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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Sam UnadkatWE11: founder

WE11 is a disruptive model and is going to cause mayhem in the industry: we’ve flipped the script and given the PTs a fair deal, instead of rinsing them

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 9
Sam Unadkat
Sam Unadkat

What is the concept of WE11?
WE11 offers a network of luxury co-working studios for elite freelance wellness professionals. Our vision is to inspire and support the growth of freelance wellness professionals through the provision of affordable, flexible, community-driven, co-working studios across prime central London sites.

Our flagship site has fully equipped gym spaces, two treatment rooms, luxury changing rooms and the WE11 Lounge, which is at the centre of our wellness community. It is a place to grab a bite to eat, or a coffee, a waiting area until the next client arrives, or can be used as an office away from home. Most importantly, it is a place where wellness professionals can network and collaborate with like-minded professionals.

With no monthly fixed fees, no commitment and affordable pricing (PTs pay between £20 and £30 per hour to rent the space), we’re disrupting the way in which conventional gyms operate. We aim to facilitate the transition of those who are being tied down by establishments and allow PTs and therapists to operate in an unconventional way, without inflated monthly rent.

We’re currently working with a range of wellness professionals, including PTs, running and cycling coaches, yoga and pilates instructors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and osteopaths. The facility can accommodate 20 PT sessions and two therapy sessions per hour and as we’re open 15 hours a day, we have good capacity.

It’s a win-win for both the PTs and the end-users. The PTs get to keep most of what they charge and the end users don’t have to pay gym fees in order to work with their favourite PT. We want to create a community of wellness professionals, and a space where they can network and collaborate. However, it is a disruptive model and it is going to cause mayhem in the industry: we’ve flipped the script and given the PTs a fair deal, instead of rinsing them.

Do you get involved with the end user at all?
No, we look after the PTs and they look after their clients, we don’t get involved with their bookings or pricing. We tell them that they are their own brands and they are not required to wear a uniform or represent us in any way.

However, we do vet and approve all of the PTs we work with and ask them to respect the establishment, which they do. Although we don’t commit to generating any work for them, as we are getting an increasing amount of leads and walk-ins, we do refer these on.

How did the idea come about?
It came about through my frustrations as a gym user and consumer in the fitness space. I was previously a member of Virgin, but when my PT decided to go freelance I wasn’t able to find another trainer at Virgin which suited me. I spent a year chasing my first PT – we trained in the park, I snuck him back into Virgin and I even toyed with the idea of building a gym at home. Finally, we ended up in a rough and ready freelance space in central London, but it had none of the luxuries and was heaving and over subscribed.

The price that I – and others – were paying for our training was not reflected in the surroundings and so I realised there was a huge opportunity to capitalise on the gap in the market for premium, flexible space. I thought about the idea for a long time before acting on it.

When I decided to launch the business, I brought the award-winning architects Bergman on board to create a luxurious, aesthetically pleasing space. The right site was also important: we are on Great Portland Street, right in the heart of loads of operators – Psycle, Frame, F45, Define.

Were you previously involved with the fitness industry?
No, I run care homes, which is still my main business, although this is taking up an increasing amount of my time.

What has been the response?
I realised there was demand for PT, but didn’t expect it to be this insane! It has been so much more popular than I anticipated. We are working with more than 70 PTs, with lots of them going freelance now that they have the platform to do so.

We’re giving people what they want: the modern gym goer no longer wants to be committed to one class or concept. They desire the ability to exercise in a variety of concepts which offer them flexibility and no commitment, which suits their busy lifestyles. As a consequence, the appetite for pay-as-you-go is growing, while the traditional 12 month memberships are becoming less desirable.

PTs are also moving away from the restrictions imposed by gyms and are moving towards becoming freelance. The massive shift in wellness and fitness has also increased demand for different concepts.

What are your plans for the future, will there be more sites?
We’re currently working on a strategy of how to expand. There is lots of potential for sites in west and central London, as well as affluent cities and even Europe.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The facility can accommodate up to 20 personal training sessions at one time, and is open 15 hours a day
The facility can accommodate up to 20 personal training sessions at one time, and is open 15 hours a day
PTs pay £20-30 per hour to rent the space, and typically charge clients £80-100 for a session
PTs pay £20-30 per hour to rent the space, and typically charge clients £80-100 for a session
Clients can train with their favourite PT without having to be a member of a particular gym
Clients can train with their favourite PT without having to be a member of a particular gym
The space was designed to be luxurious and aesthetically pleasing, with all the latest kit
The space was designed to be luxurious and aesthetically pleasing, with all the latest kit
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/556336_263332.jpg
Sam Unadkat, WE11 founder and CEO, tells us about creating a group of luxury co-working studios for elite freelance wellness professionals. The concept focuses on supporting the growth of a network of likeminded fitness professionals and ensuring PTs get a fair deal.
Sam Unadkat, WE11 CEO and founder,Sam Unadkat, WE11, PT
People
HCM people

Debra Wein

founder and CEO, Wellness Workdays
I’ve always felt that if individuals had more education and understanding of nutrition and healthy lifestyle principles, we could literally change lives
People
We offer career progression and decent pay and retain 85–90% of staff each year
People
HCM people

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I set myself the goal that if I found someone famous to write the foreword and a publisher, then I would write the book
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features

HCM People: Sam UnadkatWE11: founder

WE11 is a disruptive model and is going to cause mayhem in the industry: we’ve flipped the script and given the PTs a fair deal, instead of rinsing them

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 9
Sam Unadkat
Sam Unadkat

What is the concept of WE11?
WE11 offers a network of luxury co-working studios for elite freelance wellness professionals. Our vision is to inspire and support the growth of freelance wellness professionals through the provision of affordable, flexible, community-driven, co-working studios across prime central London sites.

Our flagship site has fully equipped gym spaces, two treatment rooms, luxury changing rooms and the WE11 Lounge, which is at the centre of our wellness community. It is a place to grab a bite to eat, or a coffee, a waiting area until the next client arrives, or can be used as an office away from home. Most importantly, it is a place where wellness professionals can network and collaborate with like-minded professionals.

With no monthly fixed fees, no commitment and affordable pricing (PTs pay between £20 and £30 per hour to rent the space), we’re disrupting the way in which conventional gyms operate. We aim to facilitate the transition of those who are being tied down by establishments and allow PTs and therapists to operate in an unconventional way, without inflated monthly rent.

We’re currently working with a range of wellness professionals, including PTs, running and cycling coaches, yoga and pilates instructors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and osteopaths. The facility can accommodate 20 PT sessions and two therapy sessions per hour and as we’re open 15 hours a day, we have good capacity.

It’s a win-win for both the PTs and the end-users. The PTs get to keep most of what they charge and the end users don’t have to pay gym fees in order to work with their favourite PT. We want to create a community of wellness professionals, and a space where they can network and collaborate. However, it is a disruptive model and it is going to cause mayhem in the industry: we’ve flipped the script and given the PTs a fair deal, instead of rinsing them.

Do you get involved with the end user at all?
No, we look after the PTs and they look after their clients, we don’t get involved with their bookings or pricing. We tell them that they are their own brands and they are not required to wear a uniform or represent us in any way.

However, we do vet and approve all of the PTs we work with and ask them to respect the establishment, which they do. Although we don’t commit to generating any work for them, as we are getting an increasing amount of leads and walk-ins, we do refer these on.

How did the idea come about?
It came about through my frustrations as a gym user and consumer in the fitness space. I was previously a member of Virgin, but when my PT decided to go freelance I wasn’t able to find another trainer at Virgin which suited me. I spent a year chasing my first PT – we trained in the park, I snuck him back into Virgin and I even toyed with the idea of building a gym at home. Finally, we ended up in a rough and ready freelance space in central London, but it had none of the luxuries and was heaving and over subscribed.

The price that I – and others – were paying for our training was not reflected in the surroundings and so I realised there was a huge opportunity to capitalise on the gap in the market for premium, flexible space. I thought about the idea for a long time before acting on it.

When I decided to launch the business, I brought the award-winning architects Bergman on board to create a luxurious, aesthetically pleasing space. The right site was also important: we are on Great Portland Street, right in the heart of loads of operators – Psycle, Frame, F45, Define.

Were you previously involved with the fitness industry?
No, I run care homes, which is still my main business, although this is taking up an increasing amount of my time.

What has been the response?
I realised there was demand for PT, but didn’t expect it to be this insane! It has been so much more popular than I anticipated. We are working with more than 70 PTs, with lots of them going freelance now that they have the platform to do so.

We’re giving people what they want: the modern gym goer no longer wants to be committed to one class or concept. They desire the ability to exercise in a variety of concepts which offer them flexibility and no commitment, which suits their busy lifestyles. As a consequence, the appetite for pay-as-you-go is growing, while the traditional 12 month memberships are becoming less desirable.

PTs are also moving away from the restrictions imposed by gyms and are moving towards becoming freelance. The massive shift in wellness and fitness has also increased demand for different concepts.

What are your plans for the future, will there be more sites?
We’re currently working on a strategy of how to expand. There is lots of potential for sites in west and central London, as well as affluent cities and even Europe.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The facility can accommodate up to 20 personal training sessions at one time, and is open 15 hours a day
The facility can accommodate up to 20 personal training sessions at one time, and is open 15 hours a day
PTs pay £20-30 per hour to rent the space, and typically charge clients £80-100 for a session
PTs pay £20-30 per hour to rent the space, and typically charge clients £80-100 for a session
Clients can train with their favourite PT without having to be a member of a particular gym
Clients can train with their favourite PT without having to be a member of a particular gym
The space was designed to be luxurious and aesthetically pleasing, with all the latest kit
The space was designed to be luxurious and aesthetically pleasing, with all the latest kit
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/556336_263332.jpg
Sam Unadkat, WE11 founder and CEO, tells us about creating a group of luxury co-working studios for elite freelance wellness professionals. The concept focuses on supporting the growth of a network of likeminded fitness professionals and ensuring PTs get a fair deal.
Sam Unadkat, WE11 CEO and founder,Sam Unadkat, WE11, PT
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Two of the largest health club operators in the US have announced that members and ...
Latest News
If you're a personal trainer working in the UK, you can now get online PT ...
Latest News
A member of SAGE, the government’s independent group of scientific advisers, has said gyms, pubs ...
Latest News
Following approval to build a £250mn wellbeing resort in Manchester, Therme Group has revealed plans ...
Latest News
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promotion
Data-driven businesses are some of today’s greatest global success stories, providing blueprints for success.
Opinion: Up your ‘data game’ to successfully relaunch your fitness business
Opinion
promotion
Evidence suggests that over many years personal trainers have been forced to leave the fitness industry because employment patterns are erratic, earnings are inconsistent and it is difficult to build up value needed to secure an appropriate lifestyle.
Opinion: Personal trainers need support as employment opportunities diminish: FREE webinar Thursday 6 August
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Let's get restarted: Physical Company offers advice on keeping gym members safe
As countries around the world gear up to relax their lockdown rules, there remains a question mark over gyms and studios, which in many markets will be one of the last sectors to be given the green light.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Fisikal chosen as tech partner for ‘JP4’; new health app from fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka
Fitness expert and television host, Jessie Pavelka has collaborated with Fisikal, experts in digital management solutions, to create the new JP4 app, a premium 12-week personal health and fitness transformation programme that takes the user on a journey of change through four key elements of health.
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
22-23 Sep 2020
Heythrop Park, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, 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
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