Lisa Thornbury: Party Mummy


Orangetheory Fitness: A Workout for Those Who Make Exercise Excuses

"Orange Ya Glad To Get Your Mojo Back?"

Orangetheory Fitness: A Workout for Those Who Make Exercise Excuses

Over the past few years, I lost my mojo and gained 20 pounds in its place. With a family reunion coming up this spring, I want to get back in shape, feel energized, and get my mojo back. I’m still in shape. Well, “a” shape, anyway. Think ‘soft pear.’ My clothes don’t fit and I’m tired all the time. I’m frustrated with myself for letting it get to this point.

  • I blame my busy life.
  • I blame working from home and sitting for hours on end on my rear end. 
  • I blame my lack of self-control. I bought three boxes of Girl Guide cookies to be a good neighbour. I put them in the freezer to stop myself from eating them. Guess what? Frozen chocolate mint cookies are delicious. 
  • I blame my inability to make myself a priority. Every single thing, big or small, real or imagined, takes priority over exercise. 

I understand that if I exercise consistently and effectively, I’ll lose weight, tone my flabby pear bits, and get my energy back. I understand, but I haven't been doing it. 

I tried working out at home and it went well. For four days. Then I got bored. When the instructor shouted at me from my computer screen to “really lean into the stretch” I stretched out on the floor and felt something sticky. My floor was filthy. I made a mental note to mop. I just laid there, thinking about how much it would cost to hire a cleaning lady. Then I reached for my phone and texted a friend to ask for the name of her cleaning company. That’s a fun little peek into my attention span.

The fact is, I NEED to work out in public. My competitive streak and fear of looking lazy means if there are eyes on me, I’ll stay focused until the end of the workout. When the opportunity to be an Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) Ambassador came up, I was on it like me on a burrito on a Friday night. In other words, I was all over it.

One of the best things about OTF for me is that if I bail, I pay. Clearly, I need that since I’m an expert bailer. Let’s just say, if your boat is sinking, you’ll want me on board. Class sizes are limited to 24 participants per class, so you need to pre-book your sessions (by phone or online via the app). If you don’t show up, or cancel 24-hours prior, you pay. Since I’m frugal, I will not bail. When I’m feeling well-rested and energetic, I book my next week of classes. Then, by the time I'm feeling lazy and busy, it’s too late. I have to show up. I fall for it every time. 

Also, I do better when I have a goal. I’m flying home to B.C. for a wedding in May. Not to outshine the bride (impossible, you’re beautiful Robyn) but it would be nice if the family and friends I haven’t seen for years said: "Wow, what has she done to herself?” But in a good way. And I can reply, “Body by OTF and lots of hard work!” I might bow or just flex my arm muscles and wink. I haven’t worked it all out yet. Maybe I won’t wow anyone. The only person I really want to wow is myself. 

I’ve been working out at OTF for nearly a month. This crushes my record of four days. Yes, four days of classes is usually how long I last before I quit and move on to something else. Or onto long periods of doing absolutely nothing. After my first OTF workout I could barely lower myself onto the toilet the next day. My husband heard me whimper, “It burns...” from the bathroom. He was relieved to hear I was referring to my hamstrings. 

My coach suggested some stretches to do at home. The OTF coaches (who have biceps for days... #want) have my back. I like the idea of instructors keeping an eye on me and my heart rate because, and this is no joke, I sometimes worry because of my age, my history with high BP, and the fact that my fitness level is in the toilet, that I could actually die.

Good news, I'm still alive! And I'm feeling pretty damn great. The people working out alongside me are friendly and fun to chat with (when I can actually breathe enough to form words). They’re also helpful and self-deprecating — the lady with the blonde ponytail basically sprinting on the treadmill as I lumber along is a total rock star. But when I told her that she said, “Oh, I’ve been doing this for a while. You’ll get there.” And she made me feel like I could actually get there. She also told me she’s been at OTF for a year and a half and she loves it more now than ever. I'm SO excited to hear that. 

Here are a few things I’ve learned about Orangetheory Fitness so far (I'll be posting tips I'm learning along the way on Twitter and Instagram too!)

1. This workout is for everybody and all fitness levels!

I was concerned about keeping up. What if I made a fool of myself? What if I hit the “orange heart rate zone” just by bending over to tie up my shoes? I needn’t have worried. Nobody cares what level you’re at. They’re too busy trying to crush their own workout to notice what you’re doing. 

2. Orangetheory Fitness is an energizing group personal training program, unlike any I've ever experienced.

A lot of my friends have personal trainers. They get great results, but it’s way out of my price range. OTF is more expensive than your run-of-the-mill gym membership, but WAY less expensive than a personal trainer.

3. This 60-minute full body workout is backed by science.

The workout is broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Skilled coaches guide us through each session. We use a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training, and free weights. I burn an average of 500-1,000 calories per workout, including after-burn. 

4. Previous to OTF, the only “after-burn” I experienced was post burrito.

LOL! Orangetheory’s heart-rate-monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect — more energy, visible toning, and extra calorie burn for up to 36-hours post-workout. You continue to burn calories AFTER your workout!

Everyone in the class is equipped with a heart-rate monitor to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout. Your results are broadcasted live on TV monitors throughout the studio. Don’t worry, it’s not embarrassing. It’s highly motivating. 

5. When I walk into the studio I'm greeted by name.

How nice is that? Another special touch I appreciate is that I can leave my phone at the front desk. If my kids' school should happen to call, they'll answer for me. As the parent of a child with medical concerns, this gives me peace of mind, so I can relax and focus on my workout. 

Only a few weeks in and I’ve already lost weight and inches. But what I’ve lost doesn’t nearly compare with what I’ve gained. I feel happy. I feel confident. I feel more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt again. I feel inspired to keep burning! When my family asks, “Orange ya glad you tried Orangetheory?” This "too busy for exercise, chronic bailer" says, YES! 

Orangetheory Fitness is expanding its Greater Toronto Area studios to 11 in 2016 and adding another ten in 2017 and memberships can be bought now. Come try it with me!