The fitness industry is always looking for a new angle to sell you on their “unique” technique that “guarantees” the best results, so when the national chain of F45 Training opened their doors at Torrensville, we were invited in to find out if they put the hype into hyperbole or if what they claim is accurate.
We sent along our Film & TV Editor, Rod Lewis, who – obviously – spends a lot of time in front of a movie screen when he’s not sitting in front of a computer. The result? In just two-and-a-half weeks at F45 Training Torrensville, he’s already lost over 4 kg and has become so motivated that he’s dumped his other, barely-used gym membership to join F45 Torrensville.
So what is it that makes F45 so effective? Well, first of all, let’s explain what F45 Training is.
Putting aside anything you might mumble while training, the “F” in F45 stands for “Functional” and, potentially, “Fun” once you get over the shock of their high-intensity interval workouts. “Functional” exercises mean that the movements try to mimic the actions of everyday life, often resulting in combined motions instead of a single, isolated movement like just a bicep curl.
F45 Training is a national brand out of Sydney and growing in popularity overseas too. Through a streaming in-house service which they call F45-TV, all franchises run the same workout on the same day around the country.
It’s a class-based gym, with multiple classes running six days of the week, from early morning to evening. The classes are all circuits, which means that you move from one exercise to the next with little or no break. It keeps your heart rate up so you’re improving your fitness even when you’re working on resistance instead of cardio. Wall monitors display each exercise so you can glance up and know what to do when you get to each workout station, although the two trainers also show you what to do at the start and give plenty of personal assistance, motivation and advice during the 45-60 minute workout.
Former University of North Alabama basketball star, and now F45 trainer, Nathan Spehr, explains that the workouts currently alternate between cardio circuits on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and resistance training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“A typical cardio session might include skipping, cycling, burpees, jumping, rowing and stomach exercises,” he says, “and a resistance class gives you lots of leg work, push ups, assisted pull ups, and weight lifting.”
On Saturdays, the Hollywood circuit class is a 60-minute whole-body workout with a DJ to pump up the music and motivation.
“F45 Training is effective and inclusive,” Nathan says, “because everyone works at their own pace. We work on timing, not a set number of repetitions, so if you’re given 40 seconds to do an exercise, a fit person might do 30 or more reps but an unfit person might only do 10. It doesn’t matter. You push yourself and do your best and, as a trainer, I’m always excited to see how quickly people improve when they come regularly.”
Fellow trainer Sophie Holtham shares Nathan’s enthusiasm.
“Our job is to make sure everyone is doing the exercises safely and pushing themselves to get the most out of the workouts but, honestly, everyone’s having so much fun that we don’t see much cheating going on!”
Part of that motivation, Sophie says, is because no two circuits are the same, and every three months, new workouts are added to keep things even fresher.
“We’ve got 18 new workouts to introduce at the end of April. I can’t wait to unleash them on everyone!” she grins.
The personable style of Nathan and Sophie are everything you could hope for in a personal trainer. They not only motivate you, but they have already bred a supportive atmosphere in the Torrensville branch where muscle men and fit chicks alike welcome overweight newcomers and give occasional words of encouragement to anyone struggling. Participants high-five each other at the end of the session to cement that sense of equality and community regardless of anyone’s weight or fitness level. There’s no judgement and, being a smaller gym, there’s no cliques either.
As our own Rod Lewis enters his third week at the gym, he gives it a big thumbs up, telling us it’s the most effective gym he’s ever joined.
“I’d describe it as squatting half way between group fitness classes and personal training,” he says. “It’s the personal attention of the trainers that make you work hard, and the overall friendly atmosphere that makes it fun, even when you can’t tell if someone is smiling or grimacing!”
The F45 Training franchise has such confidence in their style of training that they offer a 2-week free membership for all of their branches. Standard membership prices vary between outlets, which currently exist in Norwood, Torrensville, Glenelg and Henley Beach. Visit the website below for more information or to apply for 2 free weeks of unlimited classes.
- F45 Training Torrensville website
- F45 Training Torrensville on Facebook
- F45 Training Torrensville on Instagram
- Find a F45 Training gymnasium
UPDATE 28 March 2016: F45 Training Torrensville has moved their new class releases forward to the beginning of April, commencing on Monday 28 March 2016.