I’m in all sorts of pain as I sit here writing this. Don’t worry, it’s the good kind of pain. The kind of pain you get when you know you’ve had a successful workout and can feel yourself getting more fit. The best kind of pain there is. This pain I’m referring too has been caused by Orangetheory Fitness. If you’ve been around here for awhile you may remember me writing an introduction post about this new gym coming to Saskatoon so I won’t get into the nuts and bolts of it today. If you’ve never heard of this place before and want to know more, you can check out my super informative post here.
They were originally supposed to open in December but hit some delays with items being shipped from the US so they only just opened at the start of the year. They have been doing a couple weeks of free mock classes so I’ve been able to check them out three times already and really, who is going to say no to a free workout? Certainly not me, especially when it comes to a new innovative method.
I know you’re all dying to hear my opinion of this place, so let’s get into some pros, cons and my overall thoughts.
I have now come in contact with 8 or so of the staff and have been really impressed. I mentioned in my last post that I hate when you go into a gym and the people talk to you like you’re clearly a complete gym novice or when it feels like they are just trying to sell you on something. You can tell that there is a real passion in this place, they are knowledgeable and they seem to enjoy what they do.
Ian and I went for our first workout last Saturday. A couple had gone in right before us and when we walked in it sounded like there had been a slight mix up. While we had been scheduled for an 11 am class, they didn’t actually have a record of there being one set for that time. I was curious to see how they would handle this, but it wasn’t an issue. They asked one of the trainers if she would be okay doing a class, she happily agreed and that was that. Nice and painless. This was just their first week of being open so I don’t foresee them having class scheduling issues in the future and all classes will be booked through the app so you won’t be calling in to book like I had. I just really appreciated how they dealt with it and I think it shows how they are wanting to run the business. It’s also great to see how happy their trainers get about teaching a class!
We had gotten there early so had a chance to watch the class going before us. One lady seemed to be getting a bit light headed and needed to take a break. They checked in on her, made sure she had water, and even got her an orange to help get her blood sugar up. This was another good sign, they were paying attention and making sure that everyone was okay throughout the workout.
At the start of the workout, the trainer went through all the ins and outs. They explained how the equipment worked, what all the buttons and numbers meant and explained the heart rate monitor. I definitely appreciated that. Since they are a new gym a lot of people attending the classes will be completely new to this format and their machines. The third class that I just attended today was full with 24 people. They took in the people who were new to explain everything while the rest of us could hang back. I thought this was great because I really didn’t need to hear it again, and that gives more room for the others to gather and see.
The space and room are set up nicely, you have an easy visual of the screen so you can monitor your heart rate and nothing is too crowded that you’re going to feel claustrophobic even with a full class.
The floor area has separate workstations set up with everything you need. It also has a screen that shows you what you are supposed to be doing and how many reps. Thankfully the trainer also goes through that with you and demonstrates how to do each exercise. This is great because it’s sometimes a bit tough to tell what the guy on the screen is doing. There has also been a second trainer that keeps an eye on people that are on the floor and gives them pointers on their form. Thank goodness for this. Your form really is what will make or break a workout and it’s great to be told what to correct or hear and implement the tips that others are getting.
There was one particular exercise I was struggling with because my balance isn’t always the greatest. Thankfully the trainer was able to give me a second option that would still work the same muscles but be easier for someone with no balance. Ian also had this experience in his first class. He wasn’t able to do one with weights because his of his shoulders, so they gave him a workaround.
They also push you. The very first thing I did there required weights. I instantly went to go grab the measly 8-pound ones because I know I can do that. Nope, they wanted women to use the 12-pound weights. Are you kidding me? Well, I begrudgingly did it because that’s what they said. You know what? I could do it. I definitely felt it, but I was capable of it. On my own, I would have gone lighter and therefore gotten less of a workout.
On the other side of the room are the treadmill and water rowing machines. The people on the floor also use the water rowers throughout their workout. The trainer will lead you through your treadmill workout letting you know when you should increase or decrease your speed and incline. Sometimes you’re at your base pace, sometimes you’re at a push pace, and sometimes you’re going all out. You’ll be told when to speed up and slow done so you don’t need to worry about timing at all.
You spend half of the class in each section, and it’s ended with some stretching. It goes by super quick and you feel really great after.
Now for the cons. Honestly, there really aren’t any cons for myself but there is something that I can see people getting frustrated about. The main thing is that there aren’t your standard men’s and women’s locker rooms. There are a few bathrooms and a few showers. I don’t see this as an issue for myself because I arrive there already in my workout gear and I’m going straight home after a workout for a shower. Whether I workout first thing in the morning or later in the evening, that is where I will have my shower. If you’re in a class with 20 or so people and even half of them want to shower after there will be a wait. This might not work for some people who want to go straight to work after so it’s important to plan around that.
That’s it. That’s the only con that I have been able to find so far and it doesn’t bother me. Honestly, I am absolutely loving this workout. It’s been a long time since my body has felt this way after a workout it’s such a great feeling. As much as I hate being sore, I know that it’s going to end in results so for that reason I love it.
I also see this as a great learning process to see where my body is at. It gets addicting to watch what colour zone you’re in and my first two classes I spent way too much time in the red. They want you to be in the orange/red about 20 minutes of your workout, the rest should be in the green. This tells me that I actually need to slow it down and not push myself as hard as I do sometimes.
At the end of each class, they will email you your results so that you can compare over time. I don’t have the results from my first class, but below is a comparison of my second and third classes. The third class is when I really focused on my breathing and attempting to spend more time in the green. I still need to work on that more but it’s really awesome to be able to see that improvement. Over time I know that my conditioning will get better and I’ll be able to push myself more and not shoot right up to red.
I’m going to be saving all of these emails and can’t wait to compare them further down the road!
I’m putting myself on a six-week challenge right now. I’m going to be going three times a week (at least) for six weeks and I’m very curious to see how my weight and body composition changes over that time. I’ve been going for one week already, and I am booked in three more times for this next week. After that, they should be officially launched and I will be able to book more classes through their app. I have no doubt that I will be seeing results with this.
When I was going to the regular gym before I would spend a total of about 20-25 minutes doing cardio, and about 20 minutes doing the weight machines. I would increase the speed and the weights but I never left feeling the way that I have felt when I finish a workout at Orangetheory.
They still have one more week of free mock classes and I highly encourage you to check them out. You have nothing to lose with a free workout but you might risk getting completely hooked like I am.