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My Fitness Journey with Orangetheory

HEE HOO HEE HOO…

Sorry, that was just the sound of me getting winded from climbing up the stairs.

Yanno those kids growing up who are in every after school sport, intramural, always at practice, and then spent their weekends competing? WASN’T ME. Listen, I liked gymnastics and did that for years but stopped in high school. I’m 30 now…so you do the math. I went from being the girl who wasn’t active at all, to gradually becoming an Orangetheory ADDICT. If I can do it, anyone can. And I’ve NEVER felt better! I can even do PUSH UPS now folks! Coming from the girl who could barely open doors, this is huge. I went from scoffing at the coaches as they demo’d what seemed like impossible tasks…to trying them…and actually being able to do more than I ever thought possible. I genuinely mean it when I say that Orangetheory has changed my life. WHO AM I? Never thought I’d be this person, that’s for sure!

My Workout History:

When I first started working out about 5-8 years ago, I joined a local gym and would just try walking/jogging (mostly walking) on a treadmill for 30 mins, then occasionally lift light weights using the machines. I tried going 3 times a week, but let’s be real it was more like 1-2 days/week. Alex, my now-husband/then-boyfriend, would try and show me some exercises here and there, but I was pretty unmotivated and would rather just go eat a pizza.

After a couple years, I tried a spin class and LOVED it! I became really into it and even went 3 times/week. This led me to try out some other classes like barre and Body Pump at my local Edge. And it was fun! Until it got boring. My issues with these classes was that they didn’t stray far from the same routine each time. A couple new moves here or there, sure…but after a while it was just so redundant. Plus, I was starting to build up my strength and stamina and felt like I was ready for the next step.

What is Orangetheory?

Which leads me to Orangetheory. My co-worker kept talking about it until finally I asked her if I could go with her one day because it sounded super intriguing! If you don’t know, Orangetheory is a HIIT workout (meaning it provides High Intensity Interval Training) using the treadmills (or bike/strider), free weights, and rowers. There’s one coach/instructor who leads you through various circuits in the weight area and HIIT cardio exercises, demonstrating each move and rotating you through the 3 stations throughout the entire hour.

Benefits of Orangetheory in a Nutshell:

  • It revs up your metabolism! The after burn affect allows you to burn calories for up to 36 hours after your workout.
  • You will repeat exercises, but no workout will ever be repeated in the same way, so you never get bored or sick of it!
  • You get a coach in a group setting that will push you, but also provide you with guidance, demonstrating each exercise and assisting you when you need help in a positive way.
  • It’s a true community of people looking to improve their lifestyle. Everyone is friendly – members are happy, but also the staff is SO positive and helpful! I’ve only ever experienced, happy, helpful, positive, non-intimidating staff members!

If you’re intrigued and want to know more, keep reading! I’ve given a rundown of specifics below.

I even converted @simplylaurenrose!

It’s Great for Any Level!

If you’re just starting out, don’t freak! You can totally go at your own pace. When I first started, I could barely do a push-up on my knees. So each time we had to do push-ups, or even burpees with a push-up, I just did them on my knees as an easier option – and I wasn’t the only one! Now, I can do an actual push-up and I’m seriously amazed with myself. And burpees? Those scary terrible things? I can do those too! Not perfectly, not a lot, not quickly – but I’m doing it. The best part is that the coach will provide the entire class with an easier option for each exercise, so you always know another alternative move if something seems out of your league. Same goes for injuries! If you hurt something and can’t do one move, they’ll demonstrate another that’s right for you.

This goes for cardio as well. Go at your own pace! For the treadmill station, you can be a walker, jogger, or runner and can choose to vary and change it according to what you’re comfortable with! Personally, I HATE running more than life itself, so I go on the bike and spin during this time instead. They still accommodate me and give me directions to match the pace of the others doing cardio on the treads. This way I’m able to keep up with everyone else, but on the bike, which I LOVE.

Heart Rate Monitor

Another thing I should mention is the hear rate monitor, which is optional. I hated the idea of monitoring my progress publicly on the screen – so much so that I almost never tried it out in the first place. Truthfully, it’s not a big deal and the coaches only mention positives when referring to the display of everyone’s progress – they NEVER ever call anyone out. You may instead hear things like, “Great job, Jenna – you hit 12 splat points!” or “Jenna, killing’ it! Keep it up!”

Splat Points

So what are splat points? And why monitor your heart rate?

Well, that’s how Orangetheory got its name. The orange zone refers to one of your heart rate zones. There’s grey/blue, which are basically your resting heart rate, green (above resting when you’re warming up/cooling down), orange (when you’re between 84 to 91% of your personal maximum heart rate), and red (your maximum effort/heart rate, anything above 91%).

Splat Points are simply the number of minutes spent in the orange or red. If you spend a total of 15 minutes throughout the entire class with a heart rate in the orange or red zone, then you get 15 splat points! It’s just a friendly way to keep track of your goals and progress. The science behind this literal “orange theory” is that if you get 12 splat points in a class then you achieve the after burn effect. This means you will continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours after your workout!

It has truly changed my life in so many ways. I never thought I’d be this person but it happened! I’m a fitness addict now and I’ve never looked back.

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