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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

London calling

Leisure Database’s David Minton rounds up some of the most promising boutiques bringing something new and unique to the capital’s fitness scene

Published in Health Club Handbook 2020 issue 1
BOOMCycle
BOOMCycle
Boutiques are a change, not a trend, and the public and private health and fitness sectors are responding with their very own offerings

Boutiques are a change, not a trend, and the public and private health and fitness sectors are responding with their very own offerings, either disrupting themselves by creating new concepts or partnering with existing operators.

At the top end, David Lloyd Leisure launched Blaze; so successful that their first standalone studio has now opened in the city of Birmingham.

In the mid-market, Bannatyne have taken the Speedflex concept in-house, whereas the low-cost market has seen énergie creating Yard to add value to their offering.

In the public sector, Everyone Active are pushing towards a ‘boutique in a big box model’, with the opening of their first F45 studio partnership in Maida Vale, London, at the end of 2019.

Everyone Active’s also secured a partnership deal with MoreYoga, and 2020 will see them launch their new boutique format Fortis, powered by Speedflex.

With boutique studios continuing to disrupt and re-shape (no pun intended) the industry over the past 12 months, I joined my team at The Leisure Database Company to try out as many of the new boutique concepts as we could cram in. In no particular order, here’s our highlights.

NEW OPENINGS
Boom Cycle opened their fifth studio at Waterloo in September. We all got up early one morning to ride with the ‘badass on a bike’ – Hilary! With her special LA style of riding, I was taken back to West Hollywood and Cycle House. A great start to the day!

Lift: The Movement in Shoreditch opened over the summer. The Olympic-style gymnastic rings provided an upper body workout that develops strength, balance and control. A different yet very enjoyable class with a trainer who clearly knows his stuff. We couldn’t have done those rings without you!

BLOK ventured outside of London with their Manchester site opening back in September, but we kept it close to home and hunted down the first BLOK at the old tram depot in Clapton. The former industrial buildings have been turned into stunning workout spaces with atmospheric surroundings.

I was an early adopter of BXR in Marylebone, and September saw the opening of their first standalone studio, Sweat, in Canary Wharf above the soon-to-open Crossrail train station. If you love the Versaclimber and its total body workout, then this one is for you. You’ll find Sweat next to Barry’s, on the former Psycle site.

Also in Canary Wharf is Awakn, where we joined the Gladiator class taken by a former Strongwoman World Champion. This studio opened in October, and what a workout! We’ve also been back to do the Box & Lift class which was loved all round.

In the City of London, close to Bank station, The Foundry opened on the former Speedflex site in July. It’s become a firm favourite among the team, particularly the City Strongman Class (which can be enjoyed by all) and the Combine team-based class which brought out our competitive nature! We just keep going back for more.

You could say some of the team have become regular “Framers”. Frame opened their Angel studio in November and, across the brand, we found Reformer Pilates to be our favourite class.

Flykick on Euston Road opened in 2018 and we love the kickboxing concept that results in a tough but fun full body workout. In 2019, Flykick added a second studio to the site, so we returned to try out their new Strength class; it gets another thumbs up from us.

The Fore brand opened in a really cool studio on the exciting Kings Cross development over last summer (previously known as Equilibrium).

The class consisted of a unique mix of Skillmills, TRX and Rip Trainers where the emphasis is on speed, rotation and resistance. Group classes, Personal Trainers, therapies, café and co- working, I’d be happy to move in.

CIRQ opened on Fleet Street in the City of London and we went in September for the opening week to try out the classes. It has two studios, one focused on strength and one on cardio.

The H2 Club in Victoria isn’t technically new but the power meters on the bikes are. We went to the Stages Flight Class in December, where a mixture of profiles to music combined with video images was layered with data from the power meter in the left crank. I’ve downloaded the app ready for my next ride.

I was going to mention Another_Space but as we start 2020, Digme are rebranding them, consistent with their message that the sector needs consolidation. In July, while the Tour de France riders were racing into Paris, the ‘Digme Tour’ was finishing its three-week indoor cycling classes with a back-to-back-to-back class! Yes, three in a row at Digme’s studio in Fitzrovia. I was thrilled to be invited to join such elite riders on that occasion.

There’s a few still to try like BuddhaBox which opened in December, plus Rumble in Dalston, 1Rebel and Barrecore in Angel, Barry’s Bootcamp in Canary Wharf, Core Collective in St John’s Wood and Heartcore in Soho.

Then there’s F45, the fastest growing fitness franchise that just continues to add to its already impressive number of sites around the UK!

I did go to SoulCycle in Soho but haven’t yet made it to the new studio in Notting Hill. Talking of Notting Hill, there’s the new Psycle site to check out too.

Let’s not forget the new super-premium CrossFit in Putney and congratulations to WIT Fitness at St Pauls – funded for expansion in 2019. Ten Health & Fitness, winner of the Tatler Gym Award 2019, also received funding in 2019.

I’m sure we will see lots more active investment in 2020, so it looks like the team and I have another year of new experiences to come. Bring it On!

David Minton is founder of The Leisure Database Company (TDLC) www.leisuredb.com
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Blazing a path with its first standalone club
Blazing a path with its first standalone club
MoreYoga
MoreYoga
BLOK / PHOTO: MAX OPPENHEIM
BLOK / PHOTO: MAX OPPENHEIM
Fortis by Speedflex
Fortis by Speedflex
BXR opens standalone Sweat
BXR opens standalone Sweat
Awakn launched in October
Awakn launched in October
The Foundry
The Foundry
Barry’s Bootcamp
Barry’s Bootcamp
Cirq
Cirq
Frame
Frame
FlyKick fitness
FlyKick fitness
Digme
Digme
Psycle
Psycle
Rumble
Rumble
Barrecore
Barrecore
SoulCycle
SoulCycle
F45 is the fastest growing fitness franchise
F45 is the fastest growing fitness franchise
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/808425_610642.jpg
David Minton and his team at The Leisure Database Company take a tour of the capital’s diverse and boutique sector to share their cream of the crop
London, fitness, boutique fitness, gym
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With January now close on the horizon your thoughts will be firmly focused on sales campaigns to attract new members through your doors in the new year rush.
Opinion: Sealing the Leaky Bucket – 7 Research-Based Tips for Retaining New Members in January 2021
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The only connected fitness experience in commercial fitness centers, powered by iFit. Read more
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Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is more than gym equipment, we offer innovative solutions for all ...
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On a mission to defeat inactivity, Gympass is a corporate wellness solution that builds mutually ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Virtual,
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Diary dates

features

London calling

Leisure Database’s David Minton rounds up some of the most promising boutiques bringing something new and unique to the capital’s fitness scene

Published in Health Club Handbook 2020 issue 1
BOOMCycle
BOOMCycle
Boutiques are a change, not a trend, and the public and private health and fitness sectors are responding with their very own offerings

Boutiques are a change, not a trend, and the public and private health and fitness sectors are responding with their very own offerings, either disrupting themselves by creating new concepts or partnering with existing operators.

At the top end, David Lloyd Leisure launched Blaze; so successful that their first standalone studio has now opened in the city of Birmingham.

In the mid-market, Bannatyne have taken the Speedflex concept in-house, whereas the low-cost market has seen énergie creating Yard to add value to their offering.

In the public sector, Everyone Active are pushing towards a ‘boutique in a big box model’, with the opening of their first F45 studio partnership in Maida Vale, London, at the end of 2019.

Everyone Active’s also secured a partnership deal with MoreYoga, and 2020 will see them launch their new boutique format Fortis, powered by Speedflex.

With boutique studios continuing to disrupt and re-shape (no pun intended) the industry over the past 12 months, I joined my team at The Leisure Database Company to try out as many of the new boutique concepts as we could cram in. In no particular order, here’s our highlights.

NEW OPENINGS
Boom Cycle opened their fifth studio at Waterloo in September. We all got up early one morning to ride with the ‘badass on a bike’ – Hilary! With her special LA style of riding, I was taken back to West Hollywood and Cycle House. A great start to the day!

Lift: The Movement in Shoreditch opened over the summer. The Olympic-style gymnastic rings provided an upper body workout that develops strength, balance and control. A different yet very enjoyable class with a trainer who clearly knows his stuff. We couldn’t have done those rings without you!

BLOK ventured outside of London with their Manchester site opening back in September, but we kept it close to home and hunted down the first BLOK at the old tram depot in Clapton. The former industrial buildings have been turned into stunning workout spaces with atmospheric surroundings.

I was an early adopter of BXR in Marylebone, and September saw the opening of their first standalone studio, Sweat, in Canary Wharf above the soon-to-open Crossrail train station. If you love the Versaclimber and its total body workout, then this one is for you. You’ll find Sweat next to Barry’s, on the former Psycle site.

Also in Canary Wharf is Awakn, where we joined the Gladiator class taken by a former Strongwoman World Champion. This studio opened in October, and what a workout! We’ve also been back to do the Box & Lift class which was loved all round.

In the City of London, close to Bank station, The Foundry opened on the former Speedflex site in July. It’s become a firm favourite among the team, particularly the City Strongman Class (which can be enjoyed by all) and the Combine team-based class which brought out our competitive nature! We just keep going back for more.

You could say some of the team have become regular “Framers”. Frame opened their Angel studio in November and, across the brand, we found Reformer Pilates to be our favourite class.

Flykick on Euston Road opened in 2018 and we love the kickboxing concept that results in a tough but fun full body workout. In 2019, Flykick added a second studio to the site, so we returned to try out their new Strength class; it gets another thumbs up from us.

The Fore brand opened in a really cool studio on the exciting Kings Cross development over last summer (previously known as Equilibrium).

The class consisted of a unique mix of Skillmills, TRX and Rip Trainers where the emphasis is on speed, rotation and resistance. Group classes, Personal Trainers, therapies, café and co- working, I’d be happy to move in.

CIRQ opened on Fleet Street in the City of London and we went in September for the opening week to try out the classes. It has two studios, one focused on strength and one on cardio.

The H2 Club in Victoria isn’t technically new but the power meters on the bikes are. We went to the Stages Flight Class in December, where a mixture of profiles to music combined with video images was layered with data from the power meter in the left crank. I’ve downloaded the app ready for my next ride.

I was going to mention Another_Space but as we start 2020, Digme are rebranding them, consistent with their message that the sector needs consolidation. In July, while the Tour de France riders were racing into Paris, the ‘Digme Tour’ was finishing its three-week indoor cycling classes with a back-to-back-to-back class! Yes, three in a row at Digme’s studio in Fitzrovia. I was thrilled to be invited to join such elite riders on that occasion.

There’s a few still to try like BuddhaBox which opened in December, plus Rumble in Dalston, 1Rebel and Barrecore in Angel, Barry’s Bootcamp in Canary Wharf, Core Collective in St John’s Wood and Heartcore in Soho.

Then there’s F45, the fastest growing fitness franchise that just continues to add to its already impressive number of sites around the UK!

I did go to SoulCycle in Soho but haven’t yet made it to the new studio in Notting Hill. Talking of Notting Hill, there’s the new Psycle site to check out too.

Let’s not forget the new super-premium CrossFit in Putney and congratulations to WIT Fitness at St Pauls – funded for expansion in 2019. Ten Health & Fitness, winner of the Tatler Gym Award 2019, also received funding in 2019.

I’m sure we will see lots more active investment in 2020, so it looks like the team and I have another year of new experiences to come. Bring it On!

David Minton is founder of The Leisure Database Company (TDLC) www.leisuredb.com
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Blazing a path with its first standalone club
Blazing a path with its first standalone club
MoreYoga
MoreYoga
BLOK / PHOTO: MAX OPPENHEIM
BLOK / PHOTO: MAX OPPENHEIM
Fortis by Speedflex
Fortis by Speedflex
BXR opens standalone Sweat
BXR opens standalone Sweat
Awakn launched in October
Awakn launched in October
The Foundry
The Foundry
Barry’s Bootcamp
Barry’s Bootcamp
Cirq
Cirq
Frame
Frame
FlyKick fitness
FlyKick fitness
Digme
Digme
Psycle
Psycle
Rumble
Rumble
Barrecore
Barrecore
SoulCycle
SoulCycle
F45 is the fastest growing fitness franchise
F45 is the fastest growing fitness franchise
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/808425_610642.jpg
David Minton and his team at The Leisure Database Company take a tour of the capital’s diverse and boutique sector to share their cream of the crop
London, fitness, boutique fitness, gym
Latest News
The University of Stirling has opened its new £20m sports and fitness centre. The building, ...
Latest News
PopBase, a start-up tech company, has secured US$400,000 investment from Welltech1, an Israel-based venture capital ...
Latest News
Gyms are right near the bottom of the list in terms of places people have ...
Latest News
A new, Europe-wide initiative will look to chart the level of risk of COVID-19 infection ...
Latest News
UK Parliament will debate COVID-19 restrictions on gyms and leisure centres on Monday 23 November, ...
Latest News
The UK government has launched a £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), providing grant funding ...
Latest News
Leisure management company 3d Leisure is introducing two new services across its corporate division, in ...
Latest News
Thousands of COVID-related deaths could be prevented if successive governments had tackled the country's obesity ...
Latest News
Leisure-net is running a repeat of its initial Post Lockdown Recovery Survey, in order to ...
Latest News
The iconic Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago is among the city's fitness facilities which have ...
Opinion
promotion
With January now close on the horizon your thoughts will be firmly focused on sales campaigns to attract new members through your doors in the new year rush.
Opinion: Sealing the Leaky Bucket – 7 Research-Based Tips for Retaining New Members in January 2021
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Primal Strength bolsters Scottish expansion with Matrix Fitness distribution win
Matrix Fitness has announced an exclusive partnership with Primal Strength to target an increased strategic focus on the Scottish market.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK
Video Gallery
Freemotion 22 SERIES Powered by iFit
FreeMotion Fitness
The only connected fitness experience in commercial fitness centers, powered by iFit. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness is more than gym equipment, we offer innovative solutions for all ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Gympass
On a mission to defeat inactivity, Gympass is a corporate wellness solution that builds mutually ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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