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Hidden Gems: Meet Michael Stolnicki of Legends Boxing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Stolnicki. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
For the past 20 years, I worked on a team that created custom compliance-based training courses for corporations, large and small. There was little job satisfaction even when the course was outstanding because the end-user of the training was usually mandated to complete it. As the training company wound down, I wanted to find something more enjoyable. 

Ten years ago, I started running and since have run a dozen marathons. The people I have met during my training and the races have always been an upbeat, happy group. I discovered the enjoyment encouraging and guiding people on their journey towards their own fitness goals. So, I decided to look for a fitness-based company where I could work with people who really wanted the product we provided and were just as excited about it when they left as when they arrived. 

After looking at many different companies, I came across Legends Boxing through a franchise consultant. Legends Boxing fit perfectly. Their core focus is to improve lives by teaching real boxing. They are big enough that they have a good franchise system in place and small enough where my voice will be heard, and I can get personal attention. The founder and lead team at Legends is very motivated and great group of people to work with. 

My business partner, Rick Vlasic who I’ve worked with for almost 40 years, and I bought into the Legends Boxing franchise system as the first location in the Midwest in 2019. Our timing couldn’t have been much worse. We signed the lease on the first location in December 2019 and right as we were starting to begin the buildout, COVID shut everything down. After 2 long years, we finally opened for business in December 2021! 

We successfully opened with a strong head coach, Greg Mundth, gym manager Taylor Schultz, and a good-sized Founders Club membership. Our members’ abilities and experience are all over the map. Our beginners are quickly learning the proper form and techniques of boxing, while our more experienced members are refining their abilities. Each of our classes is an hour-long, led by our coach, and our members all get a full-body workout while learning real boxing. 

After our Rochester Hills gym is firmly established, I look forward to opening several more Legends Boxing Gyms in the area and through Michigan. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We signed the lease on the location for our gym in December 2019. We started work with our architect early 2020, and then COVID hit. The building department shut down. Our architect got pulled into some urgent hospital upgrade projects. It took us almost a year to get a building permit so we could begin construction. As soon as we started the build-out, we ran into labor and extreme product shortages. Just to paint the ceiling for the gym we had to scour the surrounding states to find the proper materials. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Legends Boxing?
Legends Boxing is a boutique fitness gym. Like most boutique fitness places, our members get a great workout during each class. But what makes us unique is that while getting that great full-body workout, our members are learning a skill. We teach real boxing form and technique.

What is the best exercise? The one you do! Our classes are a combination of core, speed, and strength exercises combined with the mental and physical aspects of boxing. This mixture keeps our members interested each class as their own form and techniques improve.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Perseverance – There were so many additional obstacles that we had to navigate to get our gym open. The architect, building department, contractors, materials, you name it, the COVID pandemic affected every part of the process to get open. We had to be flexible and nimble to adjust to the delays and hurdles. 

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