It has often been said that the most successful professional wrestlers are the ones who can show their true personality and turn the volume up to 12. Hulk Hogan, The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Roman Reigns are proof positive that they don’t need fancy gimmicks or wacky ring attire to make a connection with a paying audience. Now, you can add AEW’s World Heavyweight Champion; Maxwell Jacob Friedman joins the list of wrestlers who have made it big, shamed themselves and unknowingly pursued their dreams of becoming bigger than the industry they were in.
M&F sat down with “MJF” at his Long Island home, to find out what makes the 26-year-old tick and how close he is to the divisive persona he portrays on television. We also trained down how the champion has managed to pack on some serious muscle in the last few months.
“It helps to be dirty, filthy rich, because I’m the AEW world champion,” MJF said when talking about how he was able to work on his developing physique. “It helps too, just being born with better genetics,” he concluded politely. Of course, interviewing Friedman is a surreal experience, but you’ll never feel like he’s acting. The champion has found meteoric success in AEW by saying exactly what he thinks, and just keeping the number one spot. This man is clear and natural professional wrestling talent, but also works hard behind the scenes, and has grown to love bodybuilding first through early in high school football, and then again as the king of the mountain in All Elite Wrestling.
“In football, you’re told by your coach to lift, for some reason, you don’t see people doing it in the gym, like a simple lift like the power clean,” Friedman said. “And, if you do that, you will create a certain mindset … of strength, and stability, and just overall athleticism” When MJF started training to become a professional wrestler in “Pro Wrestling Academy,” -the confident star said that he blew his pants with how quickly he picked up the base in the square circle. Today, however, Friedman is famous for wearing a Burberry scarf and ripping the oral cavity out of opponents like him for art or grappling. MJF didn’t make fun of CM Punk because of his lack of success in the UFC, and burned Ricky Starks by telling him he’s “Dwayne (Johnson)’s dollar store.” But, does he ever worry that he’s gone too far in entertainment?
Maxwell Jacob Friedman Is Not Afraid To Cross Any Line
“There’s no line I want,” MJF said. “And, I think that’s why people love AEW Dynamite, because nobody knows what’s going to come out of their mouths next, and whether you love me or hate me, you’ll always know.”
It’s an approach that has gained fans and those who take offense in equal measure, but one thing that you can not accuse the champion of, trying to copy others. I put it to MJF that part of his success lies in the fact that he is not preoccupied with emulating wrestling heroes of the past. “I’m the first and last MJF, and I think I’m the last one to die, because you’re right, everybody’s trying to be a carbon copy of everybody else. Everybody’s wearing these weird suits, I shouldn’t be wearing a suit, man. All I have to do is open the curtain and you’ll know what MJF is, fast. And, I promise, whether you love me or hate me, you won’t be able to stop looking.
Friedman was one of those rare wrestlers who became bigger than the industry he worked in. He can be found along with other famous VIPs at UFC events, and is currently in the process of filming the movie “Iron Claw”. This is a professional wrestling biopic on the Von Erich family that sees him play alongside Zac Efron. “We finally have a superstar again, that we can showboat,” says MJF hard-earned status. “I think it’s easy to be an athlete who should be interviewed by Muscle & Fitness, like I am, and I’m also interviewed by Forbes, and ESPN, and all the news and media. I get all the strokes, and I’m the one everyone talks about in professional wrestling.
MJF revealed that he would love to find a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Indeed, it seems the world is not enough!
The exciting star said that his AEW contact ends on January 1, 2024, and that he expects a bidding war from all the top wrestling promotions to secure his services. However, there are also critics in the old guard, professional wrestling veterans, who feel like MJF is putting the professional wrestling business first. Does he respect these critics? “I could give a **t about older people,” MJF said without pausing. “I want them all to rot in hell and be dead. It’s our time. Shut up, and shut up the fans who are still happy. I’ve had a phrase and a saying since I entered this business: talent over tenure. I believe in everything wholeheartedly, and if a dog This old man does not want to believe that I will put people out of their misery. Just come to the championship, and I will do it. Saying exactly what you think is not a problem for Maxwell Jacob Friedman.
“If you’re born with talent, and you work hard, the possibilities are limitless,” he said. “I have a personal chef; her name is Julie Posner. She makes me five meals a day, every day. I have a nutritionist, her name is Bryce Siap, and I have a trainer and a personal trainer; it’s called Stoked Athletics. Basically what I do, literally every week is, I’m increasing in the weight I’m lifting. I’m training slowly.” The AEW Champion explained that he’s gaining about 5 pounds per week and at the young age of 26, he hasn’t hit his plateau yet.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s Approach to Bodybuilding
“I used to hate it when I was younger,” Friedman said of the gym. “Because, when I got into fitness, it was really because I wanted to be big, because I was a football player. And then I sat down, and my dad showed me this movie called ‘Pumping Iron,’ which I’m sure everyone who reads Muscle & Fitness has seen saw, and I went ‘oh, s**t, I want to be big!’ And then after that it went gangbusters, and it was fun.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman likes to spend hours in what he considers to be the best gym in the world – Bev Francis’ Powerhouse Gym. “And, what I think is great about not only weight training but bodybuilding is that you have a mirror, and some people might think that’s arrogant, but when you look in the mirror, you have the opportunity to look at yourself and go ‘OK, what? should I work on it?’ And then you evaluate and go from there, and you can literally watch the progress. I think it’s really cool, and I honestly think it’s a lot harder than saying what a painter is. Because a painter, he looks at the canvas and then ‘OK, [MJF makes a brush-stroking motion] and they just fix No, this is our body. Know how to get things done, and I’m addicted.
Macros and Cheat Meals Maxwell Jacob Friedman
“As far as my calories go, I don’t eat nearly as much as people think,” MJF said. “I’m about 2,500 calories a day. I have about 215 grams of protein. My fat is always very low, and my carbs take the rest of the calories. It’s just about consistency and then, so I don’t go too crazy, on Thursday, I allow myself to eat what I find that Thursday helps me not only mentally, but also physically. Because, after Wednesday (when AEW Dynamite airs live on TBS) because I’m world champion, tired; get on a plane and potentially wrestle or even running my mouth can sometimes be exhausting because it can be loud. So when I get home, I like to give a lot of carbs.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman says the ‘cheat’ foods are pizza and ice cream. “My favorite ice cream in the world is Ben & Jerry’s.” MJF sense of choice? Milk and cookies! However, when he’s on the road and doesn’t have a personal chef to rely on, Friedman takes the scales with him. “All the fat, slobs, pieces of s**t in my locker room, they’re eating everything in the caterer,” he mocked. “Me, I have asked for at least grilled chicken and rice. I got 2,500 calories, that’s all I ate all day, and that was it. And, when it comes to explaining that he never misses a gram of protein, this guy is right. “The secret weapon that I have, just because it’s low in calories, is egg whites. Man, if you want to try to stay relatively low in calories, why don’t you drink egg whites? The company I use is Muscle Egg. I don’t do the flavors; I make the whites regular straight eggs because there is no added sugar. If it’s late in the day and I still haven’t met my protein quota, I drink 8oz of Muscle Eggs and go to bed. Of course, Maxwell Jacob Friedman helped the pro wrestling industry when he was growing up. Here’s a workout that helped him do it. Try it self:
Maxwell Jacob Friedman: Back and Biceps Exercise
“I do a lot of weight pullups,” says MJF, who is noting that this has been pivotal to the increase in width that you see with the back. “Honestly, I tried to hit my back from all angles.”
The following exercises are performed as dropsets of 12, 10, and 8 reps.
- Loaded Neutral Grip Pull Up
- 3 Point Dumbbell Rows
- Seated Hammer Strength Wide Row
- Seated Single Arm Lat Pulldown
- 3 Point Rear Delt Row
- Seated Arm Machine Preacher Curl
- Seated Incline Bicep Curl