Health clubs and fitness routines often times sweep the nation. Today we’re going to talk about a concept in the health and fitness world that has been around for a few years but is finally getting the national and global media it deserves due to it’s long line of success stories.
What is Orange Theory Fitness?
In short, this is the best one hour workout you can invest in. They offer over 330 studios in 28 States in the USA (and growing rapidly), and are expanding into many overseas markets.
It all starts with one instructor, and a well designed studio offering music that plays to the workout routine. The instructors are normally chipper and well educated on the movements, yet not drill sergeants who will make you feel clumsy if you don’t do something perfect. They offer support, encouragement, and help.
The big thing they do here is work your heart rate through a combination of tread mill (or bike if you have bad knees), rowing, and body / free weight exercises. Keeping your heart rate up, and then dropping it down while doing interval training is the best way to lose fat.
Each class runs for an hour, with most workouts being about 50-55 minutes and allowing a few minutes for stretching after the class.
If you enjoy “mixing it up” and having a different workout every day, Orange Theory workouts could be the best thing for you to achieve the results you desire.
Every attendee gets their own station, complete with weights to choose from, mats for abdominal exercises, and TRX straps. The workouts always shift, so you’ll be in a group that will start on either weights, rowers, or the treadmill. Some classes, called “Tornados,” will whip you from station to station in two minutes, while other days will have you spend almost twenty minutes on a routine before moving to the next station.
Preparing for Your First Orange Theory Class
First off, sign up online or call a studio near you. Arrive about 15 minutes early so you can fill out the paperwork and get your heart monitor of choice hooked up. This is the backbone of your workout (tracking your results) and what you’ll eventually judge your performance with. You may get some small talk about your goals, experience with workouts, and of course, fitness level, but that’s all standard stuff at any new gym or fitness class.
When you join Orange Theory Fitness, you’ll have to learn some lingo. Here is a glossary of what you should know. Don’t worry, it all comes to you within a class or two and will be in your head forever, even if you don’t want it to be.
- Base Pace: this is when you are on the treadmill. The base pace is different for everyone because most people will either categorize themselves as a power walker, a jogger, or a runner. Each category is more progressive and suggests a higher level of fitness, but everyone will have a base pace that they feel is something brisk that challenges them, yet is a pace that can be held strong even after a long sprint.
- Push Pace: Moving up from the base pace is the push pace. This is the pace that challenges you to hit the next level and find your next gear. It’s usually 1-2 units up on the treadmill from your base pace.
- All Out: The all out pace is a full sprint. Most of the times these are done between 30 seconds and one minute, but at times it can vary. The all out time is where you challenge yourself and push your body to the limit. Most of the time an all out pace will be followed by reverting back to the base pace speed.
You’ll have an instructor coaching you along the entire way, so don’t let this overwhelm you.
Everyone starts off on the monitor in a gray zone. (Unless they came sprinting in from another workout and have a high heart rate already!).
From gray, to blue, to green, to orange, and then bright red, you’ll watch on various monitors are your heart rate moves up and down. The “Orange Zone” is the fat burning zone, and they say that when you reach that zone, you are helping your body burn fat for another 24-36 hours after the work out is completed.
Orange Theory focuses on high intensity interval training (HIIT) that moves the workout through states of walking, jogging, running, and exerting energy that will move the heart rate up very rapidly and then offer a brief period of active recovery. HIIT is well known as one of the best ways to burn calories and fat.
In fact, the “Orange Effect” is based on maximizing the (EPOC) excess post exercise oxygen consumption otherwise referred to as after burn. The classes are built to spike your metabolism and boost your energy as you move from weights to cardio training and vice versa.
To be clear, the “Orange Zone” is 84-91% of your max heart rate. The goal at OTF Fitness is to be in that zone for 12-20 minutes during the class. You’ll be able to follow your progress on the monitor, as well as spy on your colleagues who allow themselves to be tracked as well!
Pro’s of Orange Theory Fitness Classes
Perhaps the part that keeps this workout routine fun is the fact that the instructors each have their own playlist of songs as well as the fact that every day there is a new workout. You can generally expect a 50-55 minute workout along with about 10-20 other people.
Another positive thing about the classes is that you work at your own fitness levels. Your base pace won’t be the same as the ex-Olympian who can still run for hours on end, just like the weights you choose to use in the weight room won’t be the same as the bodybuilder coming in to change up his routine. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong,” as far as selecting your desired levels, they just ask that you push yourself, as you should in any workout routine. You also get a digest of how your workout turned out. Everything from “time in the zone” to calories burned are tracked, and it’s neat to see the results after a grueling workout. This shows up in your email seamlessly.
Con’s of Orange Theory Fitness Program
Some will say that the cost, which ranges from location to location oddly enough, is prohibitive. We’ve seen it as low as $139 and as high as $159 for monthly dues, but when you add the fact that you can go seven days per week, and weigh that cost versus a personal trainer, it’s a pretty good bargain. Still, there are people who won’t want to do that because of budget concerns.
Typical rates advertised are as follows:
- $25 for a drop in class
- $59 for 4 classes a month (plus $15 each for additional classes)
- $99 for 8 classes a month (plus $12 each for additional classes)
- $159 for unlimited classes each month
Again, this can vary by location and there are promotions at times.
Another place the classes can be less than ideal is that they often fill up rather early. In comparison to a gym where you can go whenever you want, you have to (normally) think ahead and book classes at least 24 hours ahead of time. Some people aren’t interested in doing this, but it’s due to the popularity of the workout, which again should say something.
Other websites have commented that the studios are crowded, but we disagree. Everyone gets their own station to work out, and it’s not like we are wrestling one another while being on a treadmill!
Overall, Orange Theory Fitness reviews are very solid. If you are fed up with fad diets, poorly thought out fitness routines, or just want to change and do something other than your local gym, give OTF a try.
And just for kicks, here’s a list of celebrities who have been spotted at Orange Theory locations.
- DJ Pauly D (Las Vegas)
- Manny Ramirez (Weston, Florida)
- Bill Romanowski (Las Vegas)
- T Pain
- Lolo Jones
In fact, we have zero affiliation with this Pinterest account, but there is one dedicated to “OTFCELEBS.”
— Orangetheory Fitness (@OTheoryFitness) October 9, 2015