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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Flo Knows

Flo knows that my favorite blue box is actually a blue cooler bag. Flo knows that when I get home from work I’m tired and want something healthy and tasty ready to eat.  Flo knows I’m price conscious and I care about value.  Well to tell you the truth Flo doesn’t know anything about me personally.  I bet you are wondering who is Flo.

I read about Flo a few weeks ago on Jen’s List. I’ve found more than a few great things on Jen’s List over the years. I’m sure I’ll write about those finds over time.

The post read:

Affordable Gourmet Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Meal Delivery

Ever wondered why there isn’t a great meal delivery that’s both Vegan AND Gluten-free? Well, there is, right here in LA and Orange County. Chef Florence brings her skills and recipes as personal chef to the stars right into your home with her meal delivery service, FoodFlo. You’ll save time and feel fantastic with her organic, vegan, gluten-free meals made with local farmer’s market ingredients. 1 week of meals starts at $125 including delivery. A great way to shape up after the holidays!

The menu looked delicious and the price seemed fair. Vegan, gluten free, have I gone off the deep end.  No. I haven’t. I don’t have any known gluten sensitivities (I’ve never been tested for it) and I’m not vegan, but I have to say I feel SO MUCH better when I eat this way.   I know $125 isn’t cheap but I could easily spend that grocery shopping at Whole Foods and then still have to do all the prep and cooking myself (I love Whole Foods by the way).  Also, I’ve seen other meal delivery services and know this is a good deal. I guess it is all about picking your vices.

When my blue bag arrived I was like a kid in the candy store. My biggest problem was everything looked so good and the meals all sounded interesting. I had to do everything in my power not to open each and every container and sample them all at once.

Some of the items in this week's delivery

Some of the items in this week’s delivery

Today I received my second delivery.  I ate the Vegetable Enchiladas with Mole Salsa/Green Beans and Herbs for dinner.  Yum is all I can say.  I’m excited to try the other entrees this week and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to think about packing my lunch or making my dinner.

So if you want to know my favorite blue box, that is it.  Sorry Tiffany you just don’t do it for me.

Tucked in Corners Make Me Claustrophobic

I recently tried Shape House Los Angeles on Broadway @ 10th Street in Santa Monica (there is also a Larchmont location).  The only thing I knew about it was it was an “urban sweat lodge.”  I didn’t do any research and I did not know anyone who had been before. I like to sweat and I like to try new things so I figured I’d give it a try.  I bought a coupon on Yelp thereby getting me the sweat session at a discount.  I didn’t bother to read the reviews.  I booked my appointment and I showed up excited to sweat away stress and toxins.

Upon walking in the door I felt like I entered a “boutique hotel.” I think it was the color scheme – orange and gray.  The relaxation room that I had the option to use after was directly in front of the reception area.  The chairs didn’t look very relaxing and I found it a bit odd that from where I was sitting I was staring directly into the relaxation room.  That being said, the woman I saw in the relaxation room did look very sweaty.

The women who worked at Shape House were nice and the facility very clean.  One showed me where to change into my sweats (I brought my own but  I believe they also had them available for a fee).  Dressed in sweats, socks, and a long sleeve shirt I was shown into my little area.  There was a curtain surrounding a special bed and a private TV mounted on the wall in front of the bed.  I was instructed to get in the bed which had some plastic and metallic like material to wrap around my body.  This is when I began to freak out inside.  I hate sleeping in a bed with a flat sheet firmly tucked in to the corners.  In my own bed I don’t use a flat sheet and the first thing I do at hotels is untuck the sheet. Sleeping bags forget about them – totally out of the question. I need to be able to move freely.  So now I’m laying with my arms by my sides feet firmly enclosed and material on top of me.  It is warm and it proceeds to get warmer.  I’m given headphones and a remote. The TV has ROKU so there is no shortage of things to watch.  Mentally I’m talking myself through my distress and trying to distract myself with the programming on TV.  I decide to watch a documentary on Chipotle – the Mexican fast casual (I learned that phrase) restaurant. It was interesting and motivating in a way.  In my head I was thinking that all this sweating would definitely earn me some Mexican food. (I also learned that Chipotle is an interesting and socially responsible company).   Each time I took my arm out of the bed to drink water (they provide endless supply of alkaline water) I was calmed by the cooler air temperature and reminded that I could leave at any time.  However, there was a part of me that was determined to overcome my phobia and see how long I could stay in a mummy like position.  When I started the woman explained the bed would only get hotter and that she would be by often to check on me and offer me more water.  In the 45 minutes I was in the bed, I drank 3 Liters of water.  I got sweaty, very sweaty.  I never felt relaxed as I was trying to talk myself through the experience.  I didn’t last with my entire body wrapped under all the material. I had to keep my arms out as I was too hot and felt too confined.  You know what it is like when your in a hot tub and so hot that you decide to sit on the edge but still keep your legs in the water, that is what taking my arms out was doing for me.  When the session ended I wasn’t sad.  I went into the relaxation room to cool off and was treated to more water and delicious orange slices.  I kept thinking of the movie Cocoon but I think that is only because I felt like I had been in one for the past 45 minutes.  While I do like to sweat I realize sweating while exercising is my preferred method.  Second would be going to a spa where I can walk in and out of a steam room or sauna at my leisure.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went.  I love to try new things. Shape House LA just isn’t for me. If you go or if you’ve been, I’d love to hear about your experience.


I’ve Got The Power


I swear every New Year I think about how I should do more yoga. I also think about how I want to do pull ups but that hasn’t happened and I think I’m over pull ups.  Anyhow, this year after hearing my friend Carly rave about Corepower I decided to give it a try.  She told me there was a class called yoga sculpt.  Sculpt, YES, I need a lot of sculpting.  I was a bit intimidated so I enlisted the support of a good friend.  My friend was up for trying something different.  She does a lot of yoga but Corepower was new to her  We arrived and managed to squeeze our mats so they were next to one another.  We sat down on our mats and began to take it in our surroundings.  At one point before class started she looked over at me and said, “I feel like I’m in the movie This is 40.” Sadly I’m closer to 40 then I am 30 and I got what she meant.  We were flanked by beautiful young women (this place draws a UCLA crowd) scantily clad in sports bras and short shorts. Although I could say age and having birthed a child were my excuse, truth is I never looked like them. As if they were not enough to distract us, in walks a tall, dark, and very chiseled man shirtless and in what I’ll call hot pants.  At this point I was feeling amused.  Regardless of how the class turned out, I knew I’d have some material and visual candy.

Class started and the teacher, Marxel, cranked up the heat and turned up the music.  We did a series of yoga poses and the pace was fast.  Before I knew it I was dripping with sweat and loving every second of it.  I was no longer concerned with the people around me, I was more concerned with myself. OMG I was getting my butt kicked.  Push ups, mountain climbers, up dog, down dog, chaturanga push up, was there no mercy.  Sweat was coming out of pores I didn’t know I had and I felt winded – sprints winded.   I wasn’t the only one sneaking in an extra child’s pose here and there.  Anyhow, about 3/4 of the way through class we picked up our weights (I stuck with 3lb weights) and incorporated them into the movements.  You’d be surprised how heavy those weights begin to feel.

Although I was glad when we took our final savasana, I felt great.  In fact so great that I decided every weekend when possible I would go to Corepower Yoga Sculpt. I’ve now been 4 times.  I’m hooked. Marxel was out of town one of the weekends and there was a different instructor. She was great in her own way but not as hard.  Rumor has it (according to friends and other people I hear talking after class) Marxel is the hardest teacher.  I’m not telling you this so you’ll be that much more impressed with me or think I’m more insane then you once thought. My point is that each instructor is different so give it a try and see for yourself. If you don’t like to work out and don’t like to sweat then don’t go.  But if you are up for a challenge (and have consulted with a physician and are ok to exercise) give it a try.

And if you ever want someone to go with on a Sunday morning, let me know.