MY INTRODUCTION TO ORANGETHEORY
I had the privilege to be invited to check out the newest Orange Theory location in Briar Creek. I’ve heard of Orangetheory and it’s great branding caught my eye, but I never inquired about it because I thought it was another gym. Boy was I wrong, Orangetheory is a heart-rate based interval training in co ed group environment. It’s unlike any other workout I’ve experienced and here’s why: first, each workout is different, you will never do the same workout twice and you won’t know what you’re doing until you arrive and two, each person is given a heart rate monitor to show your progress throughout the hour-long class. Both of these factors had me intrigued to hear more about how Orangetheory works. Here’s my experience and what to expect as a first timer at the center.
I was asked to arrive 30 minutes before class to meet with my trainer, Michelle. She asked me standard health questions and I filled out my waivers and personal information to input into my heart rate monitor. Michelle explained Orangetheory to me. Each workout will be either endurance, strength, power, or a combination of the two. The goal is to maintain a target heart rate that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. I was totally honest with Michelle and let her know it had been six months since I had personal training but I walk a few miles a day with no real strength training. She assured me that each person can pace at their level to power walk, jog or run.
Base: The lowest speed/incline level that you set for yourself — something you can maintain for about 20-30 minutes. You should be at about 71-83 percent of your max heart rate (75% effort).
Push: About 1-2 mph faster than your base pace (J/R) or 4-9 percent incline (PW). This pace feels uncomfortable. You should be at about 80-91 percent of your max heart rate (85-90% effort).
All Out: At least 2 mph faster than your base pace (J/R) or 10-15 percent incline (PW). This feels like hell. You should be death-glaring your coach and visualizing scraping their eyeballs out. Oh, maybe that’s just me … Excuse me (100% effort).
Michelle explained that there are 5 zones that my heart monitor will display on the screen throughout my workout. The goal is to spend least 12 minutes in zones 4 (orange) and 5 (red) combined to achieve the optimum “after burn” post-workout. The goal is to get into the Orange Zone with each Push Pace. The orange zone (which is your sweet spot and 84-91% of your maximal heart rate—is the targeted range the Orangetheory coach would like you to stay in for 12-20 minutes of your 60 minute training time.
MEET THE COACH:
Once Michelle explained the workout, she introduced me to my coach, Stacy. I really liked the idea of meeting my coach before the workout and get the tutorial of the machines. Each person is assigned a station number. So each treadmill, row machine and weight station is numbered and is your station for the duration of the workout. During my orientation Stacy also assured me that she can provide modifications for any member in need and that was comforting to know.
Today’s workout was mainly endurance workout which was lucky for me, since I have been doing mainly cardio for the last few months. It was still intense. The environment is upbeat blazing orange lights, power pumping music and encouraging prods from the coach. Although it’s a group workout, members are pretty much in their own zone, not a lot of talking just you and that’s something some people like; to be able to come in and get their workout done in an hour. That’s a great concept for people on their lunch break, or coming in before work.
I like the fact that I can monitor my heart rate and make sure I am in the ZONE for the different paces. When I felt a little challenged I could look at my heart rate and push myself. I love the technology associated with the workout, it’s similar to a spin class but it doesn’t rank the members workout.
After class my trainer came in to explain my heart rate monitor. For my first time, I did fair, like I said it was intense so to see that my hard work and persistence paid off with a loss of 512 calories burned made me feel good. My splat points weren’t the greatest. A splat point is the total number of minutes spent in the orange and red heart-rate zones in a class. It’s cumulative, so if you spend a few seconds in a zone at one time and a few more seconds at another point, those seconds will be added to your total time in the zones.
There are three membership levels a Premier, Elite and Basic levels. Premier gives you unlimited number of sessions for $169 plus the purchase of your heart rate monitor a one time purchase of $99 for an arm band or $69 for a chest band. When you think about the number classes, personal coaching and the technology it’s an impressive fitness option for people looking for transformation AND accountability. The great part about it is you can try your first class for FREE! Your trainer will go over all the pricing and other packages to fit your fitness goals.
Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below. Stop by the Briar Creek location at 4233 Corners Parkway Ste. 270. Craig is the Studio Manager and Stacy is the Assistant Studio Manager. If you’re a member leave a comment and let me know what you like about Orangetheory.