1REBEL Set To Revolutionise London’s Fitness Scene In 2015


“Live fast, die pretty,” is the latest quote from 1REBEL’s evocative social media streams… and it’s exactly what the new boutique fitness chain will personify when it opens its doors to Londoners in January.

The disruptive brainchild of ex-lawyer Giles Dean and James Balfour, son of Fitness First founder Mike Balfour, 1REBEL is breaking all the rules – just as its name suggests.

Posting images of Bradley Cooper and the Victoria’s Secret models will certainly generate followers, but after speaking with the duo, we’re confident that 1REBEL is about to live up to all this hype and revolutionise the fitness industry in London. So confident, that we’ve stamped it as a Game Changer for 2015, a series we will be rolling out over the new month.

“We’re doing what a lot of other boutique fitness studios won’t or can’t do,” says James, referring to 1REBEL’s fashion-led and at times quite provocative marketing approach.

With two locations confirmed in central London, 1REBEL will offer two dynamic classes: it’s own approach to spinning, or Rebel Ride, and group HIIT training involving treadmills and a patented 1R workout platform, coined Rebel Reshape. Both will be set against a back-drop of bespoke playlists from internationally acclaimed DJs, something very new for London.

The 1REBEL founders are so sure of its appeal, that they’re ditching the membership model in favour of a ‘pay-as-you-train’ model; and a member card that you’ll use around each studio to pay for Roots and Bulbs cold-pressed juice and other premium products on sale.


“No customer comes to a fitness club wanting to sign a 12 month contract,” says James. “This is something that the industry has put on its customers, not something the customer has asked for. Millenial’s are wiser and the model is now outdated and unsustainable.”

A partnership with Charli Cohen will also see the studios stocking high-end, British-born activewear as part of its fashion focus.

And if it all seems a little… errr, intimidating?… Giles and James make a point of emphasising that it all comes back to fitness. Yes, 1REBEL will attract fashionistas and socialites, but showing up again and again is about committing to and achieving your fitness goals, and reality hits hard for everyone when drops of sweat land on the studio floor.

Still, the recruitment campaign packed a punch as 1REBEL put a call out for people looking to make an impact; though no divas, time wasters or cowards.


No shortcuts are being taken on the interiors, which James says is a huge part of what sets 1REBEL apart.

“1REBEL is experience focused, at the premium edge of the market,” says James. “Expect towels at three different temperatures, and Evian water flowing from the taps,” he says with a laugh. The first part is true at least, but as for fresh spring water from the showers… we’ll have to wait and see!

1REBEL will open doors to its first location at 63 St Mary Axe on January 15th. A second opening will be imminent at Broadgate Circle.


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