I quit going to the gym two years ago.
Traditional gyms, like Fitness Edge did not do it for me. For starters, as a fitness professional for the last 10 years who is a stickler for form and stability, I can say with authority that the trainers employed there are lazy and unskilled. Sorry if that offends anyone, but I only speak the truth of what I witness. Seeing this incompetence around me every time I worked out made me angry, which is not the emotion I was going for when I entered the gym.
Also, DESPITE being a fitness professional, I found a way to wimp out on my workouts. Not terribly promising for progress.
I needed a good push from a force outside myself.
Enter my two favorites dressed in orange!
Orangetheory Fitness in Fairfield, CT and JoyRide Cycling Studio in Westport, CT both kick my hiney out of it's lazy comfort zone to such a point that at times I feel beyond the point no return (please see previous post "Not Dead Yet" to see what I am talking about).
Both offer a great product for a premium price, which I find is worth every penny as it is giving me the results I desire while keeping me motivated for my own personal workouts in between class days.
The two are very different in method and philosophy while equal in encouraging members to believe in themselves and go higher, which for me makes it a winning combo.
At Orangetheory, heart rate monitors are at the center of this high energy circuit training workout that includes a treadmill, water rower and a weight room with free weights and TRX straps. There is a big screen monitor in the stuido that shows a box for each participant with their heart rate, percentage of that rate, and calories burned. The color of your square determines where you are in your exertion: Blue iswarm up/ recovery/ not doing much, Green is a base pace, Orange is your best fat burning zone (now you see where the name of the company comes from) and Red is your all out max/potential-cardiac-arrest-if-here-too-long zone.
No two workouts are ever the same, which is great and never makes it boring. The instructor splits the sold out class into two groups between the treadmills and the rowing machine or weightroom, depending on the workout of the day and verbally dictates the class to both groups. It is based on time blocks, so the instructor has many things to monitor, including the stop watch. Although the instructor is great at encouraging participants to push a little more and get in the orange, what is fun is keeping an eye on your stats and challenging yourself. At the end, there is a cool down stretch and the final results for everyone is displayed... a humbling moment at times and exciting when improvement is shown in the numbers. Later, you get an email with those stats so you can personally keep track of your progress.
JoyRide is the opposite of all of that... In the center of this incredibly hard, intense, aerobic/anaerobic workout is a spiritual, yoga-like philosophy. Cell phones and any electronic distractions are probhibited. The lights get turned down to near black and the rider is encouraged to get out of their head and into their body, leaving whatever baggage at the door for just one hour.
The instructor not only guides the class, encourges and pushes the riders, but DOES THE WHOLE RIDE WITH THEM. While talking. That part still blows me away.
There is nothing to monitor except your breath, your water intake and your attitude. If you are normally not one to perspire, you will find that you definitely need one towel if not two as you drench though the hour.
I personally want to cry or quit several times through the ride, but the energy of the instructor, the music and my fellow riders gets me back out of the saddle. To date I cannot fully keep up, but each week I get a little stonger. Despite my internal despair, it really is a JOY to do the class and live to ride another day!
Both workouts, in combination with my daily MELT discipline have been transforming my body, mind and focus. One thing I have noticed that significantly has improved is my singing. Along with having more energy through a gig, I find there is more power and range within me than I ever had. That was an unexpected and cool bonus!
Obviously these workouts are not for everyone. My boyfriend is a great example. I had given him an Orangetheroy membership for his birthday, thinking it would be a fun couples activity and a way for him to get in shape for upcoming soccer season. Unfortunately, he hates it. Every week he lives in a state of dread a half hour before the class all the way through to the end. He can't stand being on a treadmill and rowing machine, and lifting weights is not interesting to him. Give him a trail in the woods run or a soccer ball to chase and he will workout all day. I think we will set him free come end of the month...
I will most likely pause my membership at Orangetheory and ease off JoyRide as we enter the warm spring and summer months, as I love to be outdoors.
This year though, instead of slow walks through Black Rock or drinking Coronas on the beach, I will committ to running through Black Rock and the trails of Lake Mohegan , kayaking Long Island Sound and cross training with my TRX straps tied around a tree branch.
Thanks to the push from Orangetheory and JoyRide, I am excited and inspired to do just that.
Be sure to check out the various Orangtheory Fitness and JoyRide Cycling Studios near you and GET INSPIRED to GET MOVING out of your comfort zone!