It gets pretty hard to keep track of all the new fitness options cropping up these days. Mainly because of the fact they have somewhat vague names that require additional investigation to find out what they actual entail. If we had our way they’d be called things like “25-minute interval training using kettlebells and dumbbells” or “an hour of so many damn pull-ups, squats and burpees, you’ll probably be sick”. Probably not likely to get past the copywriters, but would make our lives easier.
But then again, that’s what we’re here for. We go and test out all these classes and training methods to save you the laborious job of trawling the web to find out for yourself. We’re kind of nice like that. We like to give back to the fitness community. We also quite like trying them out as well – so it’s win-win really.
Anyway, F45 is a series of fitness classes originating from Australia. Apparently its pretty popular over there with people like Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman & Ricky Martin (yes, Ricky Martin!) all giving it a go at one time or another. Over the past twelve months it’s made it’s may across the sea to eighteen other countries, one of which is the UK. Hence why we’re writing about it.
Sure, the name may sound like a fighter jet, but it actually stands for functional (as in the exercises you do) and 45 minutes, which is the standard time for a class. Nice and easy, once you’ve taken the time to look into it.
Based between Borough and London Bridge, the new facility is a large space packed with various types of popular modern kit. Things like fancy Les Mills barbels, suspension trainers and resistance bikes. There’s even a heart rate monitor system linked up to plasma screens so anyone taking part can view their current effort when they look up. Good if you have a healthy sense of competition or need some motivation to push yourself a bit further.
The class we took part in was Athletica, a nine part circuit covering everything from battleropes, to agility drills and, inevitably, burpees. For 20 minutes we ran around doing two sets of 40 seconds on each exercise with a 20 second break in between. Then, after a couple of minutes we did the whole thing over again.
Was it hard? Yes, it absolutely destroyed us. We’ve never been particularly good at cardio circuits, and this was up there as one of the toughest. But alongside the inevitable panting and groaning as the PTs push you through the exercises, there’s a heavy focus on form. The trainers not only watch to make sure you’re carrying out the exercises correctly, even telling you to slow down or lift lighter if you’re not doing it right (yeah it sounds obvious, but a lot of classes are more bothered about pushing you to the limit), but they also watch the screens carefully, letting you know if you’re working at the right capacity.
There are other classes available, focussing more heavily on aspects like strength or endurance. We haven’t tried them yet though. We need a few days rest first.
A single drop-in class for F45 will set you back £20, with monthly memberships (2 classes a week) costing £135 and unlimited classes, £170. To find out more and to take advantage of their free 7-day pass, nip over to the website.
Picture Credits: F45 Training