Why I Love . . . F45
Each workout is different, but based on the concept of high-intensity interval training
Melanie Morris: “I love feeling fit, strong, happy and productive, all byproducts of firing off as many happy hormones my pituitary gland can manufacture.”
I would still be sitting on my sofa, thinking that “exercise” centred around hockey, netball or rounders (none of which I either rated or was any good at in school), if it weren’t for personal trainer John Belton, and his gentle, but firm powers of persuasion. He’s the one who, 12 years ago, introduced me to endorphins – the kick you get from a good, strong, sweaty workout.
Since then, I’ve discovered that exercise isn’t about what others do or how they do it, it’s about the ongoing conversation you have with yourself. Sometimes that’s a loud, boisterous competitive voice, telling me to hit my maximum heart rate, run my fastest kilometre or lift something very heavy with more repetitions than ever before. Sometimes it’s purely about getting out of bed at a decent hour and interacting with other humans.
Two years ago I was introduced to F45 by my friend Claire McGrath. The F stands for “functional”, the 45 for the number of minutes a class takes. Each workout is different, but based on the concept of high-intensity interval training (HIIT); short bursts of tough exercise followed by shorter rest periods, going hell-for-leather to the end, with plenty of encouragement and engagement by trainers.
I love F45. I love the community of people that have been drawn to the studios in Sandyford and Townsend Street, and I find that working out with people (mostly) younger than me takes away any excuses I might try and use to avoid or simplify exercise. I love feeling fit, strong, happy and productive, all byproducts of firing off as many happy hormones my pituitary gland can manufacture.
Prof Niall Moyna succinctly said that we must make time for exercise now, or factor in disease later in life; I’d never thought of it that way before, but it makes sense. I’m just grateful that I’ve found a form of movement I enjoy enough to make it a habit.