I have turned Orange…I bleed orange…and not because I love the University of Tennessee. Sorry UT lovers! I turned Orange in April 2015. I joined OrangeTheory Fitness. When I tell you it’s hands down the best workout I have ever done…I mean it!
Back in the olden days of my college career, I began teaching fitness classes. In the late 80’s, high-impact aerobics was all the go. Thankfully that’s not really in anymore, because now in my 5th decade of life; let’s just say jumping and my bladder aren’t really a good thing…TMI I know! I challenge you to find a 50 year old woman wearing light workout pants…there’s a reason people! After college, I continued to teach throughout graduate school at Emory University. In fact, I introduced two of my life-long friends in my aerobics class and they actually got married! We say they met over the double knee lift! My first job out of graduate school, I worked as a Nutrition Coordinator and Fitness Instructor at an employee wellness program at the Centers for Disease Control. There I learned how to teach Step Aerobics! Gin Miller, the inventor of the Reebok Step came and taught us! Fun fact; in 2015 when I purchased my town home…turns out Gin was the seller! True Story! I love her!
Once I left the CDC and began having babies, I stopped teaching; but continued to be an avid exerciser. I became a runner for many years. Have one half marathon under my belt, and ton of 5 and 10K’s. I run as slow as Methuselah, but I ran and that’s what counted, right?! My last venture at group fitness was joining Crossfit in 2012. I was an avid Crossfit gal; however dead-lifting around 190 lbs and my hernia that developed didn’t really like each other! About 6 months after my hernia surgery, in April of 2015 one of those OrangeTheory places opened up right down the road from me. I figured, what the heck; I’ll give it a try. No contract! Give a 30 days’ notice and I’m done…Well I have to say I have completely drank the Orange-Aide! I post fairly regularly about my workouts, and therefore anyone that follows me on social media knows I go and rave about it all of the time. The other day a co-worker called me and it went something like this:
Her: Guess what I did?!
Her: I joined OrangeTheory because of you! I saw how great you looked and figured I had to try it out. You were my inspiration.
How awesome is that?! I was humbled to say the least. Maybe my words that follow will inspire you to give it a try! I will admit that since joining I have lost inches, toned up, and am in fairly good cardiovascular shape. I have had my body fat composition done twice, and the second time I lost body fat, gained muscle mass and lost a few pounds…all the while having fun! So why do I like it so much? Why do I think it’s the best workout ever?! Here’s why:
One: The Science: Backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption; known as EPOC, the program is designed to have you keep your heart-rate in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. This result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and an extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout. The coaches will tell you that you need to work out in the Orange Zone for a minimum of 12 minutes – which they call Splat points (1 minutes = 1 splat); to achieve the after burn. Members wear a heart rate monitor and their individual heart rate is on the wall and is colored in the zone they are working out.
Two: ANY fitness level: Trust me, anyone can do this, provided they don’t have a literal physical limitation. The workout is designed for anyone at any fitness level. We workout to amazing playlists of music of all types. It is so energizing! Each workout consists of a coach telling us what to do. I love that…no thinking involved! We rotate between three stations: The treadmills, the rowers, and the weight room. The beauty of the program is that it is designed for you to start where you are. You aren’t trying to do the same pace on the treadmill as someone else, you are doing what you can! For example: During the cardio portion of the workout on the treadmill, I may be running to get in my Orange Zone, but the person next to me is walking a slight incline to get to their Orange Zone. That’s the beauty of this…you are working against yourself. Overtime, walkers can and do often become runners. Some only walk and walk at inclines to challenge themselves. On the rowers, you row your pace and I’ll row mine! In the weight room – you choose your weights and I’ll choose mine. The coaches always show modifications to exercises for those that need them and there are bikes and ellipticals for those that can’t walk or run. I have witnessed women and men that were clearly out of shape when they started and have improved so tremendously. They are all inspirations to me!
Three: The Coaches and Staff: Remember Cheers…Where everybody knows your name?! The coaches and staff literally know everyone’s name. You walk in the door and they greet you by name, with the most amazing smile. They call you when you haven’t come in to see how you are. They will text you as well. The entire staff welcomes you into the gym each and every time. I have been to big-box gym’s before…I was a spec in a sea of sweat. Not one staff member knew my name. I don’t think they really cared. Guess what…I eventually quit to join OrangeTheory. I have been there for almost 2 years; which for a gym membership is a long time. The attention to each member is what I believe keeps members coming back in week after week, year after year. While working out, the coaches call you out to say you are doing well, your form is good, or call you out because they know you can do better…ugh I hate that one! The coaches all have a personal training certification and also go through a vigorous audition and training program by OrangeTheory as well. They are extremely knowledgable and motivating. The staff always remembers our birthdays! It’s so fun to workout on your birthday there – at least at my gym. We are greeted with a small gift, our name is on the monitor with a Birthday message, and the coaches often do burpees at the end of class for the number of splat points we get during out workouts. My coach had to do 38 burpees this year! Poor guy, but hey – he’s in yougin’! I did do the first 10 with him though!
Four: It’s Family: I have made the best of friends through this gym. I truly have met some of the most amazing individuals that are now part of my tribe. I know God had His hand in this…no doubt! The friendships that have developed is something I have not ever experienced through a gym to this degree. This is what keeps us coming. We hold one another accountable as we all aim to reach our personal fitness and health goals. We do fun runs together, mud runs, girls night out, membership appreciation events, fund raising events, holiday workouts…there are too many to name to be honest. I can’t say enough at how my OTF Family is truly part of my everyday life. My coaches and friends came to celebrate my 50th Birthday with me. That’s friendship and support!
I encourage you to try this out if you have one near you. The first class is free. I promise you may get addicted…but it’s a good addiction to have.
Thank you OrangeTheory Woodstock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllOutWoodstock/?hc_ref=SEARCH) Coaches and Staff for turning my blood orange. I am grateful. And to my peeps, my OTF Family…know I love you to my core.
Be Well and Be Blessed by friends!