If you use the group exercise classes at the Lyon Center like me, you may have noticed that with the spring semester came an addition to the workout class schedule. As my workout buddy and I were checking the times of our favorite SCycling classes, we noticed that a plethora of classes called F45 had been listed throughout the week.
I had no idea what these were. They sounded intense. Some were scheduled as early as 7:15 a.m. I thought, these must be a big deal if college students are filling a class at such ungodly hours. What’s more, I kept getting emails from the Lyon Center about their popularity, saying that more and more F45 classes were being added to the schedule. What was this fad taking over our gym?
Just a few days ago, I ran into a friend who mentioned that she was signed up for the 4:30 p.m. F45 class on Friday.
“Join me, they’re great!” she encouraged. So I did.
The F45 workouts are not unique to USC. F45 programs are used across the country and can be found in a variety of studios across Los Angeles. The program was originally developed by entrepreneurs in Australia in the interest of combining the most effective exercises into a 45-minute session of a High Intensity Interval Training circuit workout. The company provides 27 different workouts, with new variations being developed daily. This means that you are unlikely to ever repeat a workout.
I was definitely tired and sweating after F45, since all the exercises were at a good, challenging level. The class was divided into several sections of circuits. The exercises at each station incorporated weights, jumping, squatting, deadlifts and more to emphasize cardio and agility. The circuit was designed for sections of work and rest, with one water break in the workout.
In order to take an F45 class at the Lyon Center, you must have purchased the group exercise passes for the semester, which gives you access to the yoga, pilates, SCycling, F45 classes (and more) at the gym. Then, download the app REC IT Fitness, which allows you to sign up for an F45 class. All you have to do is make an account and select “University of Southern California,” and then you can see all the timeslots of F45 classes and select the one you want. I had to join the waitlist for the Friday class, but easily got in a few hours later since some people dropped. F45 classes at USC are cardio-themed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and more focused on strength Tuesdays and Thursdays.
It is easy to fall into a workout pattern and forget to challenge your muscles by changing things up. This is why I’ll be back for more of these classes. Not only did I learn new exercises, but the workout also pushed me harder than I push myself, which is a welcome test.