In 45-minute intervals, F45 helps build the strength you need for everyday life

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(Photos: Handouts from Dareen Naber)
AMMAN — Many fitness gyms and techniques have hit the mainstream, but one studio is creeping up faster than the rest. F45 is a contemporary take on fitness for the assiduous and the apathetic alike. Regardless of your schedule, it’s a quick 45 minutes, and it’s already hit Jordan.اضافة اعلان

Dareen Al-Naber is a managing partner and the general manager of the first and only F45 studio in Jordan, located in east Abdoun. Her background, however, is in engineering. At 38 years old, she decided to make a life-changing career move, one that would find her veering away from engineering, and diving head-first into fitness full-time.

(Photos: Handouts from Dareen Naber)

“I was an electronics engineer, selling and designing home automation, and I used to live in Dubai and workout regularly. When I came back to Amman, I thought, I want to bring something original and a great concept to my country,” said Naber, in an interview with Jordan News.

She spoke with fervor as she detailed her journey, expressing how much she loves fitness, and how it is her true passion.

Naber, along with two partners, opened the studio in February 2021. It was a risky move, given that the pandemic saw the closure of gyms from November 2020 to February of this year in Jordan. However, she still took the leap while making sure the studio would be suitable during the pandemic.

“The equipment is all around you, and no one is sharing the equipment that you’re using within the 45 minutes, there’s two meters between you and anyone who is working out, and we sanitize everything with a machine after each class. So the safety measures that we are doing in our studio — no one is doing this. I assure you no one is this thorough.”

She explains the meaning of F45 and how it differs from familiar and old-fashioned workouts. The F stands for functional which mimics the movement of your daily life. She poses the question “How are you going to benefit from a deadlift?” In your daily life, you’re always picking something up off the floor, so the deadlift mimics the habitual action. Another example she uses is lunges: Lunges mimic the act of tying your shoes, so it mimics your daily functions while strengthening you.

(Photos: Handouts from Dareen Naber)

“The beauty of F45 is that anyone can workout at here. So if in my life I’ve never been in a studio , and let’s say the person standing next to me is very athletic, we’re still working out together. We can give regression we can give progression. If you don’t want to do a burpee, we can give you a modified scaled-back burpee. If you’re very athletic, we’ll give you a burpee with a jump. It all depends on you,” Naber said.

Stations range from one to nine with jumbo screens mounted on the walls. Alaa, one of the evening’s coaches, was bursting with energy, the perfect representation of a trainer. 

The screens turn on showcasing a little man showing you exactly what to do, how long to do it, and any alternatives to the act. It’s three workouts in one: Functional, high-intensity interval training because of the timing, and circuit training. And this is when the 45-minute optimized workout begins.

The workout of the day was complete cardio, broken up into three parts whereby each part consisted of a certain amount of time active, followed by a specific amount of time resting.

The initial leg of the session started with 20 seconds on, 10 seconds resting. By the end of the first 30 seconds, participants were already drenched with sweat. The loud, intense music served as an additional motivator. Alaa made her rounds, adjusting people’s forms, and making sure everyone was on track.

You could hear, “Beast!” when the collective was excelling, further incentivizing you (to keep calm, and carry on). The coaches don’t chastise participants if they falter, but offer advice and help them back to their feet. The environment is completely conducive, as each individual is on a different part of their fitness journey. Forty-five minutes later, your effort and progress can be felt. Because people are constantly on the go and strapped for time, the method is quick enough that you don’t feel any inconvenience and long enough to feel a difference.

“You’re in, you’re out. Forty-five minutes. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s results-driven” Naber remarked.

What makes F45 unique is that it is personal training set in a group environment. The screens show you the moves, and the coaches motivate and challenge you. Furthermore, no two days of the week are the same. “What you do today, you don’t do tomorrow. Every day is a different workout.

(Photos: Handouts from Dareen Naber)

“This is a bit so that you don’t get bored, but also, even if you work out today, and you’re sore tomorrow, you can still work out because you’ll be targeting different muscles the next day,” Naber explained.

With all of the excitement and endorphins rushing around, Naber illustrated how during her life she was never able to work out seven days a week, but since her involvement with the studio, she exercises every day, because of how easy it is to do so given the requirements.

The screens also act as heart rate monitors. By purchasing and downloading a mobile app, the feature becomes your personal tracker. Upon entering F45, your name, burned calories, minimum and maximum heart rate, and your progress appear on screen. The application’s points-based system encourages you to challenge yourself to achieve the goal of 45 points.

Naber’s goal from the outset was to change the idea of fitness and positively impact people’s lives. “We’re always struggling with our weight,” she says, but with F45, not only will you be addressing your weight, but more importantly, improving function and mobility.

“This is why I want to educate people. Working out is not only to lose weight, it’s for you to function better. I don’t want to be 70, and someone else is carrying my water bottle. I want to carry my own water bottle.” 

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