IF the bodies on Bondi Beach are anything to go by, the Aussies know a thing or two about working out.
This could be why the latest training craze to emerge from Down Under is set to become the world’s fastest growing.
F45 (or Functional 45), the high-intensity, circuit-based group training brand, is rapidly expanding across London, with 15 studios expected to open across the Capital in 2017, just 18 months after the first UK outpost launched at London Bridge.
The latest, tucked beneath Farringdon’s converted warehouses and design studios, opened last week to a chorus of whooping and hollering from fans of the franchise who like their workouts lean and mean and a body to match.
What is it?
F45 Training offers a 45-minute, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that is designed to burn over 750 calories using a combination of strength and cardio.
Through an array of interval stations, the team-based workout features 27 distinct workout systems that incorporate more than 3,000 exercises to ensure the highest level of variation for participants, who will never do the same workout twice.
How does it work?
Each of the 27 workouts have a different combination of HIIT, circuit and functional training.
‘Flamingo’ is a team-based cardio session that will get your heart rate up enough to burn 820 calories, ‘Gravity’ uses bodyweight training to improve mobility and fat loss, while ‘Romans’ combines resistance and functional movement training to activate muscle mass and encourage afterburn.
The studio is split into three circuits with several stations at each. The rotations depend on the workout but expect a 35 to 45-second burst of movement followed by 15 to 25 seconds of rest. Huff, puff, and repeat. Screens overhead show the moves required and trainers wander between the stations to correct form and scrape you off the ground at the end of each set.
What are the benefits?
Sydney-based equities trader Rob Deutsch founded F45 in 2014 after identifying a gap between low-cost commercial gym memberships that offer little in terms of motivation and more effective personal trainers that come with a higher price point.
The rapid expansion (F45 is Australia’s fastest growing franchise with 480 studios and more than 750 around the world) is put down to a results-driven following that is proving almost cult-like, counting professional athletes and actors amongst its devotees, including Hugh Jackman, who trained with F45 to get in shape to play X-Men’s Wolverine.
So what makes this workout so effective? The combination of interval, cardiovascular and strength training is a proven fat burner and lean muscle builder, and the variety of sessions means you won’t get bored or see your results plateau.
There is also no time for clock-watching, so it won’t feel like a 45-minute workout until your muscles are screaming afterwards; perfect for the time-poor who want to change their bodies fast.
A five-class bundle will set you back £110 so F45 addicts usually get more value out of unlimited monthly memberships, which usually start at £220, although Farringdon is currently running introductory offers on foundation memberships for those that get in early.
Where can I try it?
F45 Farringdon, Denmark House, 9-13 Cowcross St EC1M 6DR or go online to f45training.co.uk for more locations.