F45 – The work­out that’s cre­at­ing a buzz

HEARD THE PHRASE 'EAT. F45. RE­PEAT' LATELY? THE TRAIN­ING PHENOMENON HAS TAKEN THE HEALTH AND FIT­NESS IN­DUS­TRY BY STORM. MONIQUE MCKEN­ZIE TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT’S IN­VOLVED

Good Health Choices - - Be Content -

Dubbed the world’s fastest­grow­ing fit­ness craze, F45 was born in Bondi Beach in 2012 and de­vel­oped by a celebrity trainer. In just the six years since launch­ing, it has ex­ploded – with more than 1000 stu­dios across Aus­tralia, the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and now here. The fran­chise, which

was founded by Hol­ly­wood trainer Luke Is­tomin and Rob Deutsch, has amassed a cult fol­low­ing. Ni­cole Kid­man swears by it, and other devo­tees in­clude Ricky Martin and Ni­cole Richie. The ‘F’ stands for func­tional train­ing and the ‘45’ for the to­tal time of all classes: 45 min­utes. F45 strives to be fe­male-friendly. Mem­ber­ship is 70 per cent fe­males, 30 per cent males. It’s also less in­tim­i­dat­ing than you might ex­pect; you won’t find heavy weights, power lift­ing or heavy tread­mills in the classes. Swing­ing an 8kg ket­tle­bell in the air is just one of the cir­cuit ex­er­cises you’ll en­dure. And ex­pect lots of burpees.

ele­ment of sur­prise

F45 was cre­ated af­ter Deutsch spot­ted a gap in the fit­ness mar­ket. He could see peo­ple were joined up at com­mer­cial gyms with lit­tle in­no­va­tion, and most couldn’t nec­es­sar­ily af­ford a $90 PT ses­sion three times a week. So he set out to cre­ate a group train­ing fa­cil­ity fea­tur­ing the most dy­namic and ef­fec­tive train­ing styles to date. He sought to find a way to vary work­outs ev­ery day that could be im­ple­mented around the world. He has de­scribed the reg­u­larly chang­ing work­outs as some days train­ing like an Amer­i­can quar­ter­back, the next day train­ing like a surfer on the pipe­line. The va­ri­ety keeps its mem­bers chal­lenged.

The con­cept is sim­ple – stu­dios of­fer a high-in­ten­sity, cir­cuit train­ing class. F45 has de­scribed each of their stu­dios as ‘an ecosys­tem that de­vel­ops in­cred­i­ble physiques and strong ca­ma­raderie’, thanks in part to ini­tia­tives like the live DJ sets on Satur­days, with a mas­sive fo­cus placed on mu­sic as mo­ti­va­tion.

Ses­sions are timed, with 45 sec­onds ‘on’, and 15 sec­ond ‘rest’ pe­ri­ods in be­tween. Work­outs are cre­ated from a data­base of more than 3000 ex­er­cises, so you never get the same work­out twice. The in­struc­tors walk around the class to mo­ti­vate peo­ple, rather than stand­ing in front on a stage, and of­fer per­son­alised in­struc­tion. Aim­ing to be a full body work­out, F45 fo­cuses on in­no­va­tion, mo­ti­va­tion and re­sults, and com­bines el­e­ments of high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT), cir­cuit train­ing, and func­tional train­ing. Team-based, struc­tured, and in a bou­tique stu­dio en­vi­ron­ment, the idea of func­tional train­ing is you train the way you move in ev­ery­day life. The sci­ence be­hind the method is that a com­bi­na­tion of in­ter­val, car­dio­vas­cu­lar and strength train­ing is sup­pos­edly the most ef­fec­tive way of burn­ing fat and build­ing lean mus­cle.

VA­RI­ETY IS KEY

F45 is known for, among oth­ers:

» squat jumps

» weighted lunges

» sus­pen­sion weight train­ing

» planks

» bi­cy­cle crunches

» leg raises

» weighted body twists

» skip­ping

F45 ‘The ‘F’ stands for func­tional train­ing and the ‘45’ for the to­tal time of all classes – 45 min­utes.

» weighted squats

» sprint­ing » row­ing

» weight swing­ing

» spin­ning

» chin-ups

The ‘on’ pe­ri­ods are spent at up to 27 work­out sta­tions dot­ted around the room; they could in­volve ev­ery­thing from bat­tle ropes to lad­der drills. TV screens count down the time to the start of a class and show how much time is left for each ex­er­cise. The screens also con­tin­u­ously dis­play a per­son per­form­ing the ex­er­cises and re­peats the move­ments if you get lost.

The fo­cus is on ef­fi­ciency – not a sec­ond is wasted, and there’s no break that isn’t planned. The classes are de­signed to push you into the red zone, where your heart is work­ing at 85-95 per cent of its full ca­pac­ity for an ex­tended pe­riod. Keep­ing your heart in this zone im­proves car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, as well as con­tin­u­ing to burn calo­ries for hours af­ter your work­out ends. The fast pace of the cir­cuit means there’s no time to watch the clock, and the classes are said to be so in­tense that you can burn 750 to 1000 calo­ries in a ses­sion.

All the classes have quirky names. Dur­ing ‘Wing­man’, you work out with a friend and burn up to 800 calo­ries do­ing func­tional move­ment pat­terns. Forty-five min­utes later you walk out with im­proved en­ergy lev­els, higher me­tab­o­lism and greater en­durance.

F45 is not the cheap­est op­tion – mem­bers pay $55 a week but can train as much as they like and classes are linked on­line or via an app so they can be booked ahead of time. You’ve got to com­mit; no more than 27 peo­ple fill a class and some slots are so pop­u­lar there’s a wait list. It’s sug­gested classes should be at­tended three or four times a week. The work­outs are de­signed to be suit­able for all fit­ness lev­els as you take the class at your own pace.

classes are said to be so in­tense you can burn 750 to 1000 calo­ries in a ses­sion

fast and fresh

F45 is New Zealand’s fastest-grow­ing fran­chise; with peo­ple con­stantly de­mand­ing new and vary­ing train­ing styles, the suc­cess of F45 is partly cred­ited to its em­pha­sis on fresh, in­no­va­tive work­outs ac­ces­si­ble to the masses. Ev­ery quar­ter, 250 new ex­er­cises – and what­ever equip­ment they re­quire – are in­jected into ev­ery PT’s reper­toire around the world to keep F45 fun and fresh for fit­ness fa­nat­ics.

So for those look­ing to sculpt lean mus­cle in a short, fo­cused train­ing ses­sion, F45 could be the way to go – but ex­pect to leave drenched in sweat. To find an F45 stu­dio near you, go to f45­train­ing.co.nz

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