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IWLS Exercise Project-Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping Review

Posted on January 28, 2019 at 6:49 PM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists

By Paige Harnish & Travis Havens

Location(s): Nationwide; 67 locations in 11 states

Location Attended: 5954 Ashworth Rd, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Primary Contact:      Colleen Leinen

              (402) 680-5788


Exercise Type: Cardio kickboxing and strength training

Average Class Size: 15-20

Average Class Duration: 45 minutes

Cost Per Month: $$$*

Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping (FXB) is a results-based fitness program that includes kickboxing, strength training, nutrition, and coaching. I must admit-- I am biased when it comes to FXB because I have been a member at FXB for nearly five years. I have coached sixteen consecutive ten week challenges, recently became the coaches coach and am a level two kickboxing and strength training instructor at the Ashworth location.

I joined FXB nearly five years ago after moving to Des Moines for work. I joined because I was intrigued by kickboxing, needed a new gym and wanted to make friends. I could have never imagined the relationships I would build through FXB. I have not only transformed by physical body, but have also built a support system of people who are now my closest friends. I look forward to going to class every day because I enjoy the workouts and the people at FXB. I believe that FXB sets itself apart from other exercise programs due to the strong community of support it offers its members and the undeniable results most members experience.

All new members partake in the “10-week challenge” prior to becoming permanent FIT (Farrell’s Infinite Training) members. Before the session begins, participants are provided with a new member orientation. New members are introduced to their coaches who will work closely with them during the span of the challenge, introductory information about the program is provided so that all students feel prepared for the first day of exercise, and baseline fitness testing is completed (i.e. body measurements, push-ups, sit-ups and the mile run). Fitness testing will be repeated at week five and ten.

FXB recommends attendance six days per week. Classes are 45 minutes and alternate daily between cardio kickboxing and strength training with resistance bands. A team of certified fitness instructors is readily available to help with proper form and technique.

Graduates of the 10-week challenge are encouraged to attend the 10-week challenge celebration party. Friends and family are invited to celebrate and $1,000 is awarded to at least one participant based on results. Challengers are then eligible to enroll in FIT as permanent members who have continual access to all of the benefits described above and more. Members can choose to purchase a MyZone heart rate monitor to use in class to maximize results (data is displayed in real time on flat screens during class) and may enroll in the national challenge to compete for a chance to win $10,000 based on greatest improvement over a 12-month period.

Favorite Aspect: FXB is a sustainable program. It’s based on establishing a healthy lifestyle rather than quick fixes. The welcoming and fun environment is unparalleled among the many fitness centers I have been to. Creating lasting friendships with like minded people is the norm at FXB. It’s common for members socialize outside of the gym and partake in fitness related events in the community. My favorite FXB supported event is the Wild Boar Challenge benefitting Wildwood Hills Ranch for at risk youth.

Area to Consider:  FXB is a “bodyshaping” program. Although weight loss can be a part of body shaping, it’s not guaranteed. Nutritional requirements for weight loss can be complex. If weight loss is your goal, we encourage you to consult with a licensed medical provider and dietician to determine a nutritional plan best suited for your personal health needs.

Bottom Line: FXB is truly more than a gym. Its an encompassing, life changing program suitable for most people. If you are ready to commit to change and are looking for a fun, motivating, and welcoming environment, then FXB is for you. 



The importance of finding a fitness community that truly fits you and your goals has never been more imperative than it is today. The fitness industry has become saturated with countless options for staying active and it can be overwhelming when trying to pick the route that safely and effectively helps you reach those goals. After having the opportunity to train in a number of different environments, what I am starting to find is that the path to success continually seems to stem from fitness communities that have built hard working, family-like environments that pride themselves on being there for one another both inside and outside of the gym. These communities, like the one you will find in Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping, understand the significance of creating an atmosphere that supports individual improvements, while at the same time encouraging members to work together during difficult times to break down barriers you once thought were insurmountable.

You know that “fish out of water” feeling you sometimes get when you find yourself in a new environment? This is how I felt during my first attempt at FXB kickboxing class. Prior to this class I had zero experience with how to properly kick in a way that wouldn’t hurt my knees or how to punch so that I didn’t wreak havoc on my wrists. Never have I thought something looked so doable at first glance, only to quickly realize that, as with most types of new activities, it takes practice. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have an absolute blast! The workout was full of positive energy, and the instructor did a tremendous job keeping the intensity up with each additional coaching cue. Every frustration that had been eating at me, no matter how big or small, slowly disappeared with each kick, jab, hook, etc.

Working out stops becoming such a grind when you can unleash that pent up stress on a big ole heavy bag that’s just begging for a bruising, and I love how FXB incorporates a non-conventional method to target your aerobic system. Not to mention kickboxing provides an upbeat, energy-packed alternative to traditional forms of cardiovascular activity such as jogging on a treadmill. It also brings with it the added bonus of improved coordination, balance, posture and stress-reduction. I have to be honest when I say I was seriously craving some more kickboxing in the days that followed my first FXB class.

My time at Farrell’s was unique in that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience not one, but two FXB workouts. The second workout was bright and early the morning following our kickboxing class and was led by our very own Paige Harnish, LISW. Being that I work with Paige, I was spoiled in the sense that she was able to give me some pre-workout advice in the days leading up to the actual workout, so I had a general idea as to what we would be doing but was still anxious to mix things up as my current personal workout program primarily leans on the use of free weights.

Paige did a wonderful job putting together a solid 45-minute lower body workout; one that consisted of primarily lower body resistance band work along with a short and sweet abdominal circuit to finish things off. Before class started it was made clear what we needed for bands, and tips were given to ensure that we were performing each movement correctly while at the same time pushing ourselves. She also did a great job allowing each member to have a say in the morning’s workout, as we completed an “around the world” ab circuit as a finisher and each member was able to choose a 10-rep ab exercise as their contribution to the overall circuit. I feel that this is an effective method of bringing everyone together to work through the final few potentially grueling minutes of class.

In summary, both classes left me feeling sweaty, tired, and accomplished! I’m always looking for different ways to make cardiovascular improvements aside from things like running, biking, swimming, etc. Kickboxing was such a great change of pace and one that quickly sunk its hooks into me. Needless to say I am anxiously looking forward to my next opportunity to get some shots in on another heavy bag. As for the resistance band workout, my body was sending my gentle reminders in the days that followed that I need to implement this type of training into my routine more often. Training with resistance bands is a safe, effective and easily modifiable method to help you get stronger without the added risk that sometimes presents itself when using free weights.

Favorite Aspect: Everyone was very welcoming from the moment I arrived. Fellow members were ready to lend a hand in helping me get set up and were quick to assist me during the workout if I got off track. The instructors in both the kickboxing and resistance band classes were great about scanning the room throughout the duration of the workout, making sure everyone was performing the movements correctly and that they had the right equipment in front of them. It should be noted that during my FXB workouts I was provided a MyZone MZ-3 heart rate monitor to track my numbers throughout the duration of the class. Having the option to purchase one for yourself as a member is an added bonus, as this real-time data feedback can prove invaluable when trying to get the most out of each and every workout. Oh, and who could forget about the $1,000 results-based cash prize that is awarded to at least one participant during the challenge? Talk about motivation!

Area to Consider: As Paige mentioned earlier, new members partake in the “10-week challenge” before they are considered permanent FIT members. If exercise is something that is new to you, or if it has been some time since you exercised consistently, make sure that you and your schedule are ready to commit to training most days out of the week. The 10-week challenges consist of six 45-minute workouts each week. In my opinion, FXB’s training program is feasible, but make sure this training regimen is one you are willing and able to fit into your weekly routine. With that being said, FXB is staffed with a plethora of certified coaches and instructors to keep that fire lit beneath you and who are there to help you stay on track both mentally and physically along the way. 

Bottom Line: In order to be successful with your workouts you have to surround yourself with the necessary resources, in this case a positive support system and effective programming. If you want to join a community that is going to be there for you both inside and outside of the gym, Farrell’s has your back. Trust me when I say you’ll feel right at home the second you step through the front door at FXB.



*Prices may vary.

$= $0-$50

$$= $50-$100

$$$= $100-$150

$$$$= $150+

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