MAX Blog

When you make the decision to move forward with a health and fitness program, you’re likely to think, is this really the right one for me? Is it everything they promised? Will I finally be able to achieve the results I’ve been dreaming of? And, like most people, you may also be nervous about your first day and wondering what to expect. Here’s a quick overview of what a new member can expect in their first week here at THE MAX Challenge.


At THE MAX, we promise an experience that includes high accountability, among the many other features designed specifically to support our members. Accountability is the key to maintaining a wellness routine. There will be days when you just don’t feel like attending class, days where you feel like perhaps, you’re reaching a plateau, or working out seems impossible. That’s where your MAX family comes in. Not only will our team know you and your goals, they’ll also be reaching out to you to check-in if you miss a day.


As soon as you enroll, you’ll also be welcomed into our online community; a group filled with new members and veteran members. You can ask questions, scroll through recipes, read stories of others’ experiences, and immediately feel supported. Rest assured, if you have a question or need a boost on an off day, a fellow MAXer is sure to quickly respond.


Next up is the Challenge Kickoff. The Kickoff event is held the weekend prior to the start of each challenge, and is designed to prepare you for your first day. You’ll hear first-hand experiences from other MAX members and meet the team. You’ll have everything you need to feel READY to take on day 1.


On your first day, you will arrive at the center; you’ll be greeted by name, the music will be playing, the energy is high, and members are greeting each other warmly. You have nothing to worry about! Your instructor will then prepare you for the next 45 minutes. Our classes are designed for ALL fitness levels. Whether you love to work out or this is the first workout of your life, there is a modification for every exercise! At the end of your first class, you can expect to feel proud and accomplished because guess what? You did it!


When you come to class the next day, you can expect a brand-new workout. You will love the variety of exercises and the anticipation of what’s to come. You can always walk through the front door knowing that your class at THE MAX will be upbeat and inclusive.


But THE MAX is so much more than just high-energy fitness classes. Your instructor will go over nutrition with you. We don’t just hand out booklets and send our members off with a simple “Good luck!” Rather, we provide hands-on resources, videos, prep guides, weekly emails, and you can ask questions any time! With our online community, you are never alone in this process.


By the end of week 1, you will have completed 5 different targeted workouts! There is no feeling quite like checking off the box and thinking, “I DID IT!” You will take the weekend to rest and maybe try out some fun new recipes. On Monday, you will walk through the door excited, knowing that you CAN do this, and your journey has just begun. The questions you initially thought will be answered – YES – this really is the right one for me. YES – it is 100% everything they promised. And YES – I will finally be able to achieve the results I’ve been dreaming of.

“What’s the secret to maintaining a sustainable, healthy lifestyle?” It’s a question that people all over the world ask themselves when choosing to adopt a wellness routine. The answer, however, isn’t as esoteric as one may think. In fact, it’s also the answer to how to live a happier life in general! The secret is creating positive, supportive relationships with people whose goals align with your own. THE MAX Challenge has known from day one how important these relationships are when starting and continuing to live a healthier, happier, life. 


Valentine’s Day marks a season of love. The beautiful thing about love is it comes in all shapes and sizes, in ways you may not have thought of before. This Valentine’s season, we invite you to think about who your MAXentine is, and are happy to share some stories of prolific friendships that have been created right here at THE MAX. 


Kathy Bossert, an instructor at THE MAX of Hazlet, NJ remembers how friendships she made through THE MAX helped her get through the COVID pandemic. She says, “During the pandemic, we had two members of the Hazlet Max start to work out virtually in a local park. I’ll never forget the day that they saw me teaching them on Zoom as opposed to working out next to them! We became known as The Park Crew and are a great group of friends (13 of us!)! We go hiking, have BBQs, and go away together now! Great friendships are forged during our 45 minutes on the mat!” 


Eileen Strasser, a member at THE MAX Challenge of Pinebrook, NJ highlights how close-knit an entire class of MAXers has become. “In our 9:30 am group, we depend on each other, we support each other and we motivate each other! I find it incredible! I love my group!” 


Rebecca Ginsberg, a longtime MAXer and Graphic Designer for THE MAX Corporate office, wants people to know that members are there for each other through thick and thin. “We all share a common bond and hold ourselves accountable. Some of us do get together after class. It could be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, birthdays, or even on sadder occasions. Once you’re a MAXer, you’re always a MAXer!”


Longtime friends Sue, Chrissie, Dorian, & April lost a staggering 250 lbs together at THE MAX! One of these women was able to beat diabetes and get completely off her medication. The four of them now walk with their heads held high and have confidence at work and at home. After many years of not exercising, the women proudly announce they go to class every day. 


With support on your side, anything is possible. THE MAX provides you with a community from the first day you set foot in the center. Owners, staff, instructors, and perhaps most importantly your peers, are cheering you on no matter the stage in your fitness journey. Who will be your MAXentine this February?

And just like that, 2021 came to a close, and 2022 began! Many of us have high hopes for the new year, but despite the potential that 2022 holds, it’s no secret that we are still living in uncertain times. Here at THE MAX Challenge, we understand that a wellness routine can certainly be difficult to navigate in to most normal of times, much less while adapting to the constant changes of the world, but it doesn’t have to be!


Our comprehensive membership offering not only includes our effective and simple to follow nutrition program, complete guidance and accountability to help you stick to your plans and reach your goals, and a supportive and connected community of likeminded people, but we ALSO, provide access to classes, no matter what! All memberships include complete access to in-center classes, live/interactive virtual workouts, and recordings too!


Many people have set a new year’s resolutions to improve their physical and mental well-being, and it’s possible that those plans have already fallen to the wayside with everything going on, but we simply cannot let another year go by allowing our health to sit it out on the sidelines.


If we have learned anything from the past two years, it’s that both mental and physical health must be a priority. Mental and physical health have a deeply intertwined relationship, which means by taking care of one, the other is inherently nurtured. By staying true to workouts and being mindful of nutrition, mental health undoubtedly improves. And with the opportunity to interact with friends both in-center and virtually (again – no matter what!), and receive boundless support from center staff, the motivation to maintain physical health will flourish.


Sometimes, a little support can make a world of difference when faced with hard times, and that’s why THE MAX is here. No matter what, whatever comes your way, we’ve got you covered.

With the new year right around the corner, many people are contemplating what the year ahead has in store. The fresh start of 2022 may encourage some to make a major life change and to follow dreams that have been sitting on the back burner for far too long. The decision to take back control of a career and strike out on one’s own is a commendable feat. For 10 years, THE MAX Challenge has proven to be a beacon for those who boldly follow their passion for helping others. THE MAX Challenge franchising opportunity gives individuals the chance to hit the ground running with a turnkey business model that has been proven to lead to success. However, many people who are passionate about fitness choose to blaze their own trail and open up a business from scratch. Each path offers enticing benefits as well as unique challenges. Deciding which option to choose will be one of the most important steps in one’s journey as an entrepreneur.

Those who fall in love with THE MAX and choose to open up their own center, whether that be via the standalone model or the low investment express model, are lessening their exposure to some of the uncertainty that comes along with business ownership. While it is undeniably true that starting a new business comes with risks, opening up a franchise allows business owners to follow a blueprint that has already been laid; a blueprint in which all of the major kinks have been worked out. THE MAX’s corporate team has years of experience troubleshooting important business decisions in order to support the success of its franchisees, and they are present to guide owners every step of the way.

Innovative individuals may be worried that the established system that comes along with franchise ownership will stifle creativity. As a benefit to established systems, much of the work that goes into the initial development of a business – marketing planning, logo design, development of sales processes, establishment of core values, vetting vendors, etc. are all done for you. There’s less “figuring out,” and more executing upon. However, if the inventive aspect of business ownership is appealing, it may be a sign that a franchise is not the way to go.

Both franchise and start-up ownership allow individuals the freedom of being their own boss. With THE MAX, however, you are part of a team from day one. Being a part of THE MAX community allows owners the ability to benchmark their progress with other franchisees, share successes, troubleshoot challenges, and create mutually beneficial relationships. THE MAX corporate team is also an important part of the franchisee’s team. The services provided by the Corporate Office, including business coaching, marketing planning, content development, and more, are often financially out of reach for independent business owners. These services are in addition to the countless resources that have been developed for members, such as THE MAX App, nutrition program, MAX Meals, MAX Protein and Greens, and so much more, all of which also offer a financial benefit to the franchisee.

Brand recognition is another element that works strongly in favor of those who choose to take the franchise route. Thousands of people recognize THE MAX Challenge’s branding and know that THE MAX Challenge system delivers incredible results. No matter the level of expertise someone may have in the fitness world, potential customers are less likely to trust a brand that they have never heard of, thus getting launched will inevitably take more time.

In conclusion, becoming a MAX Challenge Franchisee offers countless resources and faster returns while simultaneously allowing owners to embark on a revitalizing new career venture. However, the most crucial question the entrepreneur must ask themselves is, “Do THE MAX’s values and goals align with my own?”, or any other franchise brand one may be considering. THE MAX is built on a simple, yet unshakable foundation. THE MAX Challenge mission is to help people to live happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives. For those with heart looking to build a fitness business from the inside out, THE MAX Challenge franchise opportunity may just be the perfect fit.

The holidays are here and THE MAX Challenge wants to wish everyone a very happy holiday season. With that said, they also want to remind you of the importance of maintaining an exercise and wellness routine throughout the months of November, December, and January. Although the holidays are a time of celebration, we can’t ignore the serious health concerns that come with consuming more food than usual and indulging in one too many cocktails. Research shows that the holidays are the time of year you’re most likely to put on weight. While a little bit of weight gain might not seem like a big deal, if individuals don’t take the time to be physically active over the holiday season and into the new year, the weight can add up, new negative habits can be formed, and health can be negatively impacted. 

People tend to think, “Once the New Year begins, I’ll crack down on my health with a resolution.” However,  Lauren Slayton, a New York City dietician says “If you were boozing and sugaring it up, you might not have an easy time going cold turkey. Sweet begets sweet — once you start mainlining it, you want it and a salad no longer looks good. And these festive foods can affect your microbiome. Even when you start to eat better, there can be a lag based on the effects all that fun had on your body,” It’s always easier to maintain healthy habits than to drop them and expect to be able to pick them up again. And the stress ‘yo-yo’ dieting, or binging then restricting, puts on your body can create problems with weight loss down the line. It’s possible to enjoy holiday treats in moderation while subbing in MAX-compliant recipes for some of the higher calorie traditions!

As much as people love the holidays, it’s no secret they are accompanied by stress. The financial strain, family conflict, and long to-do lists that come with the holidays are only exacerbated by the appropriately named SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder that affects millions of Americans during the winter months. However, there are many effective ways to elevate your mental health and ward off those winter blues! A healthy diet incorporating plenty of greens keeps your blood sugar stable, which can help maintain your mood throughout the day. Exercise releases endorphins which boost your mood and make you feel more confident! Spending time with friends reduces stress and anxiety by boosting oxytocin levels within your body. THE MAX Challenge knows how important these three elements are and incorporates ALL of them! 

It’s extremely difficult to look the holiday season in the face and confidently adhere to a healthy lifestyle, especially when doing so alone. That’s why THE MAX Challenge is here to help every single step of the way. THE MAX’s workouts are programmed for you, and instructors are present to make sure you’re executing the exercises correctly and motivating you until the final minute of class! You will receive nutrition counseling, and countless recipes to fall back on in times of need. MAX Meals are also available for all those nights where you just don’t feel like cooking. The whole time you are in center, you will be surrounded by positive people with similar goals. These individuals will lift you up, hold you accountable, and empower you to live the healthy lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. With THE MAX by your side, you can enjoy the holidays, and feel confident that you are taking each day TO THE MAX!

THE MAX Challenge of Mill Basin/Marine Park, Brooklyn, NY opened in September as the newest franchise location in THE MAX Challenge community. Mill Basin is operated by Debra and Gary Mirabella, as well as the newest MAX Challenge Managing Partner, Mike Andersen. Mike was a personal trainer fresh off of a weight loss journey, looking for the perfect opportunity to change people’s lives when he discovered the MAX Challenge. We sat down with Mike to ask him a few questions about what brought him to the Managing Partner Opportunity in the first place, and how his experience with THE MAX has been so far.

 1. When did your MAX journey begin?

“I first heard about THE MAX a little while after I got certified as a personal trainer. One of my coworkers at the time, her parents were actually the ones that opened up the Bay Ridge MAX location. She started telling me a little bit about the concept of it, and it sounded interesting to me. So I decided, why not give them a call and see if they’re looking for trainers. 

I wound up meeting up with the owners and taking some of their classes. They emphasized that if I was going to work for the company, they wanted me to start out by having a member experience. So I completed a challenge in Staten island before I actually started training. They wanted me to understand the members in order to understand what the program is really about.  

It ended up being something that I definitely saw myself doing. I lost a lot of weight through my own transformation before I ever heard about THE MAX,  but funny enough, everything I did myself was exactly what we do at THE MAX. So it was a perfect fit.”

2. What sparked your interest in the Managing Partner Opportunity?

“My overall goal is to one day open up my own MAX center, and hopefully down the line, a few locations. This opportunity was really the best way for me to get my foot into the door. Becoming an owner can be financially tough. Especially getting there on your own as a younger person. This is an opportunity to partner up with someone who is as invested in the business as you are, with the additional advantage of their financial backing behind you. It was something I couldn’t refuse. Owning my own MAX is now my goal, so this opportunity was really great.” 

 3. Why is the managing partner opportunity a good fit for you and how do you see your future growth in this position?

“I’m able to learn so much about operating a business that I didn’t know before. Of course, as a trainer, I knew exercise science, nutrition, and how to cultivate member engagement. It’s the logistics of business operation that I wasn’t familiar with. 

 Partnering with two individuals who are so well versed in the business world is a huge advantage. They are right there to coach me in real-time. Having them there 24/7, any time of the day really helps out a lot. I feel like this opportunity is a really good fit for me because I’m not just learning from a screen, I’m learning hands-on.

 I’m so excited to build this center up. I plan on working together with my partners and continuing to branch out and. The more centers we open the more people in the community we can reach.” 

 4. Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking to get into the Managing Partner Opportunity? 

“The best rewards come with some of the biggest risks. Making the decision to go into business is a scary thing for sure, but you just have to feel that fear and keep going. The Managing Partner Opportunity specifically is one of a kind. You’re not going to find another opportunity like this. 

It creates a support system for you and honestly, I can’t think of a downside. 

 There may be no other time in your life when you’re given an opportunity like this. This was put in my hands. I would tell people, do you want it? Take it.”

 5. What does the future of Mill Basin look like?

“We have to keep growing and building the community. I mean, everybody really likes the program. We have a lot of members already signing up for legacy. Some people are in their third week or fourth week and they’ve already made the commitment to legacy, which is fantastic! 

I want to keep the success of the members going. A lot of people, again, even in only their third or fourth week, have seen a lot of changes in themselves both physically and mentally.

They’re starting to feel and think a lot differently about their abilities. We have to keep that going, but we also want to reach out to everybody that’s in the area.”

 Mike wants people to know, that no matter whether you’re coming to THE MAX from a member standpoint or a professional standpoint, you’re making the right decision. He is a firm believer in THE MAX’s programming, saying “Even though I didn’t lose all my weight through THE MAX originally, I’m keeping that weight off, which is actually the important part. It’s been almost 10 years and I still have all this weight off because I’m doing this program.” Mike is proud to represent THE MAX community, and likewise, THE MAX is extremely proud to give opportunities to young entrepreneurs like Mike. “I feel like the reason I’m here is because THE MAX has an extremely effective way of reaching people. That’s really what we’re about,” says Mike. “My goal is to get THE MAX out to as many people as possible and really help them mentally and physically. I feel like right now The Managing Partner Opportunity is the best way to do it.”

The mission of THE MAX Challenge has always been to help others live happier, more fulfilled lives. This objective stands for both members and franchisees alike. In an effort to make business ownership more accessible to highly motivated but perhaps financially unready individuals, THE MAX created the Managing Partner Opportunity. The Managing Partner Opportunity is a business plan that has been used by current franchisees to achieve full ownership status and is also being used presently by multiple individuals who are on their way to owning their MAX Challenge Center outright. THE MAX Challenge Founder and CEO Bryan Klein believes that drive and passion are the true indicators of success when it comes to business ownership, and thus he does not wish to limit opportunities based on current financial accessibility. 


Bryan is hopeful that the Managing Partner Opportunity will continue to grow and allow many passionate people the chance to own their own MAX Challenge center. He is eager to share the origin of the Managing Partner Opportunity, as well as the finite details that make this business venture so successful. 


What inspired you to create the managing partner opportunity?


The reason why I took action and moved this idea is over the past 18 months or so while we were in quarantine, I started to look back on what worked in the past to get us where we are today.

When I look at what’s really working, I see people who have a passion for helping others benefit from fitness, nutrition, and motivation. They get THE MAX Challenge. People who truly get extremely high levels of satisfaction from the experience of helping others are the ones that do the absolute best in our system. And upon further examination, I came to realize that those people don’t always have the financial means to start their own MAX Challenge center from scratch. They don’t have the capital to do a build-out, to hire the employees, to get through all of the expensive but necessary start-up costs. But they do have the intellectual capital. They’ve either been in the industry for a period of time and have relevant experience that would help them to do extremely well, or they’ve been with THE MAX for a period of time and have the experience with marketing, sales, and member fulfillment to really knock it out of the park. This managing partner opportunity gives those individuals the opportunity to ultimately own their own business without that initial capital


Tell us a little bit about the managing partner opportunity and what makes it different from owning a franchise outright?


When you go to open up a franchise outright, there’s significant capital involved that could range anywhere from $60,000 all the way to $300,000, depending on the model that the individual chooses. This includes either the express model, which is a lower-cost opportunity, or the standalone model. Many times there are individuals who have the money to open up a franchise, but they don’t have the time to commit to running that franchise with the level of attention that’s necessary to make it the incredible place that each MAX Challenge has become known for. These are individuals who have the financial capital, but they don’t have the time. 


Then on the flip side, we’ve got an army of people throughout THE MAX Challenge system; instructors, membership experience leaders, and managers. Not to mention the many people who qualify for this program from other brands throughout the fitness industry. So the marriage of these two components; people who have the money and the desire and individuals with the time and the relevant industry experience is a winning formula. It becomes what I like to call a win-win-win-win. It’s a win for the members because now they get the absolute best experience executed by a dedicated person. It’s a win for the managing partner because they get to enjoy some of the benefits of business ownership including a portion of the bottom-line results they work so hard for. It’s a win for the company because we get a fantastic franchisee. And finally, it’s a win for the franchisee because they get an engaged team member who has a vested interest in seeing the success of their individual unit. 


Who is the managing partner opportunity best suited for?


I think the individuals best suited for this opportunity fall into two different categories. Category one is for the people who have the time to truly commit to this business from inception, and have direct experience with THE MAX Challenge as an instructor, a membership experience leader, or a manager. Category two is for individuals who have relative experience in the industry. Someone who’s managed a big box gym or another small group fitness concept. Someone who has direct relevant experience with membership sales and customer satisfaction. This is the perfect opportunity for somebody who has always dreamt of being in business for themselves but may not have the capital or the roadmap that gives them the opportunity. 


Moving forward, how do you see the managing partner opportunity growing and developing?


I see so much opportunity for people in THE MAX Challenge community and outside THE MAX Challenge community, people with a real desire to help others live happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives. People who really want to contribute to their communities. I see this opportunity giving way to dozens of success stories, just like Randy who started out as the managing partner of Marlboro, NJ,  like Mark who’s the managing partner of Clinton, NJ, and Mike who’s the managing partner of Mill Basin in Brooklyn, NY. I see dozens and dozens of managing partners signing on for this opportunity in the near future. This is going to become an integral part of our expansion plans. This will help people to live happier, healthy, more filled lives, not just the members, but the managing partners and the franchisees as well. I see this becoming a big cornerstone of our future expansion and growth. 


THE MAX Challenge is extremely optimistic about the Managing Partner Opportunity moving forward. They encourage anyone who may be interested to start an open conversation with the corporate office. Their staff has been trained to guide and encourage budding entrepreneurs to reach their full potential, and follow the path best suited for their individual success. 

THE MAX Challenge is proud to be host to a multitude of entrepreneurial success stories. From multi-unit owners to express-model expanders to managing partners turned out-right owners, so many individuals have been able to achieve their dream of helping others to live happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives through THE MAX’s Franchisee program. 


One of these success stories belongs to Randy Leib, who is now the proud owner of THE MAX Challenge of Marlboro, NJ. Randi started off as a member but knew early on that she wanted more. Bryan Klein, Founder, and CEO of THE MAX, fondly describes how Randi’s determination eventually allowed her to achieve her dream as the first managing partner of THE MAX Challenge. “I’ll never forget one day, this was very early on, we maybe had, half a dozen MAX Challenge centers up and operational, and Randi popped into my office with some ideas for improving the operations,” Bryan explains. “She expressed a real passion for the brand. I listened very carefully to what she suggested and it was a nice conversation. At the end of the day, she went her way and I went mine.”


Randi’s first conversation sparked a fire within her, and soon she found herself back in the corporate office. “This time she applied for a franchise,” continues Bryan. “She filled out the application. She wanted to become an owner. But during the discovery process, she came to learn that it was $200,000 or so to get the business up and running, and she realized that it might not be the right time for her. That’s when I thought she would be a fantastic candidate to create a unique opportunity for. I saw her passion. I saw her drive. I saw that she had the potential with the right mentoring and coaching to be a fantastic operator. I gave her the opportunity to manage a brand new center from the ground up, grand opening all the way on through. Right from the start, the idea was that she would share in the profit and would eventually be given the opportunity to own that center.”


The potential Bryan saw in Randi bloomed, and she took the opportunity given to her by the horns. “She had a fantastic grand opening with probably 150 or so members,” Bryan raves. “She then continued to grow it to 400 plus members. It became a fantastic business, and ultimately she ended up purchasing THE MAX of Marlboro and is now the 100% owner of that business.” 


Randi’s determination and drive in addition to Bryan’s encouragement and faith ended up in a win-win situation for the pair. “It’s very gratifying to see somebody who had an idea in their head, a dream,” Bryan ruminates. “Basically she took action on that dream and with coaching and mentoring from myself and others on the corporate team, she turned her dream into reality. It’s a very gratifying experience.”


Randi tells the story as a member who changed her health, her life, and her career. “From day one at THE MAX, I walked into this crazy environment of supportive people that just really wanted you to succeed,” she recounts. “That first day turned into a second week and that’s really how I began. The biggest thing that THE MAX does is build up the person who walks in on day one. That person is not the same individual who walks out on the last day. By the 50th class, you evolve into a different person; stronger, more confident, determined, motivated, wanting to become the best version of yourself. Totally different. That’s the biggest thing that THE MAX does, it gives people the confidence to just be the best that they can be.” 


The root of the passion that Randi displayed to Bryan lies in her desire to spread positivity. “In this world, there is so much negativity out there,” Randy explains.  “I just really want people to be able to drown that out; think positive, think about their own growth and development. This can make them better people. Laughter is the best medicine, right? So no matter what is going on in your life, at THE MAX you come in, laugh a little bit, and focus on yourself for 45 minutes. You have the chance to start your day on a positive note.” 


Like so many other MAX Challenge owners and employees, Randi is fueled by the desire to make a difference in people’s lives. She was drawn to THE MAX because of its sense of community and support. “Honestly, I have amazing members. I care about them and they care about me,” Randi proclaims. “The trainers too, both past and present, we have a bond. You have a relationship with everyone who walks into this building. We’re a true family.”


The Managing Partner Opportunity is gaining strong traction within THE MAX Challenge Franchisee program because of its ability to amplify the voices and reach of passionate people. THE MAX is looking forward to further developing and expanding this venture. There is no limit to the number of lives it will positively impact in the future. 

In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, THE MAX Challenge held a special transformation contest for its members. This gave individuals an opportunity to share their stories and their progress, all while competing to win some fantastic prizes. The Grand Prize Winner was Christine Kotik of THE MAX of Westerville, Ohio, who received a free 10-Week Challenge membership to gift to a friend, 6-months of free ‘legacy’ membership, and a $150 gift card valid for MAX Challenge Meals or their supplement website. The three runners-up were were Lisa Barrett from THE MAX of South Windsor, CT, Kristy Ann from THE MAX of Clinton, NJ, and Doreen Spencer from THE MAX of Mount Holly, NJ, who each received 3 free months of ‘legacy’ membership plus a $100 gift card valid for MAX Challenge Meals or their supplement website. 


All four of these women achieved incredible results through their hard work and dedication. However, each of them followed their own unique path on the journey to wellness. They were kind enough to sit down and share a little bit of insight into their lives, and what allowed them to transform in such a positive way. 


When did you join THE MAX Challenge and why did you join?


Christine –  I joined in April with the Spring Challenge. My number 1 reason for joining needs a bit of explaining. When I was in my late teens, early 20’s, I spent many school year weekends practicing and 3 summers traveling the country and competing with the Canton Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps. This coming summer (August of 2022) Bluecoats will put a 50th Anniversary Alumni Corps on the field. I desperately wanted to be a part of this. But I knew that the shape that I was in would not allow me to hold up a baritone bugle, play, and march for 18 or so minutes. I was 52, overweight, out of shape, and recovering from a hip replacement. I was tired all of the time, had trouble getting up and down off the ground, and could no way see myself being able to participate in the Alumni Group. And then I found THE MAX Challenge.


Lisa – I joined over 3 years ago. I had survived Stage 4 stomach, esophagus, and liver cancer with a ton of chemo and then a few years later I got Stage 1 esophageal/stomach cancer and had to have an esophagostomy. They removed 1/3 of my stomach and 1/3 of my esophagus and turned my remaining stomach into an esophagus. I had to learn how to walk again. It took a long time to get back to being myself. I can’t lay down flat or everything comes shooting out. I can’t eat many food items so I was struggling. I had no workout routine and I was living on cheese, crackers, starch, pizza, and the like. I was in a bad place and there really was not much I could do about it. It took many years to heal from my esophagostomy so I was truly out of sorts and out of shape. I was noticing all kinds of advertisements for the new MAX Challenge in town. It was next to all of the stores that I frequent. I saw Kim in there one day and decided to go in and talk with her. Best decision I have ever made.


Kristy Ann –  I joined for the Summer Challenge 2021. I joined because I needed a change. Nothing I did was working.


Doreen – My story begins in  May 2018 at the Mount Holly Police Department Patrol Officer Association fundraiser to help raise money for cancer. (Cops Hike Up To Take Cancer Down.) The officers hiked the Appalachian  Mountains. Ivona Qualy, the owner of THE MAX of Mount Holly, donated a 10-week MAX Challenge membership as the door prize. I won the door prize! I could not believe it and was very hesitant. Ivona called to congratulate me and give details. I told her about my knee problem and told her I was intimidated because of my weight and being out of shape. I really hated gyms. She was very patient but also relentless. Ivona kept In touch with me through the next 7 months. I finally agreed to give it a try when she opened her gym that was January 2019.


What part of your transformation are you the proudest of? 


Christine – I am definitely proud of the physical transformation, but I am the proudest of the mental transformation that is happening. I have struggled with food issues all my life. As I gained weight, working out was harder, so even though the motivation was there, I still couldn’t do it. I made bad nutrition choices, not always enough food but then the food I was eating was calorie-dense and nutritionally empty. I thought it would never change at this point in my life. I’m in my third Challenge right now. I look at working out as something I get to do. I am a 6 am workout girl and even when I have to wait until later in the day to work out, I notice something missing. Leaving the center after a workout, I feel energized and ready to conquer my day. And the nutrition changes have been huge and impactful for me. I no longer eat for the sake of eating. I eat to fuel my body. I am trying different foods, cooking healthy meals, and eating healthy snacks. And I don’t look at this as the current diet I’m on, I look at it as the way to eat for life. I go to the grocery store and head to the healthy aisle; I don’t grab a donut or candy bar for the ride home. And all of this has made me more confident in my business and my life in general.


Lisa – I am most proud of the fact that I was working out between 2 and 3 times a day. I am in shape for the first time in many years. I can do moves I have not done in many years.  I was able to rock my daughter’s mother-of-the-bride dress a year after Covid. I am proud of my dedication. I am proud of my new size and the new healthier me. I am proud that I can be an inspiration to others in hopes that they see what I did and think, I can do that too! 


Kristy Ann – I am most proud of the fact that I now enjoy exercising. It felt like a chore before…something I had to do. Now I am excited to come to work out with my friends.


Doreen – The part of my transformation that I’m proud of is of course is the weight loss and the loss of inches but I’m most proud of my dedication to the program. I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to any program let alone a weight loss program like this before.


How has THE MAX Challenge impacted your life outside of the center?


Christine – I have made so many new friends through THE MAX Challenge. That is one of the unexpected benefits. These ladies are people that I talk to outside of class, we do things together outside of class. We care about and for each other.


Lisa – I eat better, I don’t throw up every day anymore, I can go up and downstairs, my knees don’t hurt anymore.  I have so much more energy and my spirit is just so high. I got my happy back! I tell everyone who will listen about THE MAX Challenge. I have changed my entire lifestyle. I can actually shop in a real store now and wear clothes that come from Old Navy and Aerie and not a plus-size store. I have been shopping at a plus-size store since the 90s. 


Kristy Ann – I am so much happier. My family has noticed that I am “lighter” not just in the weight that I lost but also in my attitude. I am more positive and want to help others feel as good as I do.


Doreen – Before starting the Max Challenge I had no energy to do or go anywhere. I was depressed. Now I am constantly on the go, much happier and as my hairdresser stated more outgoing. I take weekly walks with friends and enjoy keeping up with my grandchildren.


What do your friends and family think of your transformation and your dedication? 


Christine – My friends and family are all very happy for me. My children especially have noticed my dedication. In addition to the Challenge, I participated in a push-up challenge, 2 5K’s and a 10K (all unheard of pre-challenge). After every one of them, my son has reached out to congratulate me and encourage me. That means a lot. As for friends, many of them have been inspired by my love of THE MAX and my results and have joined me! I love that they put their confidence in me and what I was doing to good use for themselves.


Lisa – My friends say the most wonderful things to me every time they see me. They comment on how I look and how I dress and tell me how proud they are of me. My family is beyond proud. I even work out with one of my daughters and my son-in-law when they come to visit! It’s a whole new me. When you come to my house you see my weights, my mat, you see it all. It is never pushed aside. My family supports me every step of the way. It is wonderful. They are my cheerleaders! My daughters, sons-in-law, and my husband are so supportive of THE MAX. Even my mom and dad know what time I work out.  My mom hangs up the phone saying “OK! It’s workout time!” When my husband comes home and sees me working out, he jumps in front of the screen and waves. They know him by name now! He is even known to do a few moves! They are my support system.


Kristy Ann – They are very proud of me. People have asked…what are you doing…tell me more.


Doreen – My family is very proud of my transformation. They’re also proud and love how devoted I’ve been. I schedule my appointments around my MAX time. MAX comes 1st, other things come 2nd. And the fact that I have more self-confidence and more energy. My friends are constantly complimenting me on my progress.


What motivates you to keep working hard? 


Christine – Maria and Katie, our center coaches, do an incredible job of motivating us. They notice things we are doing. It’s always nice to have that external motivation. But what’s truly motivating me is that I know I have more “transformation” left in me. I’m not done yet. I am highly motivated by goal setting. That’s a cool thing about the challenge, there is always another higher goal that you can set and push yourself toward. More weights in the gym, going faster, longer planks, lower time in the MAX 500, smaller clothes size, more pushups…


Lisa – THE MAX. Kim. Heidi. The instructors, My family, my health, how great I feel, My new friends that I made at THE MAX  are the most inspiring people and the most supportive people of all. 


Kristy Ann – Happiness is addictive! I don’t want to feel the other way again.


Doreen – My motivation for this program is my health and my 4 active grandchildren. I am now able to keep up with them, run around with them, and do activities with them that I had not been able to do previously. I look forward to my MAX friends and family every morning. We motivate and inspire each other.  


Any advice for someone who wants to start a wellness routine but hasn’t quite gotten there yet? 


Christine – Be clear on your why and don’t lose sight of it. By joining THE MAX Challenge, you will never be alone any step of the way. We do the hard things, but we do them together. We come to believe that WE CAN and WE WILL do hard things. The thinking about who you are will totally change for the better. You will become the person who works out at 6 am on Labor Day, the person who goes to a soccer tournament with your own healthy food, the person who sets goals and crushes them. And the best part, you won’t think “I have to do this.” You will have committed to yourself and you’ll say, “I GET to do this!”


Lisa – Do it. Do it all. Start small. Just try one class. Just try one single shake. Just try it because there are different levels and no matter what shape you are in there is a level for you. There are different workouts each day and recordings if you can’t make it to the center. My instructor Heidi always says, If you’re moving, you’re reworking. That stuck with me. If I am exhausted, I can go down a level. If I have lots of energy, I can go up a level. THE MAX doesn’t push you. THE MAX inspires you to push yourself. THE MAX does not judge. Ever. They support you. Always. They make you a better you.


Kristy Ann – Try this….it is unlike anything you have tried before. The detailed nutrition program, the fun always-changing workouts, and the unparalleled motivation from instructors and fellow MAXers will keep you going. You are not alone in this journey.


Doreen – Give THE MAX Challenge a try! With the tools of exercise (with modifications if needed like me), nutrition, and motivation you have nothing to lose except some sweat, weight, inches!  It’s just 45 minutes 5 days a week. Treat yourself to feeling stronger and better.


There is no one clear path to business ownership. For some, it can be a lifelong dream that is finally achieved. For others, like Founder and CEO of THE MAX Challenge, Bryan Klein, who has never spent a day working for someone else; the freedom of entrepreneurship is seen as the only option, a life’s purpose. However, some people follow their passion so devoutly, that they eventually stumble into it, as if it manifests itself. Pam Miller is one of those people. Pam is the owner of THE MAX Challenge of Ocean.


Pam started out her MAX journey as an instructor, pushed by a friend into the career path. “A friend of mine and I were working out together and I would always create the workouts for us. The two of us would always go day after day, and finally, she said to me, ‘You should really be an instructor,’” explains Pam. This idea took Pam by surprise. “I was actually a very shy person. It seemed totally out of my realm of possibilities, but the more we kept working out, the more she kept saying it, the more I started to think. I do love working out. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. But what was holding me back was the fact that I was not somebody who could stand up in front of a bunch of people and talk.” That’s when Pam discovered that two new MAX locations were going to be opening up in her area. She was hired as the first employee of the Ocean location.


As Pam began to take MAX classes and learn more about the workouts, she overcame her hesitancy and found herself at the front of the room. “At first, I thought, I needed some more time. I panicked, but in my head, this was the cutoff. I knew if I didn’t try it now, I was never going to do it. I’m not about giving up. I just could not give up on it. Finally, I decided that even if I didn’t do it well, at least I knew that I gave it a shot. And then I did it.”


Pam’s MAX journey was far from over. In fact, it was just beginning. After Pam began to teach classes, she felt inspired and knew that she wanted to become more involved with the company. That’s when something serendipitous happened. Pam recounts, “The current owner had decided she no longer wanted to operate two locations and being that I was here, she gave me an opportunity – first choice to possibly get into this. I never imagined myself owning a franchise. It’s not anything that I ever thought about, but when the opportunity presented itself, it didn’t even occur to me not to do it.”


Pam moved forward with the full support of her husband. “It was the best decision I made and that was almost seven years ago,” she remarks. She soon found that owning her own business was incredibly rewarding, not just financially, but on an emotional level. Pam began to recognize she was inadvertently inspiring others to do things they never thought they could do. “At first, you don’t really realize it, you know, you do it every day. It’s just one of those things, you get up and you have fun. I was meeting all kinds of people and having a great time. But then you start hearing what people are saying. People having conversations in the background about doing things they never thought they could do. I started to realize, wow, you know what? I helped this

person do that extra jumping jack. People were starting to believe in themselves, and it created a domino effect.” The ability to help people find the confidence within themselves that they didn’t know existed was incredibly fulfilling to Pam. She began to see a rippling effect in the lives of her members. “It starts snowballing. [For example] when a person finally believes in themselves, they start to help their children more. It’s an amazing feeling.”


Pam began running her studio in THE MAX Challenge’s express format, meaning she was sharing the space, and rent, with a karate studio. It provided gentle ease into entrepreneurship that nurtured Pam into becoming the confident businesswoman she was at heart. Pam speaks highly of the express opportunity, remarking “It was nice because we shared. Some of their karate parents became our members, and some of our members had their children go to the karate studio. The expenses were great to share. We took good practices from them, and we just shared back and forth.”


The karate studio Pam was subleasing from eventually decided they needed to look for a bigger space, offering Pam the opportunity to run a stand-alone center. Pam thought, “You know, this is real. I better take care of this. You put it in your head that that’s what you’re going to do. And you just do it. And it was one of those things that you don’t realize you’re able to do until you have to do it.” Pam was thankful for the time she spent sharing a space with the karate studio, but she knew that both businesses were on to bigger and better things.


Pam found great joy in commanding the space on her own. She was excited to decorate the center the way she wanted to and to have a private office to speak to members one on one about nutrition and progress. “It was our own space. It’s our home. We talk about changing lives and that’s what THE MAX does. As an owner, you have an effect on people and you can change their life for the better. Sometimes people come in here and they tell you that some of the 45 minutes that they spend in class is the happiest part of their day.”


THE MAX Challenge differs from so many other fitness programs because they hold wellness as one of their core values. Pam is a huge proponent of this. “One of the things I say at the beginning of my class is no matter what you’re thinking about, or whatever is going on in your life, put that outside for now and enjoy yourself. Take care of yourself and believe in yourself. Right now, for 45 minutes, all of your stress is going to roll out your fingertips.”


Individuals who seek business ownership are generally looking for something more, whether it be financial freedom, or otherwise. For Pam, it’s simple. Nothing brings her more fulfillment than watching members transform. “At the beginning of challenges, people walk in and they’re not talking, and their head is down. And then after a couple of days or a couple of weeks pass, you see them talking and bouncing and they’re smiling, and they walk in and they’re full of energy! And that’s why I do it.”

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