Orange Is The New … Workout

Friday morning I tried the brand new Orangetheory Fitness  in Brentwood.   I was told to arrive 15 minutes early to get the heart rate monitor set up.  This meant arriving at 5:15am.  What was I thinking?

Parking was a breeze.   The check in process was easy. Sign a waiver, get a moist heart rate strap (don’t worry it isn’t residual sweat…they wet the straps to make it less abrasive on your skin and it helps facilitate the Bluetooth transmission to the PODS) and put around your chest.  Snap on a Polar monitoring component.

Here is a run down of my 60 minute class (I may have missed a few details):
Minutes 1 – 10:
On and off the rowing machine.  Doing short bursts on the machine then getting up and doing full body squats.  What am I doing wrong. My feet are getting stuck when I try and get out of the rowing machine.  My heart rate (there are mounted flat panels with your name and % of exertion listed) is not going up.  I woke up at 4:45am for this?  The instructor needs to explain more up front and walk us through how to set the machine, proper rowing technique etc.

Minutes 11 – 30:
On the floor doing two different circuits.  The first involves TRX and burpees.  I hate burpees (but I know they are good for me).  What am I doing wrong. Instructor is saying heart rate should be in the orange zone.  I’m still nowhere near there and I can tell by the monitor other people are getting their heart rates up.  The second circuit is with dumbbells – chest fly, skull crushers, and then abs.  Okay, I know I’m getting a workout but maybe I’m just flat out bad at this class. Do I like it? Am I glad I came.  Hmm … Still not sold.

Minutes 31 – 56:
Treadmill time.  I can do this.  I can run on the treadmill.  We do a set of intervals.  Medium pace for two minutes , faster pace for one minute , fastest pace for one minute, walk.   Now I’m getting it.  My heart rate is 96%.  Awesome. Yay me I must really be doing a great job.  I can’t remember all the different combinations we did on the treadmill. I was too out of breath to think about it.  This is good.  I’m panting and dripping with sweat.  This was a great idea. I’m so glad I got up.

Minutes 57 – 60:
The moment of truth.  Our stats are put up on the screen and we are led through some stretches.  I’m too distracted by the data.  I have real data about my workout in the form of a bar chart showing how many minutes I spent in each of the zones and total calories burned.  I’m kind of bummed by the calorie count – 404 calories.  Seriously is that all.  A tad depressing seeing some of the men burned more than 700.

The teacher explains what the results mean and I’m asking a bunch of questions.  Mainly I want to know how  I optimize my workout in order to burn the most calories.  Answer, Orangetheory (spend your time in the Orange Zone).   Interesting so maybe I shouldn’t try and run so fast?

I leave class and within a few hours I have the results of my workout emailed to me.  This is good.  I now have a benchmark and you better believe I will be back again this week to beat my results.

With the studio just opening on Friday, I expect it to take a bit of time for the instructors to find their rhythm.  One thing I hope they add ASAP is towel service.

So if you are looking for a new workout to try Orangetheory is it and they have over 400 locations.

 

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I Woke Up at 5am on Purpose

I know I’m nuts.  I’m okay with it. Last week I ran into Raphael Verela, owner and creator of Circuit Works in Los Angeles. I’d been to Circuit Works a few times in 2009 and decided it wasn’t for me.  Raphael told me a lot had changed since 2009 and I should give it another shot.  I told him I would and then learned the only class I could make that he was teaching was 5:30am on Tuesday at the Main St. Santa Monica location.  When I give someone my word I stick to it.  I had a bit of anxiety on Monday night. Why in the world would I wake up at 5am on purpose.  I wake up early but 5:00 for some reason seemed like the middle of the night. When my alarm went off I think some expletives left my mouth.  Getting from Pacific Palisades to Main St Santa Monica that time of day was a breeze (10 minutes door to door/no speeding).  When I arrived I was warmly greeted by Raphael and happy to see there were other suckers ready to get their butts kicked along with me.

The class flew by as we went from 2 minute intervals on the treadmill to various strength stations on the floor.  The class had changed a lot since I was last there and I really enjoyed myself.  My idea of enjoying myself might be different from yours. When I work out I want to feel like I’m getting my butt kicked and if I’m paying for a class then I want to feel like I’m being pushed and challenged.  Raphael provided the right amount of motivation and helped keep me in the moment.  I guarantee you I would never do 95% of what we did in class on my own.  

This morning I woke up a little sore but that is a good thing.  I’ll definitely be spending more early mornings at Circuit Works.  5:00am wake up is early but seriously the benefit and endorphins I get from working out make up for it.  Besides with my schedule if I don’t work out in the morning it won’t happen.

If you want a challenge and are easily bored I urge you to try Circuit Works.  Oh and they have classes throughout the day in both Santa Monica and Brentwood so no need to be a rooster unless you have to.

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My Favorite Type of Food

Didn’t blog last week 😦 Lame excuse but work is keeping me busy.

My favorite type of food is Mexican Food. Perhaps it is because I was born and raised in San Diego. I don’t know. But I could eat Mexican food for most every meal. Life is definitely better with chips, salsa, & guacamole.

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Here are a few of my favorite places to go:

Los Angeles Area:

Lares – 2909 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA

What I love about Lares:

– Mole Sauce I can eat by the spoonful

– Mariachis (I love Mariachis)

Monte Alban – 11929 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA

What I love about Monte Alban:

– My 7 year old son thinks this is the greatest restaurant in LA, he refers to it as “Oaxaca”. There is never an argument about going here.

– Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad)

Tortilla Republic – 616 N. Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood, CA

What I love about Tortilla Republic:

– Great space, cool decor, lively atmosphere

– Ceviche

– Mole Enchiladas (yes I love Mole)

– Margarita Bar with lots of delicious choices

San Diego Area:

Tony’s Jacal – Solana Beach, CA

What I love about Tony’s:

– Family owned and operated since 1946.  My family started going there in 1980 and went weekly throughout my childhood.

– Amazing cabbage salad

– Nachos that will blow your mind

Some people may tell you Fidel’s is better. I strongly disagree if you are judging based on food.

 

Hey Lulu, meet Will…ChillbyWill

I’ve been salivating over my friend Christina’s (and her business partner Corrina Wall) new line of workout gear, Chillbywill, for a few weeks now.  You can only imagine how excited I was to check out her trunk show at Burn60 on Saturday morning.  I’d seen a pair of pants (New Power Crop with skull insert) I wanted on her Instagram feed @chillbywill.   Saturday morning these pants became mine.  Upon returning home from my workout, I decided to put my new pants on.  Even though I’d already worked out my afternoon would be spent at the park playing handball and practicing baseball, thereby justifying my choice in workout clothes. Okay who am I kidding if I could I would wear workout clothes all the time. After all I do live on the Westside of Los Angeles and have a child.   Isn’t workout attire the default uniform?  All joking aside,  my new pants fit me like a glove.  The material sucked me in (this is a good thing) and they were beyond comfortable (not sucked me in like Spanx where I get a stomachache). The pocket on the side was also a great place for my phone and keys.  Running around these pants performed well (meaning they stayed in place, the waist didn’t fall down, etc).  I can’t wait to buy a few more pairs.  Speaking of buying them, you can order them online http://store.chillbywill.com/.

By the way the picture above is the picture I saw on Instagram.  Those are my new pants but that is not my body.  And if you don’t like skulls don’t worry there are other styles to choose from.

Show Me The Waze

We already know I’m a late bloomer. It is 2014 and I just started a blog.  What I’m about to profess my new found love for is not new, but thankfully it’s become a new addition to my life.  I’m talking about Waze.  If you don’t already use the Waze app you are depriving yourself of time.  Here are a few reasons why I love Waze.
– I made it to Bel Air from Santa Monica during rush hour in 32 minutes. It look me down streets I never knew existed.  The only warning was at one point I had to cross Sunset without a light.

– Driving down Lincoln to Washington is no longer something I do. Waze showed me another way and an added benefit was I saw an entirely new neighborhood.

– Before I drive somewhere, I know what I’m getting in to.   If there is traffic and it is going to take awhile, Waze knows.

Waze is more than a navigational service. I know how to get from my house to my office.  However, I still check with Waze every morning and evening before heading out so I know which route will get me there the fastest.

Is there an app you can’t live without? If so, fill me in.  In the meantime I hope your driving experience gets Waze better.

All Hail To The Queen

It has to be my dad’s fault. He was hairy. I’m talking full on back hair sweater style.  I DETEST my own body hair.  Laser, electrolysis, waxing, planing, you name it, I’ve done it, do, tried it, or want it.  In my quest for hairlessness, I’ve gone to a lot of different places. I’d like to think I’m some what of an authority given my personal experience.  I will tell you, Queen Bee Salon and Spa, is the place to go for your waxing needs.  With Spring around the corner and Summer not far behind bathing suit season is almost upon us.  And lets face it razor burn is gross and au natural is not making a come back anytime soon.

 The owner and Queen Bee herself, Jodi Shays, is one of my favorite people.  Besides her expertise in hair removal, she is funny,  has a great sense of style, stocks fabulous products, and has a great staff.   I’ve contemplated laser but the thought of not having a reason to see Jodi is a deterrent in itself.  In addition to a fabulously charming Culver City location, Jodi has opened a second hive in Brentwood a stones throw from the country mart. This is now my go to location. While it lacks the cute outdoor patio found in the Culver location, I am still overcome with a sense of zen the moment I walk through the door.  

If you need more than my word, check out some of what the beauty experts have to say about the Queen Bee.

Knead Me

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Not to make you barf but every day is Valentine’s Day for me (lol).  However, I did use Valentine’s Day to score a deal at one of my favorite places, The Massage Place.  I love getting massages.  I’m definitely the person who goes in for a cheap manicure/pedicure and comes out with a $100 receipt because I continually say yes when asked if I want 5 minutes more.  The point of telling you this is that I love massages so much I’m willing to even get one when seated in a spa pedicure chair with my right hand contorted across my left because the woman doesn’t have enough room to come to my right side.  If only I could control myself and realize I’d be so much better off if I stuck to the mani/pedi and left the massaging to the experts.

Speaking of experts, I frequent the Massage Place Pacific Palisades location but prior to their opening I’d go to Montana Ave.  I’ve been getting massages at the Massage Place for years now.  It is convenient, affordable, and I’ve never been disappointed.  I like deep tissue/sports massages.  Oswaldo and Ash are my go tos but in all honesty I’ve never had a bad experience. The hours are great – my favorite time to go is Sunday night at 8pm.  There are no spa like frills but if you want a great massage this is the place. I would be shocked if you didn’t find a therapist or too you love.

Regardless of what you feel about Valentine’s Day, heart yourself and take advantage of the special 3 1-hour massages for $126. If that is too scary of a commitment then buy a single massage for $47 (gratuity not included). I promise the ~$65 you spend (massage + tip) will be worth it and much more satisfying then the $1/minute charged by the nail salon.

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