MAX Blog

Companies that are seeing immense momentum coming out of 2020 are, unquestionably, those that used the setback to innovate, and that’s exactly what we did here at THE MAX Challenge.

The latest of many innovations to come out of THE MAX Challenge is the highly anticipated MAX Challenge Mobile App! THE MAX Challenge App is a one stop hub for everything members need to track their progress towards their health and fitness goals. The App is included in every MAX membership, and allows members to have the entire program at their fingertips anytime, anywhere.

When members open THE MAX App, they are directed to an easily navigated dashboard that summarizes their progress. They are able to view their stats, achievements, and an overview of their plan for the day. Along the bottom of the App, members quickly access their schedule, meal tracker, meal plan, 1:1 chat with their trainer, and more!

The App includes a complete library of delicious, healthy recipes, as well as an incredibly useful nutrition tracker where members can log all of their meals for the day using an extensive pre-programed library of foods. You can now plan your meals, check to see if foods are compliant, and watch cooking demos on your schedule!

THE MAX App is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. In fact, your trainer will be in your pocket! The App allows members to message their trainer one on one at any time to connect, ask questions, share victories, and receive the guidance they need to achieve their goals for the day. The App also sends out morning motivation to make sure you start out every day as the best version of yourself. With THE MAX APP, members are guaranteed to receive that extra push of accountability that’s necessary to reach their goals.

THE MAX App highlights all of an individual member’s achievements in one prime location. This way, members can easily see how far they’ve come, and actively push themselves to reach new goals every single day. Members are able to share their achievements with their MAX family to promote connection, support, and a strong feeling of community; three values that THE MAX has shaped their programming around.

You will never miss a beat with THE MAX App. It is an incredible new tool that works in tandem with our in center programming to help members maximize their results. THE MAX Challenge App will begin rolling out this summer.

As we continue into mid-2021 with summer, the season for activity, just around the corner, the ever-present question on every gym owner’s mind is: What does the future hold? Will we continue to see individuals working out virtually or are people aching to get back or even start an in-person fitness routine?

There’s no question that the opportunity to work out virtually has dramatically changed the fitness industry. It’s for that reason that many brick and mortar fitness concepts, including THE MAX Challenge, that introduced a virtual experience during the pandemic are keeping it around as an added value to members for the foreseeable future. But, though the convenience and safety of working out at home is appealing, many people are missing their in-person community and are ready to get back onto the mat again. Not only that, but many have felt the physical and mental effects of being relatively sedentary for more than a year, driving new people to explore a fitness regimen. The takeaway? The fitness industry as a whole is preparing to BOOM!

Many experts agree that the majority of in-home gym goers are fantasizing about getting back to their in-person workouts, and more people than ever before are beginning to see how important incorporating a wellness program into their everyday life can be. In November of 2020 the COVID-19 Fitness Consumer Report found that 94% of people surveyed said they would return to their fitness center in some way, shape, or form. According to Jay Ablondi, Executive Vice President for Global Products of the Global Health and Fitness Association, “The data confirms the essential role health clubs play in promoting and maintaining the well-being of consumers. Seventy percent of members rely on their health clubs to maintain overall health, while 30% use their health and fitness centers to help build their immune system. More than one-third miss the community aspect of belonging to a health club. Clearly, there’s no replacement for health clubs or gyms.” This speaks to the extremely high number of people who require intrinsic motivation to push through a workout, or achieve goals they never thought possible without a support system.

The survey went on to ask individuals how the shutdown of their usual fitness center had affected them. 85% of people said that the shutdown caused their fitness routine to change, and 50% said that their new routine felt less consistent than their regimen prior to the 2020 shutdown. In addition to humanity’s newfound craving for socialization, we at THE MAX have extremely high expectations for the future of our franchisees. Our centers provide individuals with a supportive “MAX family” all while providing a comprehensive approach to achieving results based in physical activity, nutrition, and wellness. This all-inclusive opportunity is one that current and future gym-goers will not be able to pass up!

Thanks to the widespread efforts of the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, fitness will not only return to normal, but it will begin to explode. In a recent interview with TODAY, Walter Thompson, the past president of the American College of Sports Medicine states, “There will be a ‘huge rebound’ effect for health clubs. Gyms are going to be overwhelmed with business. I’m incredibly optimistic about what’s going to happen to the fitness industry in 2021.”

THE MAX Challenge’s ability to remain fluid and innovative during the past year and a half is a true testament to its dedication to both franchisees and members alike, and will be a huge draw for future business owners. In other words, for anyone who has ever thought about getting into the fitness business, the time is NOW. We look forward to the thousands of future MAX family members who will be joining us on a quest to leave the past behind, and pave the road to the future with life changing habits.

“Help others whenever you can,” that’s what Max, Bryan Klein’s father and the namesake of THE MAX Challenge always said. Nothing exemplifies the core values of THE MAX more than the annual Day of Giving event. The Day of Giving is a special day once a year where each and every MAX center organizes a charity event for a cause close to the heart of their community. Members, friends, family, staff, and trainers come together to raise money, work out, and support each other. This year, the event took place on Saturday, May 15, and was attended by thousands of people all across the country. To feel a sense of family in one’s own neighborhood is a powerful thing, but to extend that feeling throughout the country is immeasurable. 


From raising money for the Make a Wish foundation and the American Cancer Foundation to adoption fairs for local animal shelters, the amount of support from MAX members cannot be matched. Individual centers raised as much as $18,000 for their chosen charity! 


Centers chose causes that directly impacted members of their own Max Family. THE MAX of Marlboro, NJ chose Stephy’s place, a grief counseling center that offers their services free of charge to anyone that loses a spouse, parent or child. They chose Stephy’s Place in honor of their late member, Todd Levine. THE MAX of Bay Ridge, NY chose the Christian J. Santo Legacy Foundation in honor of their members, the Santo family, and their late son, Christian Santo. Speaking to the MAX Members who attended the expansive event was inspirational. There were hundreds of people scattered across St. Ephrem Sport’s field all coming together for a single cause. They were united because they had a core value in common; to live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives, and to see others do the same. 


Thomas, a 4 year member of THE MAX of Bay Ridge, said that this event “was a very special one.” Thomas is elated to be back in the Bay Ridge center after a long 2020, in which he underwent 2 surgeries. With THE MAX, Thomas was able to stay consistent with a meal plan, lose weight, and get his blood pressure down. Thomas said his son is his biggest supporter. He’s stayed consistent with THE MAX for his family, especially his 5 grandchildren who are very happy to see him on this journey.


Janna, who is in the midst of completing her second challenge at THE MAX of Bay Ridge, is attending the Day of Giving as her first in-person event! She said “We’re here as a family to support a wonderful cause. It’s incredible to see the entire community coming out to support this family.” Janna, who has already lost 30 pounds since January, was inspired to become a MAX member by her friend who attended regularly and “looked amazing!” Janna is a huge fan of the virtual option THE MAX offers. She states “I can work out in the comfort of my own home, there’s no driving, and if work gets in the way I can attend class on my own time.” She continued on to say, “We’ve felt so responsible for work and our families lately. It’s important to be there for yourself and value yourself.”


Colleen is an original member of THE MAX of Bay Ridge. Colleen, who was proudly sporting a MAX Day of Giving T-Shirt, said, “Once a year we have the max Day of Giving, we come out as a community and support a different event. It’s amazing to see hundreds of people here with their families and friends supporting the Christian J. Santo foundation.” She is adamant that THE MAX Challenge saved her life. “I lost 70 pounds and I changed my blood test results. Physically it made me able to enjoy events, it made me more confident to go out. When you feel better you look better and you ARE better. THE MAX has done that for me.” Colleen loves the feeling of being part of THE MAX family. “ When you join THE MAX you make lifetime friends who encourage you and hold you accountable. If you don’t show up to class one day they call you to make you come out! With Covid a lot of people slipped and didn’t want to do it, but seeing my friends’ faces on Zoom made me stick it out.” 


It is incredible to get back to one’s roots. THE MAX Day of Giving has done that for members, for owners, and for trainers. It’s time to look forward, full steam ahead, and take hold of the sense of purpose you get from giving back to the community. THE MAX Challenge would like to thank everyone who showed their support during this event. THE MAX encourages you to keep caring for your mind, your body, and your spirit.


[Photo Credit: THE MAX Challenge of Marlboro]

(Livingston, New Jersey – May 10, 2021) The Association for Corporate Growth New Jersey Chapter (ACG NJ) held its sixth annual Corporate Growth Conference and Awards via a virtual gathering this year. 

Brian Buchert, VP Corporate Strategy and M&A  accepted the award on behalf of Church & Dwight, Inc. New Jersey’s leading global consumer products company chosen for its innovative strategies, nurturing a culture that encourages continuous excellence, and demonstrating sustained growth as a result of these efforts. 

Mr. Buchert was joined by Tom Bergeron, Editor & Chief Content Officer of ROI-NJ as well as five NJ-based middle-market companies that were chosen through a nominations process to receive an award.  At last week’s event, each of these leaders shared their insights and real-life experiences via a virtual conference including business owners, service providers and others focused on corporate growth and the M+A community in New Jersey.

This is the sixth year for the ACG NJ’s Corporate Growth Conference and Awards.  Each year in the fall, ACG NJ issues a call for nominations for its prestigious annual award.  The Corporate Growth Award recognizes companies with annual revenues between $5 million and $500 million that exemplify innovation, excellence, and corporate growth. 

 “Annually the awards program draw nominations from some of New Jersey’s most notable companies from those with long records of achievement to firms rapidly rising in the marketplace,” said Michael Givner, President of ACG NJ and President, IMG Business Advisors.

“The Selection Committee had a very difficult decision to make this year with all the exceptional, high quality firms that participated in the nominations process,” said M.J. Jolda, Chair of ACG NJ’s Corporate Growth Conference & Awards and Principal of CMO+Co.  “We are looking forward to another challenging time when we select our 2022 honorees.”

Please add May 5, 2022 to your calendar for The 2022 ACGNJ Corporate Growth Conference and Awards.

For more information about the Association for Corporate Growth NJ or the awards please visit the website at

About the Association for Corporate Growth

About the Association for Corporate Growth: Founded in 1954, ACG is the premier M&A dealmaking community with 59 chapters worldwide. ACG’s global network comprises more than 100,000 middle market professionals who invest, own, and advise growing companies. ACG’s mission is to drive middle-market growth. ACG reaches its audience through its content-rich media channels, including its award-winning flagship publication Middle Market Growth®, which dives into emerging trends, GrowthTV which brings those stories to life and its podcasts that provide in-depth conversations with industry thought leaders. ACG’s content reaches an average daily audience of 30,000 and receives 1 million impressions monthly. ACG’s 13,000 members leverage an array of exclusive benefits rich in dealmaking and networking opportunities and extend to its partnerships with Insperity, Cambridge FX, Grata, Founders Card, CLEAR and more. For more information, please visit or call (855) 224-6500.

Mario Cesario is the owner of THE MAX Challenge of Cranford, New Jersey. He is a successful businessman and fitness entrepreneur. I asked Mario a few questions about the secret to his success, and about his love for THE MAX. 

Can you tell us what it was like opening up THE MAX via the “Express Model” in your karate studio? What was the journey like as you moved from your karate studio to a stand alone center?

Like most business owners, exhilaration, trepidation, excitement and probably half a dozen other emotions cycled through me at any given moment when I decided to purchase a MAX center. Questions such as If I build it, will they come? Will I be able to make a go of this financially?” kept me awake at night. I was already working 60 hours, and possibly as many as 80 hours in a week – how would the extra time commitment of a new business affect my family. And of course, the old chestnut “most new businesses fail within the first five years.” joined in the tape playing in my head.

I already owned Cesar-Kai Karate Academy and planned to hold MAX classes there until I was able to find a suitable place to open up a standalone MAX center.

Opening up THE MAX in our karate studio meant working around existing classes at Cesar-Kai while our new space was located and being built out. Fortunately, our MAX classes were held at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 9:30 a.m.. and 7:30 p.m., so those classes did not interfere with existing Cesar-Kai classes – and because Cesar-Kai studio was 1,200 square feet, there was plenty of room for everyone should a karate class or private lesson overlap with the 7:30 p.m. class. Our MAX classes took off rather quickly – each class hosted 40 – 50 people and by the time we moved into our own space, we had 250 members calling themselves MAXers. There was a unique energy in the space – an anticipation of something new and exciting around the bend.

But our move was not without its challenges. There were the usual musts in starting any business – even one with the amazing support of MAX Corporate. Due diligence, searching for a space, writing a business plan, performing a SWOT analysis, obtaining insurance, financing and equipment and the list goes on. Hiring an architect to design the space. Working with the landlord and contractors to build out the space. Although I had been down this route before with my other businesses, there is always a level of anxiety each time. What if they say “no” and this whole MAX thing falls through? (My Office Manager has an apt saying “If you don’t ask, they can’t say yes.”) Because my sole raison d’état is to help people live happy and healthy lives, I was determined to make the transition from Cesar-Kai to THE MAX not only happen but be a success. And if Cesar-Kai and THE MAX Challenge were going to be a blended family, if only for a short while, we were determined to make it work.

The takeaway is this. Before making your “go/no-go” decision, do your homework. As the old saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.”

What’s your greatest memory thus far of being a MAX owner?                                       

“There are so many wonderful memories, it really is difficult to choose just one. The most rewarding moments are seeing the progress our members make as the challenges advances. A member begins the challenge struggling on the mat – maybe they can’t touch their toes or get down on the floor — and as challenge progresses, they are doing these moves – and more — with ease. Hearing them talk about how they had to buy new clothes because the old ones are too baggy now. MAX Night Out is one evening that always touches my heart. When we award the challenge winner, and they tell their story of how much the MAX means to them, I fight tears every time.”

 How has THE MAX Challenge Corporate helped you and supported you as a business?

“From start-up and marketing support to training, and everything in between, THE MAX Challenge Corporate provides everything an owner needs to be successful. Bryan Klein has assembled a dedicated team that are super responsive to the franchisees. THE MAX Challenge owners and the Corporate staff form a team that is a family. There’s a common phrase we all share which is “We are all in this together”. There is no one who embodies that more than the corporate team.”

 What is your favorite thing about THE MAX?                                                                   

“THE MAX Challenge allows me to give back to the community by helping our members live healthier and longer lives. Our members are our MAX family. Not only do we support our members every step of the way, but our members support each other. There is a symbiotic synergy that makes owning a MAX Challenge center so rewarding. THE MAX really does have the ability to change lives and allow us to give back to the community in a meaningful way.”

What is your work/home/family life balance like as a MAX owner?                                    

 “I am the father of two young daughters and my family life centers around their activities. Owning several businesses means my time is frequently not my own (and my phone rings constantly), but thankfully the solid systems of operations and my rockstar team allows me to regain more of my time. I make it a non-negotiable priority to spend quality time with my daughters, whether it be having dinner together or visiting parks we love, going to the zoo, or watching a movie or playing with our dog, Ninja. As a Dad and business owner, self-care is something in which I also strongly believe. If I’m not at my best, I am no good to anyone.

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about becoming an owner?                             

  “Just do it!”

Mario is a wonderful example of everything that THE MAX stands for. He cares about his community, and each and every individual who walks through the doors of his center to join their MAX family. We are so proud to have leaders like Mario, and the many other inspiring owners and staff members who make THE MAX great. As for any other MAX super-fans out there who are looking to make a change and create their own destiny, Mario said it best. Just do it!

Divya Kapur, owner of THE MAX Challenge of Feasterville did the impossible, against all odds she courageously opened a business in the middle of a pandemic. Now that the one year anniversary of Feasterville’s grand opening is right around the corner, Divya is eager to share her journey over the past year. 


When Divya started at THE MAX, she felt the welcoming energy that we are known for. “I had a warm welcome, this is the place I wanted to be, I had never experienced a studio or a gym like this,” she said. Immediately she knew it was going to be a huge part of her life. “Never in my dreams had I thought I’d be a business owner,” but she found herself taking the plunge. As the pandemic began to shut down businesses all across the country, Divya made the decision to open her center virtually. “The first kick off was unique in the history of THE MAX Challenge, we had the first ever virtual grand opening. Everyone was on zoom and the virtual house was packed! After the kick-off was over, members were allowed to come in and pick up their welcome packets and it was so nice to have the opportunity to meet everyone individually,” Divya remembers. In a time of separation, THE MAX was providing glimmers of hope for a positive future. 


Barb Kennedy, a member of THE MAX Feasterville is one of the many members who made the decision to join the new center. “I saw an advertisement for THE MAX before it was open and pre-pandemic. I met Divya at Neshaminy Mall to get some information and really felt comfortable with her immediately. However, the self-doubt crept back in and I let it go but Divya did NOT,” Barb says. “Once THE MAX of Feasterville was open, Divya called me, encouraged me, made me feel like I deserved a chance and that this experience would possibly change my life.” She was right. 


Divya has a knack for pulling out the strength within her members. “Members are always so excited when they discover an exercise is becoming easier for them, but I let them know it’s not any easier, you’re just stronger!” Barb was able to attest to this, when asked what her proudest moment to date at THE MAX was she said “I’m continuously having proud moments at THE MAX but it’s definitely my newfound strength! Several weeks ago, we were really “leveling up”, trying things out, taking chances and holding longer planks. Our instructors always remind us that we are capable of difficult things. We are stronger than we realize so I was able to hold a plank for 2 minutes and 40 seconds and if you would’ve asked me a month previously, if I thought I could ever do that…my answer would be, ‘no way!’”


Divya’s tenacity and positive outlook provide the push many people need to take the first step. Once members try THE MAX, they are immediately hooked. Barb says, “What makes The Max so special is certainly the people and the way you feel like you’re not just a number. Everyone knows my name. We know each other’s goals and achievements, we take the time to motivate each other and clap it up for everyone whether it’s your first day or your 104th day. That’s because of the environment created there by Divya and our instructors. We talk, we laugh, we swap pointers, we sweat, we sing, we dance, we punch and kick during kick-boxing Fridays, we even share doubts and get each other back on track. You can be on your own fitness journey but you’re definitely not alone at THE MAX and that makes it a really special place to be a part of.”

THE MAX Challenge is pleased to announce the newest location on the map, The Max Challenge of Westerville, Ohio! They proudly opened their doors on Sunday, April 10th to an eager new family of 26 MAX Challenge members. The grand opening event was led by Maria Rademaker, the owner of THE MAX of Westerville. Maria is a wife, mom to twin kindergarten girls, a fitness instructor and a former corporate marketing professional. She is originally from Centerville, OH and an OSU grad, so to her, Columbus felt like home.  

Maria described what motivated her to take a leap of faith and become an owner. “I became a fitness instructor four years ago and quickly learned helping others feel their best through fitness is my passion! But what I continuously noticed is the lack of results people were getting despite grinding at the gym, which ultimately led to frustration and quitting. Usually a piece of the puzzle was missing… they weren’t doing an effective mix of workout styles, they weren’t focused on their nutrition, or they weren’t being held accountable. Then I discovered THE MAX Challenge. It combines fun and effective group fitness classes, nutrition coaching, and a high level of motivation and accountability to help people make lasting changes to their body composition, fitness level and overall health in just 10 weeks. We needed this in Ohio!”

Maria’s positive attitude provides contagious inspiration to each person participating in her classes. You know she is rooting for you each step of the way. One of Maria’s Westerville members notes, “Maria is super positive, motivated, and passionate about helping others. She even holds multiple meetings per week for all of the team members to just chat with each other. Maria’s smile lights up a room and her positive energy can encourage and motivate anyone through the challenge.”

THE MAX Challenge is extremely excited to see where Maria will take her business, there is no doubt a bright and healthy future for Westerville, Ohio lies ahead. 

THE MAX Challenge is proud to announce that CEO and founder Bryan Klein is being honored with the ACG NJ Corporate Growth Award! He will be speaking on his experiences and sharing how he has guided THE MAX Challenge in excellence and innovation to achieve extraordinary growth at the ACG NJ virtual event taking place on May 6, 2021. This event, originally scheduled for 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bryan and other leaders in business will be discussing what it takes to survive during unprecedented times. The ceremony will also feature networking opportunities before, during and after the conference with senior corporate executives, business owners, investors, as well as professional and business advisors.

“Bryan Klein is a serial entrepreneur, visionary, and has a brilliant mind for sales and marketing. He opened the doors to his first business at just 18 years old and quickly rose to the top of his industry, receiving accolades and awards for his success.

Throughout his career, one thing has remained consistent; his unrelenting desire to help people become the best version of themselves. In 2011, he founded THE MAX Challenge, a program designed to fill a massive void in the fitness industry. Bryan noticed that, though gym membership sales were up, so too were cases of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Further, even those around him who did go to the gym, simply weren’t getting anywhere. THE MAX Challenge was designed to help people to finally achieve their health and fitness goals by way of a comprehensive, integrated system of fitness, nutrition, and unmatched motivation and support.

Bryan opened THE MAX Challenge’s first location in Manalapan, NJ with just 32 members. Within six months he grew his member base to 500 members, and to date, THE MAX Challenge has inspired more than 100,000 transformations throughout the United States.

Over the course of the pandemic, THE MAX Challenge quickly pivoted to continue supporting members in the virtual space. In just 48 hours, the classes, nutritional support, and community that THE MAX is known for, were brought entirely online. The organization’s quick move was supported by Klein’s philosophy that today’s successful companies need to be open, flexible and nimble – ready to reinvent themselves and take risks. This, paired with THE MAX Challenge’s commitment to do the right thing by the communities they serve is one of the many things that makes this organization truly special and primed for ongoing growth.

The rapid expansion of THE MAX Challenge is the result of Bryan’s vision, experience, and his ability to motivate and inspire those around him to go big, push harder, and never ever give up.”  


If you would like to register for the event on May 6th, 2021 from 8:30 – 10:30 am EST at no cost to you, please CLICK HERE!

The annual MAX Day of Giving, this year taking place on May 15th, 2021, is an event where centers across the country host events to raise funds for charities in their local communities. This year, THE MAX Challenge of Marlboro has chosen a cause very near and dear to their hearts, and have already received a tremendous outpouring of support. “This year we have chosen Stephy’s Place as our Day of Giving charity,” said Randi Leib, the owner of THE MAX Challenge of Marlboro. “Stephy’s Place is a grief counseling center out of Red Bank that offers their services free of charge to anyone that lost a spouse, parent or child.” They have chosen Stephy’s Place in honor of their late member, Todd Levine.

Randi opened up to us about Todd, a valued member of their MAX family for over 6 years and a personal friend. “Todd was a regular at the 6am class, rarely missing a day,” she told us. “He stood front and center, a larger than life physical presence always there to make everyone laugh with his dry sense of humor. Todd was a huge part of THE MAX of Marlboro family and a close personal friend to many of us. His presence is greatly missed! We decided on this charity after Todd’s wife Judy told me that she found Stephy’s Place extremely helpful to her and their kids, Hailey and Jack.”

Members of THE MAX Challenge are unlike members from any regular gym. They have a knack for always showing up and supporting one another. “We always say we are a family and this couldn’t be more obvious than during this grieving process,” Randi said of her members. “The outpouring of love and support we received from our members has been nothing short of incredible. Members that didn’t even know Todd have been supporting our efforts by sponsoring classes in Todd’s memory. They see how important Todd and this year’s event is to us, so they are 100% invested in making this year’s Day of Giving a huge success.”

This year, THE MAX Challenge of Marlboro has partnered with Monmouth Gymnastics who will be hosting a MAX charity class on May 15th at their facility. Between now and then members and non-members are sponsoring classes in honor or in memory of someone. They’re invited to attend and talk about who they’re dedicating the class to. THE MAX of Marlboro is also hosting a trainer’s challenge where members can challenge Rich Spear (their lead trainer) and Randi to do burpees. “I guess you can call that payback!” said Randi.

To learn more about Stephy’s Place, visit their website ( 

Part 3/3: Roseann Camarda  “We are a family now more than ever”


Sticking to a fitness regimen for an extended period of time is an incredible feat. It is an accomplishment that is guaranteed to instill in you an intense feeling of gratification. For Roseann Camarda, owner of 3 THE MAX Challenge locations across Staten Island, ‘sticking with it’ is an understatement. Roseann is a MAX Challenge veteran. She has been a member of THE MAX for over 10 years, and an owner for over 7. She is a shining example of the success one can attain when making the life altering decision to go into business for oneself.


Roseann has been happily married for 32 years, is a mother of 3 and a grandmother, and served 21 years at Staten Island University Hospital. After chasing her dreams of becoming a MAX Challenge franchisee, she checked every single item off of her bucket list; from taking a two week vacation to Europe, to being able to purchase a summer home. However, as we soon discovered, no one in the United States was safe from feeling the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Roseann and her NYC centers were hit hard, and ended up closing their doors entirely for a full year. But for Roseann, everything comes with a silver lining. When I spoke with her, I learned of her astounding ability to turn the bad into the good. 


From March 13th, 2020 to March 17th, 2021 all three of Roseann’s Staten Island THE MAX Challenge locations sat empty and silent, echoing the absence of members and staff that once filled them. Roseann was quick to get to work when it was announced that fitness studios would be closed to the public in NYC due to COVID. Only a few days after the announcement was made, Roseann was running 4 zoom classes per day for each of her locations. She taught 2 of these classes herself, and the rest were taught by ex-staff members who chose to teach as volunteers. “I have an unbelievable staff who volunteered their time and led classes on an everyday basis,” says Roseann. “I couldn’t have done it without my manager, Michelle, and my instructors, Amanda and Liz. Without them we couldn’t have gone forward. Their strength, their positivity, and their good hearts inspired me to just keep going.” 


In true MAX fashion, Roseann says that her main motivator during tough times was her members. “My biggest motivator is my members and how much they wanted to continue with me, how much they supported me, and how they held my hand throughout the year. We’ve always been a family, always a MAX family. I am a member before I am an owner.” I was lucky enough to speak with Roseann after the announcement on March 17th, 2021 that group fitness could once again open up in NYC. She made a point to bring up what a vital role the New York Fitness Coalition played in both her own experience, and in the fight to reopen group fitness studios across NYC. “The New York Fitness Coalition pointed me in the right direction. They were my source of what to do and how to do it, and they are why we are able to open right now.”


Roseann had to pivot her entire business plan for far longer than anyone could ever have anticipated. I couldn’t help but wonder if that impacted her feelings about her career. “When you are ahead of the game you may start to lose your passion a little bit,” she began, referring to her many years of experience in the industry. “But right now, I am more passionate about it than I was ten years ago. We are coming back full force. What we have right now, we didn’t have 7 years ago. It doesn’t matter how high our numbers are, what I feel right now is beyond anything financially that I’ve ever experienced. We are ready to come back, and I am with them the whole way.” Even though the pandemic has forced many people to make tough financial decisions, Roseann held on strongly to a base of regulars. She is happy that she got an opportunity to grow closer to members from all locations who attend various class times.  She goes on to say, “It feels like it did when I just started; so much personal interaction and that’s what THE MAX is about. We are about knowing our members. Sometimes you have to back up and realize what you have, and I realize that now.” It’s no secret why many of Roseann’s members across Staten Island are reeling to come back.


Roseann is a deeply caring person. The emotions she feels for her members come through in everything she does, from her dedication to them through tough times, to the way she speaks about them, to the amount of meticulous planning she is overseeing during the reopening. Roseann wants members to feel as comfortable as possible while things slowly begin to return to normal. She would like her members to remember, “It’s not ‘Roseann’s’ rules, it’s NYC’s rules. My main goal is to keep my staff and my members healthy. My staff will help members get through it. I will help them get through it. I am only a phone call away if anyone is feeling uncomfortable. But as I like to tell people, sometimes you have to get a little uncomfortable to reach your goal.” As her centers prepare to reopen, Roseann is providing educational zoom meetings with Q&A sessions to help members become acquainted with new procedures. She tells me that her last zoom call had over 200 individuals participating. “I will do it until we are ready to open those doors,” she states. 


The last year has undoubtedly been one of mixed emotions for Roseann. Through all of the uncertainty she has been a pillar of strength for her community. She apologizes to me as tears begin to fill her eyes, “When I went to bed on March 17th, it was the first night that I didn’t have to say I’m sorry. I didn’t have to think, are my centers going to open up again? What is my future? I went to bed March 17th, and I slept sound, knowing we were going to move ahead.” Roseann is an incredibly inspiring person, and a true testament to the values behind THE MAX Challenge. She persevered through everything the world had to throw at her, and she came out the leader of a committed community. “We are a family now more than ever.”


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