Ok, so I’ve talked a bit about how I really want to focus on cross training before marathon training starts again. Not only do I want to focus on it to get stronger, but I want to prevent injury for the next training cycle. I want to be able to make it through injury free. Is cross training a guarantee I will stay injury free? No. But, it will definitely help. I’m also on a quest to get a little bit leaner. I’m not talking losing weight, I would just like to redistribute my body composition a smidge. I’d love to turn some of that excess fat that I put on during training into muscle. For me, in the past, the only way to do that is to do HIIT training and changing up my workout routine. I’m completely out of shape. I know, you are saying “you just ran a marathon, how can you be out of shape?” I’ve had many people say that to me, but it’s true! I can run 26.2 miles but I can’t do 10 pushups!! I’m not strong at all, and I want to be. So, last week, I did a little teaser about something that was coming up, so now I’m going to tell you what it is!
Have you heard of Orangetheory Fitness? I had never heard of it until this summer when a new studio in the DC area was getting ready to open up and I saw them during their social media blitz. I must say it’s a bit creepy how Facebook knows EVERYTHING about you.. Their posts were intriguing, so I dug a little deeper to see what it was about.
Orangetheory Fitness is a one-of-a-kind workout that is broken into intervals of cardio and strength training using treadmills, rowing machines, weights, TRX suspension trainers and free weights. It is heart rate monitored training that is designed to target a specific heart rate that will stimulate metabolism and increase energy. The result they are looking for is known as the “orange effect” which allows you to burn calories for up to 36 hours after the workout. Hence the Orangetheory! Makes sense right?! According to their website:
“Like any theory, ours is backed by science. The idea of Orangetheory is simple: a 60-minute workout designed to push you into the Orange Zone. This creates “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. It’s what burns calories after your workout and gives you noticeable, lasting results with Orangetheory Fitness.
The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. By providing you with a heart-rate monitor and POD, we can monitor your 5-zone interval training sessions that we call the Orange 60. During the 60-minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, which translates to Zones 4/5. This program design produces workout “afterburn” effect, which is an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout. When combing the amazing workout with EPOC, our clients burn an average of 500 to 1200 calories.”
I had been lacking the motivation at the gym to actually do this sort of training. I wanted a trainer, but can’t really afford one. So I decided to give it a shot. The great thing about Orangetheory is that your first class is FREE! They give you the opportunity to try it out and test the product before committing to a membership, which I thought was really cool. In reality…it’s really genius marketing if you ask me, because they KNOW you will be hooked. Hook, line and sinker.
So, I signed up for my free class! The new studio in Rossyln is super accessible and pretty awesome. When I walked in the staff greeted me and helped me get my heart rate monitor all set up.
I took a quick look around the studio before everyone arrived. Forgive the quality of the pictures, the lighting has an ORANGE hue (shocker) which isn’t that conducive to good photos!
You can see the treadmills lined up with the TV screen above. During the class, everyone’s heart rate data shows up on that screen.
Rowing machines on the left, and free weights/TRX/Core boards on the right.
I was so excited to get this started. Once everyone arrived we were divided into two groups. Half started on the treadmill and the other half started on the rowing/strength training section. At Orangetheory the workout is the same for all of the classes during that particular day, but they change every day. So there is always something new.
I started on the treadmills. The trainer that led us through the workouts prompted us to make changes on the treadmill for the first 25-30 minutes. We had a base base, a “push it” pace and and “all out pace”. The nice thing about this is that it’s completely up to you what those paces are. The trainer took us through a series of intervals for the first half. And you can really make it as easy or as hard as you want….but the point is to get in that “orange” zone in your heart rate, so it needs to be challenging.
After the first 25-30 minutes the groups switched. I headed over to the strength area. We started rowing for a designated number of meters (which I can’t remember, I was so focused on doing it right that I didn’t take notes). We then got off the rowing machines and started into a 3 exercise circuit–plank jacks, hamstring curls with the core board, and another exercise I’m totally drawing a blank on. We were to do that circuit 3-4 times. After that was up, we went back to the rowing machines, rowed a certain distance, hopped off and started on 3 different exercises…deadlifts, kettlebell swings and burpees. But, this time, in-between each exercise we jumped back on the rowing machine for a 200m row.
It was an INTENSE workout to say the least. I was exhausted when the hour was up, but it was one of THE BEST workouts I’ve had in a long time. I was afraid that I would be focused to much on the TV screens watching my heart rate and trying to figure out what zone I was in, but that didn’t seem to be an issue for me.
Orangetheory claims that you can burn between 500 and 1000 calories per workout. I didn’t believe it at all. But I was proven wrong. After your workout they send you an email that lays out your stats from the workout!
So, as you can see, I spend most of the workout in the green zone, the fat burning zone, which isn’t really surprising as a runner. My cardiovascular conditioning is pretty high. I didn’t spend as much time as I should have in the “orange” zone however, so that just means I need to work a little harder next time. The goal is to stay in the orange zone for 12-20 minutes.
So how many calories did I burn?
I couldn’t believe that I burned that many! Orangetheory has some fun challenges in each individual studio as well. The challenge last week was to see how many females could burn over 600 calories and how many men could burn over 1,000!
Ok, so what does this mean. I talked to the head trainer at Orangetheory and said that I was curious to see if this program could make a difference in my fitness level and was curious to see if it would help my marathon time. They insist that I will see HUGE results even just doing it twice per week and keeping my diet in check.
Well, I’m about to put that to the test! I will be partnering up with Orangetheory in Rossyln, VA. They want to prove to me that this works and that I can make a HUGE change to my strength and marathon time. Orangetheory is providing me with their “Elite” membership which is 8 classes a month. I will be attending twice per week for an undisclosed amount of time during marathon training and talking about my experience! I’ve already done my measurements and a “fit test” and we are going to see how much I improve.
So here are my stats:
Oh and I’m sick to my stomach that I am totally putting this out on the inter-webs for everyone to see….but I need to stay accountable, and I think this will help. So here goes.
Like I said, I don’t have a lot of WEIGHT to lose, but I want to re-distribute my body composition…that is the overall goal of this challenge. I want to be a LEAN, MEAN, MARATHON MACHINE!
Current Marathon Time: 4:28
Goal Marathon Time (Paris): sub 4 hours
Is my goal time lofty? Absolutely.
Is it out of reach? HELL NO. If I am consistent with my strength training and stay injury free, this is within reach.
So….if you have an Orangetheory Fitness in your area, go check them out now!! Your first class is always free! And for you local DC peeps, there is no excuse!! You must try them out! The staff is wonderful and extremely motivating! Go book your first class ASAP! Maybe I’ll see you there!Join @suzy399 as she takes on an @OTFArlington challenge! #otfarlington #fitfluential #sweatpink Click To Tweet
Have you heard of Orangetheory Fitness? Ever been?
What are your fitness goals?
What helps you stay accountable?