I want to talk about Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) because I found OTF when I needed it most. Well, in hindsight, I probably needed it a lot sooner. But I want to share my genuine love for it and shed some light on the OTF philosophy.
My OTF Story:
In 2021 I was at a point in life where I wanted to feel good, genuinely good. The most significant component here is that I was ready to take action to feel my best!
I wanted to feel happy in my skin and body. I wanted my mind to feel clear. I wanted to feel strong and empowered.
I got all of that and so much more.
Let me back up a minute.
I follow a blogger (@champagneandchanel) who did/does Orangetheory. She always talked about how much she enjoyed it, so I decided to look into it.
I’m the type of person who needs a scheduled class. It was time, to be honest with myself. Going to the gym didn’t work for me, and that’s OKAY. A lie we tell ourselves is that there is a certain “right” way to exercise. The magic happens when you find what works for you and your body.
Let me tell you, Orangetheory moves QUICK. I looked at their website, and later that day, they called me to set up my first class. That was a smart move on their part. It takes out all of the second-guessing and overthinking.
I remember being so nervous in my first class. I wouldn’t say I liked how I felt. I was embarrassed to go.
You meet with an Orangetheory team member before class to review the ins and outs. You receive a heart rate monitor that tracks different zones (based on your heart rate) and burned calories.
I remember telling the team member; I don’t care how much I weigh; I want to feel good. He looked at me and said, “No one has ever said that before.”
After the first class, I was hooked. The structure, encouragement, and energy level in the class is addicting. Additionally, the heart rate monitor results are pretty addicting, too, lol!
I enjoy OTF because of the challenge it brings me almost daily that I have to overcome physically and mentally. The class pushes me through the feeling of “I can’t do this.” I leave feeling accomplished as I walk out of the OTF studio. Additionally, I enjoy the community it provides.
I want to emphasize that I think OTF is a great option if you want to improve only your physical but mental health.
Below are a few benefits I’ve gained from OTF (all a continual work in progress):
- A solid morning routine (I workout in the mornings)
- Mental Clarity
- Genuine excitement for working out
- Mental toughness
Most importantly, I gained my ultimate goal: feeling better.
Now that I’ve shared how it helps me read below as I break down some critical aspects of OTF.
Orangetheory is group workout classes designed to provide an efficient and effective cardiovascular and strength training workout.
The workouts at Orangetheory Fitness follow a structured format:
- Cardiovascular Exercise: Participants have a cardio session on treadmills, rowing machines, or stationary bikes. The goal is to get your heart rate into specific target zones based on your fitness level.
- Strength Training: the other portion is strength training exercises using weights, resistance bands, and bodyweight movements. These exercises aim to build strength and muscle tone.
- HIIT Format: The workouts are designed in a high-intensity interval format, where you alternate between bursts of intense activity and rest or lower-intensity activity periods. This approach is believed to maximize calorie burn and improve cardiovascular fitness in less time.
- Group Setting: Workouts are conducted in a group environment led by a certified coach. The group atmosphere is intended to provide participants with motivation, support, and a sense of community.
Orangetheory Fitness emphasizes heart rate monitoring as a critical component of its workout philosophy. They use heart rate monitors to help participants track and optimize their workout intensity, aiming to spend a specific amount of time in the “Orange Zone.” Here’s how the heart rate system works at Orangetheory Fitness:
Heart Rate Zones:
- Gray Zone (50-60% of max heart rate): This is the warm-up and cool-down zone, where your heart rate is relatively low.
- Blue Zone (61-70% of max heart rate): This is a light exercise zone.
- Green Zone (71-83% of max heart rate): This is the moderate exercise zone, where you work at a challenging but sustainable effort.
- Orange Zone (84-91% of max heart rate): This is the high-intensity zone where you’re pushing your limits. Orangetheory aims to have participants spend around 12-20 minutes in this zone during the workout.
- Red Zone (92-100% of max heart rate): This is the all-out effort zone, where you work at your maximum capacity.
- Orangetheory Fitness uses a term called “splat points” to track the amount of time you spend in the Orange and Red Zones combined. The goal is to accumulate a certain number of splat points during each workout, indicating that you’ve achieved the desired level of intensity to stimulate the “afterburn effect.”
Heart Rate Monitors:
- Orangetheory provides participants with heart rate monitors that are worn during the workout. These monitors track your heart rate in real time and display the information on screens within the studio. This allows the participants and coaches to monitor and adjust intensity levels throughout the workout.
Workout Intensity and Afterburn:
- The concept behind Orangetheory’s heart rate-based approach is that by spending time in the Orange Zone, you’re working at an intensity level that can lead to increased calorie burn and a continued elevated metabolic rate after the workout. This is often called the “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Lastly, OTF has benchmarks and challenges that serve as ways to set goals, track progress, and motivate participants. They are often repeated at specific intervals (e.g., every few months) to allow participants to measure their improvement over time. This is my favorite because it lets you know you’re getting better or where you need to focus.
I hope this was helpful! If you are interested or have any further questions on OTF, feel free to message me on Instagram @jessiegirlblog