If you are unable to run, they have the option of using a bike or a strider (it’s sort of like a small elliptical machine) This way everyone can workout even if you have bad knees or are dealing with an injury.
Welcome to my home studio: Orangetheory Fitness of Greenville. This is truly a place that changes you. I have NEVER enjoyed the daily grind of going to the gym. I always had to talk myself into going and then my monthly membership would just sit there unused. Orangetheory is different. This is a place I WANT to go!! I am excited to watch as my friends and co-workers are beginning their OTF journey with me! Remember, if you want to try it out, EVERYONE gets a FREE first class! I promise you will be hooked! They don't pay me to say this!!! I know that I gush all the time about OTF, but once you see it in person, you will see why! As promised, here is my OTF studio tour. I took these pictures after my class this past Saturday.
Welcome to your treadmill block! The treadmills are like nothing else you have ever tried! They have a certain bounce to them which is easy on your knees and back. They respond super quick so you don’t have to wait long when you change the speed or incline. I didn’t get a picture of the treadmill “monitor” but it has a cheat sheet that you can use and it tells you what speed and inclines you should use if you are a “Power Walker, Jogger, or Runner”. Those are the three classifications they use so that EVERYONE can do the workout AND feel challenged. Afterall, what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you, am I right? Expect to be on the treadmills for about 25 minutes and know that this is where you are going to earn most of your highly coveted SPLAT points! While you run you have a mirror in front of you so that you can watch your awesome self kick ass! Above the mirror there are all kinds of inspirational quotes that you can look at when you are feeling like you can’t make it! You will also see large monitors that are connected to your heart rate monitor and you can track your heart rate, calories burned, and splat points. I also like how at the bottom of the screen there is a place where you can see the class total for splat points and calories burned. Most of my classes average over 18,000 calories as a class!
If you are unable to run, they have the option of using a bike or a strider (it’s sort of like a small elliptical machine) This way everyone can workout even if you have bad knees or are dealing with an injury.
This is my favorite place to start. While one group is on the treadmills, another group is on the water rowers, or as the trainers call them, “your boat!” Allow me to quote the trainers: “Rowing is a leg driven exercise. 60% of your power comes from your legs, 20% core, 20% arms. Push back for one count, bring it back for two counts. One count of POWER, two counts of patience!” I’m actually starting to get little calluses on my hands from the rower (smile!) What is great about the water rowers is that it is a zero impact exercise and it works your WHOLE body! You are actually moving water when you pull back on the handle. I sometimes get mesmerized by the water spinning round and round. It takes away from the fact that I am feeling out of breath! Once you finish warming up on the rower, you are likely headed to the floor. That is the magical place where you build your muscles! Let’s check it out!!
A lot goes on here at the floor. There is a lot of equipment but you don't use everything every day. The TRX straps are used for a lot of different exercises. Everything from jumping lunges to modified pull ups, the TRX straps can do it all! I also like that everyone gets their own set of weights. But listen up! There is something important about the weight rack!! If you are on an ODD number station, your weights will be as follows: 8, 10, 15, 25. If you are on an EVEN number station, your weights are 8, 10, 12, 20. If you need heavier weights there are some in the common rack that can be used. Depending on if it is an endurance day or strength day, I personally choose station 7 or 8. In my studio both of those stations (along with 2 others that I don’t use) only have someone working on one side of you, so there is a little more space to work. Besides that you will have an ab dolly and stretchy bands at your station. I have seen the BOSUs too, but we haven’t used them just yet. I assume those will come out before we know it!
During your workout you can keep an eye on the monitor to see your heart rate, calorie burn, and splat points. Try not to get overly obsessed with what it says, because everyday is different. The amount of sleep you get, food you eat, water you drank, caffeine you drank, AND the workout of the day (among other things) can change your numbers on the board. At the end of the class the monitor will show everyone’s workout summary. You also get an email with your workout stats which is connected to the OTF app. I dont have a picture of the monitors when the workout is going on, because I'm not the kind of person that brings their phone onto their treadmill! This our is MY hour. If someone needs me, they can call the front desk!
High five a neighbor and you’re done for the day! An hour is 4% of your day, and at OTF it goes by quick! If you have questions, reach out to me! I love to talk to people about OTF! I don’t have all the answers, as I am just a member, but there is a good chance I know the answer because I have done so much research on the company and what they are all about. So what are you waiting for? Come join me at OTF!!!
OTF Workout #11 - January 11th - 5:30pm I have been out of Orangetheory since Monday because I hurt my arm on the TRX straps that day. Not so much “hurt” as much as “overworked”. I know that rest is important and that is what I needed. Still, it hurt my heart knowing that I needed to stay home for a bit. All week long my arm hurt and I needed to be patient. It was difficult to straighten it, as the pain was coming from the inside of my elbow and radiated up and down my forearm and bicep. I decided to go back today after Coach Toni told me to keep up my cardio but to stay off my arm still.
So that’s exactly what I did! I started on the treadmill, which I now dislike starting there after hearing a tidbit somewhere else that starting on the weight floor is more effective! It was an ESP day, which as I said before are my least favorite days. I was pretty happy that I was able to still throw down a lot of speed on the power block of the workout. I ended with 2.4 miles on the treadmill! That was my farthest distance on the treadmill at OTF. You typically spend about 25-30 minutes on the treadmill so this was improvement. When we switched to the floor I had to be a little creative with my arm issue. Some of moves I was able to just do weights with one arm. Other movements I just did reverse lunges instead. At one point the team had to go to the rowers and I pretended I was jumping rope in order to get my heart rate up like everyone else. Part of me was like, “Everyone is probably wondering why I’m not doing the same workout.” Then I thought,”Wait a minute, no one cares! On top of that, I’M HERE!!!!” The last part of the floor block was going back to the rower for 5 minutes. I asked Coach Bianca if I could just do the last treadmill block since I couldn’t pull with my right arm. She told me to go for it! By the way, that last 5 minute block was all POWER (speed!) and was probably the hardest block to do twice. I know I am getting stronger because there is no way I could have done THAT three weeks ago!
504 Calories Burned
19 Splat Points
144 Average Heart Rate
The best thing about this day was that when I got home, my OTF sweatshirt arrived! I thought it was very fitting that it arrived on what is technically my 10th OTF official workout (the first two classes were VIP classes) I am so happy to be part of Orangetheory and it has changed me in such a short amount of time. I have not stepped on the scale since starting, and my clothes feel the same, BUT I feel like I am more positive, I love working out again, the studio makes me happy, and I can see on the monitor that my heart is responding by getting stronger. In the end, isn't that what REALLY matters? Yes, I want to lose weight and inches. Who doesn't? But what I want more than that is to have a strong heart that can take me places. Take that, bathroom scale!
OTF Workout #12 - January 12th - 5:30pm Working out yesterday definitely helped me to feel like I was back on track. Today was pretty good also, but I still had to avoid weights on my right arm. I started again on the treadmill, but it was an ENDURANCE day, so I didn’t really mind. My focus today was to NOT walk at all! When running on my own, I take frequent walking breaks and even when I started at OTF I was walking more that I would like to admit. I also have tried to focus on the heart rate zones and trying to stay in the green zone in BASE, orange zone in PUSH, and red zone in ALL OUT. I can tell a big difference in how quickly my heart recovers from hard efforts in just three weeks. After 2.35 miles of work, it was time to head to the floor. I was able to do all the moves with very little modification. The main thing I had to do different was have no weight in my right hand, and have 15s in my left hand for bicep curls. I don’t want to end up having a muscle imbalance, but I don't expect to have to do this much longer, so I should be okay! Again, I had to tell myself “You could be at home wishing you were here, or show up here and put in work any way that you can.” Obviously I chose to put in work! (“Because my mom didn’t raise a quitter!” Bonus points if you know the guy who said that!)
When class was over I grabbed my phone so that I could get some pictures of the studio so I can share what this magical place looks like! I will post that in my next blog!
483 Calories Burned
23 Splat Points
146 Average Heart Rate
In other news, I know this isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but I could be doing worse, right? Fresh juice from Fresh Vibes in Greenville, NC is so good! There is no easier (more delicious) way to get some vitamins! It takes everything I have NOT to go there everyday after class!
Rowing Clinic - January 6th, 1:30 - I went to Orangetheory for a rowing clinic, put on by head coach Toni and assisted by the other trainers. The idea was to break down all the parts of the water rowing machine and help members make sense of the monitors and more importantly the importance of proper form. I was excited to learn more about this, as I am a self proclaimed Orangetheory nerd. Seriously, I read the book about company in like three days. I am not much of a reader, but I was hooked on this book!
Anyway, we partnered up and I was working with Bethany, a girl I met through a long distance hiking program last year. She and I bonded over our love of Carolina Dogs at the first hiking meeting! The clinic started with questions to the group about WHY we use water rowers. Toni is a former teacher and it’s funny to me because I can tell every time she is using classroom language and it makes me smile. Like I said, I am an OTF nerd and I tried SO HARD to not be the girl that knows all the answers. But the teacher side of me was like “She doesn’t want us to just stare at her and stand silently. I gave the rest of the class a chance to answer and then finally spoke up about the WHY behind the equipment. Fortunately, a few others chimed in as well!. Later she asked the order of the movements and again I waited, then shouted out “LEGS, CORE, ARMS!” This went on for the duration of the class. I guess it proves that I listen!!
Toni: “How should you feel when you’re in the green zone?”
Me: (waiting for anyone else to answer…no one does) “Challenging but doable!!”
Girls in the corner: giggling at Ms. OTF
Me: (in my mind) Seriously, you guys! Say something!
During the clinic we broke down every little part of the movement and were able to see immediate feedback on the monitor. I also learned that my favorite Hoka shoes are too wide in the heel to really fit in the footplates. Next workout I decided I will try out a newer pair of Adidas Boost shoes that I have.
OTF Workout #10 - January 7th - 5:30pm - Tonight’s workout was my least favorite of all types of workouts. It was an ESP workout (endurance, strength, power). I like endurance days, strength days, and power days, but those days when they are altogether are the most challenging for me. The first move we did on the TRX straps is one that kinda messed me up for the rest of the workout. I will admit that my arms are weak as can be, which is one of my reasons WHY I joined OTF. We had to lean back and pull ourselves up with one arm in a bicep curl and then reach as far up the strap as we could with our other arm. I as doing good at first but by the time I got to the second set my arms were getting weak. When I went over to the rower I could feel that my right arm wouldn’t quite straighten and my fingers were shaking. I pushed through and completed that section of the workout, the whole time thinking “I must have just strained the inside of my elbow.” I kept going, because gymnastics and ultra running have taught me to never quit, even if it hurts. One of the challenge we had on the rower was to see how far we could row in 10 pulls. Remembering what I learned in the rowing clinic from the day before, I remembered, Toni saying “Efficient rowers can row 10 meters in one stroke”. “Okay self, that means you better pull 100 meters!” Legs, core, arms, PAUSE, punch arms forward, core up, legs. This is what I told myself ten times. I looked at the monitor and it read “99 meters” Damnit, are you kidding me?!?!? I went back to the floor to do my squats (forgot to do the mountain climbers) and went back to the rower, determined to see 100 on my monitor when I finished. I felt so accomplished when I did! Before that rowing clinic I was pulling closer to 80-90. Change happens when you are willing to learn and willing to put in the work! My workout total for the rower was 1200 meters. I’ll take it!
On the treadmill I worked at controlling my heart rate. I was trying to stay green in my BASE zone and orange in my PUSH pace. We only had a few ALL OUT efforts and they were not long enough for me to put my heartrate into the red zone. My workout had a total of 17 seconds in red. I am most proud of my last ALL OUT effort where I pushed the treadmill up to 9mph (6:40 mile pace) “You can do anything for 30 seconds” I could hear the coaches saying in my head. I felt like I was killing it! When I stepped off the treadmill at the end of the workout, my monitor read 2 miles. I’m telling you, without OTF, I would NOT push myself as hard in a workout. Could I do this in a gym somewhere else? Sure. Would I get the same quality effort? Absolutely not!
At the end of the workout my right arm still wasn’t looking right. I showed Toni how it wouldn’t straighten without serious effort on my part. She recommended heat and stretching for when I got home, which I did! In fact, even right now as I type this blog post I have my arm wrapped in a heating pad. My plan was to go to the studio tomorrow (Wednesday) but I’m going to be smart and take an extra rest day and then go Thursday and Saturday instead. It will still give me three workouts for the week and avoid compromising my overall muscle health. Rest days are just as important as workout days!
483 calories burned
23 splat points
144 average heart rate
OTF Workout #8 - January 4th - 4:15pm After being out for two days straight (strategic planning) I was finally back! I want to workout four days a week so I’m thinking Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday will be my days. The only problem is Friday and Saturday workouts will only be separated by about 17 hours. This is going to take some time to figure out!
Tonight’s workout was yet another great one! I was happy to also see that the class was just about full. There is something about the energy in the room when it’s filled up! By the end of the workout I rowed 1400 meters (.87 miles!) and ran 2 miles. I am getting better at controlling my heart rate when it is supposed to be in particular zones. On the treadmill you should try be in the green zone on your BASE pace. Orange zone is for PUSH pace. Finally, the red zone is for your ALL OUT efforts. I was doing pretty good at getting myself back in the green zone on base pace. Towards the end of the workout I was having little bit of a hard time getting it down, but the whole point of workout is to strengthen your heart. Over time it gets easier to keep your heart rate down, so you have to work harder to stress it out. Stronger heart = Longer life! I burned 477 calories and earner 25 splat points!! The best part? At the end of the workout, the girl next to me on the treadmill said, “Great job! You motivated me to run harder on the treadmill!” That’s what it’s all about: pushing each other to be better!
OTF Workout #9 - January 5th - 9:30am - First things first: I am sleeping better! I am waking up well before my alarm goes off and I am ready to start my day! My day started today at 7am (alarm set for 8am!) and when I got up I was ridiculously excited to get back to the gym. You guys, listen… I am NOT a crazy gym person. I don’t normally look forward to working out. But OTF is so different! It feels like I have a team behind me and we are pushing each other every minute of that workout. Orange lighting, good music, and a coach that pushes you is what I need!
Before I went to the studio, I already had the dishes washed and had a breakfast which was an english muffin with a veggie sausage on it, red grapes, and coffee with soy milk. I had enough time to digest the breakfast and had no problems in the workout. I got to the studio and was ready to work for the weekend! By the end of the workout I had 2200 meters (1.37 miles) on the rower and 1.7 miles on the treadmill. It was a power day, so that treadmill was a lot of rolling hills. We did a new exercise on the floor where we used a heavy weight and held it while performing a squat. You would swing the weight between your legs and then when you stood up out of the squat you would swing the weight up to shoulder level. Let me tell you right now: I felt so powerful!! I watched myself in the mirror and thought “You are so strong! Look at you kicking ass!” Self confidence: That is what it is all about. At the end of the workout I had burned 478 calories and earned 21 splat points. Tomorrow I am back at OTF for a rowing clinic to learn how to be a better rower during that portion of the class. I just can’t get enough of this new lifestyle!
OTF Workout #7 - It’s the first day of 2019 and I started ALL OUT at Orangetheory! (That is an Orangetheory reference, for those of you who attend OTF!) It was the 3rd day in a row for me so I wasn’t sure what to expect from my body. The only real “pain” I felt when I woke up this morning was a tightness on my left leg near my outer hamstring. It probably came from the power walking from yesterday’s workout. After today’s workout I don’t plan to go again until Friday. I’m sure that is going to be hard to do, because I absolutely LOVE the studio!
I was surprised when I got there and there were only a few other people waiting for the class to begin. All the classes had wait lists the night before and then overnight a bunch of people cancelled their booking. Not me! Not Ashley! We were there at 10:45am ready to work! Our class ended up having about 16 people in it.
Unfortunately for me, my heart rate monitor dropped out for a few minutes while I was on the floor doing weights. A man from the desk came into the room and was asking “Who’s Jamie? Are you Jamie? Where is she??” I approached him and said I was who he was looking for and I had a mini panic attack, thinking someone called to ask for me because there was some sort of emergency. Thankfully, it wasn’t that but rather that my heart rate monitor wasn’t reading correctly. They thought that most likely what happened was that when I was at the row machine I had a tight grip on the handles and it messed up being able to read blood flow. Well that was a bummer because I know I was working hard! Technology is great when it works. But it doesn’t change the fact that I was still killing it!
It took such a long time to get to 12 splat points today, and when I did, you better believe I celebrated. I was the last one in the class to meet the goal, and when I did (close to 50 minutes into the workout!) I shouted “WOOO-HOOO 12 SPLAT POINTS!!!!” Before too long I will probably end up with the reputation of “the girl who loves this place a little too much” but that’s okay. I can feel that I am changing and that is what matters! I can’t WAIT for Friday to arrive. Not because it’s Friday (which needs no other reason to celebrate) but because I get to work my butt off again at OTF. Saturday will be fun because I am signed up for a workout as well as a rowing clinic at 1:30pm. Pretty sure I will be bleeding orange soon!
436 calories burned with 18 Splat points! BOOM!!!!!
OTF Workout #6 - Happy New Year’s Eve! This was the first time I have tried doing back to back workouts. I originally was not signed up for this class, but I wanted to support my friend Ashley so I went anyway. That is the nice thing about having an unlimited pass! I don’t have to keep up with how many classes I have done because I can attend any one that I want!
Before signing up for the class, I messaged the head coach, Toni, and asked her if she thought doing a back to back workout was advisable. She said as long as I wasn’t injured I should be okay. I told her I planned to be a power walker so that it would be less impact. I assumed I wouldn’t get those 12 splat points because I wasn’t sure I would be able to push myself into the orange zone by power walking. Boy was I WRONG!!!!
I got to the studio at 9:20am, unpacked my bag, helped another member figure out the lockers, and then waited in the lobby. Ashley arrived and I convinced her to start on the floor instead of the treadmills. We did so many ab exercises on the floor, and jump squats on the TRX straps that I was feeling like I was really developing some power! (And slightly dying) I was working hard and felt like my body is starting to really respond to the workouts.
After a block on the floor, we went to the treadmills and I stuck with my plan of being a power walker. I looked up at the screen to check my stats, and to my surprise, I earned 3 splat points on the weight floor! I got to walking, and boy did I walk fast! For my PUSH pace I was walking at a 6% incline. For my ALL OUT pace I was walking a 10% incline. At one point a Black Eyed Peas song came on and I told Ashley that was the song that was playing when I crossed the finish line at Ironman a couple years ago. My eyes teared up, as they ALWAYS DO when I hear that song. It is a constant reminder that I am a badass and can do anything I put my mind to. The video of my finish line is at the end of this blog!
Back to the floor we went for more ab and leg exercises. We used the stretchy bands which I kinda hate because they rollup as you use them. They kept rolling up and I finally said “Screw it, just let it hurt your skin a little bit and get through it!”
The workout ended with a four minute row on the water rowers. I powered through 916 meters in 4 minutes! The goal the coach set was 800, so I felt really accomplished by going a little bit above what was expected!
I was happy to see that by the end of the workout I earned 18 splat points and burned 479 calories. This was especially exciting because I had worked out the day before and was using today as a “just for fun” workout. Did I mention Ashley and me are signed up for New Year’s Day at 10:45am? We aren’t starting a New Year’s resolution on January 1st. We started two weeks ago so we are already ahead! Who cares if my abs hurt when I cough? I wonder how sore I will be in the morning before class. One thing is for sure though: OTF is going to change my life!
Happy New Year everyone!!!!
PS. I forgot to share that I ran/walked 925 miles this year! My goal was 1000 but I had to adjust it at the end. Life happens, ya know? Last year I ran/walked 524 so I will take this as a WIN! Finally, here is the video I promised!
OTF Workout #5 - Toni promised a good workout, and boy did she deliver! Today was my 5th Orange Theory workout and it was fantastic! For the first time in a LONG time I find myself EXCITED to work out. I enjoy ultra running (walking) but since my days long ago of doing gymnastics, nothing has quite made my heart smile the same way. Except maybe triathlon, but there were a lot of workouts that I didn’t look forward to or enjoy. With gymnastics I was always excited to jump out of bed and go to the gym. I feel that same happiness with OTF. Anyway, I’m getting off track here. Back to the workout!
Once again I started on the floor and left the treadmill for last. I like how this is working out since most people try to get the treadmill first because that’s where you earn most of your coveted “splat points” because it is your cardio block. I want to focus of form on the floor, then I can get my points later! On the floor we used dumbbells for sumo squats, reverse crunches on the floor, then burpees. Another floor block was uppercuts with dumbbells, spiderman, and jump squats on the TRX straps. We also did jump squats but I can’t remember now what block that was in. I feel like I am forgetting something else we did…The workouts go by quick and I honestly have forgotten the rest of the floor workout! My gym is doing the first 45 days of “Studio Launch” workouts before we go on the national circuit where everyone across the country does the same workout, so I can’t even look it up.
After that we headed to the treadmills/rowers! The workout consisted of the following blocks:
Block 1 - Run .50 miles at 2% at PUSH pace
Row 200 (:30-1:00)
Block 2 - Run .40 miles at 4% at PUSH pace
Row 200 (:30-1:00)
Block 3 - Run .30 miles at 6% at BASE pace (I wanted to die)
Row 200 (:30-1:00)
Block 4 - Run .20 miles at 8% at BASE pace (I didn’t make it this far)
Row 200 (:30-1:00)
Sadly, I only made it through the 3rd block. I was disappointed, but then again, wait a minute, why am I DISAPPOINTED??? I’m working out on a Sunday morning - on winter break! I could be in my pajamas with the covers pulled up, but I’m not! The workout was over and I was proud of myself. I love my workouts and I feel like I am making progress towards being who I want to be. As we stretched, I leaned over and told a friend, “For the first time in my life I am working out for HEALTH, not because of a race or some other goal.” Do you realize how big a deal that is????? Five workouts in and I’m already a different person. Oh, and I burned 468 calories and earned 25 splat points! Fun fact: I am reading the book Push - A Guide to Living an All Out Life: The Story of Orange Theory Fitness by Ellen Latham and she said that “SPLAT” is the sound of a fat cell exploding. LOL, sounds good to me, Ellen!
Did you know the first class at OTF is FREE??? I would love to have more company at the gym. If you live near me let me know if you want to try out a class. I promise it will change you!
Oh, and guess what else? I am signed up for New Years Eve AND New Years Day classes! #FitnessPerson #DrinkingTheOTFKoolAid
So the Orange Theory Fitness team I told you about in the last blog... Remember that? I'm totally hooked on it! I kept hearing "There is something in the water there that keeps you coming back" and it's true.
In the beginning, I wanted to just try it out and bought the Elite Pass which gave me 8 workouts a month. However, before I even went to my first class I decided that I had to have the Unlimited Pass! It cost a little bit more, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought "I really have a chance at doing something right this time and sticking to something, so why not give it a shot?" The truth is the only time I ever lost a significant amount of weight was when I signed up for a "Biggest Loser" competition that lasted three months at the YMCA. We had group workouts once a week and between that and writing down what I ate, it worked. With OTF, I can have classes like that (and even better actually!) as many times a week as I want! The plan right now is to go three times a week and over time work up to four times a week. OTF is all about high intensity interval training (HIIT) so it is not recommended for ANYONE to go more than four days a week.
What I would like to do from here on out is document my workouts for the next year. I will occasionally post videos, but mostly I want to document the progress to becoming more fit. (#MoreFit) I’m sure I will miss an entry here and there, but you will see change! Let’s go!
December 17th - 7:00pm - Today was my 1st class. I had NO IDEA what I was doing and thankfully the girl next to me on the treadmill helped me a lot! I was working hard for sure and ended the day with 24 splat points (minutes in orange and red (zone 4/5) combined) and 494 calories burned. The deadlift is where I felt my hamstrings start to hurt. I definitely don't workout this hard on my own. Here’s to new beginnings!
December 21st - 7:30am - Toni kicked my ass. That’s all there is to it. I wanted to throw up I don't know how many times. I started on the treadmill with my coworker, McCloud. I had a better understanding of the class format which helped! I’m so glad that I went with the unlimited pass! As much as this class makes me work to my max, this is exactly what I need. I also confirmed that morning workouts are NOT for me, but I will keep trying. I ended the workout with 29 splat points and 504 calories burned. #SplatPoints #Teamwork
December 24th - 7:30am - I tried another morning workout and did slightly better. My mom’s birthday is today so I needed to get the workout done so I could hit the road early. After watching another video by Andrew, I decided to try to work on the floor first instead of the treadmill. I felt better knowing that I had more energy to really get the most out of the weights/TRX straps. The last two times I have felt really unbalanced, so this might be where I need to start from here on out. The treadmill workout was still super hard, but I still finished the workout with 29 splat points and 495 calories burned. After that it was time for a stretch at home and then I hit the road to see my parents for Christmas!
December 27th - 8:15am - Today’s workout was an endurance one! I once again started on floor instead of the treadmill. This workout was a little different from previous workouts because we actually started on the water rowers. We rowed 600 yards, which Coach Toni said was the longest row so far at the studio. Orange Theory has studios all over the world and everyone does the same workout, except new studios start with modified workouts. If I were to guess, it’s probably because they are training us to be successful instead of having everyone train at the same level as the rest of the world and we all get hurt. Just my guess. In the end, I earned 23 splat points and burned 474 calories in this workout. While we were stretching, Toni asked who all signed up for Sunday’s class. “It’s going to be a good one! I’m excited!!” she said. I wasn’t originally signed up for it, but I trust her judgement and signed up for it! Now I just hope that I am not too sore for it!
So there you have my updates! My *GOAL* is to update weekly, as I know I wont stick to blogging after every class. My schedule for January looks to be mostly evening classes so I’m going to see how that goes and then maybe consider some early morning classes in February. I already feel like my body is changing, even if it’s just my mind at this time! I am so excited for this new start!
It’s no secret that the bathroom scale and I are not friends. My relationship with the scale is not a healthy one. But as the numbers rise and fall, I tell myself that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. I know that it’s a weight combination involving bones, muscles, fat, organs, and all the fluid in your body.
I know all of this but when I look at the scale and see the number it reflects back a number that I often tack onto my self worth. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. When number falls I am proud of myself, even if it's because I skipped meals to get that magic number. When the number rises I shame myself for the mistakes I made throughout the day that gave me that number in the first place. Honestly, it’s a losing battle. I teach my students to have self love and to say positive things to themselves instead of negative things. I even went as far as posting positive affirmations throughout the classroom. These are for me just as much as they are for them. The problem is that this is a battle I have had with myself for as long as I can remember so it’s what I am used to and it’s my “normal”. SOOOOO not healthy!
For me, it’s not lack of having the right tools and the know how to be in good health. No. My problem is I lack the motivation. I either have the food right and I’m not exercising consistently, or my food is off and I am working out compulsively. Knowing the problem is a good thing in the way that you might be able to fix it. You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken!
So, I joined the team. Orange Theory Fitness, that is! Orange Theory Fitness, or OTF as they are known, is a gym that focuses on whole group fitness training with the use of High Intensity Interval Training and heart rate monitors. The idea is that you work out in different heart rate zones, and as long as you workout for at least 12 minutes in the orange zone (zone 4) you will continue to burn a higher amount of calories up to 36 hours after the workout. In zone 4 you are working hard! The better conditioned your heart is, the harder it is to get your heart into those higher zones. Have you ever worked out so hard that you almost threw up? You were probably in zone 5!
As I have trained for triathlons and marathons I have heard so much about heart rate training but didn't really have the tools or know how to do it. Yes, I could find out what the zones were and yes I had a chest strap to measure my heart rate but…. Then what? “What zone should I try to stay in? For how long? How do I track it?” I felt like I was shooting blindly in the dark. So I made the choice that everyone makes in that situation: I chose to do what I always do because it was the easier option. But OTF isn’t like that. You know EXACTLY what is going on! They have giant monitors above the workout equipment where your heart rate monitor information shows up and you can see in real time your heart rate and which zone you are working in. When the workout is over, you get an email with all your stats. You can even workout at home and have the heart rate monitor bluetoothed (is that a word?) to your phone so you can get a report of your workout. If it seems like a silly and unnecessary expense, it’s not! Heart rate training tells you exactly what is going on in your body. It takes all the guesswork out of “Am I working hard enough?” You get a report of how much stress your heart is under and how quickly it recovers after stress. To me, that is the goal of exercise. It shouldn’t be to have rock hard abs or a stellar figure (but you might get that as a side effect!) It should be to have a healthy heart!
I started following a guy named Andrew Cole Smith on YouTube who goes to OTF in Seattle and has been documenting his journey towards being fit. I discovered his videos while trying to decide on whether or not to join OTF. Needless to say, his videos convinced me to at least try it out. My plan is to blog about my journey with OTF. I may occasionally try to upload a video or something, but my video editing skills are rusty and I don’t have a proper program on my computer to do real edits. Just like in anything else, you can’t be successful without the right tools. If you’re thinking of joining OTF, check out his videos and I think you will see the benefits! At the bottom of this blog I have the icon "FITNESS PERSON" that he coined and the icon links to his merchandise page. Click HERE for his YouTube channel!
My OTF opens soon and I cannot wait to get started! I love HIIT classes and group workouts (unless I am running, then I prefer to be a lone wolf.) If I want to be successful, I need someone to hold me accountable and someone to push me to be better. A couple years ago I took a group fitness class from a guy named Sean and those classes would kick my ass every Saturday and I LOVE it!!! I think OTF will be a very similar style but instead of having my ass handed to me once a week, it will be twice! Memberships to OTF are not cheap and I couldn’t afford a monthly unlimited pass, so I signed up for the 8 classes a month pass. If I can get there twice a week I know I can do the rest of the work on my own. I have become friends with the owner of the Greenville, NC location and I know she will push me to be successful! (Toni, if you’re reading this, you should know that we all appreciate you bringing OTF to our town and helping us to get healthy!!)
So here goes, OTF. We’re going to do this and we’re going to do this right!
Last year I set a goal to run/walk 50 miles in an ultra marathon race in Rockingham, NC. I missed my goal and was completely crushed by missing it. It was like I felt like I let people down. It was crazy talk, and I realized that months later. I realized I didn't owe anyone an explanation as to why I didn't reach 50 miles. The truth is, I knew why I didn't get 50 miles: I didn't train hard enough. It was as simple as that. I learned the lesson that you get out what you put in. And in my case, I didn't put in the mileage required to reach such a ridiculous goal. I kept the poster of my mileage in my workout room. I would see the missed mileage every day. It was a reminder that I had work to do. I would look down at the tattoo on my arm that reads "She believed she could so she did", took a deep breath and worked my ass off every day until the race.
I worked so damn hard to reach that goal that I stopped blogging most of the summer! If I went back and told you all about my training, it would turn into a 100 page dissertation on the ups and downs of training for an ultra marathon in the south. In summary, I trained in the heat and the rain. I ran late at night, and I ran at 4am. The training run I remember best was the one that started around 4:30am on game day morning here in Greenville, North Carolina. I was running long before people started tailgating for the football game. Around mile 11, I met up with a group from Fleet Feet that was running 3, 7, and 10 mile routes. I was planning to run/walk 50k (31 miles) that morning, so I ran all the routes and added on here and there. I drank pickle juice out of the back of my car. I reapplied sunscreen a dozen times. I ran around tailgaters who must have thought "Haven't I seen this girl out for the last 6 hours?" The heat index was over 100 degrees for many hours of this run/walk. I don't drink beer, but I sure would have taken one if someone offered it to me that day just for something cold to drink. At the time, it was the hardest training day of the whole plan, but it was the one that made me see how strong I had become.
The thing is, it's those training runs that show you who you are, what you're made of, and how hard you are willing to work for something you want. I remember that day thinking, "Is this really what I want?" Then thinking, "Of course this is what I want!" Later thinking, "Who's idea was this anyway?" And then, "Oh yeah, it was mine."
Maybe over the Thanksgiving break I will do a long blog about this years race, but here is what you need to know:
1. I accomplished my goal of 50 miles (I actually did 51.2129)
2. Adam did 27 miles with me
3. I didn't cry until mile 48
4. I got a HUGE blister on my right foot at mile 36ish. Popped it and kept going because an IronWoman doesn't have time for that. In fact I was so delusional I remember telling my foot, "You are NOT going to f*** this up for me! I worked too hard for this!"
5. I'm signing up again next year with an "easy" goal of 50k.
So there you have it. I survived my second attempt at 50 miles and I felt like I was on top of the world. I can now say "I have done 51.2 miles." Instead of "My goal was 50 miles and I only did 43.5." I know that sounds silly, but that really bothered me that I felt like I had to admit defeat every time I talked about my race. Next year Adam and I are planning to do a 50k at the Hinson Lake 24 Hour Ultra Classic.
You know...Because how can you say no to a t-shirt and pint glass? Not us! Until next time...
My name is Jamie and I am an Ironman athlete! I completed my first super sprint triathlon in 2008. I am proud to be a member of the Fleet Feet Sports Greenville Running Club!
My Support Team
What Made Me IRON
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51.2129 Miles - 21:19:03
50K - 6:54:59
Half Marathon 2:10:58
10 Miler - 1:45:42
10K - 1:00:24
8K - 47:21
5 Miler - 52:41
5K - 27:27
1 mile - 8:33
103.48 miles - 6:42:11
2.42 miles - 1:47
Half Iron 8:17:12
Full Iron* 13:19:27
Note: some distances have only been raced once! I know I could crush a couple of these now!