Russian born Olia Sardarova is the founder and brains behind the UK’s first high-end, luxury boxing gym , which is based in the heart of Marylebone. Olia conceived the idea for the gym as part of her dissertation at Imperial College London in 2016. Her dream was to create a New York-style boxing gym that would suit the UK market and pristine, Marylebone location.
In January 2017 her dream became a reality and was born. BXR and its pay-to-train counterpart; Sweat by BXR are famed for providing an unrivalled, state-of-the art space for people to challenge and evolve the way they train.
Find out what it's like to run a cult boxing gym and follow Olia through her day...
Talk us through your morning routine.
I wake up every week morning at 6:30am to cherish the brief hour with my girls during breakfast and a morning run. But first I always take half an hour for myself: read emails, long shower and make up until I am ready to go and wake up the girls.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up?
Sadly, and many would disapprove, the first thing I do is check my emails and respond to four or five... The reason is it helps me to switch on the brain and really wake up before I can get out of bed.
Do you have breakfast/workout/meditate in the morning?
Well I guess the half hour between 6:30am and 7am that belong only to me whilst everyone else is still asleep is my mediation in a way. But I listen to the news and then to an audio book during that time - again to get the brain switched on for the day.
What do you have for breakfast?
Most often bircher muesli with coconut yoghurt and some jam, our friends at Rebel Kitchen taught me the best recipe for that.
What do you wear to work?
Well the beauty of working at the gym is I can wear absolutely anything, it ranges from super conservative banking type suits, to knee high boots and jeans, to regular gym wear. It mostly depends on how I feel in the morning.
What happens when you arrive at work?
First thing I do when I arrive is speak to staff and find out what is happening (the gym opens at 6:30am so a lot has happened by the time I arrive), then I do a walk around to see that all our standards are met and then I get to my emails and meetings for the rest of the day.
What’s your workspace like – is it a desk etc?
It is a lovely Joe & The Juice lounge at BXR.
What does you day at work look like? Do you have meetings?
I do have a lot of meetings every day. I do enjoy email communications as everything is then on record and I can't forget about it, but there is nothing more important than face to face communication at work to really understand what is happening.
Do you enjoy your work?
I love my work - what's there not to love - I am surrounded by a bunch of happy people who work out every day and produce many happy hormones and emit that positive energy into the world.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Meeting all the new people in the industry and beyond as well as making phenomenal new connections.
What do you have for lunch at work?
Well on a good day, when I have time for lunch, I would have exactly what you expect to hear from a gym owner: a piece of salmon and some greens.
Talk us through your evening routine...
Once again evenings are the time that belongs to me so usually I catch up on work and then on 'me' time, whether it is watching an episode of something that takes my mind off work, or reading.
What do you watch on TV? Any favourites?
I don't really have time to watch TV so the only time I would switch it on is when I am packing for a trip or getting ready to go out. It is always Friends in that case as you don't need to actually watch it anymore - I listen to the voices and know every scene by heart.
How do you unwind before bed?
What's that? I drop dead tired at 11pm every night.
What time do you go to bed?
I try to go to bed before 11pm on most days.