Hey All! This is Sarah, posting on a Thursday (Maggie’s usual day) because apparently we live in some strange alternate universe now where you guys get to read my posts twice in a week. (Don’t worry, it’s only this week.)
If you follow us on Instagram, Monday you saw that we tested out a new workout trend that seems to be everywhere lately. It’s called Orange Theory Fitness and from their website, it’s described as: “a 60-minute workout designed to push you into the Orange Zone. This creates “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. It’s what burns calories after your workout and gives you noticeable, lasting results with Orangetheory Fitness.” They advertise that on average you can burn between 500-1000 calories per class. Sounds pretty good, right?
Basically, the idea is that you wear a heart-rate monitor while you work out and your real-time results are displayed on a screen in the studio. The goal is to hit the “green zone” which is aerobic (fat burning) and then the “orange zone” (anaerobic or endurance building) for a certain amount of time during the class. At the end of the class, they send you an email with your full results for the class and a little summary of how you did.
I’m a full on, unapologetic nerd and I am totally into science and how things work, (I studied exercise science in college) so of course as soon as I heard about this workout, I had to try it. I rounded up my girls and we planned to attend on Sunday. We signed up online for a free class, got a call from the facility, plunked our credit cards down (in case we didn’t show) and we were ready to go!
The workout consisted of Treadmills, Rowing Machines, Weights and TRX Straps. We started on the rowers to warm up and then moved to the strength floor where we did a series of strength exercises (including Reverse Lunges with TRX straps, Tricep Pushups, Jump Squats, Burpees etc.) in circuits. We then moved to the treadmills and did Orange Theory’s treadmill workout which starts at Base Pace (what I would call jogging), Push (which is race pace for me) and All Out (which is basically a sprint). They’re all done on at least a 1% incline We cycled through these three for the remainder of the class and then we were done!
Here’s what I liked:
1. Nummmberrsss. I’m maddeningly competitive and I’m finding myself constantly checking the board to make sure that I’m a.) in the right zone and b.) I’m burning more calories than anyone else. I’m not sure why this matters so much to me, but I just like to win.
2. This is basically like group personal training. You have someone organizing the workouts and telling you how to do them, which is awesome for me because as much as I like the science of exercise, I’m quite lazy. Also, it’s not like having a boot camp instructor screaming at you to push harder when you’re already about to throw up, because the instructor can also see your heart rate and they know if you’re slacking or not. It’s easier to work at your own pace.
3. Accountability. You sign up online for the classes and they charge you for that class if you don’t show. Also, the classes are small enough that the trainers can get to know you and will definitely miss you if you’re a regular and don’t show up.
4. Classes transfer. I travel a lot for work and I would be able to use my sessions at any Orange Theory Fitness around the country or in Canada.
5. Price: It’s $59 for 4 sessions/month, $99 for 8 sessions/month or $159 for unlimited sessions. If you choose the 8 session package it’s basically $12.50 a class to work with a personal trainer for a month. Normal personal training will run you anywhere from $30-$100 per hour, so it’s a great deal considering all of the technology that’s built in.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
1. Absolutely nothing. I signed up for a month of classes after we left. I’ve already been to my second class (in Florida on a work trip) and it was MUCH harder than the first one, with more strength/rowing and less treadmills. I’m 100% totally hooked.
Here’s before the class and after. I accidentally cropped half of Maggie’s face out in the before, sorry!!
Maggie didn’t exactly have the same feelings about it I did. Here’s her take:
When Sarah first told me about Orange Theory, I went to their website to see what it was all about. I was immediately scared by the room and the equipment and the thought of having to use all of that in one hour long session. But then I got excited, new things are great, and they will track my heart rate for me. I think I might have been just as excited about our coffee date with friends before the class as I was about the class itself.
6am: Up and out of bed, thinking of ways I could be sick. Too sore from BodyPump maybe?
6:30am: Not really sure how I got dressed, but I am on my way to Sarah’s
7am: This is happening and I will enjoy it. Was my banana enough to hold me over?
7:30am: COFFEE!!! That will make everything better.
8:45am: Here we go. Since we have to be here early, we get to watch others being tortured, I mean, working out. Sarah can see the terror on my face.
9:15am: Let’s do this. A little extra energy from some the excitement of the class.
9:30am: Burpees? Seriously? Triceps pushups = face plant. On the floor. On my face.
9:45am: Running, I can handle this. I love to run.
10am: Just keep looking at the board, you are burning calories.
10:15am: That wasn’t as horrible as I thought it was. Let’s do that again!
So, my overall feelings. I liked the class. It was a great way to compete with yourself and other people while getting a great workout in. I really like that everyone had their own little workout station and that there was a video you could reference if you were confused about a specific move. Elizabeth was very helpful with modifying a few of the moves for me to lower the impact on my knees; which was greatly appreciated. I am not so happy with the fact that half of the class was spent on the treadmill. Being a runner, I feel like I can go for a run myself and get the same type of workout done without spending the extra money on a class.
I would probably go back as a drop-in if several of my friends were going to attend the same class. I think it would be a great way to see how I am improving strength wise as well as endurance for running.
For now, I will stick to Galloway and classes at my local gym.
Have you guys tried Orange Theory? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!