GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Alex NichollMD, Sweat by BXR

We were fortunate to be approached by Sheikh Mohammed – a Qatari entrepreneur – to develop the club

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 11
Nicholl says the Middle East has always been a target market / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Nicholl says the Middle East has always been a target market / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
We’re targeting local female markets by running women- only classes through the day

You’re ramping up growth. Tell us about your rollout plans
We’ve just opened a new Sweat by BXR in Doha and over the next year we’ll be opening four more BXR Gyms in London, Dubai and Greece, of which three will carry our Sweat by BXR model.

BXR City, which is opening in London in January 2022 will be located on the 25th floor of the tallest tower in the UK and Europe – 22 Bishopsgate – while BXR Battersea will see a BXR open late in 2022 within the power station – one of the most iconic landmark buildings in the city.

As our Middle East expansion continues, we’ll be opening BXR Dubai – one of the most coveted cities in the region.

Finally, BXR Daios Cove will open in Crete, Greece within the five star super luxury Daios Cove resort.

This is our partner resort, where for the last three years we’ve hosted BXR Retreats and so building our gym there is the next step for this partnership.  

In addition, we continue to look for more standalone Sweat by BXR sites.

Is Anthony Joshua still involved?
Yes, Anthony Joshua is a shareholder and will continue to be involved with BXR on an ongoing basis.

How did the new Sweat by BXR Doha happen? Tell us about the deal
For us it wasn’t about where or when Sweat by BXR would open first internationally, it was about finding the right partners who could help us scale the brand without losing its core values, brand identity and integrity. 

We’d always had a focus on the Middle East as a primary market, due to our brand recognition in the region as a result of Anthony Joshua’s work in Saudi Arabia. This has been enhanced by the high levels of commuting that happen between the Middle East and London among our international clientele.

The Doha deal is a franchise – we’re working with a local partner who’s also the investor.

We were fortunate to be approached by Sheikh Mohammed – a Qatari entrepreneur, mountaineer, photographer and sportsman – to develop the club.

Why the location in the Burj Doha?
Burj Doha (previously known as Burj Qatar) is an iconic building in Doha, which is often how we recognise the city in a picture. It’s an honour to have our first international site in such an iconic setting.
What’s the target audience?

The clubs is located in a busy financial area where there are many younger professionals and expats – a demographic which is rapidly growing in Doha – who form the bulk of our target audience. 

Sweat by BXR studios are also traditionally appealing to females, so we’re targeting local female markets by running women-only classes throughout the day, due to the religious nature of the Middle East.

What have you built? Give us the details.
We have a full Sweat by BXR offering including three studios, changing facilities and a café lounge. Our studios are: a Versaclimber room featuring our signature class – Climb to the Beat – a boxing room featuring three class types, including Sweatbox and Strengthbox and a mobility room offering everything from yoga and Pilates to stretch and TRX classes.

This is the third Sweat by BXR – tell us about the creative process behind the development of the model
Versaclimbing and Climb to the Beat are distinguishing elements of Sweat By BXR. It’s become our lead studio in terms of attendance and popularity.

We accept and appreciate this is a brand new cardio concept for the audience, who are unfamiliar with the machines. As the creators of this class and the first company in the world to bring group training on a Versaclimber into franchising – especially in the Middle East, this was always going to have its challenges.

In order to make sure the class is delivered and taught with the same skill and performance as in London, we have a team of three of our best UK trainers working in Doha.They’re there not only teaching the class to clients in the region, but also developing the Doha team and local trainers.

We’ve been doing this for three months now, making sure all our classes are delivered at an exceptional level.

Why have you chosen to open with a pay-to-train model rather than a membership?
Sweat by BXR is a pay-to-train concept so it follows suit, however we do have some memberships within our pricing models which are now being taken up in Doha as well as being very popular in the UK.

The pricing seems very reasonable for such an affluent country. What’s the thinking?
Our services and product list are the same as in the UK, but the pricing is in line with other pay-to-train studios across the Middle East.

Our pricing is high for single visits, but for those who show commitment and visit frequently – buying larger packs and memberships – the pricing becomes more reasonable.

Tell us about the F&B
We have a full café and lounge serving pre- and post-workout shakes, coffees, teas and so forth. We’re also working with a local partner to offer healthy take-away food.

What member-facing tech are you using?
In our studio we feature the latest TS Versaclimber, the most tech-updated climber, which is equipped with a wifi/Bluetooth touch screen.

This enables climbers to record and save workouts, view graphs of feet-per-minute, stroke length and strokes per minute and see total sessions completed. They can also see feet climbed, heart rate and average feet-per-minute and compete for rankings on leaderboards. We encourage them to share their successes on social media.

BXR is currently building a new app and website, with both launching in January 2022. The app is being created by Swift Studios.

In terms of this new tech, we’ll be using the Mindbody API – customising it and interfacing it directly with the BXR app.

Key features will enable members to log-in and create an account, choose a home gym location, purchase workout packs, book PT sessions and schedule classes. It will feature a home screen where we can promote everything that’s available within the BXR world.

The BXR app for members and the workouts will also be available on the BXR InstagramTV channel, with this being run in-house.

What back of house tech are you using?
At Sweat by BXR international locations we use ZingFit as the operational back of house tech. It is arguably one of the leading software platforms for class-based studio management. 

How have you future-proofed the concept?
Bergman Interiors, who have designed all our gyms for both the BXR and Sweat by BXR brands, continue to do so as part of our international and franchise models. This keeps all our product lines, standards and visuals in line with our brand.

As we work exclusively with them for our gyms, every year and on each new build, we work at pushing the boundary of our interiors and offering to give our clients the best possible environment and product to enjoy. 

Sweat by BXR, Doha, 
will be followed by sites in Dubai, London and Greece / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Sweat by BXR, Doha, will be followed by sites in Dubai, London and Greece / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Versaclimbing and Climb to the Beat are defining club elements / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Versaclimbing and Climb to the Beat are defining club elements / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Sweat by BXR is a pay-to-train concept / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Sweat by BXR is a pay-to-train concept / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Nicholl (left) with the team at Sweat by BXR, Doha / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Nicholl (left) with the team at Sweat by BXR, Doha / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
BXR London was the original concept, with Sweat by BXR an evolution of the brand / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
BXR London was the original concept, with Sweat by BXR an evolution of the brand / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
The club features high end interiors / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
The club features high end interiors / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/254103_333577.jpg
The MD of Sweat by BXR, Alex Nicholl, on Middle East expansion, working with Anthony Joshua and upcoming openings in the UK and Greece
HCM magazine
Are you on board with the metaverse or is it something to leave to the tech team? Kath Hudson investigates
HCM magazine
Doing the recommended amount of exercise during weekends is just as beneficial as spreading physical activity out across the week, a new study has found
HCM magazine
Martyn Allison reviews a recent National Audit Office report into grassroots participation in physical activity in the UK
HCM Magazine
Strength
Creators of strength-training kit have their finger on the pulse when it comes to delivering on consumer engagement. Frances Marcellin asks them to highlight emerging trends
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
BXR is one of the most exciting brands in the fitness industry. Co-founder Alex Nicholl gives us a glimpse behind the scenes
HCM Magazine
Letters
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you.
HCM Magazine
Active ageing
Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging explains the latest research into opportunities in the active-ageing sector
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
For years the sector has used participation numbers as a measure of success, but policymakers are now calling for a change to measuring outcomes, so value can be established
HCM Magazine
Research
New Deloitte report finds the health and fitness sector contributes up to US$91.22bn* a year to global GDP, as Frances Marcellin reports
HCM Magazine
Research
New research from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne has found that heart patients benefit from resistance training
HCM Magazine
Latest News
World Gym International has launched a strength-only gym concept, which it says will cater for ...
Latest News
A new open water swimming venue will has been launched in the heart of Canary ...
Latest News
Peter Roberts, former CEO and founder of Pure Gym, has invested in Another Round, a ...
Latest News
Fitness markets around the globe are demonstrating "reassuring signs of recovery" following the pandemic disruptions ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
Latest News
Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
Latest News
The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Peloton Commercial partners with Oracle Red Bull Racing to power high-performance fitness and wellbeing facility
Operating at the extreme edge of performance, a race team requires every element and working part to function at its very best – and that includes its people.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: Excelsior Development Technology
We develop staff that enhance the culture, experience and reputation of your business which in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FIBO Global Fitness
FIBO Global Fitness is the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness & health....
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Serco Leisure makes major new appointment
Serco Leisure has named Leigh Brooks as its Director of Marketing, the first time in the company’s history it has appointed a marketing professional at director-level.
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

HCM People: Alex NichollMD, Sweat by BXR

We were fortunate to be approached by Sheikh Mohammed – a Qatari entrepreneur – to develop the club

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 11
Nicholl says the Middle East has always been a target market / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Nicholl says the Middle East has always been a target market / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
We’re targeting local female markets by running women- only classes through the day

You’re ramping up growth. Tell us about your rollout plans
We’ve just opened a new Sweat by BXR in Doha and over the next year we’ll be opening four more BXR Gyms in London, Dubai and Greece, of which three will carry our Sweat by BXR model.

BXR City, which is opening in London in January 2022 will be located on the 25th floor of the tallest tower in the UK and Europe – 22 Bishopsgate – while BXR Battersea will see a BXR open late in 2022 within the power station – one of the most iconic landmark buildings in the city.

As our Middle East expansion continues, we’ll be opening BXR Dubai – one of the most coveted cities in the region.

Finally, BXR Daios Cove will open in Crete, Greece within the five star super luxury Daios Cove resort.

This is our partner resort, where for the last three years we’ve hosted BXR Retreats and so building our gym there is the next step for this partnership.  

In addition, we continue to look for more standalone Sweat by BXR sites.

Is Anthony Joshua still involved?
Yes, Anthony Joshua is a shareholder and will continue to be involved with BXR on an ongoing basis.

How did the new Sweat by BXR Doha happen? Tell us about the deal
For us it wasn’t about where or when Sweat by BXR would open first internationally, it was about finding the right partners who could help us scale the brand without losing its core values, brand identity and integrity. 

We’d always had a focus on the Middle East as a primary market, due to our brand recognition in the region as a result of Anthony Joshua’s work in Saudi Arabia. This has been enhanced by the high levels of commuting that happen between the Middle East and London among our international clientele.

The Doha deal is a franchise – we’re working with a local partner who’s also the investor.

We were fortunate to be approached by Sheikh Mohammed – a Qatari entrepreneur, mountaineer, photographer and sportsman – to develop the club.

Why the location in the Burj Doha?
Burj Doha (previously known as Burj Qatar) is an iconic building in Doha, which is often how we recognise the city in a picture. It’s an honour to have our first international site in such an iconic setting.
What’s the target audience?

The clubs is located in a busy financial area where there are many younger professionals and expats – a demographic which is rapidly growing in Doha – who form the bulk of our target audience. 

Sweat by BXR studios are also traditionally appealing to females, so we’re targeting local female markets by running women-only classes throughout the day, due to the religious nature of the Middle East.

What have you built? Give us the details.
We have a full Sweat by BXR offering including three studios, changing facilities and a café lounge. Our studios are: a Versaclimber room featuring our signature class – Climb to the Beat – a boxing room featuring three class types, including Sweatbox and Strengthbox and a mobility room offering everything from yoga and Pilates to stretch and TRX classes.

This is the third Sweat by BXR – tell us about the creative process behind the development of the model
Versaclimbing and Climb to the Beat are distinguishing elements of Sweat By BXR. It’s become our lead studio in terms of attendance and popularity.

We accept and appreciate this is a brand new cardio concept for the audience, who are unfamiliar with the machines. As the creators of this class and the first company in the world to bring group training on a Versaclimber into franchising – especially in the Middle East, this was always going to have its challenges.

In order to make sure the class is delivered and taught with the same skill and performance as in London, we have a team of three of our best UK trainers working in Doha.They’re there not only teaching the class to clients in the region, but also developing the Doha team and local trainers.

We’ve been doing this for three months now, making sure all our classes are delivered at an exceptional level.

Why have you chosen to open with a pay-to-train model rather than a membership?
Sweat by BXR is a pay-to-train concept so it follows suit, however we do have some memberships within our pricing models which are now being taken up in Doha as well as being very popular in the UK.

The pricing seems very reasonable for such an affluent country. What’s the thinking?
Our services and product list are the same as in the UK, but the pricing is in line with other pay-to-train studios across the Middle East.

Our pricing is high for single visits, but for those who show commitment and visit frequently – buying larger packs and memberships – the pricing becomes more reasonable.

Tell us about the F&B
We have a full café and lounge serving pre- and post-workout shakes, coffees, teas and so forth. We’re also working with a local partner to offer healthy take-away food.

What member-facing tech are you using?
In our studio we feature the latest TS Versaclimber, the most tech-updated climber, which is equipped with a wifi/Bluetooth touch screen.

This enables climbers to record and save workouts, view graphs of feet-per-minute, stroke length and strokes per minute and see total sessions completed. They can also see feet climbed, heart rate and average feet-per-minute and compete for rankings on leaderboards. We encourage them to share their successes on social media.

BXR is currently building a new app and website, with both launching in January 2022. The app is being created by Swift Studios.

In terms of this new tech, we’ll be using the Mindbody API – customising it and interfacing it directly with the BXR app.

Key features will enable members to log-in and create an account, choose a home gym location, purchase workout packs, book PT sessions and schedule classes. It will feature a home screen where we can promote everything that’s available within the BXR world.

The BXR app for members and the workouts will also be available on the BXR InstagramTV channel, with this being run in-house.

What back of house tech are you using?
At Sweat by BXR international locations we use ZingFit as the operational back of house tech. It is arguably one of the leading software platforms for class-based studio management. 

How have you future-proofed the concept?
Bergman Interiors, who have designed all our gyms for both the BXR and Sweat by BXR brands, continue to do so as part of our international and franchise models. This keeps all our product lines, standards and visuals in line with our brand.

As we work exclusively with them for our gyms, every year and on each new build, we work at pushing the boundary of our interiors and offering to give our clients the best possible environment and product to enjoy. 

Sweat by BXR, Doha, 
will be followed by sites in Dubai, London and Greece / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Sweat by BXR, Doha, will be followed by sites in Dubai, London and Greece / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Versaclimbing and Climb to the Beat are defining club elements / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Versaclimbing and Climb to the Beat are defining club elements / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Sweat by BXR is a pay-to-train concept / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Sweat by BXR is a pay-to-train concept / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Nicholl (left) with the team at Sweat by BXR, Doha / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
Nicholl (left) with the team at Sweat by BXR, Doha / photo: Alex Nicholl - BXR
BXR London was the original concept, with Sweat by BXR an evolution of the brand / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
BXR London was the original concept, with Sweat by BXR an evolution of the brand / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
The club features high end interiors / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
The club features high end interiors / photos: Alex Nicholl - BXR
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/254103_333577.jpg
The MD of Sweat by BXR, Alex Nicholl, on Middle East expansion, working with Anthony Joshua and upcoming openings in the UK and Greece
Latest News
World Gym International has launched a strength-only gym concept, which it says will cater for ...
Latest News
A new open water swimming venue will has been launched in the heart of Canary ...
Latest News
Peter Roberts, former CEO and founder of Pure Gym, has invested in Another Round, a ...
Latest News
Fitness markets around the globe are demonstrating "reassuring signs of recovery" following the pandemic disruptions ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
Latest News
Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
Latest News
The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
Latest News
Mindbody has announced that Fritz Lanman will become the company’s new CEO from 3 September ...
Latest News
Parkour Generations has joined forces with Gymbox to bring parkour into the UK’s mainstream fitness ...
Latest News
Amazon has acquired primary healthcare organisation One Medical in a US$3.9bn deal that will see ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Peloton Commercial partners with Oracle Red Bull Racing to power high-performance fitness and wellbeing facility
Operating at the extreme edge of performance, a race team requires every element and working part to function at its very best – and that includes its people.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: Excelsior Development Technology
We develop staff that enhance the culture, experience and reputation of your business which in ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FIBO Global Fitness
FIBO Global Fitness is the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness & health....
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Serco Leisure makes major new appointment
Serco Leisure has named Leigh Brooks as its Director of Marketing, the first time in the company’s history it has appointed a marketing professional at director-level.
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Partner sites