In its first year, owners Robert and Tara Strauss have seen their fitness program create a community.
If you live in Baldwin Park, you’ve walked by the doors of F45.
The glass windows and red, white and blue lettering are hard to miss, but what really draws people off the streets and into the training studio is the energy.
Walking by the studio, the blasting quick-tempo music shakes the windows. Upon peeking inside, the center is lit up with sweaty, but smiling, faces which radiate a positive and welcoming energy out onto the streets with ease.
F45 celebrated its first anniversary in Baldwin Park in February, and already, the fitness facility is making a lasting impact.
“There have been friendships and relationships that have been built here, and we try really hard to bring that sense of community through these doors,” co-owner Robert Strauss says. “We just want to bring people together.”
FUNCTION AND FORM
But what is F45?
The “F” stands for functional training and “45” is the total amount of time spent training.
Functional training is a mix of circuit and HIIT, high intensity interval training, style workouts geared toward everyday movement.
The F45 training workouts are designed to unify the muscle groups of the body to help members move and feel stronger in all aspects of life.
The company has 45 unique and customized workouts with more than 5,000 exercises.
The workouts are fueled and organized by technology systems placed in all F45 locations. A series of TVs mounted on the front wall of the studios provide an organized, station-by-station diagram for each daily workout. The system is a visual tool for members to progress from exercise station to station throughout the workout.
Across the world, members of F45 at various locations all complete the same workout on the same day.
“These 45 minute workouts are something that everyone has time to do and should be doing,” Strauss says.
The best part about it? Anyone — from a 70-year-old retiree to a professional athlete — can participate.
“You do it at your own pace, so you choose your own weights and your own reps,” he says. “Everyone can work together, and we always finish a hard workout with a high five.”
Trainer James Ventura, who has been with F45 since the beginning, says although he had never had a group training job before, the community has been supportive.
“I love to set goals for myself and try to achieve them, so being able to help and do the same for other people and see them accomplish their goals is amazing, and that’s something that I think all of us as coaches enjoy,” Ventura says. “I love being able to spread that healthy lifestyle and there’s no judgment here so people can just come in and be comfortable.”
Co-owner Tara Strauss discovered F45 in New Jersey towards the end of 2018.
When Robert Strauss signed with WWE as a professional wrestler, the couple moved to Orlando to be close to the training facility.
Tara Strauss attended F45 in Lake Nona and traveled as part of a larger fitness corporation while Robert Strauss wrestled. The couple says they both fell in love with F45 and its training style.
“You want to keep your mind and your body occupied,” Robert Strauss says. “Having this was something different that challenged me instead of doing the same movements over and over.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the couple was inspired to open their own F45 in Baldwin Park.
Robert Strauss says the location was perfect.
“When you walk down the streets and see the shops and the vibe, and the families, it just seemed like the perfect place for us to live,” he says.
After traveling for two years from Lake Nona, the couple moved to Baldwin Park to embed themselves in the community.
Robert Strauss says the opening was difficult. The couple never opened their own business before, and many people were still cautious of gyms because of the pandemic.
The couple worked hard to spread their name and even held free outdoor workouts at Blue Jacket Park so people could try out the workouts and see if they liked them.
On Feb. 6, 2021, the hard work paid off, and the Strausses opened their brick-and-mortar location. The location now has about 300 members.
Tara Strauss says they work hard to provide accountability for those that maybe don’t have that same positivity at home or in their professional lives.
“Taking care of yourself should be your No. 1 priority, because in order to be your best self — whether that's being a good mom, wife, friend, sister, employee — you have to feel great about yourself and feel great in general,” she says. “I do feel people are their best versions of themselves when they feel great. It’s the beginning of the extension of all the positivity in your life.”
As a family, fitness has always been a main priority.
Both Robert and Tara Strauss have backgrounds as physical education teachers. They even met at a gym where Tara Strausswas teaching classes.
Now, that passion for fitness has been passed down to their twin 5-year-old boys, Cash and Carter.
The boys love to workout, play sports, eat healthy and even enjoy their own kiddie protein shakes. Cash says he can’t wait to be able to work at F45.
“We want to provide a space for this community to come together,” Tara Strauss said. “Community is one of the reasons we are here. You can do it alone, but it's always better together.”
F45 was born in Australia in 2012. It was the only class-based franchise company ranked in the top 40 fastest growing franchises in the world and was ranked number one as the world’s fastest-growing gym franchise, as of August 2021.
The franchise had 1,749 studios worldwide and 654 in the United States, as of the fourth quarter of 2021, with a multitude of locations scattered across Florida and Orlando.
The fitness organization is even backed by Mark Wahlberg, who in 2019 invested $450 million in F45.
In Wahlberg’s documentary “Wahl Street” he even says his goal is to have as many F45 locations as Starbucks.
F45 BALDWIN PARK
ADDRESS: 4841 New Broad St. Orlando
PHONE: (407) 538-6676
WEBSITE: Click here
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