I did it. I went on vacation and worked out, and it was awesome.
My coworker Markus was in LA about a month ago for the launch of our Data Detox with Paleta (read all about it here, and if you’re stateside get yourself a detox!) and he met a few of the guys and girls from Orangetheory Fitness. He told us all about it when he got back, and when I googled them I fell in love with the concept and decided I had to check it out while I was in Florida (there are sadly no locations here in Sweden – yet).
It’s essentially high intensity interval training. They look at your heart rate and get you to work within three different phases – Base, the pace you feel comfortable at and can do long term, Push, the pace that requires more effort but is still manageable, and All Out, the pace you can’t manage for much longer than a couple seconds.
I went with my friend Sarah and we were advised to get there 30 minutes prior to the Orange 60 (that’s the name they give each session) as it was our first time and they wanted to be able to walk through everything with us first.
When we arrived we each filled out a form detailing any pre-existing medical conditions, we were given a heart rate monitor, and…then we took a selfie (she may kill me for sharing it).
The gym was orange (obviously). There were essentially three different areas: treadmills, rowing machines, and floor and weights. Above the treadmills (check the picture below) there were two screens, and during the workout we were able to look up and see our individual progress, as tracked through the monitor and machines we were using.
We started on the treadmills, and I think we were on them for about 30 minutes. There were the three aforementioned paces: Base, Push, All Out, and there were also three different options for the treadmill: Power Walking, Jogging, Running (so naturally I chose power walking).
I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I think my Base was between 2 and 3.5 mph on a low-to-no incline. It didn’t even feel like a workout. I think we got warmed up with that, doing it for around 10 minutes or so, and then our instructor Tanya started changing things up a bit, moving us into the Push phase, which was a higher incline and slightly higher pace; and then taking us back and forth between the Push pace and All Out phase (I think my incline was around 10 and my speed was around 5 mph). I got sweaty.
I usually hate the treadmill because it feels boring, and I’m not really sure how to push myself. This was not the case at Orangetheory. On the screens above the treadmills I could see my heart rate, my calorie burn, and the intensity I was working at. There were five different levels of intensity, marked through color: Gray, Blue, Green, Orange and Red. The aim was to be in Orange as much as possible. Tanya kept us on our toes the entire time, walking around and making sure we were all working at the right intensity, but even if she hadn’t, having the screens up there so I could see if I was maxing out my intensity or at least in the orange zone helped me stay focused and motivated.
Following the treadmills we moved onto the rowing machines. Have I mentioned my love-hate relationship with rowing? I love rowing. But I also think it’s the worst thing ever. I love it for the first few seconds and then I get tired really, really quick. Their rowing machines used water, instead of the more traditional pulley system, and we were supposed to row 350 meters, then stop and do 35 squats, then back to rowing and then head to the floor to do some bodyweight exercises. That was painful. And I’m awful at push-ups, although I think Tanya finally got me into the right form. We did that for around 15 minutes and I was exhausted. Finally we moved to the floor doing pull-ups with gymnastic rings, working our biceps with dumbbells, and a final floor exercise (which for some reason I can’t remember). We did that for another 15 minutes, starting with 10 reps per exercise, and increasing each time by 2 reps.
And then it was over. And I was tired. Very sweaty and very tired. But I also felt like a superior being.
At the end of the workout the screen told me I’d burned 549 Cal. Not bad. Orangetheory say that their clients burn between 500 and 1000 calories per workout, and I was extremely satisfied with how I did, especially with that only being my calorie burn during the workout, and knowing that I’d burn more for up to 36 hours following.
Here’s the performance summary Orangetheory sent me after my workout.
In summary, my verdict of Orangetheory’s Orange 60?
It’s not competitive.
You push yourself.
You see the progress yourself.
I loved it.
Orangetheory Fitness has over 500 locations across the globe including countries like Australia, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Israel, Kuwait, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
Your first session is free, prices per session and membership prices vary based on location, but I’d recommend getting a monthly membership because otherwise sessions are pretty expensive (they were $28 each where we worked out).
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