I am SO excited to have an OrangeTheory to share with you! When I made a giant list of workouts and studios to review for the bloggy, I threw together a ton of workouts that I genuinely want to try. Mostly just out of curiosity and to say I tried it once. This one was added for the same reason, but also because it seems like the type of workout that I really want to add to my workout routine. Spoiler: I was right. LOVED it.
OrangeTheory in Natomas on Arena Boulevard
I’m REALLY happy that I’m starting these reviews AFTER my Pilates teacher training and starting my practice. Practicing to really teach classes is HARD. Way harder than I expected. (note: I very briefly taught group classes at 24 Hour Fitness during college. What I’ve learned from my own experiences is teaching a class where you teach by adding cues while actually doing the exercises is one thing. Trying to get a room full of people to do what you want when you’re not able to do the exercises the whole time as a demo is crazy tough.)
This instructor (his name was Scott) was great. They had me go meet him and chat before the class actually started, which I really appreciated. He showed me how to use the couple machines I’d need, asked a few questions to figure out what my ability might be and check my familiarity with these types of workouts. He was great at checking back in with me, making me push myself (ugh), and really gave a lot of one-on-one attention to folks during the class. Plus, considering there are two groups of people doing different things – half at their own pace and half doing the same thing (sorry if that’s confusing, more about the workout below), he was fantastic at keeping everyone aware of what they should be doing.
It’s a 60 minute class that has you doing intervals of cardio and strength training. Everyone has to wear a heart monitor and there are “goals” for how long you spend in each heart rate zone. Each class follows that same general layout but apparently shifts focus a bit. Different focus for strength training, of course. Plus the treadmill work apparently varies between the focus of their intervals. I’m sharing what we did when I was there.
The class is split into two groups – one group starts with cardio circuits and the other group starts on strength training. I started with strength, so let’s start there.
Everyone did some cardio to warm up – I started on the rowing machine (because the instructor told me to. Most people started on treadmills. I don’t know why, and it doesn’t really matter.)
Strength Training Circuit:
We did an arm/shoulders/back circuit of dumbbell rows, TRX bicep curls, and burpees. One circuit of 10 reps, then 200 meters on the rowing machine; a second circuit of 8 reps, then I think we were supposed to drop down to 150 meters on the rowing machine but I did 200 again; then 6 reps and 100 meters on the rowing machine (I think… I didn’t pay great attention to that part, clearly, and didn’t think to ask until I noticed when the girl next to me stopped – so either I did it wrong or she cheated 😉 )
Then we did an ab pyramid workout. Or reverse pyramid, I guess. 10 spiderman planks, 9 v-crunches, 8 spiderman planks, etc… and then back up. But for this part, we were limited to a time limit (maybe 4 minutes?) while the cardio group did something timed, and we stopped whenever we were done. Thank goodness, because I got almost halfway back up the pyramid and don’t know if I could have done a single extra v-crunch.
Weirdly, this was my favorite part. So not what I expected. I’m totally a strength training girl, and while I can absolutely jog and do some sprints, I’m not normally very happy with my performance on those types of things. But I enjoyed this and felt like I did well! We did intervals of walking, jogging, and “sprinting,” all dependent on your own ability. Some people never “sprinted” – and I’m putting that in quotes because there was one girl who maayyybe was going fast enough for what I’d really call a sprint. I went at a 9.0 mph pace on my fastest sprint, but that’s not really much of a sprint. It’s just the best you can physically do for the length and number of intervals you’re doing that day. Folks whose base pace was a walk just jogged for a sprint. It’s so easy to make it the right challenge for you, and the instructor gave great individual tips to make the most of it. Plus, it was actually fun and they have great treadmills with automatic speed increase buttons (so you can just push “6” and it immediately starts increasing to 6.0 mph.) Totally the kind of thing my super competitive self would love to work on and keep increasing. (I used to be a sprinter in track… ahhhh the days before asthma and knee problems 😉 )
My heart rate monitor did malfunction during a lot of this and I don’t know why. I thought it was just too loose – and it definitely was at first – but even after tightening it, I sure felt like my heart rate was a LOT higher than what showed on the screen. But really, that’s most likely first-time-user error.
I’ll be back for SURE. It’s a varied, interesting, and GREAT workout. I love the use of heart rate monitors. You KNOW I like my intervals. They just allow you to do more but without feeling like you are. An hour is pretty much the max time I’m willing to workout these days, but it honestly went by quickly.
I’ve always done really well with group classes (helloooo, competitive freak) and love how they make me push myself. I MAY have pushed myself a little too far this class, given how sore I was for the next two days. 🙁 Bummer. I totally meant to take some glutamine after the class and forgot. I was too sore to get my long run in as scheduled which was sooooo not what I needed for half marathon training. So I’m definitely not going back until my half marathon is over.