By Susan Ciancio
She’s energetic, she’s exciting, she’s fun, and she’ll help you rock your workout. She’s everything you want in an F45 trainer!
They call Cristina Chan the Face of F45 Recovery, and there’s a good reason for that. Cristina has an extensive history in sports and fitness, and her expertise is apparent to F45 gym members.
Cristina grew up in San Jose, California. As a young child, she danced but soon transitioned to playing lacrosse. She fell in love with the sport and played through college.
After college, Cristina decided to make a career of fitness because it was where she naturally felt at home. Using her psychology degree and her gift with people, she began teaching fitness classes. She coached collegiate lacrosse at UCLA in addition to different types of training—from Krav Maga and Crossfit style workouts to corrective exercise. In 2019, a colleague and friend introduced her to the F45 community.
It didn’t take her long to find a job as a trainer at the F45 gym in Venice, and she easily slid into that role.
But then COVID happened and the world—and gyms—shut down. She credits F45 for being forward thinking and innovative, as it had little difficultly with transitioning to lockdown and a post-COVID world. She began helping with training videos and in September 2020, took on the role of F45 recovery athlete.
In this position, Cristina helps build programming, works with the athletics team, and offers insight into how to offer recovery into the F45 network. She stresses that “recovery components are absolutely essential”—a lesson she strives to impart to gym members.
Additionally, she and her team work with Whoop—an app to track and monitor fitness—to create educational pieces and to encourage people’s understanding of their health and fitness.
Cristina also leads four classes a week at the Dana Point studio and says that’s something she would never want to give up because she has “always loved being a trainer.”
But there is still more to this phenom, who also has a passion for surfing. A beach lover since she was small, Cristina gives surf lessons as part of surf therapy. While some of her clients are neurotypical, many have unique needs. She works with both adults and children who have Down syndrome, autism, or cerebral palsy, saying the lessons they learn while surfing help muscle tone, strength, agility, and self-confidence. She explains the myriad health benefits—both mental and physical—of being in or near the ocean.
Cristina’s passion is reflected in all of her endeavors, and she wants F45 members to feel as excited about their workouts as she does. She understands that joining F45 can be daunting and that many might balk at the idea because they are not in shape or feel they don’t have the ability to do the different workouts. But she stresses that there is no need to worry because F45 is very inclusive. She wants people to know that they “can modify anything and still get a great workout that is going to meet their needs.”
Cristina also explains the importance of the F45 community, saying that all the people there—from the trainers to the other members—want everyone to succeed. The support people find at an F45 gym will drive them to accomplish things they didn’t think possible.
Cristina mentioned that one of the unique aspects of F45 workouts came up during a conversation with a friend. The friend asked her, “So every single person in the world is doing the same workout on the same day?” Answering yes, Cristina said, “I think that’s such a cool question to answer yes to. It’s such a unique experience. It’s such a unique thought [because] . . . you’re still being a part of something that everybody is sharing around the world.”
This amazing F45 global community is unlike any you have known, and trainers like Cristina—who truly understands the importance of fitness and the relevance of recovery—work tirelessly day after day to help members become better versions of themselves.
Cristina’s talent and her role are vital to the F45 community—a community she says she is proud of and excited to be a part of. And we know that the F45 community and all the members of the Dana Point studio are fortunate to have her as well.