Boutique Studio 1Rebel Plans Post-COVID Residential Expansion

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  • London-based fitness studio 1Rebel is planning to spread out across the capital’s residential areas in response to changing consumer habits following COVID-19
  • The 2015-founded company recently opened its ninth UK studio in Hammersmith, with Ealing and “a number of sites” set to follow over the coming months
  • 1Rebel also revealed a new workout concept called Rig and unisex changing facilities at its newly-opened Hammersmith studio designed to “create a sense of community and teamwork, no matter your gender”

LONDON, United Kingdom — Disruptive boutique fitness studio 1Rebel is planning to expand into London’s residential quarters over the coming months to cater for “a new demographic of customer” that has emerged since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking to Welltodo, Co-Founder James Balfour outlined ambitious plans to soon open a new “local” 1Rebel studio in Ealing, west London, while “actively looking at a number of sites across the capital”.

The six-year-old company recently opened its ninth UK studio in Hammersmith – also west London – chosen as a prime catchment area for people working from home despite coronavirus restrictions lifting.

Now with Ealing soon to follow, these moves suggest a major shift of focus from the heart of the capital to a more even spread across the city.

“I believe that our customers will begin to see more studios open in residential areas and high streets as we understand that demand has changed and accessibility when working from home is a new priority which we did not have before,” Balfour told Welltodo.

“We still see our loyal and new Rebels in the city centre studios, particularly as offices open back up, however we are seeing much more diversity across studio locations.”

1Rebel Plans Post-COVID Residential Expansion

Image: 1Rebel

RIG: 1Rebel’s Toughest Workout
Balfour’s comments followed the launch of a new functional fitness concept called “RIG”, unveiled at 1Rebel’s Hammersmith studio in August.

The class involves four zones – bike, row, bench and rig – combining functional strength moves with bouts of high-intensity interval training, on an assault bike and rowing machine.

RIG will be available in five class types: Strength, Intensity, Engine, Benchmark and a community-building class called Teams.

Commenting on the new concept, Balfour said: “As a brand, we’re constantly looking at how to innovate and provide our customers with the very best in fitness, and we believe RIG is up there alongside Reshape, Ride and Rumble.

“This is our first venture away from central London but we know the appetite is there, especially as we can see life returning to normality and people putting their health above anything else.”

Balfour said Hammersmith was the perfect location for 1Rebel’s first “local” studio, with several more set to follow. “We have plans to open our next local 1Rebel in Ealing in the coming months and are actively looking at a number of sites across the capital too.”

Unisex Changing Facilities
In another first for the brand, 1Rebel has also introduced a “mould-breaking new design concept” combining both male and female changing rooms into one communal space within its Hammersmith studio.

Dubbed simply, “The Changing Room”, the facilities include individual shower cubicles with connected but private personal changing areas, as well as both male and female “vanity stations” for his and hers post-workout selfies.

“1Rebel Hammersmith and our new RIG class has purposefully been designed to create a sense of community and teamwork, no matter your gender, and we wanted this to be replicated throughout the whole of the studio,” Balfour explained.

Adding: “The mirrored areas provide a communal space that unites our Rebels but it also allows us to maximise on space within the studios to offer the best class possible. Plus it avoids showers being empty in one area and too busy in another.”

 

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The 1Rebel brand is now made up of nine studios across London, in St. Mary’s Axe, Broadgate, Angel, Victoria, Holborn, Oxford Circus and Hammersmith, with Ealing in west London coming soon.

Over the past year and despite the complexity of the pandemic, 1Rebel has also expanded to new territories overseas, setting up new sites in the Middle East and Australia that each house a variety of the brand’s iconic concepts, Reshape, Ride, Rumble and RIG.

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