I wish I would’ve kept notes when I first started OTF. It’s now been a little over two years so of course, I’m unable to remember everything. Thankfully their web site tells me when I started … March 2, 2015 at FIVE AM. Yowza. Should burn some extra calories at that time of day, just saying. Or get some free gear, I dunno.
I got to the OTF studio early, as requested (so, even EARLIER than 5AM … this was obviously very well thought out on my part). Filled out the necessary paperwork (who to contact in the event I keel over, or drop a dumbbell on my head – my greatest fear is that I’m going to do that one day – the dumbbell part, not the dying), and got strapped up to a heart monitor. Was introduced to the head trainer, Gina – who led me into the studio for my introduction into how it all worked.
She explained that as far as the treadmill was concerned, she would coach me (and the others) when to go from base pace (“challenging, but doable” <<I totally read that in Gina’s voice, it’s imprinted into my brain at this point) to a “push pace” to an “all out”. I confirmed and ascertained at this point that I would be of the “power walker” variety of treads, and not a “jogger-runner” (me + running = NO). The treadmill didn’t scare me. Yet. Little did I know “push” and “all out” for power walkers equals incline. YAY INCLINES!
Next up was the rowers, which I was looking forward to in a weird sort of way (spoiler alert: hated it). Figured out how to get my feet into (and more importantly, out of) the footplates, and got a demonstration of proper rowing technique. Gina also explained the weight area, where she’d demonstrate the day’s exercises for everyone, then be available to help as needed.
So back into the lobby, waiting for class to officially start with the rest … “Half on the rowers, half on the treads, let’s go!”
I chose to start on the rower. If you start on the rower, you warm up for a few minutes then head to the weights. Thought if I did treadmill first, I might burn my legs out for anything that followed. Turns out, you can burn your legs out in the weight room before you hit the treadmill. Who knew?
The idea with OTF strength exercises is the trainer sets you up with 2-3 exercises (sometimes more, depending on the length of the block), a rep count for each, and a goal to run through all exercises/reps at least twice in the time allotted. Sometimes with some rowing torture thrown in for fun (1000m+ rows … YAY ROWING!) I’m pretty sure on day one I did get through all of the exercises … at least once. But I’m certain I didn’t hit the rep counts twice. I remember struggling along the way, with lots of breaks (probably laying spread eagle on the floor, in a puddle of my own sweat, looking at the ceiling, asking God to save me). And my muscles screaming at me WHAT ARE YOU DOING WOMAN. But I did at least attempt each of the exercises, so I felt like that was a success. I didn’t die. Or drop dumbbells on my head for that matter. I don’t remember every strength exercise we did that day, but I do remember V-Ups. In part because Gina started off by saying, “I really don’t like V-Ups”.
If Glamazon muscle-y trainer woman does not like V-Ups … this does not bode well for me.
If you are unfamiliar with the V-Up, you start by laying on your back, hands above your head. The idea is you lift your legs toward the ceiling, and then bring your head and shoulders up to meet (sorta) your legs – so that you look like a “V” with your butt at the bottom of the “V”. Lower shoulders and legs to the floor, repeat.
I had NEVER done core work – EVER – except for the fitness tests they made us take in grade school where you had to do sit ups, and climb a rope (which I could never do). Oh, four hours of hard labor with Katie; I’m totally counting that (four hours straight of push ups! BOOYAH).
Pretty sure my V Up looked nothing like a V. Not even a U with potential. A lower case L having a seizure, maybe, but definitely not a V.
About twenty five minutes of tortured strength training later … time to hit the treadmill. Thank the holy heavens above.
But after V-Ups, and probably other body weight strength exercises that work the legs (squats and lunges seem to be a recurring theme at OTF), doing the treadmill is not quite so easy when you have jello legs. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the treadmill. I don’t remember my calorie burn or my “splat points” from that day – the whole concept of OTF is the heart monitor is wired to TVs in the studio so you can see when you hit 84% of your max heart rate – “The Orange Zone”. Every minute in the orange zone equals one splat point, with the goal being to hit 12 splat points in the hour. It’s interval training, though, you’re not supposed to be in the orange zone the whole time. (Some people hit 45+ splat points during a 55-60 minute session. Who ARE you people? You sort of scare me.)
At the end of the trial session, I could feel every movement of the prior hour in every cell of my arms and legs. But apparently I had enough strength left to sign up for a “10 pack” – 10 studio visits I could take at any time. Or, maybe I was so oxygen deprived and delirious they took advantage of me, who knows.
Nah, I knew I needed to do this – but also knew I wasn’t ready to commit to a monthly membership yet. I needed to figure out how to (a) work this into my schedule and (b) survive attending classes more than twice a week. I also wasn’t sure what the next day was going to bring – would I even be able to get out of bed? So I thought I’d start slow.
I will tell you that the next day … OMG. Walking up stairs was sheer torture. Everything hurt – I DO remember that part. It hurt to roll over in bed. My previously sleepy, slothy core had been rudely awakened and it was barking at me with all it had, wondering what it had done to deserve this abuse; it was still hoping for party size bags of M&Ms. OwOwOwieOwOwOw.
So yes, I went back for more … eventually.