F45 Training is a mix of circuit and HIIT style workouts with the F standing for “functional training” and 45 the total minutes of exercise. Known as a global fitness training community specializing in fast, fun and rapid results, F45 Training is no stranger to the campus rec community.
Michelle Rieger, the associate director of Programming and Operations at Cleveland State University (CSU) Campus Recreation Services, said F45 collegiate representatives reached out to the CENTERS corporate team in 2016 to introduce the program concept. After learning more about the potential, a few CENTERS sites — including CSU — thought the program would be successful.
“At that time, boutique fitness studios were popping up in the downtown Cleveland area and we knew we needed to do something to compete,” said Rieger. “The F45 program had not grown to the northeast Ohio area, and we decided bringing the program to our campus was a risk worth taking.”
Install and training at CSU started at the end of 2017. It officially launched in January 2018 and has continued to be the most popular class offering since.
A Closer Look at F45 Training at Cleveland State
When deciding where to dedicate space in the recreation facility for F45, Rieger said the team chose to use the recently upgraded functional fitness space because there was less cost, the program could kick off sooner, and the visibility would bring more awareness and participation. “Racquetball and squash courts are frequently adapted and make a great space for the program,” she added. “At the time, our racquetball and squash participation was too high to do that.”
If any schools are considering adding a similar boutique-style training space, Rieger said two racquetball courts with the wall removed is ideal for programming and storage. “We love the space we have because it’s visible to many people in the recreation center and those walking through campus,” she said. “If we could have a do over, we would choose to transition two of our courts to one large F45 space. It’s all about creating a team atmosphere that is welcoming and encouraging to everyone. We have discovered our options for hosting events and highlighting our members would be most accommodating in a more private space of the recreation center as opposed to our current open concept.”
Additionally, Rieger suggested anyone looking to bring F45 to their campus should visit other recreation centers that have F45 — as well as a few franchise studios — to see what the options look like.
EXTRA CREDIT: Check out other school’s F45 Training programs.
Before jumping on the boutique bandwagon, a great place to start is by asking your campus community what programs they’re interested in. Whether it be cycling, boxing or F45 Training, Rieger said one of the biggest draws to adding F45 at CSU has been that no matter where you are in the world or what time it is, everyone does the same workout on any given day.
“We constantly hear our participants discussing they like having multiple classes offered each day because it gives them more flexibility to live their lives and still make it to class,” she said. “A student’s class schedule changes each semester, but there is always a class that fits their schedule. I believe this factor will allow the program to continue to be successful in campus recreation centers for years to come. In addition to the multiple offerings, I think any boutique-style programs that focus on building community and welcoming everyone will continue to be popular.”