As part of getting around to connect with as many fitness professionals as possible this year, the team at What’s New in Fitness are also road-testing some of the fitness offerings that are on offer. If you, or someone you know is stuck in an exercise routine that’s about as exciting as a plain cheese pizza, it might be time to connect with a new fitness community or test the waters of a different workout style. We hope you’ll find some of our fitness flirtations helpful in deciding where to go for your next endorphin hit.
What is BFT?
Body Fit training (BFT) offers strength-based training in a group setting, that is designed to get positive results for people of all fitness levels. The 50 minute workouts target cardio, functional movement, strength and balance, with a different focus from day-to-day. Built around an 8 week cycle, the workouts are designed to progressively build over time. By incorporating custom wearable technology that gives real-time feedback, BFT members are able to work within their optimum zones to maximise results and gauge their own performance.
Your first session: What to expect at BFT
Booking in at BFT is as simple as downloading the app, purchasing a membership and booking a session off the timetable. For your first workout, it’s advised to get there 15 minutes early so you can meet with staff, advise of any health conditions, injuries or concerns you might have and get fitted with your BFT³ sensor.
A sweat towel and a drink bottle is all you’ll need to bring – although dragging a friend along with you is always a good idea too! Unlike a big box gym, where you might be scrolling Instagram between sets, making idle chit-chat, or enjoying the solitude of your earbuds, BFT is fast-paced and the music is loud. Once that 50 minute window starts, there’s not a lot of time to think about anything but the workout that’s in front of you.
The BFT coaches will explain the format of the session – reps, number of sets, rest timings etc and then give a quick demo of the individual exercises that will be coming up. One of BFT’s features is its integration of technology and there are big screens on the wall which will display the exercises and reps required and countdown timers for each set. The screens also show the effort zone that you should be working in, indicated by a colour, and a points score that is the target for the workout. Your BFT³ sensor will show live feedback of how hard you’re working to help you gauge when you should be aiming for slower, heavier reps vs faster cardio efforts.
What makes BFT different?
The technology used by BFT is one of the unique characteristics of the brand. The large television screens that guide members through each session serve a greater purpose than simply displaying timers and demonstrating exercises. The BFT³ heart-rate specific technology measures the work rate of the wearer, but rewards them for whether they are staying in the optimum zone, rather that simply awarding points for keeping their heart rate as high as possible. The strength-based nature of BFT means that often, it is more ideal for a user to be working in a different heart rate zone to what they would be during a cardio-based workout. Individuals ideal heart rate zones are dictated by a combination of factors relating to age, size and fitness level.
Members who stay within or closest to their optimum zone for the duration of the workout are awarded with a virtual bronze, silver or gold medal at the end of the session.
As well as these medals, members can earn status levels through their commitment to training. Greater attendance can allow a member to ‘level up’, which can be a motivating factor for some and allows a sense of achievement for members who might be struggling to earn medals during their workouts due to injury or other reasons.
Is BFT suitable for beginners?
The coaches at BFT are there to support and guide members throughout their workout. During the demo / talk-time at the beginning of a session, participants can see what the workout will look like and what exercises they will be doing. It’s important to discuss any concerns you have about specific movements with the coaches, whether that’s due to injury, or being unfamiliar with the movement.
The BFT coaches can offer modifications or substitute exercises to work around injuries as well as provide guidance and advice on correct lifting techniques and form. BFT is absolutely suitable for beginners, although the fast pace of moving from one exercise to another and following the timings can be confusing for those who haven’t done interval training before. The best thing to do is to let your coach and members around you know if you aren’t sure!
Body Fit Training: Pros and Cons
A person’s inclination towards one fitness style over another can be as varied as tastes in music and food preferences. BFT won’t be the right fit for everyone, but it’s roaring success in popularity both here in Australia and overseas tells us that there’s something in this recipe that a lot of people really like!
- Varied, whole body training that is pretty much guaranteed to get results and means you won’t get bored of repeating the same workout;
- The use of technology means progress (both in terms of fitness goals, but also in commitment to showing up) is ‘gamified’, which can be an added motivator;
- A friendly community. In a world where more people are working remotely and relying on social media to ‘connect’ with friends, it’s good to be around a bunch of like-minded humans and share the sense of achievement once you’ve finished your sweat session;
- 8-week progressive programming cycles allow for constant improvement and optimise results;
- Timetabled / group fitness. No more skipping an early morning workout because it’s cold and windy outside – once you’ve booked that class the night before, you’ve made a commitment!
- Your BFT membership allows you to visit any BFT studio, so it’s a great option for those who travel around for work or if you’re taking a holiday and don’t want to lose your momentum with your fitness goals.
- No lock in contract on unlimited class, Australia-wide memberships.
- BFT memberships sit at a fairly high price point compared to other gyms. Having said that, if you want to seriously shake up your routine and prioritise your fitness, making a larger financial investment can actually be a great motivator by adding the need to “get your money’s worth”. Let’s face it, the more you show up, the better value your membership, and for the member turning up for five workouts each week, BFT comes in at around $12 per session.
- Pre-programmed workouts can be problematic for members with health conditions and limitations. While the BFT coaches have plenty of expertise to modify and substitute exercises to fit your needs, group training can cause feelings of anxiety and frustration among some people. For example, a post-partum mother, may struggle with high impact / jumping movements, but be embarrassed to explain that she experiences light bladder leakage.
- Timetabled / group fitness. While the need to commit to a fixed start time is a bonus for some people, the lack of flexibility can be an issue for others.
- Limited stretch / warm-up time.
One thing is for certain – BFT will have you burning calories, gaining muscle and sweating up a storm! There are some great introductory offers available as well as the option to purchase casual classes if you feel like dipping your toe in. Our recommendation? Find out when your local BFT studio is kicking off the next 8-week cycle and jump in for two months to really give it a try.
About Body Fit Training:
BFT is Australia’s fastest growing fitness franchise. The brand’s advanced, group training methodology is now hitting the UK and Ireland. Launched in 2018, BFT now has over 300 franchisees around the world. Franchisees benefit from a cutting edge training system, a compelling cash flow opportunity, a commitment that’s based on fairness and support to help them succeed, and an exploding brand that members will love.
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