No 2 workouts ever same at new Sumter gym

F45 has technology, community focus, GM says

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 7/18/18

It's a new workout regimen that's a mix of technology, science and community and is growing worldwide, across the U.S. and now in Sumter.

Ashley Schwedler, co-owner and general manager of F45 Training, 20 W. Liberty St., recently discussed the …

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No 2 workouts ever same at new Sumter gym

F45 has technology, community focus, GM says

Posted

It's a new workout regimen that's a mix of technology, science and community and is growing worldwide, across the U.S. and now in Sumter.

Ashley Schwedler, co-owner and general manager of F45 Training, 20 W. Liberty St., recently discussed the operation of her new workout studio, which opened in the downtown area about three weeks ago.

The name, F45, stands for 45 minutes of "functional" training, which is a mixture of cardio, body weight and weight exercises designed to burn fat and build lean muscle, she said.

The movements in functional training are regular, daily movement patterns, such as walking, running, twisting and bending.

"Functional training just improves your everyday living," Schwedler said. "Those movements we do on a daily basis - this is improving your quality of life. It's how we should all train."

The use of new technology makes F45 a unique workout experience, she said. Daily workout sessions are created from U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles from a database of more than 3,000 different exercises, which are combined for a routine, and no two workouts are ever the same.

The workout sessions are then loaded and piped in via Smartphone app technology to F45 TV monitors in each of the franchise's studios.

Sumter's downtown studio has seven mounted HD TVs that create a visual workout environment for studio members. It's "team training" and a "family type atmosphere," Schwedler said, where everyone tries to motivate one another.

The 45-minute sessions include interval-based training (with a workout/rest time ratio), and members move station to station during a session.

Class sizes are currently running 10 to 15 people, Schwedler said, but can go up to 27 members.

The same class workout session is repeated throughout the day, with seven classes on Monday through Thursday - the first at 5:15 a.m. and last at 6 p.m. Fridays have six sessions - also starting at 5:15 a.m., but with only one late-afternoon session at 4:45 p.m.

Currently on Saturdays, there are just two, 60-minute sessions, starting at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m., but that could expand based on demand, Schwedler said.

Each day is a different workout session though, so no two days are ever the same.

"You never repeat the same workout twice, unless you do 'two-a-days,'" Schwedler said.

F45 Sumter has four fitness instructors, including Schwedler, and a total of five employees.

F45 was founded in Australia. There are 1,000 franchises worldwide, and 350 have started in the U.S. in about the last five years.

Sumter is just the second site for F45 so far in South Carolina, she said. The first F45 studio in the state opened in 2016 in Mount Pleasant in Charleston County. Another is about to open soon in the West Ashley community of Charleston.

"It's just really hit the U.S. and is expected to grow quickly," Schwedler said. "In Australia, they're saturated. That's the home, and it's like Starbucks - there's an F45 pretty much on every corner there."

F45 offers different membership options, from a weekly rate to an annual rate of $1,599. Prices may seem expensive to some, but Schwedler said everyone who's interested in F45 can have a two-week free trial - with no obligations.

She said she thinks that can change people's outlooks.

"This is not like any other gym," Schwedler said. "We're unique because of the technology behind every single workout and the community atmosphere. You're like a family here."

F45 Sumter currently has about 40 members, she said, but about 170 people are in their two-week trial period or will be soon.

F45 Training Studio

20 W. Liberty St.

Sumter, SC 29150

f45training.com/Sumter