Tag Archives: Fitness

An Afternoon with Orange Theory

I didn’t manage to get a decent photo of my Orange Theory gym last week when I was in class; only many many videos that I could save and watch for later. I mentioned back in 2016 that I had wanted to work on my health and get in better shape. I wasn’t always consistent and earlier this year I definitely went off the rails and abandoned my workouts and exercising regimen altogether. It wasn’t a good feeling and even worse, I started to feel unhappy in my life about it. My daily struggle and reality is that I’m not going to be able to make time for this every day, but if I don’t do it daily, can I do a little bit instead? Can I make up for it in another way whether that’s drinking more water, cutting out sweets and unhealthy snacks, or eating better at work or during my own meals? The answer to all of the above is yes!

My work was celebrating a “Wellness Week” last week and as a part of this they were offering up the opportunity to go to Orange Theory. I didn’t know too much about it other than the fact that two of my team members loved it and did it regularly. Since I’d only ever done Soul Cycle, I wondered if it would be like that. Some said it was a less “culty” Crossfit. Sounded appealing enough to me – sign me up!

It had been awhile since I had done anything this strenuous and I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even read up on Orange Theory (very unlike me!) How did I prepare? No sugary Chestnut Praline latte at Starbucks that day – only making sure that I had breakfast and lunch and at least a bottle of water before I went off to class. I stood in a room with 11 of my coworkers – all of us extremely nervous since I think the majority of us had never taken a class before. Before we went in, we strapped a monitor to our chests (touching our skin, near our heart and underneath our sports bra – if you were a female) Then there’s me, “Oh, I’m not wearing a sports bra – just a regular one!” It all worked out. I do this all the time, clearly.

The class was supposed to be an hour, but it felt so much longer than that. I don’t know exactly how long we did everything at each interval, but I know the first half of it was just running. During the run, based on your comfort level, you would adjust things like speed and incline to give you a challenge. Surprisingly enough, this was the part that I enjoyed the most! Elementary, middle school, high school – I never liked running, but when you’re on a treadmill and you make that choice for yourself along with a pretty good playlist, it feels like you can do anything.

After the run, we switched to the rowing machine and went back and forth between this and the weight station. This was the most challenging for me because the movement between was inconsistent. Even though I personally felt energized by the run, my body was tired. My limbs weren’t working the way I thought they would after this. At one point, one of our exercises in the weight station involved holding a weight above our stomach and moving our legs up and down while lying on the ground. Almost immediately, I felt my legs seize up. This was something that I did all of the time at home in my routines, but now my legs had completely locked up. I think at one point, I looked at my next exercise and the time left on the clock and just decided to lay back on the ground. I was done and that was okay.

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So here are my final thoughts:

  • I’ll give any class a shot. There are so many different ones out there and I knew immediately that Soul Cycle wasn’t for me, but Orange Theory was actually much more enjoyable! I would definitely do it again especially if it was a benefit offered by my company. ;)
  • Working out with your coworkers isn’t weird. It might even almost be better than being in a room full of strangers because…solidarity!
  • For two days after Orange Theory, my body was extremely bloated. It was like my body went through a bit of a shock because I hadn’t done something that intense in quite some time and it was storing water for days. Next time, I’ll likely prepare my body for something like that by being more active in the days leading up to the big workout.
  • Even though you’re able to see everyone’s numbers and what your peers are doing, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is different and you can’t really compare yourself to anyone else in that room. It’s not even a competition.
  • The best part about this was that I didn’t realize how strong I was. Using an 8-pound weight wasn’t easy for me and it was the lightest one on the scale of all the weights, but it was more than I thought I could do in the first place. I completely surprised even myself doing the workout and I think walking away with that feeling was the best part of my week. I didn’t know I could run that long and not hate it. I had never used a rowing machine. Everything was a challenge, but it made me want to be better.
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Exercise for Dummies

You guys, I have a confession to make. I have no idea what I am doing! Since February when I first left my job, I made a promise to myself that I would start getting in shape again, but the problem was, I had no idea where to start. Let’s rewind back a little bit. Growing up, I never felt the need to exercise unless it was for a grade (hello, physical education as a class.) I went through the rest of my life… high school, college, post-college relying on my metabolism. For whatever reason, I couldn’t put on weight and stayed relatively the same. Last summer, I decided to pursue exercising again and noticed the impact of it almost immediately especially in my abs. I shrugged it off and thought, “What’s the big deal? This seems easy!”

Wrong! Fast forward five months later – I’m on a treadmill and done after 30 minutes. I do my normal exercises and find myself completely distracted from them and moving onto another activity like checking emails or making breakfast, anything that will stop me from finishing my workout. I also have been looking at myself in the mirror and wondering where these hips seemed to come in and why they’re coming in now. Have they always been there? I don’t know if I like them so I think I’d like for them to go away?

Laying it all out there, I will admit that I’m insecure with my body right now and a little embarrassed that I’m not able to make it through a full workout. Does anyone have any advice? Are there baby steps to ease me into it? Do you have a personal trainer or videos from a trainer that you think motivate you best? What foods and drinks do you avoid? How much water are you consuming? Do you eat before you work out? Are you better working out in the morning before you start your day or at the end of your day? I have so many questions.

Here’s my current situation that I know is not helping. I’m having a pumpkin spice latte every day! Crystal tells me that it’s probably not good for my arteries; it’s also not good for my bank account, but I can’t help it! To counter act this, I’m doing these things for the most part, but I’m not always consistent every day:

  • 60 sit-ups
  • 20 push-ups
  • Forearm Plank (30 seconds)
  • High Plank (30 seconds)
  • Side Plank (15 seconds on both sides)
  • Single Arm/Leg Plank (15 seconds for each arm/leg)
  • Plank to Push Up
  • 25 wide sumo squats
  • 25 Lunges/legs
  • 25 Lateral Leg Lifts

I try to keep this at a minimum and then throw in other exercises that I find and save through blogs/Instagram and use my adidas all day app. I don’t expect that I’ll ever become a pro or a fitness influencer, but I’d like to be better and live a healthier lifestyle. If y’all have any tips, please share!

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Blog Roundup

– Commentary for the best interview ever from Kendall and Kylie Jenner [Defamer]

– What you should know before doing your first cycling class (what I wish I had known!) [Refinery29]

– Lauren Conrad removes fat-shaming words from her website and replaces them with words we should be using instead [TIME]

– Everything You Think You Know About Love Is Wrong by Aziz Ansari [TIME]

– Sony Music CEO confirms Apple launching their streaming service today [The Fader]

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That Time We Tried SoulCycle

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If you’re looking for an activity to kick your ass on a Monday or any day of the week, then you should sign up for SoulCycle. I’ve actually been curious about it for awhile having seen a lot of bloggers try it out and it being pretty popular in both SF and NYC, but I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was getting into. I came into this thinking that I would be enjoying a leisurely indoor bike ride with some top 40 jamz. Instead, I found myself struggling to get strapped into my bike, feeling a little scared and intimidated by everyone around me, but leaving feeling sweaty, (in a good way! Is that even possible?) strong, and motivated!

Let’s start from the beginning. My co-worker Melanie and I made plans last week to try SoulCycle for the first time and signed up for the Monday class after work. Pretty great way to start off the work week, right? I found out Sunday that I actually had a birthday party to attend to Monday night and thought that I wouldn’t be able to do both so I almost considered canceling. That class is $30 though so I decided that since I’d already committed, I was just going to do work and make it happen.

When I arrived, the entire staff said I looked scared. No surprises there. However, even though I was terrified, I was greeted with a big hug from my instructor Kamelle welcoming me to my first class. He quickly took me under his arm and showed me around teaching me how to use the lockers, where to fill up my water bottle, and handing me over to the ladies at the front who gave me my first pair of shoes. They were really cute because they were so small, but since they strap into your bike, you kind of feel like you’re walking weirdly with your toes up towards the sky. Melanie and I waited patiently for our 6:30 session to start and as soon as the session before us finished, we started to see the cyclists filing out one-by-one. Flushed, soaking in sweat, and panting. So I had to show up to a birthday party after this exercise sesh and that was not the way I wanted to come out of the room at the end.

Since I had never really cycled before, I had no idea how to set up my bike and probably should’ve had someone help me much earlier before the class started. I’m also not strong enough to strap myself into the bike properly and had lots of difficulties which shook me up before starting. I don’t know what I expected, but the room was much smaller than I had thought it was going to be and the bikes were so close together that it made me a bit nervous. When we did start, the lights dimmed and immediately the EDM/rave music started pumping. I came into that room feeling very calm, but because everyone else around me was pumped up on adrenaline, I felt like I needed to be at their level and quickly adjusted to fit in.

Here’s the real truth about SoulCycle. You’re not just cycling. Your instructor makes you move to the beat of the music alternating between going low on your bike and standing up, going from side to side with the beat of the music, stretching and alternating your arms on different counts, and at one point using the baby weights that are in your bike to do curls and raises while you’re cycling. Because I’m so aloof, I completely missed the boat on this one and decided to sit back, cycle, and observe. I also felt like I was cycling and doing hip hop kind of at the same time because of the counts and beats. SoulCycle is no joke though and I found myself not being able to do everything that was asked of me by the instructor most of the time and watching everyone around me keep up. The person in front of me looked like a pro so I kept trying to use her as my motivating example. Honestly, I’m just in awe of this kind of work out. It is really really hard especially for a first timer like myself, but the people around me were so good and they made it look easy when I knew it wasn’t.

Another aspect of SoulCycling that I have to give credit to is the instructor. Kamelle made me feel like I could do anything even when I knew I couldn’t. He mentioned to us that it was Monday and that it was a great way to start our week and what we had to look forward to. During a portion where we were winding down, he advised us to leave the things that were holding us back behind. In my head, I was like “Bai haters!” He didn’t say anything along those lines, but that’s alright. Then when the same song picked up, he encouraged us to cycle towards that thing we wanted and I cycled so fast I thought I was probably going to pass out.

As tiring as SoulCycle can be, I actually had a lot of fun. I started to find my rhythm halfway through the class and when I came out sweaty (the sweatiest I’ve probably ever been!) I didn’t feel as disgusting as I thought I would feel. It just meant that I had a great workout, but I know I didn’t reach my max on this session so I’m definitely looking forward to the next one when I can push myself even more. I haven’t scheduled that next session yet though because I’m waiting for the lower half of my body to stop hurting.

P.S. this is the most active that I have ever been in my life! Kid me would think this version of me was crazy.

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Blog Roundup

photo cred | Cake Spy

– Top 10 restaurants and cafes in Seattle. [Source]

– 14 friends everyone has on Facebook. You know who you are. [Source]

– I haven’t posted anything about the Trayvon Martin case, but I will post this piece from The Frisky that I can stand behind. [Source]

– Mayer Hawthorne’s performance of “Her Favorite Song” on The Today Show. [Source]

– Uber now lets you split the fare with a friend. [Source]

– Are your favorite retailers tracking you? [Source]

– A new facial that let’s slugs slime their way all over your face. Are you brave enough to try it? [Source]

– 9 Ways to work out in San Francisco without stepping foot into a gym. Sounds like my kind of workout! [Source]

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