Is F45 Training the right type of exercise for you?
And 3 - 2 - 1! ......
Another set complete, on another day in the life of an F45 studio......
Home of the 45 min HIIT workout, generous amounts of burpees and some of the most creative exercises I've ever seen
So what is F45?
If you haven't heard of F45 (yep it's true, some haven't!), it's a popular new style of fitness training that's spreading quickly around the world, including many studios opening in our home town of Adelaide in the past 3 years.
F45 (aka "Functional 45"), is very structured High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), with the exact same workout in every studio around Australia, each day, but a completely different workout from one day to the next. Some days the focus is on cardiorespiratory fitness, other days are strength based sessions, and sometimes these sessions include a bit of both.
The sessions are 45 minutes long (hence F45...), except for Saturdays which are a 60 minute session. There's some seriously handy technology behind the whole workout, which means every exercise in the workout for that day is continually demonstrated throughout the session, via pre-recorded videos on tv screens. Clever hey?
So is it the right type of exercise for you?
Sorry, there is no SIMPLE Yes/No answer to that question!
BUT, after reading this post, you will have a better understanding of what you need to consider, and some ideas on how to make F45 more successful for you, if you choose to go down that path.
I've definitely seen both ends of the spectrum....
Some very fit, strong people find F45 isn't a good fit for them, and equally I've seen some people come from a completely inactive background and achieve unbelievable things in an F45 studio.
Here's some key things to consider:
What is your exercise background?
F45 is HIIT training. That means HIGH INTENSITY is the key. Our bodies get good at what we do often, and also if you don't use it, you lose it, so if you haven't done anything physical for a while, start with something else, like running, cycling or a strength program in the gym for a safer return to exercise. This preparation will reduce your injury risk when you're ready to try the HIGH INTENSITY stuff, plus make your first few sessions a bit more comfortable.
How familiar are you with common exercise movement patterns?
.....Do you know what a burpee, deadlift and chest press are?
While every exercise is demonstrated before the session starts, there's a lot of technical detail in getting these movements right. If you've never trained in a gym before, or never lifted weights, find yourself a personal trainer to teach you these movements, and help you understand the important details of common exercises. They will ALL appear in an F45 workout at some point.....
What's your injury history?
An old hamstring strain, sprained ankle or previous sore back might all cope just fine with this style of training, but be prepared that you might have to 'take it easy' in your early few months of HIIT training. While F45 can be modified to suit a wide range of fitness and strength levels, there is so much variety in the sessions that a weakness in your body will often show itself soon enough, or "cause that 'old injury' to re-appear".
"Cause that 'old injury' to re-appear"
This indicates the old injury may not have recovered back to 100%, and often is due to a subtle weakness around that area. When you're challenging your body in such a wide variety of movements, at some point that weakness may cause a biomechanics issue, muscle tightness or joint soreness.
Do you know how to stretch?
While F45 addresses every element of your strength, agility, balance, coordination and power, 45 minutes doesn't allow for recovery and stretching, so you must be prepared to do this fairly independently. This is the area where F45-ers can run into trouble, and end up booking in with us for Physiotherapy treatment. If you don't get around to doing your own stretching or recovery, sooner or later your body will start to complain to you with sore knees, feet, achey back or tight shoulders. Stretch after EVERY session, and ask the trainers for help if you need it.
So is F45 right for you? If you want it to be, then YES it can be right for you. Preparation, knowledge and a good physiotherapist (joking!) are key in making the transition into this style of training, and for long term, injury free success.
What we love about F45...
The ever-changing variety of exercises which trains the body in strength, agility, balance, coordination, speed and power. Every session is challenging in its own way
You don't need to think! Just do what you're told and DO NOT STOP until the trainer says so
The community, the trainers, the endless motivation, the music, the efficiency
Some guidelines for safely preparing to start F45 or other HIIT training
Build some basic fitness before you launch into F45 by exercising 3 times/week at moderate intensity
Learn basic movement patterns for common gym exercises - 3 months with a personal trainer is a great starting point if you haven't spent much time in a gym before
Book in to see a Physiotherapist for a pre-exercise screening, so we can identify areas of concern BEFORE they develop into injury. You can Book Online to see us here
Start slowly with a MAXIMUM of 4x/wk for your first month, then if all is going well increase to 5x/wk in your second month, and 6x/wk in your third month. This of course depends on your exercise background, so listen to your body
Learn how to use a foam roller (we can teach you this too)
Get some comfy gym gear, because you're going to use it, a lot!
What should I do next?
If you're considering joining an F45 studio, we can perform a pre-exercise screening session to identify areas of concern, before you start. You can Book Online here, or contact us for more information.
Book online to see one of our Physiotherapists by clicking here
Aspire Physiotherapy SA
18 Partridge St Glenelg, South Australia
(08) 8376 8816