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Sponsored Athlete Profile Questionnaire

Max Stenning

Sport:                              Bodybuilding
Age: 23
Height: 182 cm
Weight: Offseason:105-110 kg / Competition: 87kg
Nationality: Australian

Business Development Manager - Solar PV Commercial

A little about me:

I am a very self-motivated, goal driven individual. Since I was young I have always been into sports of all codes. From competing at a young age in Athletics, through to Soccer, cricket, touch football, rugby league, golf and AFL during my school years it has been a significant part of my life to date. I have been working in the solar industry in Australia now for just over 4 years and currently work for the largest commercial solar power retailer in the country. As the Business Development Manager for Solar PV Commercial, I spend a lot of my time on the road seeing clients around NSW as well as all the other states. The role enables me to work autonomously which suits me very well. As I am very self-motivated, it allows me to set goals and be driven to achieve what I set out to do. I think a lot of this comes from my years of training in all sports where I strived to become better and better at what I did to either improve myself or benefit the team in which I was a part of.


How did you get into your chosen sport?

Bodybuilding was a sport that I never thought I would land on. I remember seeing pictures in magazines long before I had even step foot in a gym of bodybuilders who I thought were ‘freaks’ and their physiques I thought were impossible to resemble. During my teenage years and some 35-40kg or so ago, Soccer was my chosen sport. I played at the highest level of Junior Soccer in the state in the NSW Premier League. I had plans to make it big in the sport and I trained and improved myself each year from when I broke into the representative ranks at the age of 12. Each year I moved on I became more of a senior player in the team I was playing for or moved on to a more experienced team. This all came crashing down at the age of 16. I was trialling for a U/18’s spot in a NSW Premier League team and this was the 1st trial of all that I had planned to attend during that period. The trial went well right up until the last 30 minute game. I rolled my ankle and injured myself quite badly. The result of this was that I would have to sit off the field for 6 weeks as the severity of the injury kept me from walking, let alone running. I was devastated as I was unable to attend any other trials for other teams during this period and was facing not having a team to play with for the next season. I was lucky to get in touch with one of my previous coaches over the years who kept faith in me and held a spot in his team for me to fill once I was ready to get up and running again. This was the kind of lucky break that I needed at this time and I took up the offer that I thought would get me back on track to where I need to be. My recovery went well, better than expected and I was back training and playing trial games within 4-5 weeks. It then happened all over again. It was the last trial game before the season officially started and we were playing down the NSW south coast at a field under 6inches of water. In the 1st 3 minutes of the game, I slipped trying to tackle a player and tore my ACL in my left knee. I had surgery 4 weeks later and this kept me off the field for the entire season. I was still very driven to get back into the sport and back to where I was, I think this was half the reason why it didn’t work out the way that I had planned. My motivation and perfectionist attitude had me stretching myself past my physical limits which in turn only frustrated me more as I was not able to do things as easily as previously before my injury. All of this frustration drove me to dislike the sport and in the end leave the sport at the end of that season.

Up to this point, I had still never step foot in a gym to lift a weight and since I had been such an active person my whole life leading up to this point, I needed a new sport or a new form of exercise to keep fit as I didn’t know it any other way. After school some days I started doing some garage gym workouts at a mate’s place who had some barbells and dumbbells which he used every now and then as he was an AFL player. Doing this once a week, soon turned into twice to three times per week and ended up routine for us. We then thought that the garage set up was pretty limited and if we wanted to do this properly we should join a gym. So the week of my 18th birthday we joined a gym in Norwest and we started training together 4-5 days per week on a pretty heavy schedule in which looking back on, we were pretty crazy! During this time we both grew very quickly as you do when you first start weight training. With very limited knowledge on training, supplementation and nutrition I put on 20kg from June 2008 to December 2008, going from 73kg-93kg. A lot of guys in the gym started to notice this drastic change in me and started mentioning about whether or not I was thinking about competing and back then that still had not entered my mind.

As I trained over the next 12 months, I continued to put on size and really enjoy getting to the gym 5-6 days per week. I then met a mutual friend who had competed as a teenager and done very well in the space of a very short period of time and he again mentioned to me that I could do well in the sport if I kept at what I was doing. At this point I had then been training for coming up on 2 years and had put on 25kg since I started. With all of these people mentioning that I should compete had me thinking, maybe I was at a stage where I should start thinking about getting up on stage.

From this point onwards, my mind was set. I had new goals, I started researching new training techniques, I started analysing my physique to find weak points and started implementing training techniques to improve these body parts. This is something that I continue to work on to this day. As a bodybuilder, nothing is ever perfect, there is always something that can be done to improve something in a way. I also started taking more notice of my nutrition and supplementation. I had figured out that training hard could only get me so far and that I needed to look at the other side of bodybuilding that in most cases is overlooked. To me the training part was easy, it was making sure I was getting in quality food numerous times a day that was the hard part. As I got into a routine with this, it all became easier and that’s when the real growth started happening.

From there the rest is history. I got up on stage in May 2012. I won my 1st show that I entered and came 2nd at the next. I was happy with these initial results but that only made me hungrier to be better next time.


What motivates you?

In one easy word. Myself. As a bodybuilder, I am constantly trying to better myself. By seeing improvements whether it’s week by week or month by month or each year. These changes, whether small or large keep myself motivated to be better. I’m not one who gets motivated by seeing pictures that other people post of themselves on social media outlets, because that doesn’t have anything to do with my progress. I’m not trying to look like them, I’m trying to produce the best image of myself which I have drawn up in my mind. Not taking anything away from those people posting their progress pictures as it is great that they are proud of what they have achieved for themselves, and if sharing it to everyone makes them feel better about their accomplishment then I am happy for them.



As mentioned above, I enjoy pretty much all sports. I still play golf from time to time and muck around playing touch footy. I enjoy heading out to eat at nice restaurants most weekends, as dieting for bodybuilding competitions has made me appreciate quality food much more then I used too.


Favourite Music:

Not limited to any specific genre, depends on the mood. Like to train to Notorious BIG, Drake or even Justin Bieber or Mariah Carey.



I have a very good nutritionist who assesses me quite often and also cooks all of my meals for me every week depending on what my current goal is. Whether that be trying to break a plateau by heavily increasing calories or trying to maintain and lean up slightly by decreasing calories, this is all done by him and I am very lucky to have him on my team to help me with my eating.

I eat 5-6 meals per day in the offseason as well as eat out 3-4 times per week. I am still quite cautious about what I eat when I’m eating out and tend to still eat quite clean. The breakdown in my meals at the moment would look something like this;

Protein – 45-50g/meal; Carbohydrates – 35-40g/meal; Fat – 5-10g/meal



At the moment I have cut back the training to 5 days per week. During contest preparation I train anywhere from 6-7 days per week. My current training split looks something like this;

Monday – Quads/Hammies; Tuesday – Shoulders; Wednesday – Chest; Thursday – Back; Friday – Off; Saturday – Arms (Normally every fortnight or so); Sunday – Off

I tend to leave arms for a weekend session if I want to train them. But if I feel I need to recover I’ll take the whole weekend off and leave arms for another week. Arms are heavily used during Shoulders/Chest/Back sessions so I feel hitting them once every 2-3 weeks is enough for their development. However when I do train arms I hit them with a lot of volume and from a number of different angles.


Supplements used:

I stick to the basics when using supplements, my current stack would look something like this;

Upon Waking; Omega 3’s, D-Aspartic Acid, Creatine

Pre-Workout; Black Bombs, Creatine HCL, Beta Alanine, Arginine

Intra-Workout; Modern BCAA’s

Post-Workout; Vitargo, Protein Isolate, Creatine

Before Bed; Casein Shake


2012 ANB Junior Mr South Coast

2012 ANB 2nd U/90kg South Coast

2012 ANB 2nd Junior Mr Sydney

2013 ANB Junior Mr Sydney

2013 ANB Junior Mr Asia Pacific

2013 ANB 5th U/90kg Asia Pacific (Youngest on stage)



I am yet to schedule in my next competition, however I anticipate that it will be in 2015. During this time minor goals would be to work on weaker body parts to make them a strength next time I get on stage.


Favourite Quote:

Make one up for me Perko…hahah!


Best advice anyone’s ever given you:

Probably the best advice that has stuck with me in bodybuilding in particular would be;

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, worry about what you’re doing to improve yourself. By all means ask all the questions in the world, however don’t take anything as bible. If bodybuilding was as simple as doing something that someone from the gym told you to do, everyone would be a professional. Bodybuilding is a trial and error sport so if you’re serious about improving yourself, be prepared to make a lot of mistakes in order to achieve what you would like to become.


Anything else you’d like to add:

I think I’ve said enough…

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