WE11 founder Sam Unadkat: we will cause mayhem in the fitness industry
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WE11 founder Sam Unadkat: we will cause mayhem in the fitness industry

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We’re disrupting the way in which conventional gyms operate

The founder of a fitness studio which offers a co-working space for freelance PTs and their clients says the model will "disrupt the fitness market".

Sam Unadkat launched the business after becoming a "frustrated gym user", following him losing access to his regular private trainer.

"My PT decided to go freelance and I couldn't find another trainer at the club who suited me," Unadkat said, speaking in the September 2019 issue of HCM magazine.

"I spent a year chasing my first PT. We trained in the park, I snuck him back into my old club 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 oversubscribed. The price that I was paying for the opportunity to train with him was not reflected in the surroundings.

"That made me realise there was a huge opportunity to capitalise on the gap in the market for premium, flexible space."

Unadkat's concept, WE11, now has a flagship site offering fully equipped gym spaces, two treatment rooms, luxury changing rooms and the WE11 Lounge – which acts as the centre of the brand's wellness community.

With no monthly fixed fees, PTs pay between £20 and £30 per hour to rent the space, during which they can bring in clients for sessions.

"We don't get involved with the end-user at all," Unadkat says. "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."

Unadkat says that the concept has been even more popular than he first anticipated.

"We are working with more than 70 PTs, with lots of them going freelance now that they have the platform to do so," he says.

"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."

• To read a full interview with Sam Unadkat, click here for the September 2019 issue of HCM magazine.

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