Since 2000, CrossFit has been the main and most popular form of hybrid exercise that incorporates Olympic weightlifting, HIIT, and calisthenics exercises.
However, in 2013 a new option in this space was introduced with F45 Training.
F45 incorporates a similar style of exercise with weightlifting and calisthenic circuits done in a bootcamp style session.
If you’re looking to get stronger and more fit, which one is right for you: F45 vs CrossFit?
The differences between F45 and CrossFit come down to workout focus and the overall vibe of the gyms or studios. CrossFit will usually be the more expensive option, but your membership at a box or gym will often give you the chance to work out there on your own in addition to attending group classes.
F45 is better for beginners who need more help getting started and want to get in better overall shape. CrossFit is the better option if you’re serious about gaining strength and athleticism over time.
Let’s take a closer look at the costs, studios and gyms, community, and of course, the workouts.
One big thing to remember about F45 vs CrossFit is that F45 is a brand, while CrossFit is a type of workout.
The F45 studios will be much more uniform across the board, with everything similar to other F45 studios around the country.
Meanwhile, each CrossFit box is totally unique based on the owner and coaches.
Even though all F45 studios are about the same, the costs will vary by location.
Each studio will typically offer a free trial for one of their classes, allowing you to see if you like the fitness style.
After your first class, you will be given a few monthly membership options that you can do.
The four most common monthly membership options at F45 are:
- Unlimited Classes Per Month
- 8 Sessions Per Month
- 4 Sessions Per Month
- 6-Month Unlimited Classes
Depending on the cost of living in your area, the membership options can differ significantly.
In a large city like Austin, TX—the cost of an unlimited monthly membership will be around $169.00.
However, if you go to a small town like Fort Myers, FL, the unlimited monthly membership is $66.00.
(So essentially, expect to pay somewhere between $60 to $200 or more for unlimited F45 classes per month depending on where you live.)
In most cases, a membership at F45 Training will be more than a standard gym membership in your area, which usually start at around $10-30/month.
However, the personalized instruction is worth it to many fitness enthusiasts looking to get a great workout.
Now, if we look at the prices at CrossFit gyms, they can vary significantly for various reasons.
Since CrossFit gyms don’t follow a set workout plan like F45 Training, the training equipment can be basic or advanced.
The training style can also depends on how you use the facilities. Many CrossFit gyms allow people to use the equipment when classes aren’t taking place.
However, in most cases, a CrossFit gym will be more expensive on average than an F45 studio.
The costs of CrossFit typically range from $100 to $200 for unlimited classes each month.
However, the costs can also include access to the gym each day to work out on your own.
Facilities & Amenities
At F45, one of the first things you will notice is the bright red, blue, and white color scheme throughout the studio.
The facilities at F45 Training all follow a similar layout that typically involves a padded floor and an artificial turf section.
You will also receive exercise instructions from TV screens that are installed throughout the studio.
These screens will inform you of the correct form of an exercise that is in your training circuit — in addition to having an instructor leading you through the circuit.
At a CrossFit gym, the style of the gym can be very polished or look rugged, depending on the studio.
Many CrossFit gym owners use warehousing space to put their gym and equipment inside.
You may not have air conditioning or showers in many of the CrossFit gyms you attend.
However, some of the essential equipment found in most studios are:
- Pull-up bars
- Rowing machines
- Barbell and Weight Plates
Many of the smaller studios use only a handful of pieces of equipment, but that’s all you need for a great workout.
F45 studios are typically a little more polished than CrossFit gyms, and they have more consistency from location to location.
F45 also offers more amenities like showers and private changing rooms (in many locations), while these may not be available at warehouse-style CrossFit boxes.
While these fitness styles look similar on the surface, some key differences will matter for your fitness goals.
At F45 Training, the selection of workouts is massive, with over 45 different workouts planned for classes.
F45 also mentions that there are a total of over 5,000 exercises that make up their selection of workouts.
If you are a fan of switching things up, attending an F45 studio will be an excellent choice to keep your body guessing.
One of the main differences between an F45 workout is the focus on cardiovascular exercise throughout the class.
Many of the training circuits that you complete will get your blood pumping and improve your endurance, even when performing calisthenics or strength-based movements.
The tempo at class is fast and challenging!
At a CrossFit gym, the focus on cardiovascular health may not be as pronounced as an F45 workout.
You will do Olympic lifts and other weightlifting movements that will improve your strength.
You will still improve your cardiovascular health at a CrossFit gym, but the focus is typically more on gaining strength and perfecting technique.
When you start at either of these gyms, the classes will start with a warm-up period.
The warm-up before the workout will help prepare your body for the upcoming intense workout.
After the warm-up, F45 classes launch right into circuits, meaning you’ll rotate through different exercises a set number of times.
These exercise circuits are displayed on the screens in the studio with the corresponding rep range and sets of the exercise.
At a CrossFit gym, you will complete different phases of the class.
You will typically start with a strength training portion that involves movements like deadlifts, squats, and hang cleans.
These movements can be very technical, which makes it challenging for some beginners. Your initial goal will be to learn proper form and develop a foundation of strength.
You’ll then usually perform a WOD (Workout of the Day) that varies and will challenge a particular element of your fitness like endurance or agility.
Both CrossFit and F45 classes usually end with a cooldown period to reduce stiffness, prevent injuries, and improve recovery.
The difference between workouts at F45 vs CrossFit comes down to this:
F45 features a bigger variety of exercises overall, but most of them are performed in a fast-paced circuit style to challenge your conditioning. Though, you’ll build strength as well.
CrossFit workouts are focused on strength, and over time your main goal is to improve your key Olympic and traditional lifts. The WODs will challenge you in other ways and improve your overall fitness.
For more, check out the results your can get from CrossFit and bootcamp workouts.
Community & Vibe
Attending either of these gyms will be a great way to incorporate yourself into a fitness community and make friends.
However, there are a few subtle differences to the community environment of these gyms.
At an F45 studio, the people with you in class will be from a more diverse fitness background.
Some people are beginners to fitness, while others have been a member at F45 for several years.
No matter your fitness level, these classes are upbeat and motivational for anyone that attends.
You will be working in exercise circuits with groups of other members, allowing you to offer positive motivation to each other.
However, since many of these classes at F45 will be in the morning before work, the atmosphere is a little more rushed than at a CrossFit gym.
Once the class is finished, most people will leave to get started on their workday.
At a CrossFit gym, you’ll find most of the people are really there to take their fitness seriously over the long haul. You’ll see the same faces over and over and develop strong bonds.
During the class itself, the vibe is a little more serious than at an F45 class.
The gym environment is not as polished, and people are pushing themselves to their limits to lift more weight during exercises.
If you like to get in and get out and get on with your day, attending an F45 studio is likely the better choice.
For a stronger long term sense of community, you’ll fall in love with CrossFit in no time.
F45 and Crossfit are both excellent fitness styles that will help you achieve a balanced physique.
F45 classes will be more focused on cardiovascular improvement and overall conditioning, while regular CrossFit will help you develop exceptional strength and athleticism.
No fitness studio is better than the other, with the choice being up to you and your personal preferences.
However, you can always count on the workouts at both of these gyms being intense and improving your mood for the day.
For more, check out:
- Orangetheory vs CrossFit
- F45 vs Burn Boot Camp
- F45 vs Orangetheory
- CrossFit vs P90x
- F45 vs Barry’s Bootcamp
Hope this helps!