Athlete of the Month – Max Ebner

1.TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

I’m Max. Married to the lovely Nicole Ebner. From Round Rock, TX.  Work as a home builder here in Houston.

2. WHAT IS ONE THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?

I have a twin brother. We’re fraternal, so we look similar still, but we have a lot of differences. I’m left handed, he’s right handed. We played different sports growing up. He went to UT, I went to Texas A & M. I like CrossFit & weightlifting, he likes orange theory and indoor soccer. Despite our many differences he’s always been my best friend growing up, and it’s cool to think that he’ll probably be the longest relationship I ever get to share with another human being.

3. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?

One of my roommates in college was a backpacking guide in Colorado during the summers. One of his hikers was a CrossFit gym owner and brought a pair of gymnastics rings in his pack. Apparently, he just busted them out, slung them over a tree branch, and started cranking out dips and muscle ups. My roommate was impressed and spent the rest of the of the week discussing CrossFit with him. He came back from summer all fired up to tell us about it, so we started looking up some of the workouts on main site and did a couple WODs with just body weight movements. It killed us, and we were hooked instantly.

Eventually we pitched in enough money to get some squat stands, barbells, bumper plates, rings, wall balls, and mount some pull-up bars. By that time, several of our buddies were interested too and we had a large group of friends that would frequently come over and workout in the garage together. Once we all graduated and moved away, we got memberships at real affiliates. It’s cool though because in large part that’s how we still stay connected. We’ll do comps together occasionally, try to do a couple open workouts together every year, and are constantly sharing PR videos, talking trash, etc.

4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT? 

Most recently, I have enjoyed competing more. I’ve been doing CrossFit for several years, and I think my first competition was just 2 years ago. I don’t necessarily enjoy individual competitions, but I LOVE the comradery of the team comps. I think we have a lot of solid athletes at our gym with a huge drive and determination and feel if we got serious enough about it we could place pretty well in some of these local competitions. It’s a cool thing to come together, bust our butts, and see how everyone’s individual strengths can help carry the team. I miss participating in team sports and enjoy that CrossFit has allowed that opportunity again. If anything, knowing that there is an event coming up helps me to make it to the gym more consistently and pay closer attention to my diet. Ultimately it just gives some motivation for something to work towards.

5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

Honestly… The first time I ever overhead squatted something that wasn’t a PVC pipe or empty barbell. It’s a movement I struggle with a lot because of some mobility issues and is still by far one of my most challenging movements. To put some bumper plates overhead my head was a huge accomplishment for me

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?

Favorite movements are anything where I can stand in the same place. I really like wall balls, thrusters, hang cleans, kb swings, etc.

I abhor burpees.

7. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

Right now, my goals are to squat 500lbs, and run a sub 6 minute mile. Coach Steve gave me a squat program that we just finished a few weeks that actually added quite a bit to my back-squat numbers. Barbell Club has also helped a ton in increasing my strength as well. I’m not there quite yet, but I do think it could be attainable. I also realize I suck at running… I’ve been trying to do some of the aerobic capacity WODs a couple times a week. It has definitely made running suck less, in fact I’m actually starting to enjoy it, but I think it’ll be a while before I hit that goal. Really, I just need to do two things. Squat more and run more.

8. WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HIPPO HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

As far as gyms go, I don’t think I have ever seen or been a part of one that has such a tight community as this one. Hippo attracts good people and having good people in your life is just as important as exercise or diet. If I’m going to spend 1-2 hours every day not at work or at home, I’m glad it’s with this group. I think we all get stressed with work and personal life, but that goes away when you’re here.

9. WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST

I think for me it goes back to that competitive aspect. You’re always going to push yourself more when there is someone else next to you. For me, training with or against other people is always going to force me to go further than I would on my own.

10. IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?

It’s not my creation, but I really want to do this one…

“King Kong”

3 Rounds for Time

1 Deadlift (455lb)

2 Muscle Ups

3 Squat Cleans (250lb)

4 HSPU

11. `WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

I like to be outdoors a lot. Hiking, camping, fishing, going to swim holes, etc. A bit harder to do here in Houston, but we still get the chance to every now and then. I also enjoy board games (Catan, Ticket to Ride, Game of Thrones Board Game, etc.). Overall, I just enjoy being with friends, whether it’s from our church, the gym, or work. You can’t beat a night of good people and good food.

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