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What the F is F45?

A Review of a New Workout

47 years old.  Mother of two middle-schoolers.  Wife. Full time job (two full time jobs, if the parenting counts, which I think it does).  Healthy-ish diet. Reasonably active, years of yoga. Not enough sleep and never enough time.  Not motivated to work out independently – I’ve tried it all. If it isn’t a class, I’ll always find something else to do instead of exercise.

That all being said, the last 18 months have brought on a huge weight gain that keeps growing, which meant something had to give.  You know those sponsored Facebook ads that plague your feed? Mine popped up F45 North York opening up near me.  I was intrigued, because a colleague had basically overhauled his body by going to F45 workouts, and he’d been talking it up for months.

What’s F45?  Their website says F45 Training combines elements of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training, and Functional Training, but that didn’t tell me enough.  Turns out it means full body exercise, crazy pace, sometimes focused on cardio and sometimes on strength.  Ever changing circuits might have you exercising for 45 seconds, then resting for 15 before starting again, or exercising for 20 seconds, off for 10, etc. There’s no boredom, ever, because the pace is fast and the routines change every class.   And no matter how much you hate (or love) the station you’re at…..it’s over soon.

45 minute classes are a dream come true for a busy person.  45 minute classes held at 6am (and other times, obviously) are a dream come true for a parent; in my case, I can get up, pack lunches, go workout, and be back before 7am.  Intense workouts, for sure, but effective and I’m heading into my day with a healthy dose of looking down my nose at all those lazy people who didn’t do their calorie burn yet.  I can meet my own fitness goals and still manage my life and be a parent.

45 seconds of mountain-climbers.  45 seconds of free weights. 45 seconds of chin-ups.  I keep telling myself that you can do ANYTHING for 45 seconds and it turns out that I’m right, which means that I’m pushing past what I thought I could do.  And because it’s group training, including trainers by your side to correct form, modify where needed and motivate (yell at….) you to do your best, you get to be part of a team, sharing struggles and successes and supporting each other through the class.

Two weeks of 5 classes a week  (that’s only 4 hours!) have meant that my best jeans fit again, which is a major win; they’re a tight fit, but a fit.  Two more weeks should make them a comfortable fit, then I’ll pull out another pair.

I’ll be chronicling the impact of my F45 commitment regularly; follow my journey at https://www.facebook.com/f45northyork/.


Kathy Brizeli is a working mother with a passion for cooking, reading and dogs.  It took her slightly longer than 45 seconds to write this article