I recently tried out my first Orangetheory Fitness class and I have to say, it is amazing! I have friends who swear by this sort of HIIT workout class (and they have the results to prove it!) so I was excited to see what it was all about and give it a go myself.
The amount of calories burned in one class is phenomenal and it’s crazy to learn a little bit more behind the science of burning fat and exercise as it keeps your body conditioned long after the workout. I mean, they say you can still burn calories after the class! Aka… burn calories while you eat? What dream did I just walk into?
It is the perfect way to make the most of a one-hour workout and since there are so many intervals, it keeps things fresh. Like most workout classes these days, it stays competitive with that loud music, dim lighted environment so you can feel motivated throughout. My secret? Sometimes when it gets tiring, I visualize that I’m in some sort of sexy fitness music better and then I muster up the energy I need to push myself a little harder and the club-like atmosphere definitely helps (haha I know, but it helps!)
Whatever you prefer, I find this particular workout to be insanely effective in pushing new limits on my workout agenda and I’m so happy to have been able to push myself through a class. I didn’t want to pass out either, so it was also a nice pat on my own back for knowing that I am decent shape if I could get through this and still feel energized!
If you are thinking about trying out a class like this though, I have some bits of advice and things I have learned from it. I do a lot of different types of exercise (especially recently) like Zumba, Pilates, cycling, and yoga but I have to say, this sort of workout takes a whole other mindset so take notes below and remember, it is definitely worth it!
It Gets You in Shape… FAST
The first class can be brutal, but the second and third are easier and by the time you get there, you already feel significantly more in shape. You can feel it AND see it. How awesome is that? You have to work harder but the results are there and it makes it totally worth it!
You Gotta Commit
When you are there, just focus. You cannot half ass these workouts. Commit to the intervals and give it the best you have. You might hate yourself for it while it’s happening but afterwards, you will for sure commend yourself for having the strength to push through it.
Stretching After Makes All the Difference
Whenever I do a HIIT class of any sorts I go home (shower of course, then basically raid the fridge like it’s my job) and I take out a yoga mat and make sure that I spend lots of time stretching out my muscles. This reduces soreness and injuries and I find generally just helps me to feel lengthening after my muscles have been worked hard.
You Sleep Like a Baby
Nothing wipes me out quite like a hard workout and I love that I sleep like a rock. No restless sleeping. My body really uses that time for recovery and it feels great.
You Notice Your Body Feels More Conditioned
Anything physical from lifting boxes around the house, carrying laundry, vacuuming to um… more fun physical activities, feel better, easier, and less strenuous. Your lazy bones attitude essentially just disappears! You feel stronger, more powerful and all around more athletic. It’s fun to see such a transformation in your body.
Water is Life
It is the cure all and your body NEEDS it after so bring a bottle… or two… or three!
Any worry or anxiety seems to disappear with the amount I sweat. It’s really phenomenal for someone like me who has struggled with anxiety my whole life.
Know Your Own Pace and Build From There
I think what deters people from HIIT classes is that they don’t know their own pace and aren’t willing to start small. You have to. Take your time getting to your goals and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t where you want to be just yet. Going too hard to where you hurt yourself is counter productive. Be aware of your own pace and strength level, injuries, or any other adjustments that need to be made and don’t worry about the noise around you. This will allow you to build up and eventually, you’ll get to where you hope to be if ya stick with it!
Comparing is Stupid (What Else is New?)
To my point above, don’t compare to what maybe more seasoned athletics, trainers, or fellow class goers are doing. You are you, they are not, leave it at that and just focus on your own goals.
Breathe is SO Important
When I played field hockey, I learned that to do well in any cardio activity, I had to learn to control my breathe. If you find that to be hard, breath out of your nose only. This will regulate it. It’s hard and can definitely feel weird and unnatural at first, but I have applied this to every cardio workout I’ve had for the last 15 years and it’s worked well for me!
Listen to Your Body
Stop when it is time to stop. Do not push yourself to the point of hurting yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. It’s pretty dang smart!