13 August 2015, Written by Jenna Rathbone


F45 TRAINING is the fitness craze that has Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio pumping, and now it is taking on the Gold Coast. 

F45, short for functional 45, features high intensity 45-minute interval training programs and has exploded in popularity with more than 100 franchises opening around the world within 12 months.

Gold Coast couple Ashleigh Harris and Ray Brown have muscled their way into the sector, opening the city's second F45 facility in Labrador.

In just two weeks, the gym has grown its membership to more than 80, with Harris saying the popularity of the Labrador facility and F45 in general has been driven in part by the celebrity status.

"But the main reason for it taking off is that it just gets amazing results," says Harris.

"We love it.  We really want to make a difference in our community and with the backing of the F45 system we know we can do it."

F45 was founded by Luke Istomin, an Australian personal trainer who has gained popularity with stars including Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Madden and Ricky Martin.

F45 has a strong focus on making fitness and training fun and every Saturday in every F45 facility a DJ plays for members to train to.

Harris says the business plans to immerse itself in the community along the way, with plans to raise $50,000 over the next year for charity.

"This year we raised $7000 for a Vanuatu charity, Friends of People with Special Needs, and we want to help them more, especially since they lost their centre during the March cyclone," says Harris.

"Raising money for charity is a great way to motivate members and help community."

F45 Labrador has members aged from eight to 62, with their heaviest member weighing 170kg. The Labrador gym also features a games room, relaxation/stretching area and a crèche for kids.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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