Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lessons From Orangetheory Classes

I'm doing half-marathon training differently this time by incorporating Orangetheory workouts into my routine. I've learned a lot about attending such coaching sessions, and these lessons can also apply to other fitness classes. So what has Orangetheory taught me?



  • If you want to get stronger, up the weight a little every once in a while. Go a little further, a little faster. In the beginning I would use the 8- or 10-pound weights or medicine balls, but now I try to see if I can go heavier, like 15 to 20 pounds, for exercises such as lunges and squats. I can always go back down if it's too much. At the same time, don't struggle with weights that are obviously too much for you. Ask a trainer for help when you can't figure out the right weight for you.
  • It's not a race. When I first started I would rush to do rep after rep without really giving myself a break or really letting myself feel anything. Remember to take your time.
  • Ask for another demo when you need it. The trainers are there to help; use them as a resource. Let trainers know when you have an injury; they will show you a modification.
  • Watch what you eat before class. This is common sense, but I keep making this mistake. I am hungry every minute of the day and I make not-so-great choices when I am. It's not fun at all to feel like you're going to puke after an all-out pace on the treadmill. 
  • Show up a little early if you care about where you start. I like to get the running out of the way before weights, but if I am not early, the treadmills fill up and I'll get stuck on the rower or in the weight room. It's all mental -- you do the same exercises -- but I want to run first. 
  • Instructors matter. All of the trainers have been great, but some motivate me more than others. My enjoyment partly depends on their energy level, their playlist, or their personality. By now I know what to expect from the trainers at my local studio so I plan accordingly.
  • Stay for the stretching. Some people leave as soon as the session ends, but I highly recommend the stretching afterward. I would even add more when you get home or before you leave. 
  • Sign up for class ahead of time. Some sessions regularly fill up. You'll guarantee a spot in class and will mentally prepare yourself. Plus, if you sign up you're more likely to go in order to avoid losing a session because of a late cancel. Make time for fitness!
  • Make friends. While you don't have to chat the entire time, smile, nod or high-five your fellow Orangetheory members. You're all in this together!
  • The only session you regret is the one you missed. On days when I didn't feel like working out yet made it to class, I've always been grateful to myself for getting there. 
You might also be interested to read my thoughts during my first Orangetheory class. Have you tried Orangetheory? What did you think?