Court Saldo

Book Review: Maxalding by Monte Saldo

In Bodyweight Mastery, Health-Mastery, Strongman Mastery by admin5 Comments

Monte Saldo was less well known then his major partner, Maxick, in the system they created called Maxalding. That is also the name of the book which this review is about. Maxick became more well known from his books and weight lifting exploits, though Monte was no slouch in that department either. For example, in the book he lists his “swinging” overhead of more then bodyweight with one hand. An impressive feat for sure.

Monte Saldo's MaxaldingIn its simplest form, Maxalding is based on the art of muscle control. However there is more to it then just that. The Maxalding system also included tips on healthy living in many different areas. To start with let’s get an overview of what’s in the book.

At its base Maxalding is a method of preventative health care. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Though this same could be said for any good method of exercise and all methods of healthy living. The problem is taking care of your health is not popular. How people can NOT do this I really just can’t understand. But on the same side, as a business man and marketer, I realize that prevention does not sell. That’s why a system built around becoming and maintaining health will never be as popular as one that promises to add an inch to your biceps overnight.

What is Maxalding?

It’s a method of building health and strength through contraction, relaxation, stretching and controlling the muscles.

While many systems may work some of these areas, its really a nearly equal amount of work in each of the four components, that is unique to this method. Many people only think of contraction. Some think about relaxation. Some stretch. Not too many think specifically of controlling beyond the simple work in doing the above areas.

Also there is the importance weighed in on conserving energy rather then spending it. Here, I think they over do it. They make it sound like if you strain or are in cold, that you are going to pay a heavy price for it. Still the concept of “Energy and Vitality are conserved to such an extent that the overplus not required is immediately shown in the development of healthy, pure muscular tissue” should be considered.

I’ve said it before and will say it again. Even is someone did no other Maxalding or muscle control exercises besides the vacuum and related movements, it would be well worth the time spent. These exercises hit the organs in ways that can’t be duplicated, yet have profound healthful effects.

It’s important to note that the joints, bones, tendons and ligaments are not mentioned. This was actually addressed by Maxick in some of his books. If you want to lift weights, or do anything else that requires high degrees of strength, you can’t just do muscle control as it doesn’t work those areas to a significant degree.

General Health

Court Saldo

Court Saldo, Monte’s Son

“That the body has in it the nature to cure, which supports all sorts of cults acting through the mind.” -Sir Bruce Porter

This was true back then and is still true today. Essentially, what this is saying, is that there are so many methods of healing (referred to derogatorily as cults here) that function solely out of the placebo effect. The placebo effect is super important and I’ll probably write an entire article on that soon. Basically what it boils down to here is that certain things should work, but they do, just because the mind is turned on to create that healing function, and the method or cult itself has no real effect. This is also why I have gone deeper and deeper into mental training to access this power directly.

“Regularity means longevity because the functions become accustomed to the performance of duties at certain times, and if these times are respected within reason, little or no strain is brought to bear upon the organs.”

This is mentioned referring to eating, resting, exercising and bowel movements. Like is mentioned, this is great for longevity purposes. That doesn’t just mean living long, but in getting results for a long time and with consistency. Of course, you do need to balance this with going outside of regularity for the purposes of adaptability, another important trait.

I happen to disagree with much of the bathing advice. Use of both hot and cold waters have great benefits as I mention in 101 Simple Steps to Radiant Health. A person that can stand only nice temperature waters lacks nerve force (specifically I’m talking about cold water here). If said person would overtime accustom themselves to these waters I think they’d fine they didn’t become nervous wrecks from the exercise but even stronger from it instead.

Exercise Ideas

“The object of such morning exercise should be solely that of establishing a good circulation, loosening the joints, stretching the muscles and oxygenating the blood.”

As a person that has never enjoyed exercising in the morning I can get behind this. Occasionally I try working out in the morning but my body doesn’t like to do it then. But some light exercises with the function of the above I do like to do.

“The object of exercise is to bring the blood to the parts to which the exercise is directed and to nourish them.”

An interesting statement. Most people look at the object of exercise as to do one more rep or hold it for another second. But when you change your focus you can change your results. My prior experience says that this is similar to what many bodybuilders do and is thus functional for muscle building purposes. This focus is of course pretty much necessary for muscle control where one more rep is certainly not the purpose.

“Never force the exercise. Use the coaxing method.”

This can apply to more then just muscle control. As a general rule I think its great and is something we do in biofeedback training, though of course “never” is too strong of a word.

There is also the claims in the book that most exercises, like with weights, will turn a person’s muscles into stiff and inflexible. Basically the old claim of becoming muscle bound. However this is almost never the case. Yes in some cases, without balanced work, a person can lose flexibility and overwork in one direction might lead to muscles that always carry tension. But with proper exercises selection and work that involves all the attributes of fitness, this is easily avoided.


“A Maxalding breather is a deep-breather and a nose breather.”

It amazes me how shallow and loud some people breath. I don’t claim any records but I often notice how my average breath is about 2.5 times longer then other peoples. I think my early work with a lot of deep breathing exercises, set me up for great breathing practices in the long term. Simple breathing exercises, including the likes of the abdominal vacuum, are a major recommendation for anyone that hasn’t done them before.

Another quote I liked on this subject that I haven’t heard before, in how to do it is below. This led me to some other ideas I’ve been experimenting with for breathing that preliminary results are proving to be very interesting.

“The shoulder blades are used as a pair of hands might be, to stretch had loosen the muscles surrounding the thorax.”


There’s lots of common sense, but nonetheless great advice in the general sense here.

“Only food that is assimilated by the system becomes nourishment.”
“The big eater is not only a wasteful eater, but is laying up trouble for the future.”
“For its full value and benefit to be gained it is necessary to reduced it to a liquid in the mouth by thorough mastication.”

Something I’ve come to recognize in myself more recently is the second line. In the past I’ve prided myself on how much food I can eat. It seems that not only do you have to lift big weights or do crazy feats of strength, but you’re not a man if you’re eating doesn’t match all that. Really not a helpful belief for health and longevity. And this will directly play into the other factors here as well. This is something I have to regularly remind myself to do.

There are a number of other health related sections from oral hygiene, sleep, obesity and many more but this covers some of the major points. From there the book moves onto…

Muscle Control Exercises

There are a grand total of 35 exercises in this book. It starts out with the more basic exercises and moves onto more advanced ones.

Also here, you’ll find several combination muscle control exercises. Usually they’re taught to isolate one muscle at a time, but here you’ll find usually two separate exercises combined. This is done for the sake of efficiency. When you can do either on its own easily, why not combine them and cut your time in half?

In addition to the regular muscle control poses, there are a number of isometric bodyweight exercises.

For someone starting out in exercise they could have lots of benefit from these. But the truth is any form of exercise, is better then nothing. Besides Monte Saldo and Maxick I haven’t seen tremendously strong people come out of following an exclusive muscle control path. Theoretically, and what seems to have occurred to Maxick and Monte, is they became such masters of their bodies that weight lifting was then easy to do. In fact, I don’t really know anyone that has done this and replicated their results.

I think using some muscle control exercises in combination with other exercises is great. They can be done before, after or during other workouts. They can be used as active recovery on rest days. Or taking a small period of time to do just muscle control. These can give you great benefits. They’d also serve to be great to work around injuries.

After all I did create the Master Muscle Control Course so I do obviously think there is value here. But I’m not willing to give up everything else I do, because I enjoy it to much, to dedicate myself solely to this art.

Your Turn

Sure you can just read this article and gain from it. But I hope you will read the full book of Maxalding. Then it’s your turn to comment. For us to get the most of this book club it must be interactive.

Use the form below to write your comments. What questions do you have? What did you learn from this book? What do you plan on applying that you’ve learned? What do you like? What do you disagree with?



  2. Didn’t Maxick actually mention that muscle control alone will never get one to one’s full potential? As far as I understood the idea was use muscle control as a foundation, then build on it.

    1. Author

      I think he said some different things at different times over his career. But if you have a specific quote on the subject that would be great. It’s been a while since I read his books.

  3. Check out Feldenkrais method I believe it’s even more fundamental than maxalding but I’ve ordered courts book and will know more soon.

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