OrangeTheory. Period.

Over the past few years I’ve seen these OrangeTheory places popping up all over Atlanta.  Usually there’s also a certified sign tosser showing off her mad skills on the side of the road with an OrangeTheory sign outside the locations to cause wrecks attract customers.

I had no idea what OrangeTheory was until my neighbor, Moet, told me about it.

I thought maybe it was a new cult.  That’s the thought that always pops into my brain first when I see a new establishment but don’t know what it is… I think I’ve watched too much Dateline.  No, that’s not possible.

It sounded cool!  A group fitness gym that guides you through pre-set workouts with an instructor.  You show up, get a heart monitor, go into the fitness room, and get ready to work.

Full disclosure, I’m a female meathead.  I love working out.  I love challenging myself and beating other people internally competing against other people.  If the guy beside me does 30 pushups, I’ll do 50 and laugh.  If the chick beside me does 100 crunches, I’ll do 200 and laugh.  If it’s just me, I’ll work until I hurt and do 10 more and cry.  It’s how I relieve stress and center myself.  I’ve done power yoga, body building, step, weight lifting, boxing, tai chi, “normal” yoga, boot camp, running; you name it, I’ve done it.

So, I was excited to try OrangeTheory with Moet and Candy.  We were all set for the 8:45 class Saturday morning.  I got up, got dressed in my cute little purple tank and white shorts, tied up my shoes and was off.  Moet drove cuz she just got a sweet new ride.

The class was pretty full.  I got signed in, got my heart monitor hooked up, and walked in the fitness room.  The room is broken into 3 sections: the treadmills, the rowing machines, and free weights.  Half the class started on the treadmills and the other half started on the weights/rowers.

I jumped on a treadmill.  One thing I noticed right away was that there were monitors positioned on the walls with everyone’s screen name listed in a square.  Your square is either in the green, orange, or red zone depending on how hard you’re working.  For every minute you spend in orange or red zones you get a point.   So that tells me instantly how hard I need to work to win challenge myself.

The half of the class that started on the treadmills spent about 25 minutes there.  It goes by really quickly.  You choose a base speed that you’re comfortable at, then the instructor will signal you to get ready to push yourself.  Your “push” speed is just a little faster to get your heart rate up.  Next is your “all out” speed.  This should make you very uncomfortable but you don’t stay there long.  For those of you who know the “lingo”, it’s interval training.

All was great.  I was in my groove, I was running comfortably on the treadmill, then I noticed something.  I’m terrified of falling off of a treadmill.  I’m convinced that at some point I’ll trip over my feet, go flying off the back, and possibly take out some unsuspecting people on my way down.  This was different.

Remember those white shorts I mentioned?  Well, I started my period.  In the middle of my workout.  Totally unprepared.  Remember that thing about sometimes hating my female form?  Ugh.  Usually I have a warning!!!  What tha face, body!?

So you know what I did?  Nothing.  I pretended like everything was normal.  Luckily, it wasn’t horribly noticeable.  We were all working hard and I wasn’t bending over at that point so it was ok.  Plus, if anyone had said something stupid I would have just yelled at them for being perverted and told management that I felt harassed.  #problemsolved

Who knows, I could be Facebook shamed soon.  If so, I’ll do what everyone else does and just deny it.

“Oh, no, that’s totally not me.  Can’t you tell that someone put my face on someone else’s body???”

But then I had to get off the treadmill.

After 25 minutes or so it was time to switch with the other half of the class.  This next 25 or so minutes was weights/rowing.  Trickier for me in my new predicament.  So I did what any self-respecting female who just started her period in the middle of a workout class would do… I stayed in the back of the group!

It definitely helped that the room was dimly lit.

We did squats (ugh… of course we would), lateral raises, and 100 meter row for as many sets as we could until the instructor signaled that it was time for us to go to the next set.  Then we did ab work and TRX band work, which I’d never done before but really liked.

The class is right at an hour long.  It was high energy, fun, and I felt like I got a really good workout in, despite my, um, condition.

I believe that as long as you are working on getting or staying fit, you should do whatever gets you motivated and keeps you moving.

In my opinion, OrangeTheory is perfect for those of you who may be just starting out or who need a group setting to keep you interested.  The format the always the same but the workout is always different.

Also, it’s not as “raw” as Crossfit, which can be intimidating and scary for some people (not to mention you can really hurt yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing).

At the end of the class you get a summary of your workout emailed to you so you can see how hard you kicked ass.

OrangeTheory has various monthly membership packages or you can get class bundles.  If you aren’t ready to commit to a monthly membership just yet, you can get a pack of 10 classes just to see how it goes.

I’m a little weary of fitness fads but I think OrangeTheory has what it takes to stick around for a while.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!  But take a tampon, just in case. Unless you have a penis. You know what, bring one anyway.

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