I have been an off and on gym going type of person since I started college. I either swam or used the elliptical machine in college and while I was pretty consistent I didn't push my self particularly hard.
After college I joined my local YMCA and found a group exercise class that I loved. I did some swimming, some spinning classes and used the elliptical machines too but "Boot Camp" was my main form of exercise. The teacher of this class was fantastic and when I ended up moving to the Bay Area I joined another YMCA but it just wasn't the same. I joined traditional gyms each time I moved but the classes were never as good or not at convenient times so I ended up just doing my own thing most of the time. I do much better in a class/coached environment but I hadn't found the right one recently.
Late last year I had been thinking about trying out some of the boutique gyms near me but decided to wait until my life calmed down a bit. I had looked at various different spin, barre and other class based gyms because I knew that classes were what I needed. Last November I saw that an Orangetheory was opening near my office so I made an appointment to look at it.
Even though my life was still crazy (and about to get crazier) since it wasn't scheduled to open until February or so I decided to give it a chance and join. I figured if I changed my mind or found something better before it opened I could just cancel. When it opened the first week of March I gave it a try.
Well by the end of the first class I was hooked. I had found my gym and I was excited. They have a class from 6:15 to 7:15 AM weekday mornings so that has become my routine. I try to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and if something that requires me to get up at 5:15 AM has become a part of my routine you know it must be good.
They have showers there and since it is only about a 5-7 minute drive to work I can end class at 7:15 and be to work at 8 as long as I don't dawdle. Since I have to get up so early I have to be really diligent about packing my gym bag with my work clothes and laying out my gym clothes the night before but it works for me.
The theory behind Orangetheory is that there are 5 heart rate zones with the middle (green) being the fat burning zone and the upper two (orange and red) being the zones that trigger the after burn. The goal is to spend the majority of the time in the green zone and 12-20 minutes in the orange (or a little in red) zone so that you keep burning extra calories through the rest of the day. To know what zone you are in you wear a heart rate monitor and your name appears on a screen.
The workout is a combination of treadmill, rower and floor exercises. On the floor we do weights, abs, TRX straps, bosu balls and things on a bench in addition to body weight exercises. For the treadmill you can either power walk, jog or run. I started out as a power walker but am slowly heading toward being a jogger. I can't jog the whole treadmill portion but whenever we do our "pushes" I make sure I am jogging. Look up Orangetheory for a better description of how the classes work. I just know they work!
Every workout is different and that helps keep it interesting. They even do fun spirit weeks where you get to dress up. The coaches are great and get really into it too. I generally go to the same classes every week so I have the same coaches but even when I go to other classes or have a sub all the coaches are great.
Everyone at my studio is great! The desk staff try to learn everyone's names and they do cute things for people's birthdays and other events. I went to the gym the day before heading to Hawaii and there as a sign congratulating me. It was so cute. The Orangetheory community is really great and I always look forward to going and seeing everyone there.
If anyone is local and wants to join me for a class just let me know and I would love to have you come with me sometime. I can actually see myself getting stronger and I know my heart is stronger because for the first time in my life I ran a 1/2 mile without walking. Ok run might be an overstatement since I was going slow as all get out but I was jogging not walking!