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Max Velocity Fitness Retains Members With Small Classes, Personalized Attention

By Pamela Sosnowski

Although American health clubs usually see a bump in membership at the start of each year, it's been estimated that at least half of all new members quit within six months according to a 2012 study by the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association. Max Velocity Fitness of Queens, however, may have found the secret to "stickiness": by keeping class sizes really small and giving one-on-one personalized attention to each member.

"Our small group training sessions are limited to five athletes, so everyone gets personally coached," owner and founder Ken Berger said. "The members love the personal attention while still experiencing the camaraderie and motivation of training with a group. Everyone feels comfortable and included, and we all share in everyone's achievements and struggles."

Max Velocity Fitness understands that everyone starts a gym membership with their own unique set of fitness strengths and challenges. That's why each new member undergoes a functional movement screening, which Berger said helps determine the best and safest workout regimen for them. The screening identifies any imbalances, instabilities, and mobility restrictions a new client has.

"This allows us to design the proper corrective exercise program and identify which movements can be performed safely and which exercises should be modified or avoided," Berger said.

The reaction has been resoundingly positive. Max Velocity Fitness opened in September 2016 and since then has accumulated several customer reviews online that rave about its tight-knit community, non-intimidating atmosphere, and variety of training.

"Having a trained eye focused on your movement and form is critical to being successful with any fitness program," Berger said. "In our small, close-knit classes, our trainers are aware of everyone's strengths and weaknesses, and we take the time to learn about each client; not just their fitness level, but also their story (i.e., their 'why?')."

In addition to the small group training, one-on-one personal training is also available. These workouts are completely customized to the client's needs and goals and are completed in 12-week sessions that focus on strength, total fitness, or hypertrophy (muscle growth). The workouts get varied so the member never grows bored. Workout tracking software shows each participant the progress they're making.

Then there are the MaxFit classes that accommodate more members than the small group training, but still keep the size manageable so no one is overlooked during a workout. Max Velocity promises a class free from disco lights, blaring music, and an instructor yelling into a microphone. There are three classes in the MaxFit program: MaxFit 40, a 40-minute core and conditioning class; Strength, which consists of pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying heavy objects; and Speed & Power, the grown-up version of the youth class, where members are put through their paces on an agility course. The last two classes are offered during the fall and winter.

Max Velocity also offers nutritional coaching, with meal plans made of "real" food. The website states that the program has helped more than 45,000 people lose one million pounds of fat. The gym's Youth Speed & Agility program is the only one of its kind in the area, and is suitable for young athletes from elementary school age through high school and college.

A free trial is available for all new members before they decide to commit to a membership. Max Velocity Fitness is open seven days a week and located at 34-28 214th Place in Queens.

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