Monday Motivation: F45

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As I am writing this blog, my abs are aching, my legs are sore, and my arms feel like they are being weighed down by bricks, and the truth is I love it. So why am I feeling like this? Well I would bet it has everything to do with completing my first week of f45 Liberty Village.

Ok so you might have heard of f45 but not entirely sure what it is? Yeah that was me about a week ago, so let’s break it down.

Back in 2012 in Australia the F45 CEO wanted to create a group training facility that featured dynamic and effective training. He wanted to create the best workouts that could reach the masses. A structured system that could be implemented across the world.

Now F45 is breaking ground across the world by combining three times of leading edge fitness training styles into one. It incorporates high intensity interval training, circuit training, and functional training. The fusion of these training concepts has created 27 different 45-minute workout experiences, so you never get the same workout twice.

Now that you know a bit of F45’s background, here is a bit of my own background. From the age of 8-21 I played professional tennis. That meant 5 am wake up calls to go and train, three hours on the court, and then more fitness pretty much seven days a week.

From 21 until now, I have taken things a bit lighter. I still love to work out, but my workouts have been more cardio based as of late, so the idea of circuit training that involves weights made me a little nervous.IMG_0846

What I found out is that there are two main kinds of workouts, ones that are weight focused and ones that are more cardio focused.

The first class that I took was Renegade. More of a weight focused class where you focus more on heavy lifting and proper form that helps burn away fat. I was definitely sore after this class

Next up was Firestorm. The hardest of all the classes in my opinion. 54 stations and no time for breaks (except during your giving hydration period). With so many different stations, you are guaranteed a full body workout with cardio and speed training combined in there as well. After this class I couldn’t make it up or down stairs. Not for the faint at heart.

Then we were back to weight focused workout with Angry Birds. As they say Angry Birds plot revenge, and this workout was insuring I was ready for revenge. Again plenty of weights that targeted my whole body.

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Thursday was Wingman. Sure I may have been doing this solo, but that is the great thing about f45, you are never doing this workout alone. There are 20 other people in the room who are fighting through these workouts just as hard as you are. You are pushing each other to work harder, better, faster, stronger, or some other Kanye West quote. “believe and squeeze” is the motto in this class, and your glutes are definitely going to get formed here.

And alas my first week of amazing, incredible, feel good torture was Romans (who doesn’t want to have a body of a Roman God right?) with this workout resistance meets functional movement patters and it is definitely a full body burn. Weights, squats, lunges, you name it you do it in this class.

One week was not enough that is for sure. I am actually addicted to these classes for a few reasons;

  • As someone who I am pretty sure has undiagnosed ADD, I really like the idea of changing up the workouts. Not only do you do a bunch of different activities each day, but every day you have a different class, a different challenge
  • The instructors are amazing and will really help make sure you are doing the exercises correctly to get the most of your workout
  • You get to do it as a group, which at least for me pushes me to work harder. When I am in the gym by myself I spend most the time finding the right playlist for the day, at f45, you have a whole team working hard together
  • You know you are changing your body and your life. I am not going to lie to you, these workouts aren’t easy. They hurt but they also build, strengthen, and improve.

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F45 has not just changed my body, but has also changed my mind. I used to be afraid of weight training. Afraid to bulk up as they call it, but these classes have taught me that lifting weights actually burns just as much if not more calories than cardio, and the harder you push your muscles, the longer they burn.

F45 has taught me that working hard is rewarding, it is life changing, it makes you not just physical stronger but mentally, it showed me what a community can do when they come together, and it proved the saying that strong is beautiful.

If you haven’t tried f45 yet, sign up right now (well finish reading this blog and then go sign up). Plus, the first two weeks are free, that is a win win!

 

Toronto Gets Soul

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 10.53.03 AM.pngSoul Cycle has been a spinning phenomenon in New York for years, and now the six is getting their very own Soul Cycle this week on King St. West. I had a chance to check out this high intensity low impact workout, and had to share my experience.

If you follow me you know two things, 1) I love working out and fitness and 2) I have a new found love for spin classes. I always used to find them repetitive and boring, but recently my opinion has changed. And as you will find out if you keep reading, there is nothing boring about Soul Cycle.

Ok so you have heard about this Soul Cycle everyone is speaking of, but what is it? Basically it is a 45 minute spin class that combines fat burning cardio, a full body workout (arm weight track included), and choreography that forces your core to stay engaged all class long. Spinning and dancing all at once, sounds fun right?

My first impression was that they have really put thought and effort into their set up. The moment I stepped into the candle lit room I was impressed with the ambiance.

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We were told by our instructor Jenna to put our cell phones away and get ready to let loose. I loved this idea because it really forced me to focus on my mind and body for the full workout as oppose to worrying about work calls and emails.

As soon as the first song started, I found myself singing and spinning along to the beat. The class combined springs, hills, and heavy legs ensuring that I was working different muscles and getting my heart rate up.

What I really loved was the added choreography of arm pulls and pushes. They distracted me from how much my legs were burning from pushing myself harder each song.

About five songs into the class and a 10 sprints later, we were told to pick up the weights for the arm track. Although I was lifting 3 pound weights it was such an intense workout. For an entire 6 minutes you have your arms up and out doing all exercises from bicep curls to triceps, my arms were definitely burning.

Alas all good things must come to an end. The last track was us letting go of all of our stress and anxiety and instead focusing on our breathing until the last note of the last song.

I really loved the class from start to finish. From the music, to the workout, to the amazing instructor the entire workout was amazing. Speaking of workout, despite the low intensity of the spin class, I was drenched in sweat walking out.

Now mind you, I may be a little biased, because throughout the entire class I felt like I was cheating on the Spokehaus. Spokehaus was the first spin class I fell in love with, the first spin class I got my groove on at, the first spin class I learned figure eights. I love washing my face down with their cold Eucalyptus towel after a hard ride on the bike.

Both of these studios are fun, hard, and a workout party and I would recommend trying both of them out!

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Also make sure to come back and check out my blog, because I will be sharing some of my fav Toronto workouts. As they say Summer bodies are made in the winter, and we don’t have much winter left!

xo

Mia