Living in the west end of the west end we often hear about the latest and greatest to hit Toronto. That awesome foodie place in Scarborough. The best yoga studio in Yorkville. Some gallery in midtown. Rarely is Etobicoke reported as a hub of hip. And while I am not saying F45 is exclusive to us – there are over a dozen across the GTA – what I am saying, is that we got it. And I am all over it.

I have a love hate relationship with working out. I love how it makes me feel, both mentally and physically. But when I fall off the bandwagon, I hate getting back on.

When my friend Jennifer Powell suggested I try F45Central Etobicoke, I was pretty sure she had lost her marbles, I hadn’t broken a sweat in almost 5 months and could barely fit into my workout clothes. But sure enough, the next morning at 5:50am, I was there.

And I haven’t stopped going since.

For those of you unfamiliar with F45 it is a full-on 45 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training that has its origins in Australia. Each workout is different and comes with names such as Angrybird, Foxtrot or Pipeline. Working in partners you move from station to station; completing exercises that challenge your strength and cardio.

I will admit, I was intimidated as hell when I walked through those doors. Everyone looked fit and knew what they were doing. I wanted to turn around and run. I was positive I would look like an out-of-shape, uncoordinated, nearing 50 dork.

But here is the thing. No one is judging you. We are working way to hard to even notice there are other people. Secondly, the staff are incredible and lend advice, alternatives (needed for these older knees of mine) and encouragement. And lastly, the work outs are exactly the type my body craves. The short and intense combo, followed by a quick “recovery”, appeals to me. The ability to challenge yourself. To see the strength difference. To pick up 8 pound kettle bells one week and the need to grab the 10s within 2 weeks. The 45 minutes of intensity. And let’s not forget the heart rate monitor. These are all the components that make it my ideal workout.

There have been many mornings where I have walked into the studio thinking, I am proud of myself for just showing up. If I give it my 75% effort, that is good enough. That may last for the warm up, but under the guidance of owners Micaela Hoglund and Brent Lowry and their instructors, by the time I hit station one, I am wanting to go full-out, giving 110%. When I leave 45 minutes later, I am drenched in sweat and (good) sore from pushing myself.

I have never felt stronger or more in shape. I have only been doing this for 3.5 weeks, but the changes in my body are beginning to show and I feel great. Each morning, I want to wake up and go. Who am I?

I challenge you to try it and let us know what you think.