Is F45 Really Effective – Fitness Fad or Lifestyle Revolution in Singapore?

Dr. James - Orthopaedic Surgeon in Singapore

Medically reviewed by Dr. James Tan

From Miami to Manila, F45 is taking over the world. Everyone from Cindy Crawford to investor Mark Walburg swears that this fitness craze is unlike anything else out there. Exploding in popularity, this network of gyms has expanded to 1,750 studios in 45 countries in less than ten years. By the time you’re reading this, there will probably be even more.

The fastest-growing fitness chain in the world, this fitness phenomenon has taken on a life of its own since its humble beginnings back in the suburb of Sydney, Australia in 2011.

What’s behind this love affair? Let’s dig into the details of this fitness trend.

What is F45?

Adam Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch developed this fitness concept in an effort to bring gyms into the twenty-first century. The goal was to create a “high-paced, inclusive team workout strategy” that allows you to get a high-intensity, circuit training class done in 45 minutes.

The 45 in the name represents the standard number of minutes in a workout session while the F stands for “functional.” This functional component is one of the biggest draws of this system. Functional training has become a buzzword in gyms around the globe and its appeal is easy to understand.

Functional exercises are all about training your body for everyday life. They not only help to build muscles but also improve your overall health such as reducing work-from-home aches, improving shoulder mobility and lessening the risk of injuries like shoulder pain and knee injury. The goal is less about staring in the mirror at the gym and more about getting your body ready for lugging groceries up the stairs, running after the train, and getting up out of a chair. The dynamic series of squats, jumps, twists and pulls are all based on making your daily life easier for longer.

Read more: Will ACL Tear Heal on Its Own?

Is F45 Effective?

What makes a workout effective? Showing up at the gym and doing it! As every personal trainer has echoed since the beginning of time, getting in shape is all about putting in the time and being consistent. Interestingly, this concept was developed in an effort to get people consistent in their gym routines.

CEO Rob Deutsch said, “I could see people were signing up for normal gym memberships and could see they were turning up on an average once a month.” Sound familiar?

“There were people that were getting some results, but they had a personal trainer,” Deutsch continued. “The problem was, these $70 sessions – three times a week – was costing the client a lot.”

Deutsch developed the concept to fill the gap between expensive personal trainers and empty gyms. This goal was to create a motivational and innovative fitness routine that kept people engaging and active.

One of the key selling points of this system is the sense of community and team that exists within the gym. You don’t show up for anonymous sessions, sweat for an hour, and then disappear. Instead, you’re part of an active and alive community that keeps you accountable. What’s more, training is done indoors so you are safe from experiencing heat injuries. You can also do this at your own pace so you’ll less lightly suffer from muscle fatigue.

Is F45 Good for Weight Loss?

The fastest way to lose weight is not just about burning fats but also to build muscles. A fitness system that engages its members and keeps them coming is always going to have some impressive success stories when it comes to weight loss. Of course, as anyone who has ever been on a weight loss journey knows, however, exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.

F45 has become a household name in large part thanks to its holistic approach and motivational plans. One of the biggest attention grabbers has been the F45 Challenge. These intensive challenges push devotees to bring their fitness to the next level.

During the challenge, members get a shopping list with menu plans, food tracking, and a series of workouts. These give you all of the services of a nutritionist and personal trainer in one. Like any weight loss plan, the results come down to personal accountability and effort but F45 gives members all of the tools needed to do the job.

How Many Times a Week Should I Do F45?

Physical fitness is not one-size-fits-all. Everyone is starting from a different place with different abilities and needs. Generally speaking, however, we can look at a few basic goals. For example, the Singapore Physical Activity Guidelines say that adults between the ages of 18 to 64 should aim to get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts per week. That means anywhere from about 20 to 40 minutes every day of the week. They also recommend doing strength training workouts at least twice a week.

If you are starting from zero, doing three 50-minute sessions per week is a good goal. If you’re already exercising regularly and want to take your fitness to the next level, you can find F45 workouts for every day of the week.

Is F45 Good for Beginners?

As you know, one of the founding concepts was to give members an experience like being with a personal trainer. While its workout studio incorporates a lot of the same workouts you’d see in a HIIT or boot camp studio, one thing that makes its studios different from the rest: the large instructional displays.

These display screens are there for beginners to learn new moves. While it’s easy to get lost as you’re trying to learn new moves, the displayed screens are there to help you follow along step-by-step. The gym offers station-by-station diagrams where you can learn the correct technique for each workout while watching a preview of the moves. Just be sure to do some stretches before each workout session to prevent getting muscle cramps and injuries like tendon injury. Also, be careful not to overexert yourself to prevent possible sports injuries such as rhabdomyolysis, torn meniscus or rotator cuff injuries. If you suspect a torn meniscus, visit our meniscus tear treatment page to find out more about the symptoms and available treatment options.

Read more: Difference Between Yoga and Pilates

How Long Do You Have to Do F45 to See Results?

Everyone has a different starting point and, of course, your overall lifestyle is going to play a major role in your results. With disclaimers aside, there is an event called the F45 Challenge that shows the true potential of this workout plan. 

A few times each year, the challenge kicks off around the globe. Members try to get to as many classes as possible and follow a set diet. The results are truly incredible.

Reading posts like the F45 Challenge review: how I lost 7% body fat in 8 weeks and seeing Sione Siale, C25 Global Winner who lost 21.47% of his body weight. Is it easy? Certainly not. Will you see quick results if you follow a strict diet and workout plan? Unquestionably.

Is F45 Better than CrossFit?

Few workout plans can touch the much-loved CrossFit plan but F45 quickly became a contender. Many devotees say the new programme leaves CrossFit in the dust while cult favourite CrossFit remains the go-to workout for millions of people.

So, what’s the difference? Let’s look at a few key different elements.

Schedules: CrossFit vs F45

F45 is standardised and organised. Every gym does pretty much the same thing on the same equipment. CrossFit is different depending on the gym and many trainers offer unique systems.

CrossFit vs F45 Workouts

CrossFit is highly focused on heavy lifting. You often do a series of one or two heavy lifts, then move to cardio workouts across a few different stations. F45 works with lighter weights at more stations. You might go to 30 different stations with F45 while CrossFit will typically bring you through five or fewer.

CrossFit vs F45 Workouts Coaches

This can vary considerably across gyms for CrossFit so it’s tricky to compare the coaching and training styles. Generally speaking, CrossFit is highly focused on pushing you to become better and stronger. Coaches focus on beating your personal best. In F45, the goal is to create a functional movement that works with your lifestyle.

CrossFit vs F45: What to Expect at the Gym

One of the first things you’ll notice is the demographics of the gym. On average, CrossFit gyms are around 80% male and 20% female. Meanwhile, at F45 gyms, you’ll see around 70% women and 30%  men. That’s not to say CrossFit is for men and F45 is for women. You certainly might even see the reverse trend in your neighbour, but it is a common thread and may be reflective of the coaching focus.

How Quickly Can You Lose Weight on F45?

Looking at the results above from the challenge, you can see that dramatic changes are very possible with the full diet and workout plan. If your diet is so-so and you’re not working out regularly, you can feel the results almost instantly. If you’re already working out regularly and eating a healthy diet, you probably already know that you’ll have to step up your efforts to increase your results. Luckily, pushing yourself is easy.

Blending circuit and HIIT workout techniques, their gyms push you through a range of cardio and strength-and-resistance moves to maximise your 45 minutes while burning fat and building muscles, and also strengthening core muscles.

Is F45 Worth the Hype?

You’ll find a range of detailed assessments from certified personal trainers online. You can read in-depth breakdowns from people of all fitness levels on popular forums like Reddit fitness chats and Quora question-and-answer sessions on F45. Ultimate, however, working out is a personal experience. If the workout sessions motivate you and keep you coming back, F45 is an effective workout. If you can’t connect with the trainers and don’t like the gym, it’s not going to work for you.

Now it’s your time to decide! Most of their gyms offer a free trial. You can meet with a trainer, try a few classes, and decide for yourself.

Ready to get started? Share this post with a friend who you want to turn into your gym buddy for your trial!

Looking for a Reliable Orthopaedic Doctor in Singapore?

High-intensity workouts can be tough on your body, especially if you have existing injuries. At Ray of Health, we specialise in sports injury treatment, offering options like golfer’s elbow treatment, knee pain treatment, and shoulder pain management to help you recover and get back to your workouts.

While working out, it is better to do some light stretches to prevent potential injuries and muscle cramps. If you’re experiencing aches or acute pain in your knee, neck and shoulder or any parts of your body, it is best to seek help from a professional.

Meanwhile, you can also learn about the differences between a chiropractor, osteopath and physiotherapist, chiropractor and orthopaedic, and physiotherapy and orthopaedic surgery before deciding on the most suitable treatment plan for you.

To get started, you can book an appointment online with our orthopaedic clinic in Singapore and ask for Dr James Tan.

If you’d like to find us directly, visit one of our clinics below:

Camden Medical

1 Orchard Boulevard, #09-06

Singapore 248649

Mount Alvernia Hospital

820 Thomson Road

Medical Centre D #05-60

Singapore 574623

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About The Author

dr james tan

Dr James Tan Chung Hui

Dr James Tan is a skilled orthopaedic surgeon at Quantum Orthopaedics who has more than 10 years of experience in sports surgery and exercise medicine in Singapore. Apart from partnering with the industry to introduce various treatment techniques, Dr Tan has treated athletes from the Singapore National Teams and professional footballers from the Singapore Premier League and the Young Lions.

Dr Tan specialises in treating sports injuries of the knee, shoulder and elbow joints, as well as cartilage and meniscus surgery. He is a member of the elite Asian Shoulder and Elbow Group and a founding member of the Singapore Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Society.

Qualifications and Achievements
MBBS - National University of Singapore (NUS), Faculty of Medicine
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS)
MMed - Master of Medicine in Orthopaedic Surgery (NUS)
Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh)
Adjunct Assistant Professor | NUS, LKC
Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports and Exercise Medicine
Head of Department | Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Centre
Principal Investigator of Tissue Engineering
National Medical Research Council grants
Collaboration with Scientists at NTU, TUM, A*Star, Osteopore & Trendlines Medical Singapore


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