Raleigh, N.C. — Five weeks ago, I started the Orangetheory Fitness Weight-Loss Challenge. If you aren't familiar with Orangetheory, I did a feature about them when the gym moved into the Triangle area.
Workouts are one hour and broken into two sections: Treadmill training and then indoor rowing and weight training blocks.
A wireless monitor keeps track of your heart rate. The science behind the workout is known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). Throughout the hour, your heart rate will be going through five target zones. The workout involves multiple pushes or interval bursts where you work harder than normal. This helps spike that heart rate up to zones four and five. Your heart rate is supposed to be in the middle around zone three most of the workout. Those intervals pushes are supposed to create an after-burn effect that will produce a 200 to 400 calorie increase to your metabolism in the next 24-36 hours following your workout.
Orangetheory has locations in Morrisville, Chapel Hill, North Raleigh, Wake Forest and Holly Springs.
The weight-loss challenge started Jan. 14 and wraps up on Feb. 25. As part of the challenge, I've been going to Orangetheory's Wake Forest location three to four times a week. I've sweated, I've wondered what I am doing there, and I'm become kind of addicted to the workouts. Cash prizes will be awarded next weekend to the competitors who have lost the most weight.
I lost 40 pounds before I had my son, so I know I can do it. I set a goal to lose about 10 pounds this year.
Now, I'm about 3 to 5 pounds down and on the right track. I've lost inches and have noticed my clothes are fitting much looser.
Before the challenge wraps up, I wanted to do a wrap-up post about the top five things I've learned about getting fit:
1. Variety is essential - I can't stay on the treadmill for an hour. I need to change up my workout or I will get bored. Orangetheory trainers have been able to keep me motivated and focused. The hour flies by because everything is broken into smaller workout blocks.
2. Rowing machines are better when you imagine you are rowing to an island - One of my first weeks at Orangetheory, we did a 1,700 meter row - that's more than a mile. I thought I was going to die. My heart rate was probably 200 (not an exaggeration, I actually do have a naturally high heart rate). But I finished. It took forever, but I finished. Now, I actually like the rowing machine.
4. Inclines aren't that bad - I used to hate when trainers said we had to put the treadmill inclines up to 10 percent. Now that I am seeing how great my legs are looking since doing those inclines, I welcome the challenge.
4. You are probably stronger than you realize - The OTF trainers are always saying to "challenge yourself." There are a lot of exercises that, at first, I thought I would never be able to do; but I tried it anyway and, many times, got it done! I'm stronger than I thought I was and that is really nice to realize. You tend to work harder when someone is telling you push yourself and giving you encouragement.
5. Indulge within reason - You know that Nutrisystem commercial with Oprah where she says she eats bread every day? You have to find a way to work the things you love into your diet, just don't go overboard. My birthday fell in the middle of this challenge and, yes, I had cake. It was the best reward ever.
I'll be back after Feb. 27 with the names of the OTF Fitness Challenge winners and how much weight they lost.