F45, a high-intensity, functional fitness-focused gym, has been growing at an exponential rate and they just opened up a spot in Port Chester.
By Paul Adler
Photos Courtesy of Annelise Manessis at F45 Fitness
The first thing many think when they enter an F45 is that the place looks seriously sleek. Several flat screens line one wall depicting proper form for each movement, the equipment is all high-end and brand new, and all the coaches are at the very top of their game. In fact, the trainer Nicolette who led us the day we came took first place in a state weightlifting competition just this week.
It is this excellent coaching combined with intelligent programming and ultra-swanky gear that makes F45 truly stand out from other fitness chains currently sweeping the nation. The fitness phenomenon was founded by Rob Deutsch in Australia back in 2011, soon attracting a fleet of famous proponents and spreading to more than 27 countries. Now, Westchester boasts its own at 509 Boston Post Road in Port Chester.
In terms of training, F45 falls in the sweet spot between more cardio-focused workouts and those that greatly stress weightlifting and kettle bell work. F45 gets its name from the class length and it uses concepts from many popular fitness regimens and adapts them into a unique workout composed of functional fitness, high-intensity interval work, and circuit training.
“We offer 45-minute high intensity interval training, in a circuit format,” says co-owner Annelise Manessis. “All of our exercises are functional-based, mimicking everyday movements. Our workouts are also efficient, with exercises targeting multiple parts of the body, so you’re burring up to 900 calories in just a 45 minute class.” Each day of the week F45 offers a different class focusing on a particular fitness aspect, from cardio to strength training to conditioning.
According to Manessis, who opened up the franchise location with her husband George about a month ago, it is the variety and intensity that keeps people coming back to F45. “Every day is completely different, from different timing intervals to different movements and exercises; you’ll never repeat a workout and it’ll keep your body guessing,” she says. “What you can expect is an encouraging environment with at least two trainers per class, so you get personal trainer attention, in a team atmosphere, including lots of high fives.”
Manessis also attests that the eye-catching flat screens are an additional boon. “Another thing that sets us apart is our technology,” she says. “We have nine big screen TVs around the studio, to help guide you through your workout, showing you where you need to be and what you should be doing, so you’re never lost. We also have a robust heart rate tracking system to see your progress throughout the session and over time to help you reach your goals. We have awesome music that’s curated by our in-house F45 DJ, and every Saturday you can expect a party, dancing station-to-station with a live DJ for our Hollywood session.”
Located in the Whole Foods parking lot in Port Chester, the gym is also eminently accessible and we can attest to the fact that everyone from the trainers to the students are extremely welcoming — high fives included. Another location is set to open in Stamford within the coming months. For Manessis it all boils down to providing an environment that is both enjoyable and truly effective.
“What F45 has done is create a fun, motivating environment that drives results, where members don’t want to skip a single class,” she says. “At the end of the day it’s about getting real, tangible physical changes, which our members have already seen in the short time we’ve been open. They’re stronger, leaner and most importantly feel great, and that’s what is key to F45’s explosive growth.”