I have consistently been doing the OTF workout since January 2019 (and by consistently, I mean 8 times per month—because that’s what I pay for). Unlike other “gym” workouts I have tried in the past, I have found that I don’t dread going or feel like I have to drag my butt there. While there, I’m working hard, but they shake it up enough with intervals that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Afterward, I always feel like it was a good use of an hour—whether cardiovascular, strength, calorie-burning or otherwise.
So since I’ve essentially logged about 33 hours so far (if my math is right), I’ve had some time to come up with, what’s the best word…ponderings, maybe…about the experience. Eight of them (one for each class I pay for a month!) are listed below.
- As a dietitian, I like anything with actual science behind it. The OrangeTheory Fitness workout is based on two basic, related, and effective principles. These are: 1) HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), a fitness approach that alternates exercises and intensities that produce spikes in heartrate followed by active recovery; and 2) EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), a physiological state in which your body burns calories while recovering from a workout—the higher the better when it comes to post-workout calorie burn!
- It’s like having your own personal trainer. If you are choosy on where you spend your cash like me and don’t want to pay the big bucks for personal training, this is an awesome alternative. Each class is designed by fitness professionals and you are coached throughout on form, modifications if needed, etc. Not to mention you are pushed by ongoing encouragement throughout.
- This is the best workout I have ever had. And, I have been working out for the better part of 3 decades. Exercise has always been a core part of my value system. I love walking, biking, elliptical, strength training, and any workout with company. Of all the workouts I have ever had, OrangeTheory has been the most consistently challenging and satisfying.
- It includes an automatic feedback loop. Ever workout by yourself and consistently push yourself harder than before? Yeah me neither. At each OrangeTheory class you wear a heart rate monitor. It color codes your heart rate and shows you where you are so that you can adjust your effort to get to where you want to be. I try to stay in the “orange zone” as much as possible. When I’m in green, I know to step it up a bit. When I’m in red, I give myself permission to scale it back just a bit when I’m feeling like enough is enough. Knowing, for me, is HUGHLY informative and motivating.
- It’s a great addition to an otherwise well-rounded exercise regimen. Two days a week of crazy calorie burn, diversity, and cross-training is better than none. And, better yet, keeps your body on its toes to keep the strength-building and calorie-burning going!
- You can start and progress from wherever you are. Avid runner? Great. Don’t run unless someone is chasing you? That’s ok too. You can run or walk and not only push yourself within your parameters, but also see huge fitness improvements over time. I know I have seen and felt the results in a few short months of doing the workout ~2 times per week.
- You don’t have to think about it—it’s all figured out for you ahead of time. I am self-employed and have two small kids. I think ALL THE TIME. At OrangeTheory, I just show up ready for an awesome workout. Power day? Endurance? I do whatever they say and count on them to shake it up—allowing me to spend my brain cells in other ways.
- I should talk about eating—I am a dietitian after all. I’m not one of those dietitians who believes you have to eat perfectly all the time. I mean, seriously, that is no fun. But, I can share some best practices over the course of 40+ years of living and close to 20 years as a practicing nutrition professional. One of them? Get a really good workout in first thing in the am. Not only are morning exercisers more consistent, but working that hard early in the day makes you (even subconsciously) think more carefully about what you eat.