So, I’m on a little running ban. No running, no Strava, not even a peek. Most people might take the opportunity to put their feet up for a while but I’ve never been good at keeping still, so I’ve been looking for some new challenges to keep me out of trouble this week.
This morning I went to an F45 class at a new studio in London Bridge. I had no idea what F45 was, but apparently it’s the latest fitness craze in Australia which launched in the UK a couple of months ago. The celebs love it (obvs) and a quick google search told me the guys look like this…so I thought it was worth getting up at 6am for.
They describe F45 as ‘the most innovative, challenging and systemised team training workout in the world’, what that means is you get a high intensity workout combing strength and conditioning, as well as cardio. There are 10 different styles of programmes which they mix up so each workout is unique.
Turning up at the studio, I was greeted by a friendly lady who checked me in and set me up with a heart rate monitor. When you become a member you get your own, but as a guest I was to be Batman for the morning (seriously, I was Batman, best morning ever). The monitors link to screens in the studio so you can see what everyone’s heart rate is and %max, I thought this was great as you can see exactly how hard you’re working and whether you’re slacking compared to everyone else!
The classes are quite small, there were 7 in mine, and with 2 instructors on the floor they can give everyone individual attention and even remember your name (sadly, they didn’t call me Batman to my face), it made a refreshing change to the usual packed classes you can get.
There were 9 stations in total, you spend 2 minutes at each station doing 45 minutes work and 15 seconds rest before having a 2 minute break and doing the circuit again. We started with a quick demo of each station and a warm up then got started.
I started on the rowing machine, which I was happy about because I’m an expert at those, then moved on to reverse burpees with plyometric jumps, errr, what was that again? Luckily each exercise is demonstrated on the screen in front so you don’t look stupid in case you forget, didn’t make me any better at it though!
Next was hills on the bike, followed by some kind forward leaning squat which made 45 seconds feel a lot longer, the 15 second break was very welcome…
Next up was weighted lunges with shoulder bags, floor ladders with kettle bells at the end and then wheelbarrows, the ultimate team exercise that makes you feel like you’re back at school sports day. I was always rubbish at school sports day, today was no different!
Finally we had some bunny hops over benches (high benches, more like hare hops…) and weighted sit ups. Then we got a full 2 minute break before going round again, yayyyy!
The screens round the studio show a countdown clock so you know how long you’ve got left of work or rest and you can keep an eye on your heart rate. By the end I was pretty exhausted and my Batman heart rate percentage indicated I was still alive and worked hard.
I was genuinely impressed with everything, the workout, the studio and the team were all fantastic and, whilst I’m sure some of the other classes are much busier, I enjoyed being in a small team. The instructors took the time to help you, and modify the exercises for your needs, which was really helpful for my runner limbs that don’t always do what I tell them to.
This morning I was at an Athletica class, which is slightly more cardio focused, but you can also go to a Romans class with more weights based exercises, or a Hollywood class which I’m sure is full of surprises!
Currently there’s a studio at London Bridge but I believe there will be another opening in Clapham soon which is perfect for me! You can get a 7 day free trial on their website so it’s definitely worth a go, I’ll be heading back for a Romans class when I’ve recovered, I just hope I can be Batman again.