Before I begin to answer your prayers with the next big thing in the workout world, let me give you a quick background on my workout history. During high school, I was on the cheerleading team. It was a great way for me to get some exercise, and I didn't even realize it at the time. Fast forward to college, and I am no longer a cheerleader and definitely not a regular at the gym. This translates to a 19-year-old that would like her pre-college body back.

To be honest, there are very few things I hate more than working out. Yes, after I workout I do feel satisfied and proud of myself that I burned off my lunch, but the act of working out is pretty close to torture for me (for example, yesterday I had to google “How to not hate running”).

But fear not. I've finally found the light at the end of the tunnel of getting in shape. While savoring my limited time at home for Columbus Day Weekend, I was forced into a 9:30 a.m. workout class at Orange Theory Fitness. I’m won't lie, I was extremely intimidated to go to this workout because I knew it would be high-intensity and a challenge, but hard work is the only way to produce results, right? My first thought when I walked into the building: "Holy soccer moms — they are everywhere." I was the youngest exerciser in there by 15 years.

But after I got over that, I was excited. They are very diligent with new members and took me into the facility to show me the three aspects of the workout: treadmill, rowers and free weights. What is so great about this workout is that it is for every level from beginner (like me who hadn’t worked out in weeks) to uber-fit moms to extreme athletes.

What’s unique about this workout is ... well, everything. I am not someone to get enthusiastic about working out — running specifically — but ever since I have been to this class, I cannot stop raving about it. Orange Theory’s philosophy is to use heart rate monitoring to target a range that will increase energy and metabolism. For the 1-hour workout, you wear a heart rate monitor that displays your heart rate on a TV screen. The goal of this workout is to reach 84 percent or higher of your maximum heart rate for 12 to 20 minutes of your workout, which will optimize your calorie burning abilities post-workout. In addition to this, you burn a ton of calories. In just one hour I burned 671 calories.

The best part about this workout by far was the fact that I did not hate it at all. Dare I say it was actually fun?

It was broken down into treadmill training, rowing machines and weight training in 8-minute intervals. An instructor led the class with upbeat music in the background, which really set the tone for the workout. I loved that I was able to run on the treadmill and feel completely energized by having an un-intimidating motivator helping me through it.

Orange Theory Fitness is popping up all around North America, but sadly the closest location to Elon is in Chapel Hill, about 45 minutes away. Although it’s not in the most convenient location for us, I would definitely recommend making the drive or finding a location near your hometown. Anyone who is struggling to find a workout that suits their lifestyle needs to try Orange Theory Fitness before they give up on working out. The first time is free, so really, there is nothing to lose.


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