“Team Training, Life Changing,” is the motto of functional fitness company, F45 Training. Originally from Australia, F45 started in 2012 and is arguably the fastest growing fitness franchise in the industry. They have created a fitness revolution with locations in 18 countries and over 450 studios. In the United States, there are five in California and nine scattered throughout the rest of the country.
If you haven’t heard of this company let me give you the run down of everyone’s latest obsession. The classes are 45 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and each day has a different class varying between intense cardio, tabata, strength training, or boxing. Approximately 18 different workouts are circulated around so no week is the exact same. HIIT is perfect for getting your heart rate up and burns more fat through short bursts of activity followed by shorter periods of rest. So as an example you would do 40 seconds of intense active training then 20 seconds rest (or 20:10 seconds). Repeat that for 45 minutes straight. HIIT also has a higher after burn effect than other training styles, meaning you will continue to burn calories for longer after your workout. Yes, it is possible to burn more calories in less time!
So far in my twenties, going to the gym has never worked out well for me. I was a yogi, jogger or team sports kind of person my whole life but when I moved to Australia I discovered a new lifestyle that revolves around fitness. Plus, my boyfriend was really into going to the gym and Cross Fit so I tried to spend time with him by tagging along but I was never committed enough to see any improvement in physique. In late 2014, an F45 opened right next door to my apartment block (I literally walk about 30 steps to it) so I decided to give it a try because of the overall energy, convenience and community feeling.
F45 has unquestionably been the most influential and healthiest change in my life for the last few years. I have personally seen loads of improvement in my physique, strength, diet, and overall mental well being. So why should you try F45 when there are so many other classes or gyms of all varieties you can join instead?
- Group Training – Who doesn’t love good ‘ole fashioned competitiveness? It’s scientifically proven that people perform better when they have an opponent. Now you aren’t exactly competing against each other in the classes, but the extra push of having a workout buddy who may be holding the plank position longer than you will encourage you to keep going.
- Teamwork – Along with the above comes a great camaraderie and friendship where athletes alike can mingle and exercise together. I train with people who inspire me and push me to be better and stronger. There’s a customary practice of hi fives to everyone at the end of class which is a great pat on the back as well.
- Personal Trainers – In each class there will be two fitness trainers who will yell at you if you stop, encourage you to lift heavier, and show you correct technique to maintain endurance and prevent injury.
- Variety – Some people thrive on repetitiveness but I personally get bored easily when I’ve mastered the exercise. F45 brings a different class every day using circuits to work different muscle groups while also allowing for rest and recovery. Mondays and Wednesday are cardio days while Tuesday and Thursday focus on resistance and strength training. Fridays and Saturdays are a bit of a mix between the two. (Side note: the classes have cool names like Romans, Brooklyn, Angry Birds, or Quarterbacks.)
- Perks – Every class blasts awesome playlists that keep you motivated and moving. Sometimes you even get to smash out a workout with live tunes spun by a DJ. The facilities also utilize a lot of technology to display the exercises in case you forget. Heart rate monitors are displayed to track your progress during the class and tell you overall calories burned when you’ve finished. I would recommend utilizing the full body composition scans at the gyms which analyzes your skeletal muscle mass, visceral fat, total body fat, total body water, mineral content, and basal metabolic rate.
- Playoffs and Challenges – The company holds world wide eight week challenges free of charge in which you can participate. F45 and your instructors provide tips, support, meal plans, and of course physical “tests” at the start and end. These are structured to help you transform to your desired physique, increase confidence and endurance, and change your lifestyle habits.
- Convenience – There are now so many locations in Australia that you could easily find one in your suburb. Even when I go on business trips, I am able to find a gym so there is never an excuse to miss a day at the gym. If there’s isn’t one near you at the moment then I’m sure you won’t have to wait too long for one to pop up.
- Price – Although I can’t confirm the pricing in America, in Australia it’s roughly $66 a week for members. I realize this is a lot of money for anyone but I firmly believe you get as much out of it as you put in. Because I’ve budgeted my money to join, I make sure to get every dollars worth by training 6-8 times a week. This then averages out to less than $10 a class and for the lifestyle and fitness changes I’m experiencing it is well worth that price! If you are wary about the price then take advantage of the FREE one or two week trials in the studio nearest you.
- Exhaustion – You may be overwhelmed when you start out with how difficult or tiring it is if you’re not used to intense cardio. Don’t give it up as it’s normal to be exhausted and I promise you’ll soon love the burn. “If you’re not sweating, you’re not working,” is one of the many sayings your instructors will repeat to you.
- Time Consuming – Three days a week is the average amount people workout. We all have busy lives with work, significant others, and friends and sometimes it’s even difficult to go three times. Start small and work your way upwards to reach the target number of classes that works for you. Alongside an active lifestyle is healthy eating which means MEAL PREP. Yes, that’s planning out your meals and cooking ahead of time (I prefer Sunday afternoons) to prepare for the week. During the eight week challenges in particular you will find that your life revolves around going to gym and cooking food as you focus on achieving you goals.
Step aside SoulCycle and Barre, F45 Training is the next fitness trend you want to be seen doing that will not only bring immense results but transform the way you look at fitness.