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Jun 27, 2014

Will orange eliminate the black?

Off the jump, this post would probably be centered around the amazingly, awesome Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black" which is a show depicted around females in Prison that is taken from a true life story and has a little Hollywood dramatization added. However, I decided to peel my summer self off the couch and away from my Apple TV long enough to check out the other new Orange Craze... Orange Theory Fitness aka the ass-kicking that you become a glutton to and just keep going back for more.

If you have not really heard of Orange Theory it is basically a 60 minute workout that consist of interval training {shoot me} that is done in a class format. Of course you can do interval training on your own but there is a trainer who is leading the class, switching the exercises, upping the incline or speed on the treadmills so all you need to do is listen. They are also super savvy as they have the directions posted on the mirrors in front of the treadmills so you know what level you should be at for what prompt. It is actually very easy. The theory behind the workout is the interval training pushes you into the "Orange Zone" or higher. This creates the after-burn, or for those technical terms peeps: Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Layman's terms - the calories you burn after you limp out of the workout room because your ass has been kicked. 

How do you know when you're in the orange zone? Well, for me it is when I can barely breath - but for an easier gauge, everyone wears a heart monitor and there are huge flatscreen TV's all over the rooms. So you can see what level you are falling into: White (hello, are you moving?), Blue (thanks for walking in the room), Green (Nice of you to join us, start sweating), Orange (I can't breath!!), and Red (death...okay, maybe not death but I am pretty sure it is close).

I will tell you as someone who hates interval training, this is a great work out and the monitors in your face really push you. I am definitely a visual person and seeing myself in the blue or green makes me push myself. It also gives your calorie burn which I also push to get to the next highest round number. Yeah, it is weird but it just helps me push little more. 

So after the initial 26 minutes on the treadmill, you usually get on the water rowing machine. That machine is an asshole. I had never used one before and that exercise is no joke. I will never say, "Oh, I could totally do that" when watching those poor souls on the biggest loser anymore. If you are a bigger person, it is not comfortable and it quite frankly burns...but a good burn.
So after about 800 rowing meters (death) you move to the weight room. This is really my favorite portion because I love lifting weights but I never know what exercises I should be doing together. They do all the thinking for you so all I need to do is show up and participate. I was actually able to do 5 burpees yesterday without stopping. A small victory - I hate those because the up and down motion makes me feel so sick, but I've determined it has to be mind over matter. Or at least that is how I got through. There are several different blocks that you move through and the objective is to move through the 3-4 different exercises in each block quickly over and over again... hence, interval training. 

After my first OT class.. I was dying... but a good dying. And I was rocking my new Fav. Workout shirt from Val @Fabulous Chick Gets Fit.

I think my favorite part of OT is their use of technology. As I am walking out of the studio each day, I get an email with a breakdown of my workout that I can keep which is great because I am all about comparing notes, did I push hard today compared to yesterday, etc. I usually go all out when I first start a good fitness routine which is great in theory but it can lead to injuries. With OT I can actually see my progress and if I am not performing or keeping my heart rate up, perhaps I need a rest day. Sometimes I have to see something to make me take a day off.  Here is a look at the graphs that they send. 

This was a pretty good workout, but my goal within the next week is to get to and stay at 40% in the Orange zone. 

OT also offers an app in which you can view the schedule and book yourself into classes right from your phone. I LOVE this part because this means that I am making a schedule and if you are booked, you need to go otherwise you will get charged a non-cancel penalty. Well, I like my cash so that keeps me accountable and attending. I went ahead and scheduled myself out for the next week which you don't have to but it helps me with planning the week.

Overall, I am really enjoying Orange Theory Fitness. I think that it is a perfect mix of motivation and training that I need to reach some of my fitness goals. I would highly suggest that if you have an OT near you, give it a try if you are looking for a challenging workout. It is not for the faint of heart, but I can't wait to see my results after 30 and then 60 days. Hopefully this orange will help me begin to cancel out my favorite, slimming wardrobe color, black.

*Orange Theory did not sponsor nor pay for this review. All opinions are my own and derived from my personal experience. 

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