Have you ever had a killer workout at the gym…

Busting out the biceps curls, leg presses, and calf raises…

Only to find you have trouble lifting a heavy suitcase above your head in a crowded airplane, or going up five flights of stairs when the elevator is broken?

You’re not alone.

Because the truth is that when most people work out, they focus on exercises that isolate individual muscles, such as the biceps, triceps, quads or glutes.

This type of training isn’t necessarily wrong (it’s used by bodybuilders to pump up particular muscles so they’re big and puffy), but it won’t help you in everyday life.

Because in the real world, your muscles don’t work in isolation—they work together as a whole.

And that’s where functional fitness comes in. Because if you want to be truly fit… you have to be fit inside and outside of the weight room.

So what exactly is functional fitness?

According to FunctionalFitness.net:

“Functional fitness is any exercise performed to better enable the participant to move through normal life activities.”

In short, this means that functional training focuses on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, rather than just lifting a certain amount of weight in a glorified posture created by a gym machine.

This means putting an emphasis on multi-joint and multi-exercise training—because triceps pullovers don’t often come in handy in everyday life.

The greatest thing about functional fitness? Since the training method emphasizes basic movements such as running, jumping, pushing, pulling, lifting and squatting, you don’t need fancy gym equipment to do it.

In fact, your own body weight can be incredibly effective, as can fun and challenging tools such as medicine balls, kettlebells, pull up bars and dip bars.

And now you see where the 12 Minute Athlete workouts originate from.

Get fitter, move better

Unless you’re training to compete in a bodybuilding competition (which I wouldn’t recommend), functional fitness is going to be your best bet for everyday life.

That’s because not only will you be able to do all the things you love… such as playing catch with your kids, running around with your dog and planting your garden, you’ll also be better prepared for all the mundane tasks of every day life, like getting out of bed, carrying groceries home from the store, or walking up flights of stairs.

Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by mirroring common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.

So not only will you be building greater strength, improve your day-to-day performance, and prevent plateaus… you’ll also boost your quality of life.

Below are some exercises that fall into the functional fitness category:

  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Lunges
  • Sprints
  • Kettebell swings
  • Turkish get ups
  • Shoulder presses
  • Jumping exercises

There are lots more… but you get the idea.

Check out the 12 Minute Athlete workout videos for specific instructions on how to do these and other exercises.

Improve balance and coordination

Know all that stuff you read about core training and how important it is for your body?

It’s true!

That’s because a strong core is what leads to great balance—and balance can be the difference between falling and hurting yourself from a dip in the sidewalk or catching yourself before you fall.

Functional fitness exercises focus on building a strong core, training your body to react the correct way when something unpredictable happens, such as a tumble off the curb or a slip on a wet surface.

Because sometimes falls and accidents are unavoidable (I experience them all the time), and functional fitness can help you prepare your body for the unexpected.

Burn more calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, I’ve got some good news for you: functional exercises burn more calories, too!

That’s because since functional exercises are almost always multi-joint exercises and require the use of multiple muscles at once, they take more work and energy to complete.

Plus, you won’t ever have to worry about “spot training” (which absolutely does not work), because you’ll be working your body in whole, complete movements the way it was meant to be used.

Give functional fitness a try

Ditch the biceps curls and seated leg extensions and try functional fitness out for yourself.

You’ll not only boost your body’s ability to function correctly during everyday life… you’ll also get stronger, fitter, and faster as a result.

And what could be better than that?

How to do Functional Training at home | Part 2 of 2
Good, Better, Best — Which home gym setup is right for you?

Good:

Once you’ve got the right space in your home, you will probably want to consider investing in at least one piece of cardiovascular equipment, as well as mapping an outside running route that you can use for warm ups and required distances. Adding in a rowing machine will greatly increase your options in selecting your daily workout. You can use a staircase or low porch to get started on box jumps and step ups. Add to this setup with a little basic equipment that will allow you to vary your workouts. Important initial investments are a good jump rope, kettlebell, wall ball, and resistance bands.

Initially, you can modify most movements using bands or kettlebells and work in higher weights over time. Not sure how to do that? It’s probably a good idea to head over to your local gym and join in on a workout or two or get some private coaching. A good coach will help you to get set up with safe options for the movements that you can do at home.

Better:

Once you have the basic setup, your most satisfying investment will be installing a pull-up bar from your wall or ceiling (give yourself plenty of space above the bar). Use your bands to assist you or combine the bar with a box for jumping pull-ups. This will open your options for completing movements and working on developing the strength for pull-ups.

Adding a plyo box to your home gym at this point will also give you options as you begin to expand your gymnastics skills to include muscle ups and handstands/handstand push-ups. You can use your plyo box to complete elevated push-ups and box dips for additional strength training.

You should also include a foam roller and mat for the mobility work you will want to add to your warm ups and cool downs.

A treadmill or exercise bike would be a good investment at this point, providing you with lower impact active recovery options, as well as an indoor option for completing those 400 meter runs and concentrated cardiovascular conditioning.

Best:

The best home gym set up can be added to over the years. To really take your home gym to the next level, seek out some support and training from a local, qualified coach to work on your lifts.

Functional lifts are technical and repeating them with bad form leaves you at risk of injury. While a home gym set up is more convenient and offers greater privacy than working out at a public gym, your best option is to combine your home workouts with some one on one professional support. Most gyms offer an “on-ramp” or “fundamentals” program that will get you familiar with the lifts and technique for a reasonable price. After completing that program, you can choose to complement your home workouts with individual training sessions to keep your progress on track.

Adding Bumper Plates, an Olympic Lifting Bar, and a Rig to your gym represents the biggest investment in money, floor space, and the structural demands of your home gym. This investment will provide you with the potential of completing (or at least attempting), as well as substantially stepping up your dedicated strength training sessions.

It goes without saying that those weights are heavy and hit the floor hard so if you haven’t already moved your weights out of the house, you’ll want to do so at this point. Rubber coated bumper plates are designed for the repeated impact of weightlifting and can also be used for other lifts, such as squats and deadlifts. A good set will have at least one pair of ten pounds, 25 pounds, and 45 pounds. If you don’t purchase them immediately, you’ll want to add more plates as you start setting those PR’s (personal records). If you really want to make your home gym awesome, you should also look at adding in a pair of wood rings and a climbing rope at this point.

Nothing beats the convenience of having a well-equipped home gym. Having a convenient space makes tough workouts and strength training more accessible. Starting with the basic “good” version of a home gym is enough to get most people started on workouts at home. Combining that with personal training or participation in a few daily exercises emphasizing scaling options is a powerful combination. As you progress, you’ll find that community, both on-line and in-person, is one of the biggest motivators in continuing your workout. Be sure to use your local gym as a resource for opportunities to work on your skills and technique as you enjoy the convenience, privacy, and accessibility of your own dedicated space.

Read Part 1: Is Functional Fitness Right For Me?

About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Joli.

If you’ve browsed for new group fitness classes to try lately, chances are, you’ve seen “functional training” in a workout description. Like most health and fitness terms, it may seem like a meaningless buzzword at first. But unlike marketing speak meant to confuse you and sell you the latest and greatest product, functional training actually refers to a legit type of workout. In fact, it’s something every single person should do as part of their fitness program.

Yes, really, everyone should do functional training (though you may not need to shell out for a trendy workout class to do it). Here’s why.

Functional training has a purpose and translates to an activity beyond your workout.

“The main word here is function. Function is purpose. So functional training is just training that has a purpose,” says Eric Salvador, a certified personal trainer at the Fhitting Room in New York City. More than that, functional training is focused on movement patterns that have a purpose.

That purpose can be related to getting better at everyday activities—like walking, squatting to pick up something heavy, pushing a revolving door, or getting in and out of a chair—or preparing to compete in a sport, like soccer, football, or tennis. A functional workout is simply one that strengthens you in a particular way that directly translates to an activity outside the weight room. For most people, the practical application of functional training is to make daily activities easier to perform, says Dan Henderson, cofounder of the Functional Training Institute in Australia.

Increasingly, fitness studios are adding classes that can help people get stronger in their everyday movement patterns. Henderson says that functional training has become more popular because “a lot of studios and gyms are making it very accessible for the consumer to try this form of training.” Some fitness studios even have “functional” built into their names, like F45 and Fhitting Room (FHIT stands for functional high-intensity training). When you add social media to the mix, it becomes something people hear more about and decide they want to try.

A functional workout typically consists of compound exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts.

Compound exercises require more than one muscle group to work together, like a squat, deadlift, lunge, or push-up. Because of that, they typically mimic everyday movement patterns—like pull, push, squat, hinge, rotation—better than isolation exercises, like a biceps curl. Think about it: How often do you simply stand in place and lift something from waist level with just your biceps? Probably rarely, if ever. Now, how often do you squat to lift something off the floor? Or lunge to tie your shoe? Or push a door open?

“A majority of functional training movements are multijoint, and a functional training program should incorporate movements in multiple planes,” says Henderson. That means moving forward and backward, side to side, and incorporating rotational movements.

For the same reason, functional exercises require free weights, not machines. Machines require you to move in a very specific and rigid way, says Tara Teakle, head trainer at F45 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That doesn’t mimic how your body actually moves IRL. “For example, think of the leg extension machine,” she says. “You’re never going to just use your quads. They’re going to work with the glutes, hamstrings, and core.” Doing a functional movement like a squat instead is much more efficient from a strength-training perspective and also allows you to train the muscles to work together seamlessly—since they never really operate alone.

That’s not to say that isolation exercises don’t ever have a purpose, says Salvador. “If a client came to me with an acute injury and I needed them to strengthen a particular muscle group, I might have them isolate that muscle group,” he explains. “But that wouldn’t be my primary area of focus.” Most people’s workouts—if you’re working out to be in shape and improve overall health—should consist mainly of compound and functional movements, with isolation exercises peppered in as needed to address a weakness or improve stability in a certain joint (like your shoulders).

Functional training improves your body’s ability to work efficiently as one unit.

By training multiple muscle groups at the same time, you are helping your body function better as a whole, says Teakle. You’re training it to be a system and not just individual parts that work independently. “Training to work together is going to keep you safe,” Teakle says.

45 Min Tabata HIIT Workouts

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Burn 500 Calories in 45 Minutes!

If you’re trying to get in shape but haven’t been burning that many calories per workout (according to your machine’s calorie counter) it may seem a bit impossible to burn 500 calories in 45 minutes or less. But it’s not too good to be true — there are actually several exercises that can potentially burn 500 calories in this period of time — high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises in particular.

The actual amount of calories that you will burn during any workout depends on many factors including your weight, your ability to sustain a high level of intensity throughout the workout and other factors, but there are some exercises that are scientifically proven to burn calories more efficiently than others.

When you’re trying to get the most out of your exercise efforts in the least amount of time, you should try one of these workouts and see if they help you burn fat faster than ever before.

Research shows that high intensity interval training works the best

The key to burning at least 500 calories in 45 minutes when you work out is to have some form of interval training so that you can benefit from the HIIT method. It involves exercising at a very high intensity, essentially as high as you can tolerate, followed by a period of low intensity exercise where you get to rest a bit.

Research has shown that high intensity interval training is incredibly efficient – you simply burn more calories in a shorter period of time. It also boosts your natural production of HGH (human growth hormone) which helps you build muscle mass, improves your fat burning metabolism and much more.

And if you’re trying to target fat specifically, there’s nothing better than high intensity interval training.

Tabata timer workouts are a proven HIIT method

Tabata time workouts are an effective form of interval training. A tabata workout is a four minute workout that is comprised of an interval of 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest period with no activity at all.

A study by Japan’s National Institute of Fitness found that tabata workouts performed five days per week for a total of six weeks boosted the participants’ aerobic capacity by 14%.

Although you will probably have to work your way up to being able to do a full tabata workout at high intensity if you haven’t done it before, the Tabata method applied to almost any workout will result in huge amount of calories being burned during and even after the workout (more details on this explained below).

To burn 500 calories in a Tabata workout, try four Tabata intervals (four minutes each) and spend a few minutes warming up. You can pick almost any cardio workout for Tabata – it works with rowing, cycling, running, etc. Just remember that you need to sprint for the full 20 seconds as fast as you can followed by 10 seconds of rest.

You can repeat the Tabata workout several times each week, and since you’re only spending 20 to 25 minutes max per workout no one has an excuse for not doing it.

HIIT bootcamp workouts are effective as well

The “€œbootcamp”€ style of workout has become popular which is a form of circuit training. Most of these workouts take anywhere from 45 minutes to 60 minutes and they are performed in a group setting.

They combine strength training, flexibility, and a combination of both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Instructional videos like P90X are effective home bootcamp style workouts, and Crossfit is an example of a group bootcamp workout, but there are many other effective programs and training methods. Most programs switch up the exercises each workout so that the body doesn’t become resilient.

A study found that a 40 minute bootcamp style workout video resulted in about 600 calories burned each hour, or about 500 calories every 45-50 minutes. Although bootcamp workouts seem to be a fad, they work, plain and simple. Keep in mind that some programs focus more on strength training while others focus more on cardio, so pick one that will help you accomplish your fitness goals.

“€œAfterburn”€ effect of HIIT

The “€œafterburn”€ effect of high intensity interval training is yet another reason to use high intensity interval training with your workouts. This effect causes your metabolism to spike up for hours after the workout, burning calories even if you’re sitting down and doing nothing.

It’s the result of your body trying to repair the exercise induced damage and the metabolic shock that it just experienced. One study found that a group of people who performed HIIT exercise burned 10% more calories in the 24 hour period after exercising than a group that followed a standard exercise plan.

Your body burns calories at a higher rate when you perform interval exercises, and there are dozens of other health benefits. If you have developed insulin resistance or if you are pre-diabetic, HIIT may effectively reverse your diabetes or at the very least it will help you normalize your blood sugar levels.

Also your body will start producing fat burning enzymes immediately after you start working out. 12 weeks of high intensity interval training can result in significant reductions in fat as well.

30/90 second HIIT cardio workout

The Tabata method as previously described can be applied to almost any cardiovascular workout. But there are several other high intensity interval training programs such as the 30 second high intensity, 90 second low intensity HIIT program. This involves also running, biking, cycling or performing whatever other cardio activity you enjoy at the highest intensity possible for 30 seconds, followed by 90 seconds of low intensity work.

The steps are simple, you warm up for 5 minutes with stretching and light cardio. Then you exercise at maximum intensity for 30 seconds and by the end of the 30 second interval you should be completely winded. Then for 90 seconds you reduce the pace of your workout and recover. You should then repeat the high intensity 30 second cycle for another 5 to 7 times.

At the beginning you might find that you can only do 2 to 3 cycles of the high intensity cycle. Don’t worry, just keep trying to increase the number of intervals each workout and you’ll get to the point where you can do 5 intervals without any problem.

You should try to incorporate stretching and core workouts as much as possible with whatever HIIT training method you use. You can also eventually add resistance training to your workouts, but you should always work with a trainer or coach before starting resistance training if you don’t have a background.

Photo: Twenty20

Just because you’re new to fitness doesn’t mean high-intensity interval training isn’t for you. Otherwise known as HIIT workouts, these fast-paced routines have been shown to torch tons of calories in a short amount of time — so you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. This type of training will have you alternating between periods of maximum effort (think: 20 seconds of jumping jacks) and short recovery.

If you’re just getting into fitness — or starting over after an injury — the key to success lies in doing the right moves, at your own pace. Yes, HIIT workouts should be intense, but pushing too hard, too fast can result in injuries and other setbacks. Your task: Listen to your body, modify as needed, and complete each movement with proper form.

RELATED: The Do-It-Anywhere HIIT Workout You Need to Try

To kick off your journey without a hitch, we’ve tapped Justin Rubin, trainer for Daily Burn’s True Beginner program, to create three workouts, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. Each one has easy-to-master moves, made just for you. All you need is a chair and a yoga mat. Then, start with this dynamic, two-minute warm-up to get your muscles ready to go:

  • Jog or march in place for 30 seconds.
  • Standing tall, circle your arms backwards, one after the other, (as if you’re pretending to do the backstroke) for 30 seconds.
  • Finally, perform a front lunge, side lunge and back lunge stepping with the same leg, then switch to the other leg and repeat. Continue for one minute. Now, get ready to HIIT it!

RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

Beginner HIIT Workouts You Can Do in 30 Minutes or Less

10-Minute HIIT Workout

Work up a sweat in less than the time it would take you to drive to your gym with this simple routine. Best of all, you don’t need any equipment to jump right in.

Photo: Pond5

Jab, cross, front (right side): Stand with the right foot in front of the left, hips facing to your left side. Bring your arms up into a boxing position. Jab (punch) forward with the right arm, then throw a “cross” punch with the left arm, letting your body rotate as your left arm crosses over your body to the right. Your bodyweight should be over your right foot, with your back heel picking up off the floor slightly. Bring both arms back into the body, shifting your weight back to the starting position and facing front. (This is the “front” move.) Repeat on the left side. For more detailed instructions, try Cardio Kickboxing 1 and 2 in DailyBurn’s True Beginner program.

Jumping jacks: Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out while raising your arms. Repeat as fast as possible. If a regular jumping jack is too difficult, step side to side while raising your arms instead.

Sumo squats: Position your feet a little more than hip-width apart and point your toes out at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your weight in your heels, back flat and chest upright, lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Engage your glutes and quads and push back to the start position. Repeat.

Cool down with an overhead stretch, reverse lunge and forward fold.

RELATED: HIIT It Hard with These 27 Beginner Workouts and Tips

20-Minute MetCon: HIIT Workout

Metabolic conditioning is designed to maximize your caloric burn, so you should expect this workout to feel challenging. You’ll go through five moves that focus on full-body exercises. Try to do as many reps as possible during each 45-second interval, then rest for 15 seconds before repeating.

Photo: Pond5

Push-ups: If you can’t complete a traditional push-up, place your hands on a stable chair or plyo box instead of the floor. Or, try doing push-ups with your knees resting on the ground.

Squats: For extra assistance, use a chair for added support. Remember to keep your feet under your hips and your bodyweight in your heels, says Justin.

Butt kicks: Jog or walk in place, kicking your right heel up to touch your bottom. Repeat with the left leg.

Tricep dips: Place your hands on a chair or a low table, with your back to the chair. Put your legs straight out while balancing on your palms. Bending from your elbows, lower as far as you can, then press up to the original position. Engage that core!

Side Lunges: With your bodyweight in your heels and your toes facing forwards, step to the left in a deep lateral lunge, keeping your knee above your toes. Alternate legs.

Cool down with an overhead stretch, a quad stretch and a forward fold.

RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

30-Minute MetCon: HIIT Workout

Got half an hour? Try this longer workout to challenge your core, and your upper and lower body. (Fun fact: This will burn more calories than 30 minutes spent walking on the treadmill!) Complete the same three-minute warm-up as in the previous workout, then get ready to move it, move it.

Photo: Pond5

For exercise descriptions, see above.

Cool down with an overhead stretch, a reverse lunge, a quad stretch and a forward fold, holding each move for 30 seconds.

To get new workouts free you can do right at home, head to dailyburn.com.

Originally published February 2015. Updated February 2018.

6 Killer Cardio Workouts That Don’t Involve Running
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6 Plyometric Exercises for a No-Running Cardio Workout

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Fitness Blender’s 45 minute tabata training video targets multiple muscle groups, builds endurance, and burns off a great deal of calories.
This time we do HIIT intervals (20 on, 10 off) eight times through for a whole four minutes for each exercise. It’s tough, and a bit different from our usual structuring of HIIT workout videos up until this point – we usually do two minute intervals, but mixing it up like this is a great way to keep your body on it’s toes.
What I really ended up liking about this workout was that it was great for calling out weak spots in your body in terms of strength and endurance. It’s definitely a total body workout, and if you pay attention, the exercises that you really struggle with in those long 4 minute intervals are likely the places that you need to work on most. For me, I had a very hard time with the push ups (try not to laugh as you watch me trudge through those…). Upper body strength is definitely my weakness and something that I know that I need to work on – as you can probably tell from the video, after a few rounds of active intervals my push ups started to slow down and my form started to waiver. If I put a little extra effort into training my upper body muscles, I will likely find that the next time I try this workout, this part will be a little easier.
Be mindful throughout this workout and pay attention to the intervals that you find the most challenging – core, upper and lower body, and cardiovascular endurance are the main components of this routine; being aware of which one is hardest for you may be revealing of muscles and training types that you are neglecting in your normal program.
Structure
Cardio Warm Up
Tabata HIIT Cardio + Toning Workout
Cool Down & Stretch
Tabata Routine
20 On, 10 Off x 8 for each exercise
20 Seconds rest in between the different exercise intervals
Exercises:
Wide Burpees + 3 Squat Jacks
Push Ups – The hardest version that you can manage
Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing (basic squat or squat jump if you don’t have access to any equipment)
Toe Touch Crunches
Jumping Jacks
Alternating Lunges (We used extra weight to make this more challenging, you can do the same or step up the cardiovascular demand & calorie burn by doing jumping lunges, instead)
Static Planks
Double Pulse Squats
Don’t skip the warm up, and don’t skip the cool down; both are important and help you avoid injury and can even help improve your performance.
How often can I do this workout?
Depending on what the rest of your regular program consists of, you can do this routine 3-4 times a week, as long as you are waiting until those same muscles are not sore before attempting it again. Do remember that in order to get the best results, you need to mix your program up frequently. Also, while this is definitely a total body routine, it only touches on each muscle group briefly, exhausting them, but not necessarily from multiple angles or ranges of motion. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make this a part of your regular routine, but make sure that you aren’t doing only this routine.

FREESTYLE GROUP TRAINING HIIT

Freestyle Group Training HIIT

Kick your system into high gear with this fast-paced, high-intensity workout. In this group workout, we’ll use a combination of body weight and equipment to put you through your paces. You’ll use your body’s natural movement patterns to perform exercises with high repetitions that’ll get your heart rate up and increase your cardio endurance. We’ll show you how to increase and decrease the complexity and intensity of each movement according to your fitness level and experience. We’ll also pair you up so you’ll inspire and push each other to go harder and farther. You’ll leave the class with better stamina, boosted metabolism and improved heart and lung function. Best of all, you’ll burn calories during the workout and for hours after you’ve finished the workout.

Freestyle Group Training HIIT 45

This high-intensity 45 minute class works your core and elevates your heartrate. We combine bodyweight and Freestyle™ equipment with superset intervals for a workout that’ll maximise your output. You’ll also learn how to better prep your body dynamically to suit this workout.

Australia has brought a lot of good into this world: incredible coffee, Hugh Jackman, and now, F45 Fitness. If that last one sounds vaguely familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen one of these studios pop up in your city—there are currently 1,300 studios globally, and counting.

But what exactly is F45 training? Let me break it down.

What is F45?

“F45 is a global fitness community that leverages technology and functional training to create high-intensity group workouts that are efficient, fun, and results-driven,” says Cory George, the Athletics Director of F45.

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Once you start, there’s no looking back! 💪🏼When did you begin your F45 journey? #F45 #F45Training #TeamTraining #LifeChanging

A post shared by F45 Training (@f45_training) on Oct 15, 2019 at 5:34pm PDT

The “F” in F45 stands for “functional” and consists of a mix of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, and functional exercises. And “45” refers to the length of each fitness class, which is “focused on delivering rapid, impactful results in an approachable and encouraging environment,” says George.

What kind of workout can you expect?

As mentioned, F45 includes a mix of cardio and strength training. Before getting started, the trainer will walk you through each exercise of the workout, and then you kick things off with a warmup.

During each class, “members rotate through different stations and perform specific exercises under the guidance of F45’s expert trainers,” says George. “We design our workouts from a substantial bank of functional training movements, which allows us to vary workout programs by exercise type, number of exercise stations, as well as the work time and rest time, ensuring that our members never do the same routine twice.”

So yeah, you’ll definitely never get bored with the routines. The workout focus changes daily: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are for cardio; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays emphasize resistance training; and Saturdays are a hybrid of both cardio and resistance training. Oh and you can expect some pretty fun workout names (similar to a CrossFit WOD), like Angry Bird and Miami Nights.

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Sweat it out, then stretch it out with F45’S FUNCTIONAL FLEXIBILITY SESSIONS 🤸🏽‍♂️A post F45 recovery sesh, designed to refresh and prepare you for the week ahead.💪💦 #F45 #F45Training #F45FunctionalFlexibility #TeamTraining #LifeChanging

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How is F45 different from CrossFit, Orangetheory, or other gyms?

While CrossFit, Orangetheory, and F45 all focus on functional training methods and high-intensity intervals, CrossFit is a bit more preoccupied with building maximum strength, while F45 and Orangetheory are a more even mix of resistance and cardio workouts.

As far as how F45 stands out in general, George notes: “Our trainers work hard to foster a positive environment, and our studios are deliberately free of mirrors and microphones, which mitigates any appearance-related pressures and trainer intimidation.” Plus, the trainers offer a lot of guidance, from form corrections to exercise modifications.

Want to do a HIIT workout at home? Follow this routine by PWR trainer Kelsey Wells:

What do you need to know for your first class?

You certainly don’t need to be an experienced athlete to try F45: “Classes can be scaled for any age or fitness level,” says George. “Take a look at any of our classes and you’ll see members from all walks of life and at all stages of their personal fitness journeys.”

Even if you’ve never done a squat in your life, don’t be intimidated by F45. Each class is led by expert trainers who walk you through every exercise, and correct your form as needed during the workout.

“In addition, all of our studios are outfitted with F45’s proprietary F45TV technology, which guides members through the workout, previews each exercise, and counts down the remaining time in each station,” says George.

Oh, and as far as what to wear, George recommends sticking to athletic clothes that are comfortable, but don’t get in the way of dynamic movement. “Leggings, a form-fitting shirt, and sneakers are always a safe bet.”

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

How much does F45 cost?

Prices range from studio to studio, so check in with your local studio for pricing. But, F45 operates on a membership model, so on average, you can expect to pay $50 per week or $200 per month.

Does F45 lead to results?

As far as their efficacy, George emphasizes that “this combination of interval, cardiovascular, and strength training has been proven to be the most effective workout method for burning fat and building lean muscle.”

Like all HIIT style workouts, it’s designed to keep your heart rate up and build strength and endurance. The benefits of HIIT include a bigger afterburn effects (i.e. you’ll burn more calories for up to 48 hours after a workout) and a boosted metabolic rate, which happens as you convert body fat to lean muscle mass through consistent exercise.

Of course, it’s important to remember that results vary for every body. But if F45 sounds like your kind of fitness, go forth and try the Aussie-born training studio.

Kristine Thomason Fitness & Wellness Editor Kristine Thomason is the fitness & wellness editor at Women’s Health, where she edits, writes, and helps oversee the food and fitness sections of the website and magazine.

Functional training at home

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