F45 helps put fitness on the menu after workout challenge
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Photo by Seth Boyes
Members of F45 Fitness in Arnolds Park gathered at Portside Pizza Pub earlier this month to celebrate the end of what they called the Elite Challenge. But it wasn't simply a time to recognize weight loss and muscle gain — it was an opportunity to see an outcropping of the fitness methods discussed during the challenge. Staff at F45 collaborated with Portside to develop healthy menu options, which the community at large can also enjoy.
It's an idea F45 member Mike Schon said he feels is fantastic.
"You can't just expect to meet your goals in a 45-minute workout," Schon said. "You've got a life to live. This allows you, even in a normal life setting, to make good choices and good adjustments."
Schon said he has participated in each of F45's challenges since the business' soft opening in November of 2019. He said, while diet had been discussed in past challenges, it wasn't a main focus. F45 General Manager Brock Massner said the Elite Challenge was designed to instill healthy lifestyle changes in the group, rather than prompt crash diets and temporary weight loss.
Massner led about 30 participants during the challenge. He not only motivated them during the workout sessions, but he also met with each participant individually to discuss their personal fitness goals and fine tune the workouts to achieve them.
"He made personal plans for every challenge and put a lot of work into how he calculated those," F45 co-owner Patty Lahr said.
Group workouts changed each day and, while everyone completed the same group session, Massner said their approaches differed depending on their goals. He also developed additional individualized workouts for each participant — ranging from lifting, to core exercises to leg workouts.
F45 member Lori Subbert said she had just recently joined up when the Elite Challenge was announced in January and was excited to join because of Massner's ability to motivate others.
"He really intensified this challenge, made it more personal," she said, saying he did so while also being supportive.
Subbert said her main goal going into the challenge was weight loss. She admitted she has struggled in the past with eating food as a way to cope with stress, and she learned different ways to overcome that tendency as part of the challenge. Participants were also able to use an app to not only track their calorie intake but also help with meal planning.
"You don't even know how much you eat during the day until you track it," she said.
By the end of the 45-day challenge, Subbert had lost 13 pounds.
Lahr said Massner has been with F45 since December, and she feels the Elite Challenge has been the most results-driven challenge to date. Schon said it was the first time he achieved all of his fitness goals — he chalked up some of that success to personal dedication, but he also credited his fellow participants' encouragement.
"I've probably worked out for 30 years, and I haven't seen anything like this from just a welcoming atmosphere and friendly competitive spirit," Schon said.
Massner said there was an opportunity for healthy habits to go beyond the welcoming walls of F45. He said the challenge partnered with Boji Nutrition in its initial stage, and later his wife Alyssa, a nutrition coach, worked with the owners of Portside to develop healthy menu options for the public in the heart of Arnolds Park.
Health conscious menu items at Portside will be starred, and Massner said an entire F45 menu will also be available with health tips and other information. Some of the menu items will even cater to special dietary needs like gluten free dishes, vegan options and lean calorie choices.
The next challenge at F45 — the Summer Body Challenge — is scheduled for March 29 through May 12.