Moving Freely with Maxim Bublovskiy

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Born to a typical Soviet family in the Russian city of Rostov on Don, Maxim Bublovskiy has always had the keen ability to achieve what he wanted in his life, through “hard work, consistency, and diligence – in other words discipline.”

He has always been engaged in sports, starting gymnastics at the age of 7. His inspiring journey has taken him from gymnastics to power lifting and bodybuilding. Maxim’s story is encouraging, fascinating, and motivating. He can now be found in Canada developing and helping others with his own training approach, FitMaxtics.

“Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

The day Maxim decided to live by his motto “faster, higher, stronger,” he was still in school. He had an algebra test with a teacher he was afraid of and he was tired of feeling that way. At that moment, he decided to dedicate himself to be better at everything, starting with school.  Three years later he graduated with honors.

At the age of 15, inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Lee, and others, Maxim signed up for the gym and started lifting weights. At the age of 17, he started competing in powerlifting, taking part in some regional and university championships, followed by bodybuilding for two years.

“Despite the huge change in my fitness, I still was somehow frustrated with my physique, realizing there was nothing left from my gymnastics skills, strength, and flexibility. I was like an old tree, tight and immobile, though very big and strong. I would rather be smaller but able to move and bend freely, like a young tree.”

Maxim turned back to gymnastics and attests this as one of the best decisions of his life, gaining back his strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination, and balance back.

“Somebody once said, ‘every great journey starts with one little step.’ And so I changed my training entirely and based it on Gymnastics Strength Physical Preparation and Stretching Techniques. It required consistency, dedication and some thinking, not to mention, right, and discipline. My passion for logic and desire to know how everything works on the atomic level led me to also study neuroscience. It helps me keep improving other people’s wellbeing and my own level of physical preparation.”

After having your degrees in Computer Science, Sports Science, and Finances, what led you to become a personal trainer?

Once upon a time, I was very passionate about Computer Science as I like mathematics, logic, analytics, problem-solving etc. Unfortunately, in my case, it lacked the social interaction and helping others components I was interested in. I didn’t know why I was doing it other than to get paid every month. And without the “why” you don’t have any inspiration. Meanwhile, I had been helping out my friends with their fitness. I liked it. I liked seeing that my advice and expertise made real changes in real people’s lives, sometimes converting them from an introvert-type personality (as I used to be myself) into a very gregarious and confident person with a good level of fitness and health.

“Training gave me a purpose in my life and fuelled my motivation to be better than I was yesterday.”

When I was 24, I started focusing more on training people but still kept working in business because personal training back then in Russia didn’t pay bills. One day, when I was 29, I met a person in my hometown. He was Canadian, working on a contract for the big Russian fast fashion retail. We started a relationship and a couple years after moved to St. Petersburg. That allowed me to focus entirely on personal training. Another year down the road, his contract was over and he suggested that we moved to Toronto, Canada. We did. Since then I have been happily training full time.

Talking about sports, how do sports contribute to the world of fashion and retail?

Being married to a man who has worked in the fashion industry for his entire life, I have learnt a few things. The fashion shares one fundamental value with the sport. It is how you feel first and look second. In the first place, the fashion expresses individuality and feelings which transform into the appearance of clothing you choose to wear. The same with sport: feeling in form of motivation and believes come first and achievements (wins, physical look) second.

I remember one very interesting cooperation in 2015 between Sir Paul Smith and Max Whitlock, an Olympic gold medallist in Gymnastics. Paul Smith came up with “a suit to travel in,” flexible, travel-friendly and crease-free. I was very excited to see it because sometimes I do wear a suit. Let me tell you, I don’t feel free in it. I try to move carefully, not to flex my biceps or raise my arms too high to avoid damaging the suite, and god forbid to squat in it. I can’t imagine wearing it every day.

As sport becomes more popular and promotes such values as freedom of moment and flexibility to make people feel more comfortable and less restricted with their movements the clothing and fashion industry have to accommodate. We already see such products as chinos pants by Indochino, Paul Smith stretch suits, Banana Republic traveller pants, not to mention the sport apparel by Lululemon, Nike, Adidas, and other sport brands.

Tell us about your training approach FitMaxtics. Can you describe the lifestyle it promotes?

I have just recently come up with the training approach I named FitMaxtics. The idea of FitMaxtics is to inspire people to develop more aspects of their well-being. Strength is important so is flexibility, stamina, coordination, balance, reaction time and ability to perform unfamiliar patterns of moments which might require all those facets of physicality at once. Because now, looking back I can say with full confidence: It is what you can do with your body defines how you feel and look. Not the other way around.

"FitMaxtics is an adaptation of Gymnastics Strength Training which fits anybody regardless of their age, experience and fitness level. "

You don’t have to learn handstands or other complex skills but you can certainly benefit from the preparation work required for those skills. Despite what many people might think of Gymnastics (crazy, difficult, don’t bother, I’m not that young), mostly because the only time you see it on the TV is during the Olympics (which is an extreme version of it), it doesn’t have to be difficult. To be a gymnast you don’t have to start it as a kid, it is not exclusively reserved for people who compete. Gymnastics started in ancient Greece to celebrate the grace of the body and has always been about the ability to bend and move freely.

FitMaxtics does not promote competition against each other. The only person you should compete with is yourself yesterday. If you are even 1% better than you were a day ago – you are good.

Athleisure is blurring the borders between sports and fashion. How do you think that has that affected the gymnastics world if at all?

Whereas I don’t think that it affects the Gymnastics world as a sport, but it definitely affects gymnasts outside of gyms. Speaking for myself I can only be grateful to those designers who are bold and ambitious enough (Gosha Rubchinskiy as the most lustrous example to me) to do so. It gives me an opportunity to dress comfortably in my everyday day life not worrying that I look odd in my athletic clothes. It is great because when one feels and looks great it encourages others to learn why it is so and do the same.

It seems the main target of current activewear brands and athleisure is women. Why?

Today, retail does a nice job providing a plethora of choice in active-wear for women and men. Some companies such as Lululemon still target women. They probably think that women tend to pay more attention to their look than men do. Maybe up to some extent it is the case. From my personal observation of people I train and interact with at gyms, men are more practical and might wear the same thing over and over again, not even caring about holes in it. Whereas women try to vary their gym clothes every single time they workout.

What is your vision for the future of FitMaxtics and Trainer Maxim?

Trainer Maxim will continue helping others achieve their Max in fitness and inspire them for more leading by example in the first place, and FitMaxtics will try to encourage as many people as possible to do the same on their own while Trainer Maxim is busy with helping others in person.

By: Merve Durmus and Brittany Melhado

“Be better than you were yesterday at everything you do.”