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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
Kate Cracknell talks connected health and digital transformation with Chris Blackwell-Frost, Martin Friend and Rick Crawford from Nuffield Health’s senior management team
People
HCM people

Professor Zhen Yan

director of the Center for Skeletal Muscle Research, University of Virginia
Regular exercise may help people survive COVID-19
People
HCM people

Dr Jonathan Leary

Remedy Place, West Hollywood: Founder and CEO
Remedy Place teaches people how to take care of themselves and gives them the tools they need to be holistically healthy
Features
feature
Premier Global NASM has restructured its education offering to create new career pathways to help personal trainers and individuals entering the sector navigate their way to career success. Dan Rees explains the rationale
Features
HCM research
The good news? People are changing their exercise habits in lockdown, becoming more active and spending more time exercising with their children, according to new research
Features
Opinion
Myzone’s Tamara Bailey says finding a way through the coronavirus crisis will mean taking an honest look at how successful your member engagement really is
Features
Software
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing gyms across the world to temporarily close their doors, staying connected to your members digitally has never been more important. Software suppliers tell Steph Eaves how they’re contributing
Features
Coronavirus
As the sector looks into the void of the COVID-19 lockdown and its aftermath, Duncan Wood-Allum presents a blueprint for a positive future
Features
Coronavirus
While Europe and the US are in the thick of coronavirus shutdowns, health clubs in China are starting to reopen. Jak Phillips examines how three Chinese operators tackled the challenge of the pandemic and came out ahead
Features
feature
Matrix Connected Solutions helps Roko deliver a digital member experience beyond the four walls of the clubs
Features
Latest News
A new report has revealed the likely timescales and shape of the UK fitness market's ...
Latest News
There has been a "surge in appreciation" of exercise during lockdown, with people turning to ...
Latest News
Gyms and health clubs in Dubai, UAE, have begun reopening their doors today (27 May) ...
Latest News
HCM understands that the directors of énergie Fitness have brought in specialist company FRP Advisory ...
Latest News
Planning approval has been granted for a new David Lloyd Club in Bicester, Oxfordshire. The ...
Latest News
Aerobic exercise boosts blood flow into two key regions of the brain associated with memory, ...
Latest News
Gympass has launched a new digital platform as a response to the increase in demand ...
Latest News
Austrian medical health and wellness operator, Lanserhof, has launched a programme for people who’ve had ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Opinion
promotion
Elon Musk has plans to conquer Mars and these days the meat on your hamburger can be grown in a lab - so why are so many fitness businesses still using papers and pens to create workouts for their members?
Opinion: How the current pandemic may be helping the fitness industry to innovate
Opinion
promotion
The activity industry finds itself in a position of considerable threat. Two-thirds of the world’s gyms are closed – that’s 230 million members unable to attend a fitness facility, according to data platform fitNdata.
Opinion: Ensuring members return after lockdown
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: What’s your Covid-19 exit strategy? How will you use this time to relaunch your business to thrive, not just survive
There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Bicester hotel opens purpose-built performance facilities to attract new target audience
The Bicester Hotel and Spa has launched purpose-built fitness and performance facilities to create a standalone, unique offering to attract a new demographic to the site.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-31 Aug 2020
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
11-12 Oct 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates

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
A new report has revealed the likely timescales and shape of the UK fitness market's ...
Latest News
There has been a "surge in appreciation" of exercise during lockdown, with people turning to ...
Latest News
Gyms and health clubs in Dubai, UAE, have begun reopening their doors today (27 May) ...
Latest News
HCM understands that the directors of énergie Fitness have brought in specialist company FRP Advisory ...
Latest News
Planning approval has been granted for a new David Lloyd Club in Bicester, Oxfordshire. The ...
Latest News
Aerobic exercise boosts blood flow into two key regions of the brain associated with memory, ...
Latest News
Gympass has launched a new digital platform as a response to the increase in demand ...
Latest News
Austrian medical health and wellness operator, Lanserhof, has launched a programme for people who’ve had ...
Latest News
HCM can report that Europe Active's annual thought-leader conference, the European Health and Fitness Forum ...
Latest News
The number of people signing up for memberships at Planet Fitness has been at 2019 ...
Latest News
Gyms in England could be open in July if lobbying by the fitness industry comes ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Opinion
promotion
Elon Musk has plans to conquer Mars and these days the meat on your hamburger can be grown in a lab - so why are so many fitness businesses still using papers and pens to create workouts for their members?
Opinion: How the current pandemic may be helping the fitness industry to innovate
Opinion
promotion
The activity industry finds itself in a position of considerable threat. Two-thirds of the world’s gyms are closed – that’s 230 million members unable to attend a fitness facility, according to data platform fitNdata.
Opinion: Ensuring members return after lockdown
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: What’s your Covid-19 exit strategy? How will you use this time to relaunch your business to thrive, not just survive
There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Bicester hotel opens purpose-built performance facilities to attract new target audience
The Bicester Hotel and Spa has launched purpose-built fitness and performance facilities to create a standalone, unique offering to attract a new demographic to the site.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-31 Aug 2020
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
11-12 Oct 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
27-30 Oct 2020
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
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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