Quick disclaimer: First, I will post before and after pictures in a swimsuit. Some may think, “she looked fine before,” some may think, “she shouldn’t own a bikini.” The point is to really SHOW you the results, not just tell you.
Also I don’t work for orange theory or get anything for this review though a nice new water bottle would be sweet. Just my own personal experience.
On with the story…
Typically, many of our posts have been running related but recently I’ve taken on a new way of trying to maintain and achieve fitness called Orangetheory. The weather has gotten colder, the snow has begun to fall and I have no races coming up in near future so I’ve found myself less and less motivated to get out there and run. Running pretty much has been my main source of exercise past few years and when I don’t feel up to doing it I don’t do much at all.
Recently a Facebook friend of mine posted about her recent Orangetheory class and I became curious about it. So I began researching.
What is Orangetheory? This is a description from their website:
Orangetheory Fitness uses the science of Heart Rate Based Treadmill Interval Training, the efficiency of Indoor Rowing for increased power and the proven concept of Weight Training Blocks to create the fitness level and body you have always desired. Workout and Weight Loss plateaus are a thing of the past….really! The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. By using our heart rate straps and PODS, we can monitor your 5 zone interval training sessions that we call the Orange 60. During the 60 minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12-20 “splat points” (or 12-20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate), which translates to Zones 4/5. This program design produces EPOC, which is the workout “after-burn” effect, meaning that our interval training design produces a 200-400 calorie increase to your metabolism 24-36 hours after your workout. The Orangetheory workout will produce for you increased muscle endurance, power, stamina and tremendous weight loss, if desired. With good music, a talented group trainer and a high energy studio, you have the recipe for a workout that produces BIG and LASTING results.
In a nutshell, I see it as a High Intensity Interval Workout, using treadmills, rowing machines, free weights, trx bands and basic floor exercise accessories in a 60 minute guided class. The goal is to reach a certain “sweet spot” heart rate that has been proven to burn more fat ip to 24-36 hours after the class is over. Here are some pictures of the facility. I researched the pricing and first thing I noticed is it is quite pricey. Ok REALLY REALLY pricey compared to my $9.99 gym membership I never use, but after discussing with my husband, I decided I’d do free class and if I liked it, I would join for a month, do as much as possible to get money’s worth, and then go from there. I considered it research for this blog, (makes me sound fancy,) plus I thought it could help me get through holidays without the usual weight gain. (Hopefully.)
I went to my first free class and was given a heart rate monitor to use. It fit on my wrist like a watch or Fitbit. The instructor’s name was Jess and she was very informative and encouraging as she guided us in a positive manner and helped ensure I was keeping proper form. I was advised the workouts would be different day-to-day. The workouts are broken up into two halves and sometimes even thirds. Each portion has several blocks. (Sections.) This helps the time go fast and keeps me from getting burned out or bored. There’s a big screen where you can track your heart rate and see if you’re getting into that Orange zone “sweet spot,” as I call it.
Here’s a sample of the treadmill workout from one of my classes:
After the class, I knew it was something I’d want to keep trying. So I signed up for the $159.00 unlimited package. I couldn’t believe I spent this and oh boy, would I make sure I go as much as possible! The major drawback was I didn’t get to use the heart rate monitor again unless I bought it, another approx $100.00. They do have a heart rate monitor you wear on your chest for around $70.00 available as well. I decided to just do the classes and listen to my body and see what happens.
For the first 16 days I’ve belonged to Orangetheory, I’ve attended ten classes. I had my husband take what to me is an embarrassing photo of me in my bikini on Day 1, and at the two-week mark. I am noticing some change in the pictures however, my weight went up the first two weeks. So I really need to avoid the scale. I feel stronger, my muscles feel tighter, and people ask if clothes are looser. They are not really yet because they’re tightest in my mid area and that’s always the last section I lose. So I will continue be patient and trust in the classes.
I took a few notes after my first week or so of classes to help me remember when writing blog. Here’s a few examples just to give an idea of what a couple of classes consist of:
Workout 1: December 5, First class
- Partner style workout
- Row 500 meters
- Run on treadmill while partner rows
- Row 450 meters
- Run while partner rows
- Row 400
- Run, etc.
- Floor weight exercises
Workout 2: December 7
- Row 500
- 15 jump squats
- Row 450
- 20 jump squats
- Row 400
- 25 jump squats
- Row 350
- 25 jump squats
- Run 1:00 push pace 6%incline
- Run :30 all out
- 6 arm lifts each arm
- Run 1:00 push at 5% incline
- Run :30 all out
- 6 arm lift each arm
- Floor: Trx bicep 12
- Squat lift
- Trx alligator
- Another squat
Second Two Weeks
I carried on with my month membership attending as many classes as I could. On the Orangetheory app, you can keep track of your workouts. It’s nice to see the attendance increase. Out of the potential 31 classes in the month, I’ve completed 22. Here’s a little example of how your attendance is tracked on the Orange Theory Ap.
After two weeks I purchased the heart rate monitor knowing I wanted to continue doing classes for a while. You can purchase directly from Orangetheory but I chose to be cheap and buy used off eBay for $40.00. I went with the chest strap solely because it was less expensive.
I do find I push myself a bit more wearing it. I notice I’m just below that target orange rate to get me to that “sweet spot” so the heart rate monitor isn’t essential but is a great tool to help push it a notch when needed. It also keeps track of my heart rate throughout class, calories, and splat points. Here’s an example of my results since getting my heart rate monitor. First is the class results and second is my summary on the Orangetheory app.
I was super anxious to take pictures after four weeks to see if I had improved. I feel better and can tell I’m firmer especially in arms and legs, so I’m pleased with the results. I’m down about three pounds but really don’t care. I’m focused on what I can see. Here’s an updated before and after from start to four weeks after.
Want to see a video tour of our local Orangetheory studio? Awesome, watch this video from our Joyful Miles YouTube channel!
I also share my Orangetheory Fitness Hell Week experience in this video:
We also chat about Orangetheory in this podcast episode:
So now that I’ve completed my first month, I bit the bullet and signed up for another month. I’m hoping it’s just as successful. I’ll be sure to update! If you have any questions or comments, or have results of your own you’d like to share please feel free to do so.