Will Craig, Vice President of the F45 College division, recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Michelle Kiser, the Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness at Loyola Marymount University, to learn more about their F45 Training program and how they incorporate it into their overall fitness and wellness offerings.
LMU is a private research university located in Los Angeles, California with roughly 9,500 students. Their campus recreation program consists of a professional and student team that leads a robust fitness & wellness program, competitive sports program, and a more newly formed Esports program. LMU launched their F45 program in January 2019.
Will: What was your role in bringing F45 Training to LMU?
Michelle: LMU had actually already signed a contract to bring F45 prior to my start date with the University. Prior to joining LMU I had previous experience building a gym and program from the ground up so I was able to leverage my previous experience to bring F45 at LMU from a concept to implementation.
Will: Where did LMU ultimately decide to put F45 inside your facility?
MIchelle: Like many universities across the country we are limited in space inside our facility. We had 2 group fitness studios and decided to convert our smaller of the two studios into an F45 Studio. Even though this is our smaller studio, we are still able to max out classes at 36 participants.
Will: When I was at NC State we too converted a group fitness studio into an F45 studio, but as you know that can be pretty scary as you are clearly going all in on one format. Looking back, do you think that was the right decision?
Michelle: I will be honest, at first it was a hard sell to me and I had my concerns about taking away a full studio and dedicating it just to F45. However, after I saw how successful F45 was, the quality of the results, and the excitement of the students around the program I realized what a great decision it was. Another reason I have been immensely impressed with F45 is I have seen F45 grow and adapt as fitness trends evolve. The ability of F45 to adapt and knowing it is not going to become outdated and makes me much more comfortable with dedicating a whole studio to the program.
Will: What was the driving factor for LMU to bring F45 Training?
Michelle: We saw the success of the F45 program at University of Southern California and one of the former team members at LMU actually took classes at a local F45 so we were very aware of the positive potential F45 could bring to our program. As the other private institution in the LA area, we could not let USC be the only school having the success with the program and elevating the experience of their community.
Will: Do you charge for F45 or is it part of your great group fitness program?
Michelle: Our rec fee is included in the student's tuition. F45 is part of their Campus Rec experience and is offered at no additional charge.
Will: Have you seen F45 increase participation in your fitness program?
Michelle: When we brought F45 Training into our program we actually decreased the number of classes on our schedule due to the fact that we could fit more participants into an F45 class. What this allowed us to do, is continue to reach the same number of people with less classes and using less personnel and financial resources.
Will: How about increasing your reach in new users?
Michelle: While I do not have an exact number, I will say that F45 has increased our reach with male participants. These are participants that would never go to our traditional group fitness classes, but F45 was much more appealing due to the type of exercises, equipment and just overall feel of the program. I think the more coed nature of the classes also helped our female participants feel more confident with lifting heavier weights and trying new exercises they would not typically experience in a traditional group fitness class.
Will: Is there anything else you want to mention about the program I have not asked about?
Michelle: F45 is something that I am extremely proud to say that I was a part of in bringing to LMU. I also think F45 works best when it is looked at as a compliment, and not a replacement to your already existing group fitness program. My personal motto since I joined LMU is “reach more people to make a bigger impact.” I was already reaching a certain population of people but I have grown my reach since bringing F45 and have made a bigger impact on the campus community. If your goal is to make the largest impact you can on campus then you should definitely consider adding an F45 program.
If you are interested in learning more about the Collegiate Program with F45 Training, simply reach out to Will Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be honored to welcome you and your institution into the F45 Collegiate Family!