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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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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Latest News
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness ...
Latest News
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following ...
Latest News
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, ...
Latest News
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the ...
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Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The ...
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Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company ...
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Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ launches two industry-ready health and fitness diplomas
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Fitness and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness – to help engage learners in an industry-ready training experience that can be tailored to suit local employer needs.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Changing concept
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
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 government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness ...
Latest News
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following ...
Latest News
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, ...
Latest News
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the ...
Latest News
Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The ...
Latest News
Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company ...
Latest News
Gymbox has signed a partnership agreement to provide members of flexible workspace provider WeWork with ...
Latest News
The number of health club members returning to gyms since lockdown has beaten all expectations, ...
Latest News
The Jumeirah Group has reopened the 186-room The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, in the heart of ...
Latest News
David Lloyd Clubs has enrolled former Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson to help raise ...
Latest News
TRIB3 has secured a franchise deal which will see it open 20 studios across Belgium, ...
Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ launches two industry-ready health and fitness diplomas
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Fitness and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness – to help engage learners in an industry-ready training experience that can be tailored to suit local employer needs.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INEOS: The future of hand-sanitising
As gyms begin to reopen, cleanliness and hygiene remain an essential part of ensuring staff and members are confident to return.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Indigofitness Ltd
We Create Training Spaces! We've been designing and delivering high quality training spaces for almost ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Changing concept
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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