About Us

Max Shank, Senior RKC, CK-FMS,               Z-Health Movement Specialist

Max grew up in San Diego and played sports at a very high level. Though he was a good player, he was not strong or athletic.  At 17, Max decided to start working out and at 18 he became a personal trainer–all the while going to college full time.  While at his new job, Max spent 3 hours every night reading about physical fitness and health.  Fast forward to August of 2009 where Max’s hard work and dedication to wellness manifested itself in what is now Ambition Athletics.  Since becoming a personal trainer, Max has switched his focus from basic strength training to a holistic approach of overall fitness and health.  His passion has become helping people rehabilitate injuries and fix their basic fundamental movement patterns enabling them to function at an exceptional level, no matter what they are doing, whether it be playing a sport or walking up the stairs.  Max is a firm believer that everyone should be strong, capable, and confident to handle any situation regardless of age or gender.  Apart from being very active in Martial Arts, Max plays tennis regularly and recommends that adults spend more time in physical “play.” Max has also received an Official Commendation from the United States Marine Corps for services rendered in the course of enhancing the athletic readiness of the 1st Anglico at Camp Pendleton.

Mike Baltren, CSCS, USAW


Mike Baltren, co-founder of Ambition Athletics, is a strength and conditioning specialist and personal trainer originally from Belchertown, Massachusetts.  He came to San Diego in 2003 after graduating from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth with a B.S. in Marketing.  Mike is currently certified through the NSCA as a strength and conditioning specialist and USA Weightlifting as a Level I Club Coach.  Mike played hockey in college and still enjoys playing on a weekly basis.  Nowadays his focus is geared more toward lifting heavy things whether in the Olympic lifts or kettlebells and occasionally competing in weightlifting related competitions.

Mike’s family tree is full of teachers.  While both of his parents jokingly told him to stay away from the profession because there is no money in it, here he finds himself still playing that role.  While training has been his passion for many years, it wasn’t until later that he truly realized his love of coaching and teaching.  He is driven to “teach a man to fish”, rather than only give him one.  Whether an athlete preparing for college or a grandparent trying to stay active, Mike strives to educate all clients on the whys and hows of training, helping them to lead a better life.