How I Discovered More Life Through Orangetheory

Orangetheory Fitness hosted me for a weekend in Portland in exchange for sharing my experience and story. As always, all opinions are my own!

It was only a couple of days before leaving for a trip to Portland to celebrate Orangetheory’s 1000th studio opening and tears of joy filled my eyes. I don’t normally cry from happiness, but reflecting on the past two months brought me to a place of humility and gratitude. Thankful that I was feeling the best I had felt in months, amazed by how much I had recently overcome, and honestly a bit in shock that I could ever have been in a place of hopelessness.

What’s amazing (and heartbreaking for those who experience this) is that when you’re in that type of a mental funk, it seems nearly impossible to get out of it. But I was holding onto hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That’s exactly what I discovered. Every day became an opportunity to remind myself not to give up.

My personal Orangetheory #MoreLife story:

When the chance came for me to try Orangetheory with the new West Seattle studio opening, I was hesitant, fearful, scared, reluctant, you name it. Basically, everything that made me think I wouldn’t try it let alone keep it up.

I love dancing, hiking, biking and yoga, and up until I started Orangetheory two months ago, those were almost exclusively my only means of working out. I never set foot in a gym, never ran on a treadmill (they actually terrified me), and my only experience with a rowing machine was playing on my dad’s rower for fun growing up.

But I knew if I was going to see that light at the end of the tunnel, I had to take action. I had to try something new and push myself in ways I never had before.

Fast forward to now, 20 Orangetheory classes in, and feeling stronger every day. Obviously, I stuck with it, and I am so glad that I did! I am grateful for how Orangetheory has given me more life by simply letting me feel alive again. I never thought I would have this much energy back in my life and feel both mentally and physically strong.

Celebrating 1000X More Life in Portland with the Team:

It was an honor to spend the weekend with Orangetheory celebrating all the lives that they have given back through their 1000 studios. I had the opportunity to meet the Orangetheory PR team as well as the executives who started it all and make it all happen on a day to day basis. Their passion for what they do and hearts for the lives they are changing is inspiring!

Along with five other influencers, Aly Teich of  The Sweat Life, Curtis Williams, fellow Seattle blogger Jess of Fresh Jess, Sylvie Curci, and Bianca Cortez of Beyond Casual we worked out together (thank you Orangetheory South Waterfront), laughed lots, smiled till my cheeks hurt, and explored Portland in an amazing way with fun local activities.

They taught me that being a part of the Orangetheory family isn’t only about a great work out, it’s about disciplining yourself in class so that you can go out and experience life and make the most out of it. I’m so grateful for the new friends I made while in Portland and the new mindset I have towards not only Orangetheory, but living the best life possible.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my trip to Portland through my Instagram Stories. (If you didn’t get a chance to, don’t worry, you can watch the highlights here.)  And as promised, here are the answers to the most asked questions about Orangetheory Fitness you guys asked me about. Let me know if you have any more in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them!

Answers to 7 OTF questions from my readers:

What are Orangetheory Fitness classes like?

There are three main sections of this high-intensity workout: the treadmills, the rowing machines, and the weight room. In 60 minutes, you’ll get a science-based workout that’s always different and the same ones for all studios across the world. I was really impressed to hear that not only are the coaches highly trained and certified, but they are continually recertified. As someone who doesn’t quite know what I’m doing, it makes me feel so comfortable knowing that I’m in the care of excellent professionals During the workout, the energetic vibe hits with the music they always have pumping and really keeps me going during class.

Now, this is the part I kind of geek out on. You wear a heart rate monitor in class and your current stats are displayed on a screen so you can keep track of your current heart rate — all based off of a formula form your weight, age, and gender. There are five zones (gray, blue, green, orange, and red) and Orangetheory focuses on the last three zones.

Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), your goal is to spend at least twelve minutes in the orange zone (getting those 12 splat points) so that you can get that afterburn and keep burning calories for up to 36 hours after class. The science behind it is incredible and one of the things that makes this a really unique workout.

Above all, Orangetheory classes are empowering. The coaches are really encouraging and really make this class something I absolutely enjoy!

Is it as hard as people say it is?

Orangetheory is a great workout every single time. I wouldn’t want workouts to be easy, because then I wouldn’t be challenging myself or seeing the results I wanted to. It’s hard — more specifically, as hard as you want it to be for yourself. With all the different options for exercises, differences in weights, speeds, inclines, etc. there’s a place for any person in that room. Longtime gym goers or newbies like me can always find ways to make it the best possible workout for them.

Do you sweat?

Not only do I sweat, I sweat a lot. I actually take a sweat towel into every class. My favorite towel I bring in is one says “Sweaty hair, don’t care,” which couldn’t be more true, because even though I could easily be the sweatiest person in that class, I say the sweatier the better. That’s what showers after class are for anyway 🙂

Everyone can see your stats displayed in class. Is that intimidating?

I thought it might be at first, but after my first class I laughed at myself for thinking everyone was secretly judging me for my results. It’s not there for competition. The fact is, everyone is completely focused on their individual workout (as they should be) that it ends up feeling like it’s there just for you to keep you accountable.

What time do you go to Orangetheory West Seattle?

I like to get it done and out of the way first thing the morning. I typically go to 8am classes since the 6:45am class gets booked out first by people who have day jobs, but depending on the day and my schedule I honestly go a lot of random times too.

What’s your favorite part of Orangetheory?

There’s so much to love about it — the inspiring coaches, the community of people around me who all go to make their lives better and cheer you on too, the results I see in myself, the fact that I never get the same work out twice, and the heart rate monitor and exercises supported by science. But my favorite part of Orangetheory is that feeling I get when I push myself and know I did the best I could possibly do. It makes everything worth it.

What keeps you going to back to class?

I look forward to going because of how I know I’m going to feel after. Accomplished. Proud. Strong. Each time I’m there, I get stronger, breaking through personal records and exceeding expectations for myself. Knowing that I am capable of rising to any challenge thrown at me motivates me to push myself further every time. It’s a great feeling!

Thank you Orangetheory for an unforgettable weekend and

Keep smiling!

Want to try Orangetheory? Your first class is free!

All photos by Andrew Wrisley Photography

Molly Lawson

I’m Molly Lawson! I live in Seattle and am an optimist, adventurer, and bold lipstick wearer. I created this space to inspire and empower women with words of encouragement known as #MollysWords and share inspiration through my personal style. I always want my readers to leave with a smile and I hope you do!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

Orangetheory Fitness hosted me for a weekend in Portland in exchange for sharing my experience and story. As always, all opinions are my own!

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