeable. I highly recommend him. Of all the trainers I have worked with I achieved my goals with Max and very quickly.

I am 62 years old, I asked Max to design a program for me that would enable me to increase strength specifically for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I also asked him to teach me the program in only 10 weeks, one session a week. This was 4 months ago. I am in the gym with Maxs program 4 to 6 times a week and my strength has improved enormously. He gave me so much information and technique that I am able to vary my workout endlessly. Exactly what I was looking for. Excellent!
I have trained with Max for a few years now. Even when I grouse about the mornings choice of exercises, Max patiently insists that I perform my best. He ensures that my form is correct and always makes me push to my limit despite my many excuses and complaints. Max is very conscientious and works around my physical limitations. I am probably as combat-ready as any nearly-54-year-old woman can be, thanks to Max.
Mike Baltren is a very knowledgeable trainer. He listens to you and your needs. Be honest and tell him what youre looking for in your workout sessions. He will put you though a workout that will help you achieve your goals. There is nothing more satisfying than reaching your workout goals and loving the confidence that comes with the new body you are seeking. Thank you Mike for working with me to help shed pounds and put my body in great athletic shape.

After working with Max for approximately 1.5 months, I was surprised at the level of flexibility and strength that I had developed. What was even more compelling was that I noticed a difference within my posture and core strength as well. Max has a unique approach to his training in that he focuses on areas that are pertinent to the individual. As a student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it becomes very apparent that flexibility and stamina are key components in developing a more well rounded game. That being the case, Max was able to greatly impact these areas for me and not only did he do it in a short period of time, but rather made it fun at the same time. The only problem that I know face is that his classes are addictive and I have found that missing a class lends itself to disappointment. If you are looking to increase your strength, flexibility and overall well being, please give Max a call. I can assure you, you will not be let down.

Thanks, Max.

Ten years of sprains, dislocations and broken bones had left my body in a pretty haggard state. Id been to numerous doctors and sports medicine clinics in hopes of finding a way to lessen my day to day pain. None of them were able to do what Max helped me to do, train the pain away.

I was referred to Max after a long and particularly unsuccessful year of physical therapy for shoulder and knee injuries due to trauma from skateboarding.

Right away Max was able to identify the weaknesses in my movements (using the Functional Movement Screen) that were contributing to my chronic pain and stiffness. In two sessions he had me confidently pressing a weight over my head (more than I had lifted in a year) and squatting deep without pain in my knee.He puts a lot of emphasis on teaching perfect form which helped greatly. Max keeps training simple, efficient and above all effective. He has an eye for what will be beneficial nothing superficial.

I really liked how approachable he was as a trainer. He understood that I was skater desperately trying to get back to pursuing my passion and he tailored a program to get me thrashing again.

I was a scrawny kid my whole life, and with Ambition Athletics guidance, was able to replace the only 5% of body fat I had for 20 lbs of quality muscle. Improved speed, explosiveness, flexibility, and fixed shoulder/back problems from competitive tennis. Go get a fancy gym membership to flirt with trainers, sample every supplement, and make excuses to try out new workout clothes while your fitness idles. Join Ambition Athletics for real results. Whether youre just starting out, or already a competitive athlete, they will help you improve towards your goals.

Ambition Athletics is The Place for smart and efficient training. Learning from Max is always refreshing and rejuvenating. I recommend this program to everyone who wants great fitness results.

I have been training with Mike Baltren (I call him Troy) for as long as I can remember. He has helped me lose inches, build strength & improve my core. I have a lot of physical issues & he is always accommodating. Mike is a really nice guy on top of being a great trainer. He really knows his stuff!He also ran a Junior Boot Camp at my sons school last year & the kids loved it!

I started training with Max at Ambition Athletics a couple of months ago. I have had 2 children in the last 3 years and I am also an athlete. In the last 2 months my strength has increased by leaps and bounds. I am doing things now that I didnt think were possible, and my body is moving so much better. I highly recommend training at Ambition Athletics.

In 1982 I was awarded high personal fitness score in my battallion(320 marines) in Parris Island at Marine Corps boot camp. 25 years of construction and partying had broken me down pretty hard. All my attempts to get back into shape were derailed by shoulder injuries. After the past 15 years of having debilitating shoulder injuries and constant pain, I gave up.6 weeks with max and Im stronger than I would have believed possible! I have ZERO shoulder hiderances to my workouts, and my overall attitude towards coming each week is great! I recommend Max for any athlete who wants to get strong and move well.

I started training with Max to increase my conditioning for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After 2 months, 2 hours per week, Ive noticed a big difference in my overall strength and conditioning. I find the kettlebell work very effective in strengthening the joints, especially the shoulders. Ive also noticed increased strength in my grip, glutes, hamstrings, and hips, which transfers over perfectly for Jiu Jistsu. Very knowledgeable trainer, can spot your weaknesses and push you to develop them.

Such a great place to really get into shape!! I love going in and getting one on one training from the staff. I train with Max and he not only keeps me motivated but makes the workouts fun, I mean as much fun as you can have while getting your ass kicked haha! Since Ive been training with ambition athletics, my strength, endurance, and mobility have all improved significantly. This place is a must for anyone who really wants to get into shape! Also when i had hurt my shoulder Max gave me some exercises to do regularly and it completely took my pain away! These guys rock and really know their stuff!