There was a moment when I was chatting with F45 founder Luke Istomin and I stopped dead in my tracks.
He was mid-sentence, explaining the reaction of those stuck in hotel quarantine to his new workout program, Reunion.
“It’s lovely, people are super bored and extremely appreciative of what you’re doing for them,” he began.
“They get more excited each session where we use body weight and pillows and they said ‘oh, I never thought about that before’.”
And just like that, I was into it.
Luke’s Lockdown Honeymoon
A smidgen before the wedding restrictions came in, Luke got married. Thing is, he and his new wife later learned that one of their wedding guests tested positive to COVID-19, so it was a lockdown honeymoon for the happy couple. GOOD TIMES.
While in isolation, Luke and his wife were in regular contact with their wedding guests, who were also in quarantine, giving them exercise and mental health tips.
It was this, his RE:UNION gyms having to close AND hearing about people being herded off cruise ships and getting placed in hotel rooms… that Luke hit on an idea.
Within 10 days, he had created a program.
It wasn’t long before he held his first workout over Zoom for those stuck in those hotel rooms with nothing else to do.
And for people who have nothing else to do, they start to actually look forward to the daily workout… and the consistency.
“For the first couple of weeks, isolation can be a good time, you know, drinking and stuff, but then it’s week after week of zero structure,” he said.
“This program is about providing structure to their day, you know, routine. A purpose.”
While no workout is the same with F45, RE:UNION focuses more on key movements such as squats, lunges, conditioning and core – not going fully hell for leather.
“With some other programs, you can feel absolutely flogged and not actually feel better,” Luke said.
“I know one woman who, just after 12 sessions she feels stronger but also better in her mental aspect.”
That’s not to say it’s a walk in the park either.
Luke reckons people are working harder through his Zoom workouts than they would in the gym.
“Some have said ‘I’ve never worked so hard in my life’… I mean, I can seem them, no one can hide, but the program was designed to have the best results as quickly as possible.”
So, if you’ve never done much by way of working out, it’s a great introduction, but Luke says it also provides a “nice transition back to the gym” after this virus thing is all over.
But you want to know about the pillows, don’t you?
Luke’s RE:UNION Pillow Workout
Set your timer for 45-second intervals and…
- Hold the pillow in your hand. Do a squat while forward punching the pillow.
- Put the pillow on the floor and face it. do a burpee then jump over the pillow and face the pillow again. Do a burpee then jump over the pillow again.
- Lay down on the floor with your knees bent. Sit up and put the pillow on your shins. Do a full sit up and take the pillow off your shins and put it under your head. Do another full sit up and put the pillow back on your shins.
- Hold the pillow over your head while you squat.
- Do a lunge then hold the pillow out to the knee line. Rotate the arm out 90 degrees and bring it back to the centre. Swap sides.
I was slightly disappointed to learn it was not, put the pillow on the couch and put your head on it and fall asleep to Outlander, but here we are.
So, if you need some structure to your day as well as an awesome feel-good workout, you can snag a digital membership at their website.