How UT Austin Shapes Collegiate Experiences with F45 Training

The University of Texas at Austin has one of the most recognizable and respected athletics programs in the world. However, those not in tune with the campus recreation field may not realize that their Recreational Sports department is a trailblazer in its own right. UT Austin is looked at as a leader in the world of campus recreation and is not afraid to try things that other universities may not. This perpetual drive is all in an effort to live up to their mission of advancing the well-being of the Longhorn community.

Far before F45 Training had over 2,200 studios in over 60 different countries, UT Austin saw the potential of adding an F45 Training program within their campus recreation program. Since its launch in 2017, F45 Training has been a staple of the UT RecSports TeXercise program and has helped shape the campus experience and well-being of members of the Longhorn community.

Will Craig, Vice President of College for F45 Training recently had a chance to connect with CieCie Leonard, Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness at UT RecSports to learn more about their program and her thoughts on the role F45 plays in student development.

Will: Where did you find space inside your facility for your F45 Studio?

CieCie: Our F45 Studio is located at one of our satellite facilities called the Recreational Sports Center, located on the main campus. This facility was a little underutilized and we wanted to find a way to better attract users to this facility. Once F45 launched we experienced a drastic increase in usage and foot traffic to this facility.

Will: What were some of the initial concerns The University of Texas at Austin had before adding F45 Training?

CieCie: One of the initial concerns was around locating a space. Before we settled on the satellite facility our team thought critically about where would make the most sense to place the program. We wanted it to be accessible but also saw F45 as a potential to increase the visibility of whatever location we settled on. We also wanted to ensure the Longhorn brand was strong and visible within the studio. F45 was extremely accommodating and created a space that showcases our department and campus in the best light possible.

Will: One of campus recreation’s core missions is student development and providing opportunities for students to grow within new disciplines and develop transferable skills. How do you think F45 plays a role in student development?

CieCie: In my experience, I have seen F45 Training play a huge role in student development for our department. For instance, we look at F45 as a stepping stone for instructors who might not be quite ready to program their own class. F45 helps those instructors focus on the community and interpersonal skills of what it takes to be a great instructor or trainer. They then take the skills learned from F45 and apply them to other formats and it makes them a better instructor. We also see the same thing with our personal trainers. F45 Training helps elevate our personal trainers because they have to learn new ways to cue movements and exercises and are also encouraged to learn that energy and enthusiasm that typically does not come as natural for our personal trainers.

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Will: How do you structure your F45 Training program? 

CieCie: We include F45 Training within our group fitness TeXercise pass and have offered as many as 10 F45 classes per day during the weekdays. The TeXercise pass includes all of our group fitness-based classes. The pass is available to all UT students and RecSports members at $22/month, with unlimited access to all classes.With the addition of F45 Training, we experienced a significant increase in the number of TeXercise passes sold. 

Will: What do you think is your user’s favorite part of the F45 program?

CieCie: Community, hands down! I mean the F45 slogan is Team Training Life Changing. The idea that it is personal training in a controlled group setting creates this community of people that may have not ever had the opportunity to connect before they set foot in that class. It’s people from all different backgrounds…all walks of life…they all come to this one place and work out together. It is just a super supportive, judgment-free environment.It is so different from a traditional group fitness program. However, there’s something extremely special about the way the community is built within F45 due to how the classes and program are structured. You just have to experience it. 

Will: What else would you like to share about your F45 program? 

CieCie: F45 Training has been a huge success with our non-student population as well. We see our faculty and staff drawn to the program. F45 has helped break the barrier and stigma around faculty/staff exercising with students. There is something about how F45 makes a community that makes the program welcoming for everyone regardless of age or skill level. This is also represented in our male participation. Just this morning I was in a class where half of the class was males and that is a big deal as this is not typical in other formats.

The last thing I will say is F45 Training HQ is full of people who want to make our program a success. I have seen how successful F45 can be in a university setting as well as in the private sector. I have also seen how F45 has continued serving our students even after they leave UT. Due to the magnitude of the F45 network, I recently had students get trainer jobs at F45 studios in Utah, San Antonio, and Houston. F45 helps prepare and give my students a leg up for life after college. 

If you are interested in learning more about the F45 Collegiate Program, please reach out to Will Craig at [email protected]. We would be happy to walk through the many benefits of having an F45 Training studio on your campus and would be honored to welcome you and your institution into the F45 Collegiate Family!



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