Thursday, February 12, 2015

#GetOutAndGo – Challenging Myself

Last week I wrote about the #GetOutAndGo campaign that I am participating in through the month of February, and one of the main goals is to get people to challenge themselves by doing something new.
Well….I am challenging myself.  I kind of started in January, but have really kicked it into high gear this month.  I joined a gym.
Yes, I know I joined a gym (Bodyplex) last year, and I tried Crossfit the year before that, but I did not enjoy either like I thought I would.  I found that I would walk in and had a hard time figuring out exactly what I wanted to do and how long I wanted to do it at Bodyplex.  Hardly any of the classes fit my schedule, so those were also out.  One thing that made it clear to me that I did not enjoy being there was that I felt judged every time I walked into both gyms – I felt like they thought I shouldn’t be there because I was not as thin and athletic as many of the other members were.  Bodyplex also changed brands in the middle of the week and didn’t tell the members (I was shocked that it was re-branded as “Georgia Fitness” just four days after the last time I was there). 
A friend had been telling me about a studio she was going to in Florida, but we didn’t have one anywhere near us that would have been convenient for me to even try out.  Lo and behold, last October I learned that they were opening one about 5 miles from my house.  Score!  She spoke so highly of it that I had to go in and check it out.  Since the gym was still being built, they had a small storefront where they were meeting potential clients and signing them up.
I felt at ease when I first walked in and chatted with one of the new owners about the gym, how the workouts were, and their concept.  It was more than I really wanted to pay for a membership, so I went home and thought it out.
Finally, I made the decision to go ahead and sign up so I could get their “founder’s rates”.  They would not be charging us until the gym was officially open for business, so if I changed my mind or decided it wasn’t for me I could cancel and not be out any money.  It just made sense so that if I ended up liking it, I had those lower rates locked in.
They had a “demo day” in December so I went to that at one of their other locations.  It was shorter than what a normal workout would be, but I enjoyed it enough to want to come back.
What is this gym I’m speaking of?
That’s right… Orangetheory Fitness!
The first couple of weeks they hosted a boot camp because the gym looked like this -
They were waiting for the equipment to be delivered.  I’m glad they did this because it got my body used to moving and working hard again.  I appreciated it once the equipment arrived and we began having semi-normal classes…I wasn’t nearly as sore as I could have been!
If you’ve never been to an Orangetheory Fitness, it’s like a circuit workout.  You spend about 25-30 minutes on the treadmill, doing a variety of different speeds and inclines.  Then you move into the weight room where you use dumbbells, Bosu balls, TRX straps, the rowing machines, and your own body weight to do different exercises.
You wear a heart rate monitor and try to keep your heart rate in different ‘zones’ throughout the workout.  Typically you want 25-35 minutes in the “green zone” which is your fat and carb burning zone, and about 12-20 minutes in the “orange” and “red” zones, which is your after burn.  They have TV monitors in the gym so you can check to see how you’re doing throughout the workout and they pull up your summary when the workout is complete.  They also send you an email shortly after class so you can keep track of how you’re doing.
Aside from running I have never really enjoyed working out.  I’m the type of person who needs structure, so having a trainer tell me exactly what I need to do helps me to focus on my goals.  I’ve never had this in a gym environment so it’s definitely something different that I have absolutely enjoyed.
The staff at my location is amazing.  We have wonderful trainers and the front desk staff and owners couldn’t be nicer.  They’re very personable, which I never experienced at the other gyms I have tried going to.  And they’re dog friendly…how can I not love that?
After having so many discouraging experiences at other gyms, I was very hesitant to try another gym, but I’m so glad I took that leap.  Every day the workouts are different so it’s fun to challenge myself to push a little harder.  I also joined their 6 week weight loss challenge, which I’ve never done one before so I thought “What can it hurt?”  I go to class 4-5 times a week and actually look forward to getting to the gym.  I’ve met some great and inspiring people in my classes so it’s always good to get a great workout in with them (even though we don’t talk during the workout because we’re too busy moving!)
All locations offer a free session if you’re curious about it and want to check them out.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  It can be a great cross training for running or other sports – my gym actually has a youth block for kids who are participating in team sports.
No, I am not being compensated for writing this.  I truly love my gym and I’m glad that I’m doing this for myself.  It’s fun to #GetOutAndGo with my workouts :)
Have you ever been to Orangetheory Fitness?  What’s your gym of choice?
Until next time,
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