*Jazmin hates anything that feels remotely like legitimate exercise. What happens when we send the girl with an intense reluctance to workout to try out the fitness classes of the moment? Here’s where we find out... *
I really resent conscious exercise. And exercise doesn’t get much more self-aware than lifting weights as part of a circuit in a gym full of people far more physically competent than you. So you won't be too surprised to hear that I was pretty terrified about going to try F45.
In case you're not already familiar with it, F45 has become a bit of a global phenomenon in the fitness world. It started in Austrailia a few years ago and has since found its way over to the UK. The concept is simple - the F bit stands for functional and the 45 bit stands for 45 minutes of training. Total body efficiency, you see. The F45 team have created 27 different 45-minute workouts and I went along to the Renegade one. What the hell does that mean, you ask? Unlike the majority of their other cardio focused classes, it's a resistance based class so it's all about creating lean muscle. Which is a thing fitness people like to do, right? Here's how I got on... (Spoiler: the next day ache was UN. REAL.)
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I don’t like HIIT. I don’t like circuits. I don’t like weights… I have made a very big mistake and I can’t find a good enough reason to bail out of my appointment.
How difficult is it?
There was a lot more flexibility around what you did and how you did it than I had initially imagined. For many of the six stations you circulate around, there are options to use lighter/heavier weights depending on your abilities and how hard you want to push yourself. Also, the instructors were really good at coming round to help (spotting I didn’t know what to do with a dumbbell) and helping me out.
Do I need a working knowledge of exercise beforehand?
It would hurt, to be honest with you. Especially if you opt for one of the classes that use a lot of gym equipment because you’ll get more from it if you’ve already got your technique nailed. But you don’t need to worry too much because they’ve got these handy screens in the gym that have VTs of some super buff guy demonstrating each exercise.
Can I fit it into a lunch break?
YES! The whole premise of the F45 classes (minus one of them, I’m told) is that your workout is 45 minutes long. That means you’ve got a bit of leeway to skedaddle back to the office before your boss even notices you left.
Could I take a mate?
Defs take a mate. At the beginning when the instructor tells everyone which station of the circuit to start on, they’ll ask if anyone came together and pop you in the same team. Also, they play banging throwback tunes that you can sing at each other to distract from the exercise pains.
Would I need to shower after?
Yes, if you work hard enough. Not sure if I mentioned but I’m not really one for gyms and weights and stuff… so my lack of strength/experience/knowhow meant it didn’t take very much for me to be dripping in sweat (and tears. Jks. Kinda). So the shower was entirely necessary.
Was it fun though?
When I stopped being frustrated at myself for not being able to lift all the things, it actually was. Like I said, the instructors were great and kept the vibe positive and not too serious.
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Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.