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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Kam PanesarAwakn: Founder and CEO

Years of studying the greats – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs – combined with my own life lessons – led to the Awakn 7 pillars process and my goal to Awakn London

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 1
Panesar worked at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan before leaving to launch his own fitness studio
Panesar worked at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan before leaving to launch his own fitness studio

Why did you decide to launch your own fitness studio?
I come from a very humble background. Even though I grew up in a tiny house and went to an unknown school, I always believed that through hard work anything was possible. So, when I set my sights on working at elite organisations such as Goldman Sachs, I knew I had to sacrifice everything and outwork the competition.

While working at Goldman Sachs, I wanted to push further so I left to complete my MBA, passing with a distinction and started work in Canary Wharf, as a vice president at JP Morgan.

During these years, I began to really invest in my own personal fitness, spending a lot of time working out in various gyms, but always feeling there was something lacking in the market.

I knew I could create something special, so in August 2017 I started work on a business plan. Two months later I left banking to make my wild dream of Awakn’ing the Wharf come true. I had no site, network, team or income, but had the motivating factors of a monster mortgage and a one-year old baby! Going back to banking wasn’t an option, because once you’ve shown the desire to make your own way in life, banks blacklist you!

What is Awakn?
Awakn is a luxury, boutique fitness studio in the heart of Canary Wharf. Our superstar trainers take our customers on a journey to awakn their inner power in order to become the strongest versions of themselves – both physically and mentally. I have always been obsessed with what makes someone elite while others fail to fulfil their maximum potential. Years of studying the greats – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs – combined with my own life lessons led to me creating the Awakn 7 pillars process.

Tell us more...
In a nutshell, to achieve any substantial goal in life, regardless of whether it’s a fitness or life goal, you journey through the seven stages of: focus, desire, belief, action, flow, reflection and rejuvenation. The seven pillars are reinforced in every Awakn workout via music, lighting and projected images. Classes are immersive experiences carefully curated to guide our attendees into a state of flow where endorphins are elevated allowing new information and habits to be internalised.

Fundamental to the Awakn process is finding and overcoming the pillars that have become barriers to our customers achieving their goals. Overcoming a fundamental hurdle often leads to the flood gates opening and propelling someone on their journey to greatness. For example, the barrier may be discovering and verbalising ‘desire’ – the deep emotional reason why you want to achieve your goal. Working through one’s personal pillars is the process of Awakn’ing. Each of our instructors, or mentors, undergoes a ten week Awakn’ing training programme to ensure they can use the pillars to find the ‘greatness within’ in our customers.

At the end of each workout, there’s time to reflect on the progress made and for people to thank their bodies. Then they head into the rejuvenation phase and prepare for the right rest, recovery, sleep and nutrition. We put as much focus on mental wellbeing and overcoming mental blocks as we do physical wellbeing and summarise this process as ‘Mind Body Awakn’.

What facilities does Awakn have?
It’s a 6,000sq ft site which spans two floors, with two studios: the Arena and the Zone. I wanted to create a luxury experience with a spacious feel, because people who work in Canary Wharf are boxed in all day. To achieve this feeling of space, we have high ceilings and plenty of personal space and freedom allowing our customers to ‘Awakn Their Inner Power’.

Most people working in Canary Wharf sit down all day, so exercises focusing solely on fixed machines such as bikes, rowers or climbers only make already tight muscles and ligaments more tonic. Therefore, the Arena focuses on functional movements making you feel powerful as you ‘Awakn Your Inner Athlete’. There’s nothing more exhilarating than working as a team to flip a 200kg tyre or riding on top of a tank with the music pumping and the lights ablaze!

The purpose of the Zone studio is to push our customers out of their comfort zones. This is where growth occurs. The Zone has beautiful leather boxing bags hand-crafted in New Zealand, Technogym SkillRun treadmills and custom luxury benches I spent two years designing in partnership with Escape.

To supplement our workouts, we will be offering rejuvenating activities, including meditation and yoga, allowing our customers to recover in order to make their workouts as optimal as possible. We’ll also be hosting wellness talks around mental health in order to help deal with burn-out and depression – a common but hidden problem within the financial services industry.

Why Canary Wharf?
Awakn is a very personal project for me. I’ve lived and worked in Canary Wharf for ten years and know Wharfers are stressed out and have few outlets. My personal mission is to Awakn the Wharf and to bring back a sense of community that has been lost, as profit-focused organisations have exploited the lack of competition in the Docklands.

What’s the target market?
My fellow residents and employees who live and work in the Docklands. Those of us who have been let down by regular gyms and not achieved the desired results. Awakn is for everyone who understands the importance of fitness but finds traditional workout environments boring, intimidating or demotivating.

How much does it cost?
Awakn’s pricing reflects the luxury offering, £22 per class with discounts for loyal and long-term customers. A handful of founding memberships for £250 per month for unlimited use are still available.

Will you open more sites after this one?
Though the flagship Canary Wharf club launched in mid October, I’m currently negotiating heads of terms for the second site.

Wheels are in motion to open at least five Awakns in London before expanding internationally. I’m closely monitoring developments in Manchester, but also have active leads for locations in mainland Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

We believe the world is certainly in need of some Awakn’ing.

The trainers at Awakn aim to help members to become the strongest version of themselves
The trainers at Awakn aim to help members to become the strongest version of themselves
Awakn is a 6,000sq ft site, which sprawls over two floors
Awakn is a 6,000sq ft site, which sprawls over two floors
Music, lighting and projected images reinforce Panesar’s seven pillars
Music, lighting and projected images reinforce Panesar’s seven pillars
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/805989_177570.jpg
A passion for fitness and a vision for building and scaling a boutique brand is driving the launch of Awakn. We speak to founder Kam Panesar...
Awakn, Kam Panesar,boutique fitness, Canary Wharf, Awakn, Kam Panesar
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Policy
CIMSPA and UK Coaching are combining REPs and the CIMSPA Exercise and Fitness Directory. Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA and Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching, explain what it means for exercise professionals and employers
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Great changing rooms are one of the main reasons people join a gym. Get inspired by HCM’s roundup of the latest high-end installations
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A new study by Decathlon looks at the most popular types of physical activity by region and time of year, revealing some interesting insights into the health and fitness industry
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Mindfulness app provider, Headspace, is making a bid to support US-based healthcare professionals curb anxiety ...
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Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of the world’s health and fitness clubs are currently ...
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Although the facts may seem less relevant now due to the coroavirus pandemic, new numbers ...
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Fitness professionals should use the coronavirus-induced lockdown – where possible – to enhance their knowledge ...
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The US government has passed a motion that will see gig workers, independent contractors and ...
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The physical activity sector is adapting to the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), according ...
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Joe Wicks, the personal trainer who has become a global star thanks to his daily ...
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Physical activity sector bodies have welcomed the government's measures to help the UK's self-employed workers ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: FORA works with Power Plate to raise awareness of sitting disease through movement and vibration
With office workers spending over eight hours per day sitting at their desks, and one in six affected by mental health issues every year, it is no surprise that businesses are looking to introduce ‘wellness’ to the workplace
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: ZIVA & Physical Company: A new partnership to meet all needs
Physical Company and ZIVA have announced a new distribution partnership that will see Physical Company become the exclusive UK distributor of ZIVA's commercial products.
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
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Company profile: MiE FitQuest
FitQuest (MiE Medical Research) are specialists in the field of human performance measurement. We have ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
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Ojmar: Locking solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
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FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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Property & Tenders
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Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
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04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
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17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
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17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

HCM People: Kam PanesarAwakn: Founder and CEO

Years of studying the greats – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs – combined with my own life lessons – led to the Awakn 7 pillars process and my goal to Awakn London

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 1
Panesar worked at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan before leaving to launch his own fitness studio
Panesar worked at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan before leaving to launch his own fitness studio

Why did you decide to launch your own fitness studio?
I come from a very humble background. Even though I grew up in a tiny house and went to an unknown school, I always believed that through hard work anything was possible. So, when I set my sights on working at elite organisations such as Goldman Sachs, I knew I had to sacrifice everything and outwork the competition.

While working at Goldman Sachs, I wanted to push further so I left to complete my MBA, passing with a distinction and started work in Canary Wharf, as a vice president at JP Morgan.

During these years, I began to really invest in my own personal fitness, spending a lot of time working out in various gyms, but always feeling there was something lacking in the market.

I knew I could create something special, so in August 2017 I started work on a business plan. Two months later I left banking to make my wild dream of Awakn’ing the Wharf come true. I had no site, network, team or income, but had the motivating factors of a monster mortgage and a one-year old baby! Going back to banking wasn’t an option, because once you’ve shown the desire to make your own way in life, banks blacklist you!

What is Awakn?
Awakn is a luxury, boutique fitness studio in the heart of Canary Wharf. Our superstar trainers take our customers on a journey to awakn their inner power in order to become the strongest versions of themselves – both physically and mentally. I have always been obsessed with what makes someone elite while others fail to fulfil their maximum potential. Years of studying the greats – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs – combined with my own life lessons led to me creating the Awakn 7 pillars process.

Tell us more...
In a nutshell, to achieve any substantial goal in life, regardless of whether it’s a fitness or life goal, you journey through the seven stages of: focus, desire, belief, action, flow, reflection and rejuvenation. The seven pillars are reinforced in every Awakn workout via music, lighting and projected images. Classes are immersive experiences carefully curated to guide our attendees into a state of flow where endorphins are elevated allowing new information and habits to be internalised.

Fundamental to the Awakn process is finding and overcoming the pillars that have become barriers to our customers achieving their goals. Overcoming a fundamental hurdle often leads to the flood gates opening and propelling someone on their journey to greatness. For example, the barrier may be discovering and verbalising ‘desire’ – the deep emotional reason why you want to achieve your goal. Working through one’s personal pillars is the process of Awakn’ing. Each of our instructors, or mentors, undergoes a ten week Awakn’ing training programme to ensure they can use the pillars to find the ‘greatness within’ in our customers.

At the end of each workout, there’s time to reflect on the progress made and for people to thank their bodies. Then they head into the rejuvenation phase and prepare for the right rest, recovery, sleep and nutrition. We put as much focus on mental wellbeing and overcoming mental blocks as we do physical wellbeing and summarise this process as ‘Mind Body Awakn’.

What facilities does Awakn have?
It’s a 6,000sq ft site which spans two floors, with two studios: the Arena and the Zone. I wanted to create a luxury experience with a spacious feel, because people who work in Canary Wharf are boxed in all day. To achieve this feeling of space, we have high ceilings and plenty of personal space and freedom allowing our customers to ‘Awakn Their Inner Power’.

Most people working in Canary Wharf sit down all day, so exercises focusing solely on fixed machines such as bikes, rowers or climbers only make already tight muscles and ligaments more tonic. Therefore, the Arena focuses on functional movements making you feel powerful as you ‘Awakn Your Inner Athlete’. There’s nothing more exhilarating than working as a team to flip a 200kg tyre or riding on top of a tank with the music pumping and the lights ablaze!

The purpose of the Zone studio is to push our customers out of their comfort zones. This is where growth occurs. The Zone has beautiful leather boxing bags hand-crafted in New Zealand, Technogym SkillRun treadmills and custom luxury benches I spent two years designing in partnership with Escape.

To supplement our workouts, we will be offering rejuvenating activities, including meditation and yoga, allowing our customers to recover in order to make their workouts as optimal as possible. We’ll also be hosting wellness talks around mental health in order to help deal with burn-out and depression – a common but hidden problem within the financial services industry.

Why Canary Wharf?
Awakn is a very personal project for me. I’ve lived and worked in Canary Wharf for ten years and know Wharfers are stressed out and have few outlets. My personal mission is to Awakn the Wharf and to bring back a sense of community that has been lost, as profit-focused organisations have exploited the lack of competition in the Docklands.

What’s the target market?
My fellow residents and employees who live and work in the Docklands. Those of us who have been let down by regular gyms and not achieved the desired results. Awakn is for everyone who understands the importance of fitness but finds traditional workout environments boring, intimidating or demotivating.

How much does it cost?
Awakn’s pricing reflects the luxury offering, £22 per class with discounts for loyal and long-term customers. A handful of founding memberships for £250 per month for unlimited use are still available.

Will you open more sites after this one?
Though the flagship Canary Wharf club launched in mid October, I’m currently negotiating heads of terms for the second site.

Wheels are in motion to open at least five Awakns in London before expanding internationally. I’m closely monitoring developments in Manchester, but also have active leads for locations in mainland Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

We believe the world is certainly in need of some Awakn’ing.

The trainers at Awakn aim to help members to become the strongest version of themselves
The trainers at Awakn aim to help members to become the strongest version of themselves
Awakn is a 6,000sq ft site, which sprawls over two floors
Awakn is a 6,000sq ft site, which sprawls over two floors
Music, lighting and projected images reinforce Panesar’s seven pillars
Music, lighting and projected images reinforce Panesar’s seven pillars
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/805989_177570.jpg
A passion for fitness and a vision for building and scaling a boutique brand is driving the launch of Awakn. We speak to founder Kam Panesar...
Awakn, Kam Panesar,boutique fitness, Canary Wharf, Awakn, Kam Panesar
Latest News
Mindfulness app provider, Headspace, is making a bid to support US-based healthcare professionals curb anxiety ...
Latest News
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of the world’s health and fitness clubs are currently ...
Latest News
Although the facts may seem less relevant now due to the coroavirus pandemic, new numbers ...
Latest News
Fitness professionals should use the coronavirus-induced lockdown – where possible – to enhance their knowledge ...
Latest News
The US government has passed a motion that will see gig workers, independent contractors and ...
Latest News
The physical activity sector is adapting to the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), according ...
Latest News
Joe Wicks, the personal trainer who has become a global star thanks to his daily ...
Latest News
Physical activity sector bodies have welcomed the government's measures to help the UK's self-employed workers ...
Latest News
Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth is making his online fitness programme Centrfit available for free for ...
Latest News
American Council on Exercise (ACE) has urged US policymakers to not leave the fitness sector's ...
Latest News
Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of Pure Gym, appeared on BBC Question Time last night (26 March ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: FORA works with Power Plate to raise awareness of sitting disease through movement and vibration
With office workers spending over eight hours per day sitting at their desks, and one in six affected by mental health issues every year, it is no surprise that businesses are looking to introduce ‘wellness’ to the workplace
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: ZIVA & Physical Company: A new partnership to meet all needs
Physical Company and ZIVA have announced a new distribution partnership that will see Physical Company become the exclusive UK distributor of ZIVA's commercial products.
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Harlands Group
Harlands Group is the leading provider of membership management services to leisure operators, processing over ...
Company profiles
Company profile: MiE FitQuest
FitQuest (MiE Medical Research) are specialists in the field of human performance measurement. We have ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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