Orange is the new black. {Orangetheory Fitness!}

Hello. My name is Lauren and I’m addicted to OTF.


Based on the response I received on Instagram and to a post I wrote last week, I’ve realized that I am in very good company. The other weekend I attended my first class at the brand new Hunt Valley, Maryland Orangetheory studio and I think it only took me about 5 minutes to get completely hooked. Orange has always been one of my favorite colors.

A little about it for people that may not be familiar although I do think I’m a little late to the game. Blogger friends in the DC area (I first heard about it from Sue I believe) have been enjoying OTF for quite some time and I had been hoping they would open a studio in Baltimore. (Then they did even better and opened one bike riding distance from my house!) This information is direct to you from their website because I’m not even going to pretend like I’m a scientist and while I understand it I could not explain it without it turning into a rambling trainwreck. So here you go:

The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. By providing you with a heart-rate monitor and POD, we can monitor your 5-zone interval training sessions that we call the Orange 60. During the 60-minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, which translates to Zones 4/5. This program design produces workout “afterburn” effect, which is an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout. When combining the amazing workout with EPOC, our clients burn an average of 500 to 1000 calories.

When I walked into the studio I had little idea of what to expect outside of blog posts I’d read. I knew there would be treadmills and rowing and then maybe some weights involved. My first impression was a very good one; the Orangetheory of Hunt Valley is clean and well maintained and there were two very friendly young women working behind the desk. I filled out a short questionnaire and was outfitted with my heart rate monitor, then just before class was to begin I was given a little tour and met the instructor, a high energy woman named Sonrisa. I got a very good vibe from her and liked her immediately. A couple of big screens were mounted at the front of the room and they displayed the names of everyone who would be taking the class with me. Seeing myself up there kickstarted my competitive nature. I think I come off as a touchy-feely, emotional-type person, but deep down I’m very analytical and I love numbers, data, and stuff just like what was up on the wall. Just as long as no one is making me do any of the actual math myself.

My first stop was on a treadmill (YAY I love this already!) where I was introduced to the concept of “Base Pace”, “Push Pace”, and “All Out”. A little card was attached to each treadmill to describe what all these things meant, but basically you would fall into one of three buckets: Power Walker, Jogger, and Runner. As a runner, my Base Pace would be 5.5 MPH or more on the treadmill with the incline set to 1. My Push Pace was 1-2 MPH over that and my All Out was exactly how it sounded…I jacked that speed up as much as I was comfortable doing. We began with some intervals this way and then I was instructed to hop on a water rower, which is a machine completely new to me and not just because I’m not used to water rowers. More like I have never rowed in my life.

Luckily, Sonrisa is awesome and gave me a quick tutorial on proper form. It felt easy at first, but by the end of the class I would be cursing that rower as soon as I got on it; it was an incredible workout! From there we were doing various exercises on the floor involving weights, medicine balls, and TRX straps. Then back on the treadmills for more intervals, including kicking up the incline to 8…and cue my heart monitor freaking out and going up to like 120% in the red zone. I think it was just a temporary malfunction because I was laughing through it and obviously not dead, but getting back down into the green zone after that was definitely a challenge.

The music was blasting and I was feeling super pumped. We were constantly in motion and 54 minutes soared by so fast that I was shocked when she told us our time was up. I obviously knew I had been working hard, but according to the screen I had burned around 585 calories! We all gathered together to go over our results that were displayed in bar graph form. That 84% or higher that was mentioned in the OTF description is the ORANGE ZONE and the even more scary sounding RED ZONE where it’s okay to be as long as you are breathing, alive, and in control of yourself. I spent a little more time than I would have liked in those zones, but that gave me something to work toward for the next time.


I actually did have much better luck with it the next time I went. Also it was partner night and my friend and I burned almost 1600 calories between the two of us and subsequently went out for pizza and a big greasy cheesesteak. 


Sweaty and happy!

If you are fortunate enough to have an Orangetheory near you and haven’t tried it out yet, GO. I promise you that you will love it. Better yet…come with ME! I think my friend even enjoyed himself and he always tells me how much he hates running. I’m excited to attend another class this week and sign up for a package.

Have you tried Orangetheory yet? What do you think of it? 




Workout Roundup {June 29 – July 5, 2015}

I feel like such a slacker on here lately. So much has been going on over here between GrandMamaSalt moving in, work stress, Betty, and other life things (good and bad, but mostly good) and I have been missing the outlet that this place gives me. I have, however, been pretty decent at keeping up with my workouts despite not having a whole lot of free time.

Let’s face it. Time has to be made. Without the exercise I would probably have completely lost my mind by now.

Monday, June 29: 5 miles on the treadmill (7:53 pace). Normally I would also go to BodyPump on Monday morning, but I went to class on Sunday instead and my rear end simply did not have any more squats left in it.

Tuesday, June 30: Unintentional rest. This day?


Pretty much the worst day I’ve had in awhile. I wasn’t feeling a workout at all by the time 5pm rolled around. Instead I went out to dinner and relaxed.

Wednesday, July 1: 5 humid, disgusting, glorious, and most importantly PAIN FREE miles (7:26 pace). As much as Tuesday sucked, that rest day did a world of good for my Achilles and I had no soreness to speak of the entire time. I threw in some abs for good measure in the evening.

Thursday, July 2: 4 treadmill miles and BodyPump class. Another pain-free run that felt so easy even though I was pushing the pace pretty hard so that I wouldn’t be late for class.

Friday, July 3: OH THANK GOD I HAD THE DAY OFF. I asked Betty if she would like to play at the gym and even though my original intent was not to run, I ended up doing 6x400s with a mile warm up and cool down. My run intervals were set to the fastest speed I’ve ever gone on a treadmill which seems like progress to me.

I was a little sore afterward so I spent a lot of time stretching and by the afternoon things were back to normal.

Saturday, July 4: Happy birthday, America! This was a busy day. Betty went to her dad’s for the weekend and I had a whole day of doing absolutely nothing ahead of me before going to see fireworks in the evening. I love my daughter more than anything in the world, but this was not such a terrible thing.

I started off the day at the gym with 30 minutes on the Arc trainer to loosen up my leg. Then I followed that with a group run at Charm City Run. It was a choose your own adventure kind of event with a 3, 4, or 5 mile option. I went with the 5 and was running with a couple of guys for awhile until the one who was leading us peeled off and we were left to our own devices. This was around mile 2.5 and according to the directions, there was definitely NOT 2.5 miles left. More like a half a mile; I run those roads all the time. I was all set to keep going and because I know the neighborhood, I was suddenly leading the run by default.

Sorry about all the hills. Not really. I love those hills.


It was raining for most of the time we were out there, but I had a fantastic time on this run, even when  I saw a small child sporting the same patriotic Hello Kitty shirt that I was wearing. About 10 minutes after I got back to the store, the skies completely opened up and it POURED.

So as I said, I had no plans until later and there was apparently a BodyPump class at 12:30. I went back to the gym but it ended up being canceled and I couldn’t stand to be at the gym for no reason. So I ended up logging 3 more miles on the treadmill giving me a total of 8 for the day.

Then that night I got the best ride ever to see the fireworks.


On a firetruck. Win.

Sunday, July 5: The Tour de France started last weekend and what better way to celebrate that then a nice little bike ride on the trail? 24 sweaty, humid miles on the trail. Followed by all the pasta in the world so basically I completely negated my workout with carbs.

Weekly Totals: 27 on my feet, 24 on my bike. 

Good stuff. I always like to set a little goal for myself at the beginning of each new week and this week my goal is HAPPINESS. I’m stressed and even after having a long weekend, I still feel like I could use a month long vacation. I have so much positivity in my life right now and I’m just trying to focus on those things. As long as I have my running shoes (and my Betty!) everything else should fall into place.

Speaking of Betty, last night she asked me if we could take a selfie.


Threenager? I love her.

I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday weekend and a great start to your week!

Did you guys see fireworks? Any races last weekend? Tell me about them!



A Double Dose of Workout Roundup! {June 15 – 28, 2015}

Two weekly recaps in one because last week was so insane that carving out blog time was more difficult than the pole dance class I took and haven’t been back to since. As of yesterday my mom has officially become our roommate and Betty and I couldn’t be more excited to have her around. ❤

Now let’s get down to business:

Monday, June 15: MEGAbarre. I hadn’t been in awhile and I knew by the end that my butt and legs were going to be killing me the next day. (I was right.)

Tuesday, June 16: 16 bike miles. It started off as an easy ride, but because I was with Fireman Chip–who was waaaaay faster than me even with a wrist injury–I ended up pushing myself pretty hard at the end. I felt great, but probably the most exhausting 16 mile ride to date.

Wednesday, June 17: 5 fantastic miles at 7:15 pace. Aside from my Achilles feeling a little sore afterward, it was one of those perfect runs that reminds me why I love doing this so much.

Thursday, June 18: I gave my ankle a break and hopped on the Arc trainer at the gym, followed by BodyPump class.

On Fridays I rest and this particular Friday I was heading down to VA for Fit Foodie! Basically it was the anti-fitness day complete with lots of wine and enough carbs to last me a week.

Saturday, June 20: FIT FOODIE. You guys know all about it already. (And if you don’t and care, there is a recap here.) It was an awesome day for me, all disgusting hot garbage that I had to run through aside.

Sunday, June 21: Lazy. I was supposed to attend a yoga/barre class and instead I slept in for once and relaxed for most of the day although I did go for a random hike in the afternoon.

Monday, June 22: Half hour on the Arc trainer and BodyPump class. Then with my mom’s move on the horizon I was cleaning and moving furniture like mad in the evening. That counts as a workout right?

Tuesday, June 23: I wanted to run, BUT we were having some seriously severe tornado status type weather. I ended up taking it inside for 5 miles on the treadmill as the lights in the gym flickered on and off and there was nothing to watch on the TVs because the satellites had been knocked out. Just when you thought a treadmill couldn’t be more boring.

Wednesday, June 24: My very first brick workout!


4 progressive miles on the trail (7:32, 7:29, 7:16, 7:02) and then followed that up with 10 miles on my bike. Probably one of the most intense workouts I’ve ever experienced.

Thursday, June 25: Easy 3 miles on the treadmill and BodyPump class.

Friday, June 26: Rest day.

Saturday, June 27: Torrential rain yet again. I didn’t have any real plan as to how many miles I wanted to do, but I was thinking somewhere between 5 and 8. After the first few I was feeling good, but my ankle started to bother me a bit so I called it quits when I got to 6.

I barely sat down for the rest of the day, busy with more moving, cleaning, and organizing for the movers that would come the next morning. I threw away/donated so much stuff on Saturday that it was amazing anything was left in my house at all.

I also managed to drop an end table on my foot, have a Christmas tree fall on me, and go dumpster diving for something of my mom’s that I tossed by accident. I think I’ve had enough of dumpsters for one lifetime.

Sunday, June 28: I had gone to the gym by myself the previous morning while Betty hung out with my mom, but this morning she was asking to go play in the playroom. We went right as it opened, I got in 3 miles on the treadmill and went to BodyPump for the third time last week. A new record for me! I can tell that I’m getting so much stronger. Yesterday I made it through the entire chest track without having to take a break at all. I HATE the chest track.

Whew! I feel like the past couple weeks have been great. The first goal that I set for myself after finishing New Jersey was a good run at Fit Foodie and I’m so happy to be able to say that it worked out that way. Now I’m starting to focus on some things that are coming up a little later in the summer. More specifically, improving on my half marathon time.

What goals have you set for yourself lately and how are they going? Do you have any good half marathon training plans to suggest for me?

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that your Monday is most awesome!