Five minutes with Evgenia Koroleva

The owner and founder of non-contact fitness facility ONE LDN on the importance of fresh air, adapting to change and working with your body

Travel and Wellbeing 5 Feb 2021

Can you explain the concept behind ONE LDN and what makes you different from other fitness facilities?
I chose ONE as the brand as it’s incredibly simple yet immensely powerful, reflecting everything we stand for – the best and most effective classes taught by the best coaches, and high-performance gym equipment all under one roof. We’ve focused on the most prevalent areas of fitness, with classes that deliver real results, picking out the best instructors in each field.

More importantly, ONE emphasises the sense of inclusivity and community that is at our very core. Our membership base is extremely varied, which is why we are so focused on ensuring each member gets the best experience and support every time they come to ONE LDN. The equality that we are embedding deep into our brand is the reason why we have managed to build such a strong-knit community in such a short space of time.

We understand that it’s important to set goals to embark on the fitness journey and hard work is necessary to achieve them, but our mission is to make people fall in love with the process.

Can you explain the Curve programme and its ground-breaking potential to highlight the impact of exercise and hormones on the female body?
For a long time, talking about periods and hormones has been a taboo, even between females. Thus, for many of us, these subjects remain completely unknown.

But once the menstrual cycle begins somewhere in puberty, it has profound effects on the body for the duration of our reproductive lives.

This is all due to the hormone fluctuations which have powerful effects on the body throughout each menstrual cycle.

These fluctuations directly affect energy levels, muscle and joint function, metabolism, vulnerability to injuries, appetites, sleep quality, and even skin health.

The mainstream fat loss, nutrition and training plans that most women follow are tailored to men, who don’t experience the same hormonal ups and downs throughout the month.

By adjusting exercise, nutrition and recovery routines according to the time of the month, and, with the guidance that the Curve programme provides, training, eating and recovering more intuitively with your body, you can actually take advantage of these ebbs and flows and harness them to your advantage to maximise your goals and achieve optimal long-lasting results.

When working with your body, it is easier to stick with a rigorous training plan and as a result improve not only how you look, feel, and perform, but also harness your hormonal strengths when it comes to your work and social lives. Women are one of nature’s most sophisticated creations and our bodies are smart, so living in tune with them is a way more enjoyable way to live.

How have you adapted your offering in the fluctuating circumstances of the past year?
One thing that has driven ONE LDN since inception is agility when it comes to the ever-changing needs of our customer base. We have always listened closely and made sure that we are not only at the forefront of the industry when it comes to fitness and training methods, but also that our offering is in tune with what the clients’ needs are. ONE LDN has successfully run body transformation programmes for several years now and we have continuously evolved the programmes based on the learnings and the experiences of our clients.

This agility and a close relationship our clients has allowed us to navigate the fluctuations of the global pandemic. Needless to say, we pivoted the business online to support our clients while they are at home, but by continuously listening and learning we were able to deliver exactly what helps them. Every lockdown during the pandemic has been different in terms of how people have been feeling and what support they required from us, so we evolved. If the first lockdown was a lot more about high intensity, high calorie burn classes, the last one was a lot more about smarter and more caring ways to exercise, such as Animal Flow and pilates.

What is the most positive lesson you have learnt from your experience of recent events?
Most of us have been truly tested to our limits, but the amazing thing is that we are still here to tell the tale. And what a tale it is – it’s a tale of resilience, strength and perseverance!

As we know from our fitness training, you must push your body past the known to achieve gains. As you progress in your training, you must increase load and volume to break down the muscle fibres, to get stronger and faster.

So, the recent events have taught me to not fear, to step into the unknown. Reaching new heights involves the risk of attempting something we might not succeed at and if you don’t succeed you can always get up and try again. And if there is one thing that this year has taught us, it is that we can do it and we have been bloody great at it.

 What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?
A few years ago, there was an incredible article in The New York Times titled “It’s great to suck at something”. For me, it framed so many of my experiences and the rocky road that being an entrepreneur is, highlighted especially in the past year of the pandemic. The author opened the piece with “I’m terrible at surfing. Then why do it? Because the freedom to fail without caring is revelatory”. The notion of sucking at something flies in the face of the overhyped notion of perfectionism which we are constantly surrounded by, fuelled by social media. There’s still a fairly tabooed and unacceptable notion of failure between those working for themselves. However, by taking off the pressure of having to excel at or master an activity, we allow ourselves to live in the moment and really enjoy the journey. In the words of the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind, there are few”.

We never grow because things have worked out or went well, while we remained truly in our comfort zone. Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is an important, and almost universal, factor in personal growth. And as I mentioned, if there is one thing that the past year has taught us, it is that we can do it.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?
That is definitely my parents.

My dad pushed me to leave an investment banking career in pursuit of my passion and work for myself. Always leading by example, he taught me that hard work, dedication and perseverance are the keys to success. He is super tough but that has made me grow tremendously, both as a person and a company owner.

My mum is soft and caring and taught me the art of building and maintaining relationships with people. With her grace, she taught me the power of femininity in being a leader, a boss and doing business.

What is one thing that you like to do to look after your wellbeing?
For me the most important thing is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Fresh air not only has endless health benefits, but it completely reinvigorates me, gives me bundles of energy and mental focus.

Where is your favourite place in the city to relax?
Richmond Park. It provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London life. You can get lost there both physically and mentally, exploring endless trails and its gorgeous flora and fauna.

I would highly recommend planning your visit around sunrise and sunset. It is also an incredible place to visit to observe the changes of the seasons.

Apart from health and fitness, what are your biggest passions?
Hands down the ocean and the mountains.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal workout companion and why?
It’s a really tough one. I would give a lot to go surfing with Bethany Hamilton or run in the mountains with Courtney Dauwalter. I think they are both my absolute idols not only in perseverance and dedication, but also in their incredible abilities and mastery of two of my favourite sports.