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1Rebel launches first boutique in City of London

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After much anticipation and a raft of headlines, the first 1Rebel microgym has launched in the City of London.

The company, which aims to shake-up the fitness industry as a ‘market disrupter’ – in a similar vein to businesses like Uber and Airbnb – has plans for another six to eight boutiques across the City over the next few years.

In an interview with Health Club Management that will appear in the February edition, co-founder James Balfour said the brand is designed “to bridge the gap between fitness and fashion” and is squarely targeted at millennials.

The club is totally cashless, paperless and pay-as-you-train, with all customers signing up and booking classes online, and ‘paying’ for things in-club via their ID. There are, stresses Balfour, no tie-in contracts, deals or special offers.

“We’ve conceived 1Rebel as a premium experience from start to finish, from the classes and instructors through to the changing rooms and the organic food and juices people can buy,” said Balfour, who co-founded the company with Giles Dean, bringing in fitness industry veteran Kevin Yates as ops director.

“It’s a five-star offering that we really don’t think has existed until now.”

Part-funded by an innovative crowdfunding campaign, the first 1Rebel boutique is spread over a ground floor and basement in the shadow of The Gherkin, offering 8,000sq ft of space structured around two studios with theatre-grade lighting.

The Ride studio has 64 of the latest ICG indoor bikes, and incorporates weights and bands into the classes. The Reshape studio offers bootcamp-style classes and yoga, with Woodway treadmills and all exercise equipment conveniently housed in a patented workbench – the 1Rebel Box – designed by Escape Fitness. There’s also a reception area, café and changing rooms, with eye-catching copper lockers from Craftsman.

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After much anticipation and a raft of headlines, the first 1Rebel microgym has launched in the City of London.
The club’s interior, which has been designed by London-based architecture firm Studio C102, is described as 'industrial luxe' / 1Rebel


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