Ever sweat orange? If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, you’ll soon find out. The popular, one-of-a-kind workout has Orangetheory Fitness ranked #415 in Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List and #462 in Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500® list of the top franchises in the world. Orangetheory Fitness studios are sweeping across the GTA with 11 locations available this year and another 10 opening in 2017.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Orangetheory Fitness in Parklawn was the orange glow of the gym. Jacqueline, the head trainer explained that all classes would focus on endurance, strength and power and our target was to hit at least 12 splats each class. My response was, “What the heck is a splat?” So first things first, everyone slapped on their personal heart rate monitors and right away our names popped up on the overhead TV screens. As we worked out, our heart rate shifted through different colour zones. Green and blue for warm ups and -with enough energy, grunting and sweating- the orange and red zones. Every minute spent in the orange meant one splat. The goal for each session is 12 mins of orange splats which would ultimately lead to the “afterburn” (explained below, don’t worry it’s very different from the burn of eating too much spicy food.)
The class began with a circuit that had us rowing with the water-rowing machines to build endurance; then guided free weight and TRX exercises for strength and power. Quick rest, no rinse, and repeat. I noticed reaching the orange was not an easy task, I had to row like I never rowed before to get a splat. Then the second half of class was on a treadmill. Now I’m not a huge fan of running on treadmills, I can’t help but check the time every two seconds and it seems that time slooooows dooooown. But at Orangetheory, I found myself looking at the TV screen instead which kept me running to reach the orange zone. Jacqueline took us through what I would call a “spin class” but on the treadmill. There were different stages of speed and incline that we worked through: base pace, push pace and all out pace (aka run like you’re being chased by zombies). It was actually a lot of fun and I hit a whole 13 splats, goooo afterburn!
So if you’re into an energetic guided class and need a bit of visual motivation, then Orangetheory Fitness is for you. Keep reading for our Q&A with Michele Nesbitt, Orangetheory Fitness National Fitness Director and try out a class in the New Year. You might even sweat a bit of orange!
I can see how addicting Orangetheory Fitness is! Describe the workout in 3 words.
The goal is to spend 12-20 minutes in the orange zone; what’s so beneficial about this time range? Is it dangerous to be in the orange/red for too long?
By working out in the orange zone for 12-20 minutes, participants get to reap the benefits of what we call the “afterburn effect”. The afterburn, or Excess Post Exercise Effect (EPOC), is when the body continues to use oxygen and burn calories as if you were still working out, resulting in a 200-400 calorie increase to metabolism for 24-36 hours after an Orangetheory Fitness workout.
Each first-time Orangetheory Fitness guest will receive a studio orientation from one of our trained coaches to ensure a safe and successful experience. The coach will use this time to review the client’s current fitness routine and assess their goals. Those who have not been exercising regularly are instructed to train in the green zone for two to four weeks to build endurance and ease into the workout. Whatever your zone, it’s important to remember that working out can be an extremely strenuous and physically demanding activity. We highly encourage all participants to consult a medical professional or physician before participating in activity or starting an exercise program to ensure it’s the right fit for them.
As one’s fitness level increases and the heart becomes more conditioned, does it become easier to hit the orange zone? Or does it require more output?
Through regular participation, guests will notice their performance improving and will naturally need to exert more to get into the orange zone. This is part of what makes Orangetheory Fitness a great workout; there should never be a plateau.
Many clients begin as power walkers and become joggers, and joggers evolve into runners.
How big are class sizes typically and how many classes usually run a day?
Due to the fluid nature of a one-hour group personal training workout, Orangetheory Fitness studios are designed to accommodate up to 24 people per class.
The number of classes offered each day will vary per studio. We suggest future and current members visit the website of the nearest studio to view the class schedule and book a session in advance. They can also download our new OTF app and conveniently book classes on the go. All locations do their best to accommodate the schedules and needs of members and offer classes as early as 5:00am and as late as 8:30pm.
Tell us about the heart rate monitor watches, the OTF app that it connects to, and what kind of data we will receive on our workouts.
Everyone in every class is equipped with an OTBeat heart rate monitor that tracks the five-zone interval training session to ensure participants are getting the most out of their workout. Currently, we offer two options for heart rate monitors; an OTBeat Link wristband and OTBeat heart monitor that fastens around the chest. Once your monitor has been registered, each time you enter a studio, OTBeat will connect to the studio’s TV monitors providing real-time results of your performance.
Immediately following your session, you will be emailed a performance summary detailing just how many calories have been burned and how many minutes were spent in each zone. This way, you get to track your progress and compare how you’re doing after each session.
Members can also download the OTBeat app for free from the Apple Store to create personal workout goals, track workouts, connect their OTbeat device to record a workout on the go, and see class schedules.
Check out their website for more info.