Start Fresh *With Friends

by | Jan 2019

start fresh with friends F45 health and wellness

Photo: Emily J. Davis

Community is key to creating healthy habits.

How are you kicking off the New Year? For many, this is a time for new goals and beginnings. A time to break bad habits and start fresh. One of the most common resolutions is some variation of starting a regular exercise routine, losing weight or getting healthy.

Often this comes in the form of joining a new gym, skipping the alcohol and starting to meal plan. No matter what your resolution and how you approach it, creating new habits takes discipline. There is no quick path. It’s about doing and doing again, until the doing is second nature. In The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, he notes, “When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”

Changing habits isn’t easy. It requires conscious effort and time. And it helps to find the right community to support and encourage you along the way. A community that will hold you accountable, reinforce your priorities and make the process fun. That is what Functional 45 Training or F45 is all about.


Stephanie Seymour opened the Edina location of F45 in March 2018. Fitness has always been a part of Seymour’s life and she wanted others to feel the same. She would say she is hard to please as a gym-goer, so the process of exploring franchise opportunities was a detailed one. When she first looked into F45, she was drawn to the challenging and intense workouts, the nimble nature that allows for modifications depending on where you are in your fitness journey and the fact that you never repeat a workout.

Whether you are starting a new exercise routine or getting back into fitness, F45’s workouts allow you to start where you are, go at your own pace and modify up or down depending on your fitness level. Workouts last 45 minutes and are offered seven days a week. This ensures that even those with the busiest schedules can prioritize self-care and still have time to take care of others.

The space is open and focused on function. There is cardio equipment including rowers and spin bikes, but mostly, the space is set up to allow for ever-changing workouts. At the beginning of each class, members line up to get a rundown of the workout, including demonstrations of each exercise. From there, members start at different stations and move through the workout as designed at the corporate level, with no exercise lasting more than 60 seconds without a break. Seymour says, “You can do anything for a minute.”

Another unique feature to F45 is Handsome Cory (as he is known at the Edina location). He appears on a monitor during each workout and demonstrates the correct form for each exercise. He also serves as a reminder throughout the workout, as you might need a refresher when you get to a new station.

For those who need help with form or want to adjust according to their fitness level, a trainer moves throughout the room to help members as needed. If you are new, the trainer will ensure you are comfortable with each movement and adjust as needed to maximize the benefit of the exercise and ensure you execute it safely.

F45 is a community-focused environment that becomes more like family. The members celebrate each other’s successes and push each other to go the extra mile. And when you need it most, it’s also therapeutic, offering both physical and mental benefits. F45 offers a two-week free trial so you can sample the workouts, get to know the community and make sure it fits into your busy schedule. For more information, visit

Community is Key

Several years ago, Ashley Hansen and her roommate started on a journey to get healthy and fit. They regularly visited the gym and were familiar with the equipment and exercises for each. After hearing about F45, they decide to check it out and signed up for the two-week free trial. “After just a few workouts, we were hooked,” says Hansen. “The community atmosphere, experienced trainers and ability to compete against one another during the workout using the heart rate monitors kept us engaged and challenged.”

Hansen favors strength days, especially upper body, and says the hybrid workout on Saturday known as Hollywood is a favorite of many and more like a party than a fitness class. It even includes a live DJ.

Ultimately the community vibe is what really resonates and keeps her coming back each day. Hansen recently got engaged and is even considering hosting her bachelorette party at F45.

Balancing Fitness & Nutrition

No one wants to hear this, but as the saying goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” There is no amount of exercise that can compensate for a bad diet. One of the keys to ensuring you are making healthy choices outside of the gym is meal prep. If you plan in advance to have healthy options available for both meals and snacks, you will be less tempted by convenience. You will reach for what is available because you made mindful decisions about what to have on hand.

Regular exercise leads to a concern for how you are fueling your body and getting enough sleep each night. Healthy habits lead to other healthy habits.

F45 offers an eight-week challenge each quarter with a focus on fitness and nutrition. As a part of the challenge, participants receive a complete nutrition program that details three or five meals and two snacks, with a shopping list to make the process of meal prep as simple as possible. The challenge allows members to compete against one other and measure success by more than a number on the scale. It’s about body composition and overall health.


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