Max Charles Interview
One of my favorite places to hang out when I’m in New York is at a premium strip club. When I’m not bathing the strippers in twenty dollar bills, I usually sample the Kobe filet mignon and wash it down with a bottle of 1998 Krug Brut Vintage. On my last trip to the Big Apple, I instructed my limo driver to take me to the ‘East Coast Mecca’. A half hour later, we pulled up in front of Sapphire — New York’s finest strip bar. After a few private laps dances and a tug party by a EEE buxom blonde named Raine, I headed back out to the car and told the chauffeur to drive to the ‘other East Coast Mecca’. When he looked at me in obvious despair and confusion, I pulled the soiled copy of Flex magazine out of my suit pocket and pointed to a grimacing Kai Greene on the cover — THIS East Coast Mecca. Forty miles and four hours later, we pulled up to the non-descript single story brick building on the edge of Syosset. Sure enough, I found new IFBB Pro Max Charles walking exactly 3.6 miles per hour on the treadmill and the following interview took place:
MUSCLEWEEK: Hey Max, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. First off — Congrats on your winning your pro card! So who exactly is Max Charles? Give us your stats: Age, location, ethnicity and marital status?
MAX CHARLES: Thank you for dropping by. I’m 33 years old and originally from Haiti. I came to the US bout 20 years ago. I’m currently living on Long Island.
MW: How did you get into bodybuilding? Was there a specific moment that inspired you to first pick up a weight?
MAX: I’ve always been into training ever since I can remember because even as a little boy whenever I would see someone doing any kind of exercise I would stop and watch. It’s just something that always gets my attention. As far as competing as a bodybuilder, I never really thought much about that until everybody started telling me that I should compete. I basically got into competing because of people pushing me to do it.
MW: Prior to the 2011 Nationals, not too many people had heard about you. Tell us your contest history and where did your earn your National level qualification?
MAX: I competed at the 2008 NPC Eastern USA where I took first on the Super Heavy class and came back in 2011 did the Atlantic States where I took first in the Superheavies and got my qualification for the Nationals.
MW: You were HYOOOOOGE at the 2011 Nationals. How much did you weigh at weigh-ins and on-stage?
MAX: At the weigh-ins I was about 260 and maybe 6 or 7 pounds heavier on stage.
MW: MuscleWeek’s expert analysts had you ahead of NASA Astronaut/Engineer Todd Jewell and winning the Super Heavyweight class and going home with your pro card. How did you feel about your placing and do you feel like you should have been placed ahead of Todd?
MAX: Considering it was my first time at a National level competition, I felt pretty good about my placing and I was comfortable with Todd placing ahead of me.
MW: There are reports that you diet for 3 or 4 weeks for shows. Is this true? How long did you diet for the Nationals?
MAX: Yes, usually my prep is only a few weeks long because I don’t really let myself get out of shape in the off-season. For the Nationals, I really wanted to be ready so I dieted for 16 weeks.
MW: What kind of diet do you usually follow in the off-season and compare that to your Pre-contest diet?
MAX: I don’t follow any specific diet for the off season. I basically eat whenever I have to or whatever I’m craving.
MW: You once claimed to eat one meal a day. Is that still the case or have you adopted more of a bodybuilder’s diet of 6 to 7 meals per day?
MAX: I never said that I only eat one meal. I said that I take one meal portion and split it into 3 meals because my appetite does not allow me to eat that one meal in one seating. The way I eat in the off-season is completely different from the way I eat for pre-contest. In the off-season, I don’t really have any appetite to eat 6 or 7 meals but when I’m dieting my appetite goes up. Usually for a prep, I might even be eating 8 or 9 meals. That actually helps me burn more calories.
MW: Where do you currently train and what are some of your best lifts in the gym?
MAX: I train at Bev Francis Powerhouse. I try not to lift heavy anymore. I go for more of a feel and squeeze. That seems to work so I’ll keep doing it for now.
MW: Break down a typical arm workout for us with some examples of sets, reps and poundages.
MAX: For arms I usually start with biceps. My first exercise is dumbbell preacher curls 4 sets 8 to 16 reps. My max on that is 110 lbs. Hammer Curls: 3 sets 10 – 12 reps usually I only go up to 150 but on my extra days I’ve gone up to 200lbs. Close grip front pull down 3 sets of 30 reps each.and then I’ll start with Triceps. Training triceps is very simple to me. I usually change my tricep routine every week. I just go on how I feel that for example I’ll start with cable press down with a close grip and then switch to a wide grip, and then move to close grip bench press. After that, I will do over the head rope presses.
MW: You easily had the most muscle of anyone at the Nationals. Were naturally muscular as a kid? Teen? Did you play other sports before bodybuilding?
MAX: Yes as a kid skinny but pure muscle. That was me before I even start working out. Maybe that why I was so into training because I knew I would be muscular. I use to play soccer and then got into football because everybody use to look at me like I had no business playing soccer and that I should be playing football. I was a terrible soccer player anyway! Football was a much better match.
MW: What is the one thing you love the most about bodybuilding? What is the one thing you hate the most?
MAX: The one thing I love the most about bodybuilding is winning – therefore, the one thing I hate the most would have to be losing.
MW: Let’s say you just won $100 Million Dollars in MegaMillions. What would you do? Continue competitive bodybuilding? Retire to Fiji? Start a charity to help feed starving children?
MAX: I would continue to compete because I know the money is not gonna take the competitive side of me away and I would definitely start some type of charity to help the less unfortunate.
MW: New York is an expensive place to be. What do you do work-wise to keep a roof over your head, gas in the tank, and food on the table?
MAX: Mostly I work as a consultant doing personal training.
MW: Dare to dream: Dream house — where? Dream car — what kind? Dream celebrity girlfriend — who?
MAX: My only real dream is to live a long and healthy life. Celebrity girlfriend would be Vanessa Campbell or Melissa Ford…hard to choose.
MW: There are some really creepy people loitering on the fringes of bodybuilding — Tell us about your oddest or creepiest experience!
MAX: Wowwww, there are so many! The creepiest and the funniest had to be the guy that kept messaging me offering to buy me steroids in exchange for having sex with him (LAUGHS LOUDLY).
MW: What do you like to do outside of the gym? Do you have a hobby or side interest that you enjoy?
MAX: I’m actually very open and enjoy doing most activities camping and travelling, bowling and pool. I also enjoy reading and doing research on world events.
MW: If you never took up bodybuilding, what would you be doing now?
MAX: I would probably be a videographer or a teacher.
MW: What is your 5-10 plan? Where do you see yourself five years? Ten?
MAX: In 5 – 10 years I can see myself getting that Olympia title — hey, it never hurts to dream!
MW: Thanks so much for the interview but I gotta get back to Chicago to catch a workout with Nationals hopeful Kevin Jordan!