F45 Training is a rapidly expanding group fitness phenomenon with more than 1750 studios worldwide, 300,000 active members, and an incredible reputation within their own community.
But does F45 actually live up to the hype?
Is it actually any good, especially for beginners?
And is it worth the hefty price of ~$60 a week?
F45 Training is a great option if you attend at least 3-4 times per week, enjoy an electric, community atmosphere and crave extra accountability and feedback from a team of coaches. However, if you prefer to workout alone, can’t justify the pricetag, or are an absolute beginner, it mightn’t be the best option (just yet).
Like we do in all reviews, we went and actually tried F45 Training.
And today will be sharing our experience, outlining the pros and cons of an F45 membership and answering the most common questions out there.
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- What is F45 Training?
- Who Owns F45 Training?
- Is F45 CrossFit?
- Is F45 Training Good For Beginners?
- How Does F45 Work? What’s a Class Like?
- How Much Is F45?
- Why is F45 so Expensive?
- F45 Positives
- Why I Quit F45? Why F45 is Bad?
- Is F45 Worth It?
- F45 FAQ
Alrighty, let’s get stuck in!
So, You’re Thinking About Joining F45 Training
Perhaps you started your fitness journey from your home…
Following along to YouTube video workouts from the comfort of your apartment’s living room.
These were good at helping you get into an exercise routine, but didn’t really get you the body-transforming results you were after.
From there, you might have invested in some basic equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands.
But these never gave you a sense of community or accountability.
In fact, you’ve probably felt a little lost and lonely starting your fitness journey.
What is F45 Training?
F45 Training is a group fitness experience that rose to fame due to its ability to bring together community, coaching, and fun, effective & innovative workouts.
It differs from a typical gym membership in that you sign up to classes, rather than just rocking up whenever you like.
There is also a team of instructors that will guide you through the session, rather than you having to figure it all out yourself.
The ‘F’ stands for functional, which means that the exercises in each workout are meant to replicate movements we perform in daily life.
The ’45’ represents 45 minutes of training, which is the length of each workout.
F45 classes, for the most part, are high intensity and can help you burn upwards of 700 calories in a sitting.
Who Owns F45 Training? How Did it Start?
F45 Training was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2012 by Rob Deutsch, who at the time was working in finance.
He decided to pivot into the fitness industry after learning that the average attendance for typical gyms is only once a month!
He observed that people would sign up for a membership, but never end up going. Which he believed to be a tragedy.
“Normal commercial gyms where people arrive with the earphones on, with no community basis, where they don’t make friends and they don’t get an experience from their workouts, were really dying.”
He “wanted to create something that was fun, energetic, super innovative, where clients could come, make friends and be part of a community.”
F45’s growth further skyrocketed when popular actor Mark Wahlberg became an ambassador and started promoting it.
Is F45 CrossFit?
Maybe you’re thinking:
“Wait, this sounds a whole lot like CrossFit?”
And to that, you’d be right.
F45 Training is very similar to CrossFit in terms of the community atmosphere, high-intensity training, and weekly cost. However, F45 differs in that it uses TV screens at each station for you follow along to and is more suitable for beginners.
To put it simply, F45 is a less intense, less intimidating version of Crossfit.
So if you’ve been curious to try something like CrossFit but feel like that’s too big a step, F45 is definitely worth considering.
How Does F45 Work? What’s a Class Like?
Signing Up & Booking a Class
My experience with F45 started by visiting their website and signing up for a free week’s trial.
From here, I was able to download their app on my phone in order to book in to classes.
There were classes scheduled for all hours of the day, from as early as 5:00 am all the way to 6:00pm at night.
For some of the more popular time slots, you’ll need to make sure you book a few days in advance so you don’t miss out.
It’s also important not to miss your class, as doing so essentially means you’re taking the spot of someone else who could have come.
In fact, there are some instances where you can be charged a cancellation fee if you cancel too close to the start time.
I actually found that having to commit to a class ahead of time was a great way to stay accountable and committed.
My First F45 Class
My first class was at 4:00pm on a Thursday afternoon at the popular F45 studio in Richmond, Melbourne, Australia.
Walking into an F45 for the first time can certainly be a little intimidating, however, the instructors usually know that you’re a new member and to expect you.
In my case, they made sure to say hi, made me feel extra welcome and ensured they kept an extra eye out to help me if I ever got lost during the workout.
At the start of every class, the coaches will also explain every exercise you’ll be doing and how to perform it properly.
You’ll also be guided by the television screens, which show you exactly what to do at each numbered station.
Most of the exercises are pretty basic in nature and are pretty easy to pick up, especially if you have some experience with basic strength training.
F45 classes have a combination of cardio, strength and plyometric exercises in each of their workouts.
You’ll work for a period of time e.g. 45 seconds, followed by a period of rest e.g. 15 seconds.
Here are some examples of the exercises I completed:
- Dumbbell Chest Press
- Box Jumps
- Battle Ropes
- High Knees
- Bent Over Rows
- Shoulder Press
- Ball Slams
- Rowing Machine
It’s safe to say that even though I consider myself fairly fit, I was absolutely gassed during my first F45 session.
It’s certainly a pretty intense workout. Those 700+ caloried burnt don’t come easy!
The F45 atmosphere was an exhilarating, fun and enjoyable experience.
People encourage one another, coaches give you high-fives and there’s music blaring to get you through those final few grueling reps.
It’s an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. And it’s certainly a place I could see myself making plenty of friends there if I continued to attend regularly.
How Much Is F45?
An F45 Training Membership will cost you around $65 per week (AUD), on a fortnightly billing cycle.
Many clubs also offer a reduced $60 per week (AUD) membership if you commit to a minimum of 6 months.
An F45 membership allows you unlimited access to their daily classes.
This means that the more regularly you attend, the better value your membership becomes.
If you attend F45 classes five times per week, you’re only paying $13 each class for a high-quality workout..
But if you get lazy and only attend once or twice a week, an F45 membership might not be worth the money.
Does F45 Offer a Free Trial?
F45 Training offers new clients the ability to sign up for free for a period of 7 days.
During this time you will have unlimited access to their daily classes.
In my personal experience doing an F45 training trial, I found the 7 days plenty of time to get a feel for whether it was my cup of tea or not.
Why is F45 so Expensive?
Compared to a typical gym like Anytime Fitness or Planet Fitness – which cost around $10 – $20 per week (AUD) – F45 is more than triple the price.
So why is there such a large difference?
F45 Training is expensive because it gives you access to multiple coaches each session who can provide you with motivation, accountability and feedback on your exercise technique. As a result, F45 members are more likely to see results than if left on their own at a typical gym.
In general, the more time you get with a human (trainer or coach), the more expensive your membership will be.
That’s why personal training is the most expensive training of all.
But in my opinion, if you have struggled to see results in the past.
Or find it hard to stick to a program by yourself.
Investing in a membership like F45 might just be the accountability and community you need to start transforming your health and fitness.
Is F45 Training Good For Beginners?
So perhaps you aren’t exactly in the best shape of your life.
But you’re interested in knowing whether F45 is a good option for you to try.
So is F45 suitable for beginners? Or is it too intense?
F45 may be a little overwhelming for absolute beginners who are very unfit or have chronic health conditions. However, the training is relatively easy to pick up, so it’s worth trying if you work up to it, get the all-clear from a health professional, and seek technique feedback from an F45 coach.
Whether F45 Training is good for beginners really comes down to what you define a beginner to be.
For instance, if you are someone who has never done exercise their whole life.
For example, let’s just say that you have only ever gone for light walks and have never performed high-intensity exercise or attempted a set of squats.
Then F45 might be a little too much of a jump. Instead, you might be best following along to some YouTube workouts or trying a home fitness app for a while first.
However, if you have a sporting background or pick up physical endeavors pretty easily, but haven’t exercised in a structured way for some time.
Then F45 Training might be a good option for you to try.
Later on, why you should use some discernment when it comes to whether or not you sign up for F45.
F45 Training Positives
F45 is extremely popular and for good reason.
It’s a fun, motivating environment with coaches to help guide you through the workouts.
So, let’s break down the positives in more detail.
This will help you understand why one would join F45 over other types of gyms on the market.
So what are the positives of F45?
- Community atmosphere
- Guidance and feedback
- Higher likelihood of getting results
Perhaps you’ve tried gym memberships in the past but get bored and feel lonely easily.
Or perhaps you struggle to find the motivation to even get to the gym in the first place.
And crave an atmosphere of inspiring, like-minded people.
In this case, F45 is a certainly great option you’re going to enjoy.
In my opinion, it makes exercise and working out enjoyable again.
Guidance and feedback
There’s so much to learn when you start exercising, especially when you first set foot in the gym.
If you want guidance and feedback on your exercise technique without having to pay for pricey personal training ($60+ a session!).
Then F45 might be a good in-between for you to try!
Although you won’t get 1:1 time for long, just having little bits of advice along the way is enough to help you stay on track and heading in the right direction.
Higher Likelihood of Results
The F45 training classes are extremely effective at helping you build lean muscle and trim down the fat, especially if you pair it with a calorie-deficit nutritional plan.
And with a team of coaches getting to know you and checking in regularly.
A community keeping you motivated and accountable.
As well as regular F45 challenges to keep you inspired.
It’s safe to say that it’s far more likely for you to see results with a gym like F45 training than being left on your own at your average gym full of equipment only.
Why I Quit F45? Why F45 is Bad?
Despite the success of F45 and the thousands of lives it’s positively impacted.
The brand certainly has its fair share of critics.
As a fitness coach myself, I too have some concerns around their training which are important to address.
So why do some people quit F45? What are some of the negatives?
Some of the reasons why F45 might not be right are if:
- You’re a beginner who feels extremely nervous
- You have pre-existing injuries you need to work around
- You’re very unfit and can’t handle an intense workout
Let’s explore these one by one:
May Be Too Much for Beginners
Working out can be a very confronting thing.
If you’re a beginner, you’re probably facing feelings of insecurity, intimidation and even a little fear about getting back into exercise.
PS: That’s totally normal! And all part of doing something new!
However, jumping straight into F45 training is like jumping straight into the deep end in the pool without your floaties on.
Classes are filled with 30 – 40 brand new people you’ve never met.
There is music blasting super loud.
And you’re thrown into a fast-paced workout you’ve probably never encountered before.
As a result, going straight into F45 without any other gym experience might be a little bit too much of a jump.
Doesn’t Consider Prior Injuries
Although 99% of the time exercise is perfectly safe, there are always risks involved.
This is where the biggest criticism of F45 training comes in – their lack of onboarding for new members.
This process is called a ‘pre-screening’, where ideally, a staff member takes time to learn about your prior health history and any injuries you may have.
However, this is not something really done by F45.
Instead, you are required to sign a waiver essentially saying that if you do something that causes or exacerbates injury or illness, it’s on you, not them.
Furthermore, some of the F45 training exercises are quite technical if you’re a beginner.
And should really be taught in a progressive and patient manner.
Taking into consideration your limitations and prior injuries.
However, this is not something we see F45 doing.
Instead, it’s more of a ‘just give it a crack and see how you go’ mentality.
Furthermore, if you are very out of shape or haven’t exercised in some time (or at all).
You may find F45 extremely intense.
For someone just starting out, it might take several weeks of sore muscles, fatigue and buckets of sweat before you find your feet.
Is F45 Worth It?
So, after my experience doing F45, is a membership at their facility worth the $65 a week investment?
F45 Training is absolutely worth it if you attend at least 3-4 times per week, enjoy an electric, community atmosphere and crave extra accountability and feedback from a team of coaches.
However, if you prefer to workout alone, can’t justify the pricetag, or are an absolute beginner, it mightn’t be the best option (yet).
Are there showers at F45?
The F45 experience is designed to be completed in under an hour.
For this reason, F45 facilities do not have showers.
Can I Visit Any F45?
Unfortunately, most of the time an F45 membership only grants you access to your ‘home’ club (the one you signed on with).
This is because each location is franchised and owned independently.
In some instances, nearby F45 locations may be owned by the same person and they may allow you to attend more than one studio.
Can You Pause F45 Membership?
F45 Training does indeed let you pause your membership if you are on their pay-as-you-go option.
However, they operate on a fortnightly billing cycle, so you will need to give them at least two weeks’ notice before the direct debit stops billing you.
On occasion this can be longer but really depends on the contract you entered into upon signing up.
How Many F45 Sessions Per Week?
The number of F45 sessions you attend really depends on your level of fitness and ability to recover from the training.
We recommend starting with 2 sessions per week and working your way up to 5 or 6 sessions over the space of several months, or as your body adjusts to the workload.
How to Cancel F45?
In order to cancel your membership, you will need to make contact with your club, either by emailing, calling or visiting them in person.
Oftentimes, F45 will require you to request to cancel in person or in-writing. It all comes down to the contract you entered into upon signing up.
Is F45 a Gym?
Yes, F45 is considered a gym. More specifically, it is known as a group fitness studio.
To learn more about the different types of gyms out there, check out this article.