I’ve got a bit of an ego when it comes to fitness, the more adventurous the better in my eyes. Balance on a med ball? Sure. Throw myself at a wooden box that’s basically as tall as me? Why not. Wanna put a barbell double my weight onto my back? Go for it. I think it’s fair to say I walk into the gym in blind faith (or maybe blind stupidity) at times.
So when I walked into F45 Training’s Hollywood class yesterday, I did so in the same blind faith. Having been described as ‘terrifying’ by other publications, perhaps I should have been a little more prepared for what was to come.
My first mistake was getting lost and running into the studio five minutes late, missing half of the description of what we’d be doing. Luckily one of the instructors was nice enough to take pity on me and give me my own quick brief of the class. That still didn’t stop me from running around like a rabbit in the headlights for most of it… i’m sure more than a few of my clients would have paid to watch footage of me navigating this class. The second mistake was carrying my phone into the class like the Instagram girl that I am; actually thinking I would have the time or energy to film snippets. (I did not.)
It was 45 mins of high intensity interval training, and when I say 45 mins, I do not mean 15 mins of warm up, cool down and stretching with about 20-30 mins of work. I’m talking 45 mins of blood, sweat and mascara tears. The class was made up of 27 stations, spanning from strength lifts like deadlifts to intervals on cardio machines like spin bikes. You spent 40 seconds on each station, with just 15 seconds to
rest wipe your tears and scramble to the next station, before starting the next exercise.
At the end of the first round, with my eyebrows halfway down my face, I was asking myself how committed I really was to this ‘whole blogging thing’. But, I didn’t have much time to formulate an exit strategy, ’cause after just 60 seconds of rest, we we’re starting the whole 27 stations again.
My one concern was the same that I have for cross fit style training; that performing strength lifts at this level of fatigue could lead to injury. So I would say that anyone thinking of joining this class should leave their ego at the door & put safety first. This is not a class where you’re going to pull out your max lifts. However, there were various different weights available and the instructors were very attentive so I’m sure they would be quick to correct any dodgy form.
By halfway through the the second circuit, I was seriously questioning whether I would survive! But the group environment creates an atmosphere where quitting is just not an option, you look around and see everyone dripping with sweat, absolutely exhausted but still grinding through. Not to the mention DJ pumping out some serious tunes that keep you pushing way past your limits.
I train hard 6-7 days a week, but I’ve never been pushed as hard as I was yesterday! No matter how self motivated you are, you can never test your limits as effectively alone as you will if you have a coach, instructor or class environment pushing you! The combination of cardio, strength and explosive bodyweight exercises at such intensity left me with adrenaline pumping through my veins, and my whole body worked – all before 11am on a Saturday morning.
It was clear that the class was full of regular attendees and there was definitely a community feel and team spirit! Everyone was so friendly and I feel like this would be a great place to make some likeminded friends (as mentioned in my previous post!).
I attended the Hollywood class at the Tottenham Court Road branch, but they have branches all over London. I definitely want to go back so if you decide to give it a go, let me know so we can suffer together!