Health and wellness is a family affair for David and Sean Collins, the father-and-son team behind Jersey City’s first Max Challenge Fitness location.
David, who lives in Scotch Plains, grew up in Jersey City and is also a pharmacist at a Newark Avenue drug store. His wife is a nurse, and his son Sean has been a personal trainer for five years.
But the Collinses didn’t get into the Max Challenge until David’s niece Amanda Ramchandani and her husband Dinesh told them about the 10-week fitness and nutrition program.
“My niece is allergic to a lot of things and Dinesh was overweight, but he lost around 25 pounds through the program,” said David. “And what really captured them was the community atmosphere in the gym. It’s a family atmosphere and everyone exchanges cell phone numbers, go out to eat…it’s a whole big community.”
Sean added that the program is a refreshing change from the big-box gym model that he says isn’t enough to help people make quick but lasting lifestyle changes.
“At big box gyms we didn’t offer enough to people to help them see the results they wanted. Even if you came twice a week, that’s not enough, and if they don’t have nutritional counseling they won’t be seeing those results,” said Sean.
Inspired by the Ramchandanis, who now run three Max Challenge Fitness locations in other parts of New Jersey, the Collins family decided to bring the franchise to JC.
Clients who sign up for the 10-week program get fitness classes up to five days a week as well as nutritional counseling and support.
“All you have to do is show up and do what the trainer says. They’re 45-minute workouts that are fun, either everyone cheering everyone one,” said Sean. “And it’s all at a much lower price than if you went to hire a personal trainer and nutritionist, which could run you thousands of dollars.”
After the 10 weeks, clients can continue in a month-to-month program as legacy members.
“It’s really a lifetime transformation,” said David. “Our family has always been in healthcare, so this captured everything into one big capsule for us.”
Being at the Brunswick Center is also poignant for David, who attended elementary school when the location was home to Holy Rosary.
“My whole family–me, my two brothers and my three sisters–all went to that school. It’s kind of weird seeing it as commercial studios and remembering the principal’s office and stuff, but it’s perfect,” said David.
“It’s a great space as far as the vibe and it’s philosophy is perfect for our business–it’s people coming together to create a healthy community. Everyone walking in wants to make healthy improvements in their life and that’s what we’re all about.”