Team Training. Life Changing. 

Over the course of the pandemic I became a Peloton girl. I thought I would never possibly buy a Peloton while I lived in such a small one bedroom apartment in Beacon Hill. I longed for group fitness classes and the closest thing to it at the time was a Peloton. About a year later when Massachusetts began to reopen and masks were finally removed, I jumped to re-enter the group fitness world. 

I heard of F45 via social media and it looked like an exciting and new workout style for me after a long period of only working out from home and I had to try it. F45 is a full body HIIT workout that lasts 45 minutes. F45 uses technological innovation to engage members during the workout and has led the brand to be a massive success since its inception. 

The brand uses a franchise model and each franchise is equipped with the same technology to create consistency across all locations. Technological innovation is a pillar of the brand. Members sign up for classes through an app that denotes the class type, trainer, and studio schedule. When you walk into the studio, there is a countdown to the class beginning, and displays for the class schedule to keep everyone in the studio on the same page. When the class begins, the displays show the movement at each station as members move around the class in the typical HIIT style of workout. The displays show a countdown at each station, where to move around the class, when the water breaks will occur, and how far along members are in the workout class. The integration of technology throughout the entire class allows for the feeling of personalized training and technique support without the typical high price tag. 

Not only do members have innovative screens to engage with the entire class, members use lionheart heart rate monitors to further enhance the workout experience. The monitors allow for accurate tracking of workouts using three metrics that display live on monitors in the class as well as in the F45 app. The metrics include calories burned, heart rate, and percentage of maximum heart rate. The activity report can also be easily shared through the app to social media to further engage members across other platforms including instagram and facebook. 

F45 takes it a step further during periods of F45 challenges that push members even closer towards their fitness goals by maximizing technology. Members can sign up for the F45 challenge and will be provided with shopping lists, food tracking, and menu plans designed to augment the F45 workouts in the most effective way. By using technology, F45 is able to integrate the brand into different facets of member’s everyday life in a way that few, if any, fitness brands are doing. 

This summer, F45 made its debut on the stock market. The company announced it plans to use some of the net proceeds from the IPO to acquire Flywheel for 25 million dollars. Flywheel is a former indoor cycling studio that went bankrupt after closing its doors during the pandemic. F45 made the choice to acquire Flywheel because of the previous investments that the cycling studio had made in technology. F45 will use the technological investments to save the company both time and money. F45 will save three years and 40 million dollars in technology enhancements with the Flywheel purchase. The purchase also highlights once more the importance of technology to the F45 brand in order to engage members. 

One aspect that my pandemic workout, the Peloton, and my post pandemic workout, F45, have in common, is the integration and importance of technology during the fitness experience. Both use screens to display proper workout forms and capture the attention of the class. Both utilize apps for scheduling, post class reporting, workout trends, and counting total classes completed by a member. Both integrate heart rate monitoring for increased accuracy of workout trends. I think that the reason I have loved both workouts over the past year and a half is the high importance of technological integration into each class experience that keeps me coming back for more. Both brands target a millennial demographic that is willing and excited to engage with technology via their workouts. 

Have you ever heard of F45? What is your favorite workout? How do you integrate technology into your fitness routine?

Mark Wahlberg at my F45 studio in Medford this summer

9 comments

  1. Thank you for exposing me to a fitness franchise I haven’t heard of before. My daily workouts center around strength and body building, but I did maintain a membership at Barry’s in Chestnut Hill over the summer to change up my routine. I would say that tech isn’t a significant part of my workout regiment, however I do use specific music tracks to trigger adrenal gland activation for my heavy compound exercises. When this is done properly I find that I break through PRs with ease.

  2. Back home in California, we have Orange Theory, which is the same model as F45, but uber expensive. I was fortunate to have a card which granted me free access to 3 sessions, and it was quite honestly to this day the best workout I’ve ever had in my life. The competition within the group, tracking calories, being in the “zone” as well other technological feats we try to achieve throughout the workout made the experience all the better. I’m not usually one to say technology makes working out better, but if it can incorporate some metrics to include competition, I think I would have to split my time running outdoors, lifting in the gym and attending some of the F45 classes. After all, I might see Mark Wahlberg!

  3. Fascinating blog post on a company I have not heard of. I was interested in the franchise model and the strategy of acquiring FlyWheel due to its focus on tech. You mentioned there’s an F45 app, but can it operate on a wearable like an AppleWatch? Also, I wonder if this type of technology and associated equipment can be sold to college athletic programs? Similar to Whoop sponsoring BC, could F45 set up a gym and the integrated technology so that athletes can track their workout.

  4. Cool blog post! I used to workout at Orange Theory (a similar style to F45), but now I got a membership at LifeTime Fitness in Chestnut Hill and have been working out there for over a year now. Like Parker mentioned, it’s really intriguing to see how exercise companies have tailored products/services they offer with Apple device. Take my LifeTime Fitness card, for example. I downloaded the card directly to my Apple Wallet and with Apple’s location software, my phone pulls the card on my lock screen as soon I enter the parking garage. Definitely creepy, but also convenient.

  5. I played football in college and after I stopped playing, I lost all motivation to do anything fitness-related. I felt burnt out after the nonstop grind since what seemed like elementary school and was worried I’d never really get back into working out as much, which is such a big piece of a healthy lifestyle. Even over the last ten years, I’ve worked out pretty consistently but have never really got excited or felt that “runners high” as I did in high school and college. I was working out to avoid being chunky instead of bettering myself! My wife convinced me to give Peloton a go since there are a couple of bikes in our building’s gym and I’ve been absolutely hooked since. I think technology and fitness are a perfect match as connectivity through tech has brought back my desire to push myself to beat my own PR’s or finish in the top 10% of the class each time. I now genuinely look forward to hopping on the Peloton and think that’s due to the connection I feel with the instructors and all the stats gathered and presented during each session. Excited to see how other forms of exercise and gym equipment can build on the momentum Peloton started, maybe I should give F45 a go next.

  6. F45 WOW! I need to try this! I hear of it, but I never pay much attention to it. I didn’t know that F45 was using so much of the technology in the classes. I think this type of workout class will be an excellent way to meet people, create a community, and obtain tangible results. I also love the concept of franchising the business to have a similar experience. Have you tried Orange Theory? I think they do something similar, but the stamp of approval of Mark Wahlberg is something hard to match!

  7. Thank you for introducing a new fitness franchise! I’ve been looking to change up my fitness routine and will definitely be checking this out. This made me think of the OrangeTheory wearables just as others have mentioned but I recently found myself gravitating towards the Apple Watch to give me simple metrics on my workouts. F45 definitely looks interesting and will give it a try! A workout I tried over the pandemic was Mirror which wasn’t as promising as it claimed to be – at least in my experience.

  8. When you live on campus, space is a premium, even as a staff member, so I ALSO have a peloton!! It has been a really lovely addition in that you are still able to connect with others, see what classes they have taken, and still find some kind of community even when you are technically working out alone. It is worth noting that while they have a video option, it’s quite a humbling angle, so there may need to be additional work done to adjust that particular feature.

    This sounds like a great plan with the addition of the meal plan — if there is something that can make my grocery list for me, I am in.

  9. It’s really great to hear that in-person training groups are starting to gain traction again! The impact of the pandemic made it difficult for the vast majority of these organizations to adapt and survive, so the case of utilizing technology to continue to separate and elevate their platform from the rest is a very cool approach.

    I personally bought a Peloton a few months before the pandemic, and honestly didn’t really touch it prior to March 2020. But once the pandemic started, I made it a goal to do a ride every single day (even if it’s a cool down or easy ride while listening to music). I found that Peloton’s Power Zone community was the ideal mix of group riding, flexible times to ride (on-demand and live), and ability to track progress via data. It completely changed my fitness approach, and I haven’t looked back since. As much as I loved in-person classes like this F45 Training, I just can’t beat having a full array of group Peloton classes ready to go at any time, embracing fitness monitoring technology (heart rate, resistance, cadence, output, and all the graphs that come with those data points).

    And for the record, I made it 109 days straight of completing a ride and still have my 85 week streak going :D

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