What is the F45 8 week challenge?
The challenge is a fitness and weight loss programme aimed and designed at helping you achieve your “ultimate body goals” in just two months.
Implemented on a seasonal basis, the 8 week challenge – which consists of a training and meal plan and a lot of motivation – is split into three phases.
Here’s how they are described by F45:
Phase one focuses on cleansing the body of toxins to enhance liver function, whilst stimulating metabolism and removing fluid retention to begin the process of eliminating sugar cravings.
Phase two puts emphasis on defining your physique, so a high protein diet is encouraged to support muscle hypertrophy, assist in muscle recovery and repair, create healthy fat loss results and build a strong immune function and defence.
Phase three is the final and ultimate fat-stripping phase, which will focus on a high fat, low carb nutrition plan to strip all remaining fat and help suppress appetite.
Once signed up, members have access to two F45 apps; one to book sessions and the other to access meals plans.
They will also be able to sign up to a Facebook page to stay in touch with those on the programme and keep up to date with everyone’s progress or share their own.
The challenge is based on a calorie deficit, allowing 1,900 for males and 1,300 for females, with those who are doing more than three F45 sessions a week upping their calories by 300 for men and 200 for women.
It’s important to note the the NHS recommends 2,500kcal for men and 2,000kcal for women a day to maintain a healthy weight.
What can you expect at F45?
I had my body scan at F45 Cannon Street, attended a range of classes and tested out a load of meals to get a real taste for it.
F45 body scan:
Every studio across the UK starts on the same day, and those taking part in the F45 8 week challenge get a body scan which measures body composition, muscle mass, percentage of body fat, BMI and obesity degree, it even calculates your biological age.
You can also opt to have before and after photographs taken so you can physically see any differences made.
There are then body scans half way through the challenge and at the end, to see how far you’ve come.
At least three classes a week are recommended to help you on your fitness and weight loss journey.
For those who like to mix things up, these classes are for you, as each day is a different work out, all of which consist of high-energy cardio or strength training sessions.
Despite not being a huge fan of group workouts, the studio managers are really helpful and kind, and on my first session paired me up with an F45 veteran who was more than happy to show me the ropes as we went around each workout station.
The first couple of sessions were a bit daunting, with a lot of people and stations to manage, but each exercise is explained at the start of the 45 minutes by an instructor, they are also showcased on big screens so you can check yourself if you’re unsure.
For most classes you are in groups of three or four and move around in those pods over the course.
F45 meal plan:
The meal plan is easily accessible through the app and there’s options for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans.
Members are offered a shopping list, a recipe library and a meal plan for each day, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks a day.
F45 also encourages members to ditch caffeine for the first phase – but if that feels impossible, and for some of us it is – one black coffee or a coffee with nut milk is recommended.
The 8 week challenge also recommends going alcohol free, as alcohol is referred to as “empty calories”, but those who want a social drink should opt for clear spirits with soda water or a low-carb beer.
As mentioned, the meal plan follows three phases, so members can expect zero bread in the first phase as gluten and refined sugar are removed.
While phase two is full of high protein and complex carbs and phase three has a high fat, low carb macronutrient split with fibrous green vegetables and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
While the ingredients can be expensive, many meals and snacks are batch made so you get lots of them and save time too.
The next F45 8 week challenge starts in the UK on 29 July, 2019.
To sign up head to www.f45challenge.com.
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