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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.

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
Jimmy had the brilliant idea to put the logos of all of the current cycling brands in and around NYC onto a piece of paper and we handed it to the investor at the end of our presentation. Then we handed a blank piece of paper and referenced that this was the current number of cool fitness concepts in the world and how we would like the investor to help us fill that page. A day later he wrote us a cheque
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Because of our strong focus on community and inclusivity our members really do range from unemployed, and even homeless, to CEOs and board members of major institutions and celebrities
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Talking point
Personal trainers play a key role in the gym environment, helping members to achieve their fitness goals. But are the current training models allowing them to do this in the best possible way? Or could they be doing more? We ask our panel of experts
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Thanks to the rise in popularity of functional zones, there’s been an increased call for turf. We take a look at some of the turf products being installed
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The Gympass mission is to defeat inactivity – a vision shared by many in the leisure industry.
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Featured supplier: The secrets to designing a stand-out fitness studio
The design and construction of a group fitness or exercise studio can have a big impact on the success of your gym.
Opinion
promotion
An ever-increasing number of Brits are engaging in sporting events, setting themselves goals and looking to increase their fitness levels....
Opinion: Dr Crionna Tobin on nutritional training for PTs and fitness experts
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
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A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
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Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Property & Tenders
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Diary dates
28-30 Oct 2019
Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2019
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05-08 Nov 2019
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
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JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
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Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
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23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
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10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
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17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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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.

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
Latest News
New York’s Blum Center for Health, a functional health facility, is offering a personalised, non-invasive, ...
Latest News
US-based fitness franchise UFC Gym has opened its first European club. The 18,000sq ft (1,670sq ...
Latest News
Public Health England (PHE) and the Centre for Ageing Better (CAB) have set out their ...
Latest News
Physical activity bodies ukactive and EuropeActive have agreed to strengthen their partnership in the event ...
Latest News
The first-ever FIBO Southeast Asia fitness event will be held in Singapore next year. Taking ...
Latest News
Cancer survivors should undertake a minimum of 90 minutes of aerobic and resistance training each ...
Latest News
Thrive Global, the wellness and behaviour change tech firm founded by Arianna Huffington, has acquired ...
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass brings together corporate workforces and leisure operators
The Gympass mission is to defeat inactivity – a vision shared by many in the leisure industry.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The secrets to designing a stand-out fitness studio
The design and construction of a group fitness or exercise studio can have a big impact on the success of your gym.
Opinion
promotion
An ever-increasing number of Brits are engaging in sporting events, setting themselves goals and looking to increase their fitness levels....
Opinion: Dr Crionna Tobin on nutritional training for PTs and fitness experts
As an industry, we still underestimate the power of a truly varied fitness regime - and the growing appetite for it, especially among emerging customer segments.
Opinion: Collaboration vs aggregation - what’s the difference?
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
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
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Fitness equipment
Physical Company Ltd: Fitness equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Property & Tenders
Kirklees Active Leisure
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
28-30 Oct 2019
Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2019
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05-08 Nov 2019
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
Diary dates
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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