I’ll disclose this upfront: I am 100% loyal to Isotolp Fitness in Apex (near the Sherwin Williams paint store and across the street from Apex High School). I have been attending Isotolp classes for the better part of 8 years. Every now and then, our trainer, Chris Tolp takes a much needed vacation, and it’s during that time period I like to try other places, especially when they offer a free week trial!
Enter F45. It’s a gym that opened up less than 2 miles from my house. Check for convenience. There’s a nifty app you can download and check which classes you want to attend. I love it. So many class options at a variety of times – even during lunch!
With multiple class options, I decided to go to the 7:30am class. It’s irrelevant what name they call this class, but the website indicated it would be more cardio based.
Here’s my overview: It’s HIITS in a one-size fits all approach. There are about 14 or so “stations” and you rotate through each one several times for a short interval (the longest interval I had was 1 minute, and apparently that’s not normal. Most are 30-40 seconds). You get a 5-10 second “break” to change stations. If you’ve never done this type of exercise, the instructors are there to model the exercise; but if you forget, they have TVs with each exercise being demonstrated.
The instructors are encouraging, which is nice. And, the two instructors I had are probably in decent shape, but Chris Tolp, my current instructor at Isotolp is always in peak condition. And, I think there’s something to be said for having your instructor at a fitness gym be in better form than his/her clients. In fact, at a gym like that, I demand it.
Also, Chris is the maverick at putting together classes that are creative and smart in terms of fatiguing muscles to promote change. F45 had too many breaks/transitions, and it was significantly easier than what I’m expecting out of a HIIT-type gym. I don’t think this point can be underestimated. You get what you pay for. . . and your results will show. A brief example: imagine 3 exercises, each done for about 45 seconds. You can either do 3 different exercises: squats, push-ups, jump rope; OR you could do push-ups, spider-man climbs, plank jacks. The former isn’t going to leave you tired; I can assure you the latter will.
Want to get strong? Isotolp. Want to follow the rotating door of trainers and ideas? All the other places.
I also like that Chris is ALWAYS my trainer. He is sole owner and operator and the buck stops with him. He can see each class (that he keeps small on purpose) progress and see weaknesses fast. Despite the convenience I saw with the F45 multiple class options, I like my set schedule vs having a variety. I’m far more accountable to myself and to Chris knowing my class meets at a certain time three days a week.
I want my money and time to be spent on the BEST – best experience, best trainer, best results. And, I’m still 100% confident I’m with the best in the triangle.