I have an addiction to distance. I like the long, slow run. Don’t ask me to push my pace (unless I can see the finish line, then I’ll sprint at puke speed…) So, when I was given the opportunity to attend an Orangetheory Fitness class, my first thought was “this is going to hurt”. My second thought was “sure, why not…”
I’m hear to tell you – it did not hurt. It might have been uncomfortable a few times during the process, but it did not hurt.
So, what is Orangetheory?
The idea of Orangetheory is this: a 60-minute workout designed to push you into the Orange Zone. This creates “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. It’s what burns calories after your workout and gives you noticeable, lasting results with Orangetheory Fitness. During the 60-minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, which translates to Zones 4/5. This program design produces workout “afterburn” effect, which is an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout.
I arrived early, not knowing what to expect. I was immediately greeted by one of the staff who basically walked me through getting my heart rate monitor set up and then explained how the whole session worked. I LOVED this. I am often a newbie at classes and can usually figure out what to do by watching other people, but it was so awesome to have some give my a step by step explanation of what to expect. Bonus points to Orangetheory!
The class I was taking was not their typical class. In most classes, the beginning cardio section is done entirely on the treadmill (with varied speeds and incline based on the goals of the workout.) You get to choose your speeds for the workouts and you can tell if have chosen correctly, based on a big screen on the wall that tells you what zone you are in. It was cool to see that when I felt like I was working hard, my heart rate did indeed indicate I was working hard. After the treadmill, the remainder of the class is a combo of weights and the rowing machine.
Anyways, the class I took was a little different. We alternated between the rowing machine and the treadmill during the cardio time: .5 mile run/500 m row, .4 mile run/500 m row, .4 mile run 300m row, etc. This was crazy hard for me, in part because we were supposed to run at “push it pace”, in part because I almost never use a rowing machine. But I survived. And I didn’t puke (did I mention the sprints in the last .1 miles on the treadmill each time? Umm, yeah.)
After we survived the cardio, we moved over to the strength area of the room. Each person had a numbered area (corresponded to the treadmill number) with a TRX, a short bench, and an ab roller. In my class, we used a combination of the TRX, free weights, and body weight to workout our upper bodies and core. Confession: I just about died. OK, maybe not. But apparently I have zero upper body and core strength. None at all.
Overall, I’d give Orangetheory Fitness an A+. The instructor and staff were great and made me feel totally comfortable. The workout was hard, but doable. I could control how much I pushed (or didn’t push). And when I got done, I felt like I’d left everything I had in me there. Also, I’m pretty sure the DOMS will be strong with this one!
Want to try it out? Many Orangetheory Fitness studios offer one free class. Go take one! There are multiple studios across the nation and quite a few around the DC area, including one that’s about to open in Gainesville! Today is the last day to get their “Founder’s Rates”. (Jump on that – this is an awesome workout!) Classes there start in the next week. They offer monthly options and package deals, in addition to buying a single class. I love that their package deals last a full year instead of only a few months like a lot of places. I’m trying to figure out the best option to add a few classes a month to my schedule.
Have you ever done an Orangetheory Fitness class? I really really enjoyed it and think it will be the perfect compliment to my usual long and slow workouts.
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Disclaimer: I got to take the class for free, but at my local Orangetheory, anyone can have a free first class. All opinions are my own.