It’s always customary to get to know the brains behind these fitness facilities. It’s even more relatable when you see they aren’t owned by big businesses, but by people who truly want to extend the experiential offerings of varying workouts to the world around them. Jeanette Simon is the Founder and Owner of FLEX Studios who’s background of high-profile event planning drained her more than revitalized her life. While on vacation in Brazil, Jeanette decided it was time to make the switch over to health and fitness.  In 2012, she gave birth to FLEX Studios.

Recently, Jeanette gave us further insight to their concept, their teachers, and advice for those taking the very scary fitness plunge.

How did the concept of FLEX Studios come about?
It started when I moved back to New York. I had been in San Francisco for a few years and I was looking for a sort of “happy place” in New York City that people could walk into and almost breathe a sigh of relief. The studio had to incorporate Pilates as well as a heavier cardio workout that would supplement the lengthening and toning clients would get from Pilates; enter FLexBarre and FlexTRX.

What is the primary mission of the studio and what students are to get out of it?
The primary mission is for people to leave feeling healthier, stronger and happier than when they entered 55 minutes earlier.

Have you always been into fitness or did wellness just happen some point in life?
I’ve always been active but I had a career in corporate event planning before I opened the studio. I really fell into fitness after a double knee surgery in my 20s .

Rachel Nicks at the Union Square location was up for Women’s Health Next Fitness Star, do all of teachers have similar extensive training?
Yes, you will find that all of our instructors come to us certified in anatomy and Pilates before we will certify them on our FlexFormer.  They are the most interesting, hard working group of people you will meet – backgrounds span from NYC Rockettes, Broadway dancers, actors, spin instructors. We believe there is a teacher here for everyone!

Fitness is a huge way of life in New York, often times intimidating. What tips do you have for people who are too scared to enter a fitness arena?
I get it – it’s scary to walk into a new studio, unsure of the workout and it’s hard to be the new person in class. So at FLEX we strive to make the environment a welcoming one from the second you walk in the door. Some tips would be to grab a friend and tackle it together. Check out a studio’s website – see if you like their vibe. Do a little research on the instructors – see if anything in their bio resonates. And keep in mind, everyone was new once! Take inspiration from those around you and see how strong they are as a result of the class you’re in!