Friday, August 25, 2017

OrangeTheory Workout Experience

You guys know I LOVE my home workouts. They are the easiest for me with 3 kids, and I am a home body. But...I am not against trying something new and challenging myself. And when I heard that there was a new fitness studio opening up in my town, and one that I have wanted to try, AND your first workout is FREE...I WAS UP FOR THE CHALLENGE, and letting the hubs watch the kids so I can get my sweat on! Plus I met the head trainer outside of Trader Joe's and we chatted and of course she invited me to join her in a workout. Thankfully she was the coach leading the class! 
First a little background. Orangetheory is an interval based, sixty minute workout led by a coach who trains you and gives you tips throughout the class. On average people burn over 500 calories per class/hour.

HEART RATE BASED INTERVAL TRAINING

"Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. We call it the afterburn. Our members burn an estimated 500 to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes.  And keep burning calories for up to 36 hours." source
I was asked to arrive 30 minutes early to fill out some paperwork and get my heart rate wrist band to borrow for the free class. Then I was shown around the studio. There are 2 sections to the room, the "treads" as they call the treadmill section and the rowers/weights area. They set me up on the rowing machine first and asked that I start there. Sure...why not, I haven't been on one forever! So I was on the rowing and weights portion for the first 25 minutes then treads on the last 25 or so minutes. They went over the TV and how the points are displayed there. And I didn't really understand how it worked to be honest. I thought my goal was to stay in the orange...but later found out you aren't supposed to be in the orange for more than 20 minutes total (but, I work during my workouts, and I even held back a little from what I do at home...More on that later.) 
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Let me just say that the rowing machines were actually the coolest thing I have ever seen! I have used a machine before, but this actually had water in it and a propeller. So I was literally rowing water. It was so fluid and really easy to use. We had 2 phases in our rowing/weights section. The first was a pyramid set up where we started with 500 meters rowing then over to do 3 weighted exercises starting with lighter weights and more reps, then the next rowing we did 400 meters, at a slightly faster tempo then bumped up our weights and did less reps, and worked our way down on the meters but faster speed and up to heavier weights less reps. I hit the red a couple of times. Then the second phase was steady 300 meter rowing and doing 4 more weighted exercises like the TRX Bicep curl. There was a TV there with instructions on what exercises to do, how many and directions. It was nice to refer to and we had the coach there to help too!
Next I was on to the treads. I haven't been on a treadmill since my miscarriage 2 years ago, so mentally, it was challenging but again, to move on you have to move on. I was told that there are 3 terms to learn. base pace, push pace and all out. The instructor calls out intervals such as "push pace for 90 seconds" and then "drop to base pace for 30 seconds". It is important to know what these mean for you. For me, it was a walk, faster walk and slow jog. And since I was walking I followed the cues for increasing my incline when it was called for. And we had hill training day, so there were a lot of 10 level inclines for me! And just doing these kept me in the orange and red zone for the remainder of the workout.
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The key to this workout is that everyone goes at their own pace with their own weights, so people of all fitness levels can be doing the same workout, which is pretty great. And by monitoring your heart rate you can see how much you are really pushing yourself or not pushing yourself. At the end of the workout, we had a quick little stretching session. And I met with the coach at the end and we went over my results. She said that my results were typical. But I also didn't understand that I wasn't supposed to be in the orange as much as I was. I was actually keeping myself in it and pushing harder. But, I don't know if I would have been satisfied with my workout if I had only been in the orange heart rate 20 minutes total. When I workout, I make it count. I work for it. So...something to talk to them about if I go back.
Few things to know about OTF:
  • There is no childcare at OTF, which would be an awesome addition! But the studios tend to be smaller, and don't have room for it. 
  • I would not recommend doing OTF 5 days a week, but that is solely my opinion. 2-3 times a week would be recommended, and probably not back to back. You want to work. And if you are going every single day, your body is just going to be over tired.
  • Be sure to bring a water bottle and towel. You will sweat a ton! My studio had a place to refill your water bottle which was helpful as well.
  • My studio had lockers where you could put your keys, jacket, phone, etc. while you workout. There  also was a shower and bathrooms.
  • If you want to start on the treadmill, get there early. At my studio everyone crowded around the door to get to the treadmills first, and I think next time it would be easier to start with the treadmill and end with weights. 
  • Classes can fill up fast depending on location. There is an app you can download to sign up for classes, and if one is full you will be put on a waitlist. 
  • You can go to an OTF anywhere in the country once you sign up! This is great for those that travel a lot, or if you have a studio near your office and also one by your house. 
  • I also love that there is no time commitment when you sign up, it just goes month to month. If you ever want to quit for awhile then pick it back up later, you can. They have a few payment option plans available, like 4 week, 8 week or unlimited. Or you can pay per class. 
  • These workouts are great for intervals, endurance, and to work up a great sweat!
All in all, it was a great workout. I WORKED, and had a pretty good sweat by the end of it. Would I do it again? Sure! I think to track my progress and strength it is a great idea. But, the lack of child care is hard for me. But it is something that I do plan on trying every now and then for a change of pace and fun! Plus I love getting to know other fitness professionals in my area! 

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