Top 5 Raw Honeys for Anti-Viral, Immune Support, Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, Enzymes, and More

Real honey has proven therapeutic benefits.

Most people will digest honey well and experience the benefits of it.

Honey is one of the most perfect survival and storage foods as bacteria and viruses won’t be able to grow and honey contains a tremendous amount of energy and nutrients. It has a low moisture content, which keeps it preserved for longer periods of time. Even though you can store it, the nutrient value remains high.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the most powerful honey’s that I have personally consumed, experienced, and rated.

Top 5 Most Beneficial Raw Honey’s for antioxidants, immune support, health, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micronutrients, phytonutrients:

Let’s just go ahead and start this list!

1. Tualang Black Honey

Did you get sticker shock when you saw the price?

Most people are not accustomed to eating wild food and they might benefit even more from something like this. The darkness of the honey (black) indicates significantly higher antioxidant value than your typical grocery store bought honey. The wisdom of nature is strong in this one. Research has backed this up.

Findings thus far show that, TH has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor, and antidiabetic properties, in addition to wound-healing attributes.

Even though this might be the most expensive honey you buy, no doubt the value is there.

This stuff tastes good to me, but just know that it will be more bitter than the normal honey you might be used to.

2. Manuka Honey

Most people have heard about the topical benefits of manuka honey, but not everybody knows that it is just as healthy to use internally. I used to work at a supplement store years ago and people would come in to buy manuka honey to heal their wounds. More research suggests that it is also great for dental, oral health and so much more.

“Therapeutic Manuka Honey: No Longer So Alternative”

Our results showed that honey, in general, and particularly manuka honey, has potent inhibitory activity against the influenza virus, demonstrating a potential medicinal value

Manuka honey has a pretty smooth texture and taste. It goes great with greek yogurt in my opinion!

3. Marri or Jarrah Honey

These honey’s I’ve listed can be pretty intense. Thick and dark, sweet but subdued. The flavor is unique for sure.

Jarrah and marri honey: A liquid goldrush of medical benefits

Independent testing of jarrah and marri honey in New Zealand in 2016 found that it had stronger antimicrobial properties than the much prized manuka honey

“Diversity is a very good thing because … what we end up with is stronger therapeutic outcomes.”

The good stuff is out there. I hope to bring awareness to it!

4. Wild Oregano Honey

If you’ve been in the alternative or holistic scene for a bit, you’ve probably heard of the benefits of oregano oil for the immune system, but you may not have heard about oregano honey. First off, yes, there is a nice spicy aroma that hits you when you open this jar of honey. It is quite an experience to enjoy the flavors and the immune boosting benefits.

Namely, melanoidins content, phenolic content, electrical conductivity, and mineral content were shown to be positively influencing the gained antibacterial activity.

This is a truly special and unique honey. I personally feel that oregano oil extract is a bit too harsh on my body, so if I can experience the benefits of oregano in a wild/raw food form, then I’m all for it.

5. Black Seed / Cumin Honey

Just like the other honeys, the flavor is intense. The antioxidants are high and the price is a good value considering the benefits.

…[used] as a natural remedy for many disorders like cough, jaundice and gastrointestinal disorders.

There is a common Islamic belief that the black seed is a panacea (universal healer) which is a remedy for all ailments

I really enjoyed this honey and will be buying it again.

Will you let food be your medicine?

I cannot diagnose, cure, or prescribe anything for you… only educate.

I implore you to redefine your view of, “natural / alternative,” health.

We need for “alternative remedies” that actually work for people to go mainstream. Including food such as raw honey into your lifestyle could provide many nutrients that you didn’t even know you needed!

Stay tuned. Follow the blog for updates.

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Transforming your 2020 Body through Global Fitness Science

Recently, our studio launched the OTF transformation challenge 2020.

The challenge is in its second of eight weeks and it encourages healthy behavior through workout frequency and recovery.

Throwback pic at the studio after a sweaty workout

I am always interested in what Orangetheory shares with people.

Just the other day, Dr. Rachelle Reed, Director of Global Fitness Science at Orangetheory Fitness, had some responses related to the Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge 2020.

Five Quotes about Fitness Science from OTF Director:

  • “Starting on the floor (rower) can be beneficial if your main goal is improving strength; that way, you can prioritize great form with a heavier load during the floor block!”

Prioritize great form with heavier loads. Develop that high quality, long-lasting, balanced muscle tone to give you opportunities for freedom.

  • “Helping members improve their health behaviors is the main point of the Transformation Challenge.”

We invite people to consume foods in the colors of a rainbow and post pictures of beautiful nutrient rich meals for the other supportive people in the Facebook group.

  • “Check into your nutrition pre- and post-workout to make sure you are fueling your body properly!”

If you are struggling with energy and recovery, you should definitely consider pre and post-workout. I almost take it for granted myself since I experimented with so many supplements through vendor gifts. In case you’re wondering, my favorite energizer for coaching and for morning and working out has to be Matcha + Chlorella. I just love the smooth energy and how it impacts my cognitive and metabolic function.

  • “We expect our members to lose 1-3% body fat over an 8-12 week period! Of course, this depends on so many factors – like what you eat, how active you are, your sleep quality and quantity, etc.”

Okay, let me share my honest opinion here while supporting OTF at the same time. I think she is referring to the average of members, they will lose 1-3% body fat over an 8-12 week period.

This may be true for average. Average, you are not!

May you transform magnificently! If you really need something, you will find the way. The truth is that recovery is the key to transformation. Workouts need to be challenging and varied, while recovery is the other 23 hours.

If you aren’t getting the result, believe that something might need to change.

With nutrition and rest, seven weeks is plenty of time to make a difference.

Besides, even if you lose 0% body fat, but you still did high intensity workouts 3x per week consistently, that still counts for some success as it benefits health, fitness, and longevity!

  • “The American College of Sports Medicine, recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week plus at least 2 days of strength training on all major muscle groups, in order to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. But, there is a dose response relationship, so a bit more (like 300 minutes and 3 days of strength training) can have slightly better benefits associated. This translates to about 3 classes of OTF a week, plus [everyday active movement]”

I think, “3 days of strength training,” would represent nearly three hours of strength training. Most people can agree that Orangetheory does not provide that amount of strength training per three Orange 60’s. Therefore, it could be beneficial to perform more strength exercises at home or a convenient location.

Maybe you could do some slow and controlled push-ups at home just before you eat a meal. Try to get a nice pump in your chest, shoulders, and triceps with a slow and controlled push up where you actually feel each and every muscle fiber contracting. Even two or three sets of 5-15 push ups a few times a week can make a big difference.

A lot of people have random weights or implements at home that they can use for bicep curls or exercise bands for glute bridges and deep burn in the glute muscles.

I love great workouts!

I often want to give people heavier loads just by putting weight in their area.

I do think the key to gaining strength at OTF is to be pro-active about your own challenges.

Try to eliminate as many muscular imbalances as possible.

Hope you found this useful.

Make sure to follow the blog for updates.

Shoutout to all of the OTF people that I’ve come in contact with over the years and to the people reading now!

Nourish up!

 

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Is Mushroom the Missing Cure-All against Obesity and Modern Disease?

Mushrooms may actually be more than fungible.

I believe that mushrooms can contribute a great deal to humanity’s progress. I think that if we are to create a legitimate space force moon-base and want to travel to other parts of the universe, then mushrooms can play a role in such an advancement.

The future and the present greatly rely upon both ancient and innovative nutrition. 

Disclaimer: This is information is for educational purposes and not intended to treat or cure any disease since you are a person reading from anywhere in the world.

May have strong anti-fungal benefits against undesirable overgrowing of candida and yeasts in the body.

Culinary and medicinal mushrooms may actually have anti-fungal properties against other opportunistic and undesirable in large amounts fungus like candida. This is not to say that mushrooms alone will solve the problem alone because lifestyle is important.

Basically though, mushrooms contain a multitude of nutrients that help the immune system like no other.

Blood sugar support and fat loss.

My favorite benefit of mushrooms might just be how well they support fat loss in my experience and others. Even others coaches at OTF have been drinking mushrooms and experiencing the benefits (shoutout Coach Bobby drinking mushrooms at OTF!).

There are nutrients that may promote healthy normal function of the liver, kidney, and more. This promotes normal, healthy detoxification processes and of course the opportunity to allow the fat cells to reduce their energy through their own enzymatic mechanisms. In other words, metabolic processes are supported and that may give some impetus to fat cells to release adiponectin, the fat burning hormone.

These compounds exhibit their antidiabetic activity via different mechanisms. This article presents… the efficacy and mechanism of medicinal mushrooms for glucose control in diabetes, including the inhibition of glucose absorption, protection of beta-cell damage, increase of insulin release, enhancement of antioxidant defense, attenuation of inflammation, modulation of carbohydrate metabolism pathway, and regulation of insulin-dependent and insulin-independent signaling pathways.

Mushroom powders and extracts are especially great for anybody doing intermittent fasting and who want to promote liver function.

Are you interested in mushrooms like chaga?

Extremely powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory components, anti-aging benefits.

Mushrooms often contain fibers that are unique, which are fermented by the gut microbiome, which then, “learns,” from the wisdom of the mushroom. I love that mushrooms grow in the ground and trees. Mushrooms have been around for over 600,000 million years. In comparison, recognizable humans are said to have be only 1-3 million years on this planet.

Because mushrooms must process the living or decaying material without the benefit of sunlight as energy, they have evolved strong systems which interact with bacteria, viruses, and other fungal species.

Some of the most amazing mushrooms live on birch trees and are wild harvested in Maine as well as in the Siberian Forest. Truly a gem of nutrition, something most people will never realize what how much they missed out on.

I’ve used this chaga and it is pretty good. You can check the current price at Amazon.com.

Evolve bacteria in your gut to fight disease of modern times.

Something strange inside me clicked this year after I read about how bacterial species can evolve (transfer genetic information laterally) in hours responding to that which is ingested or exposed to.

Lateral gene transfer is evolution real-time.

My goal is to absorb a wide variety of ancient genetic information from plants and healthy living things.

I believe that if I evolve my gut, then I can prevent the common sickness and exist with passion well into my 90’s. I aspire to be an example for others even though I struggle at times.

We should strive for variety in our nutrition, especially plant variety.

How many fresh foods have you neglected or literally never even tried? What if you changed that?

If all else fails, we still have chaga.

I hope you enjoyed this article about mushrooms. I love mushrooms the same way I love you, just as you are. Can you find some inspiration here?

Credit: Saara Alhopuro

Please follow the blog for more.

See you soon!

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Five Things Trainers are thinking while coaching your group fitness workout.

Coaches are thinking a lot of things during a session.

Here are five to share with you today.

1. What is that smell?

Actually, this is not the case much of the time. Probably because I get used to it and don’t notice it much anymore. I know most people would prefer not to pass gas during a class but sometimes it’s accidental or they need release badly. Bless everybody, I’m sure we all have a story!

2. Safety is priority.

My priority is to execute the workout in a safe, highly effective and fun way. That means keeping an eye out for neutral spines and opportunity to improve the upper back mobility of an individual.

3. I am impressed by people’s efforts and also need to know who needs some love.

I try to think about how every person has had a different day so far coming into this workout. For some people, we’re working out at 5 AM. For other people, we’re at 5:30 PM. I want people to know that I am amazed by their efforts and I want to validate all of your accomplishments.

4. Put the group first, so that they can put their best selves first.

The nice thing about Orangetheory Fitness or group workouts is that even though you are in a group atmosphere, you can often work at your own pace and feel that you are truly getting our own workout. That’s why I am invested in how the group is working effectively towards success.

Scroll for another one.

 

5. Stay in the moment.

Even though it is tempting to think about what you are doing that Saturday night, it’s unfair to the other people if you’re not thinking about them. Staying focused on other people can truly be your gift or your passion because of the value that it provides.

If you like this, follow the blog!

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Stair Climbing for Rapid Fat Loss?

How often do you take the stairs? Did you know that stair climbing is one of the safest, most effective ways to make fitness gains and burn fat fast?

Stair Climbing is one of the safest, most effective workouts available for urban dwellers.

If I ever move into a high rise building, I would probably stair climb almost every day because it’s that sustainable. When I stair climb with my clients in various buildings, I end up burning more fat from my own body than what I even expected. My cardiovascular system made some serious improvements when I started to incorporate stair climbing into my life and now I am a strong advocate for stair climbing.

Climb up the stairs, take the elevator down.

One of the reasons that stair climbing up a building is so sustainable is that it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience any soreness from the activity since there is little-to-no eccentric portion of movement. It’s different if you have to go outside and return down the stairs because the downhill part is often what gets your calves and knees a bit more sore (tear down of muscles and other tissue). Of course you’ll get a lot of benefits from stairs outside, but there is just something unique about being able to climb a tall building and take the elevator down. You’ll recover way faster and it won’t impede other activities or training goals. Lots of benefit without the soreness.

Throwback to my first Big Climb

Disease prevention.

Because stair climbing is SO good for the heart and because there are many WELL KNOWN benefits of moderate-high intensity exercise, there is a good chance that regular stair climbing can help with healthy aging and longevity. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’m not just passionate about fitness, I also care deeply about disease prevention and healthy aging. I’ve met too many people and I’ve had too many people in my life who have suffered through illness, sickness, and disease and I don’t believe it’s their fault — I do believe that we can do something about it though!

Give your body a reason to keep going.

As I mentioned earlier, I have many other motivations to take care of myself aside from “looking the part” for my career as a fitness professional. First of, I’ve experienced moments in my life when my body has let me down and caused me great distress along with emotional pain. Secondly, I have worked with people who have experienced all different types of ailments that I realized there’s no point trying to prevent one disease; you need to make effort to prevent ALL disease. The funny thing is that when you live a lifestyle that is truly about disease prevention, you end up feeling better about yourself AND burning more potentially harmful fat off of your body.

My very first Big Climb team

It’s okay to run out of excuses.

I am constantly fighting my own desire for comfort in order to make forward progress. My own meaning of purpose in life and my value to other people manifests from the knowledge and experience that I have and also my relatability — I struggle too. When I look at my experiences, I’ve noticed that in times when I am experiencing the most pain and discomfort are the times that I have made the most growth. I truly believe in disease prevention and I truly believe in the cure. It’s not just about personality responsibility, folks. We’re all in this together.

If my mission has moved you, consider contributing to my Big Climb 2018 fight to cure Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Click to give your support.

Dre Fitness is back. My readership of the blog has grown even though I haven’t been as active lately tells me that people appreciate the content that I create. I can only imagine how many people I can reach if I just stay consistent with content creation while continuing to be as authentic and genuine as I can be. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

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Cue CrossFit Seattle: Grand Opening 2017 Pioneer Square Fat Loss Workout

Cue CrossFit opens new CrossFit location by Century Link field in Seattle.

If you live or work in Pioneer Square, near Sodo, or the International District in Seattle, you now have a new option for high intensity workouts. Cue CrossFit just opened and of course Dre Fitness had to be there since we just love events that are fitness related.

cuecrossfitseattlegrandopening

Cue CrossFit Seattle Grand Opening which is by CenturyLink field.

You can meet a lot of good people and strengthen friendships with existing people.

I love going to fitness events because I get to hang out — doing healthy activities — with friends, professional contacts, and with people I’ve never met before.

Fitness is about community.

When it comes down to it, as long as the workout is high enough intensity and safe, it really doesn’t matter what style of workout it is. Ultimately, group fitness gyms like CrossFit, Orangetheory, or growing gyms like Accelerate Seattle are all about community. We workout together, sweat together, and through the process, we become stronger together.

gobletsquatsboxjumpWODatCueCrossfit (2)

Cue CrossFit Seattle WOD with my friends Brandon H., Brandon S, Katie, and more. Goblet Kettlebell Squats.

You can come up with new exercises or new ways to program an exercise, but ultimately if you’re not squatting, you’re just not allotting your time well. All good fitness programs will prescribe squats for you. All good fitness programs will work your muscles with exercises that promote strength and muscular balance. All good fitness programs will be prescribed by legitimate, motivational coaches.

Building community in Seattle.

People often ask me if I will ever make the leap to be the owner of my own gym. While I respect those who take the risk to open their own gyms, at this point I am going for the blogger, vlogger, and influencer route. I realize that there is only one of me and that I can produce content that is useful to many people as long as I stay dedicated and authentic to myself and my followers.

BrandonShiffletatCueCrossfitGrandOpening.jpg

I teased Brandon S. during the video only because I have great respect for his work!

Fitness is about more than a brand name.

Even though competition can be ruthless in the fitness industry, it is still an industry that is highly rewarding. I have more and more friends who are passionate about fitness but are stuck in office jobs that they simply have no love for. For that reason, I feel blessed to be part of a fitness lifestyle in which I can fully support myself here in Seattle and Capitol Hill to be specific.

CueCrossfitLove.jpg

Fitness is love, need I say more?

Train hard, and use nutrition to recover your body.

Regardless of the workout, it’s all about nutrition and sleep in order to promote recovery. Excuse my language, but any jackass can go and do a hard workout. However, the person who eats wild Alaskan salmon with kale and avocado will have FARRRR superior results than the person who goes and drinks their gains away with alcohol and Dick’s burgers. It’s been my experience that people who eat Dick’s end up smelling like Dick’s too.

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Darsenio can jump this high. Thanks to nutrition!

Antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, probiotics, and other nutrients are 100% crucial to all fitness, athletic, bodybuilding, and health related goals. If you care for yourself, eat your damn vegetables!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel, Follow the DreFitness.com Blog and stay tuned for more.

Thanks for reading. Even though we’re in the early process of launching our YouTube, I guarantee we will have growth. I have too much passion for the fitness and too many friends who are willing to help out that it will be impossible to fail. All we have to do is stay consistent and get the message out there.

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It’s all about who you know, anyway.

How can I give you value? Reach out to me for inquiries, comments, or suggestions. Once again, thank you so much for reading!

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Insider’s Guide to Orangetheory and Responses to OTF News and Article Commenters

What are your expectations of an Orangetheory class?

Some of you have followed my blog for months or years, while others have stumbled upon it in a search for Orangetheory Fitness Seattle or other popular terms that Google directs here. I like to stay abreast of the news surrounding Orangetheory all around the country as people everywhere are getting a chance to be part of this rapidly growing fitness trend.

As an Orangetheory trainer, I have coached over fifteen hundred classes in Seattle’s Capitol Hill and Lower Queen Anne neighborhoods.

Based on repeat attendance, this equals to more than 30,000 workout sessions delivered. Yes, being a group personal trainer is highly rewarding and it’s inspiring to think about my reach in the community. Whether you are reading this article because you are considering your first Orangetheory class or because you’re just interested in fitness, you may gain something so continue reading on.

Here's a quick snap at the end of one of my HIIT classes at the Orangetheory Fitness in Seattle, WA... the Capitol Hill studio location.

Here’s a quick snap at the end of one of my HIIT classes at the Orangetheory Fitness in Seattle, WA… the Capitol Hill studio location.

Below are three recent articles, information, and responses about Orangetheory from an insider perspective.

5 Things to Know Before your First Orangetheory Class

This Health.com article provides a great template for setting up healthy expectations of a first OTF class.

Coaches do want to personalize your workout

Coaches do want to personalize your workout

Here are the bullet points:

  • “It’s a perfect option for gym-goers who hate group exercise classes.”
    • While you follow the templates, there is way much individualization available and the trainers make an effort for you
    • Trainers do their best to remember your name, just keep in mind they might be coaching 100 different people throughout the day so reach out as needed.
    • If it’s your first class, you should get extra attention for sure.
  • “You need to get there (really) early.”
    • We ask that people arrive 30 minutes before class because it will make your workout experience so much smoother.
    • Arriving early will answer many of the questions that you would otherwise have during class.
    • Don’t forget, this is still HIIT so the pace of the class is quite upbeat no matter your fitness level.
    • Arriving early allows trainers to understand your needs and values, and to cater your first experience to that.
  • “You may develop a love-hate relationship with the heart-rate monitor.”
    • Everybody responds differently to the heart rate system as we all are built in different shapes, sizes with different heart beats as well. It may be very challenging to get even 10 minutes in the Orange zone, or you may be in the red zone half the class.
    • For the most part, the heart rates are a fantastic guide to being successful in the workout.
    • Just know that there may be some fluctuations that occur, in part due to the bouncing up and down and potentially aggressive nature of HIIT workouts.
  • “Don’t expect to do the same workout in your next class.”
    • Every workout is different, yet every workout provides you the opportunity to be better than your previous self.
    • You will get the benefits of HIIT every. single. time. by reaching the target heart rate zones.
    • Furthermore, you can continue busting through fat loss and fitness plateaus by focusing more intensity on a particular area (such as running faster at an incline on the treadmill).

Overall, I’d recommend coming with an open mind and communicating your reasons to the instructor. Why are you here, really? We want to know this information so we can individualize certain aspects of your Orangetheory workout and give you a great experience that leaves you feeling great and burning calories for hours upon hours following it.

NY Times: At the Gym, Abs and Stats

In this NY Times article, the author gives a brief overview of previous trends throughout the decades and then settles in on a discussion about the OTF experience and how the business fits into the overall context of group workouts.

Image of the heart rate system OTBeat

Image of the heart rate system OTBeat

They definitely don’t hesitate to talk about their own experience, feeling that for the author personally it was a competitive experience due to the stats on the board. Even so, I never base my workout on how many calories I burned versus somebody else because that is not the most ideal indicator of success.

What’s most interesting are the reader comments to the article.

Wabi-Sabi wrote: How different you city people are!
$32/class? Do you have so much money to waste? I run 7 miles with my dog
every day. She counts on me and I count on her.

Fortunately, Seattle prices are half of that or less. And secondly, I bet OTF runners are fitter, faster, and may actually enjoy the experience of group coaching motivational styles. If you consider a Personal Trainer in NYC is $80 or more, a Personal Trainer in Seattle is $60 or more, it’s certainly no waste of money for an investment in health and fitness.

D Jacob wrote: It should be clarified that there is no ranking on the orangetheory board so deciding who is in “last place” is determined only in your own mind. The numbers are specific to your weight, age, and effort, so comparing to other people’s numbers is not the point and not the right way to do it. You’re reading your own level of exertion, seeing how your recovery from exertion improves over time, and keeping your heart rate in specific zones.

A 250 pound, 45 year old guy is going to do that a lot differently than a 90 pound, 25 year old woman and how a vastly different calorie burn. I find this article misleading in the implication that it’s competitive. If you’re a competitive person, then you’ll be competitive here. If, like me, you are not, then you may like having data that really shows what you’re doing. There’s no terror unless you create it for yourself.

Good point and well said. Spoken like someone who truly experiences the benefits of heart rate led group interval training.

Andrew Hendricks wrote: Regardless of the comments below- I’ll keep my thoughts to myself on the inaccurate statements, narcissistic rants, and complete fitness bullying I am reading in the comments portion and say- what is wrong with each his own. I have been an OTF member for over 8 months- been to more than 20 studios but regular at Chelsea and Massapequa, and I mean religiously 5 times a week. All it’s done for me- was change my life- down 70 pounds, off all meds, in better shape than I’ve been in since my 20’s, complete confidence in life and have made the best friends anyone can have- Perhaps I should go back to smoking, over eating and sitting on the couch..

Wow, beautiful. This is the reason I love what I do. No matter the stress of an irregular schedule or the challenges of being a full time coach… stuff like this is what makes it all worth it. I guarantee every studio in the entire country has stories like this. Changing lives not only changes others, it changes us to. So thank you to all of the Andrew Hendrick’s of the fitness world!!

ringO wrote: They’re going to spend their $$$ on something.
Might as well be fitness.
I’m all for it.
It is always better to buy experiences than material goods.

And I’ll just leave it at that. I know people in Seattle are doing alright financially and even people who are on a modest income still realize that they are going to get way more benefit out of Orangetheory classes than the latest designer clothing. Btw, your ass will look way better in those designer jeans anyway.

And finally, one more article response and this article definitely does not hold back on the criticism…

This Gym Chain NEEDS to Address This Important Issue

Miss Kelsey Miller over at Refinery29.com unfortunately did not have the best experience on her first class. As an online content writer, was her intent to scrutinize the experience from the beginning or was she actually looking for a workout routine for herself?

Refinery29 Author

Refinery29 Author

Full disclosure: I went into Orangetheory’s Brentwood location with my usual skepticism of any flashy new workout trend.

There’s our answer.

At the end of my first and only session at Orangetheory Fitness, I stood sweating amid a group of 20-odd students while our trainer, Lal, pointed at my name on the screen.

“You only had seven minutes in the Orange Zone.” He had that I’m-not-mad-I’m-disappointed kind of tone. “You need to push yourself — get uncomfortable.”

As coaches, we’re usually aiming to encourage people by saying, “For those of you who didn’t hit it, one day, you’ll reach 12 minute in the Orange Zone.” That being said, she makes it sound like he called her out in front of the entire group, but I’m inclined to believe he was off the microphone chatting with her one-on-one.

Filling out the pre-workout paperwork, I noted a lingering knee problem of mine that often acts up during certain exercises. After a brief warm-up, my group was sent to the weight-training floor for a timed interval of bench step movements and squats. Lal shouted instructions and then pointed to a screen with written steps as well as an animated little person demo-ing the moves. That’s when I first felt my knee begin to twang and paused to consider a modification. By now, Lal was on the other side of the studio, shouting instructions to the treadmill group, so I turned to the virtual trainer, who told me in no uncertain terms to just keep going.

Gosh, I can completely understand this scenario. I always ask a new person about injuries and do not rely on the client intake form — I want to hear it from your mouth. Admittedly, something I could do better is ask all my current members if they have any injuries acting up lately, since sometimes we’re at 100% and other times not so much. So it’s clear that our hero, Lal, missed a step by not going back to Kelsey after delivering the treadmill instructions and asking for a status update on her knee.

Then again, personal responsibility also plays a role. In group workouts, your trainer needs to be there for you, and you also need to be there for yourself. I always recommend not working through the pain unless you are prescribed by a rehabilitation specialist (or you simply know your body better than anybody else). So, she could have made eye contact with Lal and waved him down and I’m sure he would be willing to come right on over to deliver the options. Right, Lal?

Thankfully, my knee pain eased up when I got to the rowing and treadmill portion of the class, but even though I pushed myself hard enough to thoroughly drench my T-shirt, I wasn’t as concerned with hitting the anaerobic Orange Zone as I was with getting through the workout without hurting myself. So, when Lal pointed at the screen, gently scolding me for staying mostly in the aerobic Green Zone, I wasn’t all that bothered.

“Yeah, I’m fine with that.”

Definitely something missing in the communication channel between these two individuals. Now I know that some individuals simply need more attention to have a great experience, while others need only a few moments of encouragement to perform at their best.

If I was the trainer in this situation, I would again ask Kelsey about the status of her knee. Then, seeing that she is not reaching the Orange zone during a push pace, I would use the simple RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion) by asking Kelsey how she feels about her intensity on a scale of 1-10. Where 1 is completely resting and 10 is the most intense all out effort of her life. If she is somewhere around 7-9 perceived intensity and still in the green zone, then I would be fine with that… encouraging her to continue working and that it’s totally fine especially on her first workout.

Over time you learn to read people. As a coach, I recall a time when I received negative feedback for not pushing a person hard enough, she said something like, “I felt there were opportunities my trainer could have pushed me harder.” And when I look back at that specific moment, I realize that yet again it was a simple lapse in the communication channel between myself and this person.

But at Orangetheory, there’s little talk of the long-term. Consistency takes a backseat to instantaneous results.

Excuse my language but what in the HECK does that mean? The REALITY of the situation — and again this is coming from a coach who has been immersed in OTF for years — If you CONSISTENTLY show up to an Orangetheory workout 3-4 times per week, I guarantee you will get results. Guaranteed. Seriously. That’s consistency and if something hurts your knees, I also guarantee there are ways around it.

Truth be told, the people who get the fastest results are also the ones who allow themselves to be coached. As an employee of OTF, I know that my work will be superior by allowing myself to be coached by the leadership around me (and perhaps even my peers). Likewise, getting results at OTF is purely about attitude.

The only reason that OTF is so popular is because it works. It works to get you healthy, it works to get you fit, it works to burn the fat, and it works for those who want to be part of a community. Hey, Seattle transplants, I’m talking to you. Come make some friends.

I’m alarmed that, of all fitness trends, this one appears to be growing so fast. But I’ll admit that Orangetheory is popular for a reason: Many clients gush with real sincerity about how it has changed their lives. In fitness, I’ve learned that the only thing that matters is finding something that works for you, and if somebody raises an eyebrow, who cares? But I’ve also learned there’s nothing wrong with being the one who raises an eyebrow.

I do think she makes some interesting points about the “Biggest Loser Mentality” at OTF, but I’d say that only accounts for a fraction of the reasons people actually go. Consider that out of over a thousand members at Seattle’s Capitol Hill location, only about sixty of them are participating in the 6 week weight loss challenge where the grand prize is $2,500 and a free year membership. Yes, we have helped people lose 60+ pounds over the course of several months. In reality though, the average person is just looking for a workout that makes them feel great and allows them to continually improve their fitness levels.

And our author, Kelsey, finally concedes that if it works for you, then that’s what matters.

Also, Kelsey, if you are ever in Seattle, give me a chance. 9 times out of 10, I’ll change your perception of Orangetheory and maybe we’ll really be able to connect on a coaching level. By the way, just as you criticize OTF, I hope you can appreciate the validity of my points as well.

It’s been a journey for me as a coach, learning how to look deep inside myself and be able to authentically care about all different types of people who in most cases are very much unlike myself. I’ve also had struggles with people who tried my class for the first time and it frustrates me, I literally lose sleep when I realize that I gave somebody a less than ideal experience. It forces me to come back stronger the next day. It forces me to engage in an encouraging, positive and open minded communication channel with individuals and groups on a daily basis.

For those of you who take my class for the first time in Seattle, know that my intention is to give you a great experience and that your participation and attention is a requirement for this to happen. I’ll meet you where you’re at with your fitness, and you meet me with your needs — we’ll go places you never dreamed of.

Thank you all and stay tuned for future content.

My goal for this year is to be more consistent myself with blogging. I realize that I have soooo many followers in Seattle that scheduling one-on-one time with each of you is nearly impossible. However, know that if you want to schedule that time, I can make myself available.

And if it’s just my knowledge that you need, then keep coming back and please leave a comment if this interests you.

 

 

 

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