Last weekend I participated in the World’s Largest HIIT Class at Wrigley Field. It was an event by Orangetheory Fitness and Augie’s Quest to raise money for ALS research and awareness and to set a Guinness World Record for attendance at a high-intensity interval training workout class.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew the actual class wouldn’t be on the field. Ticket prices varied based on where you chose to work out. I decided to work out in the Lower Concourse, which was one of the most affordable options. I didn’t feel the need to be close to the field because I’ve been able to do that before many times. I just wanted to get in a good workout for charity.
The email from the event said the gates would open at 6:30 a.m. and closed at 8 a.m. I arrived about 7:30 and the lines were long to enter the ballpark. It seemed that the process was a bit behind on schedule. They then announced they were speeding up security checks to get things back on track. Once we passed through security we were directed to head to the bleachers for a group photo. We also heard from the founder of Orangetheory, Ellen Latham, and did the wave, because why not? After the photo we exited the bleachers section by section to our designated workout area. That’s when the judges counted us individually. When I got to the Lower Concourse, we saw small orange circles on the floor. These were markers for where we were to stand to work out and space us out evenly. Once the workout began, we basically watched the instructors on the TV screens while coaches were spread throughout the concourse to help us and cheer us on.
The workout itself was as basic as it gets. It was led by Ryan Evans, regional director of fitness for Orangetheory Illinois. We repeated the same movements for the entire class: squats, lunges, mountain climbers and marching in place. The only difference was moving at base, push and all-out paces throughout class. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t have more variety, but I can see how they’d want to keep it simple for the purposes of breaking this record and appealing to everyone. Also, it’s not like they could bring their treadmills and rowers or weights! I didn’t understand, though, why we couldn’t add some crunches or pushups or other exercises to the basic routine.
The class lasted 45 minutes before the after party began. (By the way, the ticket included a drink ticket.) I didn’t stay for the party because I had my own party to host that afternoon, but I’m glad I participated in a world-record attempt!
Note: I am unsure at this time if we have official set a record. I will update this post if I find out.