Orange Theory Fitness, Let me Explain

Orange Theory Fitness is a fitness studio that you can find locations around the entire world. It has grown exponentially in the short time that it has been in existence, you can find the full history here. So, about the workout, it is a group fitness class that is based around HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). During the workout you will wear a heart rate monitor. This is primarily what sets Orange Theory apart from the competition. The entire workout is based around getting individuals into what is called “The orange” zone, get the name now? But there are other heart rate zones to be aware of as well. Let me break down the color zones for you that you will see during your workout:

Gray -­ A resting heartbeat

Blue ­- A slightly increased heart rate, like if you would go for a casual walk

Green ­- You are starting to perform moderate exercise, your heart rate is beginning to elevate in this zone, you are probably breaking a sweat, but you could still maintain this level of workout for 20+ minutes

Orange ­- In this zone your body is working hard. Your heart rate is elevated, you are sweating, and you are out of breath. You are also burning a ton of calories in this zone.

Red ­– You are maxing out your body in this zone. You are sweating, out of breath, and will probably begin to feel exhausted after a short period of time here. It is only recommended to be in this zone for a very short period of time.

What’s the Workout like?

So, now that you understand the heart rate zones let’s talk about the actual workout. The workout is normally divided up into two blocks (this can vary based on class size/attendance). If this is your first visit to Orange Theory Fitness you can expect to start your workout on the treadmill. You will spend about half of your workout here. On the treadmill, the trainers will help you determine three paces: Base, push, and all out. Keep in mind you do not have to be runner, you can certainly walk during this portion of the workout. In fact, Orange Theory breaks the treadmill down into walkers (Max. of 4 mph with an incline above 1%), joggers (4.5-­5.5 mph), and runners (5.5 mph+).

The paces:

Base: This is a pace that is challenging, but you could maintain it for at least 20 minutes. You should feel uncomfortable, but the pace is still doable. You should be in the green zone at this pace.

Push: This pace is challenging. It will leave you out of breath, make you feel uncomfortable, and should get you into your orange zone. For runners and joggers, this is 1-­2 mph faster than your base. For walkers 1­2% higher incline than your base (Your coach may tell you exactly what incline they would like you at).

All Out: Give it everything you got! The goal here is to push your body, be uncomfortable, challenge yourself to go faster or increase your incline. Overall you want to empty your tank in a short time period. You may reach the red zone here, but don’t worry All Outs are a maximum of one minute usually.

The Floor

Now, the second half (or first half, depending where you started) of the workout is generally strength training work on the floor. Meaning, you will complete your time on the treadmill and head over to the weight room and vice versa the group starting on the floor will head to the treadmills. This second block can be split between the floor and the rower machines, depending on what class you take. This block of class is very straight forward. The coach gives you a series of exercises to do, demonstrating each one, and giving you a rep count. Part of this block may contain some rowing and again your coach will let you know the distance or time you are aiming for.

The coaches generally keep a very close eye on the group on the floor to ensuring you are performing the moves correctly. Be prepared to be correct by the coaches during the floor poriton of your workout.

Also, the classes are always different. You will never do the same workout twice. During some classes you will only have two blocks and during a switch class you will have many blocks.

That is the condensed version of Orange Theory Fitness, get out and try it.

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