As far as workout classes go, F45 is up there as one of the best. The Australian-born gym has quite literally blown up here in London, with studios opening across the city and people raving about it all over social media. Amy Lawrenson, Byrdie UK's editorial director, even did the eight-week challenge and saw huge results. But what exactly goes on inside an F45 class? We headed down to its newest studio on Tottenham Court Road to try Brixton, its latest class, to find out.
F45 specialises in innovative, high-intensity group workouts, so I woke up that morning expecting to go along to something pretty intense (and I was right). You're given a walk-through the nine stations before starting, and then you're split into two groups: One-half of the class starts with movements that incorporate elements of boxing and self-defence, and the other has to go through a pretty gruelling HIIT (high-intensity interval training) circuit that includes squats and push-ups.
The best thing about Brixton is the fact that it's split up. Sometimes, fast-paced classes can feel slightly repetitive, but channelling one half of the class on the boxing and the other on mat work means you don't even get a chance to think about repeating the same movement twice. The focus during the boxing part is on nailing those movements, so you're learning a new skill while working out, which is great. The moves don't feel like your standard boxing punch—they're elevated and fresh and focus on using your entire body to make quick, agile movements at a fast pace, which is something that I've never done before (in most boxing classes, I feel like I only use my hands).
You're also in pairs in Brixton, so you complete the whole class with someone, and let's face it—if you're doing a 7 a.m. class, it's always more fun with a partner. I've tried a few London boxing classes (1Rebel and Kobox are great), but if you're the type of person who wants to feel like a part of a mini community, then F45's Brixton is the class for you. Everyone high fives after and you feel like you've accomplished a class with a big sweaty family.
The class is fast and energetic, and you finish feeling strong. In fact, I left the class feeling the most energised I had in a while, and that feeling continued all week long. It's exactly what you need now that winter has started to roll in.
Keep scrolling to see what I wear to an F45 class.
Pretty much everyone in an F45 class ends up in just a sports bra, as you get so sweaty (no shame), so I'd make sure I was wearing one I felt fully comfortable in. This Lululemon one has a thick waistband so you don't feel too exposed.
If I'm doing a workout class, I'll always be in black leggings. Always. These Lululemon ones are my current favourites. They do not budge or fall down once on, and that's exactly what you need during HIIT.
These Nike cross-training shoes live firmly on my feet when I'm doing a class. They're lightweight enough your feet don't feel restricted but provide just the right amount of support so you can complete complicated boxing moves.
F45 has 24 studios here in London, with 100 across England and Europe and over 1300 worldwide. Brixton is available in all its studios, and you can book here if it sounds like your kind of thing.
What's your favourite workout class? Come and tell us in The British Beauty Line.