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F45’s bold move after gym closure chaos

F45 has announced a huge collaboration with Celeste Barber as the fitness chain battles financial issues.

The embattled Australian workout brand is teaming up with the comedian ahead of the release of her new Netflix series, Wellmania, premiering March 29.

For those who aren’t across the upcoming TV show, it sees Celeste star as Aussie food writer Liv Healy living it up in New York City before a health crisis sends her back to Sydney in pursuit of physical and mental wellness.

To celebrate, F45 is launching an “entertaining workout” inspired by the series which it states is unlike anything the fitness brand has offered before.

In a promo clip for the workout, which will be available in participating F45 studios around the world (in countries where Netflix is available) for one day on March 29, Celeste explains what exercise lovers can expect.

Holding a pair of pink dumbbells and wearing a pair of colourful bike shorts, an oversized orange T-shirt and red Converse shoes, Celeste is ordered to do her “next exercise” by F45 Training Ambassador, Morgan Mitchell.

While we don’t get to witness Celeste being put through her paces in the promo, F45 said the pair are taking over the iconic screens in studios to demonstrate exercises.

An image provided shows Celeste appears to be in her Liv Healy character, holding a bottle of wine and drinking as exercise goers workout on the gym floor.

“F45 is delighted to be partnering with Netflix to celebrate the premiere of the new series, Wellmania, by launching a one-off workout,” Brian Killingsworth, the brand’s chief marketing officer, said.

“This session has been curated to blend the very best of HIIT training, with elements of wellness, breathing, meditation – and a lot of laughs to get you through burpees.”

Killingsworth added: “We encourage all fitness enthusiasts around the world – whatever fitness level they’re at – to take the first step in their wellness journeys and join us at F45 studios on 29 March for a session like no other.”

The huge announcement comes as the popular franchise suffered a huge blow; with staff laid off, mass resignations from board members and its share price staying stubbornly low.

Multiple F45 gyms have collapsed into liquidation in recent months owing huge debts as reduced memberships in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic continue cripple franchises.

Adam Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch founded the company in 2013 in the Sydney suburb of Paddington and it expanded across Australia and even globally.

It’s known for giving gym-goers tough 45-minute workouts containing a mix of circuit and high-intensity interval training.

Mr Deutsch left the company in February 2020.

In May last year, F45 thought it had secured a $US250 million ($A350 million) line of credit to keep rapidly expanding but by the next investor’s meeting in July, this had fallen through.

After planning to roll out 1500 new franchises in 2022, the embattled company instead reduced its outlook for between 350 and 450 gym and its forecasted revenue dropped from $US275 million ($A387 million) to $US130 million ($A182 million).

On top of that, 110 staff were also laid off. At the same time, the company also announced that founder and CEO Mr Gilchrist would be stepping down from his position.

Stock prices also tanked at the same time and have not recovered since.

Celeste Barber’s collaboration with the fitness chain comes two years after David Beckham was announced as a global ambassador for F45.

Beckham credited the time-effective workouts as the secret behind his “next level” fitness after retiring from soccer 10 years ago.

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