F45 is a high-intensity, 45-minute workout that challenges every muscle in your body. Learn more about the program and tips for beginners and first-timers here.
Hi hi! Happy Monday! how was the weekend I think you have something wonderful. Ours was full of fun events: rehearsal dinner, Trevor and Danielle’s wedding, Liv dancing in the parade, family brunch, women’s basketball game…it was so much fun, but a total whirlwind. I’d love to hear what you’re up to!
Since I’m off on Cardio Day at F45 – let’s be honest, I work harder on cardio than I do on my own – I wanted to share some tips for beginners or friends thinking of trying it for the first time.
F45 for Beginners: What to Expect in a Class
What is F45?
F45 stands for Functional Training 45 – it’s a team training environment with a functional workout that takes just 45 minutes. Their short tagline/motto is: Team Training, Changing Lives.
My favorite part about this workout is that they don’t waste any time. They go through the demos, start the workout, and away you go. I love that it’s not a full hour, except for the weekend classes, which makes it more reasonable for my schedule. I usually go to F45 once or twice a week, usually on Pure Heart Day and Pure Energy Day.
You can check out my post comparing F45 to Orangetheory here!
How are curriculums structured?
My favorite thing about F45 is that the workouts alternate each day, so you can go longer days without overworking certain muscle groups and overtraining. Intensities also vary as each day has a specific significance. (Unlike Orangetheory, I think 2x a week is fine, depending on your goals. I think it might be too much and counterproductive to do every day.)
A week at F45 *right now* looks like this:
Sunday: Strength Hybrid – 60 minutes
Monday: Cardio (High Intensity Interval Training)
Tuesday: Resistance Training – Full Body
Wednesday: Cardio (HIIT)
Thursday: Clean Power (Upper or Lower Body)
Friday: Hybrid workout (total body cardio and strength)
Saturday: Total body cardio and strength – 60 minutes
How do you know what to do?
It’s a screen-guided workout, so while the trainer goes over the demo, you’ll follow each station’s exercises on screens throughout the studio. They also have a heart rate monitor option on the screen, but I find that most people in our studio don’t use their heart rate monitor but rely on their own fitness trackers.
What to expect?
The classes are different every day, but you can expect to break a sweat within 45 minutes of being there. I think it’s a balanced and challenging workout for your whole body using functional strength and cardio exercises. They also use all the equipment: Ski Erg, Assault Bikes, Rowers, Kettlebells, TRX, Y Bells, Dumbbells, Sandbags, Revo Bars, BOSU Trainers, Slam Balls and Medicine Balls.
Here’s what you can do if you’re a beginner or taking a class at F45 for the first time.
F45 Tips for Beginners
Bring everything you need and dress accordingly
Any fitness outfit that moves and fits well. Find out in advance whether it’s cardio or strength day so you can wear the appropriate shoes. (I love APL for everything and report back on Vivobarefoot for strength.) Definitely bring a water bottle.
Class starts promptly at start time. Sometimes the TVs are set to clock, so at the exact moment the class has to start, the introductions and demos begin. If this is your first time, make sure you check in at least 15 minutes early so that your instructor(s) can explain the daily exercises to you and you know what to expect.
Each class is different and often uses different set and timing structures, so the instructor can let you know what’s going on ahead of time. (Or you can be like me and lurk in this reddit forum before every class! Some people like to be surprised and I’m here to give you all the spoilers.)
Pay attention to the demos
It goes without saying but here it is It’s common for some people to talk during the demos and get confused during the actual workout. Definitely pay attention to the exercise, how many sets you do and how many laps you complete around the room. Each stop is numbered, so look for the numbers as you move. (Also, some stations are in pods and you rotate through the pods before moving on to the next. It sounds confusing, but I promise it’s not!!) Instructors often demo low-impact and beginner variations during demos. You need alternative exercise, it’s good to pay attention. (Also, they’re happy to help with modifications as you move through the workouts.)
It’s tempting to move quickly through the exercises because many of them are timed. You may see people around you working at warp speed, but you don’t feel like you have to. It’s better to move slowly and do it safely than to rush through an exercise and injure yourself. (When you’re rushing, it’s hard to even stress the right muscle groups.) Take your time! Circuit-training workouts sometimes involve moving quickly to the next station (10-15 seconds), so I like to get to the next station as quickly as possible, even if it takes some time to adjust once I get there. In this way, I lost track of the person behind me.
Modify as needed
In demos, they usually go over modification options for each exercise. Ask for modifications if you need extra help and don’t be afraid to reduce weight, eliminate weight, and modify for your fitness levels or any injuries.
It’s truly a team environment at F45, and if you’ve been missing the community aspect of fitness, they’ve got it. Your fellow participants will high-five you, instructors will cheer you on by name, and it’s a welcoming and motivating environment. His eight-week challenge focuses on healthy eating and improving body composition, which is something you’re interested in.
So, tell me, friends: have you tried the F45? what do you think
What’s your favorite studio workout or class right now? I’m still thinking about how much I loved the reform class at Pure Barre last week!
F45 vs Orangetheory
What to expect in an Orangetheory class?
Barry’s Bootcamp vs. Orangetheory
Focus on: Barry’s Bootcamp