Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Class, Gym, Group or Solo???

I had a little surprise last night in planning this morning's training session with my running partner, Jaye. She advised me that she had signed us up for a 5 a.m. class at a new facility called Orange Theory Fitness. Now I am a member to Gold's gym, and have never taken full advantage of classes for 2 reasons: 1 – I live to do cardio and run with my lift and (2) I am an absolute klutz and cannot follow direct without falling over and looking like an idiot. So I was a little concerned at first.

But Mickey had tried a session previously, and he loved the concept. So I agreed to go……and I am sore and impressed!

The concept is an hour class involving interval training and it incorporates treadmills, rowing machines, weight training and suspension straps. It is based on the physiological theory of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). During each session, participants perform a 60 minute interval training session using the entire body. Each person is strapped to a heart monitor, and your stats are posted for all to see on a giant screen, with each person having a small screen with their name in it. A blue box apparently means you are at a normal level of energy use (i.e. standing). Your personal screen becomes green when you start to increase your energy levels to a "base". Each personal screen also shows your heart rate and your percentage of energy used (I think). When you get into the orange (hence orange theory) you are where you want to be! And red just means you are kicking butt! I noticed Jaye was in the red a few times today! So proud!

The first 30 minutes was good for a runner like me. We started off at a base pace, running on a 1% incline at 5.5 mph. We went back and forth between the base pace, and a "push" pace, which meant that we would jump to an interval lasting between 30 seconds to 1 minute, going 1 to 2 mphs faster. This was when I started to see some green! We then jumped to 30 seconds to 45 seconds of "sprint" pace, pushing it as hard as we could go! At one point, we slowed the treadmill down to a 2 mph to 3 mph pace and performed lunges and side steps. In total, it was a 2.5 mile run.

We then switched with the other half of the class (there were about 30 participants total), who had done the row and floor routines while we were running. This half of the session involved 100 meter intervals on the row machine, and then weights. Today was washboard ab Wednesday (lucky me), and so the weight lifting involved woodchops, figure 8s, and knee lifts with a curl. We then did turtle walks, crunches and up down planks, and then the straps. The straps were the worst part, just because I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, but once I got into it, it hurt!

All in all a great workout with a class atmosphere, but at the same time, felt like you were on your own and made you feel competitive to get in the greens, oranges and reds on the screen! I will do it again, but it is very pricy (there are month memberships and then session packages) but it might be worth it. I would still need to keep my Gold's membership and continue with my running, though, with triathlons and other road races in the fall.

What do you think? Do you enjoy classes like Zumba or yoga? Does working out in a running group or crossfit/boot camp group get you more motivated to work out? Or do you just have the push to do it all by yourself?

Update: I am completey hooked on this place. I now go 3 times a week and have dropped a whole pant size! Yes it is costly, but the results are there! So check them out!

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