CrossFit Senec: Elite Fitness in a Small Town in Slovakia

  • Name of Box: CrossFit Senec
  • Owner of the Box: Róbert Rybanský

Which values, and philosophies form the base for your work?

Since I opened my first gym, a lot of everything had changed. My vision was to raise strong and competitive athletes. However, once my business partner Peter and I, opened CrossFit Senec that realization, that this is probably not the right way to go, sunk in.

After working with Peter and new members of our box, I started to realize, that having the best people in the box is way more important that having best athletes. Simply put, I prefer working with an amazing community of fitness enthusiasts rather than simply the best athletes.

What’s your biggest motivation to run a Box?

Daily we meet people, older, younger, teenagers, middle aged mothers and fathers, that are unfit, overweight or not, their bodies are simply not functioning well.

There is pain, laziness, many times sickness, underperformance… I understand that I can’t “fix” the world, but in CrossFit Senec I am able to help, or at least stir, a few hundred people to better health, fitness and an overall good feel.

In the long run, the satisfaction of our members and their progress is my biggest motivation to carry on running my box.

Who helped you the most on your way to your own Box?

It was a long journey, with great people along the way. Five years ago, an idea was born to open my own gym, with the help of my friend Tomas (also a business partner in my first gym), and it unraveled from there… with new members and new friendships the idea grew bigger.

I wanted to own a CrossFit box! But I had to gain the education and financial backing, and with my new business partner Peter, we applied for the CrossFit license, moved to a bigger space, got better equipment. All that with the help, patience and never-ending support of my friends, girlfriend, family and the most amazing community of members that any box owner can wish for.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your everyday life as a Box owner?

The day to day functioning of the Box.

It’s a daily focus and planning of short-term and long-term schedules and WODs, forecasting, coming up with new ideas for improvements, constant thinking how to do more, what can be done different, what can be done better, to motivate people, while keeping it fun, moving forward.

What’s your favorite part of your day?

Har har ? best part of my work day, is that precious sliver of time between morning and afternoon schedules, when I can focus on myself, to get my training done, go for a trail run to clear my head, or to rock climb a new trail, and of course time spent with my girlfriend.

What kind of competitions do you, or would like to, hold in your box?

I believe that we already have some seriously amazing competitions between our box members.

We do team challenges during the Open, hold Team X-mas and Summer Challenge every year, do Halloween, Christmas, New Year and other seasonal specialty workouts. One of our very popular annual events is CFSC UNION, various charity/fundraiser WOD events to support our community. This is building better and stronger relationships of our members and trainers.

Every member is different, how do you cater to all of them individually?

For me its important to know my members, not just their name and what they do for living, but what are their plans for future, who they are, what makes them tick?

Its psychology, to find the right attitude and communication style for each person. Someone can handle abrasive jokes, another person would get offended. I am looking for balance… I spend time with almost every member weekly, I don’t train WODs, I spend time in the box, over a coffee or a protein drink, I take interest in what they do, how they progress, what their problems are, what they are facing in their personal lives… this way I get people to open up and usually share very valuable feedback and ideas, that’s the best way to progress.

What’s your biggest goal for the future?

My goal for our box, that I wrote on my white board two years ago, was to get the word out about CrossFit Senec, to have people in Europe, not just Slovakia, hear about us. It’s a long hard road, but doable, so I keep working on it.

My personal goal is to share knowledge and know how. Initially I wanted to establish good quality CrossFit in a small town, when no one had ever heard of CrossFit. I realised that it could be done. Currently we have 180 members and are growing.

What makes your BOX unique?

Currently there is not much difference in Box set up, equipment and classes they run, these days this is not the way to measure good quality box.

What is unique in CrossFit Senec is the community, family feel, that is obvious to anyone who visits. We have solid, personable, unpretentious trainers, who are very invested to do the best possible work.

To find good and solid employees is not easy, I try to spot talent early, and raise our trainers from our family of members.

Describe your members in 3 words:


What other passions do you enjoy beside CrossFit?

I love nature and my passions are trail running, hiking and rock climbing.

What’s your personal favorite WOD that you have designed yourself?

‘’Never Ever‘’ for time:

50-40-30-20-10 KB Swing @24/12kg

50-40-30-20-10 Box jump

200-200-200-200-200m Run

Is there anything you would change in your career if you could?

I used to be a bartender with a personal trainer gig on the side. Yes, a bartender ?

I am satisfied with my CrossFit journey, and would not change a thing. My role has evolved over time as have the classes. I train our trainers and I concentrate on management of the establishment, this was one of the hardest decisions but a good one.

What is the Slovak CrossFit scene like?

My feeling is that people are still discovering what CrossFit is. Owners of Slovak boxes are doing a good job, training people properly and explaining what CrossFit has to offer. New boxes are popping up, and I think that Slovakia is in a good spot. I also hope this would help to create a stronger promotion of CrossFit in Slovakia.

Training Tips

How important is goal setting for individual CrossFit atheletes?

Goals are important, everyone who starts CrossFit has goals or at least some expectations. If not the environment will teach them to start making goals. Its important to track progress, only then does all the hard work makes sense.

What one piece of advice should CrossFit beginners always follow?

Don’t go into it with the vision of immediate results, everyone should learn technique and proper movements first, improve strength and conditioning, then the real results will come.

What are the best methods to go back to training after an injury?

Best way is to return to training as soon as possible, if possible, start with one to one individually tailored training, as a group training can be overwhelming and push too much too fast.

How do you motivate members to stick to a nutrition plan?

Once a year we hold Nutritional challenge, our next one is planned for September. Here members motivate and support each other, it’s harder to give up with this support system.

We also organize seminars with nutritional coaches, we talk about nutrition often, and try to help understand the effect proper nutrition has on performance, stamina, and reaching their goals.

Learn more about CrossFit Senec




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