F45 Launches FS8 Studio In The UK – Here’s What You Need To Know

FS8 studio
(Image credit: FS8)

We’re big fans of the training style at F45, where participants power through 45- to 60-minute HIIT classes that use weights to help you get fit, burn fat and build muscle in effective fashion.

However, at times the intense style of F45 sessions can be a little much, which is why our ears pricked up when we heard about FS8, a new fitness chain from F45 that offers a somewhat calmer approach to workouts.

We spoke to Andrew Mayers, trainer at FS8 Oxford Circus, for more information about what FS8 is. Below you’ll also find a taster of what an FS8 workout involves.

What does FS8 stand for? 

F stands for functional, because every element has been designed to work together. S is for style – we remix Pilates, strength exercises and yoga in a way that’s never been done before. The 8 is for the eight key elements that form the core of FS8: cardio, mobility, posture, co-ordination, resistance, mental health, balance and flexibility.

What is the difference between FS8 and F45?

FS8 is a low-impact, high-energy workout that incorporates Reformer Pilates, mat Pilates, yoga and lightweight resistance exercises. There are similarities between F45 and FS8 in that they are both circuit-based, group-training concepts, with workouts displayed on screens that are changed every single day, and classes are completed within a 60-minute time frame. However, the movements are very different.

The focus in FS8 classes is more about body and breathwork. It’s a much calmer and less strenuous workout method, so it’s ideal for those who find F45 a bit too intense. Although there is a mixture of equipment involved in FS8 classes, the focus is also more on the body rather than fitness gear or machines. 

How many FS8 studios are there and where are they around the world?

Since launching in New South Wales in 2021, FS8 has opened 37 studios in Australia, along with clubs in Thailand and Qatar. The Oxford Circus studio is currently the only studio open in the UK. 

FS8 Strength Workout

We also spoke to Emily Rutherford, head trainer and studio manager at FS8 Oxford Circus, for more info on the specifics of an FS8 workout, and got a short strength session typical of the studio to try.

“A typical FS8 workout begins and ends with a yoga inspired warm-up and warm-down,” says Rutherford. “The main body of the class combines Reformer Pilates, mat work, dumbbells, activation bands and core sliders.

“Elevate is a strength-focused workout that has two ‘pods’, or workout sections. One pod is Reformer Pilates exercises and one pod focuses on strength and mat-based Pilates exercises. Below are typical strength exercises you will find in the Elevate workout.”

To get a taste of the strength section in an FS8 workout, complete two rounds of the following six exercises suggested by Rutherford, working for 60 seconds with no breaks until you complete the round. Then take a 30-second break and go again for your second round.

1 Dumbbell alternating single-leg deadlift and biceps curl

Time 60sec Rest 0sec

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells by your sides. Inhale and hinge forward from the hips into a deadlift position, then lift one leg and stretch it out behind you. Exhale and return to the starting position, then curl the weights to your chest. Repeat on the other leg.

2 Dumbbell bent-over row

Time 60sec Rest 0sec

With your feet hip-width apart and keeping your knees soft, bend forwards from the hips keeping your back flat. Draw your elbows to your waist with your palms facing each other, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position.

3 Dumbbell standing obliques right

Time 60sec Rest 0sec

Stand with a dumbbell in your right hand. Side bend over to the right and lower the dumbbell towards your knee. Come back up to standing.

4 Dumbbell standing obliques left

Time 60sec Rest 0sec

As above on your left side.

5 Dumbbell kneeling shoulder press and triceps extension

Time 60sec Rest 0sec

Kneel on the floor holding the dumbbells by your shoulders, keeping your back in a neutral position. Exhale and press the dumbbells overhead, then bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells behind your head. Inhale and return to the start position slowly.

6 Dumbbell sit-up and press

Time 60sec Rest 30sec

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbells by your shoulders. Curl your back up to a sit-up position, then press the dumbbells straight up. Reverse the movement to lower back down.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.