I’ll be the first to admit – I was skeptical when I first heard about the trendy concept of running, rowing and lifting weights all in one hour.
This was three weeks ago when I tried my first Orangetheory class.
In a short few weeks, I’ve been turned from an Orangetheory skeptic into believer. I’ll share with you all about my experience and why I have to endorse this as the best exercise class available for women to lose weight quickly, tone muscle and look absolutely fantastic in a short amount of time.
Even having only done my first 5 classes, I can already tell:
- Abs and quads are noticeably tighter
- Pants fit slightly better
- Endurance on the treadmill has increased
- Energy levels higher
- Sleep better
What I know now is – if you’ve been looking for a way to kick start your fitness journey and loose a few pounds at a healthy speed, then Orangetheory might be the key to getting started.
These classes will not fail to entertain and challenge you. Hey, they’re even fun too.
How I Found Orangetheory
When I first saw the orange logo, I have to admit, I wasn’t interested.
I figured it was just a new trendy Crossfit where people busied themselves throwing around truck tires to build muscle with their fitness friends.
This wasn’t something I, an avid elliptical and yoga kind of girl, was looking for.
Then like 3-4 years passed. I passed age 30. Then, I stopped working out. I started treating things like walking around the grocery store or cleaning out my car as “exercise.”
And that was when I realized, it might be time to rethink my exercise routine and try a new class. I saw Orangetheory and decided to give it a shot.
What is Orangetheory? Who is it For?
Orange theory is a 60-minute high-intensity interval training class that focuses on a combination of cardio and strength-based exercises. On their website, they describe themselves as:
Orangetheory is a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside out. The hardest part of our workouts is showing up – we make it simple for you to push yourself, be your personal best and give you more.
The class uses low-impact treadmills, rowing machines and tools like BOSU, dumbells, resistance bands and TRX straps to build your strength.
Classes are best suited for people at all fitness levels, whether just starting out or in athletic shape. Even people with injuries or who are pregnant can participate, which I talk about more below.
Every participant can go at their own pace in the class, pushing as hard as what is reasonable for their fitness level.
What is a Class Like?
Standard classes run for 60-minutes, but no one class is the same.
Sometimes you’ll run on a treadmill for 25 minutes, other times you’ll run on a treadmill for 4 minutes and switch to another activity. Sometimes you’ll lift arm weights, other times you’ll do floor pilates or abs exercises.
The variety is simply amazing.
All studios cycle through 3 standard class types: Power, Strength and Endurance classes.
Power classes feature short intervals on treadmill, rower and floor work, while strength classes focus on steeper treadmill inclines and heavy weights. Endurance classes are designed for longer periods on the treadmill and rower and higher reps on the weights.
Every class is executed differently and every studio has a different line up of classes from one day to the next to keep you fresh and engaged.
What’s the Theory behind It?
Orangetheory sets fitness goals for you based on your maximum heart rate level while exercising. As you push yourself during the exercises, your heart rate will hit higher levels.
Maximum heart rate is determined by a combination of factors including weight, height and age.
If your heart rate reaches maximum levels, you’ll be in the red zone.
At high but not maximum heart rate levels, you’ll be in the orange zone.
At more moderate heart rate levels you’ll be in the green zone.
At low heart rate levels you’ll be in the grey or blue zones.
For each minute spent in the orange or red zone, you earn a splat point. The goal is to spend 12 or more minutes in these zones for maximum fitness and to continue to burn calories after the workout
What if You Have an Injury or are Pregnant?
Accommodations can be made for both pregnant women and people with injuries.
A bike is often kept at each studio for people who can’t comfortably use the treadmill or rowing machines because of prior injuries.
Also adjustments can be made for pregnant women who want to maintain safe fitness levels during their pregnancy.
Orange Theory Cost
Orangetheory offers monthly memberships ranging from $59-$159 per month based on the frequency you go to classes:
- Basic package (4 classes): $59/month
- Elite package (8 classes): $99/month
- Premiere (Unlimited classes): $159/month
Some US studios charge more for each membership per month.
What I Really Like About Orangetheory
Because I have a previous knee and ankle injury, I generally stick to lower impact exercise classes, like a variety of pilates, yoga and spinning classes.
I initially thought that Orangetheory would be too intense for me to benefit or feel comfortable in the class.
But since I went the first time, I’ve not been able to stop going.
First – the high energy environment is irresistible! There is no way to make it through a whole class without getting your heart pumping and catching a great attitude from all the engaged and excited people there to work out.
I feel amazing every time I finish a class, and even for the next 6-8 hours my blood is pumping faster and I feel energized. I can feel an improvement in mood and daily functioning on the days I do it.
Second – this is by far the quickest way to start seeing results from conditioning your body into shape. I have tried nearly all the exercise classes out there, and after only 2 weeks I feel like my muscles are growing more toned and stronger.
I can already feel my body being toned and more firm.
- You can go to any studio across the US; studios are nearly everywhere
- Classes run all hours of the day
- Monthly rates are very reasonable
- Instructors are very motivating and attentive to individual needs
- It makes me not dread working out like I have in times past
What Did I Not Like
A few things about my Orangetheory experience have left me scratching my head a bit.
First, is that in order to get a good read on your heart rate, it really is best to skip using the studio heart rate monitors and buy your own.
I bought OT’s least expensive heart rate monitor – the OTbeat Burn – and it cost me a whopping $116.63 with tax. Let’s just say my first month of classes cost less than the heart rate monitor – quite a shock when I saw the bill come up on my credit card.
Other things I am not a huge fan of is that the experience, while highly motivating, can sometimes feel overwhelming.
During my first class, I could feel the anxiety rising for the first 30 minutes because I had no clue what was going on, orange walls were everywhere, pump-up music was blaring all around the gym and the instructor was yelling instructions at 3 groups of people all at the same time.
It’s kind of like being in a night club – really fun, but very stimulating.
Also, if you forgot you booked a class and miss it, you just loose that class for the month. You can’t reschedule it again unless you have an unlimited membership.
Proof It Works
Really, I can’t say enough about how happy I am that I tried Orangetheory.
Even after just two weeks, my pants fit slightly looser.
Considering I burn no less than 400 calories per workout, this is a great way to kickstart weight loss.
I don’t need to lose weight and while I normally eat healthy and am not on a diet, I can tell my body is in need of more energy and is burning more calories.
I am also someone who suffers from frequent stress headaches and since doing this exercise, my tension headaches have subsided.
This class is a great way to de-stress.
If you are ready to kick your fitness level up a notch, try out Orangetheory. It’s worth a try and isn’t likely to disappoint.