F45 workout craze hits Watergardens

The Australian fitness phenomenon known as F45 Training officially arrived in Taylors Lakes earlier this month when a state-of-the-art 240m2 studio opened on Level 1 of the Watergardens Office Precinct. With reduced-price launch memberships selling like hotcakes on cheat day, we caught up with studio owner Joel Pearce to find out why fitness fanatics and usually gym-shy people alike are going crazy for F45.

“Having tried CrossFit, bootcamps, 24-hour gyms and everything in between, I knew after my very first F45 class that I would open my own franchise because of how engaged and happy everyone was to be there – the variety, intensity, team atmosphere and technology involved in F45 sets it apart from any other gym-based experience,” explains Joel.
The famously addictive program contains more than 30 catchy-named classes that alternate between interval, cardiovascular and strength training throughout the week to help you burn maximum fat and build lean muscle. Instead of repeating the same movements over and over, as you might in a weekly spin class, every session is entirely unique because the trainers are drawing on a library of more than 4000 scientifically tested exercises.

Joel believes one of the reasons the F45 regimen has developed such a cult following since its launch in Sydney in 2011 is its adaptability; “Our circuits are time-based rather than rep-based so if you’re just starting out or carrying an injury you can easily scale down the weight or number of reps you do, but always with qualified trainers and the rest of the group to keep you motivated and accountable.”

In addition to being perfect for people who get bored easily, he says F45 is also well suited to those who enjoy the rush of team sport or find that their fitness gains tend to plateau when they exercise alone.

While F45 is renowned for its community feel and excited high-fives, Joel was nevertheless blown away by the camaraderie on display at Watergardens from the outset. “I’ve been thrilled to see mother-daughter duos signing up together and we’ve noticed a whole lot more interaction between members during the changeover between classes and on our Facebook and Instagram pages than at other studios,” he explains.

As a director of three other studios around Melbourne, Joel is proud to describe the Watergardens studio as one of the best in the network because of its easily accessible location, modern design and abundance of natural light.

While weekly membership looks pricier on paper than a standard gym, anyone who has coughed up the joining fee for a gym they rarely visit or looked into the cost of a personal trainer will vouch for the value for money that F45 represents.

Considering the average member attends more than three sessions a week, each session is led by a team of two to four roaming trainers and there are no joining or cancellation fees, the investment is almost a no-brainer.

Joel says: “Most people start off with two sessions a week because they think that’s all they can fit into their busy schedule but when they realise how efficient the sessions are – that you can really be in and out in 45 minutes – they usually up it to three or four sessions.”

Of the 50 sessions on the F45 Watergardens timetable, weekday evening sessions are currently the most popular. Some of the fiercest competition comes from members challenging themselves to log a personal-best effort level on the studio television with the help of a Bluetooth-connected heart monitor.

If it’s a total body transformation you’re after, F45 Watergardens will be running its next eight-week challenge in late April (the second of four taking place in 2019). You do not have to be a member to join in the combined fitness and nutrition challenge, but it’s free if you are. But why wait till then?

Joel says: “It’s hugely rewarding for myself and the other trainers to see people who have started on their health and wellbeing journey with us enjoying all the mental health benefits that come with F45 too. To contribute to someone feeling better in their day-to-day life is the best feeling in the world.”

Redeem your free two-week trial or join the squad at F45 Watergardens now.