Everything You Need To Know About F45 Fitness

So, look. Let's be real. Motivating yourself to work out can be hard. You know it, we know it, everyone knows it. Staring out the window at the rain, wishing you had something more to spur you on than just your own will? We've been there, folks. That's why, sometimes, you need a little community spirit — and that's where F45 Fitness comes in. F45 has gone, seemingly overnight, from a little-known fitness franchise to a global phenomenon. The Australian company, founded in 2011 by Rob Deutsch (per News.com.au), moved from a single fitness club to an international brand with over 600+ studios across the United States alone, according to F45 Training. And the brand shows no signs of slowing down: F45 made well over $27 million in the third quarter of 2021, as more and more people keep joining the F45 community (per Club Industry).

But while you might be clear on the fact that F45 is suddenly everywhere, there might be something you're a little less certain about: What F45 actually is. Although scores of people swear by their unique training style, what can you expect when you go to an F45 class for the first time? What kind of training is it? What will it do to your body? And can beginners just rock up? We've got the answers to all of these questions and more in this article.

Identical F45 sessions are performed around the world

If you've ever seen pictures or videos of an F45 training session, you might have seen a lot of people working out together and likely having the time of their lives. But what sets F45 apart from other group training sessions is it isn't just location-specific — these sessions are emulated worldwide, every day. In an F45 session, you'll take part in 45 minutes of training (hence the name) in a group setting, with that specific session being done in every F45 studio around the globe, per Women's Health Magazine. Talk about taking communal exercise to the next level!

Each F45 session is supported by at least two personal trainers to help guide participants through the training safely and with maximum efficacy. The F45 trainers are also on hand to suggest modifications for anyone who needs them, offer advice and support, and most importantly, keep everyone motivated and working hard throughout the sessions. And for anyone who needs a little music accompaniment during their workouts, don't worry. F45's got you covered with high-energy branded F45 playlists being pumped into every club across the globe (per the Australian Fitness Network).

F45 fitness centers on functional training

With seemingly more fitness studios and programs out there in the world than grains of sand in the desert, you'd be forgiven for questioning exactly what F45 offers that makes their workouts so effective. With F45, it's all about functional training. F45's website states that their workouts strive to "provide a functional full-body workout while improving energy levels, metabolic rate, strength, and endurance" (per F45 Training). Working at high intensity, this functional training method combines HIIT-style and circuit exercise programs to leave you sweating.

"Functional training" might sound slightly scientific, but in reality, it's super simple. "The main word here is function. Function is purpose. So functional training is just training that has a purpose," states certified personal trainer Eric Salvador to Self. Functional training works with movements that you'd do in everyday life, like sitting in a chair, squatting, or pushing, to essentially build strength while simultaneously improving day-to-day movement and bodily use. Compound exercises that use multiple muscle groups, like squats, deadlifts, or lunges, are heavily featured in functional training sessions, maximizing your energy expenditure.

F45 training sessions focus on your whole body

There are some folks out there who swear by training one part of the body at a time. Well, F45 are not those types of folks. F45 sessions will generally deliver a full-body workout, with their functional training style targeting many muscle groups in just 45 minutes (via Austin Fit Magazine). What we're saying is, be prepared to feel the burn afterward.

And their full-body approach will likely have you seeing results pretty fast. A whole-body workout can help you build more muscle in a shorter space of time than isolation training, with greater exercise efficiency and way less planning needed to go into them, says strength coach and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance Tony Gentilcore to Daily Burn. Multi-joint movements like squats and lunges, staples in F45 training, also help activate muscles that may not be being trained primarily, like your core, contributing to overall body training. And full-body workouts are also super-efficient on a calories burned versus time level. "You burn a heck of a lot more calories in a given session when you perform a full-body training session as opposed to just doing an arm day or shoulder day," states Gentilcore (via Daily Burn).

The group aspect of F45 fitness sets it apart

Sometimes, you just need a bit of group spirit. And F45's got that in droves. Far from having to complete your workout in isolation, toiling away in some lonely corner of the gym, when you're in an F45 class you're very much part of the group. F45 embraces the ethos of everyone working out together at the same time, says F45 Training, an approach that seeks to develop "community growth and a no-ego attitude" to training. We can get behind that!

And while it might seem a little daunting to work out with others, especially strangers, the benefits of exercising with other people really can't be overstated. "For most people, it's difficult to stay consistent with workout routines, but having a certain group there waiting for you provides you with the motivation and accountability everyone needs to be successful," advises Michael Yabut, National Trainer at TITLE Boxing Club International, LLC, to NBC News. Indeed, a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that when others were present during exercise, people were more motivated and performed better physically. And another study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology explains that people who started a program of weight loss were vastly more likely to follow through when doing it with others than when performing it alone.

F45 training will help you burn calories fast

If you're looking to increase your calorie burn from your workouts, then F45 is the way to go. "In any of our classes, you can burn 500 to 800 calories in 45 minutes," says F45 co-CEO and founder Robert Deutsch to Livestrong. This is all thanks to F45's emphasis on high-intensity functional training, featuring compound exercises that work large parts of your body simultaneously. With compound exercises taking more effort and greater muscle participation to pull off, you'll end up expending more energy overall (per Puregym).

Functional training doesn't just cause a bigger calorie burn while you're doing it, either. Regular functional training can lead to greater efficiency of bodily use, and when you're body's being used more efficiently, it burns calories more efficiently too (per Verywell Fit). And F45 makes it a piece of cake to keep track of exactly how hard you're working, and how many calories you're burning during a session. "At the end of your workout, you will receive an email with a recap, including calories, heart rate and point score," Deutsch states to Livestrong. "Our heart rate monitor is also linked to our F45 TVs in studio, so you can track your heart rate during your workout!"

There's a huge range of F45 workouts, focusing on different things

We all know how disappointing it can be to sign up for a class that promises the world, and then get ... well... not the world. But if you've ever dropped big bucks on a workout program only to find out you're doing the same session over and over, you'll be pleased to hear that F45 offers a huge variety in its 45-minute routines. Turn up to an F45 class during the week, and you could be participating in one of the dozens of unique (and uniquely named) classes, from "Angry Bird," a dynamic workout focused on developing lean muscle mass, to "Calypso Kings," which centers on stretching and flexibility to improve posture and recover from a long week.

F45's workouts are separated into four distinct categories, with different days of the week offering their own emphasis. Mondays and Wednesdays are for cardio, with some workouts like "22" potentially helping you burn up to 1,000 calories in one go. Rock up to an F45 studio on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays, and you'll be focusing on resistance training. Fridays and Saturdays are hybrid days, with workouts generally combining strength and cardio training, and recovery workouts are conducted on Sundays and Mondays, in between cardio and resistance sessions. There's truly something for everyone!

F45 training isn't just for hardcore athletes -- it's for beginners too

Head to any F45 studio session, and we can pretty much guarantee you'll be more than a little achy the next day. But if you think you need to be at a certain level of fitness to participate, that's where you're wrong. F45 is as suitable for beginners as it is for folks that have been working out consistently for years. "That's one of the great things about F45: Every exercise can be regressed or progressed to suit individual needs," says F45 Williamsburg co-owner Tara Teakle to Livestrong.

According to Teakle, the F45 trainers that are on-hand during every session are able to help participants to modify exercises to suit their needs, "whether members are restricted by an injury, haven't trained in a while, or are preparing for an elite sporting competition." We can understand why it could be a bit daunting to head to an F45 class without any prior experience in functional training, though, so if you'd like to get more familiar at home, begin by working through a simple routine of glute bridges, planks, lateral lunges, pushups, and squats, as Healthline recommends. These basic functional moves can help you grow accustomed to the kind of exercises you might be doing in an F45 session.

It's important to dress the part

A good workout needs a good workout outfit. And no, we're not saying that you need to break the bank with pricey branded sportswear, but there are certain do's and don't for what to wear during an F45 session that might affect the quality of your exercise. "The most important thing to consider when choosing what gym gear to wear is that it gives you the right support but also allows movement," advises F45 Brixton's head trainer Debbie Kebbell to Pop Sugar. It's useful to think along the lines of what you might wear to do yoga, says Kebbell. A vest or crop top with a pair of full or half-length leggings is the ideal outfit, as it will give you a full range of motion, allow the instructors to help you correct form, and keep you comfortable.

On your feet, a pair of cross trainers is a great choice to stand up to F45's combination of resistance and cardio activities. You're likely going to get your sweat on in these sessions, too, so make sure you're picking workout clothes made from breathable, wicking fabrics like bamboo, nylon, or spandex (per Shape). And whatever you do, don't forget your water bottle!

Make sure you prepare for your F45 workout

One of the best things about F45 training is how easy it is to get started: Simply sign up at your local studio, pick what classes you want to attend, and you're pretty much good to go. But before you set foot in your first training session, you're going to want to be ready. "Before you come for class, we recommend you are ready and energetic to go," says F45 founder Robert Deutsch to Livestrong. "Whether that's a good night's sleep, pre-workout supplement, new workout attire to help you feel your best, this varies between individuals."

Getting adequate sleep before an F45 session, or between any exercise, is particularly important. Without enough sleep the night before working out, you may not have enough energy to get through your entire exercise session, and your muscles may be weaker or less capable of performing to their full potential, says the Sleep Foundation. You can also increase your chance of sustaining an injury during exercise when working out on little sleep.

Resting after an F45 workout is essential

So, you've completed your first F45 workout. Good job! High five! And now for the really fun part ... getting to do very little. This isn't just because we advocate sitting on your sofa with your feet up (even though we absolutely do): Incorporating adequate rest after working out is vital to your recovery. When you work out, you're actually causing microscopic damage to your muscles via tiny tears in their fibers, explains Everyday Health. While this sounds extreme, this damage and the subsequent recovery your body does to repair it is what lets you bounce back stronger, improve your cardiovascular health, and increase muscle mass — and, incidentally, what causes your muscles to ache the next day.

But your body needs rest to perform these strengthening repairs. This doesn't mean you have to do nothing, though. Taking part in low-intensity exercise, also known as active recovery, can help increase blood flow and mobility in your muscles, and F45 has a range of recovery workout options on certain days of the week. Above all else, though, make sure you're not overtraining and ignoring your body's need to rest. "Overtraining can lead to overuse, which can lead to burnout and injury," says Mount Sinai Hospital orthopedic surgeon Melissa Leber to Everyday Health.

F45 runs a training challenge -- but it's not for the faint of heart

Want to take your training to the next level? If you're looking to join an F45 studio to supercharge your workouts, you might want to give the F45 Challenge a try. This eight-week challenge has you working out at the F45 gym multiple times a week, keeping track of your training via an integrated app, and you also adapt your nutrition during the challenge period by following a meal plan (per F45 Training).

The purpose of the F45 Challenge is not just to show off to your friends that you got through it. "Our workouts are designed to burn fat and build/retain muscle, and the nutrition plan helps aid those efforts. It improves overall body composition by lowering body fat percentage, and usually people see an increase in muscle mass as well," states F45 Symons Valley head trainer and studio manager Nichole Tobin to Byrdie. Perhaps more importantly, one of the long-term goals of the F45 Challenge is to help develop healthier exercise and nutritional habits. Be warned, though, that this training challenge can be hard work — but the more you put into it, the more you'll get out. Just be sure to give yourself adequate rest days throughout, and reduce your exercise frequency or intensity if you're experiencing nausea, cramping, dizziness, extreme muscle pain, or injury (per Healthline).

Can't make it to a gym? F45 operates an at-home service too

One of the best things about F45 is being able to complete the same workout at the same time as like-minded folks, all around the world. And believe it or not, you don't have to be in a physical F45 studio to do so! If you can't make it to the gym, F45 offers an at-home option through their app (per F45 Training). These on-demand workouts mean that you can maintain your training program and work out when it's most convenient for you.

Working out at home also allows you to be the master of your own experience. Although the next-level motivation of an F45 trainer might help you keep going while you're in the gym, if you really need a break, home workouts give you further flexibility to pause and dial down on the intensity, helping avoid injury, states NASM-certified trainer Alexis Craig to Elite Daily. And in this time-stressed world we live in, you'll be thankful for those precious minutes that an at-home F45 workout saved you. "We're all pretty busy people, so even saving the 10 to 15 minutes to drive to the gym adds up," agrees fitness trainer Katie Austin (via Elite Daily).

With the F45 challenge, nutrition is key

In all the excitement of starting a new workout plan, we can often forget that what's around your workout counts almost as much as the effort you put in at the gym. This is as true for F45 as it is for every other form of exercise, and the company emphasizes the importance of good nutrition in particular when embarking on their training. Their F45 Challenge, an eight-week program designed to supercharge your fitness, has a built-in nutrition plan, a compendium of healthy recipes, and even a delivery service to make sure your diet supports your hard work at the studio (per F45 Challenge).

F45's nutrition plan is designed to complement their participants' specific goals, be they weight loss or muscle gain, says F45 Symons Valley head trainer Nichole Tobin to Byrdie. Following some simple nutritional rules will help your first F45 workout be a success. Make sure you eat adequately, fueling your body with a good amount of healthy complex carbohydrates one to three hours before working out, says the Mayo Clinic. After exercise, emphasize consuming lean protein for recovery, with healthy unsaturated fats thrown into the mix, too.