Short for Functional 45, F45 is based on high intensity interval training and combines elements of cardiovascular and strength training in an intense 45-minute workout session.
Functional training involves exercises that mimic everyday movement. It uses the entire body and multiple muscle groups to build and sculpt lean and functional muscle.
Members see results in four weeks, said franchisee Luciano Tesoriero, who operates the Amoy Street, Siglap and River Valley studios. There are four more in the pipeline.
Although F45 has been around for only four years, with the first Singapore outlet opening just last year, there are already over 500 F45 studios worldwide and eight here.
Originating from Australia, F45 typically has in its studios large television screens with exercise demonstrations, a countdown timer and equipment such as rowers, kettlebells and spin bicycles.
Celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Nicole Richie are said to have undergone F45 training, and it has taken off in the US - it is now the training partner of the National Basketball Association team Dallas Mavericks.
Mr Tesoriero, 31, told The New Paper: "We do a great job of attracting a diverse range of members, with 20 per cent of the Amoy Street studio's members being local and the rest from all over the world."
He said F45's expansion has been gaining momentum due to the growing demand here. "It is not just a dreary gym environment where everyone has earphones plugged in and no one talks to each other," he said.
Comparing it to larger gyms such as Virgin Active or Fitness First, he said: "They have amazing amenities, great bathrooms and additional services that we do not have.
"The difference is, when someone walks in through our door, we know their name, what they do, what they like and what they can or cannot do when they have an injury."
He likened the personalised team-like environment to that you would find in a sports team.
With between 150 and 250 members each, F45 studios typically have smaller membership bases compared with big box gyms.
Generally, a session at a F45 studio will have between 10 and 36 people, making for a more close-knit experience.
"It is like a community - it is very social," said Mr Tesoriero.
Even though the exercises last only 20 to 45 seconds each with a 10- to 20-second break in between, members are constantly kept on their toes.
There are 20 formats in total, and Mr Tesoriero said: "It is always different, so you will never do the same workout twice."
He added that each session sees one to three trainers correcting the posture and form of those working out or increasing the workout intensity, getting a feel of each person's threshold.
"In that sense, it is a more individualised group training," he said.
Mr Tesoriero, who was in a sales job with poor work-life balance, started F45 training three years ago in Perth.
He started at 6am six days a week and went on to open three F45 franchises in Perth.
"I did one class, and I thought it was amazing. After one week, I enquired about purchasing a franchise," he said.
On bringing over his passion for F45 from Australia to Singapore, he said: "My business partners and I booked an Uber for four days and we went around Singapore scouting for locations."
Mr Tesoriero hopes to ultimately boost the enthusiasm for fitness and wellness here.
"Do not do it for the aesthetic reasons alone - do it because it will change the way you feel in so many positive ways," he said.
Article first published on TheNewPaper