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
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
» bicycle crunches
» leg raises
» weighted body twists
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
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