1Rebel is the latest successful fitness venture from the team that founded Fitness First and Jatomi Fitness and was voted by GQ Magazine as the best gym in London this year using the now infamous accolade of “King of Gyms”.
Over the last few years boutique fitness has gained huge popularity throughout the US. Leading the way has beenSoulCycle, which has transformed itself from a cycling workout into a lifestyle phenomenon. Together with bootcamp style operators, notably Barry’s Bootcamp, and boxing concepts such as ShadowBox, the US, historically the country that pioneers fitness evolution, is proving that boutique fitness is the future of fitness.
Customers are so drawn to this new lifestyle-based and experiential approach to fitness that they become devoted. Indeed, SoulCycle have “Soul Evangelists” and it is no different for the other operators. Customers preach the benefits of the classes and this translates into strong financial growth. Having now filed for an IPO (the first in the boutique fitness sector to do so), SoulCycle has disclosed that it earned $25.3 million in 2014 from revenues of $112 million, which were up from $75.3 million in 2013 (source: New York Times). There are unconfirmed reports that SoulCycle has been valued, from forward EBITDA, at $1 billion. It currently has 38 studios.
1Rebel is pioneering a new approach to fitness in the UK. 1Rebel launched in London in January 2015 to critical acclaim (see accolades below) and offers 3 different types of highly intense fitness group sessions (Ride, Reshape & Rumble) that are specifically designed to inspire and motivate customers to get results. Every session in each studio format features bespoke playlists that have been curated by an internationally acclaimed DJ and certain sessions feature live entertainment. Boutique studios are built to a balance of beauty and function and feature spacious changing facilities, top-end grooming and skincare products as well as sports-luxe retail and juicing zones.
It is for these reasons, and more, that Bloomberg and British GQ have already crowned 1Rebel as the “King of Gyms”.
1Rebel has three core competencies within its brand and seeks to expand using a mixture of the following three studio types within its club growth going forward.
“45 minutes of physical and mental intensity. Exertion that you never thought possible. This highly intensive group experience is designed to condition and resculpt selected muscle-groups. The latest Woodway 4Front treadmills and the bespoke and patented 1R workout platform is specifically designed to mould your body and break your barriers.”
“We don’t spin. We Ride. Smash your way through a high energy 30 or 45 minute Ride session against a pioneering weekly set of themed rides by our Rockstar instructors, live music from our house musicians, or mix-up with a double shot, which incorporate Ride and kick ass Reshape. Ride is a full body workout incorporating hand weights, as well as immersive pyrotechnics never seen before in a fitness studio.”
“Rumble. We burn hard and HIIT hard, incorporating explosive speed, footwork, strength but most of all willpower. It’s the survival of the fittest, an immersive space filled with 45 minutes of sound and energy. Punch, kick, and move. It’s between you and your bag. A cardio boxing and mixed martial arts battle that’s no holds barred in a fitness studio.”
Through social media we are more connected, more mobile and better informed than we ever have been before. What we experience and what we associate ourselves with has enormous potential reach and the power to influence others (positive or negative). 1Rebel believes that it is a fundamental truth that, for any brand to be successful, it must first create a community and then a positive experience. Only then will that community become advocates and create that virtuous circle of influencing others.
We believe in our community. 1Rebel is often referred to as being an ‘industry disrupter’, a ‘game changer’. 1Rebel identified what was wrong in the market and set out to change it. We put it back to the way it should have been in the first place. We don’t believe our community should be subjected to long-term contacts or debt collectors or lawyers. We don’t accept that demotivating and uninspiring self-workouts should be the norm and we don’t believe in advocating unrealistic and unobtainable goals. We actually believe the absolute opposite. So we tore up the traditional fitness club model and we put our community at the heart of our operation. Having delivered what we said we would deliver and because of our #detoxretox tone of voice, our community has embraced us and we now outperform most of the established operators on our preferred social media platforms (see more in social media section).
All of our sessions are designed to motivate – whether its through Live or Hip Hop themed sessions (Ride), the ability to stress-bust as you imagine the face of your boss as you kick and punch one of our 40 boxing bags (Rumble) or the challenge facing you as you line up against one of our Woodway treadmills or patented Rebel Boxes (Reshape) or maybe its because our Instructors are policing the room motivating, educating and driving you to give that last 5%. Yes it’s tough but after motivation comes completion following which comes “euphoria” and then ultimately, why our customers are there in the first place, results.
The 1Rebel experience goes beyond the Ride, Rumble and Reshape sessions and is defined by many by the design of, and the amenities within, our boutiques.
Designed for the needs of our time-poor community, our first boutique was former office space that we stripped down and reconfigured into an urban, energetic performance-focused space. Our goal was to design the space so that each class felt like a night out, an event in its own right rather than a means to an end. To that end, and in keeping with an “industrial luxe design language” we focused on bare concrete walls, exposed ductwork and pipes, spray-stencilled signage and other industrial elements that were then combined with vintage furniture, reclaimed light fittings and bespoke design features. A large cinema-like illuminated canopy in both clubs speaks to the performance awaiting and also acts as a signboard for ‘instagram’ ready catchphrases. Equally impressive are our spacious changing rooms offering copper-clad lockers and plenty of showers, where guests can find luxury skincare products and even chilled towels for a little post training pampering.