I tried David Beckham’s workout class, and here’s how I found it

David Beckham’s new soccer-inspired F45 workout put me through my paces

corey george, morgan mitchell, david beckham and gunnar peterson at the launch of db45
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Over the past few months, I’ve been making an effort to switch up my fitness routine. I’m usually an avid marathon runner, but after sustaining an injury to my IT band earlier this year, running has taken a backseat in my training plan. Instead, I’ve been focusing on strength-based exercises and full-body workout classes to get myself back to peak condition.

After fuelling up with the best protein powder for women, I headed down to an F45 (opens in new tab) studio to try out the new David Beckham workout, designed by the man himself. Dubbed ‘DB45’, the workout launched globally this month and is the first soccer-inspired workout on the F45 timetable.

Incorporating explosive, power-focused, multi-directional exercises, it’s a full-body 45-minute workout designed to leave you sweating from all pores of your body. You complete two sets in each station, moving through a ‘follow the leader’ soccer-inspired 4:4:2 class formation, with 11 stations representing typical soccer positions including goal, defence, mid-field, and attack.

In a nice touch that pays homage to Beckham’s jersey numbers from his sporting career, the set timings alternate between 32 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, and 23 seconds work, followed by 20 seconds rest. 

I’ve done a few F45 classes before, so I expected to be put through my paces – especially since Gunnar Peterson, F45’s Chief of Athletics, and Cory George, the face of F45TV, were leading the session. But I’d never attempted a soccer-focused workout before. And when the team told us to look forward to a ‘surprise’ at the end (spoiler: a seven x 30 second bodyweight finisher), I knew things were going to get sweaty.

Here’s what I learnt from my DB45 experience

1. Strength and cardio don’t have to be exclusive

Most of us know that we should be doing some form of cardio exercise. After all, it can help to lower your blood pressure, reduce body fat and even improve your memory. Similarly, the benefits of strength training are well documented, helping us to build muscle and support healthy bones.

I used to think the two needed to be kept separate. Yet DB45 combines the two, creating a hybrid of HIIT, cardio and weight-training that gets your heart pumping but leaves you muscles aching. 

Sure, if you’re serious about building strength and putting on muscle mass, you are probably better off keeping your weights sessions separate from your cardio. But if, like me, you’re looking to improve your endurance and power output (much like a soccer player would be) then combining your high-intensity cardio with resistance training in one workout can actually be quite beneficial.

Plus, it’s a convenient and time-efficient way to burn calories and build muscle. 

DB45 class

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. You don’t need to do sit-ups to work your core

Aside from a few mountain climbers in the brutal finisher, there weren’t many exercises in DB45 that specifically targeted the abdominal muscles. Or so I thought. Because one of the first things I noticed when I woke up the following day was the delayed onset muscle soreness in my abs.

Whilst many of us may think we need to complete 100 sit-ups or 50 bicycle crunches a day to get abs, these are just some of the many exercises that can make a difference. DB45 involves a lot of classic strength training moves – such as squats and reverse lunges - that require you to engage and maintain a strong core. So you’re actually getting an ab workout while training other muscle groups at the same time. 

Plus, improving core strength leads to better balance and stability, whereas weak core muscles result in poor posture, back pain and muscle injuries. As a runner, building a strong core is really important, so this is definitely something I’ll be taking forward in my training.

Alice Ball and Cory George at DB45

(Image credit: Alice Ball)

3. Soccer training is more than kicking a ball around

If there's one thing David Beckham's workout taught me, it's that playing soccer requires far more than just kicking a ball around. The best soccer players need a combination of speed, agility and stamina, whilst possessing excellent technical and coordination skills. Training sessions should be focused on the technical aspects of the game, whilst improving cardio levels.

At the same time, strength training cannot be overlooked. There’s a reason why soccer players work with the world’s top strength and conditioning coaches like Peterson. Resistance training helps to improve physical performance whilst reducing your risk of injury. 

Plus, through interval training and high volume, lower body lifting with core work, training like a soccer player will help you lose body fat while building up strong leg and core muscles. 

But if you try out DB45, just remember to have the best water bottle for the gym on hand – you’ll be needing it. 

This class is running globally until May 25, if you're up for the challenge. 

Alice Ball
Alice Ball

Alice Ball is the Health Editor for Future Plc. With more than five years of experience working in health journalism, she's covered everything from why we should 'kill' the calorie, to destigmatizing the menopause. Alice also specializes in nutrition and supplements. She's a self-confessed running fanatic, currently in training for her fifth marathon. She enjoys documenting her progress on her Instagram account, @aligoesrunning. Alice works across a number of Future's sites, including LiveScience and Fit&Well.