Last week the new Orange Theory Fitness studio near me held its “preview” week with unlimited free classes for those who signed up in advance and had been
stalking their Facebook page eagerly awaiting their opening since March. I managed to squeeze in three classes at three different times of day with two different instructors. So, what is Orange Theory Fitness all about?
Orange Theory Fitness Classes
One great thing about Orange Theory Fitness classes is that no two are the same, although each class usually involves (i) intervals on a treadmill, (ii) rowing on a rowing machine and (iii) strength work with free weights, TRX straps, and other fun toys.
I’d never used TRX straps before, but now I know why so many people love them. They are so versatile–we’ve used them for pull-ups, pistol squats, chest presses, and more–and talk about working a muscle group to failure!
Depending on the class size, there may be 1-3 groups rotating through different “blocks” of the workout. I’ve always started on the treadmill, but might start on the rowing machine for my 5:00 am classes. In the classes that had three groups we spent about 20 min on each area. In the class that had two groups we spend about 30 min on the treadmill and 30 min alternating between the rowing machines and strength workouts.
The Theory Behind Orange Theory Fitness
The “theory” behind Orange Theory Fitness is that if you can spend 12-20 minutes (total) in your “orange” heart rate zone (>84% of your maximum heart rate) you will burn calories long after your workout is over–with an increased metabolic rate for up to 24 to 36 hours. You use a heart rate monitor during class to monitor your effort, which you can check on the big overhead screens, and earn Splat Points for every minute you spend in your orange or red heart rate zones.
I am finding that it is really hard to get my heart rate into the orange zone for more than a few minutes during the 20-30 minute treadmill block. While my heart rate is pretty high when I run, it builds over time and stays in the “green” zone unless I really push my pace and/or the incline.
I finally met my goal during my third class, but I had to use 7.3 or 7.5 mph as my “push pace” and 8.0 or 8.3 mph as my “all out” pace. That is just crazy fast for me (I usually opt for 6.5 or 6.7 mph on the treadmill), and I’m not sure I could do it during a 5:00 am class, when my body is just not ready for that level of exertion!
While I’d like to go to Orange Theory Fitness twice a week, I plan to go once a week so I can keep running and spinning and still have some easier days in my schedule. Speaking of which, here’s my report for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly and Tricia.
Sunday: 60 min Orange Theory Fitness
Monday: 45 min indoor cycling
Tuesday: strength workout at home (mostly core)
Wednesday: 60 min Orange Theory Fitness
Thursday: 8 mile run in Central Park
Friday: strength workout at hotel gym (mostly upper body and core)
Saturday: 60 min Orange Theory Fitness
Do you have a favorite studio class?