So, a few weeks ago I joined a fitness club of sorts. I mentioned it in passing, but haven’t had any time to go into it with more depth.
Unlike a gym, OTF has scheduled one-hour classes with limited space that are run by two fitness trainers. Classes aren’t over 24 people in size, and they are ideal at around 18. They use a pretty basic High Intensity Interval Training method, combined with heart rate monitors. The class is divided into two groups, one on treadmills and one doing circuits of strength-training floor exercises with a rowing machine. The heart rate monitors show you your current heart rate, at what (approximate) percentage of maximum heart rate you are at, and your approximate calories burned as you go. The “Theory” behind Orange Theory Fitness is that by spending 12-25 minutes at or above 85% max heart rate, you will trigger the longer-lasting afterburn that HIIT is known for. There is nothing revolutionary about it. It is basic, it is based on personal level, and for me, it is worth every penny spent (and it costs a pretty penny compared to a lot of gyms out there).
I had a 24 hour gym membership a few years ago. It cost me $24 a month, and allowed me access to most of their gyms, including the ones with pools. I never went. Every month that passed without me going, I told myself, “well, that is like two movie tickets. It isn’t THAT much. I’ll make up for it next month.” I never did. I’m pretty sure the most I went was four times in a month.
After having my son, I prepaid for 8 classes at a mommy-and-baby yoga class locally. My husband works a lot, and my family is in another state, so physical activities that allow me to take my baby always sound appealing. The problem was he became an excuse to not go, and since the prepaid classes were EVEN CHEAPER than 24 hour fitness, it really didn’t seem like a big deal if it took me longer to get through them. I went 4 times in 8 months. I officially had to stop going because my son could walk and was getting into too much trouble for me (Or the other mommies) to get a good yoga workout. Plus, yoga doesn’t really build endurance or help you lose weight, which are two things I need from an exercise program.
OTF costs enough that I am freaking out a little about the classes I have missed over the past two weeks from being sick. My membership is for 8 classes a month, but unused classes don’t rollover. I’m pretty sure I am not going to be able to have my hubby watch my son that much next week so I can cram in 4+ classes. The nice thing about this financial guilt is it is very motivating. I was motivated to run by my 5k run date, and I am motivated to go to OTF by the pricetag. While I am there, though, I love it. I really do.
First of all, I love that I don’t have to think about anything. I am told what to do, and when. I love that there are two trainers, so I never have to worry about form when doing any exercises. The second my form wavers, I have a trainer coming to assist, and giving me feedback to keep at it. I’m too busy working to pay attention to other people, which in turn means I am not self-conscious because everyone else is too busy to be looking at me. When I sprint on the treadmill, and I hit a new personal record, no one rolls their eyes that my speed was 2 mph less than the person next to me. And, no one notices that my shirt rode up and my squishy, stretch-mark scarred belly is showing. No one cares.
I also love that I have access to things that I normally wouldn’t have access to, equipment-wise. I’m sure some gyms have all of the equipment OTF has, but I haven’t personally seen this, and if I did, I wouldn’t know how to use any of it. In the handful of classes I have been to, I have used the usual equipment (treadmill, rower, free weights, etc.) but I have also used a Bosu and TRX straps. I think that is pretty awesome.
Will I stay at OTF forever? No, I can’t afford that. Will I make the most of it while I am a member? You’d better believe I will! If you live near me and want to try it for one free class, come workout with me. If you aren’t local, they’ll let you try a free class at any of their locations. I’m a fan.