I Tested Orangetheory Fitness To See If It Really Works

I Tested Orangetheory Fitness To See If It Really Works

Does the scientifically based workout that’s sweeping the nation work?
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Can we just take a minute and talk about how immensely painful and irritating finding a good workout program is? As someone who has been navigating the fitness world for more than three years, I constantly experiment with new routines and workout classes. I’ve done everything from CrossFit to spin classes, but besides strength training, I couldn’t find anything that aligned with my fitness goals.

As time went on, I began traveling down the devastating path of plateauing. So what is a girl to do? After hours of copious research, I found Orangetheory Fitness online and immediately signed up for my free first class, and now I’ve been a dedicated member for more than six months.

Orangetheory Fitness, founded by Ellen Lathem in 2009, is a one-hour, high intensity interval training (HIIT) group fitness class based on five training zones with the main focus being zones three (green zone), four (orange zone) and five (red zone).

Orangetheory’s appeal is the science behind the workout. They use an advanced heart rate monitoring system that displays the names of each member on television screens placed in the studio so clients can monitor stats such as calorie burn and heart rate throughout the workout. Orangetheory says if you spend 12-20 minutes in your orange and red zones (84 percent of your max heart rate) during the hour-long class you will experience the “after-burn effect.”

The scientific name for this is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means your body needs more oxygen at a higher rate than it did before exercise. According to the Orangetheory Fitness website, the after-burn effect results in a 200-400 calorie burn increase for the next 24-36 hours.

Basically, 12 minutes in the orange zone equals after-burn, which equals more energy and more calories burned post-workout.

So here I am. Testing the theory behind Orangetheory Fitness.

I generally go to Orangetheory three to four times a week in conjunction with isolated muscle group training twice a week, and now that I'm six months into the program I can say that I'm really impressed.

Yes, I feel more energized.

Yes, I have toned up.

Yes, my performance has improved. I went from not being able to run a mile without walking, to running 1.44 miles in 12 minutes. I didn’t even think it was possible.

But there’s so much more to it. Beyond the positive results I’ve experienced in the gym and in my body, Orangetheory continues to keep me engaged and constantly improving. And here’s why:

Anti-plateau zone. Orangetheory’s class templates are broken down into endurance, strength, power and ESP (a combination of the three) days. The workouts change every single day to prevent plateauing and to avoid overworking specific muscles. Plus, I never get bored!

I enjoy a challenge. Orangetheory promotes their healthy lifestyle and client improvement through fun challenges throughout the year. Some are weeklong, month-long and sometimes, just a single day, but always have incentives.

  • Dri Tri – Members compete as a team to complete a 5K, a 2,000-meter row and 300 reps of bodyweight exercises in the weight room.
  • Marathon Challenge – over the month of April, members track their distance from each class to ultimately run 26.2 miles.
  • Hell Week – the last weekend of October, Orangetheory Fitness designs horror-themed workouts. If members complete five out of the eight themed classes they get a t-shirt.

I get to play dress up. Wait, I get to wear neon sweatbands, scrunchies and leotards to the gym and workout only to ‘80s music? Sign me up.

Accountability is key. Partner workouts are tough. But nothing holds me more accountable then when my partner has to row until I’m done with my part of the workout. Sorry.

The coaches are motivational. They are quick to correct form and always make safety a priority in the studio. From my very first class when they showed me proper form for the rower, to pushing me to increase my speed on the treadmill, I swear they know my limits better than I do.

Group personal training. I love that it doesn’t matter if I’m the last one on the rower because I decided to use heavier weights on the strength exercises. Orangetheory is designed so I constantly compete with myself and my past performance. On the other hand, I thrive off competition; it is a big motivator for me to perform at my highest level. Whether person next to me on the treadmill knows I’m actually trying to keep up with them, I don’t know, but I certainly know that I’m going to do my best to beat their speeds and distance.

Traveling doesn’t slow me down. With more than 350 studios in 11 countries, I can find an Orangetheory everywhere. As a member of the Orangetheory family, I have access to every single studio worldwide. Everywhere I’ve traveled since becoming a member had a studio less than fifteen minutes away.

The best one-hour workout. I love the combination of cardiovascular and strength training into one class. I have always struggled with finding a structured regime that pushes me to improve my cardio performance, but Orangetheory makes it fast and fun.

There’s no half-assing this workout. Due to the heart rate monitoring technology, coaches (among the rest of the class) can see exactly how hard I’m working, and they’re certainly not afraid to call me out. And it is super embarrassing when everyone’s working in the orange zone and I’m not.

Show me the numbers. Orangetheory emails me after every workout with stats from the class. My total calorie burn, the total time I spent in the five zones and my average heart rate. It also keeps me updated with weekly, monthly and yearly totals. Nothing shows progress like a bunch of visually appealing numbers.

I always joke that I’m “working in my orange zone” no matter what I’m doing. I believe Orangetheory has taught me a lot more than just how to row, but constantly reminds me that my ability to do anything is totally mental.

Can I run at 12 miles per hour for 30 seconds? Yes. Is it because I mentally told myself I could do it, or is it because my coach bribed me with a tequila shot? Your guess is as good as mine. Either way, Orangetheory, the supportive members and inspirational coaches helped me reach a personal record I never thought possible. I will forever #KeepBurning.

Cover Image Credit: SALT Our Kakaako

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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An Open Letter to Soda

You're both good and bad, but you never fail to satisfy me.

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Dear soda,

How do I even begin to describe my connection to you? I have shared countless moments with you that we're both my best and my worst. Above all, you fill me up better than water, milk and juice ever do. And even though you're as equally unhealthy as alcohol is (no offense), you're always the safer, if not the most refreshing choice. But even so, you give me more calories than I want in one meal, although burning off that kind of energy is second nature to me.

Before I lavish you with compliments and thank you for cooling me down on hot summer days, it's time to get the unpalatable truth about you and nutrition, soda. You're a primary reason why I'm not in the best shape of my life. Every time I try to have that extra little bit of muscle, you end up setting me back. It's so easy for me to crave for you, because of how delicious you are, and the sugar high you give me is absolutely amazing compared to what I get eating candy and all those other sweets.

I know it's really puzzling for a writer like me to be writing an open letter to a beverage, but you're actually a pretty big part of my life. Why? Because you don't just quench my thirst on hot days, or affect my upset stomach for better or worse, you give me just a smidgen more energy than coffee and tea do. The caffeine in you isn't good for me in the long run, but I need it on a regular basis so I don't zone out during my classes. Honestly, without you, I don't feel as uninhibited as I like to be.

What I love the most about you is that you come in numerous flavors, and even though it's scientifically proven to be ineffective and also tastes worse than gruel, you come in diet form. In every restaurant and cafeteria, you get your own fountain, and students like myself prefer to go there instead of the coffee machines. The hiss of fizz when I open you up makes my mouth water, chills go up my spine and I never resist that first taste of your sugary carbon. Out of all the flavors you offer, I love root beer, cream soda, grape, orange, ginger ale and Dr. Pepper the most. The possibilities with you are so endless.

Soda, the best thing you've ever done for is satisfy me when I didn't feel satisfied.

From one of your many friends,

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Cover Image Credit:

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2018/01/25/08/14/beverages-3105631_960_720.jpg

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