Philipp Jung uses equipment at FlexWerk that is custom-made by an Italian company. (Photo by Ethan Wang/Reverie Pictures)
In his more than 20 years in the fitness industry, Steve Peart has quickly risen from personal trainer to senior level manager.
He and his teams’ success depended on the ability to build relationships, listen to fitness professionals about the problems they faced and work to provide efficient and effective solutions, he said. Along the way, he realized that one of his long-held desires—to be his own boss—was something that most fitness professionals also wanted, and he believed that his years of experience could be used to refine a concept that would make it possible. for more of them.
After seven years of planning, FlexWerk opened in early April at 885 Monon Green Boulevard, Suite 120, in downtown Carmel. It contains several private spaces with premium fitness equipment and integrated technology that fitness professionals can book by the hour to train clients or create fitness content that can be streamed to viewers online.
“In one day, you could go from being an employee to your own branded entrepreneurial business, and you’d be paying for it as you go, like an Uber ride, instead of a long-term lease, contract or rental,” Peart said. “We’ve created this massive migration opportunity for millions of professionals around the world to take that step.”
While FlexWerk’s headquarters in Carmel doesn’t have room for that many customers, Peart isn’t exaggerating his goals. He built the concept to grow and had already signed a franchise agreement before the first location debuted, and he is in the early stages of opening the brand’s second location in downtown Indianapolis. Also, his main investor in the company lives in Japan and has secured the rights to build the brand there. Others have expressed interest in bringing FlexWerk to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia, Peart said.
With FlexWerk’s expansion, all locations will feature several concepts—identified and refined by Pirt over decades of working in the fitness industry—that make the brand unique. It all begins when customers walk through the door, entering an elegant yet simple lobby where they are greeted by a non-distracted staff member.
“(We) use technology operations designed to minimize mundane tasks to enhance people’s ability to do what people do best, which is engagement,” Peart said.
Guests use their smartphones to reserve space at FlexWerk, unlock the facility’s doors and connect to a TV that can stream music or video while working out. The lighting in each space can be customized to create the perfect atmosphere for individual customers. The technology ecosystem was animated by The Premier Group, a firm located less than a mile north of FlexWerk that Peart found during a national search.
The spaces at FlexWerk feature custom-made lifting racks and modular systems from the Italian company Pirt, discovered during consultations on the design and construction of gyms in Israel. Even the floor is a “first-of-its-kind innovation,” Peart said, describing it as a seamless lifting platform that will safely absorb the impact of heavy weights dropped on its surface.
Pat Sharett, owner of Elite Fitness Systems, primarily worked with clients in their homes, often spending much of the day in his vehicle traveling between appointments. He now schedules roughly 20 sessions a week at FlexWerk, a space he says still provides privacy for his clients but offers an upgrade with premium equipment.
“I was confined to my car and it was harder to network, traveling from house to house, town to town,” said Sharett, a Westfield resident. “FlexWerk gives me more networking opportunities, and if you’re looking for a wow factor, I’ve seen an easier sell on FlexWerk.”
Hourly rates at FlexWerk start at $16 to book a spot. The facility is open to the public, not just fitness professionals and their clients, and Peart said the cost can be split between two to four people using a space at a time. FlexWerk is open from 5am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 6am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Learn more at FlexWerkFitness.com.
Although FlexWerk founder Steve Peart expects the brand to branch out globally, he plans to keep its headquarters — and his family — in Carmel. He and his wife, Janice, who co-owns FlexWerk, are native Californians, but they knew they wanted to take the brand elsewhere.
A needs analysis narrowed their future home down to two cities: Carmel or Southlake, Texas. After visiting both areas, the Pearts decided to move to the Carmel area, purchasing a “sight unseen” home in a town where they knew no one. They haven’t looked back.
“I want — from Carmel, Indiana — to turn this thing into a phenomenon. I want to be able to provide the tools and resources for fitness professionals to be their own boss,” Peart said.