I am horrible at forming good habits for myself. I need outer accountability to meet my inner expectations. (On a tangent, Gretchen Rubin calls this personality The Obliger. If you want to know what you are and how to better deal with yourself, take her quiz and read her book The Four Tendencies!) I’m in constant battle with myself to exercise. I absolutely hate it. I know it’s good for me and I do generally feel better when I do it but I hate it. Therefore, I go through phases where I’m all about it and then other phases where I’m like “nope”. I feel like I look at all the #fitspo on social media and everyone is in shape and loving it. I want to punch those people in the throat. Anyone else like this?
I’ve been told, “find something you love to do and do that. You’ll stick with it”. Swimming? Nope. Biking? Nope. Running? God no. The only thing I don’t hate is walking and hiking, which is just walking in nature. I’m “ok” with strength training. I exercise because I know it’s good for me and because I want to keep fitting into a size 6 jeans. That’s about it.
As I was saying before, I have an extremely hard time keeping promises to myself. But being that I hate wasting money I thought signing up for a class that is “use it or lose it” would encourage me to go. So, I signed up for Orange Theory Fitness.
What exactly is Orange Theory Fitness?
For those of you unfamiliar, OTF is a small studio gym that conducts hour-long classes. Each class is split into 2 parts, cardio, and strength. Cardio consists of treadmill and rowing routines (1 bike and 1 strider is available for those who prefer those). Strength consists of free weights, TRX, Bosu Ball, Mini Bands, and body weight exercises. Everything is cast in orange lighting or is orange. Orange is everywhere.
Every day is a different routine focused on either Strength, Endurance, or Power but you always spend 30 minutes doing cardio and 30 minutes doing strength. You earn “splat” points which are basically every minute that you spend in the heart rate Zone #4 (aka the orange zone). The idea is that 12 minutes in the orange zone will lead to a 24-36 hour after burn or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). If you buy one of their heart rate monitors, which I recommend, you can see your heart rate up on the big screen throughout the class. At the end of each class, they email you a detailed report of your workout:
The classes are great! The music is upbeat, I enjoy the owners and the coaches, and the workouts are always different. I especially enjoy the strength exercises. The workouts are good for all fitness levels but I will say that if you are just starting out, it could be pretty intimidating. The coaches are so nice and offer all sorts of modifications to the exercises. They show you how to do each move but don’t always have time to come and correct you on your form. The workouts are great for old or young, men or women.
So, why did I decide to quit?
- I got that “feeling” of dread every time I looked at my calendar for the month trying to figure out when I would be able to go. Working full time and the kids’ schedule made it hard for me to find a spare hour and a half even 4x a month. Sad.
- I got bored of going. I know it sounds crazy because the classes are all different but just the thought of that treadmill…
- An hour-long class is hard. When I first started and when I was doing the 8x a month I was constantly sore and hurting. I’m pretty sure I’ve injured my hamstrings (high hamstring tendinopathy) and it hurts to run or bend over for that matter, so I power walk on an incline mostly. I’m not sure this is helping things.
- We have a very good home gym. We have a treadmill, trainers for our bicycles and Free weights, and Scott just bought a rower.
- I could save some money.
- My body needed a break.
I must have contemplated quitting for 6 months before I finally did. I was actually scared to go in and say “I would like to cancel”. What if they asked, “Why?”. Being a people pleaser, this really scared me. I looked into “freezing” my account because I thought maybe I just needed a break from it. But that costs $15/mo. I was paying ~$70 for the 4x a month plan (which I had dropped down to from the 8x a month plan). To me, it didn’t make financial sense at the package rate I was paying. So, I gathered up my cajones and canceled. For the record, the staff gave me no beef about it, I just said I wanted to try something different for awhile. In the end, it isn’t OTF’s fault and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. I am in a fitness rut. Going to a class 4x a month should be no big deal. But it was the ONLY exercise I was doing outside of hiking.
What am I going to do?! How do I get motivated? How am I going to incorporate some accountability? I know I need my workouts to be shorter. I need them to be easier on my body. I need to heal my hamstrings. I need them to be easily accessible.
What about apps? I’ve tried SworkIt (free), Nike Training Club (free), Tone it Up ($15/mo), and iFit ($15/mo it goes with my treadmill). I like apps. I like the flexibility and the exercises are always different. I can do it at home. I don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings if I want to cancel and try something new. Ok, this could work.
Does your fitness journey sound similar to mine? How do you stay motivated? How do you stay accountable? Do you use apps? Let me know! We can be “I hate working out” buddies!