The workout at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) is said to be one of the most innovative and motivational workouts for what’s typically treacherous and redundant exercises. The secret? Having a variety of stations—so you’re not bored—and a coach telling you exactly what to do—so you don’t feel like you’re about to roll off the back of the treadmill. And take it from a person who hates running with a passion and dreads going to the gym (ahem, that would be me). But make it fun, tell me that an average of three to four classes per week can lead to up to eight pounds of weight-loss per week ,and throw in a fitness coach/amazing motivator? Well, NOW, you’ve got my attention.
The purpose of OTF is to build strength, increase metabolism, and tone and shape your body like nothing else. This heart-rate, interval-based cardio and strengthening workout uses scientifically proven concepts and heart-rate monitoring technology to help burn fat in a fun 60-minute group session.
The moment I walked into the studio in Newport Beach, Calif., my anxiety about this seemingly daunting experience was instantly calmed by the beautiful dichotomy of the chill yet energetic staff members clad in orange. (How appropriate!) Marc Thomas, owner of the Newport Beach franchise, was the kindest, most genuine and passionate person who truly believes in his business. He left corporate America to pursue what he loved and on Jan. 24 of this past year, Thomas opened this first location in California, with plans to expand throughout SoCal.
I was given a heart rate monitor to strap around my ribs underneath my breast bone and filled out my information (age, weight). Before I knew it, I was walking through clear double glass doors into a world of what I thought might be torture. I felt like a child on a playground, trying to determine whose victim I would be first. Was it the treadmill station on the left, the water rowing station on the right or the TRX bands, which occupied the remaining half of the room?
Truth be told, I chose to begin with the 25-ish minutes on the treadmill because I was a little late and wanted to cut that part of the workout short. Can you blame me? Who doesn’t think “BOOORING!” when they hear treadmill?
On the treadmill, I found a simple table that listed speed-walker, jogger and sprinter on the left side, and BASE (which is a pace you could maintain pretty comfortably for 25 to 30 minutes), PUSH (more challenging) and ALL OUT (your max heart rate zone) across the top. There were suggested times and levels, and Coach would tell us when to push, when to go all out and when to return to our base. It was very manageable because of the range in each category. He would tells us, “Just 30 second in all out, then we’ll go back to base,” so we knew that we were going to be just fine.
During the workout, we experienced multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84 percent or higher of our maximum heart rate, which translates to Zones 4/5 (or the Orange and Red zones) that we could see on the screen and see how we fared compared to our classmates/competitors. The combination of seeing my heart rate on the screen and feeling that competitive surge against my classmates, having a coach tell me what to do, and the variety of circuit training, I felt motivated, inspired and wanting more. Each class is different so all different muscle groups are targeted—and it makes me want to go back.
Best of all, even after you’re done working out, your body will still experience “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)” from the interval training, which is the workout “after-burn” effect that produces a 200 to 400 calorie increase to your metabolism 24 to 36 hours after you leave. The gift that keeps on giving!
This class is designed for all levels so no need to be afraid like I was. You train and push at your own pace.
Orangetheory Fitness began in Florida and has 32 locations across the U.S. and one in Canada—and it’s growing fast. Hurry and find your closest location. If you don’t have one close by, start writing them letters so you don’t miss out . You too will be a believer in the Orange!
Do you like interval training and tracking your results to stay interested and motivated? —Crystal