Are you getting the most from your fitness routine? Did you know that it is possible for you to burn calories long after your workout session is over? The science behind Orangetheory Fitness programs is all about keeping your heart rate in a targeted range, the orange zone, for optimal benefits. Staying in the orange zone has fitness fans all over the world sweating.
In just five years, the franchise has grown from one gym, here in Florida, to more than 600 worldwide. It’s been dubbed the new CrossFit, the new Soul Cycle, the new, well, everything.
So what’s it all about?
The brainchild of ex-pilates teacher Ellen Latham, Orangetheory is all about working out just hard enough — and, importantly, measuring that output, so you know exactly what you’ve done.
What makes this workout different is that each gym-goer has a heart monitor strapped to them as they work out. The monitor sends stats to a scoreboard that’s visible to everyone in the class.
The aim? To get into the orange zone — above 84 per cent of your maximum heart rate — for at least 12 to 20 minutes of the 60-minute workout. Since everyone can see how everyone else in the class is doing, it’s a boon for super-competitive types.
There’s no hiding in this exercise class.
In the gyms, you’ll find a row of treadmills, rowing machines, free weights stations and TRX suspension equipment.
Users are guided through each station by a group personal trainer and told to go at their “base level” (an effort you could sustain for 10 to 15 minutes), “push” level (where you’re getting uncomfortable) or “all out” (really, really hard).
By combining cardio (treadmill and rowing) and strength training (weights and TRX), you’re getting a high-intensity interval workout.
The orange zone is important because after working out for that long with that much intensity, your body is pushed into excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
And that’s good because it means you’ll burn a lot more calories than normal after the workout, even if you’re doing nothing more than watching a movie while relaxing at home.
Most fitness experts recommend you train at a variety of intensities, mixing HIIT with activities like swimming, yoga and walking.
The benefit of group personal training is that once you show up, someone else is doing the hardest bit — motivating you.
If you go to a regular gym, most people there do not work at a level of intensity that’s creating much EPOC. Having those stats there for you to see while you are working out is extremely effective.
Is it safe?
As long as there is proper pre-screening for injuries, potential heart disease and diabetes — all risk factors when you’re working out so intensely — then it’s a great option for a workout.
It’s a version of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is all about bang for buck. You could work out moderately for 150 minutes a week, or you could work out vigorously for 75 minutes — you get the same benefits but in less time. And that’s why people find this kind of workout so beneficial, and keep coming back to it.
The key is to have rest periods after working hard and raising your heart rate during the workout.
The best thing about Orangetheory is that it takes the guesswork out of your workout. If you want results (and who doesn’t?) and you’re prepared to work hard, this is the routine for you.
There’s no cheating because you can see exactly what you’re doing — and so can everyone else in the class.
If you’re looking for a more intense workout, and are looking for a gym membership designed to get results that high intensity interval training provides, work with our coaches to design a better HIIT workout for your fitness plan. See improved results, higher endurance, and quicker fat loss as you exercise more.
Not sure if an Orangetheory gym membership is for you? We invite you to book a free tryout session. As well, our membership plans have no contracts, and are strictly month to month. This allows you the flexibility to customize your gym membership to suit your lifestyle.