With sweat dripping from every orifice of my body, shaky legs, and an alarmingly high heart rate, I fumbled for my water bottle and collapsed in a heap on the spongy, rubber floor.
I did it.
One HIIT session at the newly opened F45 training centre in Albany Creek, which started functioning on March 18.
F45 is functional, circuit HIIT training at a very high intensity. F stands for functional, and 45 stands for 45-minute classes. HIIT training itself is a technique that gives your whole body a workout, and consists of high intensity exercises, followed by short recovery periods (2013, “HIIT Workout: What It Is and Why It works”). HIIT training is designed to be quick, keeping your heart rate high – burning more fat in less time. Generally, HIIT training does not incorporate the use of equipment, however, F45 makes uses a variety of equipment, such as kettle bells, basic weights, resistance bands, and medicine balls.
Unlike a regular gym where you can come as you please, F45 runs six classes each weekday (four in the morning and two in the evening), and two classes on a Saturday morning. If you were someone who worked nights, this timetable probably wouldn’t work for you. However, the array of classes fit perfectly into my schedule.
Each session begins with an introduction, and a little information about the workout you are about to endure. A trainer then goes through every exercise in detail, offering beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions for each one. You are then numbered off and directed to the station you will begin your workout at, before starting a group warm up.
What happens if you forget what the exercise was or what station came next? Never fear! There are multiple plasma television screens that surround the room and show you a mini video of each exercise and how do it. The added bonus to this is that a very handsome and muscular man is demonstrating these exercises. The screens also display timers that let you know just how much pain you have to continue to go through before you get a break.
Today the class was “Varsity” which according to the workout description is a “grueling workout” that will “leave you gasping for any form of oxygen you can muster.” Well that’s pretty darn accurate. The description also states you will perform “pulsating cardio movements” and will burn up to 800 calories. I almost didn’t feel bad for eating a box of cookies earlier that day.
This particular workout included a variety of exercises, from box jumps and burpees, to bench presses and dead lifts. Each lap of the circuit also decreased in time, making you work harder at the beginning and easing you off by the end.
The equipment seemed to be so new it was pretty much sparkling, not to mention extremely clean. The layout of the session wasn’t cluttered, and there was more than enough room to make you feel comfortable.
My trainer for the session was Kasey Holton, who is also new to F45 training, however has been a personal trainer for two years. Kasey provided constant reassurance and motivation throughout the entire session. He was motivating without being overbearing, and kept me going when I wanted to quit. You definitely don’t get that at a regular gym.
The music was absolutely blasting during the workout, with Top 40 remixes and 90’s bangers frequenting the playlist. I was in heaven. Having a boogie during the rest break really helps curve the urge of wanting to fall in a heap on the floor.
Even though you’re working out on your own, F45 embraces a team-like atmosphere. Their motto is “Team training, life changing” and it is clear they try to include this in each session. You’re encouraged to get to know your fellow workout comrades, and help each other through the hell you are all going through. At the end, everyone hi-5’s and bonds over the fact that we will all opt to take the elevator rather than the stairs the next day.
At the end of my session, I had a chat to Kasey about F45 and asked why someone should choose it over a gym.
“Two main reasons – it’s a quick 45 minutes, plus you burn a lot of calories in that time,” he said.
When it comes to age, Kasey believes there is no limit.
“[It’s for] anyone who wants to give it a go, but obviously some of the exercises are quite advanced. We do have other options if they are too advanced, easier ones, but anyone can come and try.
“I try to make everyone feel comfortable.”
In regards to fitness capacity, again there are no limits, however Kasey does like to issue a warning.
“You don’t have to be [fit], but it’s going to be hard. It’s meant to be a challenge.”
When asked if he had any tips to share for F45 first-timers, Kasey suggested the basics such as a water bottle and a towel. He also recommends you bring a friend along. Oh and one more thing, “prepare to get your ass kicked.”
F45 Albany Creek is located in the Woolworths Marketplace on the Corner of Old Northern Road and Albany Forest Drive. It is incredibly easy to find, has great parking, and is in a centre that contains a Woolworths, as well as a chemist, a cafe, and a variety of other stores.
If you still aren’t sold on converting over to F45 you do have some options. F45 Albany Creek offers seven day free trials, where you can train as many times as you would like for seven days to decide whether or not this type of training is for you. To actually join, a membership is going to set you back at least $50 a week, depending on what type of membership you purchase. While this may be outside of budget for some, I personally think it is well worth it if you are serious about your exercise. It is definitely not for the faint hearted, however is incredibly rewarding and really gets those endorphins going. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who is sick of going to a boring gym everyday.