I first tried out F45 when I lived in Sydney (where the chain was born). I really loved it but after my trial, I couldn’t justify the extra expense when I was already a member of a gym I loved.
When I moved to London, it was a different story. In Sydney I was spoilt for choice with different gyms and classes, but in London (especially West London where I’m based) I couldn’t find something that worked for me. When I found that there was an F45 around the corner from my work I joined up straight away.
After a few months of getting into my routine, the trainers convinced me to sign up for the challenge.
I ended up winning my studio’s challenge by losing 10kg and 9cm from my waist!
So I thought I would share the lows, the highs and my top tips that I learned from taking part!
- I really love coffee, and you’re not allowed it on the challenge. The first 3 days were the worst, but i really missed the taste. It was the first thing I had post-challenge (I’ve never tasted something sooo good).
- The cravings are REAL. I’m more a savoury than sweet person, but the sugar cravings I had were insane! I was dreaming about chocolate brownies on a daily basis
- Your social life doesn’t really exist. There were a few times I went out and didn’t drink but it’s not the same and you will hear at least 100x ‘just have one/ one won’t hurt’
- There are some days you just don’t want to exercise and those are the hardest to drag yourself out of bed for
- I managed to injure myself in about week 4 which was frustrating as I couldn’t do all of the exercises for a few days.
- Obviously the biggest high for me was seeing the physical difference. Even by the 5th week, I felt more comfortable and confident in my body than I had in a while.
- There is a huge sense of achievement you feel – especially when you resist big temptations (i.e. for me, not having a cream cheese bagel in New York was like torture!)
- Food has never tasted so good. On the 3rd week, halloumi was on the menu for breakfast and I swear I must have moaned out loud when I had my first bite.
- You see a huge improvement in your fitness and strength which is amazing
- The studio and all of the other participants are really supportive – everyone is cheering each other on every step of the way.
- Because you’re on such a strict diet, I actually saved a lot of money. The first week was expensive, stocking up on things I wouldn’t normally have in the cupboard, but after that I was spending about 35 pounds a week on food – which was ALL of my meals and snacks
- ROUTINE! This was absolutely key to me doing as well as I did. I would go to class on Saturday morning and on the way back would go to the supermarket with a list for next weeks meals. I would then come home and cook all of my lunches and snacks for the next full week. This meant that on weeknights when I was tired and busy I didn’t have to sort myself out for the next day. I cooked my breakfast and dinners as I went along which worked for me. (I.e. I would cook 2 portions of dinner on Monday and then have the second portion on Tuesday). This meant I didn’t feel like I was cooking all the time.
- Stretch way more than you think you should. I’m rubbish and I don’t always stretch after working out, but I found because I was working out every day, if I didn’t stretch one day it would knock me for the next few workouts. There’s not point in being in pain when you don’t have to!
- Stick to it. Yes I realise this isn’t rocket science but it’s the biggest reason some people were disappointed with their results; they included a cheat meal, or didn’t quit alcohol or didn’t stick to the meal plan. I obsessively stuck to it – weighing everything I ate, turning up to class every day and pushing myself harder. Eight weeks really does fly by and it’s soo worth it to skip the treats for such a small amount of time
- Push yourself harder. I bought the heart rate monitor at the beginning of the challenge and this was a great way for me to motivate myself because I could compare my performance across the different classes. I’m very competitive with myself so I was always trying to get my heart rate higher or get more points. As you go on and get fitter, it might be easy to coast along using the same weights, but progress doesn’t happen if you do this so it’s important to keep challenging yourself.
- What you do outside of class is also important. I started walking home instead of getting the tube (making sure to always hit a minimum of 10k steps), and taking the stairs whenever it was an option. I really think that these small things build up and make a difference.
- Be kind to yourself. It can be easy to slip into self-punishment mode, as is common with diets and exercise. I found it really important to treat myself in other ways like getting a massage or going to do something fun. Don’t let yourself get burned out. I also took lots of progress pictures, especially when I was feeling good. That way, when I was demotivated I could look at them and see how far I had come.
- Drink more water than you think. It will help you to feel full and also will be great for detoxing and your skin! (n.b. you will need to pee all the time).
After the Challenge
- I actually ended up losing an additional 2kg after the challenge, but after about 4 months I had re-gained 3kg (unsure if this was fat or muscle though). So net loss after is still 9kg which I feel good about.
- I skipped the challenge after my one (still kept up the classes), but I have decided to take on the following one just to see how far I can push myself (it’s addictive!).
Comment with any questions and I’m happy to answer them!!