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5 Tips For Starting Group Exercise & F45

Jumping on the F45 train? Ready to kick start your health with a group exercise program? Here are 5 important things to consider before you start from a podiatrist.


We all thought F45 may be a bit of a phase. One of those exercise fads that hang around for a year or two before dwindling into the archives of our memories.

Sorta like, dare I say, the Herbalife era or perhaps Crocs and socks?

Just me?

Okay, nevermind.

If you’re one of the many people keen to dive head first into the F45 life, or have signed up for the 8 week challenge, it’s important to tick a few important things off the list before you do. 

1. Understand Your Starting Level

A lot of us sign up for these fitness challenges with a friend or family member. The conversation goes a little like this.

Friend 1: “I’ve been thinking about joining F45 and maybe having a crack at the 8 week challenge!
Friend 2: “OMG! That sounds like a great idea, I should totally do it with you!”

Friend 1: “OMG! Yes! We can like, share progress photos and go to classes together. We’re gonna be so fit by the end!”

Friend 2: “Yaassssss! We’ll do it together and that way we can hold each other accountable and nothing will get in our way!”

Sound familiar?

Thought so.

These two friends are likely to fall into the competitive trap of pushing through blood, sweat and tears to keep up with each other.

This puts them in danger of overloading muscles/tendons/joints etc that aren’t used to 5 x 45 minute high intensity workouts per week. 

Perhaps the discussion between these two friends should look more like this?

Friend 1: “I’ve been thinking about joining F45 and maybe having a crack at the 8 week challenge!”

Friend 2: “Far out that challenge seems tough, not sure how well I’d cope but I’m keen to try it with you!”

Friend 1: “That’d be so fun. We can do our best and modify it so it’s well aligned with our capabilities. Let’s be honest, I haven’t worked out since Britney shaved her head in 2007.”

Friend 2: “OMG feels! Sounds good, I really don’t want to get injured!”

The friends in scenario 2 are better taking into account their starting level of strength and ensuring that they tailor the F45 workouts to align with what they’re capable of.

A great way to minimise risk of injury! 

2. What Shoes To Use

For those of you who legitimately haven’t worked out since Britney shaved her head in 2007 (you know who you are), pulling out those old dusty runners probably won’t cut it.

F45 workouts and other group exercise classes are synonymous with a cross training style of exercise.

This could mean a training type shoe is best for you. Training shoes are lower to the ground and firmer underfoot compared with a running shoe. A couple of good options are Nike Metcon or Mizuno TC-01.

Be warned, these shoes are training specific. You would need to be very cautious increasing the walking or running miles.

Let’s talk about running shoes here for F45. Depending on your starting level of strength, injury history, and foot mechanics there are that many different running shoes out there it can be hard to know what’s best.

One way is to see a podiatrist for a footwear fitting, known as Perfect Fit here in Melbourne.

Another way is the good old comfort filter. Head in to your local footwear retailer like Sole Motive and go through some quality, fashionable and supportive running shoes.

A starting point of going with the most comfortable when you’re running on the in-store treadmills is a pretty reliable way to get going.

While we’re talking about lovely running shoes, for no other reason than these pass my comfort filter here’s the latest Brooks Adrenaline.

3. Skin Care

No, I don’t mean your nightly skin care routine with $100 vitamin C serums and pink clay face masks.

I’m talking about those niggly corns and calluses on the soles of your feet!

Have you had experience with these in the past?

Are they a problem for you?

Because you best believe, with all the jumping, skipping and heavy exercise you’re about to start partaking in, they’re likely to become a little angry! It is worth having them treated by a podiatrist before you begin training!

You may simply want that thick callus under that big toe joint shaved off, to buy you some time for it to rebuild before becoming painful again.

Or, your podiatrist may be able to suggest ways to prevent that callus from returning, making your F45 journey a callus-free one!

(Side note, I thought about saying ‘pain-free’ in that previous sentence, but from participating in some pretty hectic HIIT classes in my time, I can anecdotally guarantee that your classes will NOT be pain-free – buuuuuut working those muscles hard is definitely the best type of pain there is!)

Bottom line: the last thing you want holding you back from doing your best in F45 is a stupid corn under your pinky toe – get it checked out before that first sesh!

4. Nutrition & Hydration

Disclaimer: I’m no nutritionist. But, I do have a general understanding of the importance of diet and water intake when it comes to exercise journeys.

Believe it or not, many injuries to bone and soft tissue can occur as a result of poor nutrition. Fill those plates up with veggies, protein, some healthy fats and carbs, as well as gulping down a solid few litres of water a day and your body (and podiatrist) will thank you for it!

5. Know Your Goals

Why are you putting yourself through this torture?!

I’m just kidding.

But really!

Why are you doing this?

Is it weight loss?

Is it for some extra quality time with Mum?

Is it because it’s trendy and your friends are all doing it?

Having clear goals allows you to put your training week into perspective. It prevents you from feeling guilty when you allow yourself a recovery day because your ankle was a bit sore after yesterday’s session.

It encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with your fitness journey and to stay on track while also listening to your body.

Accepting that it’s okay to have an off day, or to take a day off is absolutely paramount in any change to physical routines.

Pushing your body beyond its capacity to withstand load is only going to pull you two steps further back than you were before!

My F45 & Group Exercise Summary

Beginning a fitness journey or committing to F45 transcends showing up to classes.

You need to make sure your body is prepared to dive into a whole new style of exercise.

As mentioned above, this includes understanding your strength levels, footwear choices, diet, and goals!

Now off you go, give it your best shot…and don’t blame me if you’re hobbling around with achy muscles in the first couple weeks!

Just know that we’re here to help for any foot and ankle concerns you may have along the way!

Need a tune up or check in with a podiatrist before starting your F45 or group exercise journey? You can make your appointment online with us all across Melbourne.

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