Arthur Schlecht, the new owner of Stratiform Fitness — formerly known as Flex — is passionate about fitness, nutrition and health.
When the former Palmetto High School student and commodities broker learned that the gym, located at 8815 SW 131 St., was for sale, he jumped on the opportunity to take this family-friendly fitness place to a new level.
“I know fitness,” Schlecht said. “I’ve been a member of practically every gym and spa in Miami. Stratiform is like a big, family fitness center. It’s like walking into a coffee shop, everyone is so friendly.
There are no airs here.”
Schlecht, a former University of Florida football player with a degree in finance from Florida International University, understands that being healthy is the key to living a good life. Always into sports and fitness, a few years ago Schlecht became out-of shape and said he felt “disgusted with himself.” He went to Flex to train with former friend, baseball player and personal trainer Pete Fonesca. Fonesca knew about the connection between healthy eating and proper form. Flex became Schlecht’s “home away from home” for the next few years. When Fonesca learned that the gym was for sale, he mentioned it to Schlecht. The timing was right. Schlecht, who had sold his national commodities firm five years earlier, was ready to clean it up and make it state-of-the art.
“I wanted to do something meaningful with my life,” he said. “I have been so blessed and fortunate; I have a wonderful wife and two sons, now I want to make a real difference in other people’s lives.”
Schlecht worked with many gym members who provided their professional expertise to retrofit Stratiform, which is now ready and open to help people reach their 2011 health and fitness goals. Members old and new will enjoy newly, purchased state-of-the-art equipment, new Nike Grind rubber floors, video and audio monitors, a high-tech cardio deck and remodeled bathrooms with lockers.
Mo Soriano, a 14-year personal trainer, says that he has seen families successfully incorporate fitness into their lives.
“I’ve seen three generations of families grow up here,” Soriano said. “Families get to know each other and make working out a family affair. Stratiform offers something for every member of the family.”
Schlecht has personally seen how fitness can help people overcome their troubles.
“One member was having trouble with his teenage son,” he said. “I told him that they need to do things together, father and son. So they started training together. The other day he expressed his thanks for the advice and told me that is son is doing much better, that his boy felt so much better about himself. Helping people makes me feel really good.”
The poor state of nutrition and general lack of fitness in the United States irks Schlecht and he hopes to do something about it. In addition to working with kids from local schools and colleges, one of Schlecht’s goals is to obtain grants that will enable him to create healthy fitness programs for underprivileged kids.
“I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” he said.
In addition to Wi-Fi, smoothies and health foods from Here Comes the Sun, Schlecht says his certified and insured trainers will offer complimentary sessions for an initial period and there is no rent for trainers and their clients who are members of the gym. Stratiform offers Spinning, Yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit, Boot Camp and special classes for seniors. Yearly membership is $325 and special rates are available for families, teachers, military personnel, firemen and police.
For information, call 786-429-1025.