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Back At It: OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge

I've been dying to get back to blogging for quite awhile, but I don't even know where to start. Since I've been blogging regularly, I've gotten engaged, changed jobs, bought a house which we put a lot of work into before moving, and then to top that crazy 2017 off, we got married this January. For more of

2017 than not, my weight loss/maintenance and running were lower on the priority list than I wish they were due mostly to being so busy.

About two weeks ago, after my 5th marathon I decided to get serious again about logging my food in MyFitnessPal and finally lose the 10-ish pounds that have crept back during the busyness of life, although I'd be just delighted to lose closer to 15-20. I knew that a Transformation Challenge was coming up at OrangeTheory as well.

I live in what I fee like is kind of a fitness desert. We don't have the trendy gyms and fitness studios I always see advertised and hear about from my friends in other places. But in January, a long awaited OrangeTheory Fitness opening in the area. OrangeTheory is a five zone heart rate based interval training. Without getting into the technical science, the goal is to get your heart rate in the orange zone for a least 12 minutes of the 60 minute workout. The claim is that by reaching 12 minutes in the orange zone, you maximize the 'after burn' and you will continue to burn calories over the next 36 hours. During the class, you wear either a chest strap or arm band heart rate monitor. The heart rate monitor is connected to the OrangeTheory system and there are large tv screens in the workout room that show each person's calories, heart rate, and 'Splat Points' (minutes in the orange zone).

Each class is one hour and includes treadmill, rowing, and strength training. No workout is ever repeated so you are always guaranteed a unique blend and its truly doable for any fitness level. I signed up for OrangeTheory to get some of the strength training and cross training that was lacking in my running. To be a good runner, you need to do more than run and I was looking for something I could get excited about rather than endless burpees and planks. Since the studio opened, I've been doing two classes a week at 5am. What I like most is that it's a hour of no thinking. The workout is planned and there are coaches there to guide the class through. Half of the class starts on the treads and half on the rowers and then halfway through, we switch. I thinking about what they are telling me to do that moment but I don't commit anything to memory. The weight blocks are posted on tv monitors so you can keep looking there and the coach is always telling you what pace you should be doing on the tread (base pace, push pace, or all out pace). When I leave the class, I almost never remember the workout I just did because I've focused only on what I'm doing that moment. I didn't realize until a few weeks in how much I appreciate the fact that I get a really intense physical workout and my mind is completely relaxed and left out. It's actually a really nice mental recovery.

The two month transformation challenge runs from April 2-May 28. and I thought it would be perfect to blog about. Friday morning, I weighed in and got before pictures taken. The male and female who lose the highest percentage of weight will win $1,200 each. It's fairly unlikely that will be me but it certainly wont be for lack of trying!

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