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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
People
We have 14 rockstar instructors, all freelance but all working for us on an exclusive basis, and haven’t lost a single one of them since we opened. We pay them well – they can earn €100+ for a full class. But even more important than that, they all feel involved in the business
People
HCM people

Amanda Daley

Professor of behavioural medicine, Loughborough University
PACE labelling would be a simple, user-friendly way of informing people, at a glance, of the amount of physical activity required for the food they are considering eating
People
HCM people

Stephen Aucott & Matt Brown

Odyssey Health Club and Spa
We’d like to think we’re offering something unique that will encourage members to grow their own vegetables and reconnect to their relationship with food
Features
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HCM talks to Fraser Smith about founding his studio and why he picked miha bodytec as his supplier and EMS training for his USP
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IHRSA Update
Kristen Walsh takes a look inside IHRSA’s latest Profiles of Success report
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Myzone
Steve Mellor, owner of AMP Athletic, has installed Myzone to drive his business. We find out how it’s enabling him to deliver great service to his members
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Design
Third Space sold its boutique brand, Another Space, and launched its sixth full-service club in the space of a few weeks, signalling its intention to consoldidate its position at the top end of the market
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Supplier showcase
Class Boutique Fitness has collaborated with Physical Company to create a boutique studio offering that’s as inclusive as it is effective
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feature
Technogym is helping Odyssey Health Club launch new gym floor formats that enhance the member experience
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Abbeycroft Leisure - Inspiring better health and wellbeing for Suffolk communities
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The number of people in the US with a health club membership has increased by ...
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DW Fitness First has extended its partnership with corporate fitness sales specialist Gympass, to increase ...
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A global touch study has been launched to “explore our attitudes towards the physical experience ...
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Food labelling that shows the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories in ...
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Speedflex enters new partnership with Gateshead Council
HIIT specialist, Speedflex, is set to launch a new studio at Gateshead International Stadium in partnership with Gateshead Council.
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
Video Gallery
DFC: We do more...
DFC
DFC are a leading direct debit collection company, providing cash flow solutions to happy clients from all over the UK. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: MoveGB
Move is the fitness marketplace connecting our partners with customers through the largest variety of ...
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Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Management software
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Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
06-07 Mar 2020
Palazzo del Ghiaccio, Milan, Italy
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25 Mar 2020
Executive Boardroom, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
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25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
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27-29 Mar 2020
TeatroGoya Multiespacio, Madrid, Spain
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,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, 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
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30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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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
The number of people in the US with a health club membership has increased by ...
Latest News
DW Fitness First has extended its partnership with corporate fitness sales specialist Gympass, to increase ...
Latest News
A global touch study has been launched to “explore our attitudes towards the physical experience ...
Latest News
Food labelling that shows the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories in ...
Latest News
The team at unusually named studio //3877 has created a boxing gym in Washington, D.C., ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness operator Barry's is entering the indoor cycling market with Barry's Ride – a ...
Latest News
Getting fit together could be the secret for a long happy relationship. A new study ...
Latest News
Not-for profit leisure operator Circadian Trust is partnering with NHS GP surgeries in Gloucestershire to ...
Latest News
ukactive has launched two major new reports as part of its Business Intelligence service. The ...
Latest News
The annual Sweat event kicks off in London today (20 February), offering the UK's fitness ...
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Boutique boxing gym brand BXR London has revealed plans to open its second site at ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Speedflex enters new partnership with Gateshead Council
HIIT specialist, Speedflex, is set to launch a new studio at Gateshead International Stadium in partnership with Gateshead Council.
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
Video Gallery
DFC: We do more...
DFC
DFC are a leading direct debit collection company, providing cash flow solutions to happy clients from all over the UK. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: MoveGB
Move is the fitness marketplace connecting our partners with customers through the largest variety of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
06-07 Mar 2020
Palazzo del Ghiaccio, Milan, Italy
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25 Mar 2020
Executive Boardroom, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-29 Mar 2020
TeatroGoya Multiespacio, Madrid, Spain
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
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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