8 Reasons to Try Orange Theory Fitness
Ugh! Weight loss, amiright? I don’t want to run! Why would I do that? Unless there’s some imminent threat fast approaching, you can go on ahead. Mama doesn’t run. Then there are the pills, at-home workouts, powdered drinks, barbells, Mr. Universe body types, and pre-workouts. Pre-workout? What in the hell is that? My pre-workout looks something like sitting on the couch and coming up with excuses for why I shouldn’t workout.
Anyway, let’s just say that joining a gym wasn’t thrilling. The idea of walking into a huge gym that’s the equivalent of a Wal-Mart Superstore but for torture machines sounded about as awesome as a papercut – on my knuckle. The problem is that half-ass dieting and half-ass workouts lead to big-ass problems (literally). All of this got me to thinking about what kind of gym/program would work best for me. After researching and talking about things with my gym buddy/husband, here are the things that made us sign up with Orange Theory Fitness.
I can honestly tell you that within one minute of working out, I’m already thinking about it being over. It’s hard, I’m hot, I have things to do, etc. When you walk into a standard gym, there’s no timeline. You’re on your own to direct yourself for however long you decide to be there. If you go to Orange Theory, you’re in and out in 60 minutes. Just knowing that there’s a clear beginning and clear end is beyond helpful. The time starts ticking away right away, and, before you know it, you’re cooling down.
With standard gym memberships, you join and you’re in. Then there are one-time membership fees, pushes for you to get personal trainers, and fees if you want to be able to access other facilities. What the hell? You’re lucky I’m even here paying for your used equipment, funky air, and electricity. With OTF you can access any site just by being a member, and you can pick simple packages: 4 times a month, 8 times a month, or unlimited. You can also pay for extra classes individually, like if you want to do 5 classes one month you’d just purchase an extra class for about $15, and there are NO ANNUAL FEES. Easy. And I like easy.
There’s an App for That
Speaking of easy, Orange Theory has an app that let’s you see what times and classes are coming up. It also lists which coach is instructing that class. The app will tell you if the class is full or if there’s a wait-list, too. You can sign up for a class with the touch of your finger, and you can also drop a class the same way. It’s super convenient, and it saves me from having to make a phone call. Who makes phone calls these days? On the other hand, you’re more than welcome to call to schedule yourself, if you'd rather go that route.
Back Off, Buddy
Unless you’re a seasoned gym-goer, you have no idea how to really use the equipment at the gym. How many reps? Am I doing this right? Why is that guy looking at me? Am I sitting weird? What’s this strappy thing? I hate this so much. Then if you ask someone who works there, you might get helpful advice, and you might get a sales pitch for a personal trainer. No, thank you, buff sir. I just want to know if I’m going to kill myself using the machine this way. At Orange Theory, new members are taken into the workout room before the class and walked through how to use the equipment. Then, as you go through the class, a Coach walks around and will offer you advice here and there. Any advice is appreciated, and I like that it’s not obnoxious. I don’t care about how many muscles you know, just get me through this hour. For instance, the other day I was on a spin bike and the Coach asked if she could adjust my seat, because it was too high for me. Ah, why, thank you, OTF Coach. I’d like that very much. And, in a flash, she was back to circulating the room.
Hey, That’s Mine!
I’m a pretty straight forward person, and I’m almost positive that I can cut through steel with my crushing mom-eyes. However, I feel like a kid in the middle of a keep-away game at the gym – especially in the weight area. Why do so many gigantic men just lurk there? There should be a time where us little guys are allowed some yard time. Then there’s the “hover,” which is basically around any machine that’s in high-demand or in the middle of someone's circuit. If ever you want to know what it’s like to be eyed by a vulture, go hang out on a leg press for 5 minutes too long. Jerks. You won’t have that problem at Orange Theory, because you’re assigned a number when you check-in, which determines which stations are yours. For instance, if I’m treadmill #1, then I’m rower #1 and I’m weight station #1. That little bit of order and certainty changes everything.
I Don’t Think I Can Make It
Like I said, I start thinking about the end of the workout immediately. Every moment is one that I have to push through, and some of that has to do with recovering from a broken ankle and some just has to do with unfiltered loathing for the workout process. What truly helps is that coaches break down each exercise or block into minutes or seconds. So you’ll be hating life on the treadmill when a coach will tell you that you have a 90 second run, followed by a 30 second active recovery (take-it-easy time). Then when you start, an angelic voice will lift you up by telling you that you’re 60 seconds in with only 30 seconds to go! I can do that! 30 seconds is more than manageable. Is it a mind game in place to keep members motivated? Yep. Does it work? Yep. So, do I care that they’re using trickery that I use on my toddler to keep me focused? Nope. Just get me through the 60 minutes. I don’t care how you do it.
Look, I’m on TV!
Everyone taking an Orange Theory class is wearing an OTF heart monitor that uses Bluetooth technology to track and display their heart rate and stats on a screen. Since all workouts are based on your heart-rate, everyone is at a different level. For instance, a seasoned runner would need to run and I would need to do more than just crawl to be in the same heart-rate zone. So, before you get nervous about your info being on display, relax. No one cares. Everyone is just focused on what they’re doing. I don’t care what stats are on your machine or how many times you’ve slowed down to a walk. My only focus is on keeping my heart-rate where it needs to be, watching to see how many minutes of the class are left, and survival. That flat screen monitor is a huge motivator, too, because you want your numbers to look good. NOT because you care about what people think, but because you want to do well for yourself! My goal is be the same as, or better than, my last class. When I see that I’m almost at the end of our time, and I’m not exceeding my last class, I really start to push myself.
What are these stats that I’m talking about, you may ask? Well, there are different color zones: Gray = sedentary; Blue = Moderately Active; Green = Active; Orange = Ideal Heart-rate Zone for weight loss; and, Red = You’re on Fire. Minutes in the orange and red zones give you SPLAT points, and 12 or more SPLAT points mean you’ve burned enough to KEEP BURNING calories for the next 36 hours. Even though the monitor displays calories burned, your heart-rate and SPLAT points, I really just focus on my SPLAT points. It’s like playing a game against yourself! To make tracking your progress easier, OTF sends you an email immediately after each class with a run down of your stats. Love that!
There are so many positive supports in place with OTF that they basically make it impossible to not feel motivated. There are the time displays, verbal time reminders, visual cues (e.g. color zones), a point system, a clear outline of activities, variety, and the knowledge that it’s all done in 60 minutes. I can’t believe that I’m saying this but I actually look forward to OFT days, and I plan to increase my time to 2 times a week (once I’m sure that my ankle can take it). Orange Theory may not be for everyone, but I can tell you that, as someone with an injury who hates working out, it’s the right choice for me. If you’re still on the fence about it, I recommend reaching out for a FREE trial class.
Have fun, give it a try and #keepburning