"I've lost my best friend to a fitness cult and I don't know how to get her back."

Do you love your girlfriends? Well, I recommend you hug them tightly because each and every one is about to be swallowed up whole by the newest fitness cult, never to be seen again.

F45, people. Your loved ones are all about to disappear into the circuit-training abyss that is F45.

How do I know this? Because I’m an F45 victim myself. I’ve officially lost my best friend Emily to the Oakleigh “studio” (it’s not a gym, it’s a studio) in Melbourne, and I don’t think she’s ever coming back.

“You seriously have to join,” Em would tell me every 0.023 seconds in her first week. “It’s so much fuuuun. I actually like working out now.”

When we went to drinks that weekend, she was totally consumed in a conversation with another girl at the table who also does F45. And they… well… they literally spoke for an hour about their workout programs, and their fitness trainers, and their group, and how much they love the cardio sessions, and how nice everyone is, and how it’s just so totally not like other workouts, and how they’ve found the keys to the magical faraway forest of Narnia and blah blah blah OMG OKAY YOU GO TO A FANCY PANTS GYM WE GET IT OKAY WE GET IT.

Listen: Crossfit for kids is a thing. (Post continues after audio.)

As the weeks went on, I saw Em less and less. Our only form of contact became Snapchats and Instagrams pre- and post-workout, where she posted 10349 photos in front of the F45 logo, looking sweaty and happy and smug.

Meanwhile, I was on my couch inhaling Zooper Doopers and Cadbury’s Oreo Chocolate feeling annoyed that circuit training literally ruined a decade-long friendship.


I thought F45 would steal my friend, pollute my social media feed, and call it a day. But F45 wasn’t finished yet.

On the weekend, Em went to an F45 barbecue. AN F45 BLOODY BARBECUE. And when I saw her afterwards? Her phone was practically a pseudo vibrator with the number of messages her F45 friends were sending to their “group messenger chat”.

Oh yes, now they all go to social occasions together. Because they all do F45, and F45 is life. And now I am inherently uncool because I choose A) to exercise in different time blocks than ONLY 45 minutes and B) cannot afford $45 a week for aforementioned 45-minute exercise.


Oh look! A photo of me when I had friends. Snazzy.

Yep, F45 has also made me even more of a dork than before because I do regular, vanilla, totes-boring exercise instead of fancy exercise. (Jks, I’ve stooped so low grocery shopping now qualifies as “exercise” for me. But still.)

When I told this to my work friends, half of them admitted they’d recently signed up, too.

It’s an epidemic. It’s a freaking $45-a-week fitness epidemic, you guys. And it’s about to threaten every friendship you’ve ever had.

For more from Michelle Andrews, follow her on Facebook here.

The award-winning podcast Mamamia Out Loud is doing their first live show. There will be laughs, disagreements and you can meet the hosts afterwards! We’re also donating $5 of every ticket price to Share The Dignity so grab your friends and come along to share the love and laughs, get your tickets here.