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James Balfour, Giles Dean and Kevin Yates

1Rebel


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

The company, which aims to shake up the fitness industry as a ‘market disrupter’ – in a similar vein to businesses like Airbnb – has plans for another six to eight boutiques across the City over the next few years. In an interview with Health Club Management, co-founder James Balfour said the brand is designed “to bridge the gap between fitness and fashion” and is targeted at millennials.

The club is cashless, paperless and pay-as-you-train, with customers signing up online, and ‘paying’ for things in-club via their ID.

“We’re passionate about market disrupters: companies with conviction and a will to change things, not for the sake of change, but because changing would make things better,” said Giles Dean, who co-founded the company with James Balfour, bringing in fitness industry veteran Kevin Yates as ops director.

The club is spread over a ground floor and basement, and offers 8,000sq ft of space structured around two studios with theatre-grade lighting. There’s also a reception area, café and changing rooms.

The club’s interior, which has been designed by London-based architect firm Studio C102, is described as “industrial luxe” and features lots of reclaimed items and unexpected details like fire hoses being used for the hand shower attachments.

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