There’s something about getting to the end of a tough class and feeling the vibe in the room where everyone is half amazed that they got through the class and half absolutely loving it. Know what I’m talking about? Then you must have been to F45.
I tried out a class at F45 Farringdon, a small space in a basement close to Farringdon Station that has a large studio, bright reception area and small but well-stocked changing rooms. The welcome that I got at 07:30 in the morning before the Panthers class was friendly and set me up perfectly for the class.
Panthers consists of 14 stations with a mix of cardio and strength exercises including burpees, chest press and deadlifts. One of the things that sets F45 apart from other studios is how accessible it is because all of the exercises are shown on screens around the room as well as the work and rest periods (60 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest for this particular class).
There were two instructors in the room who were running around making sure that everyone’s technique was on point which was the best attention I’ve ever seen in a large class format. Once one of the instructors knew about my lower back issues he kept coming over and suggesting ways that I could modify certain exercises. He also spotted me when I got a bit cocky on the chest press and helped me push through to the end of the work period.
For me, as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, one of the hardest things when I’m teaching a big group is how tricky it is to make sure everyone is doing the exercise correctly and not putting themselves at risk of injury. In other studios I’ve seen participants doing things that make me wince but because the instructor has so many other people to watch (or because the studio is so dark…) they often miss technique cues. At F45 the focus is not on putting people in a dark room with flashing lights and giving them the transcendental experience like other studios, it’s just about giving people a bloody good workout and looking after their bodies.
Overall it’s one of the best classes I’ve been to because of the mix of strength and cardio exercises, the accessibility and the personal attention that the instructors gave to all of the participants. I’m just gutted that after that first class I became ill and couldn’t use the rest of my two week trial! There are F45 studios all over London with two new ones opening up in Old Street and Stratford any day now. You can get your own 2-week trial on their website, I’d highly recommend giving it a go and let me know how you get on.