Exercise Professionals - BXR founder, Olia Sardarova, plans expansion with backing of boxing legend Anthony Joshua...
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21 May 2019

BXR founder, Olia Sardarova, plans expansion with backing of boxing legend Anthony Joshua
BY Andy Knaggs

Anthony Joshua has contributed

Anthony Joshua has contributed

High-end boxing gym brand BXR is looking to roll out an expansion of its Sweat by BXR group exercise concept in the UK, with founder Olia Sardarova saying she would like at least five studios running in the next three to four years.

Sardarova has also quashed industry rumours that she's currently working to open a BXR in New York, telling HCM "Not just yet for NYC - we're currently masterminding our London expansion."

In a wide-ranging interview in the May 2019 issue of HCM magazine, Sardarova explained the concept behind the BXR brand, which mixes top class boxing facilities with a pay-to-train group exercise programme.

The first BXR is in London's upmarket Chiltern Street, opposite celeb hangout, Chiltern Firehouse, which is owned by hotelier to the stars, André Balazs.

World champion boxer Anthony Joshua is a stakeholder in the BXR business and Sardarova said that creating a gym that was good enough for Joshua was a guiding inspiration in creating the London club. He does indeed use the gym for strength training.

The Sweat by BXR concept is separate from the upstairs boxing gym, with three studios in the basement.

Again, Joshua is the inspiration. His training requires cardio, strength and boxing skills work and the Sweat studios have been designed around this structure.

"I’m very interested to explore opening new locations beyond London, not least because Anthony Joshua is involved in the business," said Sardarova. "He’s an absolute legend all over the UK – and actually, the further north you get, the more of a legend he is – so having his support will make expanding into places like Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle very interesting.

"The pay-to-train market is still in its infancy in those cities, but that’s changing rapidly. Barry’s Bootcamp opened in Manchester at the beginning of this year, for example, and it will be interesting to see how they perform."

Sardarova left open the possibility of international expansion too, but added that with every market being very different, any international ventures would be with local partners.

She also addressed feedback about her innovative "two-in-one" model, in which BXR members need to pay extra for Sweat by BXR classes, while those that only buy the class packages don't have access to the gym floor.

"I was heavily criticised for this model at first. However, I believe it makes sense to bring in new faces," she said. "Our gym floor is just 4,500sq ft and we break even at 800 members; we’d never be able to fill all the classes just from the BXR membership base, especially as data shows very little overlap between those who like to work out in a gym and those who like to do group exercise.

"It’s also a fact that the BXR membership base is slightly skewed towards men, whereas our classes bring in more women. Having the female-orientated Sweat by BXR sit alongside the male-dominated boxing concept, and then bringing everyone together in the same shared lounge space – it creates a wonderful and well-balanced set-up. It really works."

To read the full article see the May 2019 issue of HCM magazine here.



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