If you remember way back (like a year and a half ago) I did the Couch-to-5k running program to improve my airway clearance. I hated running, but I did it anyway because I wanted to feel better! I wrote about it to keep it me consistent, and because I wanted to invite YOU to join me on the runs. We had a good little group out there pounding the pavement. At the end of it, I discovered that while I still hated running, I loved the way it made me feel afterwards.

Fast forward to now… I still go on little runs when it’s nice out to compliment my workout routine.

A few weeks ago on the podcast I talked with Lise-Courtney D’Amico and Stacy Carmona about their cross-country friendship, and during the chat they brought up their shared love for Orangetheory Fitness.

Orangetheory is essentially a group high-intensity interval training class where you go all out for short periods of time throughout the workout. They actually have some science behind the workouts, too, which pushes athletes to the limit! There are Orangetheory studios all over the country and on every given day the workouts are the same no matter which studio you go to. So, in essence, you can go to an Orangetheory in your hometown tomorrow and I can go to mine, and we’ll be doing the same thing, hence Lise-Courtney and Stacy’s bond over the program! The workouts then change each day to hit different muscle groups, etc.

Darcy also loves Orangetheory, and even mentioned how clean the class is beccause everyone is required, and given time, to wipe down their equipment between moving from station to station – perfect for my infection control and prevention obsessed mind. Between her and the podcast I was sold on the idea of giving it a shot., which is kind of a big deal because I hate class-style workouts. But the first class is free for everyone, so I figured why not?!

Orangetheory encompasses two parts to the workout. Participants spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and then 30 minutes lifting weights and hitting the what they call the rowing machine (otherwise called an erg machine). The workouts are heavy on cardio. The goal is to keep your heart rate in different zones throughout the session (granted, I still suck at that part).

I have now gone twice, and I am totally sold. Not only is it thought that interval training is probably one of the best kinds of training for people with cystic fibrosis, but also Orangetheory is super affordable, and very clean. I have left the studio dripping with sweat and sore beyond belief both times – remember it’s a good thing to be sore!

It doesn’t really feel like a “group workout” because everyone is so focused on their own heart rate and pace, which I totally love. It is also amazing airway clearance. This is actually the first time I have ever done HIIT style training and I really like it.

Looking back, some of my hesitancy to jump into a group workout had been founded in my loud coughing. I’m generally not a self-conscious person, but for whatever reason it had been a giant barrier.

Well, I’m here to tell you that after the first 5 minutes of my first class, I was so locked in on getting my heart rate into the right zones that my worrying about coughing went right out the window. It really hasn’t been a big deal. I can’t imagine everyone else in there loves the fact that I’m coughing as much as I do when I play hockey, but that’s really nothing I choosing to concern myself with moving forward!

I ended up purchasing 8 classes per month, which means I’ll be there twice a week, and also surprisingly affordable! I’ll combine that with a weekly skate at men’s league hockey and then a couple of days lifting at the gym. We’ll circle back here in a couple weeks to see how it’s going. After all, my goal is to get in shape because I want to play business school hockey at Tuck next year! It’s nice having a goal to chase!