Before the coronavirus pandemic, the F45 approach was sweeping the nation due to a strong backing by Mark Wahlberg, who put an initial $450 million into a minority stake of the company. The first F45 opened in Australia in 2012, and the popular gyms are now opening worldwide, including Temecula and a new location coming to Murrieta.

The ‘F’ stands for functional training, and the sessions are 45 minutes long. The F45 gyms are franchises, and though connected as a community, they are not part of a chain and not the same as big-box gyms. Most are family-owned, member-focused and community-oriented.

“We all worked hard to stay in business during the lockdown,” F45-Temecula owner Eva Ebersole said. “We have had a lot of support from our loyal members who all think staying fit and healthy during the pandemic is essential. For some, it is the only stress reliever and outlet they have had and for most it is a life-saver. I have faced daily challenges, not knowing if I will be able to survive the next closure or even be ‘permitted to work’ for my business which I have spent endless hours building up in an awesome community of people.”

F45 training workouts are designed to unify the muscle groups of the body to help clients move and feel stronger in all aspects of their lives. Valley News/Ericka Chavez photo

With people somewhat still stuck at home, and the constant opening and closing of facilities here locally, residents have a need for physical and mental health exercise. Murrieta’s F45 owners, Brad and Cara Coonradt, said the most important thing is to limit social interaction during workouts, which is going to be crucial to opening their new business during the pandemic.

“I can’t understand closing down the main source of people’s exercise,” Brad Coonradt said. “Many people do not have the discipline to work out at home. They need support and someone to guide them to achieving their goals.”

For many, fitness is also connected to a safe place and a community, and the F45 gyms all adhere to strict safety measures.

“The industry is on the edge of collapse, but the narrative is false,” Brad said. “Our gyms are not places of COVID-19 spread. There have been no cases of large transmissions in studios. We should be separated from large gyms.”

As a means to ramp up the excitement of opening their gym, and once it was permitted, the Coonradts looked to their future F45 instructors to begin holding classes outdoors in the good weather. They plan to eventually move inside when the construction of their studio wraps up in the coming weeks, with strict rules attached.

“We plan to stay on top of things at our gym,” Brad Coonradt said. “Every member will be 2-3 meters apart from others, in all directions, everyone comes in masked, there is no shared equipment, space squares are marked off and there are sanitation stations everywhere with cleaning materials. We will be doing everything needed to provide this essential service in a safe way, and the evidence from other F45 locations is that it’s working.”

Fitness classes for the new F45 location in the Murrieta/Wildomar area start outside a couple of weeks ago as construction on the new location wraps up. Valley News/Ericka Chavez photo

Brad Coonradt, a senior marketing manager for Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Cara Coonradt, a middle-school teacher in Menifee, said they originally planned to open their location, which actually sits on the border between Murrieta and Wildomar, in early March.

“Obviously, no one anticipated the pandemic lasting as long as it has, so it has kind of a blessing in disguise that we didn’t sign our lease back then. The downtime has given us time so we can see how everything in the world works out. We don’t want to be the ones that do things wrong in the eyes of the CDC and local government officials,” Brad Coonradt said.

The F45 training workouts are designed to unify the muscle groups of the body to help people move and feel stronger in all aspects of their life. Functional training is the engagement in exercises that mimic or recreate everyday movement. These types of exercises typically involve the use of the full body and multiple muscle groups. This style of training builds and sculpts lean, functional muscle. Lifting, squatting, jumping, twisting, pulling, pushing, punching, kicking, rowing and biking – all of these movements qualify as functional, and all can be found at F45 Training, he said.

The soft opening for the Murrieta/Wildomar location started recently, and Brad Coonradt said their plan is to be fully open by the end of November.

“Equipment is still arriving daily and our signage on the building won’t be in place for a couple more weeks, but anyone wanting to check our location can do so by going online and signing up for a class, free of charge,” he said.

The workouts are fueled and organized by the robust technology systems that they have in place in all their studios. A series of TVs mounted on the front wall of the studios provide an organized, station-by-station diagram for each daily workout. With the guidance and motivation of the F45 trainers, this system is a visual tool for members to progress from exercise station to station throughout the workout.

As construction ends on the new F45 location in North Murrieta, clients workout with their trainers at an outdoor location. Valley News/Ericka Chavez photo

“Signups are going well,” he said. “We have a goal of 150 clients, and we are well over 100 already. Right now, we will be open in the mornings and afternoons before and after work. We will see how the middle of the day goes and if there is a demand, we will work it out. We are all about promoting fitness, good health and growth, which are forged in F45 studios around the world and are the source of our strength as an international brand.”

To inquire about memberships and lifetime discounts, visit https://f45training.com/murrieta/home. Follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/f45_training_MurrietaNorth as well as on Facebook by searching “F45 Murrieta-North.”

The new location is at 36100 Hidden Springs Road, Suite A, in Wildomar. For more information, call 951-691-0725.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.