Not Too Shabby


The following was told to me by a forty-something physician who needs his own blog (we’ll call him Trent) and is shared with his permission: 

So I had the afternoon off and a free trial for a gym called Orange Theory Fitness and decided to try it out. It is a group class and they put a heart rate monitor on you. Your pulse shows up on a giant big screen monitor with your name and corresponds to a color. Starts with grey (basically means they think you have your thumb up your ass whistling Dixie), blue means you need to try harder, orange is perfect range of 75 to 90% of max (hence the name Orange Theory) and red means to ease back a bit. You do various weight lifting routines mixed with cardio on treadmill and rowing. It was a very intense workout. 

There were 30 or so people in the class, mostly 20 something hot girls and gay guys (not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just who was there). 

The “teacher” was a 20-something blond, perky typical fitness instructor with a microphone to speak to the class and giant fake boobs. Every five minutes she looks at the big board and praises the oranges by name. I am remaining grey so I push it. 

I am outrunning and outlifting all these 20 somethings!

But the instructor is focused only on the big board. Now she praises the oranges but singles out the greys. “Come on, Trent, you’re not going to get better unless you push it. You can do it.” Finally she comes over to me and asks why I am not trying. She fails to notice the profuse sweating and the fact that my treadmill is going faster than anyone else’s. I tell her while panting that I am on a beta blocker* and that limits my heart rate. “Great job Suzie, Great job Amy,……….” continues and doesn’t seem interested. 

After the class she tells me that I struggled because it was my first time to do the class. She is sure I will do better next time. I again mention the beta-blocker. She cuts me off and says, “You might want to see a doctor.” I shake my head and leave. 

*Beta Blockers are a class of blood pressure medication that slows the heart rate. 


101 thoughts on “Not Too Shabby

  1. Victo, this is priceless! Trent doesn’t need his own blog, you’re the only one who can tell the stories! I’m shaking my head! The young high-powered fitness guru didn’t have a clue! Not to know about such things, and it’s a fitness center? Happy weekend! Elizabeth (aka Chryssa)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hmm. A bit of medical pedantry, perhaps. Ought commercial fitness centers be more medically correct? Probably, but that would require regulation and that would increase the expense. Orange Theory is simply leveraging the common knowledge that people are inherently competitive. If they tried to fine-tune their color system by requiring medication data, I think the regular clientele would consider it an onerous step. I wonder if there might be a market for fitness centers specializing in the older crowd? Could be a coming thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny story and I concur — I’d read more from him. Thanks for passing it along and sharing your forum.

    Also thanks for the medical defense: I’m right BMI and get plenty of exercise, eat mostly foods I make myself (and I’m don’t like sweet baked goods much, so I don’t mean that.) My cholesterol and other numbers are great, and I’m as flexible as a woman half my age. And my BP is good BECAUSE it’s medicated. I get pretty tired of being blamed for the high BP, and often by people who could stand to get off their own asses and move a little more.

    On that note, GO TRENT!!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Hence, why I would never go to a class like that….it is like the “Biggest Loser”…. people watching sadistic people be horrible and nasty to people who are so desperate to be accepted.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I do have one question, though. If Trent knew that the beta blocker would retard his heart rate, was it wise to keep pushing himself so hard? From what he said, he was obviously working at or near his maximum even though the big board didn’t reflect it. Wouldn’t this type of exercise be dangerous for someone like that who would never get out of the gray zone no matter what? Target heart rates have to take into consideration age also. Even if he were going at a slower pace than the twenty-somethings around him, he could still be working as hard or harder, if you factor that in. Just curious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • He is a smart guy. And in great shape as he works out regularly. He knows not to do anything dangerous. That is why, however, lay people on beta blockers need to understand that this is not the best workout trend to follow. I have never thought myself to have a conversation about target heart rate during exercise with my patients on beta blockers but with these chains opening up everywhere I really do need to spend some time educating people in the clinical setting and hopefully Orange Theory is going to be educating instructors and clients on their end.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Tell Trent that if Cordelia’s Mom manages to maintain a blog, he can, too. After all, he’s already on beta blockers, so the stress of reader rejection might be easier to handle. (oops, did I actually write that? I mean, the excitement of reader enthusiasm will be easier to handle.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve gone to a gym for years but I’ve never taken a class or employed a trainer because of nuts like this. Exercising is a meditative experience for my. While running or doing whatever, I clear my mind and think my way through whatever hell is going on. The last thing I need is someone yelling at me or expressing disappointment over my efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi “Victoire”. My apologies for getting “off the radar” (Brian Bauer).
    This is a good example of a number of… exercise “leaders” who have only taken the “motivation” class,(You can do it!) And have no idea of basic, minimal health requirements or concepts.

    Liked by 1 person

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