My health and fitness level took a real gnarly turn in the past 6 months. I’ve been exercising regularly for years, but it took a back seat to stress eating and sitting on the couch while everything imploded. Oh yea…the booze probably didn’t help either. The world is getting back on track, and so am I! Gyms opened a few months ago and I loved getting back to my classes, but I was also excited to try out something new. Enter: Orange Theory.
I was really nervous about my first class. Orange Theory is BOSS-level. Could I make it through a class without collapsing? I never enjoy feeling out of place (who does, really?) and like I don’t know what I’m doing. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, or that I might not know how to set up the machines the right way. I can work my way around a treadmill, but the rowing machine was pretty new to me. The instructor at Orange Theory COULD NOT have been more helpful! Once she gave instructions for each station, she came over to make sure I was set up correctly. I never once felt like she was impatient or that I was holding up the rest of the class. She was so encouraging through the whole class and I didn’t feel like such an amateur. My soreness-level the next day told another story, but #hurtssogood
If you’ve never checked out Orange Theory, here’s the low down. It is an interval based workout class that is divided into three separate sections that are each 13 minutes long: rowing, strength training, and cardio.
There are 5 heart rate zones ranging from Resting to All Out and your goal is to spend at least 12 minutes in the Orange Zone (AKA the Uncomfortable Zone. No, that is not a typo. Yes, it is accurately named). See what they did there??
The instructor gives plenty of cues on where you want to push yourself and when to pull back and recover. You are given a heart rate monitor when you check in to wear during class and they have screens on the wall so you can see which zone you’re in. If your first time is like mine, you will spend the majority of class in the Red Zone. But don’t worry! They told me that was totally normal for a first-timer, even if you are already an avid exerciser. Let’s just say…I spent WAY more than 12 minutes being Uncomfortable…WAY more.
After you take 20 classes, they can adjust the heart rate monitor so it is more tuned in to your body. There’s also an app so you can see your stats any time and set new personal goals for yourself. I really like how easy it is to modify the workout for your fitness level. Because the Strength section is timed, I could take as long as I needed to complete each exercise regardless of where every one else was in their workout. Even the treadmill had a panel that outlined the recommended incline & speed level based on whether you are a power walker, jogger, or experienced runner.
I was in a fitness class, but I still felt like I was working out on my own with no pressure of keeping up with the person next to me.
It was so much less pressure than I expected and I loved that aspect of it!
Looking to ramp up your fitness game? Check out Orange Theory. The workout is challenging, fun, and the staff is ready to help you customize it to fit your experience and fitness level. To find a studio near you, check out their website.