Monday, June 8, 2015

Orange Visor at Orangetheory

I am always up for trying a new fitness challenge so when a friend said she was going to try out Orangetheory Fitness with a running group she belonged to, I had to go!  I had heard very little of the details around this new boutique gym fitness experience but I was up for it!!

The class time was 1:45pm, not my favorite time to work out but not complaining, and I had run 10 miles that morning, again-not complaining.  I was pumped and ready to figure this very intriguing Orangetheory puzzle!!  I zoomed over after church on Sunday and my heart was already at a high rate because it was a new experience and naturally I was running a bit behind schedule.

We were greeted by the owner and we were asked to fill out paperwork with our general information, height, weight, gender, etc.  They entered all of this into their computer and then we were given a heart rate monitor and a wireless pod that then synced with their system and our names appeared on a big flat screen in the gym area.  

Each of us had our heart rate, calories burned and % of your maximum heart rate displayed on the screen.  The idea is to complete various interval training throughout the 60 minute class and hope to produce 12-20 minutes of your session in the "orange zone" which is where you are at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate.  You can see your numbers jump through the five zones during the workout and as a result you are pushing a little harder or taking it down a notch.

Raven was our instructor and we entered through the glass doors to the gym area and our basic instructions were delivered.  We did a little hands on instruction for the rowing machines and then it was go time.  We started on the rowers and did that for a set amount of time, maybe four minutes.  We then headed over to the weights area where we were shown our first "block."  This is where we did a set of various exercises and when completed ran over to the rowers for 200 meters and then back over to the weight area to get another set in.  There were three blocks that we completed with activities such as jump squats, bur-pees,  push ups, squats with a bicep curl, ab crunches, triceps extensions, etc.  all coupled with time on the rower.  Each of these blocks were probably seven minutes each.  Raven was there with her stop watch keeping us on task and encouraging us to get that one last set in before the block was over.

After our weight block was done we headed over to the treadmills.  This is where they emphasize their "Base, Push, All Out" segment of interval training.  I think we were on there for about twenty minutes and we all were happy that the machines has fans when we were about five minutes in.  We started at our base and then to our push and then back to base and then back to push and then all out.  All of this monitored by Raven and she would check on us up and down the line while we were running our fastest.  We also incorporated some walk breaks after our all outs which were welcomed to my tired legs.  Interval training is a great calorie burn and something you forget to focus on when you train on your own.  It was a great training session.

They also email you as soon as class is finished your performance summary:

This is where they want to ideally see a bell curve with most of your time spent in the green and orange zones.  I think most classes are 60 full minutes but being that ours was all first timers we had 52 minutes.  It was very cool to look over at the screen over the course of the class to see where you were and you could immediately up your effort to get yourself out of the green and into the orange.  Not sure why I didn't have more orange and so much blue but I definitely was sweaty and feeling the burn throughout the session.

I have never taken a Crossfit class but I would say that this was probably similar in structure to that but a shade softer.  A very cool feature about OTF is that the class done in Virginia on Sunday was the same class that was delivered in New Jersey or California.  One workout of the day and guaranteed soreness the next day!

I would say that this is a great option for someone who likes the idea of doing something different every day when they work out and interval training.  There was not a feeling of being lost or behind because there is so much going on that there really is little time to look at others and their results.  You get in there and plow through the workout hoping you can get one more set in before you have to move to the next block.  Everyone goes at their own level and doing whatever it takes to get into the Orange!

Thank you Raven for the great experience.  She was Hard Core...and teaches 18 classes a week.  Her strength was apparent when you first meet her and then you were only more impressed and inspired by the strength she showed during her breakdowns on each of the strength "blocks."

I definitely embraced the suck during those 52 minutes.  And yes...I ran 2.75 on treadmill and then my friend and I ran out those .25 to get us to an even 3 for the workout...crazy running people and their numbers!!

Embrace the suck...Choose You...Try Something New!!

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