State College

F45 Training franchise to open in State College

Professional athletes have lived by high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, for a while. Characterized by short bursts followed by recovery periods, the simple-yet-effective regimen boosts speed, endurance and heart health. The workouts also blast calories to smithereens — and keep burning them up hours later, according to experts.

Thanks to a Penn State grad, a fitness franchise specializing in HIIT is coming to State College.

F45 Training, an Australian fitness company that has gyms around the world, plans on opening a location at 232 E. College Ave. by the end of October. Its workouts pace participants through rapid-but-accessible circuits with minimal to no use of machines. “Static” is not a word you’ll hear at the group classes.

“What we did kind of from a corporate level is took a bunch of all these different types of training — a normal big box gym, CrossFit, a Pilates studio, you name it — we just looked at everything and said what are these guys doing that’s good and not so good,” said franchise owner JR Duffy, “and tried to pull all the good stuff from many different sources.”

That pastiche is powerful, Duffy said — and punctual, too. The workouts take 45 minutes from the time you enter to the time you leave, hence the company’s name.

The workouts are also functional — or mirror natural movements or progressions. Duffy said the library of exercises continues to grow, spanning more than 1,500 options. None are repeated, he added.

“We continue to innovate so clients and members aren’t getting bored,” he said. “There’s something new coming at them every day.”

Fitness is often associated with personal growth. Duffy, who recently returned to the area after spending the past decade on the West Coast, has a history that reflects the energetic, mercurial nature of interval training. His story will be featured in Sunday’s Good Life section.

“It’s just a great place,” Duffy said about returning to State College. “It’s very authentic, especially coming from Los Angeles where it wasn’t always the case. It’s great, I love it and everybody I’ve had the chance to talk to since I came back — whether it was some of the other local businesses in town or just other people I’ve met — everybody wants everyone else to do well.

“It seems authentic, it seems real and I’m thrilled to be back.”

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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