My husband’s frugal mentality has always stopped me from joining a fitness gym. “Why spend when you can just follow You Tube” he says. He reiterates this constantly to this day. But as you know, even with my running, I’m partly motivated by the social aspect of exercise. So when a friend asked me to try an Orange Theory class with her, I said hey why not. It may be a good supplement to my sporadic running, I thought.
I’ve seen their signage around town for over a year, I just never understood what it was. Everything just looked… orange.
Fast forward to 60 minutes post trial class, I wanted to die. DIE. And I finally understood their branding.
The theory behind their workouts is spending 12 or more minutes at 84% of your maximum heart rate. That’s what they call the orange zone.
Being here for that amount of time ensures you get the after burn effect where your body continues to burn calories 36 hours after your workout.
For the first session, they lend you a heart rate monitor so that you see your results on the TV screens plastered throughout the studio.
At first, I thought I’d be embarrassed and self-conscious since my stats weren’t so great. I realized (as I was dying — or trying very hard not to), that you really only look at your results on the monitor, and that your stats are really the only ones that matter to you. Plus, with a visual goal, it is truly something you want to get to!
So once my body recovered from the shock and ache, I decided to give Orange Theory a fair shot and sign up.
The sessions don’t carry over to the next month, so I really plan out most of my days to make sure I use it within that time frame. The classes also book up fast (it’s weird how people are gluttons for punishment, ey?) so sometimes it’s a matter of scheduling 2 weeks in advance. But, you have to give it to them; they are strict about it because it’s a formula that does generate results.
Orange Theory offers a different circuit each time you go, depending on the day and the coach and the focus, whether it be Endurance, Strength and or Power, or all three. Gaaah.
I actually like it that they have time on the treadmill, and then at some point during the hour, you move to the rower and the floor. It’s a total body workout each time.
The other thing I realized was that prior to Orange Theory, I was always afraid of weight training. Apparently this whole theory of bulking up, injuring myself, it being bad etc, wasn’t exactly true.
It took me a while to move up from using 5-lb weights, and it was only because one of the coaches said to try. Let me tell you, these coaches are not afraid to push you past your comfort levels because they do get paid to get you into that orange zone!
I have to say, the formula works. I think I’m stronger and faster (even just at shorter distances), and my stamina is better too. I can carry more weights than I did before, and on the days I’m not in OTF, I find that my body looks for it. I wake up in the mornings to go, because if I don’t, I don’t know where I’m going to get that extra day to make up for the class.
And I’ve come to appreciate it as a time where I just zone out on everything else, and zone in on me (so I don’t fall off the tread). It’s something we all need every now and then.