Max Osinski on Transforming His Body with a Less Is More Plan

Early last year, The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s Maximilian Osinski decided to step up his fitness routine with the help of celebrity trainer Ash Bailey. Below we spoke to the Austrian-born actor about macros, overtraining, creating a system versus a goal, and how focusing on long-term gains redefined his physique without giving up his favorite cheat meals.


“I was at a place where I felt I wasn’t leaning into a specific look. I wanted to feel healthier and stronger. My wife Dichen flat out said, “Stop complaining and lean into something”… so I did.”


“[My fitness routine] is pretty simple really, and that’s the beauty of it all and why I can stay so consistent. I strength-train with heavy weights four days a week with two upper and two lower body sessions. That’s it. No cardio outside of walking my dog Whisky—as my diet takes care of my leanness.”


“Honestly, I eat pretty normally. There isn’t really a regimen other than tracking the calories and macronutrients of the foods I eat—protein, carbs, and fats—and adjusting those according to my goals at the time—muscle gain or fat loss. This allows me to eat all the fun foods one would normally consider unhealthy as long as you fit them into your macros.

I enjoy pizza, ice cream, and cheeseburgers when I feel like it. Dinner out with friends is also not something I stress about as I know I can just get back on track the next day.”


“Before [this change] I wasn’t thinking about how many calories I was eating, especially from fats such as olive oil. I quickly realized I was eating too many calories from the foods that I thought were healthy, so all the exercise I was doing was held back by the gaps in my diet. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t look the way I wanted.

In terms of exercise, I was over-training my body and focusing too much on hypertrophy and the pump and not enough on strength training. Today, my workouts consist of fewer total exercises in a session but with much more focus on compound lifts in a 4-8 rep range that build strength all over. Sprinkled in with a few smaller accessory movements as desired to bring up lagging body parts. Overall it means less time in the gym which gives me flexibility in the long-term with my career and life in general—especially when traveling.”

Photo by Mark Griffin Champion

“A huge difference was reducing my gym time down to four days compared to the five to six I was doing before. By focusing on squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and weighted chin-ups as the core of my workout routine, I’ve been able to build strong, dense muscle that doesn’t disappear within a few days or a week away from the gym.

Another aspect is the diet side of things to complement and enhance my training—more carbs to fuel my workouts and protein to build muscle.

I still have plenty of fat in my diet, just not the insane amount I was consuming before. Now, that might be different for someone else, but that’s the beauty of this system: it is specifically tailored to you and your lifestyle.”


“Tracking my diet opened my eyes to how I was eating. I learned a lot about what I thought was healthy versus what I was actually doing with my diet: calories in versus calories out. It’s a simple formula but was harder to do based on my previous habits and beliefs.”


“I had to create a system versus a goal. My goal was to feel healthier and stronger, but I needed a system to get me there. I used apps that track your macros and weight to help measure my progress daily and adjust accordingly with Ash.

Once that system was in place I just trusted it to take me there. It’s like hiking up a massive mountain, you don’t think about how high up you need to go, you just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. With a system, you just apply it daily, and the goal takes care of its self.” 


“Pre-workout I usually have some caffeine to wake me up if it’s early in the a.m. I find I don’t need a big meal before my gym sessions, as it can leave me feeling lethargic and hungrier.

Post-workout I usually drink a Whey Isolate Protein Powder. Currently, I’m loving the salted caramel flavor. Having said that, if I feel like a regular meal, I do that post-workout too.”


“[Working with Ash] has been fantastic. He approaches everything from a healthy and positive place. We don’t sweat the small stuff and know that life will happen sometimes. It’s a very long-term approach to allow for sustainability and keeping motivated. 

He always emphasizes not getting in your head and being obsessed with numbers daily, and will somehow even take the stress away from a shirtless photoshoot.

In truth, we’ve become great friends since I met him on Jurassic World: Dominion with my wife, and I think that’s a by-product of staying accountable and having respect for one another. He’s also an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to exercise and nutrition. With other clients of his that I know in the industry, their regimen is tailored specifically to them. I have buddies whom he’s got working on specific areas to build up strength that is different from mine. So he’s not a copy and paste type of trainer.”


“There is so much information out there and so many different sources to listen to. The best thing I’ve found you can do is to pick a few trusted sources to take advice from and try to block out everything else. Otherwise, you get overwhelmed and paralyzed by analysis—spending more time reading and thinking than doing the actual work—something I was certainly guilty of before.”



As Dennis Graham in AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond


As Agent Davis in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

As Len Martini in Showtime’s Shameless