Orangetheory - what's it all about
If you follow my Instagram page, you'll undoubtedly have seen me banging on about Orangetheory. I wanted to take a little time to explain what it is, and why I love it so much.
I joined several months ago to try to get myself back in better shape. In 2017, I'd made a vow to myself to do at least an hour of yoga a week, and I stuck to it religiously. What resulted was a very flexible Rosie by the start of 2018, but one who was getting out of breath walking up stairs! So, for this year I vowed to include at least an hour of cardio focused work a week too to keep me balanced.
Orangetheory is a full body workout in an hour-long class style format. There are studios all over the world, I attend the one in Winchester, UK. The concept is fairly simple: to use a heart monitor to make sure you're working out to your optimum during each session.
What happens in an average session?
Your workout will be different every day but you can expect to do interval training (that means a combination of fast and slow) on the running machine and rower, mixed up with some dynamic floor exercises. When you arrive, you'll pop on your heart monitor around your chest and look up onto the screen to make sure you can see your name. The screen will display your name for the duration of the session, and will show you your heart rate, calories burnt as well as which 'colour' you're in (more on this in a moment).
Orangetheory is built on the premise that you burn the most calories and fat when you're hitting a certain heart rate. This is different for everyone, and will depend a little on your height and weight (which you'll give in private when you join and it doesn't show on the big screens, of course). The optimum heart rate zone is, you guessed it, known as the 'orange zone.' As you warm up your name on the screen will show in grey or blue, and then when you hit your 'base pace' you'll be in green. Base pace is where you will be for a lot of the class, with little bursts of orange for optimum effectiveness and then red, also known as 'all out', intermittently throughout the session.
What's good about it?
In my opinion, three things, mainly:
1. There is a really strong community feel in this workout. Think lots of high-fiving, partner or team workouts and it's not uncommon for your neighbour to say, 'come on, we've got this!'. As someone new to the area, I've found it genuinely a good way to meet new people and there is a real sense of comradery that I've never experienced in a class before. There are also themed days like 'Everest Day' or "World Cup Day' with special workouts to keep it even more varied.
2. The team are super friendly and welcoming, they know almost everyone by name and it's just a much nicer way to work out than at a bog-standard gym where no one knows each other. I have metalwork in my spine meaning the odd movement can twinge me a bit but the coaches always give me an alternative without making me feel like a dud!
3. It works you bloody hard, and gets you results fast. It's good for anyone with level of fitness, and if you're not ok to run or row yet, there are power walking or bike options to get you started. Plus, if you're a tad competitive, you get all your stats sent to your email every day so you can really track your progress properly.
Does it work though?
Undoubtedly. You're doing a mix of pretty hardcore cardio and HIIT exercises for an hour, and if you times that by three times a week as I do, your fitness levels are 100% going to go up. I can run, row and lift more now than I could when I started, and this continues to improve all the time. I haven't lost any weight during my time at orangetheory but I do feel that's largely due to my excessive eating of biscuits lately rather than the exercise I'm doing. Despite the biscuit eating, my measurements have gone down and I definitely look more toned:
If you want to try out Orangetheory, give your local branch a call or email and they'll set you up with a free session. If you're near to Winchester and want to give it a try, do comment or message me on Instagram and I can put you in contact with the studio manager for a session or two.
Now - last but not least. A big thanks to the #OTFWinchester crew, especially the amazing team for getting me my fitness mojo back. You guys rock.