Orangetheory Fitness dishes out 60-minute workouts using heart rate monitors to display and track individual performance, with the ultimate goal of reaching 12-20 minutes in the “Orange Zone” (84% or higher of your maximum heart rate). The action-packed class is broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training using a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training, and free weights. The result? A 500–1,000 calorie burn per session.
While many workouts claim high calorie burn, Orangetheory Fitness backs up the numbers with science. “Participants use their entire body, stimulating their metabolism and feeling increased energy after each interval,” Ellen Latham, physiologist and Orangetheory Fitness partner and founder explains. “After the session, the body continues to use oxygen and burn more calories as if you were still working out."
Admittedly, I had no idea of the science behind the workout when I strapped on my assigned heart rate monitor for the first time. Thankfully, there were a few other newbies with me as our instructor Danielle walked us through the equipment and transitions. Half of the class started at the weights station while half started briskly walking on treadmills. Danielle suggested us first-timers begin with the weights so we wouldn’t burn out too quickly. As class begun I could see my initials up on the monitors along with my color-coded heart rate of gray, blue, green, orange, or red.
“It’s you versus yourself,” Danielle encouraged over the music as she counted down the last 10 seconds of the first circuit. The personalization alone is why I would recommend Orangetheory Fitness. Danielle constantly reminded us to focus on our own workouts and while providing general goals and targets for the group, I never felt inadequate even if the person next to me was finishing their fourth round of kettle bell squats while I was on my third. Half way through class, when it was our turn to tackle the treadmill/rowing intervals, there was even a plaque on each treadmill to outline recommended starting speeds for various levels of running experience. Not once did I feel out of my element or intimidated. Not only that, but the rowing machines were a great compliment to the treadmills, and the class time flew by as we completed each interval.
At the end of class, before I got to my car car, I had already received a personalized performance email from Orangetheory outlining my average and max heart rate and estimated calorie burn: 555!
Orangetheory Fitness features over 10 studios in the Bay Area with more opening soon. Individual classes begin at $30 with discounted packages and monthly memberships available.
- New participants must arrive 30 minutes prior to class for mandatory orientation.
- Tight fitted clothing ideal for lifting, floor exercises, running, and rowing recommended.
- Each studio features Men’s and Women’s restrooms, a shower facility, and lockers.