More branches and the best possible service. That’s our top priority, say the Max Fitness founders

Even though expansion to other cities is not on their agenda at the moment, Max Fitness network owners are going to continue the network expansion process in the capital. “If, for example, developers from Prague have a project in the pipeline for which they need a stable partner, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact us. Space over 1,000 square meters suits our needs the most, and we would like to find three or four more suitable locations this year,” says Mr. Hovorka.

Last year, the two gentlemen invested in enlarging their branch in Bila Labut. The gym area has been significantly enlarged along with the facilities, a sauna, and a recovery zone, now covering nearly 3,000 square meters. In addition, the owners have also set aside a ladies-only workout area in the fitness centre. “We made this decision following our female trainers’ feedback. Many women are shy or don’t want to exercise around men for whatever reason, but they still want to work out. Our Ladies fitness zone makes them feel comfortable,” explains Mr. Hovorka.

According to Radim Hovorka, the fact that every fitness centre client has slightly different needs and preferences is one of the biggest challenges of this business. “Running a fitness centre is costly. There are costs associated with the building, the acquisition of fitness equipment, and the employment of a large number of staff. We also have to satisfy a wide range of clients, each of them with different motivation and goals for coming to our fitness centre,” comments Mr. Hovorka on the specifics of the business.

We use our financial resources to open new branches. We reinvest the profit we make in our network. Whether in the opening of new fitness centres or innovation of existing ones.

Radim Hovorka, Max Fitness co-owner

A “feel-like-home” experience in all of our fitness centres

Free coffee before a workout, free towel rental, sauna included in the entrance fee or pleasant environment. Those are some of the advantages that Max Fitness wants to differentiate itself from the competition. Radim Hovorka says they try to make sure their branches differ as little as possible so that their clients can always enjoy the “feel-like-home” experience.

The owners believe that beginners in particular, who have just started going to the gym, should feel comfortable in fitness centres. “Regardless of the size of the centre, we don’t want our clients to feel nervous because of the gym environment. Overall, we value closer relationships and community building,” says Radim Hovorka. He adds that clients who meet regularly on certain days often get to know each other more and then motivate each other during workouts.

Passes, also known as the “multiclub” option, is another service the Max Fitness network offers its clients. “A single membership grants you access to all of our branches. We introduced this based on our experience and our data confirm clients like to use the passes,” he says. Thanks to that, Max Fitness clients can go to a fitness centre near their home as well as their workplace.

The fitness network owners would also like to offer their clients other body care services. These services should include massages, manicures, hairdressing, or nutrition consultancy. We are therefore looking for their suppliers. “They could benefit from our strength. Our major advantage is a high number of social media followers that we’re very happy about,” adds Radim Hovorka.

The newest Max Fitness branch in OC Atrium Flora

When nothing can be done

Things didn’t always go as smoothly as the owners wanted. The period they’d rather forget was the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions associated with it. Fitness centres stayed closed for a long time and were among businesses the pandemic hit the hardest. “It was a terrible feeling of despair and helplessness. We were closed for around 18 months in total. There was nothing we could do but wait,” remembers Radim Hovorka.

But he sees one positive thing about the pandemic. “People realized how important exercise is for their health. Those who were active and exercised regularly were the least susceptible population group. And I see effects of that today, in the post-covid times. It’s not about preparing for a competition or sticking to pointless diets, but about finding a healthy balance,” he explains. He adds that a growing sports community, be it at work or elsewhere, attracts more people.

Incorrect exercise technique can hinder coveted progress and result in various injuries.

Radim Hovorka, Max Fitness co-owner
Max Fitness centre in OC Atrium Flora

Text: Radka Balajková
Photos: Zdeněk Kintr

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Published in 2024.