Photo Credit: canva.com
I hate to exercise.
I do, however, like to eat, drink, sleep and look relatively good for my age. (I am a beauty writer so the latter is actually essential to my livelihood.)
With this as the backdrop, I knew it was time to shake up my exercise routine which had gotten dusty and stale. Despite the money I spent each week on studio fitness classes, my participation was akin to someone just starting out in physical therapy after years of non-activity.
Over lunch, a fit friend mentioned Orange Theory Fitness in passing. She didn’t go in for a hard sell. She just positively compared it to some other classes I had taken.
My favorite emoji (🤔) popped into my head and I made a mental note to Google “Orange Theory” on my walk home from lunch. Time was of the essence. Summer had basically already started and I did not feel “bikini” or even “one-piece-with-an-oversized cover-up” ready.
Signing up for my first class was relatively easy and while not free as the Facebook ad suggested, I did get a first-timer discount. I was told to show up 30 minutes before class for an assessment. Normally, I skip this part but the person on the phone made it sound both daunting and mandatory. (Bottom line: I didn’t want to die and have it be my fault.) We talked goals and the coach explained a lot that I couldn’t really process in the heat of the moment. She also strapped a heart rate monitor on my upper arm, which did little to alleviate my growing anxiety.
Classes are a full 60 minutes. (Yes, there is a short stretch at the end which most people stay for). Every Orange Theory Fitness class is different so there is no fitness fatigue ( i.e. the seven songs, arms, final song and stretch recipe that can be monotonous if one took say, 800 indoor cycling classes). The classes are results-driven and based on science. Some classes are about endurance, some focus on speed and others tackle distance. The class revolves around three activities. Floor work, which can encompass anything and everything from leg raises and bicep curls to TRX, ab dolly work or balance training on the Bosu balls, rowing and of course, the treadmill. The activities are divided up in “blocks” of varying times. During treadmill blocks, power walkers, joggers and runners all have different goals. We all start at a challenging but doable baseline, amp up further and build up toward an all-out balls-to-the-wall effort.
While you are working out, data from the heart rate monitors appears on a screen with your name and your metrics such how many calories you burned, your heart rate, and how many fat cells you have made go ‘splat.’ This is the orange zone and the company’s icon is a splattered fat cell. The red zone is also fat busting. For each minute in red or orange, you earn one splat point. Other zones are grey (basically you have a pulse), blue (slightly better than gray) and green (the calorie-burning zone). It’s hard not to look at other people’s metrics, especially when yours, for lack of a better word, suck. The goal is to earn 12 splat points per class. During my first class, I earned.. wait for it. 1. It’s not disheartening though as I have been back several times since and while I wouldn’t say I’ve been crushing it – my stats are on the rise.
Have I lost weight? No clue as I don’t weigh myself. Have I gotten injured in any way shape or form? No. Do I feel better? I think so!
Orange Theory is pushing me in the right direction and I’m this close to signing up for a membership package and purchasing a heart rate monitor instead of renting one. In the past, any sort of investment has been the kiss of death so I’m treading lightly.