I’ve been doing Orangetheory® workouts since Boxing Day 2013 where I was only 1 of 3 people who showed up to get a head start on burning off the Christmas excess. The Islington studio was local to me and I would walk past every day curious about what this venue had been turned into now! I finally went in a few days before Christmas and booked on for my free Taster session. The class with Lisa (a trainer at the time) was fantastic. She was the hardcore no BS-type, which I appreciate. So I went back for more and recommended friends in the meantime, who went on to sign up others; some of whom were not fitness types at all but ended up loving it too.
The things that attracted me most about the workout:
- Competition. Both against yourself and others in class. Everyone is strapped up to a heart rate monitors and the ‘pod’ links to large screens in the studio. Throughout the workout you are encouraged to work in different coloured ‘zones’ – mainly in the Green aerobic ‘Fat-burning’ zone (71% – 83% of your max heart rate) and the Orange anaerobic ‘Performance’ zone (84% – 91% of your max HR)
- Results. Being able to track progress and improvements in fitness via the customised Heart Rate monitoring system and end of session reports emailed directly to your inbox
- Unpredictability. Not knowing what kind of workout you were going to walk into on the day. It kept things interesting for someone who gets bored easily. This was before all the boutique fitness studios around London really took off and so was a welcome change from the everyday gym environment where I had to motivate myself, which ultimately resulted in a lot of time faffing
- Corrections. I’m a bit of a technique freak, so I love being given these and still do. There’s always room for improvement. Better form also leads to better results and less chance of sustaining an injury. Trust me, being forced to sit still and not move much for 6 weeks will make you want to move. It’s that whole thing of having something taken away from you
- The trainers. They’re a really great bunch who all bring something different to the mix so that there’s something for everyone. The fact that most of them have been there from the start tells you a lot!
As with any new habit, consistency is key to getting the results you want. I’ve rarely had to drag myself along to one of these workouts like I had to talk myself into the gym. This was how I got myself fit again after I stopped dancing 4 times a week.
When I decided to get my Fitness Instructor and PT qualifications a couple of the trainers and managers at the studio* suggested I come on board. My initial reaction was ‘no way can I teach group classes!’. The timings of each session and having to multi-task as well as speak over a mic scared the crap out of me. But then at some point, months later, I realised that stepping out of my comfort zone (yet again this year) was the only way I was going to make any real progress – both in life and as a fitness professional. So I jumped on board and have been instructing there since early June this year.
Like anything, it really does get easier with practice, and more fun once you start feeling comfortable enough to start injecting some of your personality over the mic and connecting with members. Seeing some of the same faces over and over again is also really encouraging. One of the sessions which I thought was a bit of a disaster happened to be the one where I got the most positive feedback from. Which goes to show just how much of it is in our heads! The added bonus? My confidence is up when comes to public speaking. Sure, sometimes the words still come out faster than I can think them but you just learn to get over it, laugh at yourself and move on. You just have to keep remembering that it’s not about you! People don’t expect you to be perfect.
*The workout brand is a US brand franchised in the UK.