No coffee, no wine, no chocolate or cheese. So this is going to be hell right?? Well that is what I thought, turns out it is actually doable (with the right tools and support)!
So week one of the F45 8 Week Challenge is done and dusted, so how did I find it?
SET FOR SUCCESS
So my first major hurdle was childcare! So this may sound simple but I really hate asking for help. My daughter is super active so not the kind of kid that will sit in the pram for 45 minutes unfortunately. The reason I only workout 1-2 times a week is that she is already being cared for on those day, so it is easy.
So I tried to be strategic with the schedule so I could ensure hubby would be home or this was the hard one…. go before work! If anyone knows me I am not a morning person. I am most productive at 11pm at night and am the annoying friend that responds to text messages at 10pm. Training in Ipswich is actually easier too as my Mum lives close by, my work is close by and hubby works there too if I get stuck. So I chose realistic times I knew would be manageable. Training six days a week would never happen so five is my goal.
STARTING THE CHALLENGE
So it started with an InBody Scan on Monday with owner Darren. This is an amazing machine that tells you your body fat percentage, skeletal muscle mass, visceral fat level (scary fat around your organs), body water analysis and heaps more.
It is great to start with this to see where all my numbers are on the scale and have this to compare back to at the end of the 8 weeks. My body fat is at 23% and skeletal muscle mass 25.2. My main goal really is to consistently workout out and increase my fitness but I am hoping that will also result in some reduced body fat and an increase in my muscle mass.
CHALLENGE APP MEAL PLAN
I eat relatively healthy but tend to have some serious snack attacks when I am under the pump with work and skip meals. I am also quite partial to a cheese platter and red wine on weekends! I am notorious for skipping breakfast but given I am going to be training some mornings of the week I am going to try super hard to eat breakfast more often and earlier (not 11am!). I am told that eating frequently is really important for regulating blood glucose levels and reducing cravings.
Cue challenge app. So the app has all your meals every day, the variety is awesome and it helps you control your portion sizes which is fantastic. There are three phases to the 8 weeks. The first concentrates on detoxifying the body, the second building lean muscle and the third reducing body fat. The coolest thing is you don’t even have to be doing the challenge to get the app – check out the F45 Challenge App in the app store. It is free to download.
This week has not been perfect but food intake would be about 90% off the meal plan and I have stopped coffee and alcohol without any hassles. Where I deviated was when I was out and about and ill prepared. But I must say I did choose healthy options! Not a bad start.
HOW OFTEN DID I TRAIN?
I actually managed to do four sessions plus a PT this week which is literally a PB for me! Best consistency for about the last 5 years I reckon. I don’t expect every week to be like that but I am aiming for 3 sessions on a bad week.
Class 1 – Pipeline
Co- Owner Darren described this one to me as a wave, once you are in you can’t get out, you ride the wave to the end as there is no rest! I was scared and there were some killer cardio based exercises like plyo lunges and battle ropes, but Darren also said “just do what you can and if you need to rest have a breather and get back to it”. I was also relieved to see that most exercises had scaled options and heaps of different weights to choose from. Darren was also there checking in at the stations and helping me select a weight or check my form.
Class 2 – Panthers
This one was a resistance based circuit, weight based resistance is my favourite. I rather hate cardio so I felt a little more comfortable with this circuit. It was great, you could push yourself to your own limits and work at your own pace. My F45 heart rate monitor said I burnt a whopping 636 calories!
Class 3 – Renegade
Three hours sleep.. It was going to be a struggle. There were pull ups (assisted with the band) and dead lifts (my fave). I went at my own pace and still managed to chew 594 calories. What a great start to the day. I felt much better after the class, I was definitely awake now.
Class 4 – Hollywood
This is F45’s most infamous class. So popular that it books out. This I was not aware of and found myself on on the wait list. I was checking the app. quite regularly the night before when I got a message through 9pm to say I was in! I was actually super nervous (multiple nervous wees when I got there too, sorry TMI).
It is a mix of resistance, core and cardio stations, 27 stations, two rounds, one rest break. Think pull ups (assisted to suit all levels), rowing, hill sprints on the bike, battle ropes, sled push and heaps more. It was good, it was challenging, a few times I did stop to catch my breath but just started again as soon as I could. We also had an AWESOME live DJ pumping out some killer music which kept us all going. What a great start to the weekend. I had burnt over 1000 calories before 11am that day!
HOW DO I FEEL?
You get a serious rush at the end of a class and your fellow team mates congratulate you with a high five and genuinely tell you, you did a great job, as do the trainers. You leave on a high. Endorphins are high and you walk out with a serious sense of pride and achievement. I must say I did hit the wall a couple of hours later after each class but I am hoping that will improve as I get fitter and my body gets used to regularly exercising again.
Through out the week I was really focused on the nutrition and it was really helpful seeing the plan and looking forward to some of my favourite meals. I definitely felt in control of my food and wanted to eat healthy after putting the effort in to train. I had a few crappy nights sleep (teething toddler) but I also stopped drinking coffee as part of the challenge which I thought would be hell, but it is actually ok.
My mood despite being super busy and stressed has been really good! Id usually be Snappy Tom, so working out has really helped elevate it.
I also expected to be super sore from all the exercise, but I think the sorest I was was on day three, the consistency has certainly helped to push that nasty lactic acid out of my muscles. Prior to this when I was doing one or two PT’s a week my muscles were sore for days.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I didn’t die!!!!
Yes I did move to the wrong station a few times, I might have bruised my knee doing lunges with the sledge hammers (I am actually a pear – bruise easily) and I may have picked up two different weights to bench press, but my other team mates helped me on my way and so did the trainers so I could get back into it straight away. Yes it was out of my comfort zone but it didn’t take me long to realise how supportive and fun the environment is. F45’s motto is “Team Training, Life Changing” and I am definitely seeing some positive changes to my life in a short 7 days!
So that is it for week 1. In the next couple of weeks I will touch on the class formats and how they work, what to expect when you walk through the door, the nutrition in greater detail and much more.
So as I am writing this I have been hit by a cold so I am trying to rest a bit but will still be training and following the meal plan this week. I will literally just see how I feel at the sessions and judge how far I can push myself. Lets hope this week is as good as last! I am feeling determined!
If you have read this far, thank you! For some reason I used to struggle with writing those history assignments but have easily written over 1500 words on F45! I hope you get an insight into what F45 is really like!!