By DAYNA DRUM and ERIKA MARTIN | Reporters
Exercise in Pacific Palisades just got a little tougher and faster.
With the grand opening of the F45 training gym in the Highlands Village by the Beach shopping center this Saturday, May 14, the co-owners of the franchise are hoping to create a family atmosphere while maintaining a challenging workout for its clients.
Originating in Australia, there are 310 studios in the country, rendering it the fastest growing franchise in Australia.
On a recent visit by the Palisadian-Post to its newest location, the fitness guru owners demonstrated the workout a visitor can expect and deemed these reporters unfit to keep up. Instead they put these Post staffers through a modified workout to get an idea of what it involves.
The fast-paced, technologically savvy gym targets all points of the body, and with a small capacity, exercisers get plenty of one-on-one attention with the trainers.
One of the owners, Mark Hewlett, had heard of the F45 concept from a friend, but didn’t think much of it until he visited family in Australia and gave it a try for himself.
“I was hellishly sore the next day, which I haven’t been in a long time. They were doing exercises that I hadn’t even dreamed of myself,” Hewlett told the Post.
Hewlett is a Type 1 diabetic whose blood sugar level would drop after normal workouts. Since maintaining the F45 regime, however, he said he has ceased his daily insulin dosage.
Fitness isn’t new territory to Hewlett. As a model, he has appeared on the cover of Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness, and he has held the Mr. LA title.
“I’d always been in that world but never thought of doing it as a business,” Hewlett said.
Before long he was laying plans to bring an F45 franchise to Las Vegas where he was working on a hotel renovation.
Through mutual friends, Larry Block and Scott Kinworthy joined the team of partners and began opening the studios in Southern California. With a Venice location opening a mere two months ago, the F45 team is moving quickly.
Kinworthy speculates at the rate the franchise is growing, it will soon catch up to international fitness phenomenon CrossFit.
The workout takes only 45 minutes and exercisers are never doing the same routine. A TV screen gives instructions for exercises at each station and one of the owners/trainers gives encouraging advice along the way.
“It’s never about getting through a workout, it’s about showing up 320 days a year,” Hewlett said.
The gym’s members range from teenagers to the elderly, and workouts are modified to cater to each person’s fitness level.
The initial soreness described by Hewlett can be verified by the Post staff, but the friendly, encouraging atmosphere of F45 makes it worth it.
F45 is located at 532 Palisades Dr. For more information, call 310-734-1475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.