I tried this insane Australian fitness workout that has hit South Africa – and my beer boep disappeared

Business Insider SA

f45. Photo Caryn Caboz

  • Before I joined F45, I scoffed at the idea of circuit training workouts.
  • I religiously recorded almost every session on my smartwatch to compare it to my regular hockey season training.
  • I burnt more active calories than any other month of training I did during the year.
  • My toughest workout is called Flamingo: Athletica –  affectionately dubbed  ‘Deathletica’. 

Being a hockey player my whole life, I believed that cardio and team sports were the way to ideal fitness.

But due to chronic patella tendinitis in both my knees, I had been struggling to keep up to the rigorous pace, running an average of 6 kilometres out in the field. I was popping Myprodol like it was candy, just to keep up.

I needed an alternative, and a friend recommended F45, after a week-long try-out himself.

I was skeptical that it could match the needs of a hockey season in a premier league team – and of the R1,650 per month for an unlimited subscription. 

Short for "Functional 45", F45 it is the world's fastest-growing functional training network. It began 2012 in Australia and has since opened 1,150 studios across 36 countries. The business model aims to fill the gap between traditional gyms—where people pay a small membership fee to work out on their own – and high-cost personal training sessions. 

Much like CrossFit (unlimited R1,299 per month), and SWEAT 1000 (unlimited R1,995 a month) this has proven popular.   

This was how I survived: 

You train at high intensity on a 45-minute circuit that combine cardio, interval, and strength training exercises.  

My skepticism was quickly shattered.

The harder you push the more it burns. Photo Jay Caboz

The first sessions left me sweating buckets and gasping for air as I desperately tried to keep up with the regulars. My first session of Wingman left me so stiff I could not move my arms for three days.

I religiously recorded almost every session on my smartwatch to compare it to my regular hockey season training. 

I burnt 8,000 active calories in November compared with 7,532 active calories in July, the peak of hockey season.

I was surprised to see that in my first month of F45, I burnt more active calories that any other month of training I did in a year. It was an insane workout.   

I was humbled after a family were having pull-up competitions – while I could barely do a single one. 

The trainers have great energy, there’s music to get blood pumping – and a social media community for you to post workout videos so the world can see your suffering.

With 27 different workouts we have not nearly begun to scratch the surface of what’s on the menu – and that sometimes has me waking up in fear.

Finding out what's happening in a session. Photo Jay Caboz

When it comes to workouts my one concern is repetition. I get bored easily. I was surprised to find that the F45 exercises consistently change. 

My favourite workout is Brixton, a mixed martial arts fighting style session.  

Brixton. Photo Jay Caboz

My toughest session has been a workout called Flamingo: Athletica, affectionately dubbed  ‘Deathletica’.  

While I did not lose any weight, I noticed my beer boep disappearing in favour of more muscle.

After all the workouts I was expecting my weight to drop significantly. It fluctuated by one or two kilograms, on my first weight-in November 31st, I weighed 75.2kg. By December 25, 75.6kg. Instead I replaced fat with muscle. 

If you are looking for the best results, you can choose to do the F45 challenge, which includes a dietary programme - after all abs are made in the kitchen. 

Photo Caryn Caboz

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